1st Activation Photos + brief notes

Let’s try this for a “Lockdown thread” -

Strict criteria required to avoid too many lengthy reports. Please - no off topic!

  1. Date, time Summit Name and SOTA Reference of your activation
  2. The first 10 QSOs made, or a selection of ten QSOs - you choose.
  3. One or two photos (max) with short description of your first valid SOTA activation. (Or of the first SOTA Activation where you took a photo)
  4. Brief details of your activation - maximum length 100 words.

Right on… or should I say Write on. So I’ll start with mine and create a format if you like…

G(M)4OBK 21/06/2005 Hightown Hill GM/SS-273 One point

G(M)4OBK operating FT-817 in SSB on Hightown Hill GM/SS-273 21/06/2005

XYL Judy carrying the pole and yagi to and from Hightown Hill GM/SS-273

We were en route to Fife for a few days to attend daughter’s graduation from university. We pulled off the M74 near Lockerbie to activate Hightown Hill, my first of over 1000 activations. This was the heyday of the Yaesu FT-817 and in the UK 2m SSB and the 3 element SOTAbeam produced by G3CWI were very popular.

A few of the Chasers worked in 2005 are still quite active from time to time in SOTA today.

73 de Phil G4OBK


EA2IF/P 01/11/2013 Mt. Adi EA2/NV-017 - Six points

My very first SOTA activation.
These were my first 4 SOTA QSOs letting me qualify the activation for the points:

And these were my 3 first ever S2S QSOs:

I activated in guest mode with all the radio equipment being Ignacio’s EA2BD for HF and Santi’s EA2BSB for VHF.
The MTR I used that day is now mine after Ignacio EA2BD kindly gave it to me as a present some time ago.

My 2 SOTA mentors and now dear friends of mine: Ignacio EA2BD and Santi EA2BSB to whom I’ll always be grateful for what they introduced me to that day, the SOTA bug, in the summit of Mt. Adi EA2/NV-017:

The 3 activators of that summit that day have been hardly struck (2 directly and 1 indirectly) by different types of cancer since then. One’s outcome was finally successful after a long and hard fight, another’s is apparently almost successful (me) after a not less long and hard fight and the third one is still fighting. All I wish and hope is that after a final successful outcome for all of us, we’ll soon get together again for a joint activation of this beautiful mountain, which I haven’t activated again since then.
Nothing would make me happier than that.

73 de Guru - EA2IF


Date: 02/03/2002 | Summit: GW/NW-001 (Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa) |

Callsign Band Mode

SnowdonTrainstop first sota activation

First day of SOTA, whiteout/blizzard conditions at the top of Snowdon GW/NW-001 hence the poor photo. you can just make out the feedline to my 20m band dipole, I was using my GQ20 transceiver. Only just made the four QSO’s.

Roger MW0IDX


I’m rookie in SOTA, until last year I had not united my two passions, the mountain and the radio. My first sota was ea7/gr-003 during an activity with my mountain club AlFarg. Several days in Sierra Nevada climbing summits.
My first qso with my friend Antonio (ea7ajg)

Climb to base camp

climbing to the summit, with my wife and my friend Miguel



My first activation was VK3/VC-018 for one of the activity days in December 2013 (6.5 years ago!), after being a chaser for a few months, which I don’t think can be summarised better than here:


My first activation

July 15th, 2014 … DL/ON7DQ/P on Hegeberg DM/HE-390 (now deleted).

I made exactly 10 QSO’s, so no difficult choice to make, here they are :

Spent two hours to get those 10 QSO’s, little did I know about (self)spotting.
Also in my log, some familiar callsigns :wink:

I walked all around the summit to get there, but only found out AFTER the activation there was a much shorter track.
I carried a backpack and a coolbox with some food and drink.
To the left you see my antenna.

Equipment was FT857D + two 4.5 Ah Dell Laptop batteries, connected together in a homebrew frame via Schottky diodes.
Carried two extra batteries which I could replace one by one without even switching off the rig, nothing would stop me from operating !

Antenna was a “Fuchs” type endfed, 10m of wire, thrown over some trees, and using a small tuning box, no counterpoise.
Coax only 30 cm of RG-174 from rig to tuning box.

Here the operator looking for some protection from the sun.



i made my first sota activation on 12/12/2008 … over 11 years ago. it was a very cold day with little snow on the ground and it took me nearly half an hour to get the required 4 qso’s into my log! i visited my local hill, a 4-pointer, that i had visited a lot of times before:



during these 11 years i explored so much summits in my area … which i would probably not have visited without sota. now i’m 2xMG and have almost 11000 qso’s in the log!

73 martin, oe5reo


Colin G8TMV dragged me along to activate G/SE-005 with him on July 18th 2010. I was using an FT-817 for 2 metres (5 contacts for me, 4 for Colin) and 70 cms (no contacts) and Colin also used his Clansman on HF (7 contacts on 20 metres).

It was almost a year (and two licence upgrades and one NoV) before my second activation (which was reported in Sota news august 2011)…


GM6WRW/P 09/06/2007 Ben More GM/SS-001, 10 points.

The very steep route taken to the summit, way in the distance.

Taken by surprise.

My very first activation, Ben More (GM/SS-001), was not by design or had any planning.

We were visiting Scotland on a Geocaching trip and had on our list the oldest active cache in the UK, Scotlands First (GCF0), located an hour plus climb up the flanks of Ben More. This was to be our 800th cache. The weather was good so we continued, via an unconventional route, to the summit.

I carried my brand new Yaesu FT817 and with its rubber duck called CQ SOTA not expecting any responses. 6 replies and I had activated my first SOTA summit and climbed my first Munro.



My first SOTA Activation was on 28-DEC-2016, Red Screes G/LD-017.

I followed a group up into the freezing cloud and could not believe the traffic on 2m FM when I turned the radio on, I’d hardly had any QSOs up to this point! I got onset hypothermia towards the end, but had caught the bug. Still lots to learn about antennas mind!

Time Callsign Band Mode Notes
10:30 G4RQJ 144MHz FM Rob, Walney Island
10:32 GW4ZPL 144MHz FM Bangor
10:38 2E0DYY 144MHz FM Les, Blackpool
10:42 G3VUS 144MHz FM
10:48 G0TDM 144MHz FM John, Penrith
10:50 GM4WHA 144MHz FM Jeff, Mobile, Annan
10:52 G1OHH 144MHz FM Sue, Lancaster
10:54 M0WBG 144MHz FM Neil, Wirral
10:56 GW8NZN 144MHz FM Portable, Snowdonia
11:04 M6TUE 144MHz FM Nigel, Portable, Kendal

My 1st Activation was on 9th March 2003 when I activated G/SP-010 Winter Hill. I remember struggling to get the 4 contacts on my VX7R handheld (I wish I’d kept that radio!)

The 1st activation with a photo was activation number 6 on 18th April 2003 on G/SP-005… this photo now appears as one of the header photos on the SOTA Database!

7 contacts on this activation:

Good memories! 73 Al M1FHM


My first three activations were on the Brecon Beacons when alone, off-duty from Duke of Edinburgh expedition supervision - so no photos.

The contacts with Chris and Simon were actually s2s with Fan Nedd, GW/SW-007, and were the first of many over the next few years. (This preceded the introduction of the SOTA s2s table.) This one was immediately followed by an unqualified activation of Fan Fawr, GW/SW-005, the first of many occasions when I have crossed the road at Storey Arms and on the following day by Tor-y-Foel, GW/SW-013.
Number four, which does have photos, was Moel y Golfa, GW/MW-027, when Vicki, in due course to become M6BWA/P, went for a walk and appeared on the summit to record the event.

It really is addictive - the next one will be number 1106, not counting the few zero contact attempts - as we are still going ten years on and have been to many hills we would never have visited otherwise - perhaps wisely in some cases :wink:


Perhaps I bought it! :wink:

73 Viki