It is with great pleasure that we can announce that Finland is the latest country to join the SOTA family.
The new Association will go “live” on 1st April 2008, the intervening time being used to publicise our activities to the amateurs in Finland. Although it is a fairly small Association, with just 127 summits throughout its four regions, Finland is of great significance for several reasons. It is the first Scandinavian country to become a SOTA member, and is also the most northerly of our Associations, with many of its summits located within the Arctic Circle.
Whereas most countries justify their Seasonal Bonus by citing the increased likelihood of inclement weather, Finland changes the emphasis. Its extreme northerly position allows the rationale for its Seasonal Bonus to be the short hours of daylight (often none!!) during the winter months. Of course, the converse is true, and the continuous twenty-four hours of daylight available in mid-summer could be the catalyst for some “night-time” SOTA activity.
It is unlikely that we will see a major burst of activity in the first few days of SOTA-Finland, as the summits are all located well away from the major centres of population, and there is no ready-made pool of keen activators waiting to cross the border. That all means that contacts with activators on Finnish summits will be more prized for their rarity value. Of particular interest to our VHF chasers is the increased possibility of auroral-mode propagation, and that may well increase the amount of SOTA activity on 50 MHz particularly.
Our thanks to the Association Manager for Finland, Jaakko OH7BF, who is already a keen SOTA participant with his alternative callsign of F5VGL. Good luck to everybody involved with SOTA-Finland.
73 de Les, G3VQO
obo SOTA Management Team