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Splitting 4 QSO Across Midnight


If I activate a summit near midnight, and I make 2 contacts at 23:55 UCT and 2 contacts at 00:05 UCT (10 minutes later), does the activation qualify for points?

Based on prior midnight experience, it will show up as two activations. I don’t care about that, but if the bands are bad and I can’t get 4 contacts on one side midnight or the other, that would be a disappointment.

This is not an entirely hypothetical question. I’m planning an outing which have me calling CQ shortly before midnight UCT. I could wait until after midnight to call, but that increases the risk of having to hike out after dark, so I’d prefer to start early.

(I’m sure this must have been asked before, but I couldn’t find it with Search.)

73 DE Kevin / K4KPK


Good evening Kevin, in order to validate your activation you do need to get 4 qso’s.
Once past 00:00 UTC a new day starts and you also need to get at least 4 qso’s.
So that’s 4 qso’s minimum per day to get your points.

Not too hard to achieve if you arrive in advance and grab your number of required stations you just ask them to hang in and to log in again a little bit later.



A common problem here.
The date of the activation is that of when it commenced. That it crossed into the next UTC day is not relevant.
The database is not a log book.
Log the contacts post UTC first with the date as pre utc then followed by the pre utc contacts.
Will look very odd (and completely at odds with reality) with contacts spreading from 00: 00 hours to 23:59 hours with a huge gap in the middle but it works.
If doing multiple summits during the day, log them separately - if using a spreadsheet.
Probably other ways to do this.


As Tony says, only the date of the first QSO matters, from then on, only QSO time is stored, so enter whatever time it occurred. V2 CSV format handles this transparently, even for multiple summits later in the same day


Please cite where it says that in the General Rules. I think you will find that it doesn’t. There is no time limit specified for an activation.

It would be absurd to disadvantage in this way those for whom the UTC day starts during daylight hours.

The only case in which the 00:00 boundary matters to the activator is where the activity crosses the UTC year boundary. In that case, if you want to score double points, you would need to record two separate activations with at least 4 before and 4 after the year rollover. But if you fail to reach 4 before 00:00, you can carry on with the same activation and get the remaining QSOs, and just score once. I suppose that technically having completed the first activation after midnight, you could then deem yourself to have started a new activation and try for another 4! You could even work the same chasers again. I see nothing in the rules to forbid it, but it might be thought to be “not in the spirit”.

Some time ago Andy explained how to enter the activations into the database to get the behaviour you prefer. It’s trivial with the interactive method; the CSV/TSV method needs a bit of a fudge.

Martyn M1MAJ


Sorry… my mistake… or misunderstanding of some part of Kevin’s question… English not being my native language…
as an activator you cannot claim points for a summit activation more than once a year (rules 3.7.2) now if there is a way to log those qso’s that were split on two days (past UTC time) into one activation ? Well good thing !! this is something that i didn’t know about …?? :flushed:

So please disregard my previous comment.

Eric VA2MO


My response is that the General Rules do NOT address this situation at all. I am in an area typically not affected by the UTC rollover. Nobody made any effort to educate me / us about the difficulty activators faces in areas where a strict adherence to the UTC rollover date could cause an unfair hardship.

I encountered a similar discussion about this previously on the Reflector. That is when I learned what I did not understand. As always, you do not know what you do not know. And my excuse is that it is not covered in the General Rules.

Andy chastised some chasers on the Forum for playing the asterisk game when logging contacts with an activator who actually did understand the unwritten “rule”… I had no idea what he was talking about at that time. But the germain point is that no matter what is explained here on the Forums, or who provides the explanation, the Forums are not the General Rules.


To further complicate that question imagine that outing involves overnighting on the summit and radio playing the next day.

So all further QSOs are part of the original activation?

How do people activate a ref twice on NYE/NYD? When does the second day begin?


An activation lasts until you say you stopped. Manually,this is when you click finished on the DB, for CSV you read the info on the CSV help page. That’s all there is to it.

You can only activate a summit once per UTC day, the DB will stop you if you try. For New Year, enter 4 or more QSOs for 31/12 and then enter another set of QSOs for 1/1.


As has been stated, when you log an activation there is only one place for the date. That is the date of your activation. When I face a situation like this, I then put the proper UTC Date in the “notes” for each QSO on the next UTC date.

Earlier this year on 12/31 1/1 I was trying to bag a summit for double points. My first QSO was literally at 2359 UTC. I got three more QSO’s (after 0000) to get the valid activation and then by 0003 or so, went back and worked the same four contacts for next activation.


It is indeed not covered in the General Rules (GR), but it could be argued that it is not a matter for the GR. It isn’t a “thou shalt/shalt not” but a “how to” and the proper place for it is in the website (SOTA home on the Sotawatch menu bar) as an item in the “Joining In” section or in the FAQ file. An entry was prepared when I assembled the FAQ file but was inadvertantly missed out. It would probably be a good idea to insert a paragraph on this in the “Introduction to Activating” at some point.

Logging in UTC (GMT) is a way of working around a multiplicity of time zones, plus an ever-changing array of daylight saving times, for the purpose of keeping the database simple. The roll-over of the UTC date does not delimit an activation except when the activator wishes it to.


Brilliant. That makes things very straightforward.


For NYE/NYD, this is the only time you have to submit two CSV files. Of course, submitting via the web interface is simply a matter of, as Andy says, entering two activations.


The answer is:

It’s up to you.

You can enter them as two distinct activations. That is fine - though you’ll only get zero points for the second one (unless it is the NYE/NYD situation).

You can enter them as a single activation - which is particularly useful if you made <4 QSOs either side of 0000z and wouldn’t otherwise get the points.

It is possible to enter as two activations, or a single activation, either via the manual DB entry method, or via the CSV upload method.


Hi Tom,
So I can have two activations, one before and one after 0000 UTC without packing up, leaving the AZ and then returning?



Yes. Absolutely.


In fact, I’ve just been out and done this very thing!

Wednesday 25th April 2018 - The Cloud G/SP-015

3 QSOs, all 2m, 1 x C4FM, 2 x FM - 2334 to 2354z

Nice walk up The Cloud by torchlight. A little breezy at the summit, but not cold.

Thursday 26th April 2018 - The Cloud G/SP-015

3 QSOs, all 2m, 1 x C4FM, 2 x FM - 0000 to 0009z

Thanks to Steven 2W0JYN for double-checking MB6AH from his side, with regard to making a connection into WIRES-X room 44050 (SOTA-LINK). It appeared the room was not available.