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I guess that some sort of filtering will be the next step? I know Les would like to be able to select HF only and that might well apply to a few others too. There is a downside though. More and more activators are using several bands and so one might miss the fact that they have arrived on their hill if you use filtering. It is also common for a 2m spotter to add “40 CW next” as a comment and that would be missed by filtering! Maybe we need an “intellisense” system?




In reply to G3CWI:

Whilst I agree about the possibilty of missing comments and the fact that multi-band activations are at least on their target hill, I’d opt for the “walk before we run” approach, and settle for simple filtering HF/VHF/ALL and CW/PHONE/ALL for the non-CW chasers.

I’m not sure whether it’s worth the effort filtering the Alerts though. That would be a major task as some alerts would cover all the available options. What do others think?

73 de Les, G3VQO


In reply to G3VQO:

HF/VHF/ALL and CW/PHONE/ALL for the non-CW chasers.

The slight downside of this is that it removes the incentive for people to try new things (which is actually a tacit objective of SOTA). Much of the interest in CW has come from the fact that so many CW spots have been generated. Likewise if you never see an HF spot you end up forgetting that other options exist. Maybe there is a way of filtering that does not serve to fragment the SOTA community? Ideas?




In reply to G3CWI:

Good point, but that is where my suggestion of not filtering the Alerts page assists.

If we assume that, on a busy weekend, the VHF chasers will be doing their thing, whilst the HF-CW chasers are happy doing theirs, then it’s only when things go quiet that people tend to look outside their comfort zone.

On a day when bad weather precludes any UK VHF activity, then chasers may well realise that HF can still gain them points from France/Germany/Switzerland/etc. Again, the dyed-in-the-wool “I don’t do CW” chaser won’t look anyway, anymore than I’ll bother listening from here on my 2m handi if I can’t find any HF to chase.

Perhaps the future if to encourage joint expeditions. A VHF-only guy who activates alongside an HF-CW enthusiast will see the benefits and downsides, and vice-versa.

It would be a shame if a useful idea like filtering fell victim to a form of political correctness.

73 de Les


In reply to G3VQO:

I would think filtering needs to be applied on the basis of utility.

I.e. is the rash of 2m FM spots making SOTAwatch difficult to use for an HF only chaser?

At the time of writing if I look at the ‘Spots’ page, there are 62 spots. Would filtering make picking out the HF spots much easier or is casting your eye down the right side of the list easy enough?

Another form of filtering would be to ‘highlight’ HF or VHF spots depending on setting. In fact 'highlighting’could be taken much further to include specific strings (inc ‘cw’ or particular bands/summits/assocs/callsigns, etc.)

73, Jon


In reply to GM4ZFZ:

I understand what you’re saying Jon.

When things are relatively quiet, on a February weekday, there is no real problem. However, when things get really hectic, on a summer Sunday afternoon, there can be numerous simultaneous activations. The number will only increase as more Associations come on-line. This is the environment where filtering would come into its own. Even with WebMon set to one minute, a new spot can be several lines down as other spots arrive so fast. By the time you have worked the target station, it can be a major task trying to see if anything else of interest has been spotted in the meantime.

I’m intrigued by the “highlighting” suggestion. It fits Richard’s wish for inclusiveness, although it does not address the really busy scenario outlined above.

73 de Les


In reply to G3VQO:

I had rather thought that the filtering would be of most benefit at this stage to webmon users - allowing webmon alerts to be triggered only for things one might be interested in. One way of showing the whole picture might be to have some simple spot-stats on the main spots page. Perhaps this would be a little like the summit info showing how many spots per band and mode there have been in the accounting period? That way everyone can see where the action is - even if they dont see the actual spots.




In reply to G3CWI etal:
I like the idea of highlighting HF and VHF, presumably with different colours. This would make it easy at a glance to see what is what. Personally I am generally happy to have a stab at any frequency that has activity, often more in hope that anything. If the filtering did remove VHF or HF from the page I do think it would discourage others from trying something new. This has certainly worked with me. I got hooked on Sota (Vhf) but could see from the spots that I was missing out on 5 megs, so I got an Nov. I could also see how much I was missing out on 40mts, 80mts and the CW side. I was suprised at what my shocking antenna system could manage on the low HF bands! I am still working on CW, but I am making a little progress, 2 Sota CW qso’s and counting. (Qso with you next I hope Ric?) Because of this I have now had a couple of non Sota CW qso’s as well.
I like the highlighting idea best.
Quentin GW3BV