'Near Vicinity'

In the rules it states as follows:
"3.7.1 Criteria for a valid Expedition
3. Operations must not be in, or in the close vicinity of, a motor vehicle.”
Can someone clarify exactly what is meant by ‘CLOSE VICINITY’ ?
For an able bodied person it may be 100 metres but for a disabled person it may be 5 metres !
It may seem a small point but I feel it is an important one.


You seem to have answered your question with an example that perfectly explains why the rule is left vague.


To Myself

This means nothing of your sota station must be in connection to your car including PSU, wires, guy wires, etc must be totally independent of your Motor and if you can set yourself a distance from your car further the better.

Up on Kit hill the car park is next door to the Sota point but nothing stopping you from moving your car to other side of the car park about 25 yards away.

Sota sites will vary with different types of access, I have learnt some are dead easy to reach and some require bit more of a walk varying from say couple yards to couple miles/KM’s.

Just make sure you have NO connection with your said parked Motor vehicle as in my case Motor bike and car (vehicle,s of motorised type).


I take it to mean that if you use a motor vehicle to reach a point which happens to be relatively close to your intended activation point, you should nevertheless dissociate yourself entirely from the vehicle for the purposes of the activation. The vehicle must not be used as part of the station, or an antenna support, or as a shelter. I would personally say that returning to the vehicle for additional equipment mid-activation was a no-no. The rule is more about the advantage taken of the presence of a vehicle than the exact distance in metres.

By the way, although the rule doesn’t actually say so, I have always assumed that “a motor vehicle” refers only to one that is in some way associated with the activator. For example the incidental appearance of a ranger who happens to approach your station in his 4WD would not invalidate it.

Martyn M1MAJ

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With a “drive up summit” I leave Sue in the car… if I can’t hear her with the windows down I’m far enough away…

(I am of course only joking before I get a stream of abuse) #lovemywifeverymuch


I think it depends on the person. For example, for an able bodied person it may be 100 metres but for a disabled person it may be 5 metres.

Like most of the rules it doesn’t really matter. If you break the rules, you are only cheating yourself. More to the point, you know if you are cheating.

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It just depends. There is no “exactly” and this is deliberate. You have to take it in conjunction with the “Golden Rule” that “all activators must operate in a manner that is in keeping with the spirit of the programme”. A healthy, vigorous person might prefer that the vehicle is kilometres away, a disabled person might be unable to make it a hundred metres away, but a few tens of metres won by effort over difficulty for a disabled person would still be in the spirit of the program. The only legally accessible part of a summit AZ is a car park? Operate from the other side of the car park. The trig point is on top of a cliff and the car is a few metres away in plan but 26 metres down at the bottom of the cliff? Climb or go around the cliff and you will be within the spirit of the program. Take the Snowdon Mountain Railway and the AZ begins just outside the summit station? Walk or scramble up until you are clear of people and operate. As long as you have the spirit of the program in mind you won’t go wrong!


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Thanks for the replies.

I’m not sure why the Close Vicinity is even included or needed as it already says no part of the station should be connected to the vehicle or similar wording to that, that I thought pretty much covers it.

Now if you are activating and your car is 100 metre’s away and someone comes and parks right beside your operating position, you are then considered to be operating in close vicinity to a motor vehicle and you can’t do that, That’s what the rules says. So why is the Close Vicinity part even required ??


John VK6NU

Enough with the pedantry!

Sometime when I haven’t got anything better to do, I will change it from a to your, OK?


Not good enough. What if you are travelling in a mate’s car?


If I were a less able-bodied person I would think ‘far enough away from the vehicle to feel a sense of achievement’ would cover the abilities of the individual.



To me this sort of thing is unnecessary pedantry. If you are unsure about any rule, run it through the filter of the “Golden Rule”, is it in keeping with the spirit of SOTA? If you need the spirit of SOTA explained the likelihood is that no form of words will suffice.


Agreed - but you suggested changing the rule so you have scored an own goal!


PS: Interesting fact - the wording of that clause was actually shown and discussed with a couple of disability rights organisations during the drafting of the first set of General Rules.

Yes, I’m waiting for the next cold day in Hades!


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Serious question, I am curious as why it was felt necessary to include that clause at all. I thought that having no part of your station connected to your vehicle would have covered it. I don’t see having a disability has anything to do with it. If I’m handicapped or able bodied provided I have no part of my station attached to my vehicle I’m within the rules as I see it. I can only presume that the intention is if you are able bodied you are expected to move a bit further away from your vehicle as you should do in the Spirit of Sota and this is trying to encourage you to do that without drawing a line in the sand or mud as the case may be.

Can you or someone in the MT explain the reasoning behind that clause and why it was deemed necessary to have it at all ? The reason this is of interest to me is that the closest Summit to Perth Mt.Dale VK6/SW-036 is a drive up summit with a fairly small car park


John VK6NU

I would personally say that returning to the vehicle for additional equipment mid-activation was a no-no.

Martyn, I’ve actually done that several times on activations of The Cloud G/SP-015!

I suspect that tracing the modificatio history of that bunch of rules back might reveal something? My rather flakey memory tells me the “part of your station” motor vehicle clarification is more recent than the “near vicinity” one, but I’m probably wrong.

As far as Mt. Dale goes, if you’re restricted to the car park then I guess you just have to do your best to set up as far from your (for whatever value of “your” works for you) vehicle as is practical. If, however, the car park’s just a car park for an area the public are free to wander in…

Must put Mt. Dale on the list for my next VK6 holiday, if only to see what it’s like.

73, Rick M0LEP

Rick, if you don’t mind 17 kms of red dust, you’ll be ok. Pretty decent surface last time I went there. Its got car parking for around 8 cars and a lookout, its got a big railing along the front so easy to attach a squid pole to. Oh and did I mention the close proximity to your car too :wink:


John VK6NU

Only 17 kms of red dust? At a guess you can see 30km or so here. Maybe a bit less if that brow in the distance cuts it off. The long straight bit of track recorded by my GPS was 32.8kms due North without a bend… :wink:

Of course, the Aussie bush will have roads rather like that, too. It’s probably more a case of whether the vehicle can stand it, I guess…

73, Rick (5Z4/)M0LEP (de-railing threads again…)