I think the chances are pretty good. What you may need to remember, that some of the contest stations might not necessarily announce that they are also valid for sota.
I used to make a point trying to remember to call CQ Sota as well as CQ contest, but not every time.
You may also need to ensure that there may be stations on sota summits. that due to their setup (vehicles, generators etc) arn’t valid.
Main thing, have fun. I used to enjoy the backpackers until they put a new gate on the access road to G/SP-010 which has turned a relatively easy walk (when carrying loads of gear) into a bit of a slog.
It will be interesting to see how the keen chasers did. The leading UK chasers in years gone by were enthusiasts, in fact specialists on 2m SSB. I suspect most chasers are more lazy/less tenacious these days with all the wonderful online tools handing them their chases on a plate
But maybe not today?
With it being the Backpackers Contest, no 2m SSB (or participating FM) SOTA station will have self-spotted - but did the chasers find them?
I was on The Cloud G/SP-015 and was only really discovered by chasers during the two short periods I operated on FM.
Anyway, here’s a list of stations on during the event (heard/worked by me) - which is unlikely to be complete:
I saw a couple of spots for 2m ssb yesterday so tuned to see if I could hear anything but sadly not. I’m not really set up for ssb on 2m and I suspect GM/NS-089 is too far north for most of the operators yesterday. I was lucky with the weather and tried a few different bands just for fun.
Everything seemed pretty flat for most of the afternoon for me. Just the one extra niche 2m CW contact and only a handful of SSB. All the GM stations I worked were S9+ as you’d expect but he ones below IO83 were very scarce. Most were very feint and unworkable. I’d had much more success in the past.
I had intended to come on (despite my distaste for the RSGB allowing “carpackers” to be under the umbrella of backpackers!) but spent a while wrestling with either a frozen rotator or a duff controller. I guess they are like me, getting old, I’m not sure that activity levels justify replacing them if I can’t solve the problem.
I think you know my thoughts on the matter. Although I do accept the fact that under non-contest conditions, VHF/UHF generally has recognised calling frequencies where HF does not. Having said that, a lot of my SWL points on HF (not all) have come without using Sotawatch (you learn who the regular chasers are and follow them )
[quote=“M1EYP, post:6, topic:32378”]
UK VHF chasers - did you find any…?
I found you Tom on SSB , but that was all. Since I’d already worked you on FM I logged it as an SWL chase. Surprised I didnt manage to hear
SW-020 or CE-002 as I could hear the guy operating from near St Boniface Down on the Isle of Wight (not valid for sota though). Anything north of Wigan is a no-no from where I am.
Well at least the Backpackers is now split into two sections (Backpackers - what we would call proper backpackers) and Hilltoppers (25w and vehicles allowed).
Don’t give up with the rotator, I plan to be out (weather dependent) next Sunday, with a full day of as many bands and modes as we can fit into the car. NW-071 Mynyndd Bodafon is the target, so a fair chunk of big rocks between us, but hopefully taking 9ele for 2m and 17 ele for 70cm SSB and a bit of wattage. If we cant go round, then go over since there’s a chance of a couple of passes of ISS and SO-50 for some FM satellite. Oh and we will have HF too (JS8call and SSTV).
I missed the backpackers bit, I was travelling in the afternoon.
Managed 3 contacts on Sunday morning in about an hour from IO74QB, 2 contesters and 1 casual SOTA chase for the 24 hour contest. The contesters were glad of the new Square/Country/Postcode multipliers.
I only heard 1 other station on SSB and couldn’t make out his callsign so didn’t bother trying with my 5w into a dipole.