Sending spots to SOTAwatch

Are there instruction on how to use SOTAwatch?? I guess I am looking for the different ways to send a spot while on a summit and trying to figure out which would work best for me.


There are many different ways to send spots to SOTA Watch. Various apps, such as Sota Spotter, can do it. You can do it from the web site. You can send an SMS message (via text or an app), but that requires registration with Andy. There is a thread somewhere here that explains that more. Also you can spot via APRS message

The one that interests me the most is SMS. However I would like to use my Inreach satellite tracker when I do not have internet service to do it. Is this possible?


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InReach? Yes. Drop me a PM or email and I’ll set you up when I get back home.


“The one that interests me the most is SMS.”

Do you mean SMS spotting by way of a Text Message through your cell phone provider? (NOT internet).

A current manual for that is here:

Not through my provider. I have a Garmin Inreach (satellite communicator) that I can send text messages through. It connects to my cell phone via BlueTooth. I compose the text on my phone then it is sent through the Inreach via satellite.

Thanks for the link I will check it out.

Andy I will PM you soon.


I just figured out that this will not work. I called Garmin to figure out which cell phone number the text message is sent with. I was told it can be different each time a message is sent. I guess I will look into APRS. I dont have a radio that does this so it may take me a while.


InReach is supported, the changing sending phone number is handled quite simply.

I can confirm that Inreach does work, although initially it took a few goes to get it sorted! As Andy says drop him an email or PM and he will get you up and running.

73 Victor GI4ONL

PM Sent

Thanks all


I do not have a smart phone, I have a dumb phone that can send SMS messages. In the northeast where I have done all of my SOTA activation I have almost always found old-fashioned cell service available and SMS spotting works. RBN almost always seems to find me, also, but it requires having posted an alert (for me, without a smart phone, that must be done before I leave home).
Three hints: since a non-smart phone doesn’t have a real keyboard, composing an SMS spot in the field is difficult, especially in bright sunlight. I precompose draft SMS spot messages beforehand, and I save messages after sending so I can edit the frequency and send again when I want to QSY. The second hint is, don’t be impatient. The sotawatch site refreshes every five minutes, so don’t expect an immediate response when you call CQ, keep calling for a while before giving up and moving to another band.
The third hint is for chasers at home, if you expect someone to show up, use the main RBN site to see his exact frequency when he starts calling CQ and how strong is signal is at various locations.
Al, N1AW

The Alerts page refreshes every 5 minutes. But the Spots page refreshes every Minute (five times faster). I have had some quite rapid responses to new spots

Posting Alerts in advance is always a good idea. But it is only a requirement if you are a CW op relying on the RBN Network. You didn’t actually make that clear. That might confuse a new non CW op.

I also only carry a dumb phone. But there are some good reasons to have SMS texting as an option no matter what high tech option you prefer.

Friends with web access have gotten Spots out for me at times. And SMS has gotten out Spots for us when high tech wasn’t getting through.


I recently purchased an Inreach and would like to spot with it next weekend. Is there a site that explains the setup and proper use?



You are reading the very thread you seek.