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Relaxing the rules


#1

In reply to 2E0HJD:

Disagree.

Andy
MM0FMF


#2

In reply to MM0FMF:
Andy don’t hold back now i thought you like to put your pennies worth in


#3

In reply to 2E0HJD:
Well this is a problem for every one to think about. It’s not a case more points for every body as what difference does it make how many point we have, at the end of the day your not going to wine a prize, its all for fun. So why not, lets see if we can make a difference to global warming. And if we can’t at least we can say we tried.


#4

In reply to 2E0HJD:

I agree, activating a hill is after all activating a hill.


#5

In reply to 2E0HJD:

Please elaborate Andy

2nd attempt… let’s hope Firefox doesn’t throw a wobbler again! :frowning:

Go read the rules, section 3.1. Then review the range and diversty of summits activated. I believe the changes you propose would reduce the range of summits activated leading to stagnation and disinterest by the chasers.

The green argument is completely bogus. Nobody will buy it as the total carbon footprint of the few activators and the journeys they make is entirely negligible. You would have more effect ensuring that no chaser allows his PC and shack to be powered up unless they are in use. The number of radios on standby with the volume turned down, the number of PCs on but not in use, never mind all the wall-wart PSUs left switched on in the shacks about the UK produce vastly most CO2 than those few car journeys.

Now go read 3.1 again. SOTA is very clever. You want people to go out on hills and that involves a bit of effort. You want people to hang about and work the activators. So you need to make the design so that when activators activate then there’s a hoard of chasers chasing. You do that by allowing chasers to claim for the same hill time and time again. However, if they always here me on the same hill and you on your regular hill, then the excitment disappears. They are going to work the same actiavtors in the same places.

To keep chasers keen, they need to be presented with a regularly changing groups of summits to chase. This is achivied in the current system by making the activators only do the same summit once per year. With the knowledge that you will always have very much fewer activators than chasers (look at the shapes and ages of amateurs at a rally to see why) by forcing the activator to move about, you get the small band of activators offering a much wider range of summits to the chasers. Chasers will hear the same activators again and again but from different summits. They will hear the same summit from different chasers. The end result is that the chasers get served with varying range of summits. If people hear the same people on the same hill time and time again, the thrill fades. Sure they get the points, but if they have worked me on East Cairn Law (my nearest 2pt summit) 15 times in year, they aren’t going to organise their day so they are in the shack when I’m on air. They’ll work me if they hear me. However, tomorrow I hope to be up The Wiss. That should be unique for just about every chaser and should conditions be OK, nearly every chaser will thank me for giving them a “new one”. I’m sure the keen chasers will have noted the chance for a unique summit and made a bigger mental note to listen out than if it was just any old 2point summit.

By allowing the same hill to be activated time and time again by the same chaser, you will quite drastically reduce the diversity of summits offered and will reduce the keeness of the chasers.

Perhaps there maybe room for the odd tweak in the system here and there. Having a smaller Winter Bonus for the 1pt hills might encourage activity for those who don’t feel brave enough for the bigger hills in less clement weather.

Of course I could be wrong, but the above is why I think we should leave the system essentially as it is now.

Andy
MM0FMF


#6

In reply to 2E0HJD:

Hi Mick

I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment and will give you my reasons.

Firstly, I am not whinging and will carry on regardless with my multiple activations of Hope Mountain and other summits, for the same reason that I have always done it, which is to repay a few points to our regular, serious activators.

I have never even given a thought to the environmental issues of travelling the longer distances to find uniques to activate and hence earn points.
Most organisations are adopting this politically correct attitude, with global warming in the news.

That said, here are some statistics to think about…

I have now done 48 activations of 6 unique summits, with an approximate total mileage of 1500 miles at almost a fiver a gallon for diesel = £150.
My reward…six points and a £150 fuel bill, plus the wear and tear on my car.

Chasers reward…48 points.

Does that sound fair?

I have the highest respect for the activators who must make my total mileage look like a trip to the corner shop.

Even a compromise would be a vast improvement, ie allow the points per summit activated maybe once a week, or even once a month, whatever, but it needs looking at.

If the rule was relaxed, I would imagine that the total number of activations would increase dramatically.

73 Mike GW0DSP


#7

I completely disagree - with Mick and Mike. I completely agree with Andy. The opportunity for chasers to claim points daily is vital. I suspect many of my activations wouldn’t have attained 4 contacts otherwise. The opportunity for activators to claim points daily is not vital at all. The programme does actually want to encourage radio amateurs to get out and explore the hills for themselves. If participants prefer to stick with multiple activations of their local summits, they can. Mike DSP is proof of this!

Should I have “earned” 40+ points from The Cloud this year? Of course not; that would cheapen the programme and vastly reduce the current value and prestige of the Mountain Goat award. I have more than enough summits within day-trippable driving range, without getting up earlier than six in the morning, to keep me going for a whole year. I appreciate this is not the case in every corner of the UK, but Clitheroe is certainly not one of those corners :wink:

Carbon footprints, global warming etc - that is your personal decision, ie where, when and how to travel. You can just keep doing your local summit down the road for zero points, you can ensure you have a low emission vehicle or you can use public transport (G0HDX, G1OPV & G3CWI have proven that this is viable for many more summits than one might imagine).

A commonly heard phrase from both activators and chasers these days is “I’m just concentrating on Uniques now”. Completing regional sets of chaser uniques would become much harder if the programme started to encourage activators to do repeats within a year.

It is certainly true that the chaser points are far easier to accrue than the activator points, as Mike points out. But this is surely correct anyway. The activator award should indeed by the premier award in SOTA in my opinion. There is no need for any sense of equivalence.

These are my personal opinions.

Tom M1EYP


#8

In reply to M1EYP:

You raise some valid points Tom, which is good for this debate, but I must comment on two points you make…

I suspect many of my activations wouldn’t have attained 4 contacts
otherwise.

With all of the bands/modes available to the activator, I find it almost impossible to get less than 4 contacts on a summit, even on NW-062, not a sign of “bored” chasers there, even after 41 activations, the same chasers, UK and EU always call in and give their support, the same applies to yourself on The Cloud, how many times have you joked by calling CQ Connah’s Quay in the knowlege that myself AAV and PXW will be there almost every time, even early in the morning?

If participants prefer to stick with multiple activations of their local
summits, they can. Mike DSP is proof of this!

I am not really proof of this tom, I don’t do multiple activations of my local summit out of preference, but out of neccessity due to my personal physical problems.

I agree with you that the activator is, or should rightly so, be king, but he is not as such as far as the points are concerned when on multiple activations of the same summit, even worse, if he is on a 1 pointer, he gets no winter bonus either, but his vehicle still requires filling with fuel, but thats another topic for another thread and not this one.

It is an interesting debate and it will be even more interesting to get more peoples views, both activator and chaser and let’s face it we can’t have one without the other.

73 Mike GW0DSP


#9

In reply to MM0FMF:

The green argument is completely bogus. Nobody will buy it as the
total carbon footprint of the few activators and the journeys they
make is entirely negligible.

If everybody thinks like that nothing then is going to change: " what is a 2 mile trip to the butchers with my car going to change?".

We all have to chip in.

I for one drive to work every day with my bicycle which 13 miles , 250 working days a year: 3432 miles. Have worked there for 8 years now: 27.456 miles !! Less 10% for different reasons still leaves almost 25.000 miles. And that’s just me.

My wife does the same and where possible we leave the car at home.

Peter


#10

I suppose one way to improve things is to encourage car-sharing and the like. As well as reducing the individuals carbon footprint, it also makes sense from a safety point of view.

Ian
G7ADF


#11

In reply to ON3WAB:

I agree with you entirely on the green issue Peter and I’m surprised that everyone doesn’t see it that way.

Try and imagine what the total sota activators mileage for all associations is in a year? I would imagine it’s a frightening figure.

The rest of the planet is very concerned about it and I think we would be irresponsible to merely brush the issue aside without at least debating it.

Mike


#12

In reply to GW0DSP:
Hi Mike,and others…

“It is an interesting debate and it will be even more interesting to get more peoples views, both activator and chaser and let’s face it we can’t have one without the other.”

Re: Unsuccesful activations.
I still have unsuccesful activations occasionally, Glyder Fawr is my personal nemesis. I have failed 3 times on that over the years, I usually top out at tea time when 2m is particularly quiet. I could use HF but that doesn’t suit my style of activation when on bigger hills, my choice and I’ll have to put up with the consequences.

Re: Multiple activations.
I have repeated a summit in a year once or twice, I’m not in the same league as Tom or Mike but when I did, I wasn’t motivated by the points on offer. I will walk on the same hill more than once in a year, if the circumstances allow, I will take a radio. If the circumstances allow, I will stop at the top and play for a bit.

Re: Points in a year.
I’m not usually a ‘list bagger’ but the current rules do encourage me to try hills that I normally wouldn’t do. In my case that reduces my fuel consumption as it makes smaller, closer hills more attractive.

Re: Andy’s ‘bonus’ suggestion.
Following from the point made above, I really like Andy’s idea of 1 bonus pt for 1 pointers in winter. That would really make some smaller hills more attractive.

Re: Carbon footprint.
SOTA isn’t the law, it provides us with opportunities. The rules shouldn’t be changed for environmental reasons, we are all personally responsible for what we do and should make our own decisions about how to operate within the scheme. If that means that we don’t progress up the tables as much as we would wish, then that is something for us to come to terms with. It’s not against the ethos presented by SOTA which explicitly says it’s non competitive.

I am grateful for the opportunities that SOTA provides, I was already a regular hillgoer but the SOTA scheme encouraged me to become a radio amateur. That is why I activate in the way I do… I’m out for a walk, and I take the radio to add another aspect, how long I stay on the summit and which bands I use are driven more by the patience of whoever is with me than any other factor. The scheme has also encouraged me to try hills that I wouldn’t normally have been on; I have travelled to the Dales for leisure literally hundreds of times, I never walked on the hills there before I started activating for SOTA.

Sorry for the long winded reply…don’t know what came over me :slight_smile:

Seeya, Dick.
M0EIQ


#13

In reply to 2E0HJD:

At first sight Andy’s rebuttal is quite convincing, but as Mick points out, Andy has no shortage of hills. This comment led me to think a bit: I have one local summit, by which I mean it can be reached in under an hour, I’ve been up it three times so far this year. There are many people living much further from their nearst Marilyn, and all these orogenically disadvantaged people have one thing in common, their nearest Marilyns will cost them a lot of time and petrol to reach and earn them just one point. Per year. To even reach a hill worth 2 points they have to drive a round trip of several hours. How discouraging is that?

I do not think that multiple activations would reduce the interest of chasers, chasers are very devoted to the cause. Look for instance at how many will work a succession of activators on one hill in one day, even though only the first one worked will count on their score.

I believe that allowing more than one activation per year of a summit would encourage activators in the flatlands to go out more often, it would have little effect on those who by an accident of geography live close to a plethora of summits. I would suggest that the rule should be amended so that there has to be at least 100 days between activations, that would remove the present anomaly that one could activate the same summit on New Years Eve and New Years Day!

I wonder if it would also help to create a new category of a “half Marilyn” worth, say, half a point, to enable lower summits in the flatlands to be included in the program? This category would only apply in regions where there are no summits worth more than one point. I acknowledge that setting this up would be a lot of work, would it be worth the effort? I rather think so.

73

Brian G8ADD


#14

There seems to be a lot of hype about global warming at the moment such as filming the melting of the arctic and antarctic ice at the height of their respective summers. There is also a lot of hype about “carbon footprints” and reports that take into account methane produced by animals (which have been on this planet for a v e r y long time).

Not wanting to turn this into an environmental discussion I’ll get to my point. Let’s not allow media hype affect the SOTA programme. If people wish to drive to a summit then that’s up to them. Folk who live nearer summits can cycle or walk and some summits can be visited by bus or train then on foot or bicycle (maybe a list of these together with maps would be useful).

73
JOHN


#15

Okay! so say we change the rules and I go get a job in the cafe on Snowdon or as a chair lift attendent somewhere or in one of those nice hotels in the Alps. I could get ten points every day which equals 3,650 points a year and what would totally cheapen the program as I shot to the top of the activators table. Heck! I could even buy the farm with the trig point on Mike DSP’s Hope Mountain and activate without getting out of bed.

The SOTA scheme basically combines hill bagging with amateur radio and if you take away the hill bagging part it becomes less much interesting. If you want to do the same summits over and over you can compair yourself to other activators by looking at the “Total Summits” rather than the points. The scheme is far from perfect but why should the goal posts be moved just because someone cannot score. Maybe we should not have a points system in case those who haven’t got many points feel bad about their failure or maybe we should allow contacts by mobile phone for those that haven’t got a particular band or cannot do morse or are too far away for VHF?

When people start talking about carbon footprints and green issues it really worries me. Are those sheep on the hills or are the sheep the ones sat in front of the TV believing everything those lying leeches we have for politicians tell them?

Save the planet! Why the sun is going to explode anyway!

73 Steve GW7AAV


#16

In reply to GW7AAV:

Heck! I could even buy the
farm with the trig point on Mike DSP’s Hope Mountain and activate
without getting out of bed.

I would have to report you if you did, as the farm is outside the activation zone:-)

The scheme is far from perfect
but why should the goal posts be moved just because someone cannot
score.

The author of this post certainly can score activator points.

Maybe we should not have a points system in case those who
haven’t got many points feel bad about their failure

I don’t feel that I am a failure Steve with 48 activations to date.

Nanoo nanoo Mike


#17

In reply to GW7AAV:

“Save the planet! Why the sun is going to explode anyway!”

Just an aside, Steve: as the sun weighs less than Chandrasekhars Limit it will not explode, it will evolve away from the Main Sequence, become a red giant and after significant but relatively quiet mass loss will become a white dwarf. Not that this bothers me, I won’t be around to see it, but I may be around to see at least the start of the environmental catastrophe that is being predicted by reputable scientists rather than lying politicians or Al Gore.

By the way, I don’t think operating from a bed in the farmhouse on Hope Mountain would qualify for SOTA but perhaps I need to read the rules again!

73

Brian G8ADD


#18

Steve GW7AAV makes a very good point about the “Total Activations” column on the scoring tables. This is where you get your increment for a repeated summit within a year. I enjoy seeing that number in the first column increasing. That is reward enough for me as far as the Database is concerned. It doesn’t all have to be about points.


#19

In reply to 2E0HJD: Basically if you are simply bagging the same hill over and over it is not hill bagging, it it called errosion.


#20

In reply to G8ADD:

“Not that this bothers me, I won’t be around to see it”

I may well fail but I am going to give it my best shot. My table is booked at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

“By the way, I don’t think operating from a bed in the farmhouse on Hope Mountain would qualify for SOTA but perhaps I need to read the rules again”

The final ascent (up stairs) would be made on foot, and I would be using a handheld. I might however need to move the farmhouse a few metres near to the activation zone.

73 Steve GW7AAV (who is working to pay for some new VHF/UHF antennas and coax and missing out on all the chaser points this weekend.)