Ever done an "unSOTA" activation?

I haven’t done a SOTA activation for ages… but sort of came close yesterday morning. Myself and two other SMARC members hiked up South Brother, a local and prominent hill near Cooma, and worked some 2m SSB, including Andrew @VK1AD as VI10SOTA activating Mt Ginini. Great fun. Worked a few SOTA stations on 40m as well before the cold started making itself seriously felt - I was caught out by the recent cool change TBH and was under-dressed I think. Beany, where are you?

Anyway, I was kind of wondering if anyone else does this - what I might call “unSOTA” activations? It’s kind of challenging to be without the reliable SOTA chasers and spotting network… but was a nice day out as well!

I also made a short video about it - bit of an afterthought really, but you might enjoy it.



I considered working my radio on some beautiful summits in my area which sadly do not qualify for SOTA because they’re neighbouring a higher but less interesting SOTA summit. However it seemed rather pointless (literally) so I never gave it a go.

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To get to the next SOTA summits I need about 45 minutes. Sometimes that is too much for me.
I have a hill nearby that can be reached in 10 minutes. I visit it every now and then

to test new antennas
to do spontaneous VHF operation in good conditions
to chase interesting activators that I could not work at home

73 Armin


Great you are out portable Steve.
I often go out in my yard and chase SOTA ops VKFF ops testing antennas and stuff.
I think its a good way to know how my antennas are tuned and working for when I set up on a real summit. Plus it gives those on summits or parks that much needed score.
73 Ian vk5cz …


Ha yes… it’s amazing how many things stop working or are forgotten when we go out in the field… good practice :smile:

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That’s something I want to try.

:upside_down_face:Yes… I struggled a bit with that but decided that the exercise, fun and catching up with club members made up for it. Mostly anyway…


I second Armin’s reasons. When I want to test a new or newly-repaired antenna or do a A vs B comparison between two antennas, I don’t want to combine that with the demands of a SOTA activation.

I’m lucky to have a hill [not a SOTA, WOTA, HEMA, etc] only 20 minutes walk from home for that. It has the ruins of a WWII observation post and - next to it - the ruins of a Cold War observation bunker, located on that summit for the good views and for me a good HF/VHF take-off.


I never done sota activation. I was on sota summit but never give sota number. No chasers, no allerts, nothing. Just plain qso s.

That is my choice. I like haming in the nature. Fresh air, silence, birds. I see no point in avoiding nice place because it is not sota.

A lot of you, reading this may ask why I am here? Because great discusions about antenas, gear, hiking etc. I am not sharing your point of view but all of you here are great guys I want to pay beer. Or two. Or three :slight_smile:


That’s also the story of my friend W0RW, who does pedestrian mobile and does not keep a Sota log. He knows which summits are Sota qualifying, and he will tell you their name when he is on top. It’s up to you to look up the reference number and log it as your chase. Fair enough.

Elliott, K6EL