Hack Green Again

Still using Hack Green to obtain their reports.Cheating as I said before.
This time the the radio was on vox and probably a base Mike and I heard the end of my over
to Jack GM4COX/P re transmitted due to the slight delay from Hack Green,I think also heard by Jack and many others if they were listening.
I think if I found I was that desperate for a point I would give it up. 73 Don G0RQL.


OK… and for those who have no idea of what Hack Green might be?

EDIT - oh, I see, it’s a WebSDR radio. So, presumably people are using this to get SOTA points?

I’m afraid, it’s no worse than using FT8, Don :wink:

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You are being judgmental, Don. I see where you are coming from, but there is more than one way of looking at it.

I have a halfway decent antenna for the band, a 102-foot doublet, it gets me out fairly well, but on the receive side I am severely compromised by an S8 noise level. I am not the only one with this problem, it is an urban epidemic. It seems to me that faced with such a high noise level a ham has four choices. Give up, carry on struggling, move to the country (in an area without electric fences!) or use a WebSDR. If one limits oneself to a single WebSDR and uses it all the time, I do not think that this is cheating. Using more than one and choosing the one with the best reception is a bit more iffy, though it could be argued that it is little different to having a choice of antennas to select from.

In short, using your station to transmit and a single (perhaps declared?) webSDR to receive is IMHO acceptable. Not traditional, but acceptable. Just my opinion, not wearing an MT hat, YMMV!

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Hi Brian,I don’t think I am being judgemental at all, why not allow others with the better receiving
capability of relaying the reports for them,why are repeater contacts not allowed is’t Hack Green
repeating the transmission.
My opinion only but obviously would not be agreeably to all. Don.

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How does that work when the transmitter and WebSDR are on different continents ? :).

Because there was the guy from the US with a beam and 1.5kW that was trying to work european activations by listening for them on european WebSDRs.

Razvan (M0HZH).

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i personally think the transmitting station and the receiving station should be the same station at the same QTH. If someone has the space to have a separate receiving antenna/setup at home sat next to their transmitting station then good for them, that is fine in my eyes. But transmitting in the UK from home and potentially receiving the qso in a different part of the country is not what I see as a valid qso. I was always told you can only work what you can hear. I take that as from one location/radio/setup in the shack.
IMHO anyway.


Hi, Razvan. That is why I suggest sticking to a single webSDR. The guy in the US may be able to work EU stations like that, but he would have trouble working other US stations that way. If he used both the webSDR for EU and his own receiver for the US then I think it would be unethical. The trouble is, how could the MT stop him? I guess we set the guidelines and trust to a guy’s sense of fair play, there is no way we could silence the webSDRs. We perhaps should just think of them as receivers with a long speaker lead!

And what about those who uses “remote station”…
with long practice as activator man can say if someone uses WebSdr or Remote.
For me, as an activator it is not important, as long as we have fun!
There is nothing to win just the pleasure to have Qso’s together.
73 and cu all tomorrow from a summit.

Agree with you Don you may just as well txt everybody instead.


Maybe Gerald one day “armchair activators” (Summit Sloths?) could offer to cover your “expenses” getting to a summit in return for conducting QSOs over your station via a mobile phone? A future opportunity (or threat)?
I’m being flippant/provocative :wink:

EXACTLY! I love SOTA :grin:

Its costing me around £25 per UK SOTA Complete at present Andy, based on a two day trip to Scotland to stay overnight in a pub and pay for fuel for a 400 mile+ trip so I can activate and claim 3 or 4 summits.

I don’t think setting up a crowd funding page would help, so I’ll keep forking out from time to time, and hope I can afford to fund one trip per month this year out of my pension! Overseas trips can cost more than that in €€€s per summit but I look upon them as holidays.

As an activator I have no issues working all chasers who are challenged with VDSL QRM, plasma TV, switched mode PSUs etc blighting the ether wherever they live. I did hear the incident Don referred to in my phones this afternoon just before working Jack GM4COX on 60m - using my own RX I hasten to add! The station concerned retransmitted Don’s voice from a remote RX on his own trnasmitter for about 3 seconds. After hearing the stations faux pas I looked at Hack Green after my QSO and there were 5 stations monitoring 5403.5 - two chasers were observed with their callsign in the clear, so for that two guys there was no embarrasment, not to say they did or did not make a QSO, I know one did for sure. Re-transmitting Don’s signal is against our licencing condx and whoever it was should more careful.

Speaking as an activator for almost 14 years now I don’t have a problem with chasers using a remote RX to work me when I am on a summit so long as they transmit from their own station. They don’t need to mention the fact that they may be on a remote RX. A ruling on stopping this would prove almost impossible to enforce anyway. Laissez Faire I say - all callers welcome, preferably on their own RX, but if they cannot hear due to external factors use someone elses RX.

73 Phil


Spot on Phil. This is a hobby after all.

FT8 is a valid mode in amateur radio. For a SOTA activator, it is far less effective or convenient than phone modes or CW. So why the negative sentiment?

My negative for FT8 would be leaving my bivvy bag for a break, then returning to discover I’d just worked a Russian station! :rofl:

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I see where you are coming from with this Don. It’s not a practice that I am particularly comfortable with but as other people have already pointed out, there are two sides to this argument.

I think that Brian has got it spot on with his comments.

I also suffer from an S7-S9 noise level, which makes any form of HF virtually impossible.

As Brian says there are currently 4 options for people in this position.

If the MT ban the use of WebSDR, then most people are left with the option of struggle on (not really an option with SOTA as most SOTA stations are QRP and fall well under the S9 noise floor), or simply give up.

I am lucky that I have around 3 acres of land to play with which has very little RF noise. I’m currently in the process of setting up a remote station which I hope to have on air within the next 2-3 weeks. Most people don’t have this option.

If you ban people from using WebSDR’s such as Hack Green, it will prevent many of us from being able to chase at all. This also means less chasers for the activators.

There is a bigger danger to this though:-

Most of us have to work and live within commuting distance of our jobs. For the majority of people this means living in a city or the surrounding suburbs. In this day and age that means that an awful lot of amateurs will have noise issues to some degree.

The exception to this of course are people who are lucky enough to have a job in the country, can work from home (and can therefore live in the country without having to worry about commuting), people who live and work on a farm, or people who have enough money saved up to retire to the country and not worry about work.

I fear that this could preclude a lot of people from taking part and make this an elitist hobby. Not something that I would be keen to see happen.

I too was listening to GM4COX earlier and heard the incident mentioned. Initially I started off listening on my own receiver and was just about able to copy him through the S7 noise level. I called in a couple of times but there was a lot of rag-chewing going on, with each contact taking at least a minute.

After around 20-30 minutes of waiting and trying to get through Jack faded into the noise. I admitted defeat & gave up on getting the contact. I did however continue to listen on Hack Green for a bit on, so I may well have been one of the people showing up as being on the frequency when Phil checked the list of users.

SOTA is all about having fun and setting your own challenges. My attitude is very much “live & let live”. I’ll worry about my own affairs and other people can worry about their’s.

Like I said, this is a hobby which is meant to be fun. Let’s just enjoy our hobby without getting too caught up in politics or ethics. It’s not like there’s any prize money at stake here. We all set our own goals & challenges.

Indeed, hence my suggestion for a two tier scoring system. :slightly_smiling_face:

I hope you are not implying that less points should be awarded for working a Russian station!

I would consider that inappropriate and a little “racialist”!!! :wink:

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It is a difference in philosophy, I guess, Don. To you it is cheating, pure and simple, my attitude is more nuanced. What I see is not somebody cheating - how could it be, it is not against the rules? What I see is probably somebody faced with the stark alternatives of either abandoning SOTA and ham radio itself, or finding a way of carrying on in the face of overwhelming electronic smog. A remote receiver is one way forward, but since most of us do not have the resources to purchase land and set up a secure remote station the fall back position is a webSDR. Believe me, I’ve considered it myself but am struggling on for now! So, not cheating, probably just a dispassionate weighing up of the alternatives and taking the simplest effective one.

The problem of the maladjusted VOX is a different matter. My FT817, 857 and TS520S all have VOX and the handbooks all have instructions for setting it up - though I have never used it, I don’t like it! I think possibly the offending station set up the vox for normal background noise and forgot that the webSDR would be louder than the background, a simple error to make but as pointed out above it leads to illegal transmissions.

Not wanting to hijack Don’s Hack Green thread, or have a pop at anybody, this is my last FT8 post here. With the discovery of working a Russian station whilst being absent from the station, you could be absent a little longer, then return to see if you’ve qualified the activation. (Apologies Don).

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If this is proved to be true, I find it deeply shocking and utterly ‘not SOTA.’ In my eyes this would only be acceptable if it were for ‘interest only,’ no points were claimed and it didn’t count towards an activator’s four contacts. It is also OK for spotting. I sincerely hope that it never happens to me as I would feel devalued and possibly demotivated as an activator.

Furthermore, there is a specific rule against it.

3.8.4: ‘QSOs via terrestrial repeaters do not count for points. QSOs via satellites, kites and balloons do count for points.’

Apologies for getting a bit steamed up about this and I won’t come back for further discussion but this has certainly raised some emotion which I don’t usually display. I am certain that this is not what the founder members of SOTA intended.

Thanks to Don for bringing this out into the open.
73, John

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