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SOTA on SLACK?


#1

Has anyone considered setting up a SOTA group on slack? It works well with POTA. A quick chat type resource.

Tom NQ7R


#2

I’d be interested in it if it were to happen. But can’t say it’s compelling enough for me to want to go through the trouble (however easy it is) of setting it up.

Rex KE6MT


#3

I’d certainly join if a SOTA group was formed. I use Slack for work so I’m usually monitoring it. I’m in the POTA slack group and agree it seems to be proving useful.

Joe // N0MAP


#4

I see there is already a SOTA,SLACK.COM group. Does anyone know if this is for “summits on the air”? I discovered this while I was trying to set up a SOTA group. If this is for our group I would like to be invited. If not for our group then I will establish one with a slightly different name.


#5

Maybe the MT got there first? :wink:


#6

So what does slack offer that this forum doesn’t?


#7

Slack is a nearly instantaneous messaging system that runs in the background on your computer. Excellent for chasers spotting activators. I think there would need to be separate groups for NA, EU, and other areas. For activators in may not be an advantage.

Unless the Management Team opposes I think I will set up a NA group and see what interest there might be.


#8

How is it better than SOTAwatch or the SOTA cluster?


#9

It’s much more effective at allowing you to waste time while sitting at your desk at work, for instance.


#10

One advantage is that you do not have to be connected to the SOTA watch nor SOTA cluster pages, you can be working on other things on your computer and when someone makes a post you get a pop-up message alert.


#11

You are just connected to something else instead. :wink:


#12

True, but if I minimize SOTAwatch2 to read email or type a document I will never see new spots (unless there is some setting I don’t know about) with Slack I do get a pop-up message as soon as someone posts it… I use Slack for POTA amd my local DX club and I find it very useful.

SOTA-NA.slack.com is now active. If anyone wants to try it emaill me at: tkramer@azci.net
for an invite.


#13

That’s where apps like RRT (Android), SOTAGoat (iPhone etc.) or the SOTA spots filter (in various web browsers) come in handy. They can beep or bleat at you when new spots appear…


#14

I have been using SOTA Spotter on my Android phone and I have an audible alert when a spot comes up for a number of associations. There is info at http://yo3saw.ro/

Mark
N0MTN


#15

Setting up a different channel than SOTAwatch is a terrible idea. I really, really do not want to follow N different chat protocols to get all the spots. Not even.

This is from someone who was flirting with his future wife over Unix chat in 1984. We’re just back from a lovely weekend celebrating our 31st anniversary. And I worked on Mbone conferencing at HP in the mid-1990s.

Slack for SOTA? Just say no.

wunder


#16

I’m in two places here, my personal thoughts and MT thoughts.

My personal thought is that there is only so much SOTA jam to spread about and the more sites the thinner that jam gets spread UNLESS you take measures to ensure the same jam gets spread everywhere.

If the idea is to use a bot running somewhere to use the SOTAwatch API to get the spots and paste them on a Slack channel, then there is no issue. Some seconds after a spot appears on SOTAwatch it will appear on Slack and the users get a popup. You can get popups from some other apps already. If you intend to spot onto Slack and have those spots forwarded to SOTawatch then again there is no issue. Users can use Slack as an alternate front end to the spotting engine. The jam is spread at the same thickness everywhere.

I’m sure for that Christophe ON6ZQ’s filtered spots page can cause popups (using WebRTC I assume). That may be a solution that is simple to use. There was a Twitter feed of spots that Martyn M1MAJ ran. Now Martyn has taken early reitrement (the swine) so he may not have access to that server anymore. It’s not any real effort in that case for me to resurect my Twitter feed of spots. I turned it off because having learned how to send tweets, nobody was using it so it waste of bandwidth and electricity. Either may suit your needs without having to do anything else.

My MT thoughts are simply protecting the viability of the services I help to run. If you want to use the exisiting feeds to place spots into your Slack channel, I’d want to know you will not be doing anything daft that puts an undue load on SOTAwatch. Otherwise you’re free to go.


#17

I’ll shortly be extending the filtering options in the spots page in the new, not-yet-live version of the SMP and adding the option of a toggle-able audible signal when a spot appears which conforms to a user-set filter.

Another of my websites, iotamaps.org, already offers a similar option of playing a short audio file on receipt of “wanted” spots in the cluster dialog there.


#18

FYI, I’ve not retired yet; I’ve just gone part time, so I still have access to the server. I won’t necessarily lose it even when I do formally retire - arrangements tend to be “flexible”.

In any case, the code can run just about anywhere that has Perl installed. I did in fact run it for a while from home while we had an extended scheduled power outage at work. Running it at work means I can make use of the shared filestore to provide some resilience to failure of a single machine, but that is not essential. A Raspberry Pi or a tiny corner of some other server could do the job.

The Twitter feed became less useful (to me) when free outbound SMS of tweets was withdrawn, but I think it is still worth having. The spots moderately often get retweeted so somebody must be looking at them. There are 766 followers.

I am of course still looking forward to a proper API for collecting spots so that I can throw away the humungous screen-scraping regexps.

Martyn M1MAJ


#19

:+1:


#20

I agree with Andy’s assessment of the need to keep the SOTA jam spread evenly. I think there examples of other radio pursuits which have suffered from diffusing focus.

That said, I think a Slack channel’s main benefit would be similar to that offered by the new DMR SOTA Link project: a real time ad-hoc communication tool. Slack offers some additional advantages too: the fact that it’s text based makes it asynchronous, for instance. The fact that people use the spotting system to post things other than spots indicates there’s desire/need for that kind of communication. “Go back to 40m” “Running 2hrs late” “Mountain lion on summit QRT” etc.