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SOTA NEWS DEC 2015 Part 2


#1

SOTA NEWS DECEMBER 2015 - Part 2 of 2

NORTH AMERICAN SOTA REPORT - from Skip K6GDW

Greetings from the New World! Winter is arriving over much of North America [it’s -2C today at noon in Northern Nevada], usually accompanied by a decrease in activation activity. This is probably offset some by the steady growth in SOTA as evidenced by new names/calls on the NA SOTA Yahoo group. If you have recently been infected with the SOTA Addiction, Welcome! It’s a great addition to the ham radio hobby.

STATISTICS: [As of 29 Nov 2015 UTC]

NORTH AMERICA TOTALS
Total Activations: 285 [403]
Nr Unique Activators: 127 [139]
Total Chaser QSOs: 3049 [2434]
Nr Unique Chasers: 188 [161]
Unique Summits: 327 [516]

2m: 39 (1%) [118]
6m: 0 (0%) [0]
10m: 118 (3%) [15]
12m: 38 (1%) [5]
15m: 91 (2%) [50]
17m: 202 (6%) [82]
20m: 1784 (58%) [1493]
30m: 265 (8%) [186]
40m: 507 (16%) [480]
60m: 0 (0%) [3]
80m: 0 (0%) [0]
160m: 4 (0%) [1]
Unk: 1

CW: 1861 (61%) [1420]
SSB: 1149 (37%) [892]
FM: 38 (1%) [119]
AM: 0 (0%) [0]
Data: 0 (0%) [0]
Other: 1 (0%) [0]
Unk: 1

AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:

Congratulations to Clayton, NF1R, and wife Marina on the arrival of their daughter Ingrid on 17 Nov!

NA SOTA NEWS:

Guy, N7UN, reports on the US National Parks On The Air challenge for 2016:

SOTA-NPOTA: a Google Map Application

It’s only one month before the ARRL 2016 National Parks operating event kicks off! There are numerous awards, including Five Star Activator and a special chaser award for those who contact activators in 75% of the 59 US National Parks. Use of Log Book of the World is required, like the
2014 ARRL Challenge."

“There are some 1,929 SOTA summits “cleanly” within the boundaries of the 432 National Park units. The NPOTA Challenge is patterned after the DXCC program with each National Park unit being an “entity”. The awards program has two tracks, one for Chasers and one for Activators. A separate leaderboard tracks the top participants in each track. QSOs with a NPS Unit scores points. Likewise for Activators. There are special awards for each track. Note the similarity to the SOTA Awards program. See http://www.arrl.org/npota for more information about the NPOTA ARRL operating event.”

“In addition, a SOTA Activator (KJ6WEG) in CA who works with the Google Earth development team, has developed a Google maps mashup of the 432 NPS Units plus the SOTA peaks within those NPS Units. This should help the SOTA community in selecting SOTA peaks for the NPOTA program. Here is the url for the SOTA-NPOTA Google map developed by Chris/KJ6WEG:
http://spinmap.com/npota-sota/map.html There are a huge number of SOTA
peaks in the yet-to-be-published Alaska Associations that are within NPS Units in AK. SOTA activations won’t count until the AK ARM and data uploads are published.”

“I am developing a FAQ for this 2016 event that will be posted on the NA SOTA reflector. Please send me (via my qrz.com email address) questions or issues as I am trying to be first-level support for Chris since he has a more-than-fulltime job and family commitments.”

“I think this 2016 ARRL-sponsored challenge will be a huge marketing opportunity for SOTA to ride the coattails of this ARRL event. A SOTA Activator within the NPOTA program is going to attract a huge number of QSO’s by folks not familiar with SOTA, i.e. a great opportunity to attract a lot of new SOTA participants.”

“BTW, the NPOTA program was designed/patterned after SOTA. There are a number of SOTA participants working at the ARRL.”

From Elliott, K6EL:

“As revealed by N7UN in the NSOTA Yahoo group and on the reflector, a map is being prepared by SOTA activators to allow the ARRL to link it to their site on the 2016 NPOTA challenge. As currently planned, it will show not only all of the U.S. National Park units, but also SOTA summits in and near those units. That includes summits in the pending three Alaska associations, but those associations may not get approved until January, or later, due to a backlog at the MT.”

“Efforts are underway to bring in help to reduce the queue, so stand-by for updates. The 25 National Park units in Alaska will count for NPOTA from January 1st, even if SOTA points within those units may not be available on time. Your planned unit activation can be listed now:
https://npota.arrl.org/nps-events.php

“Further, the Alaska associations all feature prominences and activation zones in meters, not feet. Following discussions at the MT, managers of all US associations are advised that the next updates to their ARMs must show that minimum prominences are 150 meters (492 feet) and activations
zones are 25 vertical meters (82 feet). In some associations, the
change will allow new summits to be added, either at the next update or at some later time.”

New Dad Clayton, N1FR wrote:

“In preparation for Field Day 2016, (San Francisco) Bay Area hams NF1R, AG4ZP, and N1VF, along with K2TJ established a club call for the “Mountaintop Operators of Northern California.” They plan to activate SOTA peaks in the coming year, including on ARRL Field Day. Their current call is KK6YQI, and they’ve put in a request for the call sign AA6FD.”

I had lunch with Marty, W4SEX [some calls are just better than others], and his brother-in-law Terry, N7TW, a local here in Sparks NV. Marty, from North Carolina, was visiting Terry and family over the Thanksgiving holiday, and is but one example of the increasing number of newcomers, both to SOTA and to Ham Radio.

REPORTS:

Things are a little slow this month so we’re going to devote the Report of the Month section to Scott, AK5SD, and his very professional SOTA Go-Box for his KX3. You can see it at:

and there is also a Bill of Materials on that page.

Scott wrote: “I have the CAD file for the front panel. It can be sent to http://www.frontpanelexpress.com and reproduced in single lot quantities for about $100. I also have a basic bill of materials. I don’t have a schematic as the wiring was simple enough that I didn’t need one. The only tricky part was wiring the 12V input power jack to disable the internal battery when an external power source was connected. I’m happy to share this with anyone that wants to reproduce my effort.”

“The internal battery has about a 5Ah capacity. I’ve done 4 or 5 SOTA activations in a row without having to recharge it. The charge input is 18V so it can be charged directly from a solar panel. The box has a 12V output for powering external devices as well as a 5V USB output for charging phones and such. It also has a sound card interface built-in for the I/Q outputs of the KX3. All of the KX3’s internal jacks are brought out to the panel.”

“I’ve done 20 SOTA activations with it.”

There have been several reports on our Yahoo group about things forgotten on an activation. A Go-Box such as this will go a long way toward eliminating that sinking feeling as you cannot find the mic or a battery after climbing the summit.

Thanks to all my contributors this month, we’ll close out 2015 next month.

73,

Skip K6DGW
North American SOTA Reporter Dude

==============================================================

SOTA CW REPORT FOR NOVEMBER - Roy G4SSH

The first weekend of November saw propagation improve and dozens of activations on the HF bands. Geert PA7ZEE continued his expedition in Germany, Stephan DM1LE continued to activate from Austria, Tom HB9CLT was also in Austria, Fric YU1WC was activating multiple summits in Serbia, Zoli YO2BP was operating from Romania and the anniversary call S5100ISONZO was again active, during the month, mainly at weekends.

JA activations continued to be spotted on the higher HF bands around midnight and also between 0400-0700 UTC throughout the month, but no JA-EU contacts have been reported as yet.

Miro OK1DVM commenced an expedition around the JM region of Czechia on the 3rd and Hans DL/HB9AGO was active from multi summits Germany. Robin 9H4RH was also active from Gozo Island on the 3rd.

Bernhard commenced activations on Madeira Island on the 5th as CT9/DL5RDP,
Roman commenced a round of 10 point summits in Germany and Markus was signing DL/HB9BRJ on the 6th.

Mirko crossed the border into Croatia to operate as 9A/S52CU on the 6th, to give a new SOTA country to many delighted chasers. This was followed by another cross-border expedition into Croatia by Zoli 9A/HA3HK on the 7th. Mirko then returned to activate PH-029 on the 8th, which was followed by others keen to activate as 9A/ during the remainder of the month.

Just when Autumn propagation was beginning to improve conditions on the HF bands, we were hit by a solar storm on the 7th which wiped out most of the HF bands and which some activators commented was the worst for many years. At my QTH the bands above 7 MHz were just a hiss until noon after which I managed to copy just three activations for the entire day. Fortunately conditions recovered just as quickly on the 8th.

The Canary Islands proved to be a popular SOTA destination area during the month, Al, EA8/DJ5AA and Bernd EA8/DL2DXA commenced activity from there on the 12th, followed by Andy EA8/MM0FMF, then by Clemens, EA8/PA7T on the 21st

Balsas HA3LV and Zoli HA3HK commenced an expedition to Croatia on the 20th and Saku OH2NOS commenced a tour of SOTA’s in Finland on the 21st…

A combination of the arrival of winter weather and anticipation of the start of Winter Bonus on the 1st December saw SOTA activity throughout Europe fall to a very low level from the 20th onwards.

It was a pleasure to see Colin M1BUU activating on 3.5 MHz on the 21st and I was looking forward to working him on this long-neglected band. Sadly his appearance on 3.556 MHz at 1140z coincided with a severe snow and hail storm, blown horizontally on a strong wind off the North Sea onto my Butternut vertical antenna, which caused severe precipitation static, registering S9 on all bands at my QTH. Fortunately. Colin moved up to 7.032 and I managed a quick contact on 40m during a lull in the storm.

During the last few days of the month Hans HB9BQU was operating from Germany, Slavko was heard activating from Corsican summits as TK/S53XX and an HA team of Feri HA8LLH and Weber HA8BBJ were activating summits in Romania.

73
Roy G4SSH

=============================================================

SOTA ACTIVITY REPORT FOR NOVEMBER 2015.

SOTA Activators submitting entries to the data base for 10m, 6m and 1240 MHz during November 2015. These files produced on 30th November - by Kevin G0NUP.

Mode: SOTA CW on 28MHz: activity for November 9A/S52CU/P, CT1DBS/P,

CT9/DL5RDP, DL/HB9BRJ/P, EA2BD/P, EA2IF/P, EA2WX/P, EA8/DJ5AA/P, EA8/DL2DXA/P, EA8/MM0FMF/P, F/EA2BD/P, F5UKL/P, F6HBI/P, GW4TJC/P, HB9AFI/P, HB9AGO/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9CBR/P, HB9CGA/P, HB9IIO/P, JP3DGT/3, K6EL, N0PCL, N4EX/P, NK6A, OH2NOS/P, OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2PDT/P, PA0SKP/P, S52CU/P, VK3CAT/P, W7USA, WB5USB

Mode: SOTA CW on 50MHz: activity for November

JF1NDT/1, JJ1SWI/1, JS1UEH/0, JS1UEH/1

Mode: SOTA CW on 1240MHz: activity for November NIL

Mode: SOTA FM on 28MHz: activity for November NIL

Mode: FM on 50MHz: activity for November

KK4OSG, VK1AD/P, VK1DA, VK3CAT/P

Mode: FM on 1240MHz: activity for November

JG6CRU, JI1DCQ, JP1QEC/1, JS1GRO/6, K7ATN, K7GEN, OK1DEU/P, WW7D

Mode: SOTA SSB on 28MHz: activity for November

2E0YYY/P, AE5AU, CT9/DL5RDP/P, DB7MM/P, DG7ACF/P, DH1JH/P, DL8DBW/P, EA2BD/P, EA2WX/P, EA8/MM0FMF/P, EB2GKK/P, EC2AG/P, F/EA2BD/P, F/OE5JKL/P, GW4TJC/P, HB0/OE9HRV/P, HB9/OE5JKL/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9FVW/P, K2JB, K5RHD, K6EL, K6WFV, K6YOA/P, KD2GKO, KI4SVM, KK4OSG, KK4TUX, M3ZCB/P, N0PCL, N4AAL, N6MKW, OE/HB9DQM/P, OE/S57D/P, OE/S57MS/P, OE5IRO/P, OE5RTP/P, OE9HRV/P, OE9TKH/P, OK1DVM/P, S51TS/P, S55X/P, S56LXN/P, SQ9OZM/P, SV2OXS/P, VE6IXD, VK1AD/2, VK1AD/P, VK1DA, VK1DI/2, VK1FJAW/P, VK1MBE, VK1VIC, VK2JDL/P, W6PNG, WA2FON

Mode: SOTA SSB on 50MHz: activity for November

JF1NDT/1, JH0CJH/1, JH1EWV, JI1IHV/1, JL1BWG, JR1NNL/1, JS1UEH/0, JS1UEH/1, KK4OSG, N0PCL, S51TS/P, S55X/P, S56IAA/P, S56LXN/P, VK1AD/2, VK1AD/P, VK1ATP/2, VK1DA, VK1DI/2, VK1MBE, VK1VIC, VK2JDL/P, VK3ANL, VK3CAT/P, VK3TST, WA2FON

Mode: SOTA SSB on 1240MHz: activity for November

K7ATN

Regards
Kevin J Prince

============================================================

SOTA News is normally published on the last day of each month, but there will be occasions when the Editor is not available at this time, in which case it will be published as soon as possible afterwards. It can only be as interesting as the items submitted, so if you think your particular field of interest is not being covered then please submit an article by the 25th of the month. Have you a favourite SOTA? favourite mode? favourite rig, antenna, or favourite band? How did you find your first day / month / year as an activator or chaser? Your comments and experiences will be read by SOTA enthusiasts all across Europe, the USA, Australia and beyond, in a total of 24 different countries. Your input will be most welcome.
I receive many e-mails during the month containing details of activations, milestones reached and general SOTA news. Unless advised otherwise I will use this information in the next edition of SOTA News. It is important therefore that you advise me if any information is not intended for publication.


The next Issue of SOTA News will be the last one for the year and we welcome any “Reviews of the Year” from association managers, newcomers during 2015 or old hands who have managed to reach a personal SOTA milestone. Deadline by the 29th December please.


The SOTA News team wish all activators, chasers, SWL’s and their families a very Happy Christmas.


Roy G4SSH
SOTA News Editor
g4ssh@tiscali.co.uk

U.S. and Canadian reports to:-
Fred K6DGW/7 [aka “Skip” on the radio]
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude
Sparks NV
k6dgw@foothill.net

Australian input to:-
Allen VK3HRA
VK Reporter
arharvie@gmail.com

South African input to:-
Dennis ZS4BS
zs4bs@netactive.co.za


#2

#3

Thanks for the news Roy, Skip and everyone else. I was worried we may be “news-lite” this month as Roy’s ISP has been having mailserver issues. It’s all come right in the end.


#4

And thank you, Andy, very much for the extended lists in the My Statistics section.
25 does seem to be a good length, just long enough to show the Welsh and English variations of frequent chaser callsigns…
The top summits activated list still does not suit the frequent repetition of our many fairly local summits but I think we may be unusual in needing a length of nearer 50 for this one to be useful.
Also many congratulations to the MT for getting New and Updated Associations available.

73,
Rod


#5