SOTA NEWS OCTOBER 2017 - Part 1 of 2
Editorial - by Mark G0VOF
Welcome to the October 2017 edition of SOTA News.
My thanks go to the following contributors:- Barry GM4TOE, Skip K6DGW, Roy G4SSH, Kevin G0NUP, Rob and Audrey G4RQJ, Geert PA7ZEE, Paulo CT2IWW, Toru JH0CJH.
73, Mark G0VOF
The September 2017 edition of SOTA News was viewed more than 1,126 times.
SOTA AWARDS SEPTEMBER 2017 from Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager.
September was another very busy month for awards with about 50% more claims than August, in particular the number of trophies claimed is well up and has caused yet another engraving bottleneck!
Congratulations to Mountain Goats WB0USI, JS1UEH, NS7P, N3II,OK2SRO, OE1WED and N6JZT. There are many notable Chaser claims this month. EA2CKX and W0ERI on 75k, N6KZ and F5UBH on 10k and of particular note VE2DDZ who achieved Shack Sloth all Summit to Summit.
It is good to see claims for the Microwave Award continuing to come in but with all the GM activity on 13 cm the only claim on this band has been outwith the UK – come on guys, you know who you are!
WB0USI Rick Loughrey
JS1UEH Takeshi Saiki
NS7P Phil Shepard
N3II David Collins
VE2DDZ Malcolm Harper (All S2S)
EA2CKX Pedro Chinchurreta
G4FVK David Sewell
KP4RV Rafael Bonano
PC9DB Mark Vroomen
WB0USI Rick Loughrey 1000 points
OK2SRO Jan Zeiner 1000 points
OE1WED Gerhard Weißenbőck 1000 points
N6JZT Hal Rounds 1000 points
N3II David Collins 1000 points
ON7DQ Luc Decroos 500 points
N7LP Lee Pemberton 500 points
KI4TN Ron Burns 500 points
OE7AJT Andy Jobstl 250 points
K1LIZ Elizabeth Burns 250 points
WC0Y Edward Hall 100 points
ZL2AJ Warren Harris 100 points
EA2CKX Pedro Chinchurreta 75000 points
W0ERI Martha S. Auchard 75000 points
N6KZ Jim Zimmerman 10000 points
F5UBH Toullec Christophe 10000 points
ON7DQ Luc Decroos 5000 points
K8LJG John C. Kroll 5000 points
KI4TN Ron Burns 5000 points
YO8SSB Lucian Damian 1500 points
YO2MSB Sorin Daniel 1000 points
YO8SSB Lucian Damian 1000 points
ZL1WA Jacky Shaw 1000 points
KP4RV Rafael Bonano 1000 points
K1LIZ Elizabeth Burns 1000 points
WD4CFN Steve Ghertner 1000 points
EA4AAI Gerardo Campó Cayuela 500 points
M0PLA Paul Athersmith 250 points
N9XG Ian Offer 250 points
EA4AAI Gerardo Campó Cayuela 250 points
N9XG Ian Offer 100 points
JP3OYB Naoyuki Taniguchi 100 points
DL3HV Helmut Vogel 100 points
EA4AAI Gerardo Campó Cayuela 100 points
VE6IXD Ian Drummond 100 summits
JF1NDT Yukio Osada 100 summits
N3II David Collins 100 summits
EA2CKX Pedro Chinchurreta 7000 summits
W0ERI Martha S. Auchard 4000 summits
K8LJG John C. Kroll 1000 summits
K5QR Andrew Bonnot 500 summits
YO8SSB Lucian Damian 100 summits
JF1NDT Yukio Osada 100 summits
Summit to Summit
NA6MG Daniel Ducey Platinum
JF1NDT Yukio Osada Silver
AE7AP Robert Kingery Silver
YO8AZQ Adrian Done Bronze
N3II David Collins Bronze
WC0Y Edward Hall Red
EA2CKX Pedro Chinchurreta Platinum
YO8AZQ Adrian Done Gold
N9XG Ian Offer Gold
K5QR Andrew Bonnot Gold
N9XG Ian Offer Silver
ON6ZQ Christophe David Platinum
N3II David Collins Silver
OK1CYC Miroslav Pribyl Bronze
GM4WHA Geoff Harper 50 km 23 cm
VK2JDL Phil Clancy 50 km 13 cm
I was faced with “Nil Stock” on Chaser certificates, not in actuality but according to the database stock control; I had set the count when we removed the charge for pdf versions of the certificates to see how many were ordered and it caught me unawares. Thanks to Ron KI4TN for letting me know and the count has now been reset to 1000.
Once more my thanks to the many of you who make donations towards the running of SOTA – the impact of these cannot be underestimated especially when you see the cost of the commercial servers we now need to use.
I was going to organise a survey on the reflector to try to establish demand for new branded products, I will do this but personal events have rather taken my eye off the ball. When I do this please let me know what would be of interest so I can restock before the year end.
Finally: Tommy my Labrador, veteran of many SOTA activations, chick magnet supreme and my close companion died on Thursday. I will miss him.
SOTA Awards Manager
NORTH AMERICAN REPORT from Skip K6DGW
End of September and I can’t remember where all that time went. Houston TX was hit by hurricane Harvey, Florida was hammered by Irma, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were destroyed by Maria, and the eastern Caribbean basically got all three plus Jose. The entire area is still reeling and recovery will be slow. There are numerous SSB emergency nets operating on 20, 40, and the 60 meter channels, let’s be sure to give them space when we’re activating.
The ionosphere and geomagnetic field were pretty active during the early part of September, Kp was up to 6 and 7 for several days, which may account for the slight drop in our activity numbers and the increase in 40 meter activity.
NA Statistics for Sep
Produced: 09/28/2017 at: 21:38:44 UTC
Total Activations: 618  Total Activators: 201  Total Chaser QSO's: 6410  Total Chasers: 292  Unique Summits: 443  BAND # LAST MONTH
3.5MHz: 18 ( 0.2%) [ 20 ( 0.2%)]
5MHz: 39 ( 0.6%) [ 36 ( 0.4%)]
7MHz: 1383 ( 21.9%) [ 1265 ( 16.5%)]
10MHz: 887 ( 14.0%) [ 843 ( 11.0%)]
14MHz: 3378 ( 53.6%) [ 4941 ( 64.6%)]
18MHz: 134 ( 2.1%) [ 196 ( 2.5%)]
21MHz: 13 ( 0.2%) [ 14 ( 0.1%)]
28MHz: 8 ( 0.1%) [ 18 ( 0.2%)]
50MHz: 5 ( 0.0%) [ 11 ( 0.1%)]
144MHz: 412 ( 6.5%) [ 289 ( 3.7%)]
220MHz: 3 ( 0.0%) [ 0 ( 0%)]
433MHz: 10 ( 0.1%) [ 11 ( 0.1%)]
1240MHz: 4 ( 0.0%) [ 3 ( 0.0%)]
2.3GHz: 2 ( 0.0%) [ 0 ( 0%)]
MODE # LAST MONTH:
AM: 2 ( 0.0%) [ 7 ( 0.0%)]
CW: 4441 ( 70.4%) [ 5502 ( 71.8%)]
Data: 3 ( 0.0%) [ 1 ( 0.0%)]
FM: 425 ( 6.7%) [ 300 ( 3.9%)]
Other: 1 ( 0.0%) [ 0 ( 0%)]
SSB: 1428 ( 22.6%) [ 1844 ( 24.0%)]
AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS: David, N3II, has made Mountain Goat status on CW with 100% unique summits, the 1,000th point occurred on W4V/LX-028 on 23 Sep. Rumor has it, I haven’t checked, that this may be the first CW W3 Association MG. At any rate, Congratulations David!
David also activated his 10th Association on 10 Aug [W2/WE-050] for a silver Mountain Hunter award.
In an email dealing with the MG trophy custom [see below], Phil, NS7P, dropped in a small aside that he also achieved MG status, as did Hal, N6JZT, a week later. Congratulations to you both!
SERIOUS NEWS DEPARTMENT [thanks to Bob, K0NR]: "Colorado has seen a marked increase in the number of climbing deaths this year, most commonly associated with 14’ers (14,000-foot-plus [4,268 m] summits). The Denver Post reported that the death toll is 11 this year. As far as I know, none of these fatalities are connected with SOTA.
"See ‘With 11 fatalities on Colorado’s fourteeners this season, it’s time to do something’ http://www.denverpost.com/2017/09/15/colorado-fourteener-deaths-plan/ "
"This series of fatalities has authorities wondering what do to, if anything, to reverse the trend. Many of these deaths were in the Elk Range with 5 of them on Capitol Peak. See ‘Spike in Capitol Peaks Unprecedented’ http://kdvr.com/2017/08/28/spike-in-back-country-deaths-unprecedented and ‘Should We Warn Hikers About Dangerous Trails?’ https://www.outsideonline.com/2240561/aspen-deaths-14ers "
"In general, the causes of these accidents tend to include these familiar factors: Lack of preparation, Lack of appreciation of the difficulty of the climb, Deciding to try a non-standard ‘shorter route’ on the descent, and Hiking groups choosing to split up on the trail. I think another factor is the large number of people interested in climbing 14ers as a weekend sport. After knocking out a few of the ‘easy ones’ (I actually don’t find any of them easy), they take on very challenging summits without the required skills and experience. The lesson is clear: study the summit, know your limitations and be prepared."
NEWS: Paul, W6PNG and W6 Association Manager reports: “Life has aligned such that my wife and I are going to split our time 50-50 between the UK/EU and California. Its all good and we are jazzed about renovating a 200 year old home on the English/Scottish border and using it as a base.”
“So while I’m passionate about SOTA and looking forward to participating in the UK/EU as well as the US, W6, as an association has a mountain of potential and deserves an AM that is ‘in situ’ and fully engaged. As such, its time to hand the mantle to someone willing to promote, energize, and drive SOTA in California. Feel free to reach out to Elliott or Guy if you are interested in the role.”
Thank you Paul for your work and best wishes in your new time on the other side of the Atlantic.
Etienne, K7ATN, provided the links to W7W and W7O events in September and the Pacific Northwest News:
Rob, AE7AP, reports from W7M: “September was a slow month in Montana with only 3 W7M activations – likely due to wildfire smoke. Rob–AE7AP activated Beartrap Mountain (W7M/LI-133),
Sutton Mountain (W7M/LI-205), and McGuire Mountain (W7M/LI-046) during a two night stay at the historic McGuire Mountain fire lookout with Barb-AE7AQ. The lookout is a D-6 Cupola type that was built in 1924.
We went in “heavy” on the 2.5 mile hike with steak, eggs, bacon, wine, cook stove, and all of the fixings so that we were sure to eat well. We even managed to get a grouse along the way! The three activations went
very well despite the smoke, but a 4th activation attempt was thwarted by a large solar flare.”
“Vick-K7VK escaped the smoke by heading north to activate Tunnel Mountain (VE6/HC-035) and Eager Hill (VE7/EK-048). The W7M chasers had more luck – making a total of 60 QSO’s, including one DX QSO by Vick-K7VK to JP3DGT/3 on Doutokoyama (JA/OS-010)!”
And, from the Canadian border to the Mexican border - Pete, WA7JTM, filed this report: “It was a pretty quiet month here except for the VHF Contest weekend when a couple of us went out and played VHF Contest and SOTA at the same time. I operated for just under three hours from a Sonoran Desert SOTA summit Sunday morning. Let’s just say it was a “HOT” location… even with the shade tarp I had erected on the summit”
“I hiked to W7A/MN-119 (DM33 Grid Square) and K7TAB (Chris) was on SOTA Summit W7A/MN-057 (DM43). We managed to work each other on four different VHF Bands… 6, 2, 223, and 432. Chris later operated form another Grid Square, but was not on a SOTA summit. I used my FT-817 on 6/2/432 running four watts, and an HT on 223.5 FM. My 6M antenna was my HF/VHF link dipole on a thirteen foot crappie pole. For the other VHF bands I put up a short 10 foot pole with a four element Yagi on 2M, a two element Yagi on 223, and a five element Quagi on 432.”
“Conditions were typical, with no DX on 6M. Best 50 MHz DX on my dipole was DM24 (143 miles). Best 144/432 MHz DX was 125 miles. Amazing how far you can go on VHF from a mountain top with a small station or an HT. I also activated HF on 20 and 40 meters CW until the X-Class “Flares” hit. That wiped the bands clean of all signals. I ended up working 57 stations on VHF (almost 20 contacts per hour rate on VHF!), but only 6 stations on HF. Anyhow I encourage others to try SOTA and VHF QRP Contesting simultaneously…great fun!”
Oleh, KD7WPJ, who must be on the east coast, provided this news from Fred, AB1OC: “The Nashua Area Radio Club has continued to have fun doing SOTA activations with our portable 6m Station. We recently activated Mt. Washington [W1/HA-001] in New Hampshire. Mt. Washington is the highest peak in the northeast with an elevation of 6,288 ft [1,917 m].”
“Our station was solar-powered and used a pair of LiPo packs on an MPPT charger as a backup when the sun was obscured by clouds. [IMG] Our portable 6m station used an IC-7300 operating at 100W into a 3 element yagi on a 22’ push-up mast. The setup allowed us to make over 50 SSB QSOs on 6m during our time on the mountain.”
"It was cold at times when passing clouds engulfed the mountaintop but our club had a great time with the activation! The views were tremendous and mountain topping is a great way to have fun on 6m. You can read more about our Mt. Washington Activation here -
MOUNTAIN GOAT TROPHY CUSTOM: Early in the history of NA SOTA, when there were a lot fewer activators and thus fewer MG’s, a custom developed that the last Goat would purchase the new Goat’s trophy. The number of activators has multiplied today and so have the number achieving Mountain Goat status. There was considerable discussion on the NA SOTA Yahoo group regarding this and I believe the BFOMG [“Benevolent and Fraternal Order of Mountain Goats”] is working on it.
INVITATION: As he has been doing at past ARRL Pacific Division conventions, Elliott, K6EL, will be hosting a SOTA luncheon. The official invitation follows:
“Registered SOTA participants (only) are invited to our free sixth annual SOTA lunch at Pacificon, Bishop Grill, Marriott Hotel, 2600 Bishop Drive, San Ramon, CA, at 12:15 pm on Saturday, October 21st, hosted by K6EL. You do not have to pay for Pacificon if you are coming only to the lunch. The main table will accommodate the first 24 people to respond, and any excess can grab a nearby table. There is only one restaurant at the hotel. As in past years, we will be joined by an Elecraft founder. Please wear a name tag of some sort. Respond via the NaSota Yahoo group or direct to email@example.com”
COOL STORY DEPARTMENT: Steve, WG0AT, relates a really good story with a happy ending: “During recent activation of Mt Waugh W0C/SC-032 …K7PX and I were on a hasty down hill descent with weather moving in on us. Bashing down through thick forest when I stopped and turned around to see K7PX emerging from the trees. I immediately noticed he was missing his FT1D APRS radio! (Off trail bushwhacking is brutal on exposed skin, clothing, and gear …ripping items from pack and body as you claw your way through!)”
“Previous weekend I had just done a fox hunt with our W0TLM Club so I was keyed in on “lets find this wayward radio!” The big advantage was his FT1D was still on and sending a APRS beacons every 5-minutes. Luckily each beacon contained a LAT/LON, bearing, distance and elevation. Distance said “0.0 Mi.” so we knew we were close but how close was the question! LAT/LON was a ways off and uphill ~300’ (ugh!) but elevation was real close to where we stood?”
“We slowly searched back up hill until I saw a new beacon pop in on my FT1D giving us a new bearing pointing down hill from us. So we swung around …there it was laying on the ground! If it were a snake it would have bit us! Hah! …Woohoo radio found! Down we went before weather closed in.”
NORTH AMERICA: North America, according to ARRL and ITU, extends through Panama in Central America. It also includes Greenland. I have heard that there is a SOTA Association starting in Mexico. If anyone can give an email address of the Association Manager or organizer, I’d really like to get them included in this monthly drivel. I can read Spanish. If anyone hears of a Greenland association, I’ll discuss that with the Denmark folks. With a last name of Jensen, I think we’ll get along just fine.
NA SOTA Reporter Dude
Sparks NV DM09dn
SOTA NEWS FROM JAPAN by Toru JH0CJH
SOTA activities in September 2017 in Japan as of 30 September 2017.
Total 178 Activations with 1697 QSO have been made and reported.
Activation numbers are still high as like last month. But other than JA regions activity is lower. Perhaps the reason is that weather conditions are not fine in September.
JA: 173 activations with 1677 QSO from Summits
JA5: 5 activations with 20 QSO from Summits
JA6: 0 activation
JA8: 0 activation
Total 361 Chasing QSO have been made and reported.
JA: 339 chasing QSO
JA5: 2 chasing QSO
JA6: 20 chasing QSO
On 2 and 3 September, Japan’s biggest ham radio event Ham Fair 2017 was carried out in Tokyo.
SOTA Japan association have attended with “Yama to Musen (Mountain and Radio)” group as usual. Total cumulative numbers of visitors during two days are 39,000 and enjoyed meeting each other.
This year OE ham radio Joe OE5JFE, JJ1FJK in JA callsign, visited Japan in
this timing and visited us in Ham Fair.
Joe made Mt Fujiyama JA/SO-001 activation after attending the Ham Fair.
He also made an activation of Mt Ooyama JA/KN-006 with Takeshi JG1GPY on 18 Sept. The activation has been recorded by Takeshi JG1GPY.
Toru Kawauchi 川内 徹
THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH - 117 By Rob and Audrey G4RQJ
So off we go on another month and Autumn has already arrived. Our only sota activity has been our usual visit to Shropshire for the Telford Rally and a week of leisurely activations in the Welsh Borders.
The rally was excellent as usual with a good number of Sota friends to chat to. The intermittent rain showers did not help the outside stalls some had wisely opted to go indoors. Our only purchase was the remains of a ww2 command receiver to restore. its ident plate says it started life in 1940 so it’s about a year older than me (Rob). We did not feel that Audrey’s knee was up to The Wrekin, particularly on day one of the holiday so retreated back to base fairly early.
Monday 4th Sep, and a half reasonable day so off to Long Mynd and Stiperstones. We noticed a board at the car park by the copse/paddock saying that Long Mynd now has tracks that are suitable for mobility scooters -and certainly the track from there looked do-able but of course you need a car to get there in the first place and possibly a little help in the car park which is rather lumpy. Stiperstones was its usual pain on the feet at the top, not helped by a heavy rainstorm as we made our way down after the
activation. We did not attempt Corndon later because of the steep descent and Audrey’s knee but were told of a shallower route that we will look out for in the future.
Tuesday was a total write-off due to heavy rain but a trip to RAF Cosford Aviation Museum filled the day very nicely.
Wednesday and an early evening trip up Callow Hill. Here there are quite a few changes from previous years. There are No Parking notices at the start of the bridleway due to extensive logging work. We asked the lads working there who said park on the grass under the trees a little further back so that the vehicles could get in and out, we don’t fancy meeting one in the narrow lane! Up the bridle way it is quite muddy in places but when you follow the turn to the left and up the ramp all the trees on your left apart from a single row beside the track have gone! right down to the valley floor, opening up a view to the north. The narrower path from the top of the ramp back toward the summit tower has become quite overgrown and needs a bit of pushing through. Still a lovely little summit.
Thursday and a trip to Titterstone Clee. The brown signs along the road seem to have vanished so hope that the areas safety as a park is not threatened. The weather was dull and quite windy but this summit generally has something to put us off, plague of flying things etc which is a shame as we quite like the hill and the way it stands proud in spite of all damage done to it by successive industrial regimes and the like. We kitted up in our heavier coats which we had with us and were soon battling the wind across the summit plateau toward the trig point, the only person there was a chap in a digger reducing the remains of the last large white radome to rubble and piling it into a skip, he waved in greeting from the shelter of his cab. Only a small white radome on a short mast now remains along with a few masts. We found enough cover on the leeward side of the hill for the activation and by time we descended the digger etc had gone so we left the hill to its solitary sulk and were soon back in the warmth of the car while the remains of summer continued outside.
Friday and our last day for this years trip and so Burrow is a must. Hopesay church with its interesting clock is the best starting place. The path up has become much more obvious just hope they never put crops in the two steep grass paddocks that have to be crossed to reach the seat and stile of sorts that gives entry into the wooded castle area. Unfortunately the seat has now succumbed to wood rot and the bits lie around close by the stile. The fields are usually full of harvesting at this time but this year all seems to have been gathered in some time back. Funny Summer? As we started to eat our sarnies after a nice activation a strong wind arrived with a seriously heavy rain shower that saw us into waterproofs and gear packed in about three minutes and we headed to the lower sections of the earthworks to collect our regular supply of blackberries to be frozen and turned into jam and preserve for Christmas.
Little to report or comment on for the rest of the month, activations in LD and NP seem few and far between and an S9 noise level on HF does not help.
We have been thinking about the future of View from the North in the light of our recent few activations and have decided that we should probably go to an occasional submission than a monthly format. This does not mean our interest in sota has waned in the least but our age has gone in the opposite direction, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weaker! But still hope for a recovery in the near future. We started writing this feature to help encourage the growth of sota at a difficult time but that was a hundred plus months ago. Sota has grown hugely and we feel that The View may have become a little “Parish Pump”.
So once again thanks for reading.
Take care out there.
73 Rob and Audrey
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