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Sota news september 2010


#1

SOTA NEWS SEPTEMBER 2010

EDITORIAL – by Roy G4SSH

Welcome to the September 2010 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Barry GM4TOE, Jimmy M3EYP, Rob & Audrey G4RQJ, Jürg HB9BAB, David M0YDH, Roland SM1CXE, Colin 2E0XSD, Wolf DK1HW,Phil G4OBK, John G4YSS, Ian GW8OGI, Mike KD9KC, Andy MM0FMF, Matthew 2E0XTL, Tom M1EYP.


HF propagation improved considerably during the month of August, especially on 40m as we moved into the Autumn season. There were a few poor days early in the month, but overall conditions reverted almost to their pre mid-summer state, with QRP activators becoming audible again on mainly noise free bands.


FROM THE G ASSOCIATION MANAGER

A reminder that Baystones, G/LD-039, was removed from the SOTA programme on the 31st of August 2010.

Lovely Seat G/NP-030 will be removed from the SOTA programme on the 30th of September 2010, so if anyone still wants to activate this summit you have only one month left.

Jimmy M3EYP


FROM THE GM ASSOCIATION MANAGER

For the benefit of those who do not regularly read the Reflector I am trying to organise a weekend of activations centred around the Ariundle Bunkhouse here in Scotland. Due to the complexities of trying to find a date and venue that suits enough people and space for them to stay I’m thinking of targeting this for around Easter 2011. (But not the Easter weekend itself). Please check out this thread.

http://www.sotawatch.org/reflector.php?topic=4796#39103

Andy
MM0FMF


SOTA AWARDS FOR AUGUST 2010 - By Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager

The number of claims this month is staggering and I have yet to catch-up. For a start I ran out of Shack Sloth trophies and I am waiting on delivery, so my apologies to those still waiting on their awards.

Congratulations on reaching the Shack Sloth level to 2E0LAE, Tony, 2E0FSR, Chris and ON9CBQ, Franz; while DO1RGI achieved Goatdom. I must pay particular note to three Chasers who have reached the 1000 Unique Summits award F5SQA, G8ADD and IK3GER, again no mean achievement.

With such a plethora of riches it is easy to overlook the latest 30K point chaser G4OBK and 10K chaser G0NUP. It has been suggested that 10K is a “Super Sloth” so where is the next superlative to be used – 50K points – and what should that be called?

More interest is now being shown in the newer certificates, the Mountain Explorer and the Mountain Hunter. This month I was really surprised to receive a claim for the Mountain Hunter Gold award, but when two more arrived in quick succession that made for a lot of work. It is necessary to find the first summit chased in each Association and we have not worked out a way to do that on the database yet so it is Excel to the rescue. But when I had the claim from our super-chaser G4SSH then I knew it would take time! Congratulations to all three of you with certificate number 1 being awarded to F5SQA who pipped Roy to the post by about 10 days.

Congratulations to all who claimed awards, this has definitely been a bumper month.

Trophies

Shack Sloth
2E0LAE Tony Ciathos

Shack Sloth Uniques
F5SQA Daniel Dupont 1000 summits
G8ADD Brian Carter 1000 summits

Certificates claimed

Activator
DO1RGI Reinhard Griebel 1000 points
ON4UP Peter Preud’homme 250 points
ON9CBQ Franz Fleischmann 250 points
MM0ROV Mike Gerard 100 points

Activator Uniques
HG4UK Zsolt Gruber 100 summits

Chaser
G4OBK Phil Catterall 30000 points
G0NUP Kevin Prince 10000 points
F5SQA Daniel Dupont 5000 points
HB9BIN Jurg Regli 5000 points
DO1RGI Reinhard Griebel 2500 points
2E0LAE Tony Ciathos 1000 points
2E0FSR Chris Darlow 1000 points
ON9CBQ Franz Fleischmann 1000 points
G6HXL Derek Lathem 500 points
G4OOE Nick Langmead 500 points
G4OOE Nick Langmead 250 points

Chaser Uniques
G8ADD Brian Carter 1000 summits
HB9BIN Jurg Regli 1000 summits
IK3GER Paolo Corsetti 1000 summits

Mountain Explorer
HG4UK Zsolt Gruber Silver
ON4UP Peter Preud’homme Bronze
ON9CBQ Franz Fleischmann Bronze

Mountain Hunter
F5SQA Daniel Dupont Gold
G4SSH Roy Clayton Gold
G0NUP Kevin Prince Gold

I have had several enquiries about the availability of other items of SOTA merchandise other than the awards and the shirts that we already supply. I am waiting on a final price for SOTA flags and have an enquiry out for engraved callsign badges incorporating the SOTA logo (remember the badge engraver who used to visit rallies and produce a badge while you waited – does anybody know who it was and contact details?). Other suggestions have included mugs (probably of more interest to chasers) but if you have any further ideas please let me know; my email address is on the website.

With the present ridge of high pressure across the UK perhaps we will manage some more activations, although if the midges are after another free meal I am unlikely to be out there!

Take care on the hills

73

Barry Horning GM4TOE
Awards Manager


Congratulation to the SOTA Spain activators who really excelled themselves on their inaugural day on 1st August with exotic calls such as EE1URO, EC1CW on SSB and EA1HNP on RTTY. Welcome to the SOTA family folks.

Congratulations also:-

To Bernhard DL4CW who has achieved 100 unique activations.

To David M0DYH on his upgrade to Advanced licence (Ex M6WOW / 2E0DAI)

To Alastair 2E0SCZ on his upgrade to Intermediate licence (Ex:M6ALR)

To Kevin G0NUP on reaching Super Sloth CW in 16 months, using 75w or less, to a vertical antenna.

To Matthew Porter 2E0XTL who this month achieved his 25th Summit to Summit contact and gained the Summitsbase award. He also passed the 200 mark for the Chasing section and gained 103 activator points in the month of August, using only the bands of 50 MHz, 70 MHz, 144 MHz and 1296 MHz. Well Done Matthew !

Note from Ed:- Information on the above achievements is obtained through comments on the Reflector, word of mouth, or information sent to me. I do not have the time to check the Data-base to see when someone has passed a milestone, so please drop me an e-mail when you have achieved a personal goal and I will publish this in SOTA News - Roy


FRIDAY THE 13th – I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN ! - by Jürg HB9BAB

As planned months ago, we started our tour on Friday the 13th of August.

We intended to stay some days in the “Walliser“-alps. Starting in the village of Arolla – Cabanne des Vignettes (3160m) – l’Evêque (3716m) – Cab des Vignettes – Mont Brulé (3585m) - Rifugio Nacamuli (2828m) an italien hut – Tête Blanche (3710) – Cabanne de Bertol (3311m) – Arolla.

Although I did know that this wasn’t a SOTA trip, I packed (of course) my ATS-3 rig in my bag, hoping that I could make a couple of QSO’s from those icy summits.

As soon as we reached the hut “Cabanne des Vignettes“, the weather changed and we had to adapt our program. Next morning at 6 o’ clock we set of in a slight snowfall. Our new destination was the summit of “Pigne d’ Arolla“ (3790m), which is easier to reach than mount l’Evêque.

A stormy wind greeted our arrival at the summit, so after having taken a picture we returned back over the glacier following our upcoming tracks, which had almost disappeared in the nasty weather. My rig stayed untouched in my bag!

We spent the night in the hut and the following morning we realized, that we could’t continue with our tour; there was more than 50cm of new snow! Under these conditions, it was definately too dangerous to cross the glaciers because of the hidden crevasses.

We struggled back to the village of Arolla. Fortunately, the lower we descended the less snow we encountered.

When we reached Arolla safely, the sky turned blue, so we had at least a beautiful view back.

We didn’t gave up and decided to move further west, where there was not so much precipitation (plateau du Trient). But he foggy, snowy and windy weather still persisted!

Under these conditions we finally decide to go home.

For the entire journey I carried my rig in my bag, however I’m neither angry nor disappointed, nor depressed at not having activated a single summit. I consider myself to have been lucky to have had the experience of being a few days outside in this beautiful mountain environment.

I rather feel sorry for all the chasers!

73 Jürg HB9BAB


I WISH YOU A SAFE DESCENT by David M0YDH

I very much enjoyed your piece in the April 2010 SOTA news on first time activations with CW. I was wondering if and how chasers wish the activator a ‘safe descent’ - something on phone that I very much appreciate, having met orthopaedic surgeons after an unsafe one!

If there’s no number convention like 73 or 55 perhaps you could invent one?

73 David M0YDH

Note from Editor:-

Way back in the early days of sending Morse by landline, as used by railway employees or press reporters, the operators quickly realised that they were repeatedly sending the same phrases, so quickly devised a short two figure code which was understood by all. Of all the standard phrases used, only 73 and 88 remain in regular use by the amateur service (plus, of course all the abbreviated words such as GM, GN, GL, BCNU, which the youth of today think were invented for texting).

It would be difficult to introduce a new figure group for “I wish you a safe descent” and “SD” may well fit the bill, but any suggestions would be welcomed.


From Roland SM1CXE

What can I do on a rainy day? Yes of course - put on the computer and submit the SOTA-QSO’s.

As I have an old system with a modem that affects the telephone, I usually do not keep the computer active for more than an hour or so. Anyway, I was very pleased to be the first SM to have a QSO with the highest Swedish mountain - Kebnekaise (NB-001) on July 25th, on 7 MHz. As you probably know SM0HPL (and -GNS) made this expedition with rather short notice because SA2ME had planned to be active from
NB-001 a few days earlier, but had to cancel due to the WX.

Anders/HPL had not spotted the expedition, so I listened and listened and finally at 1335z I heard them, SM0HPL/2/p, and got them in the log. I tried to reach some friends on the telephone and two of them made a QSO. Anders made 15 QSO’s and then they had to go QRT because the WX was getting worse. Another Swedish ham had “visited” Kebnekaise in 1992 and worked four stations, but no SM then.

Anders told me (in his mail) that he had plans to go there again. Hopefully he stays some hours then on the top.

I will also ask Anders to write about his expedition in the SOTA News.
And - believe it or not - Anders celebrated his 50th birthday there!!

Good luck with the SOTA chasing.

73
Roland SM1CXE


SOTA HISTORY - 1st Activations - by Tom M1EYP

March 2002 seems a long time ago now. The vast majority of us were not active in the programme back then, maybe we hadn’t even heard of it! So it is interesting to look back and see when and how some of our summits were first activated. We will begin with the CE region:

G/CE first activations

G/CE-001 – Cleeve Hill ------- Richard G3CWI – 1st May 2002
G/CE-002 – Walton Hill ------- Pete M0COP ----- 2nd Mar 2002
G/CE-003 – Bredon Hill ------- Pete M0COP ----- 17th Apr 2002
G/CE-004 – Bardon Hill ------- Richard G3CWI – 9th Mar 2002
G/CE-005 – Haddington Hill – Pete M0COP ------ 4th May 2002

So just two activators were responsible for the first activations of the entire Central England SOTA region. No-one activated Aconbury Hill G/CE-006 before it was redesignated to G/WB-024 one week after the launch of SOTA, when it initially appeared in the wrong region! G/CE-005 of course was renominated as “Wendover Woods” by the Marilyns people some time ago, but Haddington Hill was certainly its name when Pete got the first activation.

73 Tom M1EYP


CHOOSING A CALLSIGN by Roy G4SSH

I have recently received e-mails from SOTA Activators and Chasers seeking advice on the selection of a U.K. callsign. This is a subject which I introduce into my lectures as an instructor for the Radio Amateur Novice, Intermediate and Advanced courses.

Under current regulations you are allowed to select a UK callsign of your choice from the allocated callsign blocks for each class of licence, so long as it is available; otherwise you will be allocated one.

Do not allow the Licencing Authority to select your call, but have one in mind (with a reserve), check the current call book for availability, then phone to reserve it once you have the pass slip.

However, before reaching a decision you should consider the following options:-

  1. A link to an existing recognised call

If you already hold a callsign and are upgrading to a higher category then you may wish to continue with the existing suffix, so M6WPX could become 2E0WPX, then M0WPX, thus assisting friends to readily identify you.

  1. A personal call

Examples of this are names, such as M0ALF, M0DES, M0SAM, M0XYL – or initials, whichever suits your circumstance (but beware if your name is RON).

  1. An easily remembered call.

Calls in this category generally use a well known amateur three letter abbreviation such as SSB, WPX, SWL, AGC, or are repeats of the same letter, such as M0AAA
(and who has not heard of G0OOO (with regional variations) on the SOTA nets?)

Use of your imagination, like car registration plates, can produce some memorable calls such as M0RSE, M0USE, M0GGY etc. The Goole ARC selected the most appropriate call G0OLE.
If none of the above are available then I would recommend thinking about which mode you will be likely to use the most on the air.

If it will be SSB then pick a call that is short with few syllables in the suffix. For example the call M0GMG (Golf, Mike, Golf - with 3 syllables) can be spoken in about 2 seconds, whereas the call M0JUN (Juliet, Uniform, November - with 9 syllables) takes three times longer to speak, which is a big handicap in a pile up.

If CW is your eventual goal then choose short Morse characters so that (again) you do not get lumbered with long symbols like J,Y, or Q. A CW call flows smoothly off the key if a character ends with a dot and the next one starts with a dash, such as G0ANB (or vice versa, M1ANG).

My call G4SSH is instantly recognisable and short to send. I reckon it is worth an extra S-point in a pile up. My son is G4UUU, my daughter M5OOO and I hold club calls G0OOO, G7OOO, and M0O.

Whatever you choose, try it out beforehand by speaking it or sending on a key.


“K9 LIST” of SOTA DOGS - September 2010

It would appear that many SOTA activators are regularly accompanied on expeditions by their faithful canine companions. I know of a few dogs who have probably qualified as Mountain Goat many times over. I find that it is much appreciated by activators if a chaser knows the dog by name.

Drop me an e-mail if you take a dog on your SOTA tours and I will compile a list. Not as a table, I hasten to add, no “top dog” award, but just as a point of interest to see how many dogs are actively involved in SOTA. The name of your dog and breed please, to g4ssh@tiscali.co.uk

The above invitation was published in the August 2010 SOTA News and I originally intended to publish just a list of dogs; however, there was such a depth of feeling expressed in the comments which accompanied details of the dogs that I decided to include all the remarks.


OWNER…………………NAME OF DOG……BREED

2E0XSD…….Colin…………Abby………….Border Collie
2EOXSD…………………….Bobby…………Collie cross Springer

DJ3AX………Lutz………….Benny…………………………

DK1HW………Wolf…………Nelson…………Cairn Terrier

HB9ZAP…….Edwin……………………………Rauhaar-Dackel

G4OBK………Phil………….Treacle…Cross Border Terrier / Lakeland Terrier.

G4YSS……….John………….Jess……………Cocker Spaniel

GM4TOE…….Barry…………Tommy…………Black Labrador

GW8OGI………Ian……………Hari……………German Shepherd/Collie cross

KD9KC……….Mike…………River……………Great Dane

Comments:-

My dog Hari, a German Shepherd/Collie cross, has accompanied me on all except a couple of my SOTA activations. He’s an invaluable navigational aid; he can always find the easiest path up and of course remembers the way down too! Sadly he doesn’t seem too keen on radio as he just curls up and goes to sleep while I’m operating.
Ian GW8OGI


I have nearly always been accompanied by a dog on my SOTA expeditions. In
the early days (up to Mountain Goat) it was Jo my Labrador bitch that
features on several SOTA photos (now gone to that great kennel in the sky).
Nowadays I have Tommy, again a Black Labrador, who is a great soft pussy of
a dog but great company. Like Jo he is trained to the gun but only
recognises Grouse, he has absolutely no interest in Pheasants, but is in his
element on the hills round here nosing the birds into the air. Both dogs are
(were) small working Labs (Sandringham Labs for those who are into this
subject) but with unlimited energy and appetites - a favourite morsel being
sheep poo!

I sometimes have my son’s Springer with me - completely un-tireable and also
barking mad. Her main claim to fame, which some chasers may well remember,
was when she was bored and kept bringing me stones to throw for her while I
activated the hill. After several fetch and throw of stones she planted
another stone in my hand, so I thought, which I clasped firmly before
throwing it - unfortunately this was a handful of sheep poo. I am sure you
can visualise the event. The dog sat there with a “I knew you weren’t paying
attention” grin on her face! I almost breached the terms of my licence that
day by using rather robust language!

Anyway, a dog is the best walking companion, only ever goes at your pace,
never grumbles and will snuggle-up and keep you warm if necessary; and all
for a handful of biscuits. Barry GM4TOE


All my SOTA (& indeed WOTA) activations have mainly been Dog Walks
up hills with radios. The names of my digs are Abby - a Border Collie and
Bobby - a Collie cross Springer.

You will find evidence of the Dogs Activations here:
http://www.cumbrianrider.co.uk/2E0XSD/2E0XSD%20-%20Fell%20Links.htm but
it needs bringing up to date with a few more WOTA’s I have done and
LD-054 (where unfortunately I only managed 3 QSO’s). Colin 2E0XSD


I do take a dog on some of my outings. And I will bet no one takes a
larger dog than I. Meet River. Or as he is officially known, Von Bonehenge’s
White River of Dreams, RN, CGC, SP. In his short two years he has earned more
titles than I have in 55 years. . Currently River is on the thin side,
at about 160 pounds (73 kg).

http://www.vonbonehenge.com/River/River.html

The photos here are of his first year.

http://www.vonbonehenge.com/
The photo here will give you a better idea of his current size, left to right is his Mom Sammy, River, sister Daisy, and Uncle Justin. Uncle Justin weight 180 pounds (82 kg).

River has his own blog - although he has fallen a few months behind in keeping
up. Problems around the house have kept my wife from publishing his work.
Entertaining reading, especially for children.

http://www.vonbonehenge.com/River/River_Dog-Blog.html

Don’t miss the “My Second Year” link at the bottom.

Well - I am off to activate W5/RO-015. My son James (www.qrz.com/db/kc0wky) and his new girlfriend are hiking along. I expect they will explore trails while I
operate.

Mike - KD9KC.


Note from Editor

If you wish to add your dog to this list please drop me an e-mail. I will publish the list at regular intervals.

We have SOTA Logo’s and SOTA Flags – Perhaps there is a demand for coats to fit SOTA dogs?


WANTED – A NORTH AMERICAN / CANADIAN SOTA NEWS REPORTER

Judging by the Alerts, Spots and Reports it is obvious that SOTA activity has really taken off in the USA and Canada, pioneered by most enthusiastic Association Managers and activators.

I have a modest station which is rarely capable of hearing these activations and would welcome a monthly review of activity for insertion in SOTA News.

If there is anyone in the USA or Canada who would be willing to submit a short monthly account of SOTA activity in their area, or a profile of one of the activators, it would be greatly appreciated.

Roy G4SSH

Later 7th Sept

I am delighted to report that we now have a volunteer in the shape of

Fred [usually “Skip” on the radio, an old nickname]
K6DGWAuburn CA [Placer County CM98LW]

k6dgw@foothill.net

Fred will shortly be contacting Association Managers in North America/Canada

  • Ed

THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH 20 - by Rob and Audrey G4RQJ

Sunday 1st Aug 2010. Seat Sandal.

Started as usual from the summit of Dunmail Raise, the A591, between Grasmere and Keswick. Room for quite a few cars on the east side by the AA box but often occupied by visitors at the centre there who depart at about 1030 on Sundays just after all the walkers have struggled to park! The path up Raise Beck has seen quite a lot of improvement work in the last few months following the raging floods of the winter but in the initial stages is quite overgrown with bracken at the moment. There are just a few spots that require hands on rock for the less nimble but the badly eroded bits are now fine.

There is shelter from rocks, walls etc from all directions and the pile of stones at the summit currently sports a fine stone spire. HF wise 5MHz and 7MHz were very poor, 10MHz a little better but 2m chasers were wall to wall. Just 4 takers on 4FM. A warning to Wouxung owners using an SMA to BNC adaptor. Put the adapter on the radio first then the feeder BNC to the adaptor. The other way round produces a twisting which will part the inner of RG174 from its pin in a heartbeat. Done it twice now, blame old age!

Sad to see so few people on the walk, just one mountain rescue chap during the entire ascent and descent of Raise Beck, usually very busy in the holiday season. Guess it’s the summer weather and the new hobby of swaning round the Ambleside shops in walking jackets.

A quiet week all round leaves us wondering if the number of UK reflector postings is inversely proportional to the number of activations.

Sunday 8th Aug, Great Whernside.

We used the standard approach from the cattle grid on the Kettlewell to Leyburn road, a nice easy attack with one short steep bit. Settled among the rocks in shirtsleeves and sunshine but as the activation continued a cloud and mist bank arrived reducing visibility to a few yards and requiring full waterproofs. As we walked back through the clag we met a couple coming the other way looking for the trig point We spotted their SOTA beam and introductions followed. Unfortunately my memory is bad at best and although we heard Christine 2E0RGE operating later when we had a pen I’m afraid we forgot the rest of the details. Tried to call Chris when we were out of the activation zone but she was not strong due to the curve of the hill and by the time we reached clear ground their activation was over.

Sorry to miss you both but hope you enjoyed your holiday. The weather cleared about 100 feet below the summit but while getting out of waterproofs I managed to lose my fancy filtered water bottle (a gift).The bottle pockets on some modern rucksacks are really not deep enough for a tall bottle but it would have been nicer if I could have lost the older bottle instead.

We were treated to a low level flypast by a Lancaster whilst driving home through Cracoe.

Sunday 15th August. Buckden Pike.

Started again from the cattle grid on the Kettlewell to Leyburn road almost half an hour behind schedule due to traffic on the B6160 from Skipton heading to the Scarecrow Festival in Kettlewell. If you’re heading up the B6160 be aware that it is narrow a good deal of the way and one coach can set you back a long time. The ascent from the cattle grid is gentle but long and boggy. We assumed that as we had been on a hosepipe ban for six weeks that the bog may have dried up a little, wrong, it was worse than usual. The ideal route is by the wall but numerous deep large pools alongside it where the stepping stones have sunk drive you out into the bog to find firm ground. Toddlers would require carrying most of the way up. I (Rob) had two down to the knee experiences with both boots full of water and in the midst of it all the phone rang! This was Nick G0HIK stuck on an Irish summit, short of contacts and looking for a spot, none of his other posters being handy!

On the summit plateau the path from the Polish monument to the true summit has been moved temporarily to the other side of the wall due to erosion but is still pretty wet. Once again HF was dire and we decided that we were going to have to start self spotting, the time spent calling CQ is becoming prohibitive. On arriving back at the car quite a bit of pondweed was removed from inside my boots.

Quite a bit of discussion on the reflector about arrival times on the summit etc, these must be flexible as there are always unexpected circumstances to get in the way (see Scarecrow Festival above). We are fortunate to live within two hours drive of a good many summits so we usually do not decide on a target until the last minute having regard of the latest weather forecasts. We aim to be on the summit round about mid day usually on Sundays (have you seen Sunday afternoon TV, F1 excepted!) We are equipped for a stay of up to three hours which does involve quite a bit of extra clothing etc.

Battery wise a 4.7Amp hour pack will easily support the FT817for this length of time mixed mode activity with the internal battery as a backup (never used yet). We have a solid core of regular chasers who have followed us most weekends since 2002 and we regard them as friends, as such we may well have longer chats with some of them but we will not leave a chaser without a contact unless threatened with conditions beyond our control such as weather, light etc. We always try to use a standard plan of activation 5MHz,7MHz cw,10MHz cw,2M ssb,2M fm,4M fm which gives chasers an idea where to find us (always try to use the same QSY frequency on VHF which helps people find you).

This may have to change in the future as the higher HF bands become more useable and 5 and 7 become less predictable. We always have an alternative lower summit in mind in the event of bad WX and will try to activate it within the same timescale if we abandon the main target. If this happens we will always try to raise a regular chaser via the 2m mobile in the car to post the change on SOTAWatch. The system will not work without the activator/chaser relationship and it should be nurtured.

Sunday 22nd August. Ingleborough.

Used the long trek in from Ingleton, room for two or three cars just outside of the village on the B6255 opposite the B & B. There is a small parking area a couple of hundred yards further up the road but it all fills up quickly at peak times. As the path reaches the summit it has been rerouted to the right to arrive on top without the scramble up the last 50 feet of rock. The new section is narrow and has a little too much exposure for me (Rob) but the scramble is still there and more fun. A strong cool wind and hoards of walkers drove us for shelter to the eastern edge facing Pen-y-Ghent. We used Andy’s spotting system for the first time and it did seem to make a difference in the time spent calling CQ on the hf bands, thanks Andy.

Further thought on the rag chew/contest styles of operation and we have always found that if we are forced by conditions to adopt the latter all chasers respect it and operate accordingly.

Sunday 29th August. Hutton Roof Crag.

Forecast of 50 mph winds and a wind chill of -5 degrees convinced us that this would be the perfect hill and it was, nice sunshine but a cold strong gale even at this height. The SMS system worked a treat and the ultimate irony was when Andy FMF called us on 5MHz to see if we could put him a post via his own system as there was no signal on his hill! Fortunately Mark VOF was to hand and did the honours, just as well as I still can’t find the Backspace function on my aging Blackberry (a kind donation) so it would have taken an age. I have the handbook but still can’t find a backspace function, any help from experts appreciated. Not a lot of VHF chasers about but it is the last Bank holiday before Xmas. Lots of blackberries and wild raspberries on the way down, filled the sandwich box and a water bottle.

Another month gone and we are already sliding effortlessly into autumn, maybe the weather and conditions will improve. Welcome to all the new associations, chasers and activators, doesn’t seem long since there were just a few of us and we had to explain SOTA every other QSO.

Take care and catch you soon

73
Rob and Audrey
G4RQJ


CW REPORT FOR AUGUST 2010 - by Roy G4SSH

The improvement in propagation during the month was reflected by the increase in CW activity, especially on 14 MHz, where some activators were starting around 14058 KHz and then QSY’ing down to 10118 and finally 7032 KHz. The 30m band, around 10118 KHz was also very popular with activators.

Heard active above 40m were:-

28 MHz: F5UKL, F5LKW.

24 MHz: F5UKL, F5LKW.

21 MHz: M1EYP, F6HBI, F5UKL,

18 MHz: OK1CZ, M1EYP, OE/DL4CW, DK1BN, S57XX, F5UKL, F5LKW.

14 MHz:,
DL4CW, DL2DVE, DK1HW, DL/LX1NO,
F5IUZ, F6FTB, F5UKL, F5LKW,
GM4COX, GM0BPU, M1EYP, MM0ROV, G3RDQ, GW3NYY
HB0/LX1NO
OE5EEP, OE/DL4CW, OE5EEP,
SM3TLG, SA2ME, SM0HPL, SV1COX,
S57XX, S53X, S51WX,
UT4FJ
VA2SG, VE2PID, VE2ELW, VA3SIE, VE2PA, VE2JCW,
W2VV, K9JWV,N7UN. N9SKN, N6VDR, KT5X, KI6J,
Z35F.

10 MHz:
DL4CW, DL/LX1NO, DL2XL, DK1HW, DL/PA1AT, DL/HG4UK, DK1BN,
F5LKW, F5IUZ, F6HBI, F6HTB, F6EFI, F/HB9AFI, F6ENO, F5UKL.
G4RQJ, M1EYP, GW8OGI, G0AZS, GM0BPU, MM0FMF, G3NYY,
HA3HK, HA6IAY, HA/OE3EEP, OE/HG4UK, HB9SOTA,
HB/LX1NO, HB9BAB, HB0/LX1NO, HB0/HB9DGV, HB0/HB9AGO, HB9BQB,
LA1ENA, LA1KHA, LA2OG,
OE/DF3MC, OE5EEP, OE6WIG, OE/DL4CW,
OK1DDQ, OK1DPX, OK2SAM, OK1XVZ, OK2BDF
OZ/LA1KHA,
SM6EQO, SM0GNS, SM0HPL, SM3TLG
SP/HG4UK, SP/OK1CZ, SP/OK9HAG
SV8CAL,
S58MU, S57XX, S53XX, S53X, S5/OE5EEP,
UT4FJ,
Ve2JCW,

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

3.5 MHz GX0OOO, SP/OK9HAG, OKHAG, M0COP,
1.8 MHz GX0OOO,

A warm welcome is extended to the following newcomers, heard activating SOTA’s for the first time on CW during August:- Jozef YO/HA8LCA, Gerard OE8RDD, Klaus OE8KYG, Per LA2OG, Larry OE/W8VKO, Per LA2OG, Manfred DL9MDI, Thomas DK3DUA, Karel OK2BWB, Michael SV1CAL,

Mid-summer is the time for expeditions outside your own country. Heard active during July, and qualifying towards the Mountain Hunter and Mountain Explorer certificates were:- DL/LX1NO, HB/LX1NO, HB0/LX1NO, F/LX1NO, OE/DF3MC, OE/DL4CW, DL/OK1DDQ, DL/PA1AT, F/DK2JK, F/HB9AFI, F/DJ2JK, HB0/HB9DGV, DL/OK1DDQ, DL/LA1KHA,OK/LA1KHA, DL/HB9BQB, OE/DL9MDI, DL/HB9CMI, OE/W8VKO, HB0/HB9AGO, OK/HA5CQZ, SP/HG5UK, SP/OK9HAG, OE/HG4UK, D//HG4UK, HA/OE5EEP, OZ/LA1KHA, F/HB9AFI, SP/OK9HAG.

The improvement in conditions allowed me to experience a few SOTA surprises during the month. First was an FM contact with Julian M0FJM/p on G/NP-028 Rombalds Moor, on the 8th. I do not chase FM contacts, having only a 2m FM rig to a Slim Jim antenna on the end of the bungalow almost at sea level, but I was listening on 145.400, which is used as a local chat net, when to my amazement I heard Julian calling “CQ SOTA”

The second surprise was a first ever DX SOTA contact on the 14th with Jean-Pierre, VA2SG/p, who was on VE2/QC-10. This was particularly difficult due to an international contest, but I managed to QSO on 14062 KHz.

Thirdly was a SOTA QSO with Tom M1EYP on G/SP-002, Black Hill on the 16th – nothing remarkable in that, but the frequency was 18079 KHz – most unusual for such a short distance.

Finally I was delighted to work Andy MM0FMF for the first time ever on CW – not just once but on three different summits during the month. I am sure Andy was speeding up each time. FB !

However, with so may pro’s they has to be a con – and this materialised itself in the shape of a so called “Tablet” as a replacement for a normal computer at my daughter’s QTH in Cornwall, when I was operating as G4SSH/A. Basically a screen without a keyboard, this was initially a complete mystery to me. However, I did manage to master the basics, but by the time I had figured how to call up the virtual keyboard and tap out a spot (letter by letter with a stylus) I found that the activator had long been spotted by others. Progress !

73
Roy G4SSH


CONTESTS DURING SEPTEMBER 2010

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.

4th only 0001-2359 Russian RTTY contest
5th-6th 1300-1300 European SSB Field Day
4th-5th 0001-2359 All Asia SSB contest.
12th only 0001-2359 SKCC CW weekend sprint
11-12th 0001-2359 Worked-all-Europe SSB DX contest
18-19th 1200-1200 Scandinavian CW activity contest.
18th-19th 1200-1200 CIS DX RTTY contest
25th -26th 0001-2359 CQ World-wide RTTY DX contest.


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 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


#2

In reply to G4SSH:

Excellent News again this month Roy!!

highlighting what our New Full Activator and Chaser M0YDH David says about wishing a safe descent from Chasers to Activators, ( I certainly say it at the end of my overs with all activators)

my question is, is this only a remark from Chasers who are also activators? who in my experience know whats it also like to suffer a backlash from a summit(12 months on!)

73

Tony


#3

In reply to 2E0LAE:

I agree that it’s quite pleasant to be wished a safe descent. My descent of Rhinog Fawr was not - and my ankle is still sore :frowning:

SD sound good for a CW version to me. Better than some obscure number.

73

Richard
G3CWI


#4

In reply to G3CWI:

SD sound good for a CW version to me. Better than some obscure number.

I don’t know. Stick a couple of dots onto each character and you get 67. If you get the right contact you can then have 73, 88, 55, 44 and 67.

Much more fun. :wink:

67 de Les, G3VQO


#5

Thank you for the news Roy, a very enjoyable read. I think that should be M1EYP on 18MHz, rather than MM1EYP. I used only 40m on CW in GM.

I too like ‘SD’ rather than the more contrived ‘67’! Another nice one is ‘MX’ that tends to be exchanged at a certain time of year - and followed a week or so later by a few 'HNY’s.

I don’t think Jimmy’s got 250 activator uniques yet. At least he better not have, as it would be the most treacherous breach of a pact between us - that I have dutifully honoured throughout the 5 years I supported him in emulating my activator uniques…

Thanks for the contest list. I am pleased to note the absence of any major HF CW contest for Sunday 5th September, when I hope to conduct my 1000th activation.

73, Tom M1EYP


#6

In reply to M1EYP:

Thank you for the corrections Tom - amendments now made to the script.
GL for your 1000th activation - I hope to work you, perhaps on 3558 KHz
73 Roy


#7

Hi Roy,

I have only 249 activator uniques at the moment, I’m not sure yet when I will activate my 250th unique.

Jimmy M3EYP


#8

In reply to G3CWI:

Another good read as usual, Roy!

Richard, both the Rhinogs are well known for their difficult terrane with blocky rocks covered by heather. The first time I climbed R. Fach I went straight up the west side, thinking it was an easy slope. It wasn’t, it took ages and I was lucky not to turn an ankle myself! I hope that ankle soon recovers.

73

Brian G8ADD


#9

In reply to G4SSH:

Dear Roy and news-team,

many thanks for another excellent issue of the news.
I appreciate the report and the pictureas of HB9BAB very much
and can imagine his feeling without CW-pile-up.
We`ll cu from the next “one” Jürg!

Vy73 es stay healthy
Fritz DL4FDM,HB9CSA


#10

In reply to G4SSH:

Re the next level of achievement after “Supersloth”, some years ago I suggested that we would eventually see a “Hypersloth” though if I remember correctly that was for 100,000 points. For the unlikely total of 1,000,000 points, what better than “Megasloth”?

73

Brian G8ADD


#11

In reply to G4SSH:
Hello Roy and MT
Thanks again for September news.
Glad to read It and always glad to work you.
You were really strong on F/PO-153. Super.
All my best 73 and long live to SOTA.
Andre - f5ukl


#12

Hello Roy.
Thanks for ypur SOTA news.
Also for nice QSO we did from F/CR-243 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjxRJacJ0Ug)

73 QRO
Roger


#13

In reply to G4SSH:
Good news edition Roy and the team which I have just got round to reading.

I look forward to sending SD to an activator. I tried a slow Morse Class with Eric M0KZB and Paul M0PNN [Telford & District ARS Tues, Thurs & Sundays 8pm 144.6MHz FM] for the first time and found it stimulating.

M0DAI belongs to a late Welshman. M0DEI, M1DEI and M1DAI are taken. I ended up as multi-syllable M0YDH. G3JKX advised that M1 calls are available on application to Ofcom
Best wishes and … -…
David


#14

In reply to G4SSH:

I am sometimes accompanied by Roxie, she is a cross between a Staffie (Staffordshire Bull Terrior) and a JCB! :slight_smile:

She’s a bit daft so I keep her on a lead, hence she only gets to activate if I have a hand free, but if I can get her to go where I want to go she is a great help!

73

Brian G8ADD


#15

In reply to G8ADD:

Thanks for the info about Roxie Brian, I will add to the SOTA Dog list.

73 Roy