My 2018

I completed three of the four goals I had made last December (2018 is a coming - #16 by AA6XA):
I activated 121 peaks in 2017, and my count is at 122 now (Dec 28), with more planned for the last few days of 2018. Maybe in 2019 I’ll be able to beat my 2018 record.
I’ve activated in some new areas of CA, but still haven’t gotten a peak in each of the regions. I need to take a trip down to the desert down south.
I’ve activated in new associations: W4C, W7N, W7A, TF, W1, and W5T were new for me this year. One more next year and I can get my Mountain Explorer Silver!
I still haven’t made any microwave contacts, but hopefully 2019 will be the year.

I’ve passed 700 activator points, and if I can keep up the same rate, I should get my MG around this time next year. Most of my activations were fun. There are so many great peaks in California, and I’ve started making a dent in climbing all of them. I’ve met some new activators and chasers, and gone out with some of them on joint activations. Hopefully next year I’ll keep up the trend and meet more SOTA enthusiasts.

Thanks to all the chasers, who make all this fun possible!
Jeff aa6xa


2018 is my first year for SOTA both as an activator and chaser and have found it to be amongst my most rewarding endeavors in amateur radio. It has the added fringe benefit of better health as all the hiking and outdoor activity is good exercise. Many thanks to Scott KW4JM for getting me engaged and frequently my hiking and activating companion. I started in October of 2018 - and so far activated 14 summits including a first time activation of Panther Mountain W4C/WM-060. I am also almost at 500 milestone as a chaser (just 41 pts to go). I also got to meet W4C association manager Patrick Harris KI4SVM and he is great promoter of SOTA and a great guy to boot. All my activations are recorded in my blog - and you will find a great many photos of the views from the different summits there.

I also built a 4 band linked dipole for 60-40-30-20m bands much like the SOTABEAMS version and nine weighs in at 370g (including feedline). I used powerpoles instead of allgator clips. I also am testing and comparing my various SOTA antennas using WSPRlite Classic from SOTABEams. So far, my go to antenna is the LNR 40-20-10 EFHW which I have used in 12 of the 14 activations. I have used the LNR MTR twice but I will try the linked dipole next. So far, my most frequently used rig is the KX3 (13/14activations) and I have also used the K1 once in 2018 (4 band version -40-30-20-15). I like the K1 which is lighter and will likely use it more in 2019.

Best moment - QSO with New Zealand station ZL1BYZ on 20m while at the summit of Panther Mountain.

Two memorable photos from the rainy day activation of Wine Spring Bald W4C/WM-018 and of my SOTA station at the summit of Lickstone Bald W4C/CM-012


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Just adding in a few photos from the year.

LA/HL-199 Kongsfjellet, IOTA EU-055

LA/RL-062 Boknafjellet on a cold day

LA/TM-001 Gaustatoppen

LA/BU-093 Raudsteinvarden, amazing scenery

LA/OL-001 Galdhøpiggen, Norway’s highest at 2469 meters

One of my favorite moments, meeting real SOTA Goats on LA/OL-184 Kvitberget


Kjetil, sorry I can only click “like” once for your photos! :slight_smile:

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Sounds like a great 2018 year Jeff. Wish you the best for the new year.

Ariel NY4G

My 2018 year in SOTA I started with activation of SB/BZ-001 - Beskid Mountains Queen

Then activated number of summits in SP and OK… - on the photo below trekking to OK/MO-002

In March I activated G/SE-013

and a few summits in DM - on the photo below is DM/BM-154

In April I activated summits in OK/VY and OK/ZL - on the photo view from OK/ZL-045

In May I activated summits in OK/KR, OK/MO and OK/ZL - on the photo OK/KR-063

as well as OM/ZA - on the photo OM/ZA-015

In June I activated summits in SP and DM - on the photo SP/BZ-014

In July I activated summits in DM, SP and OK - on the photo is DM/HE-007

In August I activated summits in OE/TI, OK/KR and OK/KA - on the photo OE/TI-315

In September I taken a part in OE5 SOTA day

and activated summits in OK/JC and OK/MO - on the photo OK/MO-003

In October I activated summits in OM/ZA, OK/OL, OK/PA and SP - on the photo OM/ZA-023

November was month of activations in OK/VY, OK/JC and SP - on the photo OK/VY-001

December was month of activations in DM, SP, OK and OM - on the photo OK/JC-121

and OK/MO-001 seen from OK/OL-001

During year 2018 I activated 268 summits, logged 4594 contacts, 440 of them are S2S.

Thanks to another activators and chasers.

73, Jarek SP9MA


I close my first full year in the SOTA program with 59 activations, with 585
CW/SSB summit to summit qsos. Considering that I bought my used FT-817 only in February, it does not seem bad at all.
I built several antennas, tuners, even paddles, and all this gratified me a lot.
2018 brought the 60-meter band to Italian Hams … I’m happy to have made the
first Italian activation in this band.
As a chaser, in 2018 I connected 3265 uniques, 4874 in total, and even here,
given my geographical position that made me miss many activations in France,
Switzerland, Austria, Low Germany,Slovenia and even Italy, it seems a good
result, obtained with a 12 meters longwire mounted on the side of the house.
I hope in 2019 at least to equal these results.
A big thank you to everyone, chasers, activators and managers of the SOTA
program…Happy new year!

73, Fabio IK2LEY


Thanks for all the QSOs last year.

New Year gift :wink:

Pacific Northwest SOTA Newsletter

73, Jarek SP9MA

Highlight for me must be logging 28 ZL SOTA contacts this year, 20 working 20m ssb and 8 working 40m ssb in such poor band conditions…

Also, particularly rewarding during these these conditions, was qualifying G/CE-002 Walton Hill, with 4 VK summit to summit contacts, during the March VK ZL JA EU event,.

Finally, not forgetting the excitement of Wade VK1MIC, working QRP, from VK1/AC-040 Mt Stromlo for his first ever G contact, when he worked me summit to summit, during the March VK ZL JA EU event, while I was activating G/CE-002 Walton Hill on 20m ssb.

The contact can be seen from about 25:20 . Also G8CXK Gerald’s contact from about 30:15 from G/SE-001 Walbury Hill.

QSO’s like this don’t get much sweeter!



My target for 2018 was to do 365 activations - an average of one per day. I achieved this today - New Year’s Eve - with activation #365 on day #365.

My target for 2019 is to add all the reports and photos to my blog.



I started the year with an activator score of 849 and my goal was to make 1000 during the year. By June I was a bit closer to the goal but it was slow going. I made a plan for which summits I needed to activate in order to make the remaining points. Then I visited VK3PF in July as part of attending the Gippstech conference and he had a few ideas for accessible winter summits as well as some spare time on the day after the conference. Combined with some activations en route to and from the conference, the four summits he took me to on that Monday increased my score so that I was then within 3 summits of the goal. That was achieved in July and made me very happy as I had earned the 151 points required in 26 activations.

Later in the year my chaser score also reached a major goal of 10k, so I scored a few certificates this year.

My plan is to continue activating as I firmly believe this aspect of the hobby is very good for my health. After the shock of finding I had heart problems last year, with doctors saying that it wasn’t my heart but the coronary arteries that were letting the team down, and that my walking and climbing activities had probably kept me alive, I fully intend to continue that in the coming years.

For 2019 I am planning a walk in Spain, commencing in September. This will be a post retirement self-indulgence. One that should be very good for me. And hopefully I will meet some of our EA friends and activate a few summits while I’m there.

Also I plan to make progress towards a MG award for CW contacts.

The apparition below is a very happy vk1da when I completed the activation that earned my the MG award in July. The drink bottle reads “Mountain Goat steam ale”… a special brew we have in VK.

Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH
More details at



I too have coronary artery disease and it was my summer bicycling that probably kept me alive during a heart attack in September 24, 2018. After that I embraced the concept of SOTA. Had it not been for SOTA - I would have given up amateur radio. Since then I have activated 14 summits. I don’t know when I will reach Mountain Goat but I intend to keep activating in 2019 as it is good for my coronary arteries. Congratulations in reaching MG in 2018 and on reaching 10K as a Super Sloth.

Happy New Year -

Ariel NY4G


G4OBK has had a very active year in amateur radio and in particular in SOTA. I have done a lot of work to improve my radio station at home and I believe this has paid off.

In the shack today with Treacle:

On the hill - on the way to White Coomb GM/SS-030 last week:

Fixed & Portable Stations:

My Activator station equipment remained the same as it did in 2017:
HF Rigs - Yaesu FT-857 - Elecraft KX2 - YouKIts HB1B with 20/30/40m link dipole on 5m pole
VHF Rigs - Yaesu FT1500M (50 watts) - VX-170 (5 watts) - FT270 (5 watts) with vertical end fed dipole on 5m pole or RH770 handheld whip on the handhelds.

My Chaser station equipment was upgraded considerably in 2018 as a result of getting back on the air from a new QTH on 1st Jan 2017.


The most important part of the station after being there…

It took 15 months and an appeal to the England & Wales Government Planning Inspectorate to secure permission to erect a 12m high Tennamast in my back garden to support a Hexbeam and a 4m/6m dual band yagi. These aerials were in place by June 2018. The coaxial feeds are all Ecoflex 15 buried in the ground in BT ducting where possible. I continued to use an 80m band OCF dipole I erected in a tree in 2017, however I improved the feed arrangements for that, and raised it in the tree I have to a greater height of 48 feet. In September I fixed a 7m pole to opposite side of the same tree and fed that from the tree base as an inverted L with a 50 feet vertical section and 80 feet long top wire at an average height of 45 feet. I now have approximately 1500 feet of earth wires around and in my garden ground to tune the inverted L against. This aerial I use on the 160m and 60m bands. On 144 MHz I continued using a Wimo 2m 7+7 cross yagi fixed to the house. The two rotators I have are Yaesu G-1000DXC and G-450C.

All base station radio’s used for chasing were purchased secondhand in the last 5 years:
HF Rigs: Yaesu FTDX5000 (2010 model), Icom 7300 (2016 model), Icom 7400 (2009 model), Yaesu FT-1802 (Age not known).

The FTDX5000 is in daily use on HF up to 50 MHz, the IC7300 is my HF backup and also provides the 70 MHz band, the IC7400 has just been used this year on 2m CW/SSB. The only transceiver purchased this year came from a ham in Northern Ireland - this is the IC7300 which I collected at the Blackpool Rally in April. I had one major repair to pay for in 2018 - this was replacement of the two MRF150 PA devices in the FTDX5000 which went POP in the autumn for no apparent reason when I was running with 120 watts on FT8 on the 12m band. Yaesu UK did the repair which took just two weeks. Good job.

So how did I do with all this equipment in my armoury? Well with more I time on my hands having fully retired at the end of March from my work as a Magistrate I spent more time in the shack, and ended the year 8 pounds heavier than when I started the year! Yes, sat on my backside in the shack does no good for keeping ones weight down… Unfortunately family members bought me chocolate, licourice and toffee for Xmas and I am slowly getting through that afterwhich I will make an effort to cut down on eating rubbish. Activating helped I’m sure to keep some weight from going on, so I hate to think what my weight would have been with without it! I was 66 in November, and the older age and extra weight means I have noticed that I am now slower climbing to the summits than I was when I stated SOTA activating in 2005.


My combined QSO total in 2018 was 6090 contacts with 136 DXCC Countries.
Out of the 6090 contacts 3189 were CW, 2311 Phone and 590 were DATA. I started using FT8 in March, to supplement my RTTY and PSK31 operating. Hence the higher than usual DATA QSO total this year. Just a handful of these FT8 contacts were SOTA Chaser QSOs however.

Total fixed station QSOs (Mainly Chaser contacts) were 4184.

Total Activator QSOs made operating from 9 countries in two continents were 1906.

As an all round SOTA operator I increased my SOTA Complete total to 741 by adding 143 Completes. This was helped by activations in VK2 (With VK2IO), OK (with GI4ONL and OK2PDT), and a holiday tour to Friedrichshafen with my XYL taking in activations in FL, DM, ON and OE (with OE9HRV). I further added a few activation days in GW (Solo and with M0PYG) and in GM (Solo and with M0PYG).

I made 17401 Chaser points in the year and was top All G scorer.

I made 756 Activator point in 2018 and was top G scorer, but was beaten by GI4ONL in the All G activator category.

Looking forward to 2019 I have several Tours already booked, and I must get back to Hensbarrow Beacon later this month when I am in South Wales to Re-Complete England.The fell top assessors (The Meddlers) moved the summit reference from the trig point to the top of the slag heap some time ago and I haven’t yet got back there. I believe no one else has Completed England, so I must go back and retain my mantle!

Plans for 2019 are already made with overseas tours planned for March, May and IN July to coincicide with the Tour de France in the FL/VO region. Thee may be something for September, we will see how the year passes and decide later.


Reasonable with a few issues - I have a minor cardiac issue - an irregular heartbeat which surfaced a few months ago after I submitted myself to a general anaesthetic to check for Prostate Cancer, of which I am clear. However, during the tests it was discovered that I have this irregular heartbeat, so the GP has put me on a tablet for it to thin my blood as the GP says I am more likely to succumb to a stroke because of it. We carry on in SOTA activating for a few years more… I cannot see me ever giving up SOTA Chasing which I really enjoy also. As a walker anyway I continue being a part of Ryedale Walking Group of which I am the 2019 Membership Secretary. I organise at least one holiday every year for the walking group which usually includes SOTA activating as part of it.

The MT get my heartfelt thanks for all they provide by way of the SOTA infrastructure, reflector, database, website, awards and the SMP (So useful - thanks Rob DM1CM, also Andy MM0FMF for providing the much improved SOTA Cluster and to the many activators who share their information to help others via blogs, the reflector, personal messages and in the tracks page of the SMP.

73 de Phil G4OBK