I am a fairly new ham, I got my tech license in 1997 and then upgraded to general and then extra in 2014. I did not operate on HF really until 2015 and I did not have much experience. This all happened while solar cycle 24 was winding down. I have never really known what happens at the peak of a solar cycle. I live in central CA and during the doldrums of the solar minimum I have managed to work and confirm 299 entities. I like working DX and hope one day to make DXCC Honor Roll.
As for SOTA, the first chase in my log was 8/29/2015 with K5RHD on W5N/SS-026 (I was NC6B at that time). I don’t remember doing this chase and I know I was not serious about SOTA at the time. I only have 3 chases for 2015 and only 1 for 2016 so I guess I did not take note of SOTA till 2017. On March 30, 2017 I worked the infamous WG0AT, He was on W0C/SP-092 The Pulveriezr. He gave me the summit reference and I looked Steve up on QRZ. I thought it was hilarious that he hiked with goats, but the seed was planted because looking at my results on the SOTA DB page, I really started racking up the chaser points from that point forward. I made Shack Sloth August 26, 2017 and now I am 10x SS on 9/22/2020.
As for activating, that started on 5/21/2017, It has been a slow process. I don’t get out as much as I would like but I have 233 points and would like to make Mountain Goat but we shall see. I guess I need to get serious about that.
So enough about me.
The reason I started this post. Yesterday I worked Javier, EA2GM/P, on EA1/AT-208, this was my first EU SOTA summit as a chaser. When I saw the spot, I thought yeah sure I will tune there and I will hear nothing as usual. When I got there and the beam made it slow turn, I started hearing something. I thought it was other stations working him. NO, IT WAS HIM! I reach for the paddles and sent my call, HE CAME BACK TO ME! I was in shock, he sent my report and he faded and I sent his report. I think I heard him send 73 but that was it. I sat in my chair thinking did that just happen? I had to know so I emailed him to confirm. Sure enough he confirmed I had worked him!!
Today I worked Simon, GM4JXP/P on GM/ES-050 on 20 m SSB. What is happening???
I guess I am really excited about this solar cycle 25!! If you have been around a while this may be old hat but I am really happy about this!!
What is your experience? I know SOTA has not been around that long but I would like to know.