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Is this allowed


Well tried again and that worked. Please use the topic “Duplicate Summits” for all future posts about duplicate references.


So W1 precludes those with limited mobility from the satisfaction of activating even a single summit. If the activator operates from the activation zone on portable power away from the vehicle, is it that important that he hiked up 100 feet in vertical elevation on the few summits that have a road to the top. I know the radio signals I receive as a chaser don’t know the difference.
Is this intended to be a fun and enjoyable activity for the Ham Community as a whole or an exercise for the purists among us. Lets be reasonable about the few summits that can be driven to, it seems silly to hike down and back up, it’s not an Olympic Sport. Lets keep it fun and inclusive.
Jeff, K6QCB


Not really, because the W1 rule conflicts with the General Rules, so they are invalid. Even though it is labeled an interpretation, associations do not get to make their own interpretations of the rules separate from what they mean for all of SOTA.



I understand all of that Brian…what is NOT clear is what is “in the vicinity”. That’s is what is arbitrary. You may say 200+ feet and I say 20 feet. Both are correct according to the “guidelines”. And yes it is guidelines because there isn’t a set distance.

Secondly since the vicinity isn’t stated the management can get complaints from the SOTA police and one may be the buddy of a management team and the other someone willing to push the limits…how would we know the “guidelines” are being administered fairly. That’s the problem I see. The OP post a video and the other 3 videos do not show operation from a vehicle. Yet the management team without knowing anything more says it isn’t a SOTA based soley on the tent being NEAR a vehicle…which the guidelines clearly do not say.

Now unless we will now need to post videos of our activations to make sure we are doing it correctly so the SOTA police won’t have to call any activator out…I thought this was still on the honor system.

Why don’t we just follow the guidelines and not worry about what anyone else does.

Yes I will call them guidelines until I read the “guidelines for activators” is changed to “Rules for activators”.


Rules or Guidelines?

Rules or Guidelines?

Rules or Guidelines?

Hmm looks like we have lots of rules and the rules we have tell you how to apply the rules to the guidelines.


Section 3.7 of the General Rules is headed “Rules for Activators”. Vicinity is purposely left vague for the reasons given. I personally would interpret that to mean that the station should be set up at such a distance from the vehicle that it cannot be powered from the vehicle or the antenna be attached to the vehicle. A disabled person might set up closer to the car and this would be acceptable on the grounds of inclusivity as long as the rules are otherwise observed - no power from the car, no antenna support from the car, the operating position being outside the car. There are exceptional circumstances where even an able bodied person may set up close to the car - for instance we have a summit that can only be activated from a roadside lay-by within the AZ. In such a case activators are expected to keep themselves and the equipment as far from the car as the lay-by permits.

I have expressed no opinion about the activations in question, I have not had time to examine all the videos, so I left that to others, I would only say that where there is one activation that clearly breaks the SOTA rules then the others are bound to be questioned, this is human nature. If the videos don’t clearly show that the essential requirements are met then there will be a nagging doubt.



Surley end of day some summits are easy reached by motor and some not there are NO mountion peaks here in Cornwall or Devon. But end of day it does clearly state the motor MUST not supply the electric to station or supply said stand for the antenna.

When I get around to doing Kitt hill will park the car well away and as for Brown willy hill that will be bit of a walk for sure.

Too me it will vary distance to sota station from how you got there before unloading said motor and walking. Lets not spoil this lovely part of the hobby I really enjoy and hopefully in 2015 will be better set up.

End of day we do not use car in operation of radio on sota only getting to or close to the summit is wot i have learnt from last weekend and the wind howls up there too :slight_smile:


You do realize, new to SOTA activators are going to read all parts of this well written document; and think it is actually the official MT position.

Finding very similar approach verbiage (only after the fact) in my own Association Manual had me questioning the validity of my own first activation. The good folks here on the Reflector cleared that up for me, and mysteriously the local ARM was suddenly completely revamped. I wonder if history might repeat itself?

And I did go straight to the original W1 ARM document itself before commenting. Here are two more pieces of that document I found quite interesting.

“Each state within the W1 association is split into separate regions which loosely follow the geographic or topographic features of mountain ranges within each state. SOTA management guidelines require that only contacts with stations outside a summit’s region count towards the four contact requirement for a valid activation for activator points.”


“USA W1 SOTA is an extension of a similar program already active in other countries.”

FYI - My focus here is the need to include the word “similar”. My thought is that it either is SOTA, or it is not. What is SOTA similar?

Since you felt comfortable posting part of this document on the Reflector, would you care to discuss the merits of these points? I would love to hear more about it.

Glenn - AB3TQ


Clearly these are just badly worded: QSOs with others within the same activation zone do not count towards the QSO total.

Same rules but a different set of regions and summits therefore similar, but similar could be omitted.

Brian (terse - its 0100 and I’m headed for my bed!)


I’ve not seen the video’s (the link either doesn’t work here (USA) or been taken away)
However, I’ve (almost) fallen for the same thing, and certainly missed a good many opportunities for proper SOTA activations. The problem is that the various SOTA sites are overwhelming with information.
As the saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know, and this proved very true in my case.
A website should, IMHO never ever say anything like: click here if your’e new to this site.
I never click links like that because all too often you’re going to be lectured on items you’re not interested in.

What it needs, from the main page(s), is a so called ‘cheat sheet’ (not for cheating, but a quick reminder what to do, don’t do etc),
a 1 page total quick overview, (something like: so you want to do a new activation? Check here to make sure all’s in place)
And that should list the most important rules, show links to the summit database, and also mention the fact that you should submit logs straight away electronically (sounds logical? not if you’re used to the way things were done before the internet). Just 1 page, with enough info to start.

I don’t know if that would have helped those guys, but it certainly would help some of us.

my 2 pennies :smile:

Michael M0MPM


What like this:


or this



Very useful info.

Of course, these and many other informative documents can easily be found by clicking on the “Website” link at the top of the SOTAwatch Home Page.

Walt (G3NYY)


That’s where I found them!


it makes not a jot of difference where the info is.
Some people have to be spoon feed.
In the old days, when the world was dominated by Usenet, every other message you downloaded was a reply which was simply “RTFM”.

It’s funny, if you read the manual it answers nearly all the questions!

Do people not bother researching anything these days and just jump into the abyss blindfolded?


Pete :gb:


It is quite amazing how many people don’t attempt to type a question into Google. Doesn’t work every time, but very often Google can take you to the correct place in a series of documents. Works for me so often.

The other issue is that people faced with what is a large manual are overwhelmed by its size, yet there are always search capabilities that can dive down to the relevant information, but they don’t seem to realise.


It’s easy to say:RTFM, or ‘the link is there on the page, jut click it’ or google it. Google What?

You have to compare it with:
IOTA: I give my IOTA number in QSO’s sometimes, (GreatBritain is an island :slight_smile: ), as well as my WAB,
Yet I’ve never submitted logs for IOTA, neither for CastlesOn the air, Museums on the air, LightHouses on the air, Bunkers, FloraFauna, WAB, plus a whole range of other award scheme’s (EuroCup, 5000 years of something etc etc etc). For some special events I have in the past submitted logs, sometimes (and that was before the internet was here to help). Mostly I am/was a ‘chaser’ but I always duly note down the number of the lighthouse, museum etc. that I contact. Just in case …

So why would I necessarily assume that SOTA is different?

Yes I signed up several years ago, and started reading all sorts of reports about sota activations, read stories about how to access a certain hill or mountain top, studied the maps, understood that some tops qualify but not all, that you have to walk a bit and not use the car battery or mains. But that obviously is not enough, and I only found out after a recent SOTA QSO and follow up email conversation.
And now I know that I have missed plenty of opportunities, because I like hiking, been to plenty of tops in the UK including all three highest, the Alps, Appalachians, Norwegian mountains (including the 2 highest), and always have my handheld with me (if only for emergency because often their is no phone signal, but several repeaters).
‘FAQ’ or ‘docs’ does not trigger an urgent response with me to click. But a ‘Click Here To Activate A Mountain’ on the main page would do it. The ‘guidelines.pdf’ is a perfect starting document. After that, no further ‘spoons’ are needed (at least I can hold it myself now ).

Just to clarify my previous point

73 (72?)


Did you read the rules?


I typed in:

How to activate a SOTA Summit?
What counts as a SOTA activation?

Both gave me the answers in the top three results. Looks like the SEO is working well.


I suppose the bottom line is that we publish the rules, we publish guidance, we provide FAQs, all this is available on our web site and is not hidden or tucked away in some remote corner. It is only reasonable to expect prospective participants to avail themselves of these facilities before taking part. There is a limit to how far we can reasonably be expected to go to help those who won’t help themselves.



Hey friends !
All answers are inside this video:

73 QRO