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Shopping website

This post is early warning that the SOTA Shopping site will be unavailable on Monday whilst I install a significant upgrade to the software. Existing orders will be retained and I would hope to have the site functional by Monday evening.

Once the revised installation is running you will note a number of changes, hopefully these are improvements and will make using the site to apply for awards and purchase merchandise much easier. The site has been completely redesigned and will now run on a secure server (https://) to provide an extra layer of security when you place an order.

The following is a summary of the changes:

  1. The layout has been completely revised and I have managed to include help notes where I know problems have been experienced. If you hover your mouse pointer over the “?” symbol a help message will appear, if you spot areas which need improving or more explanation please let me know.
  2. The site will, probably in early 2018, be available in a small number of other languages. I will need assistance with translation but will post on the reflector when I reach the stage of needing help.
  3. Trophies – I have managed to change the mechanism for requesting what engraving you may require on a trophy. The trophy price is now the cost of the un-engraved blank and you can select how you callsign and the date is presented, Currently this is set to your callsign and the year in which you gained the award. If you remain with just this format this will result in a slight reduction of cost for most claimants (it is presently priced as a four digit year and six character callsign, so if you call is less than six characters you will see a price reduction.) This does mean that we can offer alternative date formats such as Month and Year: Nov 2017 for example. Additional engraving on the trophy is still listed, and priced, as before but now you will also be able to enter any variant and it will be costed automatically and included in you invoice total. This will save you emailing me to get the option put on the site.
  4. Certificates – the pdf option is a set as the regular output and choosing to have it printed will show the additional cost (rather than the current situation where the printed version is the default). I have included a similar facility to that provided for trophies where you may enter additional wording to suit. Remember though, if it is a variant which is not readily provided from the database it will remain your responsibility to provide the proof of qualification.
  5. New stock has been added to the store – heavyweight full zip fleeces and engraved namebadges plus some extra colours in ski caps and baseball caps.
  6. Pictures have been added for most product options and the current stock level is shown at the point of ordering – no longer do you have to specify an option in case I am out of stock. The full stock control facility has been the main driver behind this website revamp.
  7. I have added a Tracked shipping option for those who would like this facility – it will work internationally. In addition you will be able to check the status of your order online (provided I remember to update it, that is!)
  8. When you checkout you will be able to chose the option to be remembered which would save you some data entry during future checkout.
  9. I plan to introduce the ability to pay by Credit and Debit cards without going through Paypal as I know some people do not like Paypal. This will follow in the New Year. Meanwhile you will have the opportunity, if you do use Paypal, to use the speedy checkout Paypal facility. I plan to phase out the facility to pay by UK bank cheque, it is very rarely used and is a right pain having to go to a bank to pay in the cheque. If this is a problem let me know and I will see if I can identify a way round this.
  10. I have made access to the rules for claiming the various SOTA awards easier
  11. The revised site should also work on tablets and “smart” phones
  12. I have made the donations process a little easier and it will put the relevant information into the regular shopping cart along with any award or merchandise purchases you may make.
  13. Possible problems:
    Email notification of your order has been only semi-functional for the last month with the current website. I am working with the hosting company to try to find out why. Meanwhile you will be presented with a printable copy of your order once you have checked-out.
    There is a social media link to Facebook – it sometimes sulks and refuses to function!
    I have included the SOTA RSS feed so that you can keep an eye out for spots, again this is only semi-functional right now so I may well remove it until I find out why the updating on our server is not functioning correctly.

I have plans for various other enhancements, and some of our software gnomes are working on a facility to automate the provision of pdf certificates; all this will follow in due course. There are quite a number of other tweaks made to the website but hese just improve the functionality for my administration purposes.

If you find any glitches (more likely – WHEN you find…) please let me know so that I can try to work around them.


Hi Barry!
Thanks for the heads-up. To be honest, I never knew that a SOTA Shopping Website existed, so it has not been very well publicised! However, I see now that there is a link to it on the top menu of the Sotawatch page.

I’ll be sure to have a browse when it comes back in its revised format.

Walt (G3NYY)

Do you not claim any awards, purchase any merchandise or make donations to the running of the programme Walt?

The rejigged website is up and running,
Currently the RSS feed for SOTAwatch is unreliable and I am not totally convinced that email confirmations and copies to me are functioning correctly - this is not insurmountable as I check for orders every day and a printable receipt is made available on screen after you have checked out.

If broken links or anything similar is found could you please let me know. Meanwhile I will try and fix some other annoying glitches

Barry GM4TOE
SOTA Awards Manager

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There is a fault with the checkout page so please don’t use the site until I have it sorted


OK fault cleared, just the “Contact Us” page to sort
Shop is functioning (17.55 UTC 6 November 2017)

Just looked at the web site. - awesome upgrade. Thanks for your efforts towards this!

Looks great on Windows 10
But there seems to loading problems with Apple Safari.

Just tried reload and it loaded without problems

Hi Barry

Very good looking site, thanks!

I noticed that the link to “SOTA Database” towards the top right of the home page isn’t working.

I’m pretty sure it is because the colon is missing after “http” in the link address…


Wow, looking good and I also like the https:// a lot.

I wonder if you review all claimed certificates manually. If so, can the issue of the certificates not be connected directly to the database? So everyone could simply download his / her certificate based on the actual score and you could save a lot of time then.

That process is in hand but I have no control of when it might arrive.

My main driver for the upgrade (other than I could do it) was that it provided me with complete stock control and, hopefully made things a little clearer to people whose first language may not be English. I plan to have some aspects of the site in other languages but, right now, I have to concentrate on some other (non-SOTA) matters

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I had managed to put http://http:// in the link. Thanks for letting me know, now sorted

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I haven’t checked it on all possible browsers, will see if there are any reasons why that happens. If you had it cached then the url has actually changed as we now use a secure server so that may be a reason.

Should also work on tablets and phones and resize accordingly, some bells & whistles are disabled for phone browsers though

Still a few places where the link to the shop is http://www.sota-shop.co.uk/ rather than https://sota-shop.co.uk including top of the page on this reflector. The re-direct from the former to the latter does not work for me on MacOSX Firefox, but does (after a while) sort itself out on Chrome and Safari. There may be an extension or security protection function getting in the way. Using the direct https link works fine on Firefox.

It ought to redirect but I will ask the gurus to sort out the links for me

Thanks for the “heads-up”

just an idea but has anyone thought about a small addition to the website where if you order a couple of items from the shop and it comes to say £10.50, give the buyer the option to top up to nearest pound and the extra 50p being a donation to SOTA?

There is a donation facility linked from the top menu which is now linked to the general cart rather than directly to Paypal. I will look into a facility to “top-up” but may have to think how to do it (not an easy process with my advancing years :grinning: )