Has it become too easy?

I was more concerned about the boldness of his post, as explained eloquently by beavis and butthead …


If there are 10x as many activations now as there were when the chasing scores where designed then probably it will be somewhere between 1x to 10x easier to collect the chasing points.

Reviewing what is being logged should provide some answers and probably only considering the activations using 40/30/20/17/2 should be needed. 160/80 can be discounted due to the issues in most domestic arrangements in installing antennas for those bands. 60m can be discounted as it is not generally available. 15/12 are not open much for the next few years. 10/6 are really short opportunity Summer only bands for the next few years too.

Activators who are also Chasers, could make things much harder for themselves to achieve Shack Sloth.

For example, I decided to become a Shack Sloth the much tougher way of making the required 1000 chaser points all summit to summit. Worked for me…



OK also removed now …

You and me both, Gerald! I have at least S8 noise on the lower bands and S6-7 on 20 metres, plus I only chase on SSB which is a bit of a handicap with so much activity now confined to CW, but for all that I still have averaged over 1800 points per year over the last five years! Add to this that ten years ago in the last sunspot minimum the overall noise level was lower but there were many more plasma TVs about!:rage:

Well yes, Karl, but it has happened before, hasn’t it? The last sunspot minimum was unusually prolonged but SOTA continued and indeed expanded rapidly - what is happening at present is that we are still adapting to the changing conditions, there are several years of minimum to come and we need to change our operating methods to adapt.

I suspect that when the blueprint for SOTA was drawn, nobody could have anticipated the present level of activity. Activating is just as challenging as it has always been and that will not change, but today there are many more activators, so there is more activity, so chasers have more targets - and chasing can continue during the hours of darkness when the local activators are safe in their beds (except for one or two adventurous souls!) Just look at the figures - there have been 248 spots in the last 24 hours, yet in the first years of SOTA 25 spots in 24 hours would have seemed like remarkably high activity!

All I have done is pose a question about at what points level our premier award should become available to those who want it. I am not suggesting any organic change to SOTA, I would be happy to let 1000 points continue to be known as Shack Sloth perhaps celebrated with a more ornate and colourful certificate, all I am suggesting is that the trophy should be available for a higher score to give it as much prestige as it carried in the early days. I mean, how much prestige would be carried by the DXCC honour role if it could be earned in a couple of months? I would like to see the earning of the trophy to carry more respect and admiration than is currently the case.

There’s actually a specific suite of awards for that Mike - the S2S awards. That will track all that for you without you having to restrict what you enter in your normal chaser log.

It already is Brian, and has been for a while. People can claim or not claim whichever certificates and trophies they choose, so the option for a chaser to ignore the 1000 point threshold and claim a trophy at 10000 points is already in existence. Your wish came true even before you requested it :wink:

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I’m with you on that point Brian, It seems to be strange that “only” certificates are available when one (as chaser or activator) passes the 1000 point level. For S2S contacts there is no “trophy” for 1000 points, for S2S it is always only a certificate no matter what level one reaches (albeit with coloured patches to cover the globes).

How about this as a suggestion … as the “Ice blocks” are custom made - why not simply allow those at the 10,000 chaser point level buy one with an extra inscription of “Super Sloth” on it and something similar for the activator mountain goat Ice Block at 10,000 points.

I know this only adds recognition of the bigger achievement and doesn’t make SOTA “as hard as it used to be when it started” but this might be a way of making the higher target of 10,000 points something to aim for. Those with limited antennas, Metro-noise and little time, still battle to get to the 1000 point level and changing the rules in a way to make it harder to accrue chaser points (by for example limiting summit validity to once a year, as suggested by Colin) is IMHO not the right direction to go.

Those who started SOTA both as activators and chasers were more “hardy”. Of your current “customers” only a portion would reach the same challenges, but as SOTA is inclusive, that is inevitable and “the more the merrier” is what I say.


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Thanks for the info Tom - so my suggestion (which I wrote at the same time as you were writing I suspect) - is already possible? We can have a “Super Sloth” inscribed Ice Block?


As a fairly infrequent operator from home, I think I’m on track to match your rate of progress towards Shack Sloth Brian. Some (actually probably many) people have better home setups, some have more time than me and some are probably keener. I think the initial award level at 1000 points is fine. It’s a personal challenge and only the individual knows the amount of effort they have had to make to get there. I don’t get too excited about any Shack Sloth awards; for me it’s more about the interest in working someone on a distant hill rather than how many points it’s worth. Actually I’m less interested in hearing about the other end of the spectrum - the mega sloths with 10s of thousands of points.

I’m happy with the current rules.


Yes Ed. All already the case.

The trophy for the S2S suite of awards is at the 2500 threshold rather than 1000 simply because the scoring for the S2S honour roll incorporates the points scores of the summits at either end of the QSO added together - so, overall, you score at approximately twice the rate. 2500 is the closest awards threshold we have to 2 x 1000.

Thanks Tom,
Thanks for the clarification on the S2S trophy. That makes sense as I have about 2.5 times more points S2S than activator.

I believe the SuperSloth engraving option for the Sloth “Ice Block” is “10K” - the “Super Sloth” text is available on the certificate but it’s not yet listed as an option for the Ice Block.


Ah. Perhaps I should have said “the trophy should be available only for a higher score.” What you are saying is not news to me, Tom, I had my trophy inscribed for 1000 unique points. The thing is that if there is no difference between a trophy awarded at 1000 points and a trophy awarded at 10,000 points then the trophy awarded at 10,000 points cannot carry more prestige than one awarded at 1000 points, can it? What I am on about is having an award today that is equal in prestige to the SS of the early days of SOTA. Frankly, with current activity levels the SS is no longer a thing to be looked up to in the way it used to be - a SS was a giant amongst chasers, the ground trembled at his footfall, but with seven chasers above 100,000 points and 275 chasers above 10,000 points, 1000 points no longer seems much of an achievement. Indulge me in my purple prose…:wink:

Don’t forget that there is a spacial element to the difficulties faced by chasers. Here within a single hop of all of Europe, 1000 points probably looks a lot easier than it would be for a chaser in (say) VK.

Regarding the required points for awarding ice block - perhaps you have a point there.

Many variables are involved that influence both activator and chaser scores, several of which have been cited in previous posts. Pursuing the idea that they all tend to offset each other over the long run, I took at look at results to date based on point levels achieved:

Assoc Group— Mtn Goats(1K)—Super Shack Sloths(10K)—Shack Sloths(1K)
All Assoc ---------------325 ----------------------275--------------------------1335
All G-----------------------57------------------------61----------------------------258
All DL----------------------51------------------------31----------------------------137
All W-----------------------44------------------------47----------------------------246
All VK----------------------20------------------------10-----------------------------88
All EA-----------------------6--------------------------9-----------------------------95
All CT-----------------------1--------------------------1-------------------------------8
All VE-----------------------1--------------------------3-------------------------------9
All JA-----------------------0--------------------------0-------------------------------4
All ZL-----------------------0--------------------------0-------------------------------1

The strongest correlation seems to exist between Mountain Goat (1K) and Super Shack Sloth Sloth (10K). I would suspect that as the newer or less active Association Groups develop more history, they would follow the same trend as the older/more active groups.
The VK and DL groups don’t appear to be as sedentary as the rest of us which might explain why they are somewhat of outliers in this data set :slight_smile:

Rich N4EX

So don’t apply for the one at 1000 points then, wait until you get to 10000 points.

There is a difference - 9,000 points I would say. I’d say the trophy inscribed “10K” is substantially more prestigious.

What concerns me Brian is that 75% of the SOTA chaser community has not yet achieved 1000 points, and the only actual action needed for your proposal is to remove their option to claim a trophy at that point.

That seems negative and entirely unnecessary.

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Can I kill discussion about wording on the blocks please: You can have anything you want engraved on the block provided it is relevant and will fit. Whenever somebody wants something different I usually make that option available following a request by email or other means but if I left them all available then the drop down list would become unreasonably long.

If you want something different engraved on the block then drop me an email prior to ordering, I will add the wording (and the cost) to the drop-down list and you can then order it.

Whether a different trophy for 10k Chaser points (or 100k or 10^8 or anything else) is justified would depend on demand. The set-up costs have to be factored in, the glass blocks have amortised that cost over several hundred blocks but it is unlikely that I could justify these costs for a limited run. If the discussion leads to a completely different trophy being justified then I am happy to do the artwork, find a trophy (that is going to be available for some years) and establish the set-up cost and therefore the selling price.

I have never had a request for a new design for S2S - those that have been purchased have, if I remember correctly, been based on Chaser blocks (but I may be wrong, there is no reason not to put them on the Mountain Goat block).

What is the demand for other trophies - let me know.

Meanwhile back to the debate started by Brian - is Shack Sloth becoming far too easy a target and therefore becoming devalued?

Well, my point is there is three times as many registered chasers that are <1000 points than are Shack Sloth or beyond. It only seems “easy” to the full-time professional retired chasers who got their Shack Sloth years ago…

That doesn’t seem much of an argument, Tom, since year on year there has been a steady rise in participation. Thus every year there are new participants starting their journey to SS. It is what happens at the other end of the journey that is of interest. Some may move on to other interests having achieved their goal, some may specialise - uniques, completing associations etc, and some may set their sights on super sloth and beyond. SOTA is goal orientated, it is up to us to keep a fresh supply of goals available!

While I think that the SS award has become a lot easier to attain, I am not dead set on ending the SS trophy. If people want to keep it, so be it. I assign more importance to the idea of a high prestige trophy beyond the SS. Something more difficult to aim for, a reason to continue enthusiastically chasing beyond SS.

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Some figures for the last year of full data and from 10 years previously.

Activations 2016

30731		149112		4

Activations 2006

5477		22725		4

Chases 2016

331347		1593743		4

Chases 2006

36290		151576		4