New! ON SMS Spotter

As from now, the ON SMS spotter is ready to be used. The number is +32 456 66 55 13. Both current SMS formats are accepted.

All the details on how to use this service are on ON SOTA Spotter

Hereby I want to thank explicitly Andy @MM0FMF, Joe @OE5JFE and Marco @IZ3GME for all the work they did!

73, Peter


The system used for these 3rd party spotters is pretty standard now. We have them running in OE, I, ON and ZL. The advantage of them is they use common hardware and software and all interface to my SMS spotting system. These remote systems handle the SMS reception and hand the data on to my system for actually placing the spot. The advantage is that the cost of sending an SMS becomes a local call if you are a local in the named countries and most of the time that will be free or very cheap instead of sending an international call to the UK.

The UK and US numbers are provided by a virtual phone company and the line rental of those 2 numbers is quite cheap around $1US / month (plus incoming message costs) However, getting a virtual number for other countries can be really very expensive, e.g. $12US / month and that’s why these systems are so very useful.

If you are interested in running one of these gateways then you’ll need typically a Rapsberry Pi, a cellular modem, a SIM card and account and an internet connection. The software is available for free as is support from the people involved.

I would have thought that SMS use would have dropped as mobile internet continues to serve more and more areas but it still seems to be a needed and well used way of self spotting. It also handles all the InReach satellite based spotting from places where there really is no cell service.

Drop me a PM if you are interested in hosting one.