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Sota news november 2011


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SOTA NEWS NOVEMBER 2011

EDITORIAL – by Roy G4SSH

Welcome to the October 2011 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Barry GM4TOE, Fred K6DGW, Mike DJ5AV, Mark G0VOF, Rob and Audrey G4RQJ.

October saw a huge improvement in propagation on the HF bands. From the middle of the month the HF bands were filled with SOTA stations up to 28 MHz and above. Some activators concentrated on 28 MHz SSB and CW, and there were even contacts made on 29.6 MHz. Many activators moved away from the traditional 7 MHz starting band with 14 MHz beginning to be preferred by many.


SOTA AWARDS FOR October 2011 By Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager

Two Mountain Goats and five Shack Sloths this month! In previous months I would name all the trophy winners but now it is easier to scan down my report and see the names there. The growth of SOTA is quite astonishing and the claims from the New World are most impressive. The recent SOTA NA day catapulted many activators and chasers into the tables and there seems no end to the expansion in this region.

Trophies

Mountain Goat
DF3MC - Martin Rothe
G3TJE - Peter Smith

Shack Sloth
WA2USA - Dennis Martin
NS7P - Phillip Shepard
MW0BBU - Steve Lloyd
S56IHX - Marjan Bernik
VA6FUN - Mike Tate

Certificates claimed

Activator
G3TJE Peter Smith 1000 points
G1JTD Richard Boyes 1000 points
2E0XYL Karen Richardson 500 points
SQ6NDL Grzegorz Nawrat 250 points
ON4TA Filip Rogister 250 points
WA2USA Dennis Martin 100 points
N4EX Rich Homolya 100 points
SQ6NDL Grzegorz Nawrat 100 points

Chaser
I3VAD Giancarlo Scarpa 2500 points
MW0BBU Steve Lloyd 2000 points
WA2USA Dennis Martin 1000 points
ON4FI Karel Naessens 1000 points
MW0BBU Steve Lloyd 1000 points
EA2BD Ignacio Cascante 500 points
2M0NCM Neil Cunningham 500 points
N2YTF Thomas Tumino 100 points

Activator Unique
DF3MC Martin Rothe 100 summits

Chaser Unique
N4EX Rich Homolya 250 summits
MW0BBU Steve Lloyd 250 summits
WA2USA Dennis Martin 100 summits

Mountain Hunter
G4OOE Nick Langmead - Mountain Hunter Gold
M3ZCB Caroline Blackmun - Mountain Hunter Silver
G4OOE Nick Langmead - Mountain Hunter Silver

I wonder if the coming month will show the pattern of activations seen in previous years, with a drop-off in activity until the start of the winter bonus season, or will the entry of new Associations show a different trend. Time will tell. The weather in the UK is still very unpredictable (and I think this is also true across much of Europe) so if we have a brief spell of fine weather will the “fair weather” activators (guilty as charged!) make a break for it and go for the tops before we are all reduced to activating the lower hills.

The SOTA shop is now working fine, some minor glitches have been sorted, and there are some improvements needed but soon all applications for Awards as well as merchandise will be through this route. There are two URL’s for the site: www.sota-shop.co.uk and www.sota-shop.com and, with the exception of some Polo shirts which I expect this week, it is fully stocked. North American users can benefit from lower national postage rates for stickers and badges, shortly we will also hold a stock of flags for local distribution. Several suggestions have been made for other merchandise and I am presently trying to find sources at sensible prices. If anyone knows of a source for wicking base layers which are not charged out at “fashion” prices please contact me at my usual email address: barryhorning “at” btconnect “dot” com.

I am now away to try to get my back into sensible shape for a drive at the remaining GM/ES-*** hills which I have not yet activated; completion of these is my target for the coming year. Have you set yourself a target - if so why not let Roy know for the next newsletter?

Stay safe on the hills

73
Barry GM4TOE


Our Congratulations also go to:-

  • GW0BVE John who became a double mountain goat
  • Iain M3LIU, who become a Shack Sloth.
  • Edwin HB9ZAP on becoming a Mountain Goat
  • Ken G3XQE on achieving Shack Sloth status
  • G6ODU, Bob who reached 8000 chaser points.
  • ON4FI Karel for gaining Shack Sloth in just 7 weeks time.
  • Doug G1KLZ on achieving 5000 chaser points.
  • 2E0MIX Derek who reached Shack Sloth status by working Nick G4OOE/P for the last six points.
  • Gerald & Paul G4OIG & G4MD on activating their last “G” summit
  • Robin GM7PKT who passed the 5,000 activation point mark operating from Ben Lawers GM/CS-001.
  • (“Ben Lawers” callsign MAGE, was my last ship in 1961 - Ed)
  • Mike VA6FUN and Jean VE2JCW who passed 1000 chaser points. No doubt the NA day helped them a lot.
  • Z35M Vlado, who made his 100th SOTA activation on Z3/EM-011on the 24th October.
  • Mike DJ5AV on chasing 5000 SOTA unique summits. The first DL station to pass this milestone
  • Bros HB9AGH on chasing 5000 SOTA Unique summits and becoming the first HB9 station to pass this milestone.
  • Herbert OE9HRV who reached Mountain Goat status on the 28th.
    -G6ODU Bob on activating his first summit on 29th October.
  • DJ5AV Mike on activating his first summit on 21st October.

The above achievements are those which perhaps do not qualify for an official SOTA Award, or have not yet been applied for, but nevertheless are a significant personal milestone. Information for this section is gleaned from input from individuals, the reflector and reports. If you are proud to have reached some personal SOTA milestone and wish it to be recorded in this section please drop me an e-mail with your achievement. – Ed


MY FIRST SOTA ACTIVATION from Mike DJ5AV

On the 21st October I had my first experience as SOTA activator from Heidenberg DM/RP-404.

My rig was an FT817, with 5 Watts output to a Miracle Whip antenna - a 1.5m vertical. I made a total of 9 QSO’s, including S2S contacts with DM/TH-046 and OK/US-015.

For my next activation I will take something to sit on and a 2m antenna. As a newcomer I will also try to select a fine day to prevent the need to protect my equipment from the rain.

I realise that I will be NOT be a top scorer as a Goat ……

I intend to visit some places close to my home near Lake Constance this winter, but mostly I will be busy skiing.

My home station is an FT1000D, with an output of 100 Watts and a DJ2UT beam
at 760m NN. On 30 & 40m beam means a rotary dipole about 20m up.

73 ES CU on SOTA QRG’s

Mike, DJ5AV


CANADA/US SOTA NEWS FOR OCTOBER 2011 by Fred K6DGW

Hi Summiteers and Chasers,

For the period 26 Sep to 26 Oct 2011, the North American SOTA activity
came perilously close to outstripping my meagre organizational and
recording skills. 22 Oct was also the annual NA SOTA Day which put a
number of summits on the air all at once. My best compilation of the
statistics for the period is:

Total Activations: 58
Total Unique Summit Activations: 56
Number of Unique Activator Calls: 37
Total 22 Oct Activations: 17
Number of Unique Calls Activating on 22 Oct: 22

These numbers include 7 OE activations by Matt, K0MOS, on his EU trip.
For NA-only summits activated [51], that’s 1.7 activations per day!

I think I’ve identified three cases of multi-summit activations over a
consecutive period of days … “SOTA Vacations?” I haven’t counted them
but there are quite a few 2-summit activations by a single person or
group in the same day. I haven’t figured out how to search the DB to
get a snapshot of # Q’s, # unique chasers, etc., I’ll work on that.

And – when I volunteered to report news for NA, I was primarily worried
that I wouldn’t have enough :-))

ACTIVATION LOG

09/26 W5/PW-022 KT5X
09/26 W5/PW-014 KT5X
09/26 W7/PL-029 KK7DS
09/29 W4/WM-001 N4EX WA2USA
09/30 W4/WM-004 N4EX WA2USA
10/01 W4/WM-122 N4EX WA2USA
10/02 W4/WM-055 N4EX WA2USA
10/02 W5/PO-010 KD9KC KE5JOP W5JG KE5LET N6RHH WT5RZ
10/03 W4/WM-003 N4EX WA2USA
10/04 W4/WM-039 N4EX WA2USA
10/05 W4/WM-058 N4EX WA2USA
10/06 W4/CM-005 N4EX WA2USA
10/06 W4/HB-041 W4EON
10/07 W4/WM-018 N4EX WA2USA
10/07 W4/BR-015 K4QS K4ADV
10/08 W7/WV-088 N7CNH
10/08 W4/US-001 KS4YX W4STR
10/09 W4/CM-011 N4EX WA2USA
10/09 VE2/LR-006 VE2UFT
10/09 VE2/LR-002 VA2EPR VA3SIE
10/09 W4/HB-023 W4EON
10/11 OE/VB-512 K0MOS
10/12 OE/VB-504 K0MOS
10/14 W6/CC-045 KH2TJ
10/14 W6/CC-051 KH2TJ
10/15 W0/FR-037 K0MOS
10/15 W4/HB-044 W4EON
10/16 W4/SH-007 K4QS
10/16 OE/VB-287 K0MOS
10/16 OE/VB-494 K0MOS
10/16 W4/SH-016 K4QS
10/17 W7/SN-064 K7NEW
10/17 W4/HB-021 W4EON
10/17 W4/SH-001 N7NGO
10/17 W4/SH-002 N7NGO
10/18 W4/SH-001 K4ADV
10/18 W4/SH-002 K4ADV
10/18 OE/VB-340 K0MOS
10/18 OE/VB-366 K0MOS
10/18 OE/VB-408 K0MOS
10/19 W5/CS-001 KD5ZZK
10/19 W5/CS-006 KD5ZZK
10/19 W5/CS-003 KD5ZZK
10/22 VE2/SG-003 VA2SG
10/22 W7/NO-134 K7NEW
10/22 W7/SR-012 KF7DDT
10/22 W6/SN-034 KI6ZHC
10/22 W4/WV-001 K4QS N4WDC NX4Q
10/22 W4/WV-002 K4QS N4WDC NX4Q KJ4CML
10/22 W0/FR-004 KD9KC WT5RZ WG0AT
10/22 W7/RS-008 HG1DUL
10/22 W5/OH-001 KD5ZZK
10/22 WØ/FR-039 K0MOS
10/22 VE2/OU-003 VA2NB VA3MX
10/22 W7/CC-001 N7HQR KK7DS K7TAY KD7YGN
10/22 W4/SH-014 W4EON
10/22 W1/GM-037 N1FJ WN1E W1MJB KK1W
10/26 W5/PT-002 KD5ZZK

We had four 1st time activators, the first activation of a North
Carolina summit, and the W5/PT-002 activation by Andrew, KD5ZZK, was at
night on 40 and 75 SSB, another first. Winter is beginning to show its
face here in North America, so I suspect the SOTA activity will decline
some, however look for continued W5 activity. As Mike, KD9KC, puts it,
“In El Paso, we have two seasons … Summer and Christmas.” I expect
there will also be continued W6 and W7 activity from the more coastal
regions that don’t get all that much snow.

Matt, K0MOS, activated 7 Austrian summits which are … well … in
Austria, which is not North America, but we’re going to put them on the
list anyway. We’re sort of wondering when some Austrian entrepreneur
decides to build a restaurant and beer garden on Pike’s Peak, it appears
that’s how some of his summits were topped.

SOTA Public Relations also prospered in October. Steve, WG0AT,
conducted a forum at Pacificon, the ARRL Pacific Division convention
held this year at the Marriott, Santa Clara. They gave him a moderately
large “salon” as hotels call them, and it was pretty much filled. I
counted 68, but I know I missed some. Lots of questions after his
presentation, some about Rooster and Peanut, and several about his
becoming the “Alpha Goat” in the 3-mammal herd. You’ll have to ask him,
he tells the story best.

Donald, AE6RF, who is a fellow member of the Northern California Contest
Club was there with his twin boys and several 4-H club kids. He
mentioned to me at the end that a joint 4-H/SOTA Radio project or two is
in the works [w/goats, no doubt, but pigs would be cool too], which
means we might just lower the average age of summitteers a few points.

We’ve had several presentations to ham radio clubs, I’ll be giving one
to the Sierra Foothills ARC on 11 Nov, and that W5/PO-010 activation
organized by Mike and Ron included a couple of first-timers. Inoculated
with the SOTA virus, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more from them.

And finally, one of the unofficial NA SOTA goals is to increase the use
of SSB and VHF/UHF to make the fun more inclusive of varied operating
tastes. Looking over the individual trip reports [way too numerous to
include here], it looks like we’re making great headway on this goal.

So, October was really SOTA-active here in the New World, and it looks
like the addiction has firmly taken hold.

73,

Skip K6DGW
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude
Auburn CA
k6dgw@foothill.net or k6dgw@arrl.net


WELCOME TO A SOTA NEWCOMER - Roy G4SSH

I came across a situation last month which I had never before encountered in my six years of SOTA chasing:-

It was early morning and I had just switched on the rig at 0715 UTC. I did a quick check of 7032 and 10118 KHz for any activators before I had to go out and I heard a loud CQ SOTA on 10118, CW, at about 15 wpm, well formed Morse and easy to read.

I replied with my call and we exchanged details. As he was closing I noticed that there were no spots on SOTA watch, so said “MNI TNKS WILL SPOT YOU”. The reply was instant “NO SPOT PSE HR NOVICE”

This was a puzzle - did he not want to qualify the hill - on perhaps his first SOTA?
However the activator is King and I acknowledged with “OK NO SPOT 73”
There were no further CQ’s and he closed down.

All was revealed later in the day when I received an e-mail, which said:-

“Thanks for your CW QSO on 30m today. I am a CW beginner and this was my first ever SOTA activation. The contact with you was my 4th at the summit. I was nervous but happy about a complete activation and I did not want a pile up after a spot on SOTA watch, I have not got much more than callsign and RST, but it will be better on my next activation. And thank you for your “CW chasing tips for newcomers”, it was very helpful to me.

I think I speak for many experienced CW Ops when I offer my congratulations on a successful first SOTA CW activation and also mention that to work a newcomer to CW on the air for the first time is a rare privilege and I hope to hear him again and would encourage him to stick with CW. Any increase in speed will come with experience.

It made for a cheerful start to the day.

73
Roy G4SSH


THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH 34. by Rob and Audrey

Sunday 2nd October Longridge Fell.

Straight in this month and the forecast for the Lakes and North Pennines was a disaster so we decided to go south where things were promised to be better. This was our first mistake; the second was to allow our GPS (Mavis) to attempt to deal with the “Chipping Triangle” a notorious network of roads around the possibly mythical village of Chipping. (At one cross roads all roads are signed as leading there). We asked a policeman once but he was lost! We realised that things were not quite right as Mavis took us past J32 on the M6 and on to J31 (J31A would be a good choice BUT there is no exit southbound or entrance northbound). As we swept ever eastward we set navigation to manual (Audrey with map) and eventually reached the Jeffery Hill car park, room for about 10 cars but can be busy as it’s a viewpoint overlooking Chipping! Mavis had obviously decided just go round. All this put us about 30 minutes behind and very heavy showers drove us into full waterproofs which was just as well as things turned out.

The walk up is straight forward; we used the higher shorter boggier track towards the wall. Once at the wall just follow it to the trig. Once set up things went well on the air on all bands but one very heavy shower passed through. We rather underestimated the popularity of 4m fm in the more populated areas and by the time we finished the sky was boiling like a visit from God in a Hollywood epic lacking only the voice of Vincent Price. Now the rain really started, the path which had been like firm putty turned instantly to thin deep porridge, the higher path was impassable and we trudged round the lower one. In the car park stood a figure in day-glo splendour which proved to be Mark G0VOF who had motorcycled out through it all to meet us. We’ve worked lots of times of course but never met in person so had a very nice chat for about 20 minutes in the rain. Great to finally meet up Mark.

Later as we removed our waterproofs it became obvious that it was Open Your Wallet and Repeat After Me Help Yourself at a clothing emporium as our old jackets are at last past it! Audrey directed us back to the M6 in 10 minutes without the help of Mavis!

Sunday 9th October Arnside Knott.

A foul day made us decide that it had to be a little no-pointer (for us). We considered Kirby Moor and Gummers How but settled for Arnside. We pass the first two on the way to Arnside and both of the others were deep in cloud, good choice we thought, only to find the smallest GD summit in cloud as well with rain sweeping over it. As this was a test of our new coats we kitted up and set off. Hard work on this little hill in the rain, wind and mist and on top our favourite operating position was exposed to the elements and occupied by a squadron of cows. We set up on the more sheltered side forgetting that hawthorn trees and brambles do not make for easy erection of wire antennas. 7 MHz CW was the winner on HF, 5 MHz producing just two contacts and 10 MHz just one but a s2s with Stefan DL9TX/P. Trouble set in on 2M where the SWR was intermittently high. Most of the antenna, feeder and BNC have been renewed recently but the whole show was pretty damp at this stage so we decided to protect the FT817 and to do 2m fm only, not using the beam etc. This brought one of the Baufengs into play using the quarter wave whip. The rig was a little troubled by breakthrough necessitating some juggling between horizontal and vertical polarization but managed four contacts before the rain drove us onto 4m where a quick 20ft walk out of cover was required to work G6LKB who’s on the wrong side of the hill.

As the swr problem is not repeatable in the shack we decided to change the BNC connector on the 817 as the only item not renewed. Of course out here in the wilds there is little possibility of finding the correct item quickly so a Maplin one it had to be. These have a much shorter thread than the original and the nut goes on the rear of the connector rather than the front. With courage and a large countersink, enough material was removed from the front of the die cast chassis to allow the nut some thread at the rear but there is no room for the large tab washer that makes the braid connection. This was solved by tinning the nut prior to fitting and once in place soldering the braid directly to it with a hot iron. More bravery with the countersink was needed on the front panel to let the BNC plug through but once assembled the whole thing looks and works ok, time and the wx will tell. Memo, don’t buy a used rig from this guy!

See some struggles with logging in the rain. We are lucky in having the pair of us to log. Audrey normally works straight into the log (small notebook) writing inside a plastic bag. The log lives inside the plastic bag secured by a rubber band that doubles as a page holder. In severe rain she uses an AquaScribe pad and pencil as do I for cw activity. The FT817 has a carrying case and lives and works inside a drysack in which the mic and key travel. The homebrew paddle doesn’t seem to mind the rain.

Incidentally the best way to carry a rig like the 817 with a separate on/off push button is to disconnect any external battery, mic and key and leave the rig on FM, maximum volume and squelch off. That way if you do happen to catch the on/off button you have a sporting chance of hearing the rig in distress and saving the internal battery or transmitting into no load.

Sunday 16th October Great Whernside.

A two hour drive to this one for us but a great hill from the cattle grid at Tor Dike on the Starbotton to Leyburn road room for about ten cars and a good takeoff point for Buckden Pike as well. The initial approach is very very boggy and we took advantage of the newish path that is appearing on the left, ascending across grass, avoiding all but the last muddy steep section before the stile. From the stile a steady pull across open moor with some nasty ankle trapping stone sections to the busy summit. We settled among the rocks to keep out of the cold strong wind which was sending bursts of rain and cloud over the summit. All bands went well, the 817 showing no signs of its’ previous distress. Our original target was to stay on the summit for about an hour but we ended up staying well over two, I really must try to speed things up, trouble is I like chatting. On the descent we managed the steep section just fine but I then sat down rather heavily on the path just between it and the second tricky bit, no damage apart from dignity. This decided us to return via the grassy path where I found myself lying in the reedy grass having managed to put my foot on a sloping piece of flat stone hidden in the path, again thankfully no damage.

A word of warning about the A65 Skipton to the M6 road which seems increasingly to be the preferred route for caravan towers. There is precious little overtaking opportunity and if you are a long way back you can expect to add half an hour to the run as we did on the home run.

Sunday 23rd October Gummers How.

We need dry kit etc for the upcoming trip to Wales so just a little hill for no points as the wx on the higher fells is once again awful. At the start of the walk there is a new notice extolling the virtues of putting lots of cows onto the fells. This practice is becoming most popular with Arnside Knott, Hutton Roof, Holme Fell and now Gummers How infected. Not being into farming we don’t understand the arguments but the whole thing seems to shout EU and grants. We climbed via our usual route round the eastern edge avoiding the final scramble and even avoided the one slippery rock step by taking a path that has appeared just to the left over grass, contouring the small mound that contains the rocks.

On the summit we set up to the north east of the trig so as to be out of the way of the legions of tourists, this being a popular honey pot escape. Just two on 5 MHz and the pileups on both 7 and 10 cw were so unruly that we soon moved to 2m. Several cows joined us but they were quite happy to ignore us and graze quietly. In the midst of the 2m activation a family group arrived at the trig shouting and waving their arms. Two children and an adult, waving arms and sticks then ran, shouting at the cows grazing quietly on the summit area. This panicked them and we were suddenly faced with 20 odd stampeding cows and we sitting on the floor dressed in red! Time for plan B leg it! Delighted with the stampede the family took photos and left. The cows calmed down and settled all around where we had been operating and stared at us balefully as we went in to recover our kit. We did reappear shortly afterwards using just the h/held and ¼ wave whip so thanks to the chasers who hung about on the frequency. In all the excitement I completely forgot 4m so sorry if you were waiting for us.

Just a small point (no pun intended) about sharpening both ends of a pencil, be very careful not to poke it in your eye! Probably almost as good if a little more expensive are the Pop a Point type. If brushing off rain from the face then painful enough are the bits of hook Velcro on the back if my pull over gloves. At least their affinity for beards does not trouble Audrey.

Llandudno rally at the weekend so hope to meet lots of folk and look out for some activations.

Take care out there

73
Rob and Audrey
G4RQJ


SOTA ON TOP BAND - Mark G0VOF

Hello everyone & welcome to this month’s edition of SOTA on Top Band. September was another month when only leading Top Band activator John G4YSS, ventured onto 160m from a SOTA summit. It was also a month where I finally met Rob G4RQJ & Audrey on their descent from G/SP-014 Longridge Fell enjoying some typically wet weather. This was quite ironic as they had travelled south in order to avoid the wet weather in the Lake District, but it was very nice to finally put a face to the name.

As already mentioned, the only Top Band activation this month was carried out by John G4YSS, accompanied by Hazel M6YLH on only her second activation with her new licence. Hazel has accompanied John on several of his activations but now has the option of operating under her own callsign, which is certain to give John more time to concentrate on the low bands while Hazel activates on VHF. On Friday 14th October they activated G/NP-009 Buckden Pike & as with G/LD-001 a few weeks ago I would be at work so would have to do any chasing from my motorcycle.

Since the last time I had attempted (quite successfully) to chase on 160m from my stationary motorcycle I had fitted permanent wiring between the bike battery & one of the rear panniers in order to power a 2m linear or any other radio gear I carry, which previously I would have used a separate 7Ah SLAB for. Although this works very well for VHF & means I no longer have to worry about the SLAB going flat, it did give me some problems on 160m this time round. Using the bike battery instead of a separate SLAB was the only difference to the set up I had used successfully a few weeks previously & once I had parked at my usual spot at Belthorn near Blackburn it only took a couple of minutes to set up the Pro-Am Valor PHF160 mobile antenna & Yaesu FT897D. It was soon apparent that things were not as they should be, as with the SWR minimum still around 1860KHz, the radio was indicating high SWR which got much worse more than a few KHZ either side of this frequency. I disconnected the 12v supply from the bike & using the internal batteries of the FT897D, which allow up to 20 Watts I checked the SWR again. This time all was OK with the minimum at 1860KHz hardly registering on the display.

By now John was QRV, although I really struggled to hear him with deep QSB & poor band conditions at my location meaning that even Phil G4OBK was weaker than usual, although still the strongest signal I could hear. I heard Hazel M6YLH calling on 2m FM so I called her & mentioned that I could only just hear John & I would call him again after our QSO. It was very nice to work Hazel for the first time & certainly easier to hear her on my VX7R handheld than it was hearing John on 160m! That QSO was the one that gave me the 6 chaser points for NP-009 as I completed a QSO with Hazel before working John.

The FT897D has a quite severe high SWR protection circuit that limits the output power when high SWR is detected. This is certainly very evident on SSB & will no doubt function in just the same way on CW. As conditions were so poor on the band I decided to use the Bike 12v supply in any case with the radio set at 100 Watts & just hoped enough RF would find its way to the antenna & onwards to John on Buckden Pike. I had sent my callsign & a report a couple of times previously but was not certain whether John was replying to me so listened for while after working Hazel until I heard a definite CQ call. After a couple of minutes I did hear John calling CQ so I sent my callsign again a couple of times. John picked this up & I heard my callsign coming back followed by a report of 339. I sent John his report of 229 several times but with traffic going past my location every couple of minutes & a good breeze blowing I would definitely have benefited from a pair of headphones. Once I heard 73 I sent my final 73 to John & went to find Hazel on 2m again to let her know that John & I had made contact. I then packed up & went back to work.

So, although we did make contact, reception at my location was certainly very difficult & the SWR issue will have reduced any RF actually reaching the antenna to an absolute minimum. For future Top Band chasing using my Bike an alternative antenna would certainly improve things but this would have to be as quick to set up as the mobile whip, which takes about 2 minutes. I will certainly be taking the SLAB if I do use the mobile whip again as at least I know with a separate supply high SWR is not a problem.

John then went over to 80m CW & SSB, followed by 40m CW with some 2m QSO’s finally rounded off with a 4m FM contact. John’s tenacity as a Top Band activator is certainly appreciated by me & I am sure other Top Band chasers, Thanks for activating on 160 again John!

At the time of writing, that was the only Top band activation during October that I am aware of, if I have missed any others please let me know:

On the 14th October, John G4YSS (operating as GX0OOO/P) activated G/NP-009 Buckden Pike, & achieved 4 QSO’s on 160m (all CW).

As always, If you do have any suggestions on things that you think should be included, or if you wish to contribute tips, ideas or anything else that you think may help others on the band please email them to me at mark@brownhill.demon.co.uk

Until next month,

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF


CW REPORT FOR OCTOBER 2011 - by Roy G4SSH

CW activity during October turned out to be particularly eventful; mainly due to the dramatic improvement in propagation which occurred around the middle of the month. With the higher bands useable once more we began to see SOTA activations commencing on 14 MHz then moving higher in frequency. Stations which had been unreadable at my QTH on 7 MHz suddenly became an easy copy on the higher bands. A check through the activity listed below will show many stations using the higher bands for the first time. It is a long time since we had a month where there has been SOTA activity on all HF bands from 1.8 to 29 MHz

On the 2nd Wolf, DK1HW on DM/SA 001 had such a large pile-up that he resorted to controlling the chasers by numbers. The French stations were very active again during the month, doing their level best to get all the chasers in the log by either starting on 7 MHz and moving up through 10, 14, 18, 21, 24 and 28 MHz, or starting on the higher freqs and coming down. This involves a tremendous amount of extra effort by the activators but is really appreciated by chasers.

HB9BIN Jurg and & HB9AFI Kurt operated simultaneously on the same summit, with one on 7 MHz and the other on 10 MHz, which gave the chaser double the opportunity to copy one of them. Z35M Vlado and Z35BY Damjan did a similar activation towards the end of the month. Martin DF3MC operated firstly with his own call in Germany on the 16th then jumped over the border fence into Austria to operate as OE/DF3MC and give double points to grateful chasers. The Bilbao SOTA team used four ops to activate many summits on a variety of bands on the 17th, and from the 17th to the 23rd we had LA1ENA Aage, LA1DNA Halvard and LA1KHA Kjell on UK summits all week - fortunately this coincided with the start of the excellent propagation and I managed to copy most of their activations on 7 and 10 MHz.

The North American SOTA Day on the 22nd was a huge success and blessed with excellent propagation. (See Fred’s North American Report). The first U.S. spot came at 1510 UTC with NS0TA on W2/GC-107 and ended with N2YTF on W2/NJ-009 at 2235. The entire day saw in excess of 200 spots generated, with the vast majority made up of North American activations on 7, 10, 14, 18, 21, 24 and 28 MHz. I even managed to copy three North American SOTA’s on 21 MHz myself.

There were a few disruptions during the month. The big bad wide multi-tone arrived back on 7032 KHz around 1200 UTC on the 14th but moved off after about 24 Hrs, to the great relief of chasers and activators. There were a few weekend contests wiping out 7 MHz - on this subject I am always puzzled by the number of SOTA activators (and sometimes chasers) who enter contests and operate exclusively on 7032 KHz, often with a special callsign. It is as though if they cannot earn SOTA points for the duration of the contest they will try to ensure that nobody else does either! Of course I may be wrong and it may just be coincidence, or perhaps they are giving the opportunity to be heard by all the SOTA chasers monitoring the spot?

The number of CW activations underwent a dramatic fall towards the end of the month as wintry weather began to spread across Europe, with very few chaser points available during the week, but showing an improvement at weekends.

Heard active above 40m were:-

28 MHz: EA2EA, EA2NNN, EA2DPA, LA1KHA, F5LKW, F5UKL, WN7NCL,
YO/HA5CQZ, K7BUY,

24 MHz EA2EA, F5UKL, KE5AKL, MM0FMF,

21 MHz: EA2EA, EA2DPA, OK1HRA, F5UKL, Z35M, HB9BAB,
K4QS, K4ADV, KI6J, NE1SJ, NS0TA, WS0TA, WA3WSJ,

18 MHz: EA2EA, N4EX, NE1SJ, F5UKL, EA2NNN. OE5EEP, VA2OTA, S57X, G4AFI,

14 MHz:
DL2XL, DL9MDI,
EA2NN, EA2EA, EA1AER, EB3EPR, EA2DPA, EA4/CT1DRB,
F5LKW, F5UKL, F5VGL,
HA2PP, HA7UL
HB9HVK, HB9BAB,
OE9AMJ, OE6WIG,
OK1INW, OK1FFU, OK2SAM
S51RU, S57X, S57XX, S51ZJ, S53XX,
K6TW, K7NEW, K4ADV, KE5AKL,
N4EX, NM5S, NE5DL, NE1SJ, N7AZ, NS7P, N6ZA, N7HQR, N3SW,
WA2USA, WT5RZ, WA2USA, WN1E, WA3SEE, WS0TA, W2VV,
VE2/HB9IAB, VE2UFT, CF2OTA, VE2JCW, VA2SG, VE2PBZ, VA2OTA,
S57X,
Z35M

10 MHz:
DF3MC, DL4FDM, DL/HB9BQB, DK1DU, DL1DVE, DL6CGC, DK1HW, DF3MC, DL9TX, DK7MG, DL4ABO, DC8MH, DL2AJB, DL/PA0SKP.
EA2EA, EA4MZ, EA4MY,
F5LKW, F6EAH, F5HTR, F5VGL, F6AVE,
GM0UDL, G3VQO, G4RQJ, G3CWI, M0TUB, MM0FMF,
HA7UL, HA2PP,
HB9BIN,
IV3/S57X
LA1ENA, LA1KHA, M/LA1ENA, M/LA1KHA,
OE5EEP, OE/DF3MC,
OK3EQ, OK2SAM, OK/DJ3AX, OK1DST, OK2HIJ, OK7EQ,
SP/OK1HAG
S53XX, S57X, S57XX, S51RU,
YO/HG4UK,
Z35M.

Also thanks to the stalwarts who enthusiastically continue to activate on 80 and 160m:-

3.5 MHz GX0OOO
1.8 MHz GX0OOO

A warm welcome is extended to the following newcomers, heard activating SOTA’s for the first time on CW during the last month:- Urv EA2URV, Phillipe F5IYJ,

Heard active on expeditions outside their own countries were:

DL/HB9BQB, DL/PA0SKP,
EA4/CT1DRB, EA5/DK1IO
IV3/S57X,
GW/PA0HRM, M/LA1ENA, M/LA1KHA,
OE/DF3MC,
OK/DL6UNF, OK/DJ3AX, OK/DL1JET,
SP/OK1HAG,
YO/HG4UK, YO/HA5CQZ,
VE2/HB9IAB,


CONTESTS DURING NOVEMBER 2011

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. This is not a complete list of contests.

5th - 6th 1200-1200 Ukrainian DX contest
6th only 0900-1100 High Speed Club CW contest
12th-13th 0001-2300 RTTY Worked all Europe contest
12th-13th 1200-1200 OK/OM CW DX contest
13th only 0001-2359 SKCC Weekend sprint
19th-20th 1200-1200 LZ DX CW/SSB contest
26th-27th 0001-2359 CQ WW CW DX Contest (major disruption to 40m)


SOTA News is normally published around noon UTC on the last day of each month and 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, the USA, Canada South Africa, South Korea, and beyond, in a total of 24 different countries. Your input will be most welcome.

73

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

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


#2

In reply to G4SSH:

Dear Roy
Thank you for your SOTA repot.
It’s obviously that 1000 activations mentioned as my achievement must to be reduced 10 times - hi.

Z35M Vlado, who made his 1000th SOTA activation on Z3/EM-011on the 24th October.<

The month of October saw the record number of 39 activations in Z3 SOTA Association. The most significient were the 24 unique activations of Damjan, Z35BY achieved for only 21 days. His first introduction to SOTA activating was in last December when we activated together the summit of Ramno, Z3/EM-006. Damjan combines his off-road adventures with activating the nearby SOTA summits with final non-motorizes access. He has a very ambitious plan for the future activations including the higher summits. We may to expect him on 20 m - SSB also in a working days. Will try to convince him to recover his CW skils.

Vlado, Z35M


#3

In reply to Z35M:

Sorry for the typo Vlado, now corrected. Since you started using 14058 KHZ it just seems that you are always on the air, with a signal that I can at last copy well.

73
Roy
G4SSH/A (in Cornwall for a week)


#4

In reply to G4SSH:
Hello Roy and MT
Thank again for your SOTA report.
I hope I could be on the air soon. WX is rainy and some snow on the top of the mountains.
Best 73 and i hope we’ll meet soon.
Andre - f5ukl


#5

In reply to G4SSH:

Dear Roy and team,

many tnx for the excellent SOTA-news.
I attended the 9th IARU HST Championships in Bielefeld,
so just had little time for QSOs. sri

Btw: 2nd part of High Speed Club Telegraphy Contest
will be on Nov. 6th 15:00 - 17:00 UTC.

@DJ5AV: Congrats on ur 1st SOTA-activation dear Michael
and good luck on your next goals!

Vy73 Fritz HB9CSA,DL4FDM


#6

Thanks for the news Roy and thanks to all contributors including Mark with the 160m news. Cheers, John.