As an avid DXer and SOTA Enthusiast the idea of taking part in the ARRLs Worked All States Award has never really appealed to me, like DXCC has always done.
However it just occurred to me that W A S SOTA (Worked All States) would be a very good personal challenge to set oneself whether as a Chaser or an Activator keen on making S2S contacts. I think I still need to work a lot of SOTA States with summits in them to complete this challenge.
Its going to be quite an exercise going through 22 years logs since G3CWI opened his SOTA logbook in March 2002 and activated Long Mynd, and I made my first SOTA Chaser contact.
Hunting down USA SOTA Contacts and then recording the State against the contact will be worthwhile, something I am going to do over the next few weeks as its a good winter project. Starting with today I have four states worked so far, K2CZH (VA), N6AN (CA), Wx1S (NH), AG7GP (OR).
Here I will call on our friends running the USA Associations to see if they can help - which States are like Norfolk in England and contain no summits? I can then rule these out of my personal challenge.
I can already feel another spreadsheet comiing on… I’ll report back where I stand on SOTA Summit States in the next few weeks and would be interested to know if anyone else is keeping track of SOTA States worked.
My amateur radio mentor at college in the late 1980’s (G4KHG - archeology teacher and amateur radio in the spare periods) and the one responsible for me being licensed was a keen US county hunter. Last we spoke he was on his 5th time around and trying for all CW. I do regular see him on FT8 so suspect he’s trying for 6th time on datamodes.
There are 3077 counties in the US. Now that would make a challnge combined with SOTA (not sure how many counties contain a summit). Would there be an easy way to work it out?
Who’s for WACWAS (worked all counties with a summit)?
Well, New Jersey, does have “summits”. I have worked a few of those.
I got to checking things a while back just for fun. I am a county-hunter, having worked
all U.S. counties twice in the past. So, I started looking up the counties of the activators
as I work them. (I sometimes don’t look them up). Anyway, here’s what I came up
with so far with SOTA chaser QSOs:
DXCC: 35 countries
WAZ: 18 zones
WAS: 41 states
U.S. counties: 587
California counties: 51 (There are 58)
It looks like there may be a few with no summits of merit?
And FYI the WAZ award is administered by CQ magazine, not ARRL.
Well, as was mentioned earlier there are a few states that just don’t seem to have any
summits of merit. I mean they must have at least a “HIGH POINT” ? I know Florida
has a high point of about 300 feet elevation way up north near Alabama.
There must be some sort of high point in the counties that I’m missing in California, but
I just haven’t caught anyone there yet.
I recently did some work to present WAS and WAZ on summits.sota.org.uk so in theory this could be badged up. It can’t be perfect due to summits sitting on the boundaries of states and the activation zone being straddling the border.
I was noodling over a variation of SOTA and WAS and was thinking about getting WAS as an activator from peaks within the 25 mile radius.
After thinking more, my sense is this isn’t easy and will probably require activating peaks during US State QSO parties and trying to “chase” someone in a state while on a peak. Unfortunately, some states such as DE seem to have a limited number of active radio guys and gals.
Phil, thanks for the QSO this morning. I’m honored to have made your list.
Conditions to Europe this morning were marvelous. Many SSB QSOs as well as CW.
Achieving WAS as an Activator was an idea that occurred to me a few years ago as
states began accumulating in the log. Eventually there was but one hold out state, Nebraska.
I’m happy to report that several NE stations have been worked since, but they seem to be rare.
What my S2S WAS status is I have no idea. A good log perusing exercise.
Best of luck with your project.
72, David N6AN
For chasing activators, kind of. We track DXCC based on association, so that will give false entries for border summits which occur frequently in Europe that are activated on the “other” side of the border.
For showing which DXCCs you worked on an activation, no, that requires post-processing of chaser logs that I’m not looking at doing (yet).
Thank you for giving the community thoughts on this Andrew. I can see the problems with summits on state boundaries, like we’ve had before with summits on country boundaries. I remember well a tour by five UK operators to Poland in 2016. We went to a border summit on the Polish/Czech/Slovak border, with 5 operators all together meeting on the “multi-summit” trying to all complete activating three summits each with two stations on the go. Quite a QSO party it was, but a bit of a farce. I can see why the MT probably did the right thing in outlawing multiple country summits.
I imagine it will be a lot of work going through all the USA summits and splitting them into statelets. Easy for Hawaii and Alaska though! You’ve probaly enough of a workload to take that on.
We are seeing a lot more on UK TV of Stateside coverage this year due to the presidential election. The BBC News tonight was full of stuff about Iowa and electioneering there. No idea at this stage if I have logged a SOTA activator yet in that state!
73 Phil G4OBK
PS Is the inclusion of the State name a newly introduced feature of each specific USA summits page? I haven’t noticed it being there until recently.
This fits into a similar bucket to the DXCC stuff. It’s easy enough for chasers to work activators in “all states” (for the SOTA definition of that).
It’s different for activators determining where chasers are. We’d probably need to track using grid ref (a la the microwave awards), so to claim that you’d have to enter 6 digit grids for a chaser either via FLE or using the comments in CSV/ADIF. Then we’d have to post process it to work out which states have been worked. Then badge from there. A bit of effort.
I can see it’s a lot of effort if a badge is created for USA State chaser and activator.
Thanks very much for introducing States though in the nomenclature for each USA summit. That’s really useful. I’ve tried to look States up in the past from other sources, quite difficult unless the summit ref is something like W2/NJ-001! Thats an easy one.
I’ll be dreaming about what 10 metres will bring tomorrow… 73 and goodnight from Phil G4OBK…