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SOTA Spotter App updated


I hope Michael, DB7MM can jump in here. As for DM, where we lost 600 (!) summits in March… The old summits did not meet the P150 standard. It was P100 only from a long time ago. So as to make sure they match with the worldwide rules, we lost them. But from time to time we find new summits in the topo maps. So I think there will be no big drawdowns like this, but still - the summits can change from time to time. 73 de John, DK9JC / N1JJC


It’s an excellent question Bogdan. You are lucky in that Romania came to SOTA quite late on and by then we had better software for generating and analysing summits. This meant that the summits were accurately surveyed and we were fairly sure we had most YO summits. This meant that it’s unlikely there would ever be massive changes to the YO summits. The same is not true for other parts of the world. Very early associations were predominantly generated by hand and this is very error prone. Also the criteria for what is a SOTA summit has been changed. In some places a subjective measure was used to allow P100 prominence rather than the preferred P150 value. This has been replaced with an objective measure. In the USA, we allowed imperial units rather metric as the country is essential non-metric. This caused a penalty relative to other associations worldwide, so US associations are moving from P500ft to P150m and gaining summints mainly.

So we now have better data, better software, objective rules and more experienced people. All of that leads to a more accurate summit list and summits included through errors get removed. And summits missed get added!


Ah, OK. I guess it never occurred to me that the definition of a SOTA summit could change. Thanks for chipping in with the explanation!


Thank you, Bogdan for this great app and all the time you spent for making it! :slight_smile:


Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad you find it useful!


Hello everyone!

SOTA Spotter 0.9.154 is now available in the Play Store. The changes include an updated summits database plus an auto-update feature for the database. As before, constructive criticism is welcome!

Bogdan YO8SAW


Bogdan thanks for the new update, it is a great app.

Question: If I wanted to drop all spots from a large region such as USA or Canada do I have to great a separate drop filter for each sub region, eg W0, W1, W2, W3 etc? If so this is a bit tedious. It would be good to have a filter with wildcard, eg W* or something like that.

73 Andrew G4AFI


Thanks, Andrew! Indeed you would have to block each association explicitly. And yes, I agree that it would be tedious… I shall have to think about that. Thanks for the suggestion!


I think Regular Expressions would be the way to go. Have a look at the Sotawatch Filter Web app produced by David Mathieu and now hosted by ON6ZQ at www.on6zq.be/p/swf

73 Andrew G4AFI


Hi Bogdan,
I’m glad to report that the auto app-update feature from Google PlayStore worked for me this time. No idea why it didn’t work last time.

Thanks for the updates.

73 Ed.


That may be so, although regex aren’t the easiest things to understand and some people may have difficulties in using them. I’ll have to give it some thought.

That’s great to hear. I think the last time it would have updated on its own eventually, there’s no need to worry about that.

73! Bogdan



SOTA Spotter has just reached version 1.0.232, which should be available through Google Play shortly.

Among the improvements are the possibility to select multiple associations/regions/summits for filters and notifications, and the use of push messages to deliver new spots to the app instead of using periodic sync. This is more reliable (for timely notifications) and more energy efficient.

I hope you will enjoy this new version as much as I enjoyed working on it.

73! Bogdan YO3SAW


hi bogdan,

I am using your app only when activating summits. a few days ago I updated to the new version and on my activation today I noticed the app is not updating the spots anymore! in the older version I could manually update the spot-list by swiping from the top of the screen down, this also does not work with the new version.

any hints what I’m doing wrong??

73 martin, oe5reo


Hi Martin,

You’re not doing anything wrong. If you have “Background sync” enabled, the app should receive spots even when you’re not actively using it. When you have the app open you should receive spots regardless of whether “Background sync” is enabled or not. That is why I deactivated the swipe gesture - it is not really useful right now, since the app receives the spots through a different mechanism. It doesn’t check for new spots; they are being pushed to the app by a server (which checks for new spots once a minute).

Can you give me any details? Is your Android device always connected to the internet? Were there no spots in the list at all? If there were, how old were they? Any details you can provide may prove useful in tracking down the problem.

Thanks and 73!
Bogdan YO3SAW


hi bogdan,

thanks for the quick reply. my device is always connected to the internet (2g/3g/4g or wlan), but it does not update the spots anymore. the latest spot i see in the list is:

DL/G1INK/P 28.535 DM/TH-027 26 JULY 2017 10:46

i have tried different settings (background sync on/off, …) but it does not seem to update anymore. tried it this evening at home connected to my WLAN several times and did not update!

@ 21:30 local time: just now three new spots appeared in the list … ???

will have a look at how the app is updating tomorrow and let you know

73 martin, oe5reo


The successful delivery of spots to the app depends on Google Play services being installed on the device. Embarrassingly enough, I seem to have forgotten to check that it is actually installed - something I will remedy in the next version, which will probably be ready in about a week.

Since SOTA Spotter seems to have started receiving spots, I would guess that Google Play services was unavailable until today (or perhaps you had an older version which got updated in the meantime). This is all guesswork here… However, if you do keep having problems with this, I would suggest that we continue the discussion via email, so we don’t spam the forums unnecessarily.



Hello Bogdan, thank you for great app, but after update from google play have same problem. No refresh of spots.

73 Ondra OK1CDJ



I had the same problem but managed get it working by:
Settings > Apps > Google Play services for Instant Apps
Force stop
Do the same with Sotaspotter.

Then start Sotaspotter as usual. Now I get updates without problems.
I guess a restart of the phone would have the same effect.

73 Joe, OE5JFE


Hi Ondrej,

Have you tried what Joe suggested? As I said before, in my haste to publish the app update, I forgot to add some checks for Google Play services, which are critical to the normal operation of SOTA Spotter. I had been working on the update for the past three months and it just… slipped my mind.

I’ve already started work on the next version, but until it is available perhaps you can kick start the current one by using Joe’s workaround. Do let me know how it goes, please.

Bogdan YO3SAW


Hi Bogdan, the procedure not working for me. Also tried restart phone and all same. No update of spots at all.

Regards, Ondra