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Heading for the hills

Heading for The Hills

It would appear that the new version of the SMP has been running in a stable state on the SOTA server for a few weeks now.

So, I should like to take this opportunity to announce that, effective immediately, I am leaving the SOTA community and will no longer be involved in either the maintenance or running of the sotamaps site. I hereby entrust those tasks to the SOTA MT and in so doing, I endow all intellectual property rights of the SMP to the SOTA MT, and the freedom to do with it what they will. I have every confidence that the MT’s IT group will be able to take on the tasks of regular maintenance of the SMP with the not inconsiderable skills at their disposal, even though the rather idiosyncratic (read “inexpert”) programming style I’ve used in the code might cause them a few headaches for a while.

To be perfectly honest, the countless (several thousand!) hours spent in the development and maintenance of the SMP have taken a heavy toll on me in recent times, adversely affecting my health and sense of well-being, and I have been waiting for at least two years for this opportunity to present itself. At long last I feel I can, with no small measure of relief, cast off what has become a virtual millstone around my neck, and to live a little - while I still can.

In addition, since starting on this project some six years ago, I have experienced a steadily diminishing interest in amateur radio itself, to the point that it has ceased to have any relevance to me. So, I’ll be moving on to pursue other interests.

Finally, I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to those who have given me valuable words of encouragement and support through some dark times, and especially to those few who had generously contributed donations to help with the upkeep of the SMP. You know who you are…



Thank you for all of your efforts Rob. I hope now you can take a big sigh of relief and turn your mind something comparatively easy to achieve… World Peace? Brexit Negotiations? Herding Cats on an industrial scale?

Any way - thank you again.

Wade VK1MIC .com

1 Like

That is a great gift that you have bestowed on us, Rob, and I’m sure the whole SOTA community appreciates it, thank you very much.


All the best for the future. It’s been a pleasure working with you in getting SMP onto the new server and SSO integrated, and your patience with my sometimes brief and barely intelligible responses to your questions. I’ll buy the drinks if you ever make it to VK or if my travels get me in your direction (possibly later this year).


Your own well-being should always come first in these matters. Thanks for your considerable efforts in support of the SOTA community. I hope that you will enjoy whatever else you choose to do!

You will be a great loss to the community but I know you have made the right decision. If it’s become a chore rather than fun, then you must cut yourself free and I hope and expect everyone on this reflector will respect you for that.

What you have created for the SOTA community is without doubt the best mapping facility available ANYWHERE and I hope the MT are able to keep it running at the same high standards that you have set.

If you ever decide to come back to the community, I will for one will welcome you with open arms and in the meantime, if you want to get together for a bier or three, you have my email and phone number.

73 from Ed DD5LP/G8GLM.

A big thank you for the superhuman efforts you have put in. I know from planning my own expeditions, it would take a hell of a lot longer without SMP! It really is appreciated.
73 es 55

Thank you, Rob.

73, Alfred, OE5AKM

Hi Rob,

I would like to thank you very much on behalf of the entire Austrian association for all the work, time and efforts you put into this project. You’ve implemented so many things people have asked for and created such a valuable tool - can’t stress this enough!
Thanks a thousand times - we’ll miss you!

73, Sylvia OE5YYN


Hi Rob,

You are leaving behind an amazing legacy for the SOTA world. Thank you for all your efforts and best of luck and enjoyment in your new endeavors. SOTAmaps has always been where my activations have begun (planning) and ended (uploading GPS track).

73, pat - KI4SVM

Hello Rob,
I would like to echo the sentiments expressed above; the SMP is simply marvelous and I appreciate the skill and determination needed to create it.
Thank you.

Hi Rob,

I would just like to say many thanks for all your efforts over many years in producing and maintaining such an amazingly useful tool to the SOTA Community.

I am very sorry to hear that your health has suffered and also that you have lost interest in the hobby. As others have said - of course you health must come first.

I hope you find happiness and joy in whatever other pursuits you now follow.

Kindest regards,
73 Andrew G4AFI


I know we don’t know each other, but I would just like to thank you for all your hard work for the SOTA community, and wish you all the best for the future.



Hi Rob,

A very big Thank You for what you have accomplished with bringing SMP to life!

I used SMP practically for every tour planning except for the most local ones. Planning was already half the fun of a SOTA trip thanks to your valuable tool! Thank you also for your extremely quick responses to enhancement requests and for your patience with sorting out my beginners errors (You know what I mean)!

All the best for your new endeavours!
73 Heinz

thank you for developing the SMP and leaving it now to the sota community.
Good luck with all your future endeavours.
Best 73’s!
Zoran / E70AA

Dear Rob,
I’m sorry to read about your health being deteriorated after so many hours devoted to create such a great and extremely helpful tool for us. You are doing the right thing. In these cases, distance and fresh air is the best. I’m sure you will soon recover and I hope/wish you will happily enjoy whatever you are going to do from now on.


Thank you Rob.

It is always a joy to use SOTAMaps, especially compared to some other programs’ mapping solutions. Even after a few years of using it I am still discovering new features and tools.

Best of luck in your future activities!

Thank you Rob for all the hard work over the years and the valuable asset that you have given to SOTA. Good Luck with your future ventures although I do hope that one day we may hear your voice being transmitted from a distant SOTA summit.

73 and take care

Allan GW4VPX

Thank you, Rob, for all the work you have done.
SMP is a very valuable tool for planning, documenting and evaluating mountain radio activities with highly amazing capabilities.
Good luck for you.
Martin DF3MC

Yes Rob - I knew there must have been a tremendous workload for you in creating the SMP over the last 6 years. You never tired until the job was concluded. I have been a user since day one and without the SMP my enthusiasm for SOTA activating would not have been what it became. So you are much to blame for it! I do not know how the SMP could be improved now, and I guess you realise that the project as far as you are concerned is totally complete, so time to hand over. I hope your interest in amateur radio may return in time and that we may meet again at Friedrichshafen.

All best to you and good health,

Phil G4OBK