Activating PA-004

This weekend I tried to activate PA-004 but failed to get near to the real summit since it is in a closed, no access national park. Climbing the fence, (like some hams did) is, as I understand against SOTA rules and would make an activation invalid.

However, SOTA rules seem to allow me to use any location in the area as long as it is max 25 meters vertical distance below the summit. Based on an elevation map below I identified the contour of 90 meters elevation (which is 17 meters below the 107m summit). So, I guess that this area can be used for the activation? We could even go a little bit beyond that because anything above 82 meters would satisfy SOTA rules, correct?

It would be great to get clarity on this because there have been several ham’s that went into the closed area which is closed of for the public for a reason. If we can use this contour then there are some really nice spots (even small hills) in the vicinity of the real summit.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

Best 44,
Wil, PA3Q


This is correct, you can operate from anywhere within the activation zone, so any convenient point within your contour line will do.

Just out of curiosity, why is the park closed off to the public?


Spot on Wil, good to see someone taking notice of the rule regarding access for a valid activation…

Just to be pedantic

" The operating position must lie within a closed contour line at the permitted maximum Vertical Distance below the summit."

So anywhere within the 90m contour you show is fine (subject to authorised access of course :wink: )

73 de Paul G4MD

Hi Wil

You could operate in the wood against the fence as I did last month. Expect a visit from government security or the police though if you park in the lay by as we did (Pictured - well inside the activation zone) at 54.23083 N 5.85514 E. If I ever visited again (unlikely) I would continue a little further east on the N344 to a road called Kamsteeg and set up down there. This location would probably not attract the attention of officials.

73 Phil G4OBK

Thanks guys, just wanted to be sure.

It is a wild park area and also owned by the Dutch royal family. The first one a good reason to leave the animals in peace but the second one does call for some trespassing once in a while. :slight_smile:

However, the maximum fine for illegal trespassing is 405 Euro’s. ;-(

Just to be even more pedantic, that condition is necessary but not sufficient. There might be an isolated dip within that closed contour that goes lower and makes a “hole” in the activation area.


FB Wil… PA-004 top is Dutch Royal Family owned then… that must be why the man in the hi-viz jacket wanted to know what we were doing and then asked to see our passports. Then a policeman came, he had been tipped off and was just checking I guess, no problem, we were allowed to continue until the pile up was no more.

Trespassing is very expensive in Netherlands then. In England if no damage is done, the landowner would have to take you through a civil court - it rarely happens.

Best wishes

It would still be within that closed contour. The dip would be “outside” it!


I followed the contour down to the minimum (82 meters) and noticed that there is a small campsite within that contour. So, when you walk to the campsite and only use batteries then I guess an activation from the campsite would be valid as well?:slight_smile:

Hmm, I see one small advantage of having no real mountains in the Netherlands. Haha…

44, Wil


I visite the summit 3 times. I also spoke to an officer when i return to my car (by the first time). I give him my QSL-kaart with my adress. You can visit the park with a guide (to see wild pigs). It was no problem!! See also the reaction of the policeman! (G4OBK)
If you think you can not manage it. There are 3 more Dutch-summits! …and a lot of other Summits n DL and ON. Practice there!!

73 Sake

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I’m not sure whether you are agreeing with me or disagreeing! Maybe you’re taking a topologist’s mathematical definition of “inside” rather than the everyday meaning.

I suppose it depends what you mean by “the” closed contour. I take it to refer to the single closest closed contour which surrounds the true summit and is the permitted vertical distance below it. That contour defines an area. Every point in the activation area must lie within it. However the converse isn’t necessarily true - there may be points within that contour which are excluded because they are also within a nested contour at the same height (which by assumption does not encircle the summit and must of necessity represent a depression).

Hence the condition as previously stated is necessary, and therefore a true statement, but it is an insufficient condition and therefore incomplete as a definition.

This thread started with a map with a contour highlighted and an suggestion that any point inside the highlighted contour would be OK. In this case it almost certainly is as the whole area looks sufficiently convex (and in any case there was a margin for error in the contour chosen). But this technique of drawing a single countour line around the summit is not always enough. You need to look for other contours at the same height which lie within that area and do not surround the summit, and exclude the areas they encircle.


I am aware of features such as “swallow holes” and originally included this point that you are making, Martyn, but then simplified it in the main text since the contour line definition is subsidiary to and clarifying the concept behind the 25 metres vertical distance rule. There is more detail in the definitions section, but I have just noticed that the definitions page has not been included in this version of the GR, I must look into that!

I’m glad you noted my little topological joke!


Thanks for all replies, clarifications and suggestions. Really helpful. I hiked the public part of the park (Het Loo) for a couple of hours. Did indeed come across a wild pig family, not sure who scared who the most. :smile:

For me, an activation is about the whole experience; hiking, setting up, enjoying nature. I must admit that, although I really like the radio part, this only an addition to the rest; the icing on the cake basically. If it fails, soit. So, if I cannot find a nice location where one can sit at ease I will not set up my equipment.

Foy anyone interested, in the 90 meter contour there are some really nice locations to stay a bit longer. Much nicer than sitting beside the main road or the stress (if you are sensitive to it) of being fined because of trespassing. ;-(
Anyway, I think that we hams should try to respect laws and regulations as much as we can, especially if they are meant to protect a sensitive part of nature. We already have so little of that.

I wish you all great activations and look forward to work you al. S2S of course. :smile:


Hoi Wil,
Nice we have a new Sotafamily menber! If you want more information pse mail me or Phone me!

Hi Sake,
Heb geprobeerd je te mailen, maar jouw mailadres is onbekend bij Yahoo.

Wil, PA3Q


73, Sake

I looked at doing this one on a trip to PA land last year… but in the end time prevented it.

However, I find it a touch intriguing that the rules allow an activation from 82m ASL - it puts the point of the P100 (never mind P150) rule into sharp relief!!!


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Indeed, Andrew, the activation zone makes more sense on higher summits but making the drop of the AZ vary with altitude would really be a complication too far! I feel reasonably sure that most of us would seek to be as high as possible on the lower summits, bearing in mind that lower lying summits are more likely to be private ground.



TNX for the map with the activation zone.
I found a nice and quiet place for activation on Kampstg road.

Hi Martin, when I worked you on Saturday 16 May at 17:04 UTC you indicated that you were not operating as SOTA. Are you now suggesting that you were within the activation zone and therefore qualify as a SOTA activation??

73 Glyn G4CFS