As some of you already know, since 01/12/2018 the Association PY1 - Brazil - Rio de Janeiro is (very) active.
It was April when I first heard about SOTA in a Whatsapp HAM Radio Group. It was a message about the activation of the first Brazilian SOTA Association, namely PY2 - São Paulo. I was sooo interested about it that, after a search in the Internet, I wrote to the MT in that same night. After some days I got an answer from this great guy Simon G4TJC. The details of the eight months of work we had to pick up our 1200+ summits I will tell you in another notice. Today I’d like to tell how it is developing…
During our hard work bringing the Association to life I began the “marketing” stuff telling about SOTA to everybody that I knew is an amateur radio operator or like to go to the mountains. Oft I could feel how people were enthusiastic about such activity. In our monthly HAM Meeting in my home town I always spreaded the news, but I didn’t expected that we would have so good results on we went “online” (better, when we went on the air!)
I had these doubts because the other Associations in Brazil aren’t going well and have just a few activations. Maybe it’s an intrinsic Amateur Radio Problem overhere. We discussed a lot about that here. To be an HAM Radio Operator in South America in general is quite difficult. We are few and we don’t have much traffic on the air (compared to Europe and USA). All equipments are quite expensive for our economical reality, a lot of colleagues still treat our hobby as a black magic hermetic sect trying to keep knowledge safe from our impure eyes and souls (long live to the Internet!!!) and geografically, well you know, even the Pope said that he came from the “end of the world!”.
But anyway, I tried the first activation in 02/12 while in holidays with the family in the city of Paraty. It was PY1/IL-035 a 320m and 2 points summit. Unfortunately I couldn’t make any contact. But I saw that after the trial I received a lot of feedback from people that were QRV or trying to contact me. The main problem was my equipment: just a Baofeng that was unable to reach the guys that were in Petrópolis (my hometown) 250Km far away from Paraty.
After that, back home, I had more 2 trials when I could contact some chasers but not enough to get the points of the mountains.
But I know that every begining is difficult. The turnaround came when I went to PY1/RJ-031, probably one of the most famous SOTA summit. Although I had RX problems (I also will tell about that soon) I could make the four necessary contacts, one of that being an S2S with PY1PTS! Since then we’re trying to make one expedition each week and the results are showing. Every expediction brings us new contesters and more QSOs.
Today we have already 3 unique activators and 20 unique chasers in just 15 days of activity. And for this summer/holidays months we are planing an offensive on activations and information about SOTA.
I’m just finishing to write a website with all basic information about SOTA in Portuguese (a foreign language is also a general problem here in Brazil) where people will be able to download tutorials on how to sign up in sotawatch, in sotadata, etc. and how to insert the alerts and the log in the sites.
On 05/01/2019 we will do a SOTA Party and we hope to make a lot of QSOs in PY1 and PY2 and reach more and more new operators. Maybe SOTA will motivate people to talk on the air again.
73 de Douglas, PU1PAX