A SOTA Challenge for 2020 and beyond

Definitely possible but probably unlikely (I would hope).

I suppose it is possible, but it would reveal itself as an inhumanly sustained operating period, so if it happens the MT can decide on an action.

This has now been “outlawed” in all ARRL contests. How they will police it I don’t know.


OK, Sorry - I’ve been misinformed in that case - I’ll update my posting.


Well the operator would need to stay with the equipment for the period. The QSOs are only valid when the operator is in the AZ ( see 3.7.1(4) ) You’d need sufficient batteries to power the radio and computer which is less than trivial for more than 12rs which makes it more difficult than it first sounds. By all means have a go at it and write a nice report of how you got on.

Whether it would be considered to be within the sprit of the program would be a decision of the MT so it could all be for nothing.

Looks like the answer is yes then. Wether it be a couple of days (exaggeration) or a couple of hours, still seems “strange” to me. The challenge seems more to do with setting up software than actually operating a radio. :-1::-1::-1:


Having actually done a lot of datamodes on activations myself, I would encourage those who haven’t to rest easy. In practical reality, it isn’t easy to set up what has been described, and even with FT8, human operator interaction is still needed with every QSO otherwise things can quickly get into a horrible mess. CW and phone modes are a far more efficient way of making contacts, so users of legacy modes needn’t worry that datamode ops have some kind of unfair advantage.

For instance, in the initial LF challenge, I will certainly have a go at datamodes on 80m, and possibly 160m - but if I want to compile a decent score, I know I will have to focus on SSB and CW.

What an odd thing to say! Even if you don’t get detected on the evidence of, as I put it above, an inhumanly sustained period of operation, and perhaps eliminated for not being in the spirit of SOTA, you would still be hampered by a multiplier of just one - though I think it would deserve some praise for keeping the whole thing operating for such a time…

Anyway, as I understand it a complete contact on FT8 takes 90 seconds and if you can sustain non-stop contacts and avoid lids then you could get 40 in an hour which is not very different to the contact rate that you can sustain with CW, or even phone if you are a snappy operator, and remember that the score is for unique operators so by sticking to one mode and band you are soon going to be losing out.

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Ed - FreeDV and D-star should be logged as DV, not DATA. As such, they will count for the DV weeks but not the Datamode weeks.

Brian makes an excellent point - you are rewarded for working as many different other operators as possible - so the wider selection of modes used the better. It would be very limiting to stick rigidly to a single mode as Brian points out.

Brian, et all, nowhere did I mention sticking to one band and mode. I’m just querying the inclusion of a mode that can make unattended automatic contacts, as admitted by M1EYP in a previous thread. As for M0FMF comment "The QSOs are only valid when the operator is in the AZ ( see 3.7.1(4) ) " How about activating Crowborough, sitting in the pub or the beer garden whilst the software does the work? :iphone::calling:

It meets 3.7.1(4) Steve so it’s OK on that criteria.

And hopefully the beer will be up to standard!

I know where you are coming from, Steve, automated QSOs are distasteful if not an actual affront to old school operators, and these machine modes have little appeal to the likes of you and me, but they exist, they are part of ham radio as it is today, and why shouldn’t they have a chance to show what they can do outside the shack and in a less forgiving environment? What we have devised is a challenge which we hope will tempt people out of their comfort zones and try new bands and new modes, even FTwhatever for those prepared to carry the extra gear. There is no prize, nothing but the satisfaction of doing well and hopefully the pleasure of doing old things in new ways.

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The MT have not yet finalised what sort of Awards will be issued. This takes time (mostly mine) to finalise, but, rest assured, there will be Awards and they will recognise different Associations or Continents.

It has been said before: SOTA is not a competition, however it would be useful to recognise outstanding achievements. (Notice I have avoided the “W” word!!!)

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I did once operate from The Blue Anchor beer garden at Crowborough. I secured permission at the bar beforehand, but the landlord was not so positive when he came out to have a look, so I quickly got my four contacts and cleared off. Shame as it is probably the most comfortable spot for activating G/SE-007.

I was talking about this very summit in the pub earlier. Saying that for such a huge activation zone, it had hardly any viable places for portable operating.

Hi Tom, that is an answer to one of my questions then. Despite the fact that there will be separate data mode ONLY challenges (in which SSB and CW will be excluded) you will include datamodes into the “Legacy mode” challenges.

Agreed running data modes from a summit is NOT and easy option (at least not unless the capability is built into the rig, which is rare) but I think we should keep the 160/80m, 17m and 12/10/6m events to be just scored on Legacy modes not digital data or voice modes. By all means activate with whatever mode you like during these events however do not include tdigital contacts in the scoring for the challenge - only SSB, AM, FM, CW.

As a famous VK Ham says “and that’s what I think”.

73 Ed.

Of course that would need to be in June (Northern Hemisphere) or January (Southern Hemisphere) for maximum effect. … (see other thread).

73 Ed.

Here’s one of many German summits, where the “pub” is conveniently located on the summit (at the centre of the AZ)!

There are no legacy mode challenges defined.

You’re more than welcome to that thought. But the purpose is to encourage people to try new things and starting with bands where such lot depends on the antenna. i.e. 20m is an easy band to deploy an antenna on compared with 160m. To do well here you need a good narrow band mode such as Morse. But there are significant numbers of hams where Morse is something they are unable to use or are unwilling to learn. If we limit this flavour to just SSB, AM, CW then we skew the results immediately to those who can do Morse. We’re trying to be inclusive, so allowing datamodes allows non-CW people to work more QSOs.

Ed, if the “flavour” is a mode, then any bands are allowed. If the flavour is a band, then any modes are allowed.

Your argument is equivalent to saying that because we have a 17m flavour, then 17m is not to be allowed in the datamode or DV weeks.


Inclusion is good. (as in all modes on specified bands in some of the challenges)

Exclusion is bad. (as in limiting modes on all bands in some of the challenges).

73 Ed.