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Using hack green - with WebSDR poll


I’m at a loss to see how remote radio would NOT be acceptable for a chaser when its defined as operating a remote station for both transmit and receive (not the Hack Green example).

The UK (and US) license certainly acknowledge remote ham radio and allows its use. Limitations certainly exist in that using a US based remote ham radio station requires a FCC license and am sure the same is true in Canada, UK etc. The ARRL DXCC award allows use of a remote ham radio station with the proviso that it must be located within the country that the award is being pursued (i.e within US for a US DXCC). While its certainly spurred a debate about the “fairness” its a little like the debate about FT8 being “too easy” compared to getting a contact 20 years ago.

I’m pretty sure US based chasers are using RemoteHam Radio (http://www.remotehamradio.com) to make contacts.

So I for one, balk at the idea of precluding remote ham radio and at the expensive of appearing offensive those who don’t are possibly luddites!

Paul M/W6PNG


I imagine that we can all agree that it would be ridiculous if the rules permitted an activator to use a remote station. The question then is to define how a chaser can use a remote, either a receiver or a transceiver. As I pointed out above, there are a plethora of remotes available and the number will probably increase just as repeaters did (remember them? We banned them for SOTA! :wink:) I don’t think I am being a luddite if I say that I don’t like the idea of a chaser sorting through the remotes until he finds one hearing the activator. It makes chasing like shooting ducks in a puddle or fishing with dynamite! It’s not so much a question of “fairness”, every sport or game needs rules to define it. The ARRL accepted this when they allowed remotes within the same country, it would be simple to adopt the same rule - but by comparison with, say GD, the Isle of Man, the USA is huge, Russia is gigantic. I would rather think in terms of distance, how far away should the remote be to be valid. And I don’t think the distance should be big!

That is my opinion, anyway.


I don’t have a strong view on the use of Hack Green or other remote stations, receive or transmit. I’m sure I wouldn’t pay for the priviledge though on the website which Paul pointed out remotehamradio.com even at 9 cents per minute. With the amount of time I spend on the radio, I would soon be one bankrupt radio ham! I am fortunate in that I have built myself a good station in my home QTH and so I can get by without remote facilities but that may not always be the case…

The other award scheme I take part in and have done since I got my licence in 1982, is the ARRL DXCC Awards and I also submit my country totals via ADIF to Clublog which features DXCC Country League Tables internationally and for individual clubs.

Neither scheme disallows contacts via remote methods. I suspect the reason is that this is impossible to police. The point mentioned about amateurs living in a restricted situation not of their choosing, be it a care home or a city centre location with high noise levels, is a very relevant one. It suggests to me that using a remote station for TX or RX should be allowed. As G8ADD has said the proliferation of electronic gadgets, VDSL, LED lighting, Solar Panels etc are making life more difficult for amateur radio reception in a normal domestic situation. The authorities such as OFCOM are not interested in helping us and do not have the resources, they say. We want to encourage amateurs to continue in the hobby and the use of remoting, SDR etc should help some continue who would otherwise leave.

Paul W6PNG draws parallels to this argument about the use of remote equipment with the arguments on the reflectors and ham radio magazines about FT8 and how easy it is work DX compared to good ol’ RTTY and other modes like CW. The people against FT8 are generally ol’ time DXers who have built up a high country score by making rubber stamp QSOs with DXpeditions, yet doing that is so similar to what FT8 is all about - short QSOs lasting a minute or so. I don’t object to FT8 either and I enjoy using it myself, despite having a very respectable DXCC tally and preferring to use the old orignal mode, CW whenever I can.

73 Phil G4OBK


For better or worst “sorting through remotes” is par for the course with remote station usage. I think that RemoteHamRadio.com which has 16+ stations dotted across the USA from the West Coast to East Coast is cherry picked to find the station that gets the result. If someone is based in the North East and is struggling to nab a rare DX in the south Pacific then they will try one of the West Coast based stations. Its “legal” and accepted for DXCC. Simply, that is the value proposition of RemoetHamRadio for many. At my QTH on the West Coast I can only dream about the type of trans Atlantic contacts available to someone based on the US East Coast.

Hearing the station is one thing but its not a valid contact unless the chaser can transmit and that is covered by a plethora of national rules etc. Remote UK stations with transmit capability are not available for use by “any” ham (UK licensed or not) to use remotely but only the “owner” and so limiting the transmit portion to being from where you are licensed to transmit from seems fine and established.

I could chase from a remote ham radio station in the US (i.e RemoteHamRadio) because I have a US call sign but non US license holders can’t.

That would cover the plethora of DXCC entities that is the UK in that one can only use a transmitter (remote or local) that your license authorizes you to do.

Using remote ham radio doesn’t necessarily make it easier. I’m currently in the UK and have toyed with the idea of using the East Port, Maine station (http://www.remotehamradio.com/2017/01/w1eastport-maine/) to chase UK HF activators across the Atlantic just for grins.

Paul M/W6PNG


Agree and I think the model hams use with RemoteHamRadio is “Smash and Grab”. They see a wanted entity/person show up on a DX cluster or equivalent and then fire up a connection to the remote radio station and hopefully complete a contact in under a minute or so but maybe longer for a massively popular DXPedition.

Paul M/W6PNG


I think Ed’s point is key. If someone wants to use 1.5kW of FT8 picking a remote station that has the best signal to get DXCC or Shack Sloth why do you care? You know that you achieved it with 100nW of SSB on 10m at sunspot minimum with a rubber duck. You’ll have the satisfaction of your success.

The playing field has never been level. Some amateurs can afford 10 grand for a top base station with a 5 element yagi on a 100m mast and have the time to use it whereas most of us can’t.


If we are going to allow Hack Green and remote stations within the SOTA rules,why not
repeaters??? Don.


Because Don, they’re not repeaters. And the point everyone is missing is you use JUST ONE remote RX for every chase or your shack RX. You don’t chop and change. Pick one, use it, for ever and ever.


Fair point Don, in fact using a repeater is more about radio than than using a remote RX or TX which is dependent on t’internet. I know very little about echo link, but I think that is something to do with talking to radio hams on a VHF handheld on HF through a gateway, maybe that ought to be allowed also?
Currently at Malton station catching train to Manchester for flight to Prague. No chasing for me until next Thursday, only activating.

73 Phil G4OBK / OK8CDX


As mentioned above, SOTA is about individuals setting their own challenge within the rules.

It seems to me that the test should be “does this dilute the challenge for individual chasers or activators”?

In the case of repeaters, I think their use would undermine the challenge for activators - in UK at least - because accessing a repeater would (when the rule was made) pretty much guarantee four contacts. This would have made qualifying a summit easier than intended in many cases.

I have no remote station, and have only looked at Hack Green out of curiosity. I’m not sure that either would make chasing (or activating) inherently less challenging.

I agree with Andy, that it should be either / or.
Searching around a choice of remote systems would be rather like catching trout in a net, whilst pretending to be fly fishing :smile:


You don’t even have to have a radio to use Echolink. You can shout at your laptop and that’s relayed to the other side of the world to someone who’s also shouting at their laptop.


Hack Green is a repeater. Contacts via repeaters have never been valid for SOTA.
Full stop.

Walt (G3NYY)


Hi Walt,

Brian @G8ADD said that MT are still considering whether use of any kind of remote station / receiver should be dis-allowed.

My point is that it should be judged on whether it undermines the challenge / spirit of SOTA, rather than any individual approval or otherwise of developments in Amateur Radio (or not Amateur Radio as some would see it :o)

Satellites are repeaters too, but they are allowed because they don’t make the challenge any easier.


Well if I am going to be competing with chasers who are using a repeater to build up their scores (because a repeater IS exactly what Hack Green is), then I am finished with SOTA.

Walt (G3NYY)


I have to disagree here Walt - a WebSDR, receiver is what Hack Green is, it does not fit my (or anyone else’s for that matter) definition of a repeater as it is receive only.

73 Ed.


It is a repeater.

Walt (G3NYY)


This is getting repetitive…


It seems to me that Walt is correct - but only if both stations have internet access.


Who are you competing against Walt?

Do you “have to be” the top of the tables? Most SOTA activators or Chasers are competing against themselves - not others. In my opinion competing against others in not in the SPIRIT of SOTA (that’s only my opinion though).

I think that’s part of the reason that we have not had any SOTA Challenges lately - those were limited time contests of a sort and I’ve been told by several people that they didn’t want to take part in the challenge as it was “just another contest” and not real SOTA. - Everyone’s opinion on that will vary I’m sure but my point is that I believe that one of the main points of SOTA is that you aim to improve your number of summits contacted or activated without reference to what others are doing.

Those with big antennas, high power and great locations would be expected to contact more summits than someone with a simple set up for example. But the person with the simple set-up will probably get more enjoyment out of gaining 100, 500 and 1000 chaser points, than the big station who can quicly and easily get to 10,000 points.

Again all my point of view and I respect your right to have your own opinions Walt. But I continue to see SOTA as a challenge for me to improve over what I did last week, last month or last year and I don’t care if another person is getting more points per day than me, situations will always be different.

Vy 73 Ed.


Please read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_repeater Rx & Tx are required - technically a WebSDR is NOT a repeater - if it were it would be excluded already and we would not be having this discussion!