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Time for a Two Tier Scoring System?


Or the size of the squid - that would be a challenge :smile:


Since when has a ‘standard’ microphone been heavier than a standard key or paddle?? All my home station keys and paddles weigh in around 1 - 1.5 kilos. You wouldn’t heft that for long on a SSB over! However I’ll give you that the Palm Paddle etc, is a tiny weight compared. but surely the plastic mike is a similar weight…

Ah well, that’s the Silly Season for you…


Can I have more points for using a straight key?

For sure my key is heavier than these little paddles (Palm or whatever), so I’m suffering a weight penalty. I can’t send anything like as fast as people using a keyer or even a computer (cheating surely!) so there’s a speed penalty also.

But everybody knows using a straight key is more expressive and gives a much nicer human contact. Paddle-users might as well be a computer, just like this FT8.

Simon - with tongue in cheek.


OK…after some “not so serious” thought, I came up with a list of bonus items, some old, some new, we may want to consider: See what u think…

your age
your weight
your health (handicapped? Asthma?)
“I’m still working full time” BONUS

“Hiking with the wife” Bonus (this “bonus” can add or subtract from your score)

mode used (SSB, CW, other…points for each should vary)
output power (>power = less points scored)
antenna gain (> gain= less points)
antenna height (antenna laying on the dirt or an underground antenna scores higher)
backpack loaded weight

drive to summit (penalty?)
distance walked to the summit
Machete bonus (if u need one of there u deserve more points)
elevation of the summit
elevation gain (car to mtn top)
SLOPE of the hike (rise/run)
Piton bonus (rock climbing involved)

snake danger (Poisonous snake encountered, environmental bonus)

Bug Bonus (they were eating me alive!)

weather hazards encountered (rain, Snow, sleet, hail, wind)
winter bonus (it’s frikin cold)
summer bonus (it’s frikin hot)

Lead Poisoning danger (people shooting at your summit during an activation…and yes this has happened to me a number of times)

Night activation bonus
Full moon bonus

Beer Bonus (no extra points…a cold beer on a summit is the bonus)

Cheers ES HI HI



After activating tens of summits in the Carpathian Mountains, I also propose the “pack of hungry shepherd dogs” bonus, the “wolves killed a sheep on this summit the day before” award and the “I just saw a bear in that bush” diploma (includes fresh pair of underpants).




Accompanied v alone (ie partner getting bored v “I can stay as long as it takes”)

Needs walking poles v fell-runner fit

And on, and on… :hugs:

By the way, why do all those who say this isn’t a competition have more points than me? (Is it time to run yet?) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

PS I’ve checked and the answer to my last question isn’t on the FAQ


Pretty sure we have long since evolved past squid poles. But I’ll challenge you to a length of throw weight line :stuck_out_tongue:


Well, I went and joined the WSJT-x Yahoogroup and posted a question about a conversational mode option for FT-8. It was politely explained to me, that because of the handshaking needed in the protocol along with it’s critical timing requirements that would not be possible and possibly Olivia or PSK may be almost as effective in low signal conditions and are conversational modes from their original design.

I guess the point is that the UI for those programs is not nearly as friendly as the FT-8 one, otherwise they would have taken off as FT-8 has.

Interesting in any case, that in some other threads on the group, the difficulty of using FT-8 with SOTA and the disadvantages of the multi-key requirements (ctrl+mouse etc) for disabled operators were being discussed (apparently previous versions of WSJT-x (pre FT-8) didn’t have these).

73 Ed.


I see what you did there!
How are you Brian?


Hi Ed,

I also joined the WSJT-X Yahoo Group. People keep banging on about Olivia, but my objection to Olivia is that it is very uneconomical in bandwidth. A single Olivia signal is typically five times the width of an FT8 signal, and it can be 10 times as wide, or even 20 times as wide. Even traditional RTTY (Baudot) makes better use of scarce frequency resources.

Walt (G3NYY)


…all of which goes to prove that you can’t have everything. Have you tried Morse Code? It’s quite a narrow mode, has quite good weak signal performance and is excellent as a conversational mode.


Well they deserve double (or triple points then).
Anyone who climbs to a summit, sets up a remote station, returns to the pub, has a few beers, climbs the summit again (half cut) to pack up and descends for a second time deserves every point they can get for that dedication to the pursuit :open_mouth:


… and every pint they can get, too!

Walt (G3NYY)


Sorry which pursuit is that Peter? :beer:


Hmmm, SOTA “Sloshed On The Ascent” …


Five modes used on today’s activation of The Cloud G/SP-015.

I began on 20m SSB to grab a S2S with EA8/HB9TNF/P on EA8/GC-011. That was my one and only SSB contact, as I hadn’t intended doing any running on SSB.

On 20m CW, there was then a quick run of 20 QSOs, including 6 into North America (TNX K2YGM, AB4PP, VE1WT, WA2USA, AC1Z, VE2JCW). Next up was 20m JT65, which resulted in four contacts. Finally, 20m PSK31 just added two more to the log.

Somewhere in the middle of that lot I worked Pete 2E0LKC and Anne 2E0LMD on the 2m FM handie.

I managed to climb the staircase without stopping for a rest today, which was pleasing - this does tend to happen 3 or 4 days into a run of consecutive daily activations of The Cloud; now to try and keep it going as much as possible and continue my (slight) weight loss! It was also striking just how mild it was for November.

The thing that I still haven’t got going yet is the “breathtaking simplicity” of FT8. I really should - I’ve got the appropriate tablet running WSJT-X, plus the cables/interface I need. Just need to set some time aside, read up properly, and get it working.


Tom, do you plan on providing an external time sync for your portable FT8?

73, Barry N1EU


I always carry a 60kHz clock with me on activations, so I guess a low-tech solution would be to simply check - and adjust if necessary - the time on the tablet at the start of each activation.


Hi Tom, nice to actually meet you on the bands at last. Well done for the DX.


The concept of special conditions earning extra points is an interesting idea. I have had a hand in creating several slightly satirical awards in the past for hamfests/conventions and one contest in which the exchange was the serial number of each operator’s radio. And in some cases you could hear the pause as people peered at the back panel of their radio to comply. And that contest was held on a repeater, just in case anyone thought it was genuine. In another, you had to be within 1km of a specific shopping centre to qualify for extra points. A convention contest nominated all the public conveniences in Canberra, gave them codes and then awarded points in a matrix recognising the approximate distances between them. Despite the complexity, many operators participated and we had bedlam on several simplex frequencies on 2m FM for two hours of the event.

Fortunately SOTA was dreamed up and defined by sober people in another country, who cannot be convinced to change the rules randomly. So it is stable, which is highly desirable.

Re the introduction of digital modes, new modes etc, amateur radio operators have always objected to change, fearing that it heralds the beginning of the end. Voice modes, SSB, SSTV, packet, amtor, pactor, psk and JT65 didn’t ruin ham radio and neither will FT8. oh, I left out the deletion of the morse proficiency test. Removing that hasn’t ruined amateur radio and hasn’t really resulted in any reduction of CW activity either.

The sky is not falling.

Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH