Recently saw someone posting a couple of youtube videos where someone has gone to a summit and make calls as if they are activating a summit, however, they have no interest in SOTA, they admit that and the whole idea is just to get likes for the videos, so you won’t actually find any record of them ever having activated that summit nor any record of their log. Misleading?
so long as it’s a valid activation under the SOTA rules, it doesn’t matter whether the “activator” is interested in SOTA or not for the chaser. Though you might struggle to find out that they are indeed “activating” a summit before they post their Oscar contender.
Post the link to the video so we can all go and give it a thumbs down.
I’ve encountered a few people over the years on 2m FM calling ‘CQ SOTA’ who were not on an actual SOTA summit. They did zero research to find out what SOTA is - they just heard about it and thought all you had to do was go up on a hill and call CQ SOTA. LOL. One guy I talked to was actually on a SOTA summit, but he was sitting in his truck using a mobile radio
Please accept my apologies Josh. I think I might have been guilty of that once or twice. I so rarely play radio away from SOTA I sometimes get carried away (at least on the first call)!
Rreminds me of the guy I saw sitting in his car in the carpark on Great Orme calling CQ SOTA. I told him he was outside the activation area, the AZ started the other side of the wall, and suggested he read the rules!
I’ve seen something like that too:
The other day I had a qso with F5RGY/P who activated F/JU-050. He had spotted himself.
Since I didn’t know the callsign, I did some research. I find that everything is ok.
The only thing that comes to my mind is that it’s a pity that he doesn’t enter the data in the SOTA database… But that’s his business!
I was on a HEMA summit recently and had a QSO with someone on Kit Hill which is G/DC-003. His callsign ended with /P. I was getting my hopes up while we were talking as this QSO would give me a Complete. Then he added he was operating from his vehicle!
I must say I find the ‘no vehicle operation’ rule a puzzle myself. The hard bit is getting up the mountain. If you do that by vehicle - and you are fully allowed to in the rules (but puzzlingly not in the guidelines) - then whether you walk 20m to use you VHF-handheld or sit in a truck and key-up makes little difference to me. But as said elsewhere today, I’ll play by whatever rules the programme agrees on.
The second point is more important though. This ‘no vehicle’ thing keeps catching people out (including me for what would have been my 2nd activation). As I repeatedly point out in H&S meetings - if a single team member fails to understand a rule, then that might be their fault. But if it happens repeatedly then that’s a systemic failure, not an individual one.
So why do people keep missing that rule? Personally - because I’d only skimmed the 23-page SOTA rules documents and misremembered that one as ‘no vehicle-powered operation’. Too much information! To go back to H&S - the solution there is the ‘one-page SOP’. Yes - you have a 23 page H&S document to explain every single situation and mitigation. But you also have a single-page summary with the most important bullet-points that people might actually read and remember.
We do have something like this in the ‘guidelines’ section (some of which contradict the current rules) - but I’d personally never found those until I just went looking - doing due-diligence before clicking Reply on this post! So maybe more prominence to that document, or a bullet-point summary at page one of the rules for the concentrationally challenged like me?
Any thoughts on how to avoid this, from any of the others who’ve fallen foul to this rule over the years?
I had a contact one weekend with a very loud VK2 station on 40m who was announcing that he was operating from a certain SOTA summit in the SC region of VK2.
But his generator was pretty obvious behind his voice, and during my contact with him I asked whether he was intending his operation to be a SOTA activation. Yes, he said, I’m at the summit and I’m not using vehicle power. Oh, I said, there’s a bit more to it than the vehicle. And suggested he should not tell people he is a SOTA activator as his operation did not comply with the activation rules. He said, so what, I’ll give people contacts with the summit if I want to.
Have to say his attitude is not typical of people who miss parts of the rules. Usually they apologise and undertake to correct the situation when they next operate in the field.
But as Matt @ZL4NVW says, there is a case for saying the rules are too long for the average skimmer. Maybe they should be more structured, with Matt’s suggested one page summary linking to details in another document.
The fact is that hardly anyone will print any of these documents, especially if it is 43 pages. So we should structure the documentation around its likely usage.
It isn’t easy to summarise the rules yet make them comprehensive. I tried when I wrote the FAQ i included at vkfaq.ampr.org. It turned into a longer document than I would have preferred. I’ll have to review and revise again.
You’d understand it better should you be disabled in some way.
Do I understand you to mean that rule should be abolished to better facilitate disabled operators? I’d support that change, if so.
… … …
I googled “Summits on the Air” and went to the home page. The text talks about portable operation and there are no cars in the photos so I think there is an assumption that it is on foot. In the Joining In section the Introduction to Activating doesn’t mention vehicles. The Guidelines for Activators does make it clear that you cannot operate from a car.
So I think adding some text making it clear that you cannot operate from a vehicle to the home page and to the introduction would help massively.
I feel it is made clear in the official rules and elsewhere that any support from a motor vehicle is not allowed (and that includes all motorised vehicles not just cars). This rule not only restricts the use of the vehicle for power and shelter, but it also goes as far as, that you cannot use the car to support a mast or even tie off a guy rope to it. The simple test is the following;
- you and the wife drive up to a drive-on summit.
- you get out and set-up all your gear.
- The wife drives off to go shopping, sightseeing or whatever.
If point 3 is not possible you are not within the SOTA rules.
For someone in a wheelchair, the same applies - he (or she) can be set up in the car park but the car must be able to be driven away.
That all being said - given the popularity of the POTA scheme where it is almost the norm to work “static mobile” (as we used to call it) from inside the car - something added to the SOTA home page making it clear that this is a portable operation scheme and cannot be operated from a motor vehicle would seem to be a very good idea. Better to be clear at the start than to disallow some activations made by new activators not in compliance with the rules.
Not everyone RTFMs so although it is clear if you read the rules adding some text to the introduction will get everyone straight from the start.
The idea of a rules summary isn’t new, I have had several attempts to write such a summary but was not satisfied with the resulting script. The trouble is that there is very little in the full rules that can be discarded as inessential - though I will admit that the “Code of Conduct” section lacks form and in fact is a bit of a dog’s dinner! However I will have another go sometime soon.
I think the trouble with some “skimmers” is that they skim through the lot, whereas it should be obvious that the part of the rules aimed at activators should be read closely - after all it is only five pages!
Talk of people operating from vehicles reminds me of the outcry when the RSGB published a photo of a guy operating inside his car to illustrate the “Backpacker’s Contest!” Oops!
In the context of this thread, the first paragraph of “3.1 Purpose” finishes with the sentence “The Programme is intended for portable operation (/P) and does not accept operation from a motor vehicle.”
But you don’t start by reading the rules. You start by looking at the SOTA home page. It should make it clear here that it is not for operation from a vehicle.
I can’t agree, Richard. The thought of anybody adopting a sport or activity without first reading the rules is alien to me. The rules for football, golf or chess are not brief!