SMS spotter outage Sep 23 2014

Failures never come in ones :frowning:

The SOTA cluster went offline for about 1hr this morning. In my fat-fingered attempt to fix that I also managed to disable the SMS spotter answering to +447903533046. This was followed shortly after by the datacentre in Iceland going AWOL. Both these services are now running.

The server I run at home which provides SMS spotting answering to +447733603404 has now decided to misbehave. The modem says it is connected to the network and has a good signal strength but refuses to send or receive messages. It will be offline till I can get home and reset the hardware later today.

So in summary:

SOTA cluster: working

SMS spotter (+447903533046): working

SMS spotter (+447733603404): offline

SMS spotter (+1-530-430-SOTA): working

This appears to be a local cell site issue.

Perhaps they should rename Vodaphone as Vodafail. Anyway a few tests show the hardware working fine when loaded with O2 or Orange SIM cards. Put any Vodaphone or Vodaphone MVN SIM in and you can’t register on the network. The same happens on an old 2G handset when using Vodaphone. The Vodaphone service status webpage shows no failures but does indicate network interruptions tomorrow (24-Sep) for maintenance work… maybe they’ve already started!

I’m hoping that this will rectify itself within the next 24hours when whatever is being done has been done. As my 1st message stated, the other number is working.

Are both numbers still working, and would it be OK to try a ‘test’ message so that I can save the numbers to my contacts lists please?

Is there a format that I need to remember in the order that I send spots in please? I’ve added the Twitter account of @SOTAwatch as well.

Hi Dave,

The old SMS Spotter number has now been closed down. The number to use going forwards is +44 7903 533046

There is a particular format in order for your spot to display correctly which is contained in the SMS Bot FAQ, the address of which I do not have to hand but if you drop an email to Andy MM0FMF via the contacts page on the SOTA website I am sure he will fill you in.

The mobile number you will be using must be registered with Andy before you will be able to use the system.

A test spot to see if the system is working for you will be OK but bear in mind test spots will be deleted after a short time to keep SOTAwatch clear for genuine spots.

73 & HNY,

Mark G0VOF

Thanks Richard,

I knew it was something like that :smile:

73 & HNY,

Mark G0VOF

Dave, you should have all the info now. However, you need to be registered, i.e. I need to know your mobile number so that when you text I know who it’s from… mail me your number and I will register you. (mm0fmf AT

The format dates back to when we had phones with tiny wee physical keyboards and whilst it looks arcane it was easy to type on my Nokia 6210 classic. Since then a number of people have written apps for smart phones that let you enter the data more easily or pick the summit from a list etc. There are apps for Android and iPhone. I’m using Andrew, K1YMI’s DroidSpot on my Motorola Moto-G 4g for sending spots.

The old spotter has been retired now. Jan 1st I pulled the USB cable out of the GSM dongle and then popped out the SIM card and shut down the server application. It ran from Mar 2010 on computers in my shack. Now it’s all cloud based, a virtual SMS/voice server running on Amazon’s EC2 system somewhere in the US and the SMS processing software is hosted on a VPS running Debian Wheezy amd64 Linux in a data centre in Iceland near Reykjavik.

Once you are registered you can send a test spot etc. but if you try now then your spot gets dumped into the big spam bin along with all the junk that is received.

Thanks - I’ll email Andy.

A bigger problem is that SOTAwatch2 wont let me sign in or register. So, I’ll need to try and sort out what I’m doing wrong there as well.