SOTA NEWS – JANUARY 2009
EDITORIAL – by Roy G4SSH
Welcome to the January edition of SOTA News. Bad weather across the UK and Europe severely curtailed SOTA activity on the HF bands during December. In addition to this Ham radio was reduced to a secondary role in many homes as higher priority tasks such as Christmas shopping, visiting relatives, playing hosts to guests and other festive duties required the attention of activators and chasers. Activations returned to normal between Christmas and the New Year.
My thanks go to the following contributors:- Barry GM4TOE, Roland SM1CXE.
From the SOTA Management Team
Early in 2008 it was discovered that a significant number of SOTA summits in Germany did not conform to the required 150m prominence. In an attempt to minimise the resultant difficulties, the MT acceded to a request by the German AM for the Association to move to a prominence value of 100m. To allow the necessary work to be carried out, it was agreed that all listed summits non-compliant with P100 would remain valid until 31/12/2008, when a new list would come into force.
Various factors have delayed the compilation of the new list which will not be ready until sometime in early 2009. However, when it is published, all non-compliant summits will be marked as valid until 31/12/2008. Therefore, anybody considering activating a German summit in 2009 is advised to check with the AM to ensure that the summit will actually be valid. Any inadvertent “activation” of such a summit may initially be accepted by the database, but will be retrospectively removed as invalid when the new summit list is uploaded.
Although the imminent loss of so many summits may cause some dismay, analysis by the MT has revealed that there may be a significant number of qualifying summits which have not yet been listed. In the longer term, then, there will be new German summits available to activate and chase.
Most readers will be aware that a new German Mountain Award (DMA) has been introduced which will allow many of the deleted SOTA summits to be activated under this programme. Initially it will be difficult for chasers to determine whether a DMA summit also qualifies as a SOTA summit, and whether the activator will enter any DMA summits that also qualify as SOTA summits in the SOTA data base. In the initial stages chasers will rely heavily on remarks made by activators on the Alerts page and chasers on the Spots page of SOTA Watch – Ed.
CERTIFICATES ISSUED by Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager
I was away on vacation for a large part of November and December so this report covers the issue of certificates for these two months. There were no claims for trophies and the low rate of claiming for certificates probably reflects the lower rate of activity that proceeds the winter bonus period.
I am regularly faced with two problems when I receive claims for certificates. Many individuals ask for (say) an award for 100 summits but don’t tell me if it is for activator or chaser while others just ask for their certificate without specifying what they are claiming. In each case this means I have to search the database to find out what they have done – activator or chaser – if it is Uniques that are being claimed, and when they qualified; in many cases this means I have to look at their score then do the arithmetic to come back to the date that the summit points score was reached. This takes time. Please give me as much information as possible but at least tell me if the claim is for activator or chaser, the points score, the date this was achieved and whether it is for the regular scores or for uniques. In addition, it would help if the one or two individuals who got their callsigns wrong would double check before claiming!!!
It might be of interest to re-state that it is possible to endorse certificates with additional information; if you achieved your score using only CW or on 2 metres or even using smoke signals then you have the chance to personalize your certificate. Just ask, it doesn’t cost any more (trophies are different and additional information can be added for the price of the extra engraving).
DL8DZV Kurt Hase Activator Unique 100
S53MN Andrej Gazvoda Activator 100
S56WRT Robert Trpin Activator 100
G0EWN Gordon Flander Activator 100
2E0OCC Nathan Nuttall Activator 100
2E0OYG Brian Nuttall Activator 100
SV2KBB Archelaos Iakovidis Activator 100
SM6CMU Ingemar Olsson Chaser Unique 1000
SM6CMU Ingemar Olsson Chaser 5000
S56WRT Robert Trpin Chaser 5000
G6YBC Dennis Anderson Chaser 250
S53MN Andrej Gazvoda Chaser 100
ON4CAS Egbert Hertsen Chaser 100
G1TPO Rob Steel Chaser 100
LA1TPA Mads Nygaard Chaser 100
ONL5923 Peter Destoop SWL 1000 Unique
May I wish all SOTA activators and chasers best wishes for 2009, good DX, and all the points you could dream for. Stay safe on the hills and keep an ear out for me once I have a new portable mast to replace the latest casualty!
Congratulations to Norby LX1NO on reaching 300 Unique SOTA’s activated, during his last operation of the year, from Poland.
Congratulations also to Mike GW0DSP on reaching the impressive milestone of 25,000 chaser points. A remarkable achievement.
SOTA CHASER WORLD LEADERS
Congratulations to the following Chasers who are SOTA world leaders in the various modes, as shown in the SOTA Data base as of noon 31/12/08
All Modes GW0DSP Mike 25,366
CW only G4SSH Roy 21,000
SSB only G4JZF Graham 17,004
FM only G4BLH Mike 11,258
Data only DL6UNF Frank 44
AM only HB9DAX Fred 20
NEW YEAR GREETINGS FROM GOTLAND ISLAND by Roland SM1CXE
Just a few lines from a SOTA chaser on Gotland Island, Sweden.
My friend Eric/SM1TDE gave me the inspiration of working “the SOTA-people”.
We are both CW-lovers and soon I had found the frequency 7032 kHz where most of the stations are active.
As for myself, I am 71 and retired from a job with the Swedish Defence.
Unfortunately, the highest point on Gotland Island is only 83 meters, so that is why you will not hear any portable activity from here.
Besides Ham radio I also spend some time with our horses (small horses called
"Viking pony" - in Swedish “Russ” intended for trotting) because my XYL and I have a small farm breeding horses and also a few sheep.
Good luck with the “SOTA NEWS” and may I also wish you and yours a Happy New Year 2009, filled with SOTA-activities!
SOTA CW REPORT FOR DECEMBER 2008
There were many weekdays during December with very little or no CW activity spotted. On the last Saturday before Christmas 20th the only SOTA CW stations active were S5’s. I particularly like the activating style of the Slovenian stations who always use at least 2 bands, including 7032, 10118 and often 14062 KHz. I look forward with pleasure to their alerts as the use of more than one band practically guarantees a contact no matter how poor propagation may be one band. There are also many French stations who work in a similar multi-frequency manner, Andre F5UKL is usually a safe bet for chasers, with his use of 7032, 10123 and 14071 KHz
Zoli HA5CQZoften activates without using 7032 KHz at all, preferring 3562, 10118 and 14062 KHz
The following cross border expeditions were heard active heard during December:-
OK/DL3VTA, SP/LX1NO, DL/LX1NO,
A warm welcome is extended to the following newcomers, heard active using CW for the first time:- Mario DL0QW, Chris DL9CHR, OK1DWF and Pave OK1MCS.
As usual, the SOTA frequency around 7032 carried most of the CW activity but the following stations were heard using 10118 KHz:-
HA5CQZ, S53X, S57X, S57XX, S58MU, HA5MA. HA5LV, G4OBK. GX0OOO, G4RJQ, DL/LX1NO, LA1ENA, GW0DSP, G4OBK, OH7BF, OK4DX, OK/DL3VTA
Mid-winter is the best time to hear activity on the lower bands and John GX0OOO/p was heard on 1.832 KHz from no less than 9 x NP’s during December and it was a real pleasure to hear Marc G0AZS also operating on top band from CE-005 on the 29th.
Tom M1EYP activated SP-015 over midnight on two occasions, the 27-28th and 30-31st December, giving double points to many chasers. I had quite a struggle reading Tom just after midnight on the 31st due to many USA stations swamping him out on 3557 KHz, including W3DE, KK3R and N3ZOC, taking part in a “MDD” roundup of stations.
LIST OF CONTESTS DURING JANUARY 2009
The following scheduled contests are expected to cause severe QRM to SOTA activity, especially on the 40m band. Activators should plan accordingly with alternate spots/bands.
1st only Many HNY contests such as SARTG RTTY mainly morning only.
17-18th 1200-1200 UK RTTY DX contest.
17-18th 1200-2359 HA DX Contest
24-25th 0600-1800 French REF CW contest
24-25th 1200-1200 BARTG RTTY contest
24-25th 1300-1300 Belgian UBA SSB contest
SOTA News can only be as interesting as the items submitted. 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 and beyond, and your input will be most welcome.
Unfortunately, input to SOTA News has now almost completely ceased. Apart from the MT announcement and awards information there was just one contributor to this edition. This situation is obviously unsustainable. Unless readers wish to support the news by submitting articles and information SOTA news will cease to be published. It all depends on readers.
My very best wishes for the New Year go to all readers, chasers, activators and SWL’s.
SOTA News Editor