Since I belong to the group of activators who almost never publish an alert I feel the need to explain myself here…
My main reason for not publishing an alert is to not expose myself to unnecessary pressure. It’s purely psychological: If I know that people expect me to activate a summit I somehow feel obliged to make it and am very reluctant to abort the activation to avoid dangers like bad weather, more challenging climbs than expected and such. So in the end I don’t post alerts for my own safety, because I know myself too well…
Beni, I don`t feel pressure, when having set an alert, although there may occure reasons for a delay or even a cancellation of my intended activation.
I want to give information, that an activation might happen from my side.
I always add the s+ or s- in my alerts just in case. multi summit days its a bit harder. I also have alerts set for the next 6 weeks.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying people are supposed to feel pressed to make the summit when they publish an alert. All I’m saying is that this is how I feel - I’m totally aware that I might deviate from the norm here.
I also don’t always alert, maybe 50% of the time. Especially when I do several activations during the day, the times can be difficult to estimate.
Sometimes I also don’t set an alert, because if I activate a peak that is often activated, I have the (maybe wrong) assumption that it won’t be of much interest to the chasers. But especially with the current propagation, this could be completely wrong! Therefore, I will do better in the future, hi.
It’s also true that not setting an alert removes some of the pressure to reach the summit on time.
One solution to mitigate this problem for me is to run APRS while hiking and put a note in the alert comment like “check aprs.fi for HB9EAJ-7”.
This way, if I have APRS coverage, anyone can check where I am along the way.
Bonus: When close to the summit, I’ll appear on @ON6ZQ SOTA2APRS page.
Many things can happen before the hike, such as roads being closed (especially in France), but this can be easily dealt with by editing the alert once you have planned an alternative summit and have mobile coverage.
I always alert, just in case Natalie Portman checks the watch and wants to hang out with me.
Seriously, the alert is a way to let know other activators that you will “occupy” the reference and either they can join for a chat/cup of coffee/common activation or will have to choose another summit.
Different worlds eh? I’ve met other people (non hams) on summits twice in ~250 activations. I once even met someone at a roadend (like a carpark, but without the carpark) who knew what SOTA was. Reckon I’d be more likely to win the lottery than meet a fellow ham on a summit though! Must be wonderful to be part of such an active SOTA community, though less wonderful to live with the associated population density.
I always try to alert because I want RBN to do its thing, but sometimes I don’t put the alert up until I’m on my way up the summit…
Chasers get points regardless of how often a summit is activated.
True, but given a choice of two or more activations at any one time I go for any uniques first!
Is there an established protocol if an activation has to be abandoned on the way there ?
I posted an alert for two summits in one day this summer and realised that I would not be able to make the second one so just cancelled the second alert.
If I was not able to make an activation on the day, is this the best way or would it be better to send a spot with a message cancelling the activation so people would be more likely to see it ?
I do not believe there is.
If on the day I have not been able to start an activation, I kept the original alert rather than removing it (which may not be obvious at first for chasers). But changed the comment section. e.g. CANCELED: Road Closure.
If an activation is started but abandoned (not happened to me yet), then people tend to spot on the lowest frequency of the band and fill in the comment section. e.g. 7.0 MHz with the comment: QRT: Pole broke.
Updating alerts can also be helpful in case an activator alerts for multiple bands/modes but for whatever reason does not/is not able to.
A chaser though may still be waiting for the activator to make an appearance on the alerted band/mode (and may not be aware the activation is finished). In that case, updating the alert with the band/mode combination used only, would be helpful.
Thanks for the reminder. I’ve used RBN to spot off alerts to great success…most of the time. I was unaware of the wildcard scheme until now.
In our neck of the woods, summit access is always in doubt. Logging and private property make activating an uncertainty until almost on the summit. For that reason, mostly I’ve done hasty alerts as I set up my HF kit. This is to avoid wasting chaser’s time looking for me when I can’t/won’t be on the summit. While not meeting the intent entirely, posting a just-in-time alert allows the chaser mafia to know I’ve achieved the summit and will be on shortly, even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes out.
My last few SOTA attempts I have not alerted, and I have failed to activate, HAHA. At least the view is always worth it