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Corona measures?

Hi there,

the world wide corona situation certainly has an impact on our SOTA activities. While some of us have to stay at home, others who may still be able to activate don’t do so, be it because there are mobility restrictions, or safety concerns for reasons such as non-availability of mountain rescue etc.
If this goes on, soon there will be more and more chasers and fewer activators on the air.

I would like to start a discussion whether it would make sense to have temporary “Corona” rules in SOTA to keep the programme attractive for us corona victims (suspected/infected or not). My idea: How about temporarily suspending the restriction to collect activator’s points only once per year per summit? (Say change it to once per week or once per month)

Potential positive Effect: People with limited mobility would get an incentive to still regularly activate something, even if it’s the nearby “home summit” with easy / non risky access. People with no option to activate would not “run out” of activators they can chase so quick. Thus, SOTA could be kept attractive even with less opportunities for activators.
Potential negative effect: activators with an easy access high points home summit might get an unsporty advantage in moving towards MG status.

Silly idea ? Option to keep SOTA attractive even during hard times for all of us? I am looking forward to the discussion :slight_smile:

73 Jens, HB9EKO / DL9SBM

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Rather than change the rules, I think activators able to do so should go activate when they can – even if it’s a summit they’ve already activated this year.

Sure, they won’t get new summit points, but keeps the chasers chasing.

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and the activators having fun.

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It’s a pain to implement and also will generate lots of emails such as “why did I get points then and not now” and “hey I get multiple points is this a bug”. But I tell you that I will try to get out because I need the exercise and I don’t care if I don’t get points for reactivating the same hill. If I keep activating the same few simple and safe hills then I’ll get my “fix” from seeing if I can get to the top quicker and work more chasers.

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Introducing such rules could suggest that we forecast the corona crisis for years.
I think our intention is for it to end as soon as possible.
Let’s keep this direction.

73, Jarek

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Indeed.

There is not, and has never been a restriction on how many times you can activate a summit in a year - apart from 365/366! Check my activator log if you don’t believe me!

The points are not important. Physical health and mental health are very important. If it does turn out to be the case that lots of repeat activations of local summits happen, then that will be fine.

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There is the GMA program, once you’ve registered you can assign any summit over 100m. Lots of SOTA ops are registered there as well.
73
Matt

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We can also get back to standard ragchewing QSOs with us, frequent SOTA chasers and activators, which are particularly good for improving proficiency on CW and also for practising conversation in a foreign language on SSB.
I know, we won’t get any points from this, but we may have a lot of fun while getting to know better to each other.
Now I’m going to call CQ for some ragchewing QSO on 80m, around 3.525 but depending on QRL, I’ll move up or down. Look for spots on RBN (without a Hole :wink: )
Cheers,

Guru

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My CQ has been heard on several European countries and also in Africa (EA8)

Soon after I started my CQing, Andy @G0IBN came to my rescue. We had a nice ragchewing QSO, which was our 2nd QSO.The first one was on 30m back in 2011. I hope we won’t have to wait 9 years for another QSO.
It was a pleasure and relaxing. I’d recommend you to try it.
73,

Guru

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I see a variety of interesting views to this topic. Andy mentions the difficulties to implement, which f think is the strongest argument against it. While I agree with Tom and Andy that activation no does not necessarily require the points, I wonder how many activators have the same attitude towards it and stay with SOTA and how many would switch to other options for their outdoor activities.
Guru, I like the idea of rag chewing in lack of activators, which I do not necessarily connect to SOTA but many ops I know.
Nice to see that everybody finds his own comfort zone within the rule set, let’s see how this ongoing madness will develop…

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Even if we introduce some sort of inducement to continue activating it will have no effect in those countries where severe mobility restrictions have been imposed, and I foresee more countries introducing the same restrictions.

We will just have to cross our fingers, caress our lucky rabbits paws and hope for the best. When all this is a memory the mountains will still be here and SOTA will still be here. Let’s hope we are, too!

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We’re not subject to any lock-down here in VK2/VK3 yet so I intend to blow the dust off my SOTA gear and get out there. There are still restrictions in place after the summer fire situation but there are plenty of Summits still available.

And, on top of that, I note that the 3-day HF propagation forecast issued today indicates that “mild to moderate enhancements are possible”. The T-index has been in positive territory for the last few days, which we haven’t seen for some months now. So that’s an added incentive to get out there.

I like the idea of making QSOs a bit more conversational rather than just an exchange of signal reports and the SOTA reference. Let’s talk, too. Might help a bit if anyone’s feeling a bit isolated out there.

See you on the air, from a Summit somewhere?

73

Bernard VK2IB

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I was thinking along the same lines as Guru … start a “SOTA Net”, where we can say something more than 599 73 TU.
Only problem : what time(s) and what bands ?
80m for local , 40m for EU, 20m for EU/DX ?
Is the DMR talkgroup still active ?
Is anyone else on the Zello SOTA channel , except DD5LP and me ?
If anyone is QRV, do we post it as a reply here, or would it be OK to post it on the Spots page if there is no/low activity ?
Any ideas ?
(It’s a pity that we don’t have a sked page like the one SKCC has, it works really well :
[SKCC Sked Page](http://sked.skccgroup.com/ and works in any browser, no fancy apps or other program needed)
73 and keep safe !
Luc - ON7DQ

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Sorry Luc, I haven’t used Zello in ages!

So have I understood correctly - you are talking about a SOTA Chaser net in effect ? Not something that the activator on the hilltop would be neccessarily be expected to call into.

More of a regular AR Net that have been around for Eons, not an activation back channel.

To get more people involved and not worry about propagation, one of the (many) Internet based VOIP platforms might be the best choice - but “it’s not real radio”.

It’s a good idea and will work against Cabin Fever for those who are not allowed to get out.

73 Ed.

No, I was not thinking of a chaser net, just have a meeting on the (virtual) air.
Like a SOTA Dinner, but then minus the dinner , hi.
Luc ON7DQ

If this is intended to include activators, “back channel” solutions have been tried before, unfortunately with only limited success.

By the way, as (at the moment - reconfirmed yesterday 18th March 2020) HAM RADIO Friedrichshafen is still going ahead on the last weekend in June - so is the SOTA dinner. No virtual-Schwineshaxe here!

73 Ed.

Ref: https://www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.com/news/2020/ham-radio-on-the-trade-fair-schedule/

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Austrians are urged to stay in their residential areas if they feel the need for walks… So no driving to activation areas :weary: :weary:……

73, Sylvia
OE5YYN

Let me throw an idea:
During this confinement time, we could create a couple of “schools” in one.
1- Propagation conditions: learning which times along the day are best to copy other areas on each band.
2- Pile up management training: one willing to teach to others how to manage a pile-up or one willing to practice in order to improve pile-up management skills, can call CQ and many of us find him on the band with the help of RBN and call him like chasers do for a quick SOTA style QSO.
We could discuss in this Reflector about which bands when and which operators do the pileup management training and we could later share our experiences making coments about the pile-up management sessions, as well as the propagation conditions experienced.
Any proposals on bands, times to start with?
Any other comments/ideas are welcome.
Cheers,

Guru

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Hi Luc
Good idea :wink:
I’m monitoring every day DMR TG973, you can find F5LKW Roger, ON6ZQ Cristophe and SA4BLM Lars from time to time !
73 Éric

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It seems not everyone is agreed on the rules regarding activating in Austria. In an interview today at 14:00 Rainer Dionisio , ‘Sprecher der Landespolizeidirektion Kärnten’ specifically states that - providing you avoid contact with other people - you ARE allowed to drive a car to the start of a trail and go for a walk. The link to the video is below and the relevant passage is at 3:00 minutes in:

Unfortunately, there are often rather uninformed people on the radio who tend to contradict both each other, and the government.
73 Matt