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Hack Green Again


So to sum up the majority of comments here are for using remote SDR for QSO’s and claiming DXCC or SOTA credit?

In that case I will remove my Wellbrook large aperture receiving loop that I erected to overcome the S9 noise level that I suffer in my location.

Then because I am apparently not being unethical using a web SDR located in VK for receive to make contact with a VK station that can receive my 400 watts on his top band four square aerial I can “Work” him and claim DXCC, SOTA etc

Alternatively the VK station can use web sdr at Nantwich to receive my transmissions while I listen to his transmission on the Sydney Web SDR and again claim credit for DXCC, SOTA etc

As someone said earlier BALDERDASH!

I wont even comment re FT8 thats yet another thought!

73 HNY Terry G4POP


No Terry. That is not what what this is about at all.

Your quoted example of VK / Hack Green would not be valid for DXCC or SOTA.

For DXCC, your transmitter and receiver need to be in the same DXCC as each other. Not necessarily the operator, but of course, contacts would only count as valid from that DXCC that contains the TX and RX.

For SOTA, I don’t believe we have actually formulated a written rule, but it strikes me as logical to duplicate the DXCC approach, replacing “DXCC” with “Association”.

Mountain out of a molehill anyway. Nobody is doing this, nobody wants to do this. The nearest we have from the anecdotal evidence on here, is someone using a remote SDR (within their own association) to improve the RX to the noisy one in their own shack. The TX remains the one at their own QTH.

That’s within the rules of DXCC, and indeed for SOTA. It’s not a huge issue, hardly anyone is actually doing it and hardly anyone would actually want to.

I’d rather a chaser in a noisy environment participated like that than didn’t participate at all.


Nope, the majority of comments haven’t yet come up with any way of coding this up into the General Rules that the MT could have a chance at looking at.

Of course, it’s a good thing SOTA isn’t a competition. If you want to claim an award using bogus logs that can’t be easily verified as false, go right ahead. The only person being cheated is you. You get to look at that certificate and know, deep down, you didn’t earn it. Maybe that eats you up, maybe it doesn’t. That’s where the catch-all spirit of SOTA comes into it. I don’t feel that WebSDRs as a receive tool are in the spirit of SOTA. I don’t have a problem with remote transceiver operation (the internet is just a long microphone cable then). That’s my definition of the spirit. Others take it differently. But I know when I look at my chaser awards, I feel I earnt them within the rules and the spirit of the program.


Yes, but by the same argument a webSDR is a receiver with a long speaker lead!

I cannot fathom the logic where a remote receiver is forbidden but it becomes OK if a remote transmitter is added to it.


After a 30 year gap SOTA got me back into radio. There were a couple of things that stood out as I turned on the new 817
1- Why was I getting S9 noise almost everywhere?
2- Where were the stations?

After some time, lots of torroids and repositioning of antennas away from the various wires surrounding this very rural QTH I managed to get the noise down to a better level (Usually S4-5 160 - 40 although today it is S8. I live in a very rural location, but still have niegbours with overhead ADSL and with teenage children every household socked is populated with a wall wart, and every bulb in the house is LED. Because (gamekeeper permitting) I can hide my wires between trees in the woodland accross the track I can escape most of the noise. In an urban garden - no chance! (I have done some activations and when powering up the rig I usually have to check the antenna is connected because the noise is missing!)

Having Reduced the noise there was still big gaps (Unless there is a contest) when I remember bands being jam packed. The Derby SDR (160m) is quite enlighening - apart from the FT8 it is sometimes difficult to find an amateur signal in the evening - and from the continental signals it isn’t always a propogation problem.

So - Where are the hams? When I first got my licence in 1979 I was one of the youngest hams on the air at the time (16). Listening on the bands ( and looking at the photo’s on the reflector) I think I am probably still one of the younger hams.

So - IMHO we need to encourage people into the hobby, and preferably ones that are younger, and judging from the cost of rural living probably urban. If they turn on a new rig and are met with S9+20 noise they are very unlikely to ever experience a QSO oh HF So my view ( for what it is worth) Live and let live. I don’t have to use an SDR to have a QSO, but if I did I would. It it gets more people on the air we might have a bigger voice to get rid of some of the noise - and if we dont use our bands we might loose them!

If I have the time (and a bit of money) with my shiny new fibre to the house connection I might even consider making a Web SDR so someone else might experiece what HF should sound like. perhaps it might encourage them to put their boots on and try from the top of a hill. It would be a good technical challenge!

Right - Now charging batteries - tomorrow morning Nine Standards Rig (If the roads are OK and not too icy) so I can let Andy FMF know how much swimming is involved… Hope to work as many as possible direct - or via SDR Best 73… Paul


OT: Ta muchly!


I’m not too bothered with Hack Green or other similar sites being used for receiving and understand the reasons for using it.

However, I find the retransmission of Hack Green via the chasing station really annoying when the volume is as strong as the chasers audio. Found it very confusing on several of my activations until I saw a previous post.

Cheating? Not sure on that one Don, each unto their own. Illegal retransmission? Yes, I think that is against our licensing conditions


I think what I take from this is that the position that the majority of people take (broadly speaking) falls into two categories:-

  1. You have people who (reading between the lines on their posts) take a similar position to me. Basically are perhaps not 100% comfortable with it but understand why someone feels that they would need to use a WebSDR, and ultimately would prefer people to participate using a WebSDR than not at all. “Live & let live”. “The only person that they are cheating is themselves” are the two phrases that seem to keep coming up.

  2. Then you have the people that are vehemently against it, consider it to be cheating & see it as the devils work!!!

I think the split between those two positions is fairly 50/50.

As a side note for those of you that think that using a WebSDR is an unfair advantage to claim lots of chaser points and get to the top of the chaser roll of honour table, I leave you with the following facts from 2018 (last years) chaser results:-

  1. I had a total of 182 chaser points last year. As far as I can remember, I had assistance from a WebSDR on around 4-5 of those when the noise level was particularly bad. I could hear them on my local receiver but it was a struggle. This probably equates to around 10 points that some would argue that I shouldn’t have claimed.

  2. I fall into position 349 in the chaser roll of honour, with a total of 235 points.

  3. The person at the top of the table has 149,627 points, of which 2,418 were from last year.

People like myself participate for the fun of it and aren’t really too bothered about how many points we have.

We don’t even come close to competing with the really serious chasers, who probably go to the time, effort & expense of putting up better antennas than the WebSDR’s have (beams & rotators on large towers, top of the range transceiver etc).

Banning WebSDR’s would have the (possibly unintended) side effect of driving people like myself away from SOTA, & maybe amateur radio in general. It would however have very little effect on the results further up at the top of the table.

In my eyes, the spirit of SOTA is to set your own challenges to achieve how you want, get as many people involved as possible & (most importantly) have fun doing what we enjoy.

Let’s encourage as many people as we can, rather than putting unnecessary barriers in the way that would possibly discourage them.


It is because the transmitter and receiver are then at the same location. I.e. the complete station. Can you not understand that?

Walt (G3NYY)


So your happy if someone has a complete remote station then @G3NYY Walt ?

the remote receiver and remote transmitter must be used together (no remote rx and home based tx ops)
only the owner uses the remote station, i.e. it’s private
the remote station owner can use the remote station or home station and mix the chase QSOs in the one log. (log SOTA QSOs via remote station as mycall/p?)


Oh, I can see that, I just can’t understand why it is so important to you.

So would you be against a remote station where the Rx and Tx are on different sites? An unlikely but not impossible configuration!


What if my remote receiver is at the bottom of my garden?

What if I own a very large estate and the RX at the “bottom of my garden” is 3 miles from the TX in my shack?

Where do we draw the line?

Easy answer - same place DXCC (ARRL) have.


Walt, I’m up on G/SP-004 contesting in the 2m UKAC and G9ABC works me using the Hack Green WebSDR, is that a valid chase? My view is the contact should be chucked out!


This is what the General Rules are for. If you have any doubts go to the GR, read sections 3.7 Rules for Activators and 3.8 Rules for Chasers. Is there anything there that forbids G9ABC from using Hack Green? If not, then the contact is valid.


Sorry, I may not have made myself clear. Is it a valid contest chase. Would the contest committee allow the use of a WebSDR by chasing contesters?

I very much doubt it. So why should SOTA?


The question, then, is would the contest committee allow the use of a webSDR? I haven’t the foggiest idea, what do the contest rules say?

As for “why should SOTA?”, firstly SOTA is not a contest, so has no need to take any account of any contest rules. Secondly, the UKAC rules were set up by a seperate organisation which has no influence on SOTA, however, they run IOTA so it would be interesting to find out what the IOTA rules say about webSDRs, does anyone know? However, thirdly, though, SOTA is not IOTA and does not need to follow the IOTA lead whether they say yay or nay. Finally, the other great arbiter is the ARRL and the DXCC award. Again, SOTA is not DXCC and does not need to follow the DXCC lead whether they say yay or nay.

Basically, this is our problem and we will find our own solution. That solution will not be on the basis of an aggregation of gut reactions, a head count of likes and dislikes, it will as always be on the basis of what is best for SOTA. This thread is producing an array of reasons for and against - reasons, not knee jerks, though there are those too - and will be a help if and when the MT decide that rule making to cover the use of webSDRs is necessary.


If your operating is at such high standards Mike, why do you always refuse to work my dad Tom M1EYP when you are activating a SOTA summit and he is trying to chase you?

Jimmy M0HGY


Agree with this statement 100%

Whilst rules are useful for clarity, policing webSDRs rules would be impossible. Ditto for contesting if an OP used webSDR for receiving as who other than that OP would know.

Issue is inadvertent retransmission of another station whilst using webSDRs. Mute the receiver when transmitting then who cares if webSDRs are being used.


As you don’t hold the callsign M1EYP, it’s really no concern of yours…Clear?


Uncalled for, Mike.