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Sota news aug 2012 part 1

SOTA NEWS AUGUST 2012
PART 1 of 2

EDITORIAL - by Roy G4SSH

Welcome to the August 2012 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Rob G0HRT, Andy MM0FMF, Barry GM4TOE, Peter ON4UP, Roger MW0IDX, Martin DF3MC, Skip K6DGW, Jean-Pierre VA2SG, Wayne VK3WAM, Ignacio EA2BD, Dominik HB9CZF, Phil G4OBK, Mark G0VOF, Rob and Audrey G4RQJ, Victor MI0JST, Victor GI4ONL.


With contributions from 18 correspondents in 11 different countries, the August 2012 SOTA News was approaching the maximum permitted length for the Reflector and has been split into Parts 1 and 2


NEW AND UPDATED SOTA ASSOCIATIONS

On 1st August 2012 a new record of achievement should be reached with the largest ever number of summits being updated or added to the SOTA database.

The world’s worst kept secret is that W6 update is ready now and in addition, a southern region in Spain (EA7) will be coming online for the first time as a new Association.

Jim (G0CQK) has been very busy verifying summits! Some 3650 summits in all, were reviewed making this the largest monthly change that the database will have to contend with. (7% increase). If all goes well, as is expected, then a seamless update of the database should occur without any issues. However, breaking new barriers always keeps the MT on their toes!

At the last count, some 42 new associations were under development and this number changes all the time of course as new ones apply and others start-up on-line. Some are researched and developed at a quicker pace than others, making it difficult to know which association will emerge next? With this in mind the SOTA MT are considering ways in which a ‘Progress Meter’ can be devised, charting the key stages in development of an association as a measurement of the milestones achieved. This should appear to those doing the development work as a percentage completeness figure and make it clearer which association is ready to start-up next? (Well that’s the theory anyway?)

No date has been agreed for the Progress Meter’s emergence, as yet.

Rob Harwood G0HRT
Associations Manager
For SOTA MT


DATABASE CHANGES from Andy MM0FMF - Data Base Manager

There have been a few minor updates to the database this month. First
there was a quick bug fix to a problem spotted by Pete ON4UP. Then some
changes to the summits display pages. The region list of summits now
includes the Maidenhead locater of every summit as well as the latitude
and longitude. Before, the actual info displayed depended on the
association under view. The summit history page has been modified in
line with these other changes and shows lat, long, locater now.

The other change is that there is now tighter linking between these
pages and the SOTA map pages that Rob DM1CM maintains. There is a link
to a regional map from the regional list of summits. This will allow you
to see the summits for the region selected on the map. From the summit
info page there is a link which will not only show the region for this
summit but also highlight the summit selected.

http://www.sotadata.org.uk/summits.aspx takes you to the regional
summits display from there you can get to the regional map.

The link on the Summits menu has not changed, it still takes you to the
top level of the mapping pages. Also Jon GM4ZFZ, our SOTAwatch
webmaster, has put a link to the map onto the links on SOTAwatch.

Andy
MM0FMF


SOTA AWARDS FOR July 2012 By Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager

Congratulations to Karel OK2BWB on his Mountain Goat and 2M0NCM, DL4ABO, K6ILM and MU0GSY on reaching the Shack Sloth milestone. Two Activators reach the Half Goat level, S51ZJ Sergej and HL4ZFA Jason; reaching 500 Activator points in Korea must be comparable with the early days of SOTA in Europe where very few Chaser stations were available and qualifying the summit was not easy. The achievements of all the Korean amateurs must be admired seeing the short time their Association has been active. It is interesting to note that no Anniversary Awards have been claimed this month; these awards don’t seem to have attracted the attention that others have done - I guess that’s life!

Trophies

Mountain Goat
OK2BWB Karel Danek

Shack Sloth
2M0NCM Neil Cunningham
DL4ABO Michael Oltmanns
K6ILM Elliott Pisor

Certificates claimed

Activator
S51ZJ Sergej Simsic 500 points
HL4ZFA Jason Vlasak 500 points
S51ZJ Sergej Simsic 250 points
S53IZ Iztok Simsic 250 points
HL2OLP Chang-shin Kim 250 points
6K5ZLH Wan-seok Jo 250 points
G1FOA Peter Franklin 250 points
S53IZ Iztok Simsic 100 points
HL2IYQ Ho-gyeong Gwon 100 points
6K5XZE Cheol-hwa Jeong 100 points
HL3QBN Hyeon-dong Wi 100 points
G4ASA D Wright 100 points
2E0RWB Ronald Whalley 100 points
IZ3WEU Roberto Guadagnin 100 points
HB9CZF Dominik Bugmann 100 points

Activator Unique
M3ZCB Caroline Blackmun 250 summits
S51ZJ Sergej Simsic 100 summits
2M0NCM Neil Cunningham 100 summits

Chaser
2M0NCM Neil Cunningham 1000 points
K6ILM Elliott Pisor 1000 points
MU0GSY Lionel Roithmeir 1000 points
G4ASA D Wright 100 points

Chaser Unique
DL7URB Robert Bree 500 summits
MU0GSY Lionel Roithmeir 250 summits

Mountain Hunter
MU0GSY Lionel Roithmeir - Bronze

There has been some discussion on the North American SOTA reflector about issuing other awards including Worked All States. I have commented there that the issue of Awards is not the sole prerogative of the SOTA Management Team and that, since Day 1, there has been the facility for Associations to issue their own Awards for localized achievement. Obviously the MT retain control of the major existing awards (Mountain Goat, Shack Sloth and the various general Activator and Chaser awards) but regional specific awards are in the gift of the relevant Association Manager. Obviously, if an Association came up with an Award and felt that they did not have the administrative facilities to control the Award (including checking of claims) then the MT would be willing to administer these on their behalf. If this describes your situation then please contact me directly to discuss.

During our Annual MT meeting earlier this month the subject of Awards was discussed at length and the suggestion that SOTA could look at something akin to SOTA DXCC considered. This is being seriously looked at along with the possibility of other certificates and the introduction of a trophy to mark the high scoring levels being achieved by a few Chasers and Activators. As always, I am open to suggestions and ideas but would appreciate input direct (“mycallsign” @ btconnect.com) rather than posted on the various reflectors which I may not always monitor regularly.

SOTA MT is expanding the range of merchandise available as and when funds allow. Bumper stickers were introduced during June (designed in discussion with a NA Association manager) and I have had a proposal from another Association Manager for something rather special in the way of SOTA merchandise - watch this space!

I believe that some readers of these monthly ramblings wonder at the catalogue of disasters that seem to befall me every month! Well July is no different! BT, in their infinite wisdom, decided to migrate all their business email accounts to a cloud server run by Microsoft ; needless to say this did not go without a hitch including incomplete instructions how to modify your email client to access the new site plus blocking certain accounts completely. Needless to say, out of the 8 accounts my xyl and I use for our business and personal communications they managed to block my main account and the SOTA account. 48 hours of mayhem and high blood pressure ensued!! All is back to what passes for normal now and hopefully I am just about up to date on sending out awards.

It may have escaped the notice of some that the sky was broken for a large part of July. Being this far North (57 degrees) HF is somewhat of a variable feast anyway but when the sky is broken the MUF plummets and for a lot of the month hovered around 5MHz - chasing UK and near Eu Activators becomes more of a challenge so I was overjoyed just a few days ago to actually work MO6MMM/P in SP to prove that my antenna had not fallen down - thanks Mike, you were a cracking signal here! It is also true that I was heard chasing on CW (however not as shocking as finding that G3WGV - our President and life long CW man - has a microphone in his shack!!! He claims it is not used but - smoke without fire…).

That is all for this month, enjoy your SOTA activity wherever you are and be safe on the hills.

73

Barry Horning GM4TOE
Awards Manager


SOTA News also congratulates

  • Neil 2M0NCM on chasing the 1000 point for the Shack Sloth Award.
  • Andy MM0FMF for activating 200 unique summits.
  • Frank G3RMD on passing the 200 milestone of Uniques activated.
  • Tom M1EYP and Jimmy 2E0EYP, for finally activating all G summits - an incredible achievement

5 YEAR ‘ON’ ASSOCIATION CERTIFICATE

The following activators have uploaded their log of at least one activation of a Belgian summit on the 1st of July 2012. In the meantime, most of them have already received their certificate.

ON9CBQ/P Franz Fleischmann
ON7PX/P Walter Palings
ON4TA/P Filip Rogister
ON3UK/P Jonah Bellemans
ON3TH/P Thierry Parduyns
ON/PA3FYG/P Hans Smit
ON/PA0SKP/P Sake Reindersma

If you have activated also a ON summit on the 1st of July, please upload your activator log and send me an e-mail (on4up AT skynet.be) to claim the certificate.

Special thanks to Hans and Sake who came over to Belgium to celebrate our 5th anniversary. They activated 8 ON summits during their 3-day tour: http://www.smitzeewolde.nl/index.php/sota-2/photos-of-my-sota-activations/ardennes-on-with-pa0skp-2012/

73, Peter - ON4UP
SOTA ON Association Manager


GB10SOTA ON SNOWDON - Celebrating 10 years of SOTA

I activated Snowdon GW/NW-001 on the first day of SOTA, 2nd March 2002
so I thought it would be quite fitting to go back to the same summit to
celebrate SOTA’s tenth anniversary.

OFCOM kindly agreed to my request of GB10SOTA and I had 28 days to use
this special callsign.

I set aside four dates with which to use this special callsign, the
first date was Tuesday 19th June.
The weather looked good as I arrived at the car park at Pen y Pass which
was surprisingly quiet.

On reaching the summit I passed the trig point and set up on the Western
side just below the cafe where the summit is less crowded.

I had with me my Elecraft K2 with a 4Ah LiPo battery ( plus 2200mAh for
back up) , a 40 foot doublet antenna and a Kenwood THF-7E handie with a
homemade Slim Jim antenna.

Band conditions were not great but I started on 20m SSB and was pleased
to work N1EU for my best DX and only NA contact, Barry was a good 55
with me.

CQ’ing on the higher HF bands above 17m produced no replies.

After lunch it was time for 2m FM. I had a pleasant surprise when I was
called by MW/PI4VNL who was literally ten feet above me on the trig
point! Nice to have a chat with him and I explained a little about SOTA.
He had come up on the train so was not on the summit for long.

Just one summit to summit was made and this was with GW6OVD/P on GW/SW-017.

The next date was due to be the 25th June but due to a family illness I
had to cancel this activation.

Next date was the 2nd July, upon reaching the Pen y Pass car park, the
whole area was engulfed in cloud with torrential rain and high winds.
After waiting for an hour to see if there was any improvement, I
reluctantly abandoned this day’s activation also.

So this just left me with the 9th July. The weather forecast looked
promising but half way up the PYG track the rain started and stayed for
most of the day.

At the summit I got straight into my bothy bag and started up on 20m
SSB. After the callers dried up I then switched to 40m SSB where I
managed to get quite a few in the log. I then chose to QSY to 20m CW, I
really enjoy CW despite being so rusty on the key, but thanks to the
patience of the callers I managed to pick up speed my reading speed
towards the end.

Band conditions had not improved but around mid-morning I started to
receive much lower signal reports. I glanced outside to find my SOTA
pole on the floor so I’m lucky that anyone heard me at all but quite a
few 20m CW contacts were made this way!

The rain was also becoming a problem, I had not used the bothy bag for
as long in the rain before (I normally use a plastic bivy bag) and I
started to find the rain seeping through onto my radio and log book
which made operating difficult.

After lunchtime the rain cleared and I set up on VHF below the trig
point and as I worked my way through a steady stream of callers I
enjoyed brief glimpses of the views below.
Summit to summits included DL/HB9AGO/P on DM/BW-235, DL/OE7HPI/P
on DM/HE-066, MW0IML/P on GW/NW-025 and GD4RQJ/P on GD/GD-001.

I enjoyed this opportunity to celebrate SOTA’s 10th anniversary from
England and Wales’s highest summit using this special callsign.

Many thanks for those who gave me a call and thanks for the spots.
MW6GWR worked me on the most band/mode slots. I was pleased to be his
first SOTA summit on CW.

QSL cards should be back from the printers shortly.

73
Roger MW0IDX GB10SOTA


NEWS FROM SOTA-DL from Martin DF3MC

The first German Alps SKY WALKER Award was issued to OM Dzianis, DD1LD. For this ambitious award it is necessary to activate the highest summit of all of the nine regions in the German Alps. Some of the mountains are not easy to reach. All of his activations were done in CW.
There are several different awards available both for activators and for chasers in SOTA-DL, for details see http://www.sota-dl-alpen.de

Apart from the local activators, several guests from abroad were active this month: OM Vlado, Z35M, activated Wank, DL/EW-001 together with Martin, DF3MC and made his first SOTA contacts from out of his home country. Phil, G4OBK, visited several summits on the DL/OE border, while Pavel, OK1MCS, first-activated Auf dem Hochstraess, DL/AL-277.

VY 73 Martin, DF3MC


CANADA / U.S. REPORT by Skip K6DGW

Well, summer has definitely come to North America and it has been a very
warm July which doesn’t seem to have deterred SOTA activity.

Activations were up from 134 in June, and unique summits activated went
up from 92. Number of chaser QSO’s fell by about 200. Band usage
remained pretty much the same – heavily skewed toward 20m, although we
did see a few QSO’s on some of the never-used bands. The mode
distribution, more or less equal between SSB and CW in June made a
significant move to CW in July. Here are the results for July through
the 25th, we’re going to be gone for the remainder of the week and next
week so I needed to get this into Roy before we leave.

NA SOTA STATISTICS - JULY [thru 25 Jul]:

Total Activations: 178
Total Activators: 73
Total Unique Summits Activated: 136
Total Chaser QSO’s: 1274
Total Unique Chasers: 104

Band Usage %:
2m: 5.3
6m: 0.5
10m: 0.1
12m: 0.0
15m: 0.4
18m: 0.0
20m: 81.8
30m: 5.6
40m: 5.7
60m: 0.0
80m: 0.0
160m: 0.0

Mode Usage %:
SSB: 31.9
CW: 62.8
FM: 5.2

[The reflector does not do formatted text well so this and future months
will be just lists]

N4EX takes honors as the Chaser of the Month with 122 QSO’s. WA2USA
came in 2nd with 92, closely followed by NS7P with 86, and N1EU posted
65. The Coefficient of Fun when activating a summit takes a giant jump
when there are a lot of chasers out there, so thanks to all of you.

REPORTS: I get more reports that I can really send to Roy so I try and
pick the really interesting ones, and move it around the continent too.
This from Mark, K7MAS:

“This past weekend, I tried to activate a mountain on the eastern slope
of the Cascade Mountains, in Central Washington State. I had no trouble
at all reaching the summit (I have been mountain climbing for 40+
years). I brought everything I needed, and set up shop promptly and
easily. I only managed one (1) contact on 40M SSB. I could hear many
stations in QSO’s all over the continental USA. I also tried calling CQ
on 20M SSB and 2M FM Simplex.”

“My equipment consists of an FT-817ND, a Buddistick + counterpoise on a
tripod, and a 7AH Gel cell to provide 13.2 Volts. Therefore I sould
have been putting out about 5 Watts. I know I was resonant on both 40M
and 20M, despite the fact that I did not have an analyzer with me. What
is wrong with this picture?”

“I’m guessing that 5 watts on SSB is not enough power to be heard?
Should I be on CW to increase my chances? Should I try a setup with
more power output (10 - 20 Watts) for SSB? I am a General Class Ham
operator. I stay within my frequency privilages as a General Class
operator. Does that decrease my chances of making SSB contacts? I also
can set up an Inverted V for 20M using a 30+ foot carbon fiber fly rod
for support. Will that be more effective on 20M than the Buddistick?”

“I have just begun to battle…but need a little help from more
experienced SOTA Activators.”

Mark, The single largest secret to QSO’s on an activation is to get
spotted on SOTAWatch and QRPSPOTS. You can do it with your phone [if
you have coverage, you might not have had it from the eastern Cascades],
you can ask your first QSO to do it for you, or possibly on VHF on a
repeater. The second biggest secret is to post an Alert to SOTAWatch
and to the NASOTA Yahoo group with your planned times AND frequencies.
CW can be more effective than SSB under adverse conditions, but many
activations are phone-only.

And from Scott, W7IMC:

“Activated W7/SR-072 No Business Mountain west of Lake Cascade, Idaho on
3 July 12. Although the lookout is visible from the hwy, it involves a
14 mile drive around the west side of the mountain. Once on the
ridgeline there are both an FAA site and No Business Lookout (super
deluxe for a lookout) the actual high point on the hill is between the
FAA site and the lookout tower. The long drive up is on a FS access
road. You can drive all the way to the lookout in a 2wd car beginning
mid June when the snow clears, then a 10 min walk to the acutal high
point where you can anchor to several trees. Great views of Payette
Lake, McCall, Cascade the very prominent Council Mountain to the west
and the Frank Church Wilderness Area to the east. This is a popular
summer camping area with several State and FS campgrounds nearby. Bring
binoculars and fishing gear for the local perch.”

That’s going to be it from the New world for this month.

Fred K6DGW [aka “Skip” on the radio]
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude
Auburn CA
k6dgw@foothill.net or k6dgw@arrl.net


14 AMATEURS GATHERED FOR THE FIRST VE2 MEGACTIVATION

Following suggestions made by a couple SOTA VE2 activators, the Quebec amateurs decided to meet and make a full weekend of radio, hiking, and meeting.

When it’s possible, shaking hands and making eyeballs QSO’s is way better then any internet based relations to get everybody on the same page.

Most of the radio action took place on the wonderful peaks of Mont Megantic SOTA VE2/ES-003 and Mont St-Joseph VE2/ES-020. Some of the participants activated Mont Gosford SOTA VE2/ES-004 and Rougemont SOTA VE2/LR-002.

HF condx were … well, awful but the 2m S2S contacts were flowing by…

Fun stories were exchanged around a nice campfire after Saturday night’s VE2SOTA dinner. Certainly, this is now a annual rendez-vous which will probably take place at the same time next year. Thanks to our team of activators:

VA2KEY
VE2DRO
VA2VL
VE2DFZ
VE2PBZ
VA2IEI
VE2XMF
VE2DDZ
VA2SG
VE3EMB
VE2PID
VA2EPR
VE2JCW
VE2WTX.

We had big fun with George VE2NGH VHF contest crew, comparing our setup with their 10 foot tower and elements 6 meter beam…

15 minutes Souvenir video (please select 1080p for HD) is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ggC11wBj0A

73 see you all next year

Jean-Pierre Couture, www.VA2SG.com
Directeur VE2SOTA pour les régions Charlevoix, Mauricie, Cote-Nord et Nord du Québec
Directeur Club radioamateur Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean et comité Field day VE2CRS 2013


VK REPORT - from Wayne VK3WAM

July saw activity decline a little from the June highs seen. Still every
weekend saw at least one activation, most several. There were also a few
weekday activations. Conditions were challenging for significant parts
of the month. As VK3 is the only SOTA association in VK, most chasers
are within 200km from the vast majority of activations. At this time of
the year, skip zones on 40m are larger and this has lead to a number of
activations struggling to get the required 4 QSO’s. Many activators use
verticals and this helps with chasers outside of VK3, but is not so
good with activators closer in. Activators using inverted V’s reported
greater success. Despite the difficult conditions, some SOTA DX still
took place with a s2s between Wayne VK3WAM on VK3/VT-046
and Rob G0PEB on G/SE-008.

A sign of greater maturity of the program is that every SOTA point
qualifying activation has had at least 1 QSO with a registered SOTA
chaser. I’m not yet aware of SOTA chasers providing all 4 QSO’s for any
activations, but clearly it is getting easier as the SOTA chaser community
grows. Hats off to the growing VK5 chaser community patiently
awaiting the commencement of their own association, hopefully not too
far away.

July saw first time activations from Glenn VK3YY, Josh VK3XJM and Mike
VK3XL. Congratulations. Activations were also conducted by VK3HRA,
VK3WAM, VK3PF and VK3ZPF. We also look forward to the first F call
activation. Watch out for those 2x4 callsigns.

Wayne VK3WAM
for SOTA News


MINI QRP EXPEDITION TO 9H - by Ignacio EA2BD

We planned to visit Malta for our summer holidays this year. We would stay there for 17 days and we would take the chance to study the culture, to see new nice places and enjoy afternoon sunbathing and just relax.
As my wife and daughter had registered in an English academy to do a summer course in the mornings, I decided that I would take the opportunity to take care of the meals and shopping and - why not? - to activate some SOTA references on the Island. One big constraint was that I would only be able to activate during the weekdays, so keeping weekends for joining my family, to do some tourism around the islands.

After some research I easily identified Lighthouses, WFF’s and - at least- one summit both in Malta and in the near island of Gozo.

I prepared a compact set of equipment for Malta, more or less the same that I use to carry on a SOTA activation. However, I purposely bought a more compact fishing pole, some 6m long that fitted well in our luggage.

After receiving my Maltese call ‘9H3BD’ for free from the Telecommunication authorities and once my air carrier confirmed that there was no problem with my batteries I had the green light for this QRP mini-expedition. Not a big expedition as every activation would be fairly brief.

After our arrival I found an unexpected problem at the holiday QTH, where there was more QRM at the apartment in Sliema than in my home QTH in Spain. Seems as if air fans and conditioners (a must for such extreme WX) plagued the HF band with S8 noise. A pity because this would make it difficult to do random QSO’s from our apartment.

My first activity was activation of a Light in the entrance of Valletta capital city. I was excited; it would be my first trial to see if the gear was fine and if, as expected, being surrounded by salt water would really amplify the performance of my 5 watts.

After a short trip on ferry to Valletta and a walk to the trig point near the tower (in restoration nowadays) I started calling in 20 m and, oh man! what a delight to find all going fine with great reports. I made 97 QSO’s and worked 27 DXCC countries in 2 hours, mostly in SSB. I did find difficulty in holding my QRG in CW when I was in QSO with a European QRP station, and another station took my frequency for calling, but I was unable to stop him as I was too concerned with copying the fading signals from my correspondent.
I was specially happy when answering the calls from some of the SOTA chasers who I usually encounter when activating from the spanish summits.

I was really satisfied with the first trial, so I was ready to go ahead with the main purpose of activating the Maltese SOTA summit MA-001.
Little information is available about the highest point in Malta. Lat/Long is provided in the summits info, but no gps tracks, nor description of the trig point was available anywhere. I’d have to find it with the hand-held Gps. In fact, once I put the data into the GPS the map visualization showed the trig point outside the boundary of the Island!

After checking which bus would take me to Dingli, the nearest location, I woke up early that morning (well, not much earlier than any other day, as the sun was shinning quite early here and the blinds were conspicuous by their absence over the windows!) I picked my previously prepared rucksack and departed.

The trip was fine and lasted about an hour. I arrived in Dingly and left the bus. Once the GPS was swithched on I started to walk towards the sea. When reaching the outer boundaries of Dingli I soon passed the indicator: “Dingli Cliffs”. They are part of the tourist attractions because of the deep drop they form down to the sea for arout 200 meters.
On the way I passed one air Radar station with its nice round spheric white profile, I soon identified the trig point a little further away, though the area was quite flat and it was not easy to identify any summit. The area is an antenna farm with some relays. I decided to sit in front of that, where the old chappel of Saint Magdalene, from the XVII century gavc good views over the cliffs to the sea and the little island of Filfla in the SW direction.

A quick assembly of the random vertical plus tuner and I was ready to call.
I soon received the first call and I was busy for around 2 hours, logging 58 stations on 20m and 17m. Conditions were much worse when compared to the previous operation from the light; suffering from strong QSB and low signal reports. Maybe it was a mix between poor band conditions that day and the sea located in South direction helping to beam opposite to Europe, but anyway we managed to exchange information and send greetings. IT was a pity that I couldn’t take the chance to contact some JA stations that I could hear at the end on 17m… Seems they were not chasing SOTA’s yet, but it’s all a matter of time, hi hi…

I took great pleasure in greeting many of the regular SOTA chasers and the fact of hearing them so far from home provided the exciting and satisfying feeling of my familiar relationship with them.

During the activation, several buses stopped and a number of tourists aproached to visit the Chapel. It seems it’s part of the tourist offer on the island. Many of them stood and watched when I was working CW. They even took pictures from me as if I were a rare specimen and I could confirm to some of them that I was interchanging Morse messages with Europe. I imagine myself on someone’s facebook account spotted as something like “Maltese are still using morse…”

After that activation I added a couple of more activities for WFF and more Lighthouses, The feeling was adverse, specially for the WFF where the band conditions seem to be quite degraded as after calling both SSB and CW for more than 2 hours I only logged 17 QSO’s with a lot of effort!

I also did some random activity by carrying the rig to the beach on some days in the afternoon to try to catch some more entities. My total figures were 275 QSO’s and 40 DXCC countries.

If the stastistics were for a contest entry maybe I would not write this report, but for me they were not that bad for 5 watts QRP and about 9 hour of leaisurely operation, during weekdays only.

I missed the chance to work some transatlantic contacts but I had the chance to work other QRP stations with powers as little as 1 watt, that made those contacts specially rewarding.

Is it worth carrying the QRP rig on holidays? I would doubtless say “yes”, not only for offering points for some of the Awards and enjoying the thrill of managing activations with a very simple equipment, but because of the joy you get when in contact with your friends and ham mates.
Thanks to all who contributed to my expedition, and for being there to chase me and say hi.

Take care and I hope to hear you soon again.

Saha (Maltese)= take care & enjoy, 73
Ignacio 9H3BD / EA2BD

See some pictures at:


EIGHT SOTA ROUND TRIP By Dominik HB9CZF

I just published my pictures and GPS-tracks on
http://www.swiss-artg.ch/hb9czf/sota/sota.html for my 8 hill round trip
on 22 July 2012. First hill was DM/BW-235.
HB/AG-012 and 013 the day before was just warm-up, hi.

73 de Dominik, HB9CZF


OE/DL BORDER TOUR from Phil G4OBK

As F5UKL says in his films SOTA is now finished at least for this trip.

I have produced a few stats.

I managed to do more than I thought I would, having had to pay due consideration to the family and the reasons behind our trip here.

There were 4 days SOTA activity, 3 on my own 1 with XYL Judy (the four pointer Zunlkopf).

424 QSO’s were completed all told with 358 on CW and 66 on SSB. I activated 5 OE summits and 4 DL summits all in the alpine region. The number of contacts on SSB was disappointing; it was mostly UK stations worked on SSB, albeit I did not have the benefit of the magnificent 30m band on that mode. 30m was without doubt the money band, guaranteeing an average of more than 20 CW QSO’s on 30m per summit activation.

DX worked :

ZL2IFB on 20m CW long path from OE/TI-628
N4EX twice on 17m CW and once on 20m
VE1WT twice on 20m.
Several stations in CW in the UA9 region.
No DX was worked on SSB, although I have to mention that GO0VWP was worked in SSB on most summits and G0RQL was worked several times on 20m SSB from his camper van situated on Plymouth Sound.

All told I had a great time on the radio, and overcome many obstacles along the way including my 5m travel pole breaking on DL/WS-058. Fortunately this was repaired with tape but I will need to replace it when I return.

I met and spoke to many Austrian and German people who were curious about what I was doing on the summits.

73
Phil G4OBK, OE/G4OBK. DL/G4OBK

(Note from Ed)
Phil was still travelling home as we went to press, but e-mailed me the above statistics from his highly successful tour between 17-26th July, which included a magnificent 40 point round tour of 4 summits on the 23rd. Phil used public transport to activate all these summits, including an expensive taxi ride back to his hotel when he enthusiastically overstayed his time on a SOTA and missed the last bus. Phil may submit a more detailed report later.


NEWS FROM THE VICTORS

Unfortunately due to working in the tourism industry this time of year is very busy for GI4ONL, however, we did manage a couple of outings in July. On Sunday 15th we activated EI/IN-007 for the first time with EI/MI0JST/P on 2 FM and EI/GI4ONL/p on 40 CW. Conditions on both bands were less than favourable with only 5 contacts for both stations, 7 hz was particularly poor with S7 noise across the band. Later that day we activated EI/IN-031 and again band condx were found to be poor, but both stations had sufficient contacts to claim the activation.

We have been discussing activating GM/WS-001 for some time, and as JST was going to GM land on Holiday and ONL had a few days off at the same time we initially planned this activation for Saturday 21st. The forecast for that day was horrendous with gale to storm force winds but the weather was looking good for the middle of the next week so Thursday 26th was chosen as the day for Ben Nevis.

What a good decision that was, on the day the wx was almost perfect, low cloud from 1000 metres, temperature on the summit around 6 C and no rain with very light winds and by 13:00 (local) there were many times when the top was clear of cloud and bathed in sunshine before again becoming engulfed in mist. On the descent, once we got below 1200 metres we were treated to some stunning scenery as the wx became completely clear of cloud/mist with 80% blue sky and sunshine. This was a great day out especially as JST’s 3 junior ops, 11, 13 & 15 and his XYL (age unknown), were able to accompany us, and they deserve credit for their endurance. On the day MO0JST/P was on 2 FM running 5 watts into a 5 ele yagi while GO0ONL/P was also running 5 watts on 40 CW into an inverted V dipole. JST bagged 9 contacts all in GM and ONL had 26 from G, F, DL, PA, EI, HB9, ON & OM. At the trig on the summit Victor (JST) commented, in jest, that as we both lived near Bushmills we should have had some amber nectar to celebrate this occasion only to be very surprised when the other Victor delved into his rucksack and produced two small bottles of Ben Nevis 10 year old malt which were consumed post haste! Perhaps it was the effect of the whiskey, but for some reason neither of us required sleeping lessons that night, and for the first time in memory the kids actually volunteered to go to bed.

That’s about it for this month, and hopefully from mid August onwards we will be able to get several more first time activations in our logs.

73 from Victor MI0JST & Victor GI4ONL


The remainder of the August 2012 SOTA NEWS is in PART 2

In reply to G4SSH:

Dear Roy,
many tnx for the excellent news to you and your team.

The DX Code Of Conduct is a fine guideline for chasers
http://www.dx-code.org/

Vy73 Fritz HB9CSA, DL4FDM

In reply to G4SSH:
Hello Roy and MT
Thanks again for this SOTA news. Very interresting, as usual.
Best 73
Andre - f5ukl

In reply to G4SSH:
Hello Roy and MT!

Thx for the newsletter and the database-update - especially that the foreign character set is now displayed!

73 de Chris

In reply to OE3CHC:

Thanks Chris. We have changed to a new SOTA Watch Server and initially had a problem with the punctuation in the SOTA News where small boxes were displayed instead of the correct characters. However, Jon GM4ZFZ has been checking this, line by line, and has spent a considerable time correcting it.
73 Roy G4SSH (Editor)