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Incomplete activator logging question

As a chaser I’ve noticed that some activators do not always submit a complete record when logging their activations, is this normal ?

I personally think it is a little discourteous to leave an incomplete log, but I’m interested to know others opinions seeing as I’m new to the program an all.


An activator if desired only really has to upload four contacts to confirm that they qualified his/her summit if they want the points. You may have worked an activator that had already claimed the summit points for that year who wont submit any further logs. Reasons are varied.

I log every contact that is genuinely complete.


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As an Activator, I answer every call I can hear (insert bad weather caveat here), and log every valid contact. As a Chaser I log every valid contact. I log what happened, and the points take care of themselves.

I have noticed some stations will work more than one operator on a summit as a courtesy, but then they only log the first contact (no points for them for the courtesy contacts). SOTA is a fun program run primarily on the honor system. If one of your needed contacts chooses to not log you because they received no points for it, it really doesn’t matter. You still get points for what you log.

I thought I was going to work at least one joint SOTA / NPOTA activation this year. Then I found out there were serious NPOTA logging requirements. No thanks.

While I would never intentionally submit an incomplete log of contacts, that is the prerogative of every individual operator.

Ditto here - and I think this is the case of most activators.

OK, the activator only needs to enter the four contacts to get the points for the summit, but I’m surpised you say this is the case with some activators Neil. Have you seen several cases of this or is this just one, where you call is not shown? Possibly the activator wrote down your call incorrectly or the log got soaked in the rain and was partially unreadable (it happens!). If this is only one activation, I suggest you contact the activator and query what happened to your contact.

73 Ed.

I have had a couple of instances where I have logged a chase & the activator has either not loged the activation or was possibly unable too, after completing my first activation recently I realise the wet weather can easily cause havoc with the paper log sheets.

I just wanted to know if this was a common occurrence, its no big deal, thanks for the replies.


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I normally work everything log everyone. But… there are people who aggressively tail-end and call over other QSOs, or act like a rubber Parrot on air and sometimes they just get “forgotten” when it comes to me logging them. Ain’t life a bitch! Some people can’t really hear me but go through the charade of a QSO. They get a pleasant 73 from me and a big NC in the log, not complete = not logged. Sometimes I make errors transcribing the log.

My personal view is that activators should always submit complete logs to the best of their ability if they choose to submit any logs at all. I would like to see something to this effect in the rules.

The only contacts I deliberately do not upload are those that I believe to be incomplete. I do try to keep a record of them in my personal log in case of query later.

Martyn M1MAJ

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It is not so rare! Look at the log of F6EAH for instance, since 2013 he just uploads the first 4 or 5 contact.
I dont found it fair, but as an excuse i think he doesn’t use the option “csv upload” and must type each qso
on line (which is boring)…
Anyway, what matters is the Om goes out and gives the pleasure to chasers to contact the summit.
Gerald F6HBI


Hi Martyn.

I agree with this.
I end up with three separate records:-
The database one laboriously typed in line by line; the scanned original from the summit and my own Excel log with extra details such as reports, power, frequency etc. It all takes ages but at least if there’s a query I can usually sort it out even if it refers to a QSO made ten years ago.

Uploading a CSV file appears to be a great idea until you realise that at some point every QSO still has to be typed into something. (Unless you have electronic logging at the summit).

As has been said there is no compulsion to upload all contacts or even any log at all. The chaser will still get the points. Similarly the asterisk tie-up is not essential. The one thing that is essential in SOTA (and WAB) is trust and that includes not claiming anything that the chaser (or activator) is not certain really happened.

73, John.

Any form of logging requires this. The aim is to type it only once. Then you get the computer to do any more work.

John, are you manually entering in each contact to the database as well as typing it into your exel log?

I also use an excel spreadsheet for my main log - on the infrequent cases that I used a paper log, I would type the contacts into my log when I got home and then manipulate them into a csv file and upload that instead of entering in each contact individually to the database. I then moved to a tablet with a spreadsheet and typed each contact as it was made into the spreadsheet and then when I got home, manipulated it into a csv file and uploaded that. Currently I use VK port-a-log which outputs a csv file ready for uploading when I get home. Much easier and far less wasteful of my time now!


+1 for this from me too.

In almost all circumstances I answer every call I can work until no one else calls in. In over 300 activations I think I have packed up and left people unanswered on 2 or 3 occasions, this has been due to several factors; battery died; severe weather and once because of pressure from the (non radio) group I was with who were fed up of waiting.

Yes and that’s the way I’ve entered hundreds of QSOs over the last three years - manually one by one via the web page. It’s only lately I’ve found tools like CSV editor to help me.

I am of the opinion that an activator should enter all contacts made, even if he doesn’t have to, to get his points. Definitely drop incomplete contacts. If the activator doesn’t enter the complete log, how do we find people who are entering false contacts?

That would be telling.

I meant if we can’t rely on activators entering their complete logs - there nothing to stop lots of people saying they worked such stations and were simply not entered by the activator.

Hi Matt,

Oh no nothing so bad. My only typing is into the SOTA database[quote=“VK1MA, post:13, topic:12886”]
John, are you manually entering in each contact to the database as well as typing it into your exel log?

Hi Matt,

Thanks but oh no, my only typing is into the SOTA database and the internet browser fills in a lot of detail if I’ve worked the station in the past. Just before finalising the summit and sending, I copy and paste the log into an excel template I created. After quickly rearranging the columns into the order you’d find in a proper logsheet, I add the other info which was recorded at the summit such as power, exact QRG, RST’s etc. When complete that gets dumped onto the end of my SOTA excel log which I started with my first activation on 5th April 2002.

You won’t know this but in those early days, the database was controlled solely by the then SOTA management. The only way to claim your first summit (other than mailing in your paper log) was to register and ask that the excel log blank be sent to you via email. After typing in the summit, the ref, callsigns, comments, power, RST’s, your QSO’s, etc. you emailed a copy back to them and it became your personal record. Next time you activated, you would add the details of the activation to your excel log and email it off a second time and so on.

Everything else was done via the old SOTA Yahoo reflector and if I remember rightly, the league tables were available there. It worked but it meant a lot of work for the founder John G3WGV in keeping all this up to date manually when more and more people started SOTA each month that went by. Each log sent to him had to be copied and pasted into his master database. This excel log is the log I am still using today and I regard it as my master doc. It has far more detail than what you send to the database which is not a proper amateur log at all; merely a vehicle to claim summits. I can search for anything which is useful when the odd QSL card comes in.

So there’s a bit of history for you. It’s just from memory but there’ll be a few of us from the early days that remember it. What we need now is a fancy machine that listens to the activation and out pops the log complete with bulk upload option! No typing at all.

As for accuracy, completeness and honesty. I think we could discuss it all week and really get nowhere. There isn’t an answer that will completely eliminate these issues but there is something that was instilled in us SOTA people right from the start. It is summed up in the phrase, ‘The Spirit of SOTA.’ The phrase came from the people who thought SOTA up and we should all try to abide by it. It’s the reason why some requests for clarification of difficult rule book detail are turned down. For example the phrase, ‘The final approach to the summit shall be made on foot.’. How far is ‘final?’ Conscience is the bottom line there and the same applies to submitting accurate and truthful logs. Also, you can’t fool yourself.

All the best,

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