One for the SOTA Rules Police

If I tow in an antenna system on a tralier and then unhitch it from the vehicle and drive the vehicle away and set up and operate in the trailer am I still within in the “no support from a vehilce” (or what ever it is termed) part of the rules still?

There is a purpose for this as I’m thinking of doing something a little unique. It will be a VK2/IL summit so if region the manager wants to comment please do so.

I promise to send my summit details over the air ever second QSO. Thought I’d get that out of the way for those who go off topic…

If a situation is not covered by the rules, then one should apply the test of the last words of 3.7.3 Code of Conduct, “The Golden Rule is that all participants are required to operate in a manner that is in keeping with the spirit of the Programme.”

In my opinion the set-up that you describe is not in the spirit of the programme.


A trailer is a vehicle - so, no it’s not permitted. Also as G8ADD said, it’s not what I’d consider to be within the spirit of the programme, which is about hiking up hills with Ham equipment.


It’s on the line but some context of why you want this may help. Contact me via PM or email and it can be discussed further. But at present it seems likely to be outwith the rules.

Hi Compton,

I think you have to go to the basics of the programme and see that the equipment must be portable, by a person, and vehicles can’t be involved in the operating setup. So I reckon that setup fails on several criteria.

I would not support that as a SOTA activation… sorry.

73 Andrew VK1DA/2UH
(VK2 Association manager)


It’s a bit like saying drive everything up in a car. At the summit, remove the engine from the car, but still operate from inside it. Not allowed.

However, what you can do - if you really want - is to drive the car and trailer onto the summit and set everything up a few yards from the vehicles and not connected in any way.

Even better is a nice long walk and small lightweight portable QRP gear.

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I agree with Colin. A trailer is an unpowered vehicle and if the station is on or in or connected to the trailer then you cannot comply with the SOTA Rules.

It would be OK to transport a tower or whatever in the trailer if it were removed and manhandled to the operating position.

It is also not acceptable to shelter from a passing shower in the trailer. To do so would terminate the activation.

These points are sufficiently clear in the Rules IMO.

Wonder what you had in mind Compton?


I don’t think so. There’s nothing saying you can’t shelter in a vehicle, just that you cannot operate from one.

Have you adopted summer plumage for this warm spell Andy?

I found it today looking for some other photos. It’s old, 2002 vintage ISTR.

As far as I can tell the General Rules say nothing about what terminates an activation.


The only thing that terminates an activation in every case, is a change of summit reference. In most cases, a change of UTC day terminates an activation, but not every case; it is obviously necessary that this can be overridden.

That’s looking at it from a computery-definitions aspect; in more general common sense terms, packing up and descending tends to do the trick!

Didn’t we once discuss whether you could have nested activations, if the return route from the second summit of the day takes you back over the first summit again? Normally of course it wouldn’t matter, but what if you only got 3 QSOs on the first summit, went on to activate the second, and then got your 4th on the return?

It would seem a bit mean to deny the points by insisting that it was 2 unqualifying activations…

If you submitted the log for summit 1 on its own, you would definitely get the points. If you then submitted the log for summit 2 with overlapping times - would the database re-evaluate and remove the points?

[ Sorry if this sounds nitpicking. It’s part of my profession to think about edge case detail. ]


It’s an edge-case but a reasonable question. If you entered the activations manually there would be no problem. Uploading a file of QSOs with both activations would not give you the scores you’d expect as date changes and summit changes can trigger a new activation and you need to get the date/times sorted. You could upload 2 files of QSOs.

No that’s good Martyn. Former MT member Les G3VQO was brilliant at considering edge-case scenarios and we got a lot of stuff nailed down as a result.

Your example is a good one and proves there must be an exception to what I said. I did it myself - Grisedale Pike G/LD-015 - Grasmoor G/LD-009 then back over the first summit on the return route. I did get the 4 QSOs on the first visit in this case, but got a couple more on the way back. If uploading via CSV I would have had to pull those two QSOs to before the Grasmoor activation.

That was my thinking but thought I’d seek others opinions.
I’ll keep thinking on how to do it with out the trailer.

OK Andy,
I stand corrected. Thanks. I was sure the MT had ruled that sheltering in the vehicle contravened being independent of the vehicle.

The MT recently ruled that the activation ends when the activator says it ends IIRC. However I would have thought that packing up and departing the AZ to go to another peak was an automatic termination. Apparently not if you return on the same UTC day.

We need a repository for all MT rule clarifications for those of us with imperfect recall.


It’s an age thing. Now there was a reason I came in here and sat down at the PC, if only I could remember why! :slight_smile:

Affects us all Ron.

I have a concern, within the “spirit of the rules” pertaining to the Americas. 1600 L is 0000GMT. The spirit of the rule as one day for activations, and in our case, starting at 2300 and colleting two QSO and collecting two QSO after 0000 should be four legal contacts and an activation. where the contravention of the rules enters play is to collect four QSO before 0000 and four after 0000 and claim two days for what is in honesty a single activation, no matter how you slice it.

I rather agree with you, Victor, but it is difficult to see what gain there is for an activator doing that as the second day will attract no score - well, except for Dec 31st/Jan 1st, of course!