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SOTA Alerts and posting frequencies

Often times I see someone post their activation frequency as something like this: 14-ssb,7-ssb, 145-fm

This seems to be a little vague. Why doesn’t one post their actual frequency that they intend to be on? How do you find them if they are posting as vague as it seems to me?

So I alert for 14.285MHz the day before I go out.

24hrs later I climb my summit and tune up 14.285 and find the frequency is in use.

What do I do?

I usually alert for multiple frequencies, but admittedly I have not done HF yet (though I will very shortly)

There’s lots of space on VHF and UHF. It’s a bit more cramped down on HF. You say which modes/bands you’ll be using and either self spot or call CQ near places where SOTA stations operate and hope to be spotted.

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Post a sopt with the operating frequency stated. Thats what I do.

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That’s ok if you can…

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There is always the possibility of adding something like this in the comments section on your alert: " freq. ± a few khz, pse spot if you hear me".

This has worked fine for me !



As a sometimes failed activator - they don’t always. Life goes on

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"That’s ok if you can…
Well I always can. Self spot or get one of the very friendly chasers in VK to spot for you. I have never been on a summit when I cant get spotted.

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With the VK operators you will often see alerts with a +/- and some post +/- everything meaning time, mode, frequency and even summit. It’s pretty much a given that every alert is +/- most things.

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Thank you all. This has given me some great information and understanding how and why people do things a bit differently…

For me, alerts are, at best, a vague indication of possible bands and modes. The practical space in the alert is limited, and “5-ssb,7-cw/ssb,10-cw” takes up rather less space than “5.3985-ssb,7.031-cw,7.118-ssb,10.118-cw” as well as being, most likely, just as (in-)accurate. I suspect I’ve hardly ever even managed to be on exactly the bands and modes specified, let alone the exact frequencies (had I given them).

Of course, there are spot frequencies “everybody” uses, so if someone’s just alerted for a band and mode then keen chasers probably just tune around near the usual spots and hope…

[quote=“VA2MO, post:7, topic:14444”]“freq. ± a few khz, pse spot if you hear me”[/quote]Even if exact frequencies are given in the alert, I’d hope that would be assumed, along with something like “+/- an hour or three” for the time… :wink:

Hi Chris,
SOTA Alerts are a general statement - I hope to be on that band, that mode at that time. The spot (whether self-spotted or from a chaser) gives the exact frequency.

On a related point, can I ask those spotting not to forget to enter the mode in use - I am seeing more and more entries on SOTAWatch where a frequency is given but no mode. Often, if the frequency is towards the bottom of the band one can guess it’s a CW activation, however it “could” be data or SSB in some cases.


Ooooh! A contact with VK. I aspire to that DX. In the meantime I’m grateful for any more local spotting.
Seriously though, I regard alerts as simply a notification of where I will be, when and what time. As a professional navigator I hope to be on exactly the right summit claimed. Everything else is approximate; so why be too precise in guessing the frequency? Activators work hard to get success, surely it’s not too much to ask for Chasers to do a bit of searching given a band and mode?
Alternatively, with modern technology, activators could presumably tune the chasers’ radios to the correct settings for them remotely, given a suitable data connection (sat or 4G). That would help :wink: