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New SOTA Award

In SOTA News for August, Barry GM4TOE sort of calls for ideas of new SOTA Awards. While he wanted to have the e-mails sent directly to him, I am writing my proposal here to see the reaction of other people.
Well, according to the statistics there is a substantional number of activators who are also chasers and vice versa. How about an award reflecting the combined SOTA efforts? Simply adding the activator and chaser points would not be fair as one activator point represents much higher effort than one chaser point. The ratio between the two is subject to discussion. My suggestion is 5 chaser points worth of 1 activator point. I am aware that the ratio will slowly change to higher numbers as with continuing growth of SOTA programme the chaser points will be easier to collect while the sweat and tears of the activator point stay the same.
For the name of the award SOTA ULTIMATE or SOTA UNIVERSAL PERFOMER comes to mind.
If the basic idea would work, I can imagine having a sort of Universal Roll of Honour in the database.
73, Ruda OK2QA

In reply to OK2QA:

Interesting stuff Ruda!

In reply to OK2QA:

An interesting idea, Ruda! I like it because it encourages aspirations to be a complete SOTA participant - perhaps it could be called SOTA Complete!

Looking at the ratio, I wonder if five is the best figure? Taking an average of the score of the top five chasers gives us a monumental 60,000, and an average of the top five activators gives us an incredible 4,226 so a more realistic ratio at this time is fifteen. I don’t think this will change much, as while the number of activators is increasing, so is the number of chasers. This means that you have to spend longer in the pile-ups trying to get the activator to hear your callsign, and realistically you can only be in one pileup at a time!

I look forward to hearing other viewpoints!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

Looking at the ratio, I wonder if five is the best figure? Taking an
average of the score of the top five chasers gives us a monumental
60,000, and an average of the top five activators gives us an
incredible 4,226 so a more realistic ratio at this time is fifteen.

I always like to discard the extremes of any data set when doing statistics, repeating your calculation with the sixth to tenth scores gives a ratio of 12 to 1, it would perhaps be worth repeating the exercise at other points in the table (although the bottom end is probably distorted by people who try SOTA for only a short time).

Colin G8TMV

In reply to G8ADD:

This means that you have
to spend longer in the pile-ups trying to get the activator to hear
your callsign, and realistically you can only be in one pileup at a
time!

I look forward to hearing other viewpoints!

Big pile-ups on both VHF and HF have become the rule rather than the exception Brian. Even activating a one pointer will attract large numbers of chasers. Who would have thought that regularly activated summits such as G/SP-013 Gun would attract 200 contacts and GW/NW-076 Mynydd y Cwm, 150 contacts, many from operators on the other side of the pond? This can only be testament to the ever growing popularity of SOTA.

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I agree, and the pileups have become so unruly that they slow down the activator to the point where I have heard them give up in disgust. There’s nothing much we can do about that, but it reinforces my theory that increasing chasing opportunities will not lead to a proportional increase in chaser scoring rate past a certain point. Anyway, Mike, what do you think of Ruda’s idea?

Colin, I’ve got to go out for a few hours, but your point is taken and when I get back I will repeat the analysis for various points and see if there is a systematic change.

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

perhaps it could be called SOTA Complete!

That sounds like dog food to me!

“He’s man’s best friend and he would do anything for you, so reward him by giving him a healthy bowlful of SOTA Complete each day”

Rob

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I agree, and the pileups have become so unruly that they slow down the
activator to the point where I have heard them give up in disgust.
There’s nothing much we can do about that, but it reinforces my theory
that increasing chasing opportunities will not lead to a proportional
increase in chaser scoring rate past a certain point.

My sympathy goes out to the CW operators working these pile-ups.

I’ve more or less resigned myself to the scrum that follows an SSB spot on SOTA, however, I do, from time to time, ask EU to standby while I listen for Stateside chasers such as Rich N4EX, who are working QRP. Sadly, not all of the EU chasers respect this request. Trying to work poor Barry N1EU, from Y Golfa recently, was particularly frustrating, even though he was a good signal.

Anyway, Mike,
what do you think of Ruda’s idea?

I think Ruda’s idea has its merits Brian. However, sorting out the scoring ratios is going to be very contentious. One only has to compare the effort that has to be put into walking up a summit such as The Wrekin or the long walk to Urra Moor, for one point when there are 10 points available for drive on summits in many countries, illustrating the scoring ratio problem. This this type of award is always going to be loaded against countries such as the UK were there are no 10 point drive on summits that I’m aware of.

73 Mike
2E0YYY

I’m always keen to see new SOTA awards and as a Chaser and Activator I agree this is a good idea.

Since 2005 I have accrued almost 900 activator points and over 42000 chaser points so I think somewhere above 40:1 is a good ratio for me!

No one will be completely happy with their own perfect ratio, it depends on your SOTA modus operandi but an award to cover both sides will reward those of us who put some effort into both sides of the scheme.

If the MT decide this is an award worth creating I am quite happy to accept the result of their deliberations in terms of ratio.

SOTA is not a level playing field, it has never claimed to be so. You challenge yourself and it’s as competetive as you want it to be. I think the old chestnut of activators comparing SOTA one pointers in England with SOTA 10 pointers in mainland Europe will always be there whatever awards we have.

73 Phil

In reply to G8TMV:

I always like to discard the extremes of any data set when doing
statistics, repeating your calculation with the sixth to tenth scores
gives a ratio of 12 to 1, it would perhaps be worth repeating the
exercise at other points in the table (although the bottom end is
probably distorted by people who try SOTA for only a short time).

Colin G8TMV

Interesting, Colin! I looked at the ratios at nos 51 to 55, 101 to 105, 151 to 155, 201 to 205 and 251 to 255. It wasn’t worth while going any further!

51-5…activators 1410…chasers 3937…ratio 2.79
101-5… 1038…1623… 1.54
151-5… 803…1026… 1.28
201-5… 559… 438… 0.79
201-5… 436… 232… 0.53

Whilst the leading chasers are hugely keen and amass terrific scores, the tail-end of the activators scores more highly than the tail-end of the chasers, the sound and fury of the pile-ups conceals the fact that the community of chasers is weaker in depth than the community of activators.

To me this suggests that perhaps we need to put more effort into selling SOTA to the chasers! Ruda’s idea seems to have benefits that hadn’t occurred to me if it can enthuse more chasers!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to OK2QA:

Thanks for the idea Ruda.

I am following the thread and will discuss your ideas (along with some others I have received)with the rest of the MT, including what data processing might be required to allow checking.

Will report back in due course

73

Barry GM4TOE
SOTA Awards Manager

In reply to G8ADD:

More chasers is always going to be good so that’s worth encouraging.

Just doing some blue sky thinking aloud here…

The idea of a combinded score including a particpant’s activator and chaser score is intriguing and one that I think bears further consideration.

The most appealing part of this award is the small amount of work it adds to my database job list! It boils down to being nothing more than another way of displaying activation and chaser data. Really it’s a case of calculating (activator score * scaling) + chaser score for all participants in an association. It’s a little more involved as in any association not all chasers are activators and vice versa but it’s not terribly difficult.

Getting the scaling factor correct is the harder part. However, there’s no reason why this should be fixed. The value can be dynamic and include factors such as number of chasers, number of qsos, ratio of chasers/activators, HF vs. VHF etc.

Andy
MM0FMF

Given activators get points for any given summit only once a year but chasers can get points for any given summit once a day, perhaps a scoring involving activator points and chaser uniques would help even things out?

Just a thought… 73, Rick M0LEP

In reply to MM0FMF:

Getting the scaling factor correct is the harder part. However,
there’s no reason why this should be fixed. The value can be dynamic
and include factors such as number of chasers, number of qsos, ratio
of chasers/activators, HF vs. VHF etc.

Andy
MM0FMF

What about a scaling that is based upon how far away summits are from your home QTH. A bit tongue in cheek here, but apart from G/CE-004 I live MILES from the next nearest summits. Doesn’t seem fair that I score the same activator points as someone who has 50 summits on their doorstep when my mileage effort might be 10 times!? ;)))

Just a thought! :slight_smile:

Rob

In reply to G7LAS:

What about a scaling that is based upon how far away summits are from
your home QTH…

Rob, I’m a bit surprised that Andy hasn’t jumped straight back and invited you to move up to Scotland. :wink:

73, Gerald G4OIG

P.S. I travelled in excess of 30,000 miles to achieve my Mountain Goat. Would I have travelled further over the same period had I been an ardent football supporter? Ugh - dread the thought!

In reply to G4OIG:

P.S. I travelled in excess of 30,000 miles to achieve my Mountain
Goat.

I’ve done more than that activating G/SP-004, Gerald :wink:

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Why not simply multiply the activator and the chaser points?

This would strongly favour “balanced” operators and give zero points to “one-sided” operators, who only activate or chase. Multiplication would make any factor redundant and would best reflect Ruda’s original idea of rewarding combined SOTA efforts.

We might want to introduce an additional “divide by 1000” into the formula to get better manageable numbers in the end.

Heinz, OE5EEP

In reply to OE5EEP:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Why not simply multiply the activator and the chaser points?

This would strongly favour “balanced” operators and give zero points
to “one-sided” operators, who only activate or chase. Multiplication
would make any factor redundant and would best reflect Ruda’s original
idea of rewarding combined SOTA efforts.

We might want to introduce an additional “divide by 1000” into the
formula to get better manageable numbers in the end.

Surely, the number of QSO’s an activator makes during each activation should be added into the equation. Is it not unfair that an activator who takes time on a summit to make sure ‘all’ the chasers get their points, should receive the same reward for their efforts, as someone conducting a 4 QSO smash and grab activation?

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

That is all very well on a small summit in summer, Mike, but in winter on a high mountain there should be no extra inducement to stay high. When you’ve seen a mild sunny day on a Munro in January change in ten minutes to a howling blizzard you will appreciate that lingering can be dangerous! My word, can’t it just!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Mike,

This also fails to take into account the fact that a 4 QSO activation may be the result of well over an hour of patient calling and beam rotation on some more obscure summits. This is one reason that my average QSO per activation is rather small the other is the desire to get on with the walk and/or get down out of the wind/rain/snow.

My pile-ups occur when I get two people calling at the same time; then I still need two more.

I am also aware of only one occasion when we knowingly cut off a pile-up (and that was partly accidental); Beacon Hill in winter and it was getting dark. It was actually properly dark before we reached the car.

73,

Rod