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Activation during a Contest


Hi guys! I’m planing to participate in the next cqwpx cw in the end of May QRP from a SOTA summit using my brand new KX3.
Would the contacts be valid for SOTA too?


I’ve activated a summit as part of a contest before. As long as you are still exchanging summit details along with contest serial numbers and signal reports I don’t see an issue with it. I think the exception of course is that your contest traffic is not welcome on the WARC bands while 12,17 and 30M are fine for SOTA.

Let’s see what the collective consensus is :slight_smile:


Little bit difficult if you are calling cq… cq what … cq sota or cq test ? cq sota / test ?
But anyway… you can do it twice. You can give an alert and calling cq sota to be spotted … and if you have a contact to a contest station, you can give him a number.
The other way would be to try to answer to cq calls. Then you can give a number and “if wanted” the ref because of your /p callsign.
But try it - you’ll see… and let us know :wink:


Any contact is valid in the four required to get the points for a SOTA activation. They don’t have to be SOTA chasers you are talking to, so contest, ragchew, net all are acceptable as long as some information is passed both ways. The signal report with callsign is sufficient for this. If you are the one calling CQ you would announce your SOTA reference as your location every 10 minutes or so but more likely you will be calling the contest station and they wont thank you for the extra information, they just want the contest exchange.

As long as you meet the other SOTA criteria - no suport of any kind from a powered vehicle, you are within the Activation Zone of the summit, you are not using a fossil fuel powered generator, then the contacts are valid.

73 Ed.


Very well put!

73, Steve W6SAE


I made some DX QSO"s on 10 meters and 15 meters SSB this past weekend with contest stations in South America and Australia, and included them in my Activator log for W7A/PE-002. I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t be valid QSO’s although it’s highly unlikely they even knew I was on a summit.

Keith KR7RK




I like to operate VHF contests from SOTA summits. I count all the contacts I make for SOTA, and usually get a few S2S with people doing the same on other nearby summits. In those cases I’ll exchange the summit reference. As other posters have pointed out, you’re not required to share the summit info, just exchange something. In those cases, since I’m up there primarily for the contest, I’ll just call “cq test”.


Does a chaser recognize a SOTA Summit?
If a MG says SOTA W7W stroke KG 001 I’m going to give my location and write it down.
WE know what it means. If you don’t know what it is. If you don’t, you’ve moved on.


Does a chaser recognize a SOTA Summit?

If he doesn’t he ist not a chaser… :sunglasses:


I have gotten caught a couple of times here where there was a state QSO Party (contest) going on while I was on summit. I ended up making several contacts through hunting and pouncing the contestants.

If the station calling CQ was one of those super serious contesters where they are exchanging only the very very bare minimum and talking faster than an auctioneer, I just play their game and move on. If they are at a more “normal” speed, I will throw in there I am doing a summit activation. A couple have paused and asked a little about it or wished me luck. However, since it is their CQ/pileup, I let them dictate how the exchange goes.

My 2 cents.


I was out last weekend - Conic Hill next to Loch Lommond with beautiful weather :-). The HF antenna I took was my 20m GP. I set up, switched the rig on and was promptly reminded that the CQ WW SSB contest was on.

Although I posted a spot and put out a few SOTA CQs on 14.285, I realised that I was wasting my time. I reckoned that I could hear three contest stations shouting CQ on top of each other on 14.285. I tried tuning around the 20m phone band for a quiet frequency. However, even with FT-817’s pre-amp off and attenuator on, the meter read S9+ across the entire band! As I couldn’t stay on the summit for very long, I decided to briefly take part in the contest. Clocked up x5 QSOs. It only took 10 minutes to submit my meagre checklog on the CQ website when I got home.

On one hand, I was frustrated that I never contacted any “proper” Chasers and that at least some of the contesters did not seem to respect the QRP frequency. On the other hand, I did have a huge number of stations to call of which many, I assume, were running high gain beams that would easily pick up my QRP signal.

In future, I shall pay more attention to the contest calendar and consider taking an antenna for a WARC band or 60m.