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Whats the point?


#1

Dear all,
I must say, today I was so disappointed I am beside myself. There I was at work with the 857 all set up, just, and I mean just, squelched to keep the radio from interupting all my phone calls, in readiness for Toms activation of the famous LD-001, one of my favourite summits both to climb and work on radio. I monitored SOTA watch, and bingo up pops Tom and Jimmy on the SPOTS, I quickly dived for the VFO and tuned to 145.450 fm in great readiness and expectation…, nothing not a squat, even “Mr yeah great signal you are 5 and 9 no matter what summit you are on” was reporting a 5 x 3 from him so signals must have been very poor.

Last time I did the Scawfells was 2 years ago and included was Scafell Pike. It was wintery weather and bitterly cold but for completing a monumental climb/walk like this to do SOTA I made sure I packed my 1/2 wave 2m antenna to hopefully reach far and wide with my signal, thus giving due consideration to the many chasers waiting to work me, actually I was with Mick 2E0HJD at the time, and we both enjoyed working many stations from the summit, in many places too. I have worked a number of other stations as a chaser when they have been on 001 too without any problems, normally 5 x 4. But my point is, why climb this great summit and not bother taking a decent set up? its not a quick “4 and blow” type summit, its a fair chunk of the day to complete this walk, well it is for me, but at least take a decent antenna to give a fair chance of contact for many. No need to take monster rigs, I used a VX7 and coupled it to the afore mentioned 1/2 wave mobile antenna which was easily packed into my intermediate backpack.

I dont doubt this thread will get the usual nit picking comments like “its down to the activator what he takes and does” etc etc, yes it is down to them but if you were doing a 6 pointer in the Dales or a 2 pointer in the Peak District then ok I suppose, but doing the highest in England or any of the 001’s then for goodness sake take a decent antenna !!!

Rant over and out

Lee
MØLMP


#2

In reply to M0LMP:

Well said. Thats why I don’t bother even chasing certian stations now.

73
Steve


#3

In reply to 2E0KPO:

Same here.


#4

In reply to G4OWG:

It seems Roger (G4OWG) has decided to remove his post which included the Jibe “those in glass houses…” Maybe after a little adult thinking time he must have realised his mistake !!

Sorry Roger, your point is ? not sure what you mean could you elaborate ?

If I am not mistaking your obvious jibe, my time on Scafell was wintery with windchill in the region of -22, according to my Anonemeter, but I still did a few contacts on my trusty 1/2 wave, and at the very least I took it in the event. We had to clear the summit due to incoming snow and hail but still managed 6 qso’s for me and 8 qso’s for Mick thats 14 in total !!! Today was a cracking day, and to sit out in T shirt and Shorts is a darn sort easier than trying to cope with 30mph winds and -22 !!!

And seeing as I have actually done Scafell I feel qualified to comment !!

Jeez some people !!!

over !!

Lee


#5

In reply to M0LMP:
Last time I did the Scawfells was 2 years ago and included was Scafell Pike. It was wintery weather and bitterly cold ====

m0sgb say’s I remember this activation, I was up ld-004 Skiddw with Bobbie m3dnc at the time and it was cold, if I remember did your batteries not freeze up !,

m0lmp say’s ==
why climb this great summit and not bother taking a decent set up?
m0lmp say’s ==
its down to the activator what he takes and does" etc etc, yes it is down to them but if you were doing a 6 pointer in the Dales or a 2 pointer in the Peak District then ok

m0sgb say’s this is just going to go round in cirles, and get nowhere, if an activator wants to take a handheld, ft817, ft857, and all sorts off antenna’s then that’s up to them, they are the boss for the actvation not the chaser,
Just wondering is this why we never get any old boy’s doing sota like the old days,
As if no onehas noticed quite a lot have taken up other hobbies or don’t bother with a radio up summits any more, Well for this weekend I will be in the peak district (without radio) off course, just a general walk in the valleys, oh well back to work for me might catch you all soon,
Steve m0sgb


#6

In reply to All:

I see what you are saying Steve (SGB), but quite rightly you mention the good old days, when we used to take a selection of antennas, the reason being that we wanted to put out the best signal we could given the operating circumstances, ie Pendle Hill is a tough one so minimum was a decent 1/2 wave or even SOTABEAM ! Now the SOTABEAM is a cracking antenna, simple, easily packed, easy to set up etc…how many people these days do we hear using a SOTABEAM, not many…as STEVE said in the “good Old Days” near enough all of us had and used a SOTABEAM and put out some great signals !!!

Now just imagine if Tom and Jimmy had a SOTABEAM on LD-001, we would all have had a crack of the whip, and as has been mentioned in other threads its in the “Spirit of SOTA” to put out a good signal for the benefit of as many chasers as possible, weather and dangerous conditions apart that is of course.
So come on take a decent antenna and lets hear you !!!

Now then where is Richards (CWI) phone number…need to discuss the commission deal on SOTABEAMS… HI

regards to all
Lee


#7

In reply to M0LMP:

Nostalgia ain’t wot it used to be!

Personally I rarely even attempt to chase an FM activation, nowadays, the reason being that I only have horizontally polarised antennas for VHF/UHF, I don’t want to put up anything too obtrusive and attract the attention of the planners!

I think the SOTA beam is a bit expensive for what it is, and you often seem to hear of people losing elements. I make do with a dipole - and up to 50 watts!

I haven’t been up LD-001 since before SOTA appeared, but as I remember it, the summit is a mass of boulders and outcrops with no easy way of putting up a mast, I carry a roll of duct tape and if all else fails will tape the mast to the trig point, but in summer you can find dozens if not hundreds of people crowding the summit and passing through, and if you don’t want to be antisocial it is best to drop to the edge of the AZ to set up a mast. This inevitably means that some chasers will be on the wrong side of the mountain, and the abundance of crags limits your choices within the AZ.

It is disappointing to not get LD-001 but you have to make allowances.

73

Brian G8ADD


#8

In reply to M0LMP:
" Maybe after a little adult thinking time he must have realised his mistake !! "

On the contrary Lee - the truth is i’m becoming very disillusioned with SOTA as portrayed by some on this reflector. I have also done Scafell on numerous occasions pre SOTA and in all weathers/ seasons with school parties. I do not rate it as ‘great hill’ and would not return of choice.
I deleted my post because others had done, before I got chance to read them.

Anyway going nearly back on point. ‘What’s the point’ of this reflector? I would like to see it removed from HOME/SPOTS and ALERTS. Anyone who wishes to read can after all click on the menu to open it.

Anyway I have found there is more to life than just SOTA, off to see my 3 week old grandson.

Reply if you wish - I won’t be reading or replying. Now using http://www.sota.org.uk/Spotlite/displaySpots
and http://www.sota.org.uk/Spotlite/displayAlerts
so no reflector :slight_smile:

73 Roger G4OWG


#9

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to M0LMP:

Nostalgia ain’t wot it used to be!

Brian G8ADD

yes Brian you are right there, and the same applies to SOTA, where are the following these days, Clive YAM, Alan EYO, Steve SGB, Steve INK, Rob RQJ, Keith OXV, Simon AVV, Ian ADF, Charlie PZO, Ian KXV, these guys were out every weekend with 30 - 50 people waiting to chase them, nowhere near as regular now though, now I know fuel expenses and such play a big part these days but these guys are in amongst many great summits, but they were prolific activators who have become tired of the scheme and no one is asking the question WHY ?

Times have moved on, activators have moved on, SOTA and its management have stood still ! and I dont mean that to be an insult, its just that the scheme has just stagnated, nothing new to accomplish so its now a tired horse.

Without being all negative I am trying to fuel (PUN) a revamp or at least an invigorating shake up before its too late.

Lee


#10

In reply to G4OWG:

Roger the other posts were removed because they were off topic !! Yours was on topic and a little infantile to say the least but hey ! you are entitled to your opinion and I bear no grudge at all towards you personally.

Many others are becoming slightly disillusioned with SOTA and its because of that fact I made this post, how many people would have liked the 10pts from LD-001 ? Many, but it wasnt possible because of a shortcoming of the antenna system used by the operator/activator, the more this happens then the more frustrated chasers will not bother, and lets face it “The activator is king” but he is nothing without chasers that can hear him !!!

The point of this reflector is to allow debate and the passing of opinions on the general topic of SOTA, its a bit like TV Roger, if you dont like the program switch channel.

Great news about your new Grandson !! Sincere Congrats, and yes there is more to life than SOTA I agree !!

Regards
Lee


#11

In reply to M0LMP:

A pity Roger won’t be reading this, but I must point out that the home page is in a way a sample: It has the top 5 alerts, the top 5 spots, and the most recent reflector topics. Each of these headings have their own page, so anyone that doesn’t wish to join in the reflector can concentrate on, say, spots. No problem.

Lee posted: “Times have moved on, activators have moved on, SOTA and its management have stood still ! and I dont mean that to be an insult, its just that the scheme has just stagnated, nothing new to accomplish so its now a tired horse.”

Lee, far from standing still, the MT are on the one hand administering the program, and on the other hand encouraging its expansion to a world-wide scheme. This is far from a negligible effort, so tell me, tell us all, what more do you want the MT to do? What further features would you like incorporated to tittilate a jaded palette? If you are not happy with where SOTA is and where it is going, how would you like to see it change?

You speak of there being nothing new to accomplish: I will agree that once you have achieved MG and SS and have done the same with uniques there is nothing on offer except more of the same, and I appreciate that for some people this may be inadequate, but lets have some positive input, some ideas for new goals, new awards, new horizons.

For my part I have SS, MG will take me some years to accomplish, my main challenges are Uniques and perhaps CW, but I find it difficult to imagine other worthwhile (to me) challenges - except perhaps some time in the future SOTA DXCC which would be fun! We need the assistance of some constructive sideways thinking, so what have you to offer?

73

Brian G8ADD


#12

DELETED TO REMOVE ANY POSSIBILITY OF MISUNDERSTANDING IN THE FUTURE.

Sorry

John
M0EAV


#13

In reply to All:

Brian, you made some very valid points/suggestions, we do need to look at alternatives, agreed.
I also appreciate that its a hobby at the end of the day, and the MT do put an amount of effort into the organising of the scheme, but could it be that the mentioned “International Affairs” have pushed UK SOTA onto the back burner ?

At John M0EAV:

Sorry John, but you have missed the point totally, maybe its my fault for not making said point clear… Why go on a relatively major trip like the Scafells and take an inferior setup ?? Its not in the spirit of SOTA to do this, its about putting out a good signal to try and give the chasers an opportunity to work the remote summit stations. Now then, if Tom had just wandered up the summit for an afternoon with the family, thats a different story, this week long activation trip has been promoted on the various sites months in advance !!! so its not just a quick 2 pointer and away. So I feel my disappointment was justified, as the buildup to the great week long activation was fantastic the actual activation of the HIGHEST PEAK IN ENGLAND was leaving much to be desired.
You are right about this post not being started, should Tom have had equipment failure, thats a totally different story. I realise John that as you are a very recent member of the SOTA scheme, only having chased 28 summits in 2 and a bit years (eeek) you may not toally have grasped the point I was making, but I hope your continued participation in the scheme, aswell as my overview of the point I was making, will help you understand where I am coming from.

Regards
Lee


#14

In reply to M0LMP:

“this week long activation trip has been promoted on the various sites months in advance !!!”

Thats the whole point, make a song and dance about the fact that your doing all these summits weeks before the event, get people excited that they maye get some unique summits and lots of points added to their chaser list, and guess what, 500mw and a rubber duck! Poor show…

If your going to make such a song and dance about a trip, at least give it your best, or don’t bother in the first place posting your plans.

Activator is king?, being an activator myself, I need chasers so there is no king in this game, just good old teamwork.

73 Steve


#15

In reply to M0LMP:

“Brian, you made some very valid points/suggestions, we do need to look at alternatives, agreed.
I also appreciate that its a hobby at the end of the day, and the MT do put an amount of effort into the organising of the scheme, but could it be that the mentioned “International Affairs” have pushed UK SOTA onto the back burner ?”

Surely, once SOTA is up and running in any area, the affairs of any Association pass into the hands of the AM, the proper realm of the MT is not micro-managing UK SOTA but the scheme as a whole. Take the business of P100. The MT fulfilled its function by changing things so that P100 was possible. The adoption of P100 passes thence into the hands of the AMs who have the final say in whether or not P100 is adopted. Don’t expect the MT to interfere in the running of any of the G Associations, rather if the AM sees any need for change he can either institute it himself within the rules or ask the MT to review rules if they hinder his intended changes. The proposed changes will then be considered in the light of how they affect SOTA as a whole.

I repeat, if you or anyone can think of additions or modifications to SOTA then start a thread, get input from other enthusiasts, and make a detailed proposal to the MT. Any proposals will be fully considered, guaranteed.

73

Brian G8ADD


#16

In reply to 2E0KPO:

Activator is king?, being an activator myself, I need chasers so there
is no king in this game, just good old teamwork.

Spot on. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Activators have to provide what chasers are prepared to chase. Nothing upsets me more than only working a handful of stations having put, sometimes, considerable effort (especially for a lard bucket like me) in getting to a summit. There are only a few of us activating up here in GM, even so I try to put on summits within my capabilities that haven’t been on air for a while to try to make them even more desirable. That, and trying to hit the alert times so that my activation alerts can be seen as dependable. If you have a reputation for being dependable and workable more people will be prepared to put some effort into working you. Well that’s my belief. It would be nice if the ionosphere would play along as well.

Back to the subject, I mentioned the activation to Brian G4ZRP. He said he worked Tom on LD-001 and only used his handy (TH-79e) with the rubber duck. He said he’s heard better signals but he was easily workable. That’s a 75 mile path worked so he cant have been that bad a signal!

Andy
MM0FMF


#17

I’m not liking this much. Notwithstanding some interesting comments that have emerged in this thread, one of our more prolific activators is being publicly villified on no better grounds than one chaser couldn’t hear him. We don’t know what equipment Tom was using, nor the circumstances of the activation; nor whether he worked four stations or forty. We do know that he was heard on a handheld 75 miles away at reasonable strength, that he was spotted by 'RQJ and that GW0DSP was copying him well enough to give a commentary on his movements about the summit via the spots.

I’d check your setup Lee.

73 de Paul G4MD


#18

In reply to G4MD:
Worked ld-001 a little while back no problem, will check the log for info and post here.
75 miles on a HH ?/ dont know the facts but line of sight is probably answer, Rob is on the doorstep of LD and MIke DSP can see the lakes from his house, directly over the water, line of sight again. We DO know what equipment Tom wasnt using though !! There is no doubt at all a SOTABEAM and or 1/2 wave or Jpole would have done the job 10000000000% better and in the true spirit of SOTA opened the contact up to many more chasers, n’est-ce pas ?

I have received a lot of comments “off air” supporting my point, as well as the ones on this thread, so I am not alone in this, neither would it make any difference if I were, the point still stands, make all the effort to scale a 001 and then use a ducky for the activation !!!

Lee


#19

DELETED TO REMOVE ANY POSSIBILITY OF MISUNDERSTANDING IN THE FUTURE.

Sorry

John
M0EAV


#20

In reply to M0EAV:
Good thats got that out the way, ok heres one…How about a summit to summit award ??? thats one that could be used, how about using the p100 rule to allow more of the lower summits to be used, what about upping the qualifying contact number to 6, there are more too, but as usual I bring a topic to the surface for debate/discussion thats all, I didnt say I had the answers, because I dont and if I did I wouldnt have bothered bringing the issue up on here, sorry John, but you obviously took my quote of your statistics as a jube at you personally, it was not, but to make a comment I feel you are not remotely qualified to make aimed at me did deserve a comment of similar tone !! End of the matter as far as I am concerned as tit for tat conjecture does no one anygood, so les leave it at that !
It is not the requirements of a veteran chaser “like me” it is a point, opinion, whatever you want to call it to try and highlight the shortcomings of an activation billed on the scale as the “Coming of Kong” that turned out to be a man in a chimp suit.

Lee