SMS spotter issues

I’m sorry to report that the UK phone number for the SMS spotter is not working at present. The problem seems to be that the number +447903533046 is not receiving messages. This bit I have outsourced to a Telephony-as-a-service company. My parts of the system are working fine.

This means that only spots sent to US or AUS numbers are working.

When the Oompa-Loompas in California wake up, ride their Segways to the office, knock back a few Quinoia coffee substitutes and answer their emails, I may get a response to the ticket!

We could have 24/7 telephone support , but that is $1500/month so I didn’t select it when I setup the virtual phone number :slight_smile:

Why do these things always happen when I’m busy at work and just about to go on a SOTA trip?

Typical. Just typical.

I left of writing up the fault announcement for a few hours in case it was temporary. 3hours after raising the ticket I thought that that was enough time to let any temporary gremlins become permanent gremlins. So what happens? I post the fault notice and just for fun post a test spot. And it starts working.


Looks like it’s working again.

1 Like

Yes, that’s working now. But how do I delete my test spot?

You can’t. You didn’t post it, the user SMS did!

Don’t worry, people know to ignore test spots. One day we’ll have a test zone where you can test these things without them appearing amongst the real stuff.

There was possibly a 24hr dead zone on the SMS provider. Then a burst of messages all arrived at once. They are investigating. Probably somebody went and gave a computer a slap and that fixed it.

Hi Andy, I was wondering whether the text/sms command format is the same as with the spotsms gateway +36 30 346 4139 ?? Or are other parameters required? Couldn’t find a manual quickly.

Thanks in advance.

Hi Gert, no the syntax is very different. The BY-land hackers have been leaving my webserver alone recently so you can get an older manual here.

One of the guys in W4-land did a good job improving the manual and I have a copy but I’m not sure where I stashed it. You should be able to find it by using the search facility.

Thanks for the feedback Andy. I believe I found it: Activaton Spotting Manual for the MM0FMF SOTA SMS Gateway. Always helpful to have some backup options ready… (Indeed, when I take a peek over my firewall, I am also seeing those constant BY-country knocks on the door. You are not alone…)

Andy, quickly checking. Your first post in this thread mentions +447903533406. However, the manual lists +447903533046 for Europeans. Am I correct in assuming it is the latter number we should save in our phones?

Finger trouble…1st post edited, 447903533046 is the number.

Hi Gert

Yes, you found “my” manual. At least my current version of it. Any time an announcement indicates any type of SMS system modification, I update the manual. I would appreciate any feedback from your experience with it. Is anything confusing or just not clear? After reading it, did everything work as expected? I tried to be very thorough and very specific. But then the proof is how well it actually communicates to new users.

Glenn AB3TQ

Hi all,
I use the hungarian selfspotting robot at number +36 30 346 4139 since ages.
It has never let me down.
You can consider it if anything else fails.
73, Ruda OK2QA

Hi Glenn - All was crystal clear. Everything worked as expected. Good job.

I have been testing (sorry for the fake spots) the SMS spotting. I find that my spots get through when using the EU number +447903533046 but not the Australian number +61447568667 which I would prefer to use.

Is the Australian SMS gateway working? Does it require separate registration of my callsign perhaps?

Andrew ZL3CC

Andrew, you need to also Register at Parks N Peaks for the VK number to work.
Have a look at; Help:Sending activity spots via SMS

73, Warren vk3byd

Thanks Warren. I have added my phone no. to Parks N Peaks and tried again.

I received email back from PnP:

2017-11-29 07:34:31 UTC
SMS Headers
phone: +64redacted
smscenter: +64redacted
text: ZL3CC.+zl3+cb757+14.310+ssb+test+pse+ignore
Connection: Keep-Alive
User-Agent: Apache-HttpClient/UNAVAILABLE (java 1.4)
PnP Processed Data
From Phone = +64redacted
Call Sign = ZL3CC.
Class = ZL3
Frequency = 14.310
Mode = SSB
Site = CB-757
actLocation =
altLocation =
Comments = test pse ignore[VK SMS]
Invalid for SOTA
Valid for NP

INSERT INTO activations (actTime, actClass,actCallsign,actLocation,altLocation,actFreq,actMode,actComments,actSpoter,WWFFid)
VALUES (‘2017-11-29 07:34:31’,‘ZL3’,‘ZL3CC.’,‘’,‘’,‘14.310’,‘SSB’,’ test pse ignore[VK SMS]‘,‘ZL3CC’,’')

Something appears to be wrong - “invalid for SOTA” ?!

I can see your direct messages get through. I send Allen a mail every now and then of the VK calls that have registered (can you see the flaw yet) and I don’t know if he uses that to screen non-SOTA users from the system. Anyway, the mail now includes VK and ZL calls so if the system uses that mail automatically you will become valid.

I’ll mail Allen anyway and ask him to see what gives.

Thanks Andy. A test spot I did for a VK summit turned up on parks and peaks, but not SOTAWatch. Spots for ZL summits don’t get through at all.