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One for the SOTA Rules Police


It makes no difference whatsoever - apart from whether your activator log appears to show a single activation of 8 QSOs, or two of 4 each. If entered as two activations, then the second scores zero as Brian says.

Who says it’s not a second activation anyway? It is very difficult to define the end of an activation. We have change of UTC day and change of summit reference - there actually isn’t another way of defining it.


Hi Andy,

It has consequences. In a recent activation I covered the station with a waterproof sheet and stood by (literally) as a rain squall went through rather than walk back to the car and sit out the rain. My XYL thought I was nuts. it seems she was right, again.

In re-reading the Rules it seems it is possible for the AM to declare a different AZ to the long established 25 vertical m below the summit contour line. Or have I got that wrong too?



Some AMs have done that in error. The limit is 25m or imperial equivalent. We found another AZ error in an ARM just the other week and it will be fixed when the association gets its next update. Most of these errors or extra rules slipped in due to poor proof reading. If you know of some, drop me a PM or email and I’ll get the summits team and AMs to amend them


I think this might relate to “using the vehicle as shelter” eg setting up close to the vehicle, and using it as shelter against wind / driving rain during an activation, which is not allowed as I understand it.


No problem to clear off the summit and go and sit in your car during a rain shower - should it be conveniently nearby. Just don’t activate while you are in it!


There are many ways you could define it. Some would be simple; others would be complicated. Some would be reasonable, others would be silly.

The difficulty is in choosing one that is simple enough to understand and yet has the right common sense effect in the awkward edge cases. Writing rules is hard, just like writing bug-free code is hard.

The current rules and their interpretation gives a great deal of freedom to the activator to decide for themselves when an activation ends, and the MT seems happy with that. Nobody seems to be abusing the ambiguities, so there is probably no real need to tighten up the rules. It’s certainly not something to do lightly.



OT: working through lots of Coverity scans right now fixing the edge-cases that can trip you up.


An AM could certainly propose a variation to this or any other association parameter. The MT would have the final say on whether it was accepted.

The 25m rule for the AZ is now so well established that I would imagine that a very strong case would have to be made for a variation. If an association has particularly extreme topography there might be a case for a tweak in order to make it viable.



Hi Adrian
Thats probably what I was remembering. Do not use the car as a windbreak or shelter which I interlreted as also encompassing do not shelter in the car.



No gain for the activator but chasers who work him on both days get points for both.


And the activator gets a lower average points/expedition. The product of Yin and Yang is a constant.


Some activators go up a favourite hill dozens or even hundreds of times in a year. Nothing wrong with that, they understand that they won’t get points for it (except S2S points which in some cases is the point), but the chasers will get the points which encourages them to keep chasing! SOTA was set up that way from the outset - encourage activators to go up as many hills as possible, encourage chasers to work any activation they hear. It seems to have worked.


I think the bigger challenge is starting an activation @ 23:45, and getting 3rd & 4th contacts after 00:01, having to bag it due to weather. That’s four in one day, in the time zone and cancels an activation due to the date shift.
Ah, but this is what makes SOTA fun!
Tally ho


I think that, perhaps, you should re-read the rules.


Last time I looked it said activations had to be on GMT.
I do know local operators who have sweated contacts before the close of the day.
I’m not here to debate, If’ I’m wrong, I’m wrong.


An activation can start at 2355 and continue until 0015 the next (UTC) day.

Just make sure that, if you are entering via upload, that the date against ALL the QSOs is the same - and that is the date of the first QSO of the activation.

You can enter the before midnight and after midnight QSOs as two distinct activations if you so wish. Just do whichever suits.


I’m not sure exactly what your original point was. If it was “activations cannot cross 0000UTC” then, yes, you are wrong. An activation starts at the the time and date of the 1st QSO and continues until you decide you have finished. This is simple when entering manually, you type in each QSO and hit the finished button when you have entered them all. If you are uploading a log as a CSV then there are details on the upload page on how to handle crossing 0000UTC and multiple activations of the same summit etc.


Bit of thread hijacking going on but that’s nothin new.

My guess is you are planning to erect a rotary beam on a summit. It should be pretty effective if you can do it.

With today’s conditions it needs to be on a lower frequency and that’s going to be a challenge.

Even a 44ft vertical is somewhat tricky esp in a big wind.

Anyway I’m sure we will be interested in whatever you come up with.

Good luck with it.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH


Hi Andrew,

Yes, along those lines. On a trailer would have been a lot easier, but we will just have to do it on the ground, a bit more work but still doable.



You only have to pull the trailer up the summit by hand. It’s as simple as that. :crazy_face: