When internet service is available on the summit, I typically use the website SOTAWatch3 to check for potential s2s contacts. Recently I have experienced some problems on three different summits with spotty service. Although the phone indicates that 5G service is available, apparently the signal strength or bandwidth is not sufficient for receiving SOTAWatch3 updates. The page is either slow to refresh or very intermittent. While the clock seems to show the correct time, the spots listed on SOTAWatch3 are not current. When I return home and review the SOTAWatch page, there are a number of spots for potential s2s contacts that I never saw while on the summit.
Would a smartphone app be a better method for checking for spots while on the summit, and is there one available for android phones?
Thanks and regards,
SotaGoat ? I use this - not sure its available for android.
I use SOTA Spotter, available on Android. It presents a “lean page” so no “what’s new on the reflector” .
The filtering took a bit of head scratching, but works.
Also Vkportalog shows spots which can then be transferred onto the logging page but I find it sometimes lags what shows on SOTA spotter.
Both will post a spot for you.
If the cell service RF signal is not strong enough, or is suffering from reflections/multipath/fading then changing the app is not really going to improve things much. You have to be able to reliably send and receive data from the mobile handset to the cell tower or it wont work.
“When Everything Else Fails, Amateur Radio Will Still Be There”
I use Hamalert to get push notifications. It’s still a bit sketchy when mobile phone coverage isn’t great.
I should try Aprs2Sota for looking up spots, forgot about that.
I was having similar symptoms using the web site a few weeks ago.
Ends up I had changed the settings to show ‘spots in last week.’
I changed to ‘latest 50 spots.’ That solved my problem.
(I notice there are ‘latest 20’ and ‘latest 10’ options as well. I’ll try those next time I’m having trouble.)
P.S.: I used to use the SOTA Spotter Android app. But I found the web site to be more reliable. I’ve now un-installed it from my phone.
When I set up at the summit, I first look at SOTA Goat. Sometimes the connection is bad and it doesn’t work. Then I’ll try sotawatch…
If the connection is good, I also do tests with the RBN every now and then to check my range on different bands so that I know whether it’s worth calling CQ for longer.