HELP: Unable to SPOT.

Good morning.

I have been trying to get SOTA-Spotter to work. I had it working once some months ago, but it is not working now. I am pretty certain I have my password correct, it seems to send a SPOT. But nothing appears on SOTA-Watch3.

I have tried the SMS_NA, SMS_UK, SMS_EA and SMS_OE, none work. If I have a Wi-Fi connection, I can send a spot. I have been getting my nephew DO5AL to provide a Wi-Fi hotspot for me, but yesterday that was very difficult.

Is there anyone here who is very good with SOTA-Spotter who may have some idea of what I am doing wrong?

The key points are that SOTA-Spotter works with Wi-Fi, but not with SMS. And I can log in to SOTA-Watch3 so I know my password is OK.

THANK YOU for any help or suggestions.

Vy73 – Mike – DL/KD5KC – JO50cg.

Hi Mike,
My first obvious question would be: did you register your telephone number?

Have fun and 73, Stephan

Hi Mike,
I try successfully my sms spot. Maybe the pics helps. Don’t forget to send the sms by click the arrow

73 Chris

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Yes I did, some years ago. Perhaps it was lost in an update or something? How would I confirm it?

Thank you.

Just ask at the specified email.
Now I’m out for the HB9SOTA event!
73 Stephan

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My version of SOTA-Spotter does not have a blue arrow that I can see. It has a gray bar labeled SEND.


The same here. Then my SMS app opens and ask for sending the SMS.
Look for your SMS app and confirm, that your spot is out going.
73 Chris

You can send the spot without the Spotter. Send it with your sms app and look for the format in my pic.
73 Chris

Hi Mike,
You need to clarify - are you sending via the Internet or via SMS?

As you say that you can send via a WiFi gateway set up by your son, I am reading between the lines that you are visiting Germany and out on a summit. What Cell-data capability do you have on your phone?

We do not have CDMA or 3G anymore in Germany. Your phone needs to support 4G(LTE) or 5G, your phone contract needs to have roaming data in Germany enabled (and charged for). If you are in a regional area for LTE/4G you are likely to be in an area where only Band 20 (850MHz) is available for data transfer and only Europe-specific cell phones support band 20. Worldwide 1850MHz is used more often (as it is in large cities in Germany).

The simple way to check that you have a working internet data connection to your phone is - is SOTA Spotter displaying new spots? can you send and receive emails? Can you go to a website via the phone’s browser? If not, you have no Internet connection.

The fallback “might” be to use SMS to an in-range 2G Cell tower - that is not always the case, however.

In SOTA spotter your selected SMS gateway is shown in small text to the right of the buttons where you can select Internet Connection or SMS gateway. On that SMS gateway, you need to be authorised - either your telephone number needs to be registered there or your account & password. The best option is to use the sam SMS gateway that you have used before from home.

My suspicion is an incompatibility between your Cell phone and the European cell Networks or your contract simply does not allow you to roam with data outside of the US.

73 Ed.

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Mike wrote: If I have a Wi-Fi connection, I can send a spot
73 Chris

Mike dropped me an email this morning and I explained why his spot failed.


Exactly - so he possibly can’t send data via 4/5G but can via WiFi.

In the meantime apparently, Andy has clarified why the alternative SMS spotting did not work.
73 Ed.

It does not open my SMS program. Is there something else I need to do? It was working. I am uncerain if what Andy discovered will cause this.

Thank you for the wll written reply. I paid extra for access in Europe. I see a a connection and I can see spots coming in fresh. Sometimes my connection is 4G and sometimes it’s E. In either case I can receive spots. Calls, texting and 5GB data. If it’s a compatibility problem I guess I am lost.

Thank you.

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Did you not get the email Mike?


4G is obviously 4G connection (really LTE but let’s not split hairs)

E is EDGE or Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution. It is an enhancement to the old 2G GPRS data speeds. A bit faster than GPRS but not much and a lot slower than 3G/HSPA and modern systems.

That all makes perfect sense…German networks shutdown their 3G services last year leaving 2G and 4G/5G. So you either get E or 4G for your phone. If your phone doesn’t do 4g voice (VoLTE or 4G HD voice) then you’ll see 4G when it’s just doing data and E when it drops to 2G because there is no 4G or because you are making/just made a voice call which needs 2G for the circuit switched connection.

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Ok, That’s proof that you have a mobile internet connection, so spotting via that link over the Internet “should” work.
Strange - as you said you can spot via WiFi but not over 4G - I thought that might be a compatibility problem with the phone but it seems not.
Perhaps Andy’s direct message to you has the solution?
73 Ed.

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I remember, that in an older version of the spotter app there was no need to addly confirm the sms in the sms app. But now, I have to do it everytime, as shown in my pics. I guess one of the recent security upgrades of Android forces this.
Open you sms app and look for the out going sms. There are no sms generated by the spotter? Then you have to change the security setting for the spotter app.
After a deinstall and reinstall of the app, you surely get the question “Do you allow, that the app may send sms?” Confirm.
73 Chris

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I had issues trying to spot using the SOTA Spotter app over the weekend while on the summit. I have tried a combination of users names and passwords. Each time I get “Error authorizing with SOTA SSO[1] status 0”
This is sending via the internet. 4g, home Wifi both fail.

Have a look to the “Settings” menu in SOTA Spotter App.

There is under the point “Spotting” the option to only copy SMS text to clipboard. If this is checked then it will not open the SMS message app.
But there is a bug/issue with recent versions of the Android message app (also on my phone) that it sometimes does not open the message app at all.
(That is the reason for the “Copy to clipboard” feature)

But for SMS spotting you can always manually type the message (and then later copy+edit and send again).
Do you have your phone number registered with Andy ?
Otherwise you can use the SPOT-SMS version with username and password.
OE SOTA Spotter

Btw. I was trying for a S2S yesterday with you but there was too much QRM

73 de Joe


FOUND IT !!! It was the “Spotting” the option to only copy SMS text to clipboard. Somehow that got checked. I was intently reading every word in every option, and I asked myself what does this do? I unchecked it, and all is well! I turned off Mobile Data and the spot went through.

THEN - I came here to say I found it, and read your E-mail! That just confirms it. That must have gotten checked some months ago, as it has not worked for a while.

I guess you were the OE5 calling? The propagation was good, but as ever people will slide in right under you and tear it up. You were weak when they were not talking, and not readable at all when they were talking. And the talked a lot! Thanks for tying. I have 3 more summits planned before I go back to Texas.

Vy73 – Mike – DL/KD5KC.
Strahlungen, Germany.

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