Many of you already know this … but for those who do not, I thought a small reminder would be okay.
Just as you can receive SOTAWatch spots on your cell phone by following SOTAWatch on twitter, you can also receive QRP Spots by following QRPSPOTS on twitter.
QRPSPOTS was originally developed by Guy N7UN for QRP operators to find each other more easily on the air, but it is becoming more and more popular with NA Activators, since they are often running QRP or near QRP power levels.
You can of course follow both SOTAWatch and QRPSPOTS twitter accounts
So how does QRPSPOTS work?
You can post QRP Spots in the field either by sending a twitter direct message to QRPSPOTS -or- by sending an APRS message to callsign ‘QRPSPT’.
Note that it does take a couple of days from when you start using QRPSPOTS before the system fully recognizes you (there is a manual step involved).
The format of the message is not critical. If your twitter ID is a callsign, or you’re coming in on APRS, you can leave out the callsign if you are self spotting.
Other than that it should have the callsign and frequency (khz/mhz doesn’t matter). It can have other information in there too like SOTA summit.
“VA3SIE/P at 14061khz on SOTA Summit VE2/OU-001”
Just as there is a SOTA Spots web page at SOTAWatch2 there is also a web page where you can view and post QRP Spots. It is here:
The twitter account and the web page are linked together. When you enter a spot on the web page, it shows up on twitter (and those in the field following QRPSPOTS on twitter will get it).
When spots are sent to QRPSPOTS on twitter (either as a direct message via SMS or a twitter app, or as an APRS message to callsign QRPSPT), these show up on the web page.
In both cases all the field stations following twitter on their mobile device get the spot.
Personally I find it useful to follow both SOTAWatch and QRPSPOTS when I’m out on an activation. Often a station is only spotted on QRPSPOTS or only on SOTAWatch, and may only show up on the other web page if there’s someone at home who notices the spot and copies it over. I try to do that when I am at home.
The future of QRPSPOTS for Twitter:
Currently one can send a spot to SOTAWatch in the field either using spotlite (http://www.sota.org.uk/Spotlite/alert) or as an international SMS message (http://gyalogradio.ham.hu/spotsms/howto-en.html) or one can send a QRP Spot as described above, but I cannot send a spot to both places at once, and all that cellphone fiddling takes time
So I am developing a SOTA feature for the QRPSPOTS system so that - in future - QRP Spots for a callsign which has an active alert on SOTAWatch2 will also generate a SOTA Spot.
I will post once that is working & stable.