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Mountain Eagle?


#1

I’m sure that, when the original concept for SOTA was agreed, the thought of people actually qualifying for either Mountain Goat or Shack Sloth was but a distant dream. However, the exponential growth of SOTA has meant many people qualifying several times over. I therefore propose that consideration be given to a new acknowledgement of outstanding achievement - gaining 1000 points solely with summit-to-summit QSOs. It would surely be unfair to reward such dedication with just an annotated Shack Sloth, as it involves a lot of physical effort. I suggest that the name Mountain Eagle would be appropriate as it takes keen eyesight to find all those other activators!!

My own score is currently 152 points from 33 s2s QSOs - not that inspiring!! However, I’m sure there must be some really high scores out there somewhere from the more active activators. What say?

73 de Les, G3VQO


#2

In reply to G3VQO:

The thought had crossed my mind the other day that extra points should be awarded for S2S QSO’s as they are the ultimate in SOTA achievements. I wholeheartedly agree with your proposal as it combines all the aspects of SOTA - activation and chasing all in one and should be recognised by a new award maybe supplemented by the usual 100, 250, 500 certificates in the ‘S2S’ Class as seperated from the Activator or Chaser Class.

73 Glyn…GM4CFS


#3

In reply to G3VQO:

Dave M0DFA has mooted this idea on more than one occasion, so far nothing has come of it.
Steve G1INK.


#4

This idea has been proposed several times in the past. It has been examined a few times over by the MT, but each time we have reached a similar conclusion. We wanted to retain the simplicity of the awards structure of SOTA, and therefore stay away from the idea of any kind of “endorsement” for an award, be it band, mode, DXCC country or even S2S. WAB (for instance) operates like that, and that is fine for them - indeed they raise money for charities from each award claimed/purchased. SOTA does not raise revenue for charity or anything else from the certificates, which are provided “at cost”.

Furthermore, it was questioned whether the 1000 points from S2S contacts could be compared anyway. Yes, it involves all the actual walkng, but then once in position, often the activator then has a distinct advantage over the shack based chaser.

SOTA has experienced a remarkable growth since its launch, and that has indeed brought a natural demand for more awards. Several ideas, including this one, and a “DXCC SOTA” award were discussed, and the MT decided to go the way of introduing the “Uniques” awards, as these most naturally followed the operating habits and aspirations of chasers and activators.

S2S contacts are indeed “special”, and I am one of many who particularly enjoy them. However, the reward is already in place, and immediate - you get activator points AND chaser points from the one contact. We do not believe there is any need for a distinct award to recognise this additionally.

Another consideration is that Roger MW0IDX, our Awards Manager, is really already at “capacity” in terms of the time he can spend processing award claims and issuing.

So at the present time, as I see it, it is highly unlikely that a S2S award will be introduced for the whole SOTA programme.


#5

Quote “So at the present time, as I see it, it is highly unlikely that a S2S award will be introduced for the whole SOTA programme.”

In reply to M1EYP:

Personally I have never been bothered too much with the “gong collecting” aspect of amateur radio in general not to mention SOTA, so even if there was another award I probably would not bother to apply for the actual certificate or trophy, but it is a little disapointing to hear we can’t be Mountain Eagles, it sounds a lot cooler than Goat or Sloth.

Maybe even if we don’t have an award, either now or in the future, we could have a facility in the database to show how many summit to summit contacts we have had and maybe another league table. Until then we will just have to keep our own records.

Regards Steve GW7AAV


#6

In reply to M1EYP:

Just to add my two pennyworth…

I think I have to agree with you here Tom.
S2S contacts are rewarded instantly, as you quite rightly say, we get activator and chaser points simultaniously.

Winter activations are rewarded if on a summit of at least 2 sota points in value, by way of a three point bonus, maybe time for a bonus for us 1 point tiddler hoppers, hi.

A reward for uniques would be a better new award in my opinion, at least it is open to all, wether activator or chaser, able bodied or otherwise.


#7

Jimmy and myself use the “Notes” field in activator and chaser entries to mark S2S contacts. ie, when filling in an activator entry, if any of my contacts were on summits themselves, I enter their summit ref in the notes. With chaser entries, I write my summit into the notes if I am on one.

We don’t use the notes fields for anything else (I know some enter reports, names QTHs etc in there), so our S2S logs are very easily visible from either our activator log (on “Show All QSOs”) chaser log. S2S contacts are also highlighted in bold type on the summit pages on my webiste http://tomread.co.uk

Hoping for some S2S from Cold Fell tomorrow - beam north chaps, it’s one of the rarer ones. In fact I suspect that being on another LD or NP summit oneself would considerably improve the probability of getting this particular chaser unique.


#8

In reply to GW0DSP:

The awards for Uniques already exist Mike. Same thresholds as for points - 100, 250, 500, 1000 - and it is an all-time award, so considerably more difficult to attain the thresholds than the standard SOTA awards. This was what we felt was the natural response to the unexpected speed with which people could get 1000 chaser points. SS on Uniques for working 1000 unique summits is quite something, and only G4OBK has done it so far, although a few are lining up to join him.

Imagine MG on Uniques for activating 1000 unique summits - that would put you right up there in the Marilyns Hall of Fame! I wonder if it will ever be achieved, or who will be the first?


#9

In reply to G3VQO:

As Steve, 'INK has already said, I’ve put this forward twice, and on both occassions it has been rebuffed, despite there being others who have supported the idea. I’m strongly in favour of separating out the home QTH chaser points from the S2S chaser points. In my opinion, the only way to get a specific award for S2S QSOs is for all those in favour to say so in this forum, so that the weight of opinion might sway the minds of the management. (In some circles this would be called democracy, customer care, or perhaps a peasants revolt).

I also annotate my chaser QSOs as S2S where appropriate, and have so far scored 762 points in the same way as activation points are gained - I’ve only counted S2S points from a summit once per year.

It would be interesting to know how many other activators keep a tally of their S2S points.

Even if this attempt fails, I will make myself an award when I get there - a new pair of boots perhaps (HI)

Best of Luck, Dave, M0DFA


#10

In reply to G3VQO:

Almost all of my chaser points have been gained by summit-to-summit QSOs. It is always fun to contact activators on other summits. S2S chasing is not at all comparable to shack-based summit chasing - both are equally valid, but different aspects of the SOTA programme. In my opinion there is a distinct challenge in S2S chasing which justifies separate SOTA awards. ‘Mountain Eagle’ sounds like a good idea to me!

73, Fred, GI4MWA


#11

In reply to M0DFA:

It would be interesting to know how many other activators keep a tally
of their S2S points.

I don’t collect chaser points…though I do go out of my way to make contact with activators when possible.

However I do record s-s contacts as they have a ‘resonance’ that makes them more valuable to me. I’m all for a ‘mountain eagle’ award, though I won’t be putting in for one any time soon :slight_smile:


#12

In reply to M1EYP:

This idea has been proposed several times in the past.

I hadn’t realised that the idea had already been floated, but the fact that several independent sources have made the same suggestion suggests that it could be a “goer”.

We wanted to retain the simplicity of the awards
structure of SOTA, and therefore stay away from the idea of any kind
of “endorsement” for an award, be it band, mode, DXCC
country or even S2S.

I agree about the avoidance of endorsements, but the whole point here is that it would be an entirely separate award, rather than an endorsement.

Furthermore, it was questioned whether the 1000 points from S2S
contacts could be compared anyway. Yes, it involves all the actual
walkng, but then once in position, often the activator then has a
distinct advantage over the shack based chaser.

As a separate award it would not need comparison, so the problem(?) would not exist.

However, the reward is already in place, and
immediate - you get activator points AND chaser points from the one
contact.

You certainly get chaser points, but those of us in areas where SOTA summits are numerically-challenged often re-visit the same hill several times in a year “for free”. It would be nice to have some recognition of such activations which, whilst healthy and enjoyable, are done largely for the benefit of others.

Another consideration is that Roger MW0IDX, our Awards Manager, is
really already at “capacity” in terms of the time he can
spend processing award claims and issuing.

I suspect that this argument has no real validity. Whilst applauding Roger for his hard work, I strongly suspect that the number of potential Mountain Eagle claims would be so small as to be a statistically insignificant addition to his workload.

So at the present time, as I see it, it is highly unlikely that a S2S
award will be introduced for the whole SOTA programme.

Within SOTA rules there is provision for individual SOTA Associations to promote their own award schemes. I assume that it was originally envisaged that these would relate simply to the “local” Association. However, is there any reason why any Association could not sponsor a SOTA-wide Mountain Eagle award if the MT choose not to do so?

73 de Les, G3VQO


#13

In reply to G3VQO:

Within SOTA rules there is provision for individual SOTA Associations
to promote their own award schemes. I assume that it was originally
envisaged that these would relate simply to the "local"
Association. However, is there any reason why any Association could
not sponsor a SOTA-wide Mountain Eagle award if the MT choose not to
do so?

While there is no reason that individual Associations could not do so, they would have to take on board responsibility for the safety implications of such an award. What appears to be proposed could encourage hanging about unduly on mountain tops for those elusive s2s contacts. It could also encourage people to rush to keep s2s skeds. Tom omitted to mention this important factor - which is to my mind the key one that precludes the MT introducing such an award.

73

Richard


#14

In reply to G3CWI:

Hi Richard

I’m sorry, but I just don’t accept that point of view. There is a perfectly valid disclaimer within the General Rules regarding personal responsibility, and I don’t believe that any further concern need be expressed. Of course it would be irresponsible to stay too long on an inhospitable mountain top trying for s2s contacts, but no more so than trying for that elusive fourth QSO to qualify the summit. I don’t wish to sound rude, but I feel that the MT is catching the all-pervasive “nanny state” disease, and attempting to remove personal responsibility from the individual. Perhaps we should also caution against smoking, drinking alcohol or using a mobile phone whilst walking in the vicinity of a summit. I hasten to add that I’m not advocating any of the above, but the degree of risk taken should be decided by the individual, bearing in mind his/her strengths and weaknesses, not imposed from above.

Rant over! Back in my box!

73 de Les


#15

In reply to M0DFA:

In reply to G3VQO:

I’m strongly in favour of separating out the
home QTH chaser points from the S2S chaser points. In my opinion, the
only way to get a specific award for S2S QSOs is for all those in
favour to say so in this forum, so that the weight of opinion might
sway the minds of the management. (In some circles this would be
called democracy, customer care, or perhaps a peasants revolt).

Although not an active activator, I do support what is being proposed by Dave and all other interested parties with regards an award for the S2S activations and chaser points. I’m a dedicated shack chaser when time permits, but do agree, that their is a comparitable difference between chasing in the comforts of the shack and the efforts required from a summit. I further agree that if democracy is to be maintained the MT must listen to the members wishes and comply.
With regards a level playing field, the ‘MAIN ALL BANDS CHASER TABLE’ includes chasing results for 5Megs/CW etc, not all participants, levels of licence involved in the SOTA programme while chasing can use an NOV license or tap a key, which seems to be the flavour of the month with both UK and our european freinds while activating.

‘I SUPPORT THE MOUNTAIN EAGLE AWARD’

Ian 2E0EDX


#16

In reply to M3EDX:

Quote: “With regards a level playing field”

It’s not a level playing field, nothing in this life is a level playing field, not even playing fields, it’s a mountain to climb. Do the home work, climb the mountain get a full licence, learn the code and get an NoV. You may find it hard but it was easy why would we bother?

Democracy is good in theory but if you want to get anything done a dictatorship is a better bet ;0)

I want to fly life an Eagle - Steve GW7AAV


#17

I want to fly life an Eagle - Steve GW7AAV

Does Steve Miller do SOTA as well?!
73 de CRIS
GM4FAM


#18

In reply to 2E0HJD:

Probably come as a special offer with an RSGB Book.

73

Richard


#19

In reply to M3EDX:

their is a comparitable difference between chasing in the comforts of the shack and the efforts required from a summit. <

Not necessarily true Ian - it is easier for me to operate from a summit or even locally out portable than operate from home. I do have a reasonably comfy shack, but the restricted real estate and the local terrain severely limit what I can achieve from here, especially on the higher bands.

I note your comments about the inclusion of bands and modes in the tables, but there is not, and never will be, any such thing as a level playing field in SOTA. There are just too many variables, including one’s personal abilities, but does this really matter? Surely it is the pleasure of participating and personal achievement that is important.

I don’t have any real bias one way or the other for or against the idea of a Mountain Eagle Award. I do however dislike elitism and self-seeking edification. I would ask whether this is just another “gong” to earn or is there any real value in making this addition.

73, Gerald


#20

In reply to G3VQO:

I don’t often put comments on the reflector, but I feel that I must express my
support for the ‘Mountain Eagle’ award. It seems to me to be an idea with much merit.

I find it difficult to accept some of the reasons being given for not having such an award for summit-summit contacts.

Sorry Richard, but your comments re safety implications sound (whether intended or not) rather feeble. The idea of activators staying on a summit to longer in order to ‘work’ another summit is really no different to an activator staying on a summit to long in order to get that elusive fourth contact under the current scheme. It really is quite clear where the responsibility for personal safety lies, i.e. with the individual concerned. Of course safety is paramount, but this proposed award does not introduce any new safety issues.

Sorry Tom, I just cannot believe that Roger as Awards Manager, has intimated that the introduction of a ‘Mountain Eagle’ award would so significantly increase his workload that it would be beyond his capacity to cope. If it was to increase so dramatically, then maybe someone else on the MT could help, if not ask the members if anyone else could help out with the apparently massive amount of paperwork that this award would create…you could count me in.

With regards to comments about SOTA etc not being a level playing field, because of different modes, bands, licenses etc etc….agreed, it is not., it never will be. What has any of that got to do with the idea of a Mountain Eagle Award for summit-summit contacts. Absolutely nothing, please don’t hijack the thread by introducing other topics into it.

Mike G4BLH