Good morning to the SOTA team…if as a chaser I have an interest in becoming an activator (but have no climbing experience) is there a list of personnel on your site who could assist in some training…also in view of recent fatalities, is there any information about health and safety on summits.
A few other website suggestions for debate.
Could it be possible in the future to have a “Meet the activators” page, so we can view a photograph of the people who venture out and climb the summits, and also a few words that will tell us about them and what motivates them to carry out these activities, sometimes facing atrocious conditions.
On the page where we view the spots and future activites is it possible to have a nice summit picture in the background, and also whilst on this page could we maybe have the option to hear something in the background…maybe even some classical music or maybe even somebody voicing a little information about the summits.
Also the people who appear in the photographs on some of your other pages…I never know who they are…is it possible to include their callsign and maybe the summit they have been photographed on.
I feel this would maybe add a little personal touch to your site.
Advice for becoming an activator: start small and work up. So do SP-013 and SP-015 first, then maybe SP-004, and then start thinking about NW-044 and NW-051. Build up your experience as you go. Get a copy of ‘The Hillwalkers Manual’ by Bill Birkett. Make sure you can use a map (I find OS 1:25000 the best) and compass.
Make sure you carry drinking water, and food if necessary, as well as warm waterproof clothing, even in the summer.
Meet the activators: Just look 'em up on www.qrz.com and you’ll find lots of information there, as well as links to their personal websites, many of which (like mine) contain extensive blogging about their SOTAing. Photographs - click on the Photos link above, The is also a Videos link.
Don’t run before you can walk! Experience comes over time. If you are new to activating portable then start in the spring/summer on days with only good weather especially if you are trying hf for the first time.
There are loads of very easy hills that are well within the capabilities of most people that are simple walks; these are the ones I would suggest that you start with. Just be selective. There are some relatively easy 2 point hills, there are some challenging 1 pointers that take more effort than 4 pointers. In South Wales there are a few “easy” 6/8 points to get. You need to study previous activation reports, hill-bagging websites and maps, online or real. There are plenty of personal web-sites for you to find for example;
It is not just a case of getting to the top of most summits but the successful activation of the hill. Practice portable setups in the back garden/local field first anywhere that you can easily resolve issues. The last place you want to be is on a wet windy mountain when you find your system does not work.
I’ve recently been redoing some local hills trying out new configurations of antennas/equipment.
You will also find that most of us who go out in really poor conditions have had many years previous experiance of hill/fell walking before the SOTA bug bit :o)
In reply to M1EYP:
Thanks Tom…just had an email as well to look at Guidelines for activators and Winter safety notes…Have been looking at QRZ …Will get myself a copy of the guide you mention…Havent looked at the videos link as yet.
Did however look at your link yesterday and viewed all your recent summit acivities…Good effort Tom.
is there a list of personnel on your site who could assist in some training
No. There are many experienced people using this site who may be happy to let you accompany them. But start small in good weather. Today up here is not the day to be out for the 1st time, about 5in of snow fallen and I’m only 165m ASL!
so we can view a photograph of the people who venture out and climb the summits
Interesting. Have you clicked the Photos link at the top and bottom of the webpages Russ. That takes you to the Flickr group site. You have to dig about a bit but there are photos of activators and activations there.
On the page where we view the spots and future activites is it possible to >have a nice summit picture in the background,
A matter of taste Russ. It doesn’t serve any purpose in my view. SOTAwatch has a very lightweight appearance, just the facts basically. Others may think some background images would be great.
maybe even some classical music or maybe even somebody voicing a little
information about the summits.
No. This isn’t Geocities or a webpage from 1999! If you want music, buy an iPod!
Also the people who appear in the photographs on some of your other pages
Which pages? There should be captions but if you point out the missing ones they can be fixed.
Tom’s advice is sound but can I suggest linking up with someone else for your first few outings at least? It’s a great way to get tips on what sort of equipment you need as well as building up your confidence.
Conditions on even quite low summits can be challenging at present. The fatalities we keep hearing about are generally due to avalanches in the highlands, but even a slip on an icy path can be fatal if you are unlucky.
Things to consider: changing weather conditions, clothing, hours of daylight, how fit you are, are you able to navigate in fog/the dark?
The golden rule is: if things go wrong, e.g. you get lost, do you have a good chance of getting yourself and your companions to safety without relying on outside assistance?
In reply to G6WRW:
Thanks for the response Carolyn…some good pointers in there…have been reading most of the activator reports of late with great interest.In particular
I like the idea of setting up in the garden first…that makes great sense. Thanks for the link you have posted…have looked at the first 2 pages and realised I need lots more time to digest it all…will have a look at that later this evening when I can commit more time to it.
Excelllent plan. You’ll be surprised how hard it can be do some simple things when you’re a little tired after walking and it’s cold and wet. Worse when you come to take everything down and it’s frozen up and will not collapse etc. Or coax is chilled so that it wont coil up.
You can practice doing things with gloves on to see how difficult it can be. Even in good weather, the faster windspeeds on a small summit can chill your fingers so they don’t work anymore. Imagine trying to do up a modern handy’s SMA connector when you have no feeling in your fingers.
New you would get back to me at some stage you cant resist this sort of charm for long…Ha Ha.
Anyhow Thanks for the response Andy.
The idea to accompany somebody sound a great way forward for me.
Have gone down the photos route but as you say it takes some digging around
All noted on other responses.
On the picture front Andy each time I go into database there are images of people in this part of the site that carry no callsigns …however I am prepared to accept there may be a problem with my laptop somehow not showing the full page???
Excelllent plan. You’ll be surprised how hard it can be do some simple
things when you’re a little tired after walking and it’s cold and wet.
Worse when you come to take everything down and it’s frozen up and
will not collapse etc. Or coax is chilled so that it wont coil up.
You can practice doing things with gloves on to see how difficult it
can be. Even in good weather, the faster windspeeds on a small summit
can chill your fingers so they don’t work anymore. Imagine trying to
do up a modern handy’s SMA connector when you have no feeling in your
Makes me think about taking up some antifreeze or my very tiny 12 volt hair dryer…I cant imagine attempting to tackle something with my fingers having no feeling…makes me want to design a pair of gloves with low power heater elements in the fingers…Must admit I know what you mean…I did the Schilthorn some years ago but I cheated and used the cable cars, but dont mind admitting my body experienced some strange effects.
In reply to M6RGF:
"I cant imagine attempting to tackle something with my fingers having no feeling…"
As others have said, until you experience being on a summit with even a gentle breeze you will not believe how quickly you will get cold.
"makes me want to design a pair of gloves with low power heater elements in the fingers…"
They are already available just search a well known internet auction site.
Ps keep an eye on this months PW,if I remember right I do believe I mentioned SOTA in the article.
Yes, just seen it Russ. Also references to SOTA in GM8OTI’s antenna column, and in the news pages.
The photos you are referring to are those in the random selection on the Database initial page. If you right-click on the image, then select “View image info”, you may get some clues as to who it is and/or where they are.