FT8 SOTA Day - Sunday 5th January 2020

So after running a bit of FT-8 on Transatlantic S2S Day and having a lot of fun, I would like to gauge interest in a global FT-8 SOTA day.

The hope is with a little planning ahead of time we can get lots of FT-8 SOTA chasers on who might ordinarily not be able to work the summit stations due to adverse conditions.

If there is interest in the day then I would like to set a standard exchange that will make it somewhat easier to keep track of which stations are summit stations and what summits they are on.

Tom, N2YTF
W1 Area Manager

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JS8Call is a good mode for SOTA I think, Frequency for the mode is usually above FT8 and not as busy. You can type ahead with JS8 now plus it has different speeds of transmission. I am interested in a Data SOTA day but I could only chase this time of year during our summer, too hot on summits in vk5 during summer for me.
Ian vk5cz

Apologies if I am highjacking the thread, but, given that Sotawatch lumps all data modes as “Data”, has anyone ever laid out in spreadsheet form “Frequency||Mode”? For example, I saw BU2EQ spotted today on “21.074 DATA”. Not very helpful to a newbie digit-head. Actually, not really - I was around for RTTY, 1200 baud packet & PSK31, but these days, I don’t feel loved if I am not advised at least once per week of a new data mode being launched.

To get back on topic - if I can install one piece of software that will allow me to work all of this week’s de rigueur modes, I will almost certainly be there as a chaser for you. Highly unlikely that I will be packing serious CPU to a summit, however.

Splutter, nearly chocked on my single malt with that one John and it’s almost true!

Sounds a great idea and I’d definitely want to take part. I don’t think we need to develop a new protocol for the exchanges; Roger @F5LKW and I have established an effective procedure which can be found elsewhere on this reflector.

I’d be up for it - it’d give me the incentive to get my “field” gear together and work out how to do the free text stuff (still very much an FT8 newbie…)

On a separate but related note, I see Tom has put on his spot the offset frequency and transmit slot for his activation - excellent idea, though I wouldn’t expect to copy him on 15m I know where to look, I can just about make out some speckling on the waterfall.

In good conditions, I often see two pages or more of hits for each period, being able to set the “receive” cursor to the right frequency for an activator so their call came up in the “Rx Frequency” pane would make it much easier to pick them out of the general melee!

73 de Paul G4MD

(For a bit of context, when I wrote this Tom was activating Arthur’s Seat, GM/SS-272 on 21MHz!)


15m CW and 15m SSB were empty. There was lots of lovely stuff on 15m FT8 - E2, ZS, ZD7, PY, OD, VK, VE9 etc. I worked several UR and a GM… :confused:

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Im going to try to setup an MFJ-1234 for field use as opposed to my netbook. The netbook setup is nice but I really want the 1234 + iphone setup working for minimal weight.



Just spent 4 hours trying and failing to get WSJT-X to install on a Raspberry Pi (including updating the OS to Stretch as suggested on the download site then discovering the latest one is Buster :rage:)

Anybody else manage it?

Edit - finally done it - now got to work out how to make the wsjt-x windows fit on the screen :-s

Just kidding…


Sexist and mode-ist.


Two for one, what a bargain!:grinning:

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How does this guy decide which key to use?

How does this guy think that CW is “like FT8”?

That photo came from Richard AA4OO, hamradioqrp.com. Someone else almost certainly added the text. I’ve corresponded with him a few times and he didn’t strike me as sexist or ‘mode-ist’.

So, have we a date in mind for this FT-8 SOTA day? I would give it a go. I’ve successfully operated FT-8 in my back yard with my usual SOTA gear + a Windows tablet.

Would we operate on the usual FT-8 freqs with the hoards, or would we QSY to other freqs to make it easier to find us? I would love to make some S2S FT-8 contacts.

FT-8 works well on my Panasonic Toughbook, but I’m not sure I’d want to lug it up any kind of summit :smiley:

It is as sexy-as-hell however… and has a daylight readable display.

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Reminds me of the GRiD laptop I had back in the 90’s. That thing was indestructible and weighed a ton.

Get a Windows tablet if you intend to carry FT8 to a summit!

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Frankly, the mind boggles.

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The GRiD was sexier. Mainly 'coz they were used on some Space Shuttles. And had bubble memory.

So a date then for the official FT8 SOTA day. Shall we say Sunday 5th January 2020? Shall we have two sessions say 0700-1000 and 1400-1700 to best cater for VK/JA etc and W/VE/PY etc - or shall we just run it all day and see what happens?

I reckon 30m is still the optimum band to use with current propagation, with the added bonus that the FT8 frequency on that band doesn’t get quite so congested, and therefore it’s easier for a QRP portable station to be received.