Club Call Signs with SOTA

This is to clarify the use of club call signs with SOTA.

The important thing to understand is that all QSOs made in any SOTA exchange accrue to the operator and not to the call sign. See General Rules Summits on the Air

So any operator in either an activation or a chase may use a club call sign during a QSO but the QSOs must be logged in the database against the operator’s call sign. If two or more operators together use a club call sign, then each should log their QSOs against their own call signs. An operator may not log a QSO made by another operator who used a club call sign. They may only log QSOs that they made.

Consequently database accounts should not be opened with club call signs as QSOs cannot be accrued by a club. Where we see a club call sign in the database, we will advise the registered email of this issue.
73 Jim G0CQK

In reply to G0CQK:

Sadly, I had to delete all my heart club activations this morning.
I never use F8UFT’s call to win points for myself, but only to let know that this CW club exists.
I don’t really understand why a club cannot take part in the game.

73 Alain F6ENO

PS: I suppose that chasers will have to delete their QSOs with F8UFT now.

In reply to F6ENO:

PS: I suppose that chasers will have to delete their QSOs with F8UFT now.

Seems to me they were valid activations, but mis-entered. You should have entered them into your account (so you get the points (if any)) but with the club callsign in the column for “callsign you used”.

If several club members were all using the club callsign from the summit then they could each have entered the QSOs they themselves made into their own accounts, putting the club callsign into the “callsign you used” column.

Of course, if each of them only made three (or fewer) QSOs then a summit could remain un-qualified even though the total number of QSOs using the callsign might have been four or more.

73, Rick M0LEP

In reply to M0LEP:
Thanks Rick

It is now clear in my mind

73 Alain F6ENO

In reply to F6ENO:

Yes, log the Club call QSOs to your own account.

If you look at my chaser account you will see I’ve made several contacts as GB2IWM which is the club/special call for the Duxford Radio Soc. at IWM Duxford.

Colin G8TMV

Indeed. I have used the following on SOTA activations over the years:

GX4MWS/P - Macclesfield & DRS
GC4MWS/P - Macclesfield & DRS

These all appear in my log. The SOTA Database has a clever feature where you enter “Callsign used”. So if you do an activation with a club callsign, it can still go into your personal account, and can be verified by chasers. This feature also allows for NoVs and regional variations - MW1, MD1, MI1, MM1, MO1, MV1, MR1, MQ1.

What we don’t want is for a club to have a database account, with several different radio amateurs all submitting their activation logs into that single account. But individuals can definitely use a club callsign under their own supervision on their activations, and submit those QSOs to their own account.

Tom M1EYP (etc)

In reply to M1EYP:

I imagine that the point of having an activation with a club callsign is that it enhances the image of the club as an active entity and acts as a spur to the members. It doesn’t matter that the score does not accrue to the club, and if the club so wishes it can aggregate its members scores itself as a private index of activity. Perhaps at some future point if club activations become popular we could consider setting up a club league table - spurring club members on to greater activity would benefit SOTA activity levels!

Brian G8ADD

1 Like

In reply to G8ADD:

Yes a club league table with individual scores pooled, in a similar way to the RSGBCCs, is an interesting idea for the future Brian. I think that would certainly work, and could well be an effective way of promoting SOTA through the club structure.


In reply to M1EYP:
Points scoring would need a little thought.
Can you qualify the summit with your call first & then the clubs call?
or should you choose either one or the other, but not both?
Perhaps all members who activate as individuals would automatically add to their clubs pooled score? many possibilities & permutations.

K.I.S.S. !!!

Les, G3VQO

In reply to G3VQO:

Just as a suggestion, club members score normally but report their scores to a club representative who regularly totals them and claims the totalised score for the club. This I think is the least complex option. A more complex option is to do it via the database: participants (both activators, chasers and swls could nominate a club and the database duplicates their scores in the club score: this, I imagine, would cause a lot more work in modifying the database but when operational would be more foolproof. In its simplist version it could be run in the same way that Tom ran the SWL scores until recently: some volunteer collects the figures from the clubs and maintains a table manually - a dogsbody job but it would be the fastest way to get the scheme up and running!

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G0CQK:

Scarborough Special Events Group

To confirm that in accordance with SOTA rules, all GX0OOO/p calls (and variations) are entered in the data-base under the operator’s own call. This is always John G4YSS, which is made obvious in John’s detailed post event reports.

Club call GX0OOO does not hold a SOTA database account. You will still get a confirmation “star” for a valid contact with GX0OOO/p, but all logs for this call since 2005 will be found under G4YSS account.

GX0OOO Club callsign holder

Hi Roy,

ISTR that there has been GT7OOO/P activations of Snaefell GD/GD-001 in the past. Is this one of the SSEG club calls? I think it was another member of the group, not John IIRC. (Sorry for being too lazy to research it properly!).

Moreover Roy, great to see you back on here. You have been missed.

Take care,


In reply to M1EYP:
Kevin G0NUP has GC7OOO/P in his log for NW-070 in Dec 2009

In reply to M1EYP:

The proper way, IMHO, is to have a club challenge where the results are collated and displayed by the database. The 12m Challenge works on a simple principle, you enter your activations/chases as normal and the database locates all 12m records that exist in the challenge period and displays a honour roll of stations. There is no extra effort when it comes to logging, log as normal and the computer (which never gets bored) does the sorting/searching etc.

The same can be set up for a club challenge, you log activations/chases etc. just as now into your account and you specify the callsign you used. At present the database doesn’t know how to distinguish a club callsign from a personal callsign. So a few things are needed, a method where you tell the database that G0000 is a club callsign and club challenge honour rolls which use the club callsigns rather than the personal callsign.

e.g. I have entered some activations using the club call G3PYU. A normal activation honour roll would show my call MM0FMF and all the matching activations done by me. A club activation honour roll would search for all the activations where the call was G3PYU and show them. It wouldn’t matter who they belonged to, the key is the club call. The code doesn’t sound terribly difficult to implement.

As to any other criteria for a challenge depends on what people want. We have said we don’t intend to start another challenge immediately the 12m Challenge finishes. But a club challenge could be the core of the next challenge, to begin Jan 1st 2015 say. (I’d like some time to plan the code and do a few other things!)

Maybe it could be a way of encouraging and reinvogourating club shacks and membership?


I don’t think there’s any need for the Database to recognise club calls Andy. Many people wanting to represent a club in a club table would be using their own personal calls, not club calls.

Use of club calls is already catered for with the “Callsign used” field when entering an activation or chase.

My approach would be to do something along the lines of what you created for SWL logging. Have a “Enable club features” checkbox on the ‘Edit details’ page for logged-on Database users, which would then throw up an extra field in which the club is nominated, possibly from a drop-down list like on the RSGBCC site. Thereafter, all points accrued would also be credited to that club’s total.

Widening and stimulating participation seems to be a popular theme and reason for doing this, but just counting activations that used club calls wouldn’t serve this aim well. But if all activations counted towards that person’s club (if enabled and nominated), then it certainly would.

Whether to run a club challenge just for one year, or for every year commencing 2015, would be a discussion to have.


In reply to M1EYP:

Tom, Jim

The GX0OOO/p call is exclusive to John G4YSS

If any other club member wishes to activate SOTA
we issue a GX7OOO/p call (with variables).

The member will give his own call as an alert or in QSO

The GT7OOO/p call was Phil G4OBK


In reply to M1EYP:

Widening and stimulating participation seems to be a popular theme and
reason for doing this, but just counting activations that used club
calls wouldn’t serve this aim well. But if all activations counted
towards that person’s club (if enabled and nominated), then it
certainly would.

Can of worms…

I think this needs careful thought.
The first question I’d ask is what defines a club?
Will the scoring take into account the club size and the geographical distribution of it’s members?

We already have specific Contest groups who have time, money and resources to throw at operating to get to the top of “league tables”.
A dedicated SOTA club is not unthinkable with top Activators pulling their resources together.

I’m reminded of one of my other pastimes which is Audax Cycling.
In that we also accrue individual points for miles (actually kms) ridden and altitude gained in our activities.
You have also always been able to assign your points to your nominated club for the club league table annual results.
For years, a large London club used to win this by a mile (no pun intended).
Then along came the internet Forum (Yet another cycling forum) whose participants, me included, formed and offered up our points to a virtual online YACF club.
Needless to say, as we were spread far and wide with huge membership, YACF swept the board in the first year of it’s existence!
The rest is history.

As I’m not a Radio club member, can I now declare that I’ll be creating an online virtual club for forum members to join and aggregate our points?
(We can have our own section here in the new SOTAwatch forum… :-))
Just need to think of a club name that’s going to look good at the top of the league table…

Founder: Online Summit Collectors using Amateur Radio Society (OSCARS)™

The RSGB’s Local/General club distinction is quite useful in this regard. But you’re right, we could get bogged down into something we really don’t want to. Careful thought needed - absolutely.


In reply to M1EYP:

Not insuperable, limit it to local clubs registered with national societies (obviously it won’t just be the UK) and specifically exclude contest clubs - clubs will have to register and there is a good chance that contest clubs can be winnowed out at that point, and as we all know, SOTA is non-competitive…

Note that as I visualise it, it will be members of clubs contributing their own scores to the club total as well as club call operations, which should make the idea less attractive to contest clubs and provide normal clubs with an attractive communal activity.

Brian G8ADD