Hello all , just introducing myself . Im matt 32 from swindon area in wiltshire in the uk 2E0FGX. Recently passed my intermediate and enjoyed portable operation so thought i woukd get involved with SOTA .
Planning a activation in next few weeks going to try and do 3 1 point summits in 1 day and operate 2m .
My advice (for what it’s worth) if possible team up with another amateur (ideally an existing SOTA activator) for you first activation and then take your time and do just one activation and test out all of your gear without the time pressure that you “Must” get on to the next summit.
Welcome abord - and you do realise once you have the bug, it’s uncurable don’t you?
P.S. if you have a home station, get busy with some chasing before that first activation, then you’ll see how different people handle the exchange etc. You might even find someone on the summit (or summits) that you want to go to and they may be able to give you some advice on the best access route.
Thanks Edd , i passed my foundation only last november and intermediate 2 weeks ago so fairly new into the hobby and i have 2 local friends one is a m6 and ither a 2eo but neither them can or want to do sota . One might on odd occasion has 2 young children so its a time factor .
My local summit i operated many of times but from the car on car power on hf and vhf . I have a 6m sota pole mafe a guyline kit and i have a vhf coaxal dipole ( bazooka) antenna. And have built a 49:1 transformer for a EFHW and tuned for 40 and 20 .
The 3 im thinking to activate are all within 45 minuites at the most of each other in the sw england around yeovil and dorset area .
If the three planned summits are summits you’ve already been up, that makes things easier of course. I had vision of access difficulties and these can really spoil a SOTA outing.
It sounds like equipment-wise you’ve got things pretty well under control. As regards April 6th. that’ll be an early start around 0700-0800 UTC active on the summit to catch the long path window to VK (if it appears). If you have a really close summit and don’t mind getting up early, that might be a good start as there’ll be quite a few UK & European summits being activated at the same time so you’ll have the chance of Summit to Summit (S2S) contacts which are the best type of contacts as they bring you Chaser/S2S points and you also get your activator points for your summit as long as you make 4 contacts (with anyone on the band).
Good move to go straight to the Intermediate class before the Syllabus changes in August by the way.
No the 3 i have not been up on but there but i know people who have several other close ones i have though . On the infomation on the sota map from previous activations does look fairly easy activations .
A query with s2s if i work another summit and i have over 4 contacts i get the summit point but i also get the points for summit the other sota operator is on ? Do i input that in the activator and chaser log ?
OK, you activate a summit when you have just 1 contact from the summit (or within 25 vertical metres of it - this is called the activation zone and is there as people have a tendancy to build things on summits (radar stations, Churches, hotels etc. etc. so getting to the exact summit is not always possible).
Activating and qualifying a summit are two different things - to quailfy a summit you need a minimum of 4 contacts with different stations and then you receive your activator points.
If you happen to contact another SOTA activator while you are on the summit - that is a Summit-to-summit or S2S contact. I counts in your total of the number of contacts you have made from the summit but it also gives you chaser points for the other summit AND S2S points for BOTH summits (this something I only just found out).
So lets saty you qualify a 1 point summit and have a contact with someone on a 3 point summit, once you enter your log you will have:
1 activator point
3 chaser points
4 S2S points.
The way that the databases GUI interface works, you enter your activator log in the activator log screens, then you go into the chaser logs system and enter the S2S contact, remembering to check that it is an S2S contact and then it asks you for your summit code.
If you use one of the many PC or Smart phone logging programs, these will produce a CSV (spreadsheet data type) file which when uploaded to the SOTA database, takes care or activator entry and S2S entry (which in the background also updates your chaser totals).
So you see getting one (or more) S2S contacts from a summit, soon pushes up all of your scores.
By the way although 4 contacts from a summit is the minimum to get the activator points for the summit, you can work as many other stations as you like - unless they are ther summits, you wont get any more points for them, but you are giving out the points from your summit to the chasers.
Thanks Ed , thats all cleared up now about the points , i have listened from my home QTH for SOTA calls but never heard one but i have heard HEMA stations .
I am going to guess here but i imagaine the better times to activate here GMT will be at weekends and later in evenings once people have had there evening meal ? I could do with setting up the SMS spotting service would be a help .
Oh and i will be paper logging while out portable and i do paper log at home too but i could do with starting to electronic log .
Yes, but note that you only get your own summit’s score for the first S2S from an activation - for any further S2S you just get the chased summit points.
Don’t worry too much though, have fun, upload your log to the database and see what you get. It will all become clear very soon!
Well, I activate mostly during the day on weekdays, and generally have no difficulty qualifying - and often find S2S as well.
There are lots of variables eg where the summit is relative to populated areas / band you use / clear take off for VHF / propagation conditions etc.
It helps to put an alert on Sotawatch, preferably a day or more before you go out, and self spotting can help too.
Hi Matt, can I sugest you come along to one of the Swindon radio club meetings on Thu evenings. There are a few of us there into sota, we would be very pleased to see you. I have another M6 just starting out in sota at the moment who is just planning his first activation as well.
I’m just south of you on the Wilts/Dorset border (about 10 mins from G/SC-008).
If you want any advice on local summits or try a joint activation then give me a shout.
Beware that 2m is pretty quiet in this part of the country compared to Wales and further north/east.
You can set the filter to the bands and modes you are interested in, so it will only alert you when something of interest comes up. It’s web based so you can use it on any platform. That said if you want something for a Smart Phone, I use “SOTA Spotter” on my Android phone, which has a similar filtering capability but is designed for the small phone screen. It can also be used to place spots either via an Internet connection or via SMS, once you register your phone number at the SMS gatewayy (details elsewhere on this reflector).
There are other Smart Phone Apps with similar features, this is just the one I like using (and it’s free).
For entering your logs, from paper into CSV files, there are several windows programs - I use “SOTA CSV Editor” - again free and I find it very easy to use.
Well i activated walbury hill tonight G/SE-001 on 2m fm and was a bit chalenging but i manadged to get 11 in the log , initially i had 2 replys and qsy and exchandged reports etc and then all went dead . So i tried sota watch but not sure if went through , 4g disapeared for over hour and a half after that . thought i try and locate some contacts so found a few small groups so broke in for a signal report and exchange of relevant infomation and even came acroos a few friends of mine from reading , ended up staying for a short while in a ground a few more calls on 2m calling and qsy with each contact exchange infomation . so all in all very layed back pace .