International sota weekend 2012

Hi SOTA MT members,

Is there this year 2012 again an international sota weekend planned ?
If OK … what is the date …???
So that I can do some preparation (work and home) for my participation (If possible).


In reply to ON6DSL:

Luc, ISW is the weekend of the 1st Sunday in May. So for 2012 that will be Saturday 5th May 2012 and Sunday 6th May 2012.


In reply to MM0FMF:

That’s handy. We can use our GQ/MQ/2Q prefixes.

73 de Les

In reply to MM0FMF:

Thanks Andy for information.

73 Luc ON6DSL

Just a bump to refresh memories.

Is this event for real? Internet searches reveal virtually nothing except a few hits for past events. The WA7BNM Contest Calendar lists nothing about it even though several other events were mentioned, including yesterday’s QRPTTF/SOTA event.

I’m tentatively planning a first time activation of W4/EP-006 next Saturday with my stepson Christian KF4LXB and we plan to focus on good propagation times and bands to Europe using a gain antenna. But I’m beginning to wonder if I should have chosen a different event based on the very poor publicity for this one.

73, Bill W4ZV

Hi Bill,

It won’t appear in any of the contest calendars, because it is not a contest.

In reality, International SOTA Weekend has become less significant as years go by. It was originally devised by Sean M0GIA with the intention of celebrating SOTA’s accelerating international growth and promote S2S QSOs between different international SOTA associations.

However, such QSOs have become commonplace anyway, and every weekend is an ‘international SOTA weekend’ with almost 24 hours activity around the globe.

So it will be International SOTA Weekend again soon, and there is sure to be lots of activity. But as there are high activity levels each and every weekend, it might be harder to tell the difference!

I’m certainly looking forward to it anyway.


In reply to thread:

As we all know at the weekends the bands are very busy especially 40m…. some may not know that there will be a few contest running that weekend but the one that may have and effect in Europe will be from Saturday 12:00UTC – Sunday 12:00UTC, run by the ARI(Associazione Radioamatori Italiani) on all bands (minus WARC) on CW,RTTY and Phone.

My personal plan is to pick a small quiet summit and spend most of the day there (weather permitting) and be a chaser looking for S2S.

73, Darius OK7OK

In reply to M1EYP:

So it will be International SOTA Weekend again soon, and there is sure
to be lots of activity.

Thanks Tom…that’s what I was hoping to hear! Hopefully we’ll have an 88’ doublet up about 40’ on the side of the mountain with >500’ takeoff toward Europe. NOAA’s current forecast is SFI = 120 and A-index 005 for May 5 so we should have good propagation to Europe on 15m from 1400-2130z with a peak around 1930-2030z. HamCAP says +27dB SNR for 10 Watts to a dipole at the peak time so hopefully we can QSO some Europeans. See you then assuming we get the required permission from this gated community.

73, Bill W4ZV

In reply to M1EYP:

Let’s hope the weather radar image is less vividly colourful than it is today! :-((


Brian G8ADD

In reply to OK7OK:
Likewise Darius - wx permitting!

And Bill, I always enjoy International Weekend and was fortunate enough to have had my first trans-atlantic S2S 2 years ago with Andrew K1YMI over that weekend - great!

So ABW - catch on your summits? WARC Bands??


Jack (;>)

In reply to M1EYP:

It was originally devised by Sean M0GIA with the
intention of celebrating SOTA’s accelerating international growth and
promote S2S QSOs between different international SOTA associations.

However, such QSOs have become commonplace anyway

Over here in the states, S2S QSOs are certainly not common. And S2S transatlantic, even less common.

IMHO it would be great to have an exclusively S2S event (day or weekend) to promote S2S contacts and encourage chasers to become activators - no chasing points awarded for the event unless you’re up on a summit. It would also be great if the event added multipliers that promoted long distance S2S.

Barry N1EU

In reply to N1EU:

Sorry at finally is 5-6May S2S day or not?

I can’t up this Wekend to SOTA but I need info to my organitzation.

Thx Toni EA2CXK

In reply to EA2CXK:

Yes Tony. The 5th-6th May is International SOTA Weekend when s2s contacts are encouraged.

SOTA News Editor

Martyn (M1MAJ) and I should be on some GW/NW summits over the weekend. Summits and bands will depend on wx.


In reply to all:

I have quite a few free time this weekend but I don’t want to miss the ISW’12, therefore I’ll try to put on air on Sunday morning the EA2/NV-119 reference, most probably on 14MHz SSB then CW (not activated in CW before).

I’ll have to pack, finish and go down at 9:45 utc so I’ll try to wake up early ;o)

I don’t have any of those marvelous portable cluster gadgets (aka smartphones) so I’ll try to look for S2S around standard SOTA freqs.

WX forecasted is poor but let’s see. I’ll put an Alert when it is all clear.

Hear you from the summit, 73
Ignacio EA2BD/P

In reply to ALL:

Unfortunately due some circumstances, I can not join ISW 2012.
GL to all and lots S2S QSO’s and fun on the weekend.
Hpe that the wx will ok over there.

73 Luc ON6DSL

In reply to all:

some circumstances out of my control made me postpone my activation this morning. I’ll try to activate early this afternoon after lunch time (approx 13:45). I’ll spot.

Ignacio EA2BD

Hmmm, I was busy on International SOTA Weekend. Well, in a manner of speaking. On Saturday 5th May 2012, I wanted to properly install a mobile radio in my car. Detachable front panel, hands free etc, as opposed to perching my 817 under the fuseboxes. Then there was the FA Cup Final to watch, and I also really needed to pick up my brother’s birthday present and take it round - seeing as his birthday was actually 7 weeks ago.

Sunday there would be two crunch Premier League matches on the telly followed by a band rehearsal, while Bank Holiday Monday sees Liam expecting to be taken to the banger racing before a family member appears on telly that evening. Furthermore, he who conjured up the idea of International SOTA Weekend - Sean M0GIA - was busy.

I couldn’t snub International SOTA Weekend though. Although while having a pint in the pub with Richard G3CWI after completing the mobile installation (many thanks for the help) I came close to sacking the idea, the resolve was rediscovered later on.

Setting off from home at around 10.35pm BST, I chatted to Jimmy 2E0EYP and Pete 2E0LKC during the drive to Cloudside. I parked at around 11pm then embarked on the familiar ascent up The Cloud G/SP-015. Upon summiting, I unleashed the VX-7R and made ten 2m FM QSOs.

Then it was time to set up the 20m groundplane antenna and offer up a double chaser point for anyone that wanted to take advantage of the time. The 20m band was open with lots of activity, so I was quite surprised to find difficulty in getting a rhythm going and building up a steady stream of callers. Even my royal ‘Q’ wasn’t attracting them! Nonetheless, my 11 QSOs included 8 into North America, finishing with Marc W4MPS at 2359 UTC.

Noticing the spot of the South Korean activator on 14.014MHz CW while checking my 'phone, I took a listen on the frequency. I think I heard that station, but couldn’t be sure because I only ever got 2 or 3 characters of the callsign between the QSB, and the splatter from the US contest station that was 300Hz up! Another time, hopefully.

I had seen the spot from Jean VE2JCW with the comment “OTHER DAY AFTER 00:00 :)”, so I knew what was coming. And sure enough, the first caller to come through after midnight UTC was VE2JCW! In fact, my only contact, so the Sunday 6th May 2012 activation of The Cloud G/SP-015 was one of those distinguished one QSO events!

I descended and drove home, feeling rather tired. It must have been late, because my mobile radio scanned hundreds of simplex frequencies, nodes and repeater channels round and round, without being caused to stop by detections of human lifeform.

Many thanks to all callers.


In reply to M1EYP:

As in previous years I roll ISW into some UHF contesting. I was camping down in Southern Scotland near Gatehouse of Fleet although as the WX was predicted to be cool I did try to get a late room in a hotel. Yes, getting soft in my old age. But it must have been Christmas as there was no room in the inn so out with the tent and sleeping bag.

To say it was cold when arrived Saturday morning 9.25am would be an understatement although the polar bears seemed happy! It was sunny but the wind was from the North and perishingly cold. Anway erecting masts for 2m talkback, 70cms, 23cms, 13cms and 3cms/12mm stations kept everyone warm. I wanted to wait till most of the big stuff was setup before abandonning everyone for a SOTA summit. I didn’t get to leave till 2pm so I decided on one the nearby 1pt hills… SS-232 Pibble Hill. John GM8OTI helped out with setup earlier in the day and said the Southern bogfest route was very, very dry when he went up Pibble Hill a month ago.

When I got the parking spot the bogfest route was full of cattle with calves so I walked as far as the dry stane dyke and walked up between the forest and wall. There’s an ATV track to almost the end of the forest then an obvious animal track/path that goes mostly to the top and about 10mins walk from the summit, I could see the cairn, I crossed the dyke and followed another ATV track to the top.

50mins to the top which was OK for the awful ground, tussock grass, heather, uneven surfaces, rocks etc. If it was cold at the contest site it was much, much colder here. The breeze was still quite gentle but it was snowing. Yes, May 5th in Southern Scotland and it snowed. Actually graupel not snow. It didn’t stop for the whole time I was on the summit. The views over to Cairnsmore of Fleet were great and there was a cuckoo singing its heart out most of the time too. So here we had the sign that summer was here, the cuckoo and the sign that winter hadn’t left, snow!

It was too cold to contemplate a big activation, so I lashed my pole to the cairn and set up the minimal HF antenna meaning 20m/17m/15m only. Well this band choice should ensure contacts would be international in keeping with ISW. A spot for 20m CW brought a nice pileup with ODX being Jean VE2JCW and interesting DX being Jack GM4COX on Blackcraig Hill SS-070! A spot for 20m SSB brought nothing but the band was noisy with everybody screaming for some contest or other. That’s why I like UHF contests, it’s all so leisurely, contact on 70cms, ask if they have 23cms, contact there, have you got 13cms etc.etc. None of this screaming your lungs away! Up to 17m and 17m SSB pulled in a few chasers but it was quiet from the SOTA point of view, lots of people calling anything stateside. So up to 15m and another spot. Finally managed to work Rich N4EX and a few others. Lots of US stations in the 7 call area calling for the 7 call QSO party. I heard SSB stations in Utah, Wyoming both at S9+++ but they had big pileups that I wasn’t going to break with 5W and wee antenna. The graupel was melting as soon as it hit the ground but when I looked again my bag was now white. Time to go. Route back was the reverse. 40mins back to the car. Nice drive back to the contest site where they refused to believe me about the snow.


20m: GM, OM, DL, HA, EA8, CT1, VE2, IK, HB9, OH, OE
17m: OE, OM, OK
15m: N, UB5, W

I’ve just realised I’ve worked Africa there with EA8/DL1KVN. I was too cold to notice at the time. Bonus!

Hope everyone else had fun on ISW.