In reply to HA5CW:
With all due respect to the activators and chasers on this forum, I have to say most of the argumentation quoted here is rubbish.
First I have to say I might be a bit biased towards IOTA - my IOTA CC dates back to 1989 and I have just recently started to chase weak SOTA sigs.
Re: nember of groups / refs: IOTA management has decided to put a cap to the maximum number of IOTA groups on the world to level the playing field for those who joined later and keep needed management efforts within limits.
Comparing the number of available references is just meaningless IMO. If somebody wishes to do so, go ahead and start counting the summits and islands world-wide.
Further IOTA - contrary to SOTA - is a strictly administered programma where both activator and chaser accomplishments must be verified. It had been made very strict when some tried to cheat on both sides when the popularity of the programma started to grow immensely. (just think of the IK1… activation series in XE and OA in early 90s)
SOTA could use a somewhat more strict approach as well. As a newcomer I often check the summits in GE and a few times found that activators must have been running like gazelle or flying between two consecutively activated summits because that distance simply could not be traveled on bicycle or let alone on foot in such a short time.
The same can be told about chasers as well. I have the luxury of having a very competitive station (on HA/EM-012 730m ASL btw) at my disposal where I obviously enjoy better than average reception of SOTA stations and I can often witness that prominent chasers call SOTA stations completely out of phase, they do not confirm the received reports (because they most likely did not hear a beep of it), and later upload those “contacts” as valid QSOs into the database.
As a minimum I would expect SOTA to do a cross check between the activators and chasers logs and remove the NILs (even better mark them as an undeletable NIL in the chasers log!). This can be done rather easily in the database and in my opinion if SOTA wishes to grow further, it is unavoidable.
In addition SOTA pileups can be as unruly as that of any IOTA new ones, this experience any newcomer can get very easily on 7032 on any Saturday morning.
In summary I think both programmas have their pros and cons as well as their heroes and crooks. Claiming any better than the other is just meaningless and respectless towards those who put energy into the other.
73, Zoli HA1AG