Interesting point. But improving you antenna works both ways to reach out and hear better . Being an M3 for way too long 15 years now and certainly enhanced me antenna systems i have for portable and home because limited to 10w. And always looking to some how reduce the noise I RX here and then finally up graded me licence last year and made certainly worth while doing that. Thinks more fear of not passing was biggest off putter but rolled up me sleeves and got on with it.
SDR handy to monitor freq’s whilst else chasing on say another band or freq and awaiting something to pop up etc. heard this all before many years ago when internet provided things as DX cluster making it easier to find things.
But one thing has changed the man made noises is creeping up and making it harder. FT8 not really looked into that, does seem tad easier to rattle up scores and do like me SSB mode a lot well the preferred mode of contacts.
But again each to there own.
Now awaiting the revised to come full licence booklet to be published as that’s changing and have a butchers at what the full is all about.
Mind you could twist this a little on Home brew V’s brought antennas ETC.
Bet that’s an old one going back MANY a YEAR of moons ago.
Karl 2E0FEH still polishing it the new call that is
With the greatest possible respect to yourself, this is the attitude which concerns me. Just because you don’t like a particular mode (and choose not to participate), it doesn’t mean that you have to have a grumble at everyone else who does chose to partake.
I personally feel is unhelpful and will drive people away from the hobby.
I really didn’t want to hijack this thread and provoke an outburst like that because this topic is about WebSDR & not FT8. I only gave it as one example in a list but as you’ve raised the point I’ll answer to the points that you’ve mentioned.
I wouldn’t agree with you on that one. That’s just your perception. Some would argue that it’s a step forward. It’s possible to make contacts under conditions that wouldn’t previously have been possible. Surely that’s a step in the right direction. Developing & improving communications technology.
By the way, I think I’m right in saying that the guy that developed FT8, apart from being a lecturer/scientist at Princeton University (and apparently a very intelligent man), is also a ham?
It often (although not always) seems to be the case that new modes are initially developed by hams experimenting.
Because I like to use SSB (probably my first choice of mode when wanting to make a contact) and wanted to use the full 100 watts that my radio has to offer. If I find myself in a better location in a few years time, I would quite like to do a bit of QRO with a linear amp too. I can’t do that with a foundation licence.
I also wanted to be able to supervise people on the air and introduce them to the hobby (which requires a full licence).
I accept that not everyone has aspirations to upgrade their licence but I think it’s a bit simplistic to blame FT8 for people not upgrading to an intermediate or full licence.
Some people are only interested in portable QRP work and don’t require the full licence.
Every SOTA activation that I have ever done has been less than 10 watts, so I technically wouldn’t need a full (or even intermediate) licence if I only wanted to do SOTA activations.
For the same reason that I am learning CW at the moment.
It is still used extensively in the amateur radio world, many SOTA activations are done on CW, and it has a strong historical significance & heritage which (like many other people) I am keen to see kept alive.
Hence why I (and many people like me) are learning morse even when the newer modes “outgun it”.
The way I see it, I can use both and get the best of both modes. Both modes have their place.
Because I still want to learn about antennas and build my own. As I’m sure you will know, it brings a certain sense of achievement when something that you have built works well.
Honestly, Mike, you sound like a crusty old colonel nursing his gout in his gentlemen’s club while denouncing the morals and manners of the modern generation! Hilarious! Surely its a wind-up! If it isn’t, I can only say that things change, things have changed, deal with it.
This isn’t rocket science but If the noise level at home is too high and your really keen on SOTA, try having a go at being an activator for a change. I’m surprised no one has mentioned this already!!
Regarding the use of webSDR, it shouldn’t be allowed. I thought the whole point of an award scheme was to test yourself and equipment. Not really doing that if your receiver is in another country are you!
Just my thoughts on it all
Not as often as I would like (work & family commitments make sure of that). Unfortunately I only get out once or twice a month. I would do more if I could.
Are you seriously suggesting that I should be excluded from any participation in the scheme for the remaining 28 days of the month that I can’t get out on a hill top?
I think this is where we find some common ground. Using a WebSDR in another country is taking the mickey a little bit.
Having said that, as someone has already pointed out, your antenna and the propagation still have to be good enough to get a signal to the activator, but I take your point about using a WebSDR in a different country. I’d agree with you on that one.
I agree with you Andy, but I think Don @G0RQL has a point.
I’m not being judgemental at all but for enlightenment of the topic let me play with this matter.
I will carry a DMR HT and a DMR hotspot to a summit.
I will use the DMR HT to communicate with the hotspot using a simplex frequency.
On the other end, a chaser, at home, will use his/her DMR to communicate with his/her hotspot.
So, both ends of the QSO are using simplex frequencies.
The QSO will be validated as a SOTA QSO (ativactor/chaser)?
This is the better than using an Websdr as a chaser…
RX and TX are simplex…
Saying so, I believe that we should drawn a red line somewhere and that includes do not use any part of internet to TX or RX. I believe part of the SOTA fun is the ability to improve our tech skills (and trek on the nature, of course).
If we start using “aids” we end up using 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2.1 GHz and 2.3 GHz bands (AKA cell phones).
But hey, UR QRP!
Both sides have it’s pros and cons and to much rules is a bad thing, for sure.
IMHO, with the full respect for those who live in an urban environment (I do) - and its dirty radio spectrum - I don’t see any difference between using an SDR in the same country or abroad. Or using a repeater or an SDR.
I’m sorry for those who aren’t able to chase an activator but that challenge is part of SOTA beauty.
As I pointed out in an earlier thread, I could listen to numerous central European /P stations via the Twente Web SDR in the Netherlands, then count them for chaser points even though their signals are inaudible in England. They would be able to hear me with my 400 watts and superior transmitting antenna.
However, I would never do this because it’s CHEATING. I am in no doubt about this.
So specify in a code of practise that the closest web SDR be used.
It isn’t cheating until the rules say it is cheating. Like you I find the idea distasteful but I think you are throwing away the baby with the bathwater. Ethical use of a webSDR can help hams who are otherwise in an impossible situation - and after all, isn’t inclusivity a feature of SOTA?
It’s the thin edge of the wedge. If we are going to allow this, why don’t we just take an iPad or laptop on to the summits and just make all our QSOs via Skype? I expect this time next year the MT will be telling us that’s not cheating either.
Did I say that, or in any way insinuate excluding anybody, let alone you from the scheme??? And were any of my comments directed at you personally??? Calm down OM. Obviously touched a nerve there!!I was merely suggesting SOTA is mostly outdoors based, so if there’s an issue operating from home, don’t. You don’t always need to be sitting on a SOTA summit to participate or in the home shack. I appreciate there are many reasons why people may not be able to activate a summit but sitting in a park in good weather is just as good or alternatively in a car on a hill top.
As far as I know there are no WebSDR’s located in GM land therefore anyone in GM land using one is using one in another country. Besides, if I’m sitting on a summit I like to know my signal is being received at the source of transmission of the signal I’m receiving. If I’ve made the effort to grunt and slobber up a summit, I want to know my 5w SSB is making the trip to Cornwall all on it’s own, that’s what makes the effort worth while. Not being worked via a WebSDR in Cheshire.
" A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent. One who engages in this fallacy is said to be “attacking a straw man .”
Here’s my take on it, Phil. There’s little to no skill in getting two computers to shake hands and then claiming a “QSO!” A mode (sic) that can be started at the click of a mouse and then the Activators goes off to make his lunch has no part in SOTA, IMHO.
For years, we’ve suffered the preachings of the gospel according to Samuel Morse ad nauseam on the Reflector. Now the CW ops have discovered a far easier mode, they’ve all jumped ship! ROTFL
There’s a lot of DX and DXCC’s in my SOTA log, arguably more than anyone else in the SOTA scheme, all worked the hard way, no dits no dahs no FT-8, just a mixture of antennas, some home brew, some purchased and a mic
So far this year, I’ve activated 5 summits 3 SOTA and 2 HEMA, during the short path working times into the Pacific and worked VK from all of them. My 3 SOTA activations produced 259 contacts, 180 on 20m. Do I need FT-8, well probably, if all the other operators and Chasers abandon ssb. Anyway, I’ll give your thoughts some consideration. BTW, contrary to what Brian has said, I’m not at all crusty and not suffering from gout
I was implementing digital protocols in software in 1981, so I’m delighted to see this hobby catch up to technology from 30-40 years ago. Work like JT65 and FreeDV is probably ahead of current commercial and military technology. I am really excited about amateur technology these days.
And one who uses your technique to advance an argument is often said to be engaging in “gas-lighting”. (A form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.)