Is your SOTA activating cost effective?

I just returned from a 7 day intensive SOTA Tour of the DM/RP, DM/HE area, with a small diversion to activate LX/LX-005. There were no resting days.

With the cost of everything increasing in price I decided to calculate if I felt SOTA activating on the continent was cost effective.

This was a solo tour. I totalled up all my costs including fuel, flight, airport parking, car hire, accommodation and food / restaurant costs. The total expenditure was £1164.

I activated 27 summits for 130 points and made 941 contacts - mainly on the 40m band in CW/SSB. I drove 1424 Km in the hire car within Germany and Luxembourg.

This worked out at £43 per summit, £9 per activator point and £1.24 per contact!

Interesting don’t you think?

73 Phil

PS Would I do it again. Certainly!


I used to do the same Phil, it is quite surprising what it works out at. Myself and Paul W6PNG will grab HB/SO, HB/BE, F/AB summits on the way to and from the FN rally. Maybe 10 summits if we are lucky. So cost per point will be lots as they are mainly 1or 2 points. Still, you are a long time dead so we may as well spend the money on things we enjoy. Which is why I now have a KX2 as well as 10 or maybe more HF radios!


…cheaper than skiing holidays :wink:

73 Armin


I wouldn’t dream of doing the same calculation for my current trip in Spain. :slight_smile: Even with a few POTA activations the £$€/QSO will be high.

But you can’t put a price on a view like this from a SOTA summit.

Or the reward afterwards. :slight_smile:


Combining activating summits (or Parks or Islands, WAB squares or whatever) into an existing planned trip is definitely the most cost-effective way to do it.

I suspect far more people from the UK are flying and using trains / ferry / buses / rental cars to get to Friedrichshafen this year rather than driving the whole way but those who are driving - planning some activations en-route can break up the long drive and give some rest (if you have the time).

73 Ed.


My rule of thumb is £50 per activation. Just don’t think about it too hard!


Its an impossible calculation. A week long holiday may include several activations for a certain number of points, a number of contacts, an amount of air time, and a substantial bill, but it will include pleasurable hours in the hills or mountains, with as John says, wonderful views, and probably better weather than we have here (he said, looking out of the window at a rainy scene!) Then there is exotic foods and drinks, different cultures to experience, decent beaches with warm seas, do all these components of the holiday count for nothing? I think it is better to think of the activations as the cream on a very enjoyable cake. Our ancestors probably never traveled more than a half day’s walk from where they lived, we have opportunities undreamed of a few centuries ago, greater rewards for our labours, but life is short, so we should live it well.


I never think about the costs. Listening to friends is not price.


Much better Alhambra beer, try it when you return to Spain.


Ive never calculated any portable outings. Ive started to incorporate them into holidays now as I dont get much time to do anything. Cost per summit? Nope!

Smiles, logging contacts and enjoyment is a cost for me, and that is free!

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I am in EA1 now so it has be Estrella. :beers:

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My favourite drink would be “una copa” in Asturias.

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I have the “Germany ticket” with which you can travel throughout Germany for a month - without the high-speed trains for 49 euros. I use the ticket every day.

That’s why today’s way to the 8 pointer Schalke, DM/NS-008 only cost me a chocolate bar for 1 euro and brought 116 S2S points. Less than 5 cents per contact.

73 Chris


look for Alhambra 1925, surely you will find.

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My costs for the SOTA business are exclusively fuel costs, plus the cost of the highway, which are quite expensive these days. I know it would be better to group activations and maybe sleep out for a night or two, but for organizational and family reasons it’s not an option I’m considering. Already so the costs are quite relevant, my activations are in a range of 60-150 km from my QTH,. That’s why I don’t invest too much money in rigs or antennas, using an old IC 728 at home and FT-817 (bought second hand) for SOTA :slightly_smiling_face:


In my experience, any hobby done properly is not cost effective! :laughing:

Just think of the health benefits of all that fresh air and exercise. Priceless!


It might be better to combine skiing and SOTA in a vain attempt to maximise cost effectiveness!


…and you can use the lift much better!

73 Armin


Indeed, but the added cost of a winter lift pass does not improve the cost effectiveness, in my experience!!!

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