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Sota Fun Evenings


Like with the Backpackers series, you do get to know who is and who isn’t SOTA compliant (as opposed to “complaint” hi). As far as last night goes, I think it was just myself and Robert GM4GUF/P that were good for SOTA. I can’t be 100% sure about Robert either, as although we tried to have a QSO, the QSB rendered it impossible at the time. He has been SOTA compliant on UKAC nights in the past though.

So definitely no S2S contacts for me. You do get to know who the contesters are that are also SOTA chasers (Keith G8HXE, Ron GW4EVX, Roger M0OMB, Neil M0WBG etc) so I tend to chuck in the SOTA ref with the other details if it’s one of those guys. Other than that, if I am running, then I’ll mention SOTA about every 3rd or 4th call.

Generally speaking, other /P stations on UKAC nights are not SOTA, and it’s usually safe to assume that. You never know though.

The headlamp was only needed for the last half hour last night!


Yes, I fully understand that UKAC type portable is a whole lot different to SOTA portable.
Just planning to do a few SOTA summits during the Tuesday and Thursday contests while we have the summer evenings.
2m & 4m only at the moment, so planning to be out tonight on a G-SP summit.
S2S would, as always, be a nice bonus.


i plan on being active in the july 2m conest from g/sp-012, hopefully be on hf before hand

martin 2(e)m0kau


Shining Tor was the destination last night.
I managed 3 at the tail end of the FM and 19 on SSB before the rain came.
OK for saying I was on a vertical aerial.
Gun and The Cloud are the next nearest that I could reach after work, so will give them a try sometime.


Shining Tor is a decent choice as I don’t think there’s any regular contesting from Axe Edge at present. Gun might not be so great as there is a regular QRO participant almost directly above you on Merryton Low. The Cloud, normally, would be a dreadful choice because there’s another contester (me) on it! However, I will be in GI for the 2m on Tuesday 4th July, so it is vacant then. I will be back on there for the 70cm on Tuesday 11th July.

I don’t do the 4m or 23cm/microwave events, so it’s always clear for those. Have fun!


A couple of SOTA Fun Evening opportunities this week:

Tonight (Tuesday) - 70cm - 1800-1900z on FM, and 1900-2130z on SSB.

Thursday (13th) - 6m - 1900-2130z, mainly SSB with some CW.

Of course, all bands and modes are valid for SOTA, but the above are what the concentrations of activity will be on the Tuesday and Thursday evenings.


Well it isn’t - “tied immovably” - and never has been, although there has been a long tradition of the link-up. People can suggest them for whenever they like.

When I suggest them, I suggest them to be coincidental with the activity contests as a way of having them at a time with lots of activity going on, especially activity that promotes SSB on VHF.

But if you’re going to organise one Brian, you design it in the way you think will be most “fun” - and successful, whether that coincides with the UKACs or not.


I think the two points are fully compatible. The UKAC pretty much guarantees a few contacts, and is a great catalyst for activity. But once you are on a summit, there is no need to stick to one band unless you want to.

I’m kicking myself for being stupid - I made a hasty foray last night to High Vinnalls and then View Edge, operating on HF. It was only when I got home and noticed Tom’s post that I registered the day as Tuesday, and a 2m UKAC. Doh.

The concept is slowly sinking in, though, and with several summits within reach, I really have no excuse…



Well the rain, and a Wimbledon tennis match, delayed me going out. And now an undiagnosed high VSWR means I am packing up early and heading home. Just 8 QSOs on 70cm SSB.

I’ll do some 2m FM from the handie before leaving the summit.


All mine and Jimmy’s 2m gear tested this afternoon, and all in good working order. Same cannot be said for the 6m kit which will need some attention before Thursday, and the 70cm antenna which will need even more attention before next week!

After hurriedly packing everything down as the rumbles of thunder got closer today, and a subsequent heavy hail and rain shower, all seems rather quieter now and better for this evening, although still chance of a shower. I will, of course, be vigilant, but all indications are that any electrical activity is over for the day.

So for SOTA Fun Evening tonight, I will mainly be on 2m FM from 7pm to 8pm (local time) and then 2m SSB (with the odd bit of CW) through to 10.30pm. And it will be from The Cloud G/SP-015, which I will mention on air, but of course won’t be able to self-spot. Occasionally I do get spotted by a SOTA chaser on these Tuesday nights, but chances are you’ll have to come looking for me!


Well that was pretty good. 3 and a half hours of activating, 120 QSOs all on 2m, 42 on FM and 78 on SSB. One S2S with Steven 2W0JYN/P on Hope Mountain GW/NW-062. Shame I missed Kevin and Lauren M6HLR/P on Kirk Fell G/LD-014. The weather remained dry and not too windy, so not a bad evening at all.

On the summit, I found a piece of paper inside a plastic wallet under a stone. On it was a note from a 5 year old called Jacob that said he had been walking with his grandad, and whoever found it to email him via the address given. Guess that falls to me then!


Nice to work you on FM Tom. You were a lot louder than when I’ve heard you before.
I was less than 1 mile from G/CE-004 but unfortunately it was raining when I set off, so opted to operate from the car. Maybe next time.


Wow. You’ll be happy to support the contest scoring scheme that helps us up in GM where the activity levels are so low. We had 159 QSOs in 24hrs of VHF FD on 2m this year running a 17ele beam in the restricted sections. If you can do 120 QSOs in an evening activity session, 5W and 5ele beam then you won’t begrudge those of us not having the advantage of living in IO83 a decent and fair scoring scheme then?


I guess that’s the modern equivalent of a message in a bottle.
Hope he doesn’t have an uncle stuck up a mountain in distant parts who just needs some bank account details to summon assistance :wink:

Or maybe a Scottish uncle who needs everyone to beam north…


The current scoring system is far from decent, and by definition, unfair. One of the proposed systems is slightly more decent (without actually achieving decency) but still unfair (by design). The other proposed system is fair, but still not decent, as all it does (essentially) is take us back to the old days of M3 where there were a lot more squares (whether multiplier or bonus) to point at in continental Europe than in the UK itself.

I have voted for Nordic scoring, but reluctantly as it merely takes us back in time several years. I cannot support a handicap system though. Activity breeds activity, and certain parts of the UK (I live in one of them) have really got energised and got activity going on VHF/UHF. Giving other parts of the UK a “leg-up” because that has not happened does nothing whatsoever to encourage long-term development of VHF/UHF activity.

In any case, the positive effects of the activity levels are a bit of a misnomer. It is really quite difficult from these parts now on Tuesday nights to work the rarer squares. That is because virtually every frequency is taken up by a station in IO83 or IO93. I got 41 QSOs in the FMAC last night - but was beaten by a station that made 18 contacts.


When you have a handicap of 180 km to the nearest active 2m SSB contester then you might understand why a “handicap” system was introduced - 13 contacts last night running full legal power

Incidentally - what has this to do with SOTA?


Ask Andy - he raised the question. But answering more generally, on these Tuesday nights, I participate in these events from a SOTA summit and in accordance with all SOTA activation rules - and Andy’s question followed my report of such an activation.

The answer to the handicap situation you describe is to effectively promote VHF/UHF SSB/contesting around your local and neighbouring regions. It will be challenging, and I’m sure efforts are already taking place. It won’t bear fruit overnight, it would take years and years to build up. But look at IO93. I can remember when there used to be 2 or 3 on from there on a UKAC night. It is so busy from there now that some stations in IO83 have given up taking part because there aren’t any available frequencies (because of the mass participation from the square immediately to the East).

I know it’s a difficult situation, but we all choose to live where we do and handicap systems can leave a nasty taste in the mouth and dismantle the fellowship of the VHF/UHF contesting fraternity rather than enhance it - and this has been clearly demonstrated.


Still hoping for a couple of VHF SSB evening activations this week, though several factors are conspiring against me!

Tonight I hope to be on The Cloud G/SP-015, snow permitting, for the 2m UKAC. Ahead of that, I’d like to be on FM for the FMAC. How much of that hour I can be on for depends on family stuff. Another irritation is the new, and very silly 10V rule in the QRP section of the FMAC - which effectively means I need to take an extra antenna with me - or reconfigure my antenna in that generous zero second gap between the two contests - or resign myself to using the handheld only for the FMAC.

Mind you, if I can’t (a) find the MFD (gone AWOL), or (b) fix it (Jimmy has mangled it), that might be the only choice anyway!

So, that’s tonight if anyone is interesting chasing or even trying for a S2S. There’s another, this time on 6m, on Thursday night too.


That was fun!

The Cloud G/SP-015 - Tuesday 6th February 2018

Several hours of light snow in East Cheshire meant that there was a good covering of a couple of inches all over the hill. The air temperature was -2, but the “feels like” temperature (according to the Met Office) was -13 - so I made sure I remained as sheltered as possible!

For the FMAC and its silly new omni/vert rule for the QRP section, I simply used the SB5 with just the driven element - ie no director or reflector elements. Thus in practice it became a knd of MFD. 30 QSOs were made on FM in that first hour, though some of it was lost as I started to prepare the rest of the beam in readiness for the UKAC at 8pm.

It was a lovely and indeed relevant surprise to be called by Paul G4MD/P. Lovely, as Paul is a jolly nice bloke, and I had no idea he was back working up this way again. Relevant, as Paul was the person who first proposed the idea of a Tuesday night SOTA Fun Evening!

I made a total of 111 QSOs on 2m - 30 on FM and 81 on SSB. Activity was really good with well over 300 stations on, though conditions were not that great at all.

Packing up in the brutal cold at 10.30pm was not all that enjoyable, and I was glad to be in my stride walking down the hill, and even gladder to be in my car with the heater on a few minutes later!


For tonight’s SOTA Fun Evening / UKAC / FMAC, it looks like it will be unpleasantly damp, followed by horribly wet! I’m going to go for it, but I reserve the right to bail out early!

Due to family commitments, it is unlikely I’ll be QRV on 51MHz FM much before 1945z - but that should still give me sufficient time to match or better last month’s FMAC record of one QSO! I had originally intended trying to build a 6m dipole to suspend vertically from the mast, but with the limited time tonight, I am restricted to just the VX7 + rubber duck (with 6m extension) again.

For the main UKAC, I’ll be on the FT-817 with SOTAbeams SB6 Moxon, though until 2230z, or whenever the wx breaks my spirit - whichever is sooner!

Hope to work a few chasers - not expecting any S2S given the forecast!