"How to Activate" Video

I’m new to SOTA and I have read quite a bit on what to do. I still feel I haven’t gotten the full idea yet. I’m wondering if there is a beginner’s guide to activating a summit on video. Something showing what steps to take before, during, and after an activation.



Hi Jose

I don’t have a video explaining it but I wrote a page about SOTA on my VKFAQ website. It is divided into sections for activators and chasers. Apart from the VK-specific comments, it would apply everywhere in the world.


If you read the various sources of info and then have more specific questions, this forum is the ideal place to ask as there is plenty of advice available.

73 Andrew VK1DA VK2UH

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Don’t know if there’s a definitive how-to video, but if you search YouTube for SOTA activations, and watch enough of them, I think you’ll get the right idea.

Mine doesn’t show everything I do, but you can start with one of mine:



Thank you!

Thank you! I will check it out!

I found this video by M0JCQ that may be helpful:

This is what I use very often as a set-up. Not authoritative by any means :slight_smile: but shows you what people out there are using. Typically your equipment and set-up will change over time as you test and become more experienced. Also different set-ups for different conditions may be warranted. Finally, failures are always a great way to learn. You reflect on them and try to improve. Try to go with experienced SOTA goers so that you can learn directly from them how they operate. Enjoy SOTA and the hobby!

Hi Jose,

Good luck with the SOTA activations. Here is a guide to SOTA activating on the SOTA Website Summits on the Air I would advise to read this it is perfect for beginners and is written by John G4YSS who is one most experienced mountaineers in SOTA and has done a lot of SOTA activations as well.

Jimmy M0HGY

One great way to learn is to tag along with an expert. Seeing how they do it in the field is the best way to get into it. Perhaps someone local will offer?

Eventually you will develop your own ways. It’s always a good idea to try stuff out at home or in a local park before your first expedition too.


Great video! Did you use stabilization for your camera?

Thank you for the videos! I will check them out!

This is great! Thanks!

Good point. I will ask around locally to see if anyone else I know participates in SOTA.

Just the built-in stabilization. Entire video was shot with my iPhone 7. I’m not an Apple fanboy by any means, but boy, they did the cameras on their phones right!

Oh ok. I do video production for a living so I’m naturally curious. Do you use something to hold the phone or just your hands? I’m somewhat of an Apple fanboy but that’s paying a toll since I started ham radio. May have to get me a windows laptop soon.

Ah, OK! Yeah, it’s just hand held. That said, I do try to do my best to hold it steady (and NEVER vertically). I think the combination of a somewhat wide angle lens and good built-in stabilization is a pretty good one that gets better with each new model.

I know what you mean about software! I’ve strongly considered a small windows laptop many times! I think I may end up going with Linux though. For only ham radio.


Hi Jose & Welcome on Board!



73, Heinz, OE5EEP

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Thank you!