SOTA NEWS AUGUST 2009
EDITORIAL – by Roy G4SSH
Welcome to the August edition of SOTA News.
My thanks go to the following contributors:- Barry GM4TOE, Tom M1EYP, Vlado Z35M, Ron and Audrey G4RJQ, Roland SM1CXE and Lutz DJ3AX, .
The month of July saw a great variation in propagation on the HF bands, with 40m in very poor condition on some days and wide-open to short skip QSO’s on other days. Sporadic-E conditions allowed the higher frequencies to be used, with SOTA contacts made throughout Europe on 28 MHz.
SOTA AWARDS FOR MARCH 2009 By Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager.
Quite some claims this month; but of special note are OE5HCE who has gained his Mountain Goat award and IK3GER his Shack Sloth (all on 7 MHz CW).
On the chasing side I don’t know which record is the more impressive, Roy G4SSH with his 25,000 points (all CW) or Friedrich DL1FU for chasing 2500 unique summits.
Congratulations to everybody on their achievements.
I hope David 2E0DAI (ex M6WOW) does not mind me quoting from the letter he sent me when he made his claim: “I wish to claim my 250 point chaser award, I passed this mark this morning with a lovely chatty QSO in Welsh with GW0PEB/P while he was on Aran Fawddwy……” I think I might have a little surprise up my sleeve for David!
Thank you to those of you who had to wait while I had more certificate blanks printed, hopefully I have now caught up. Now the wait is for Mountain Goat trophies – I have just placed an order for some new blanks and this may take four or more weeks to arrive with me.
You may have noticed that the MT have printed T Shirts and Sweatshirts and embroidered Polo shirts for sale. These are being sold at a small mark-up over cost to try to offset the ever spiralling costs associated with the awards programme; postage costs have rocketed in the last year and the charge for certificates and trophies (and their packing) now barely cover their costs. Profit from the sale of awards funds the hosting of SOTAwatch and the database but we would rather not increase the price of awards hence the move into merchandising. Your support would be appreciated.
Last time I asked whether there was a demand for further trophies or other awards. I have had just two responses to this request so must take the view that there is no great demand for an expansion of the award programme at this time. This can be revisited at any time and , although I have received some good suggestions, I will not be actively working on new awards just now.
One final point, it is possible to add some extra information to certificates and trophies (e.g. All CW); there is no charge for including endorsements on certificates but the engraver charges us £1 per letter for the trophies. If you would like an endorsement on your trophy please remember to include the extra payment.
That’s it for this month, please keep claiming, but most importantly please keep activating and chasing.
IK3GER Paolo Corsetti Shack Sloth
OE5HCE Chris Hadler Mountain Goat
OE5HCE Chris Hadler Shack Sloth
M1MAJ Martyn Johnson 500 points
G1JTD Richard 250 points
DL9NCI Georg Goltz 250 points
G0HIO Michael Warrington 100 points
DL1JET Frank Kuhn 100 points
2M0GIL Graeme Gilmour 100 points
OE5HCE Chris Hadler 100 summits
DL1FU Friedrich Winzer 2500 summits
IK3GER Paolo Corsetti 250 summits
OE5HCE Chris Hadler 100 summits
G4SSH Roy Clayton 25000 points
HA7UL Ferenc Horvath 5000 points
IK3GER Paolo Corsetti 1000 points
HB9HAT Mario Pasini 500 points
ON4UP Peter Preud’homme 250 points
2E0DAI David Holman 250 points
M0OYG Brian Nuttall 100 points
ON4UP Peter Preud’homme 100 points
G-20848 Jimmy Read 500 points
Barry Horning GM4TOE
to Mike GW0DSP on passing 3000 Unique summits chased. A magnificent achievement.
to Phil G4OBK on passing the 20,000 chaser points milestone. A long and sustained effort.
to Chris OE5HCE for being the first OE station to gain 1000 activator points.
to Lutz DJ3AX on passing 300 Uniques activated. A reliable and prolific activator for more than four years.
to Guido HB9TNF, reaching 1000 activator points with only 92 summits, almost all 10 pointers above 3000 m high!
to Alain, F6ENO, the father of SOTA-France, who achieved his 100th “Unique” on July 14th by activating F/AM-144. Alain is the first French activator to reach this score.
to Mirek OK1CYC on his successful SOTA SSTV activation on the 26th July, when he made contact with Nils SM5EEP and Jeff G4ELZ for two SSTV contacts on 20 metres.
to John G4YSS on qualifying for his free bus pas. Rumour has it that anyone contacting GX0OOO/p after the 30th July will now automatically receive triple credit point’s, for SOTA, POTA (Pensioners-on-the-air), and GOTA (Granddads on the air).
R.I. P. ROY G0HDX
On the 12th July Phil G1OPV posted the sad news that Roy G0HDX had suffered a fatal heart attack whilst on the train to activate Whitbarrow, LD-056.
Roy was one of a small band of dedicated SOTA activators who use public transport to travel to a SOTA activation.
SOTA News wishes to offer sincere condolences to Roy’s family and his many friends, especially within the SOTA family. He will be sadly missed.
SOTA FREQUENCIES – By Roland SM1CXE
Just a few lines from Gotland Island.
The most popular SOTA CW frequency is, of course, 7032 KHz and I must say that the “Summit-Summer-Activity” has been quite high, and I recently passed 7000 points as SOTA chaser.
BUT - I am a bit confused over the variety of frequencies used for SOTA on 40 metres SSB.
On CW everyone knows to use 7032 KHz, so in my opinion the best thing would be an SSB freq. of 7118 KHz (plus/minus).
On 20 meters we have 14058 CW and 14285 SSB as far as I know.
Good luck and 73
From Vlado Z35M
My all-day activation on Z3/WM-046 on the 11th July ended with total of 257 QSO’s all on HF. Maybe this score is record number of contacts made in single SOTA activation? Next time I hope to go beyond 300.
On my last all-day activation of Z3/WM-046 with record number of 257 QSO’s (231 on CW, 26 on SSB), a total of 37 different DXCC entities were contacted (DL, G, F, HB9, OK, PA, ON, 9A, OE, SM, YO, HA, I, LZ, LA, S5, UT, YU, UA1/3/4/6, SP, OM, UA9/0, LY, SV, EW, EA8, OH, UN, YL, Z3, VU2, GM, LX, OH0, 4L, CT, OZ).
Most of the contacts were on 7 MHz - 125, following with 87 on 14 MHz, 26 on 10 MHz and 19 on 21 MHz.
On the second part of the activation, using S & P in IARU Contest, 168 QSO’s were completed.
Most of the time the running power was 5 W. The antenna was Inv-Vee Link-Dipole for 40/30/20 m. The activation lasted more than 10,5 hours.
TRENDS IN SOTA ACTIVITY - by Tom M1EYP
SOTA activations by G activators:
2009 1441 (half year so far)
Focus on the SOTA Database:
All-time, all associations, 70cm all-mode activators table
(figures shown are no. of activations and no. of points)
1 G4OIG 25 66
2 G3RMD 3 14
3 G0UUU 1 6
=3 G3CWI 2 6
5 S57X 1 3
6 M1EYP 3 2
=6 HA5TI 1 2
=6 S53X 1 2
9 LA1ENA 1 1
10 GW0DSP 1 0
All-time, all associations, 70cm all-mode chasers table
(See Steve’s G1INK post below for this table) - Ed
The G3WGV UK CW Table
This can be found here: http://ukcwtable.g3wgv.com
Some of you will be aware that SOTA’s president, John G3WGV,
also runs an annual CW table for UK participants. Those
taking part submit their number of DXCC’s for the year
(worked on CW only of course) for each of the bands from
160m through 6m. Submissions are required by Sunday
evening, and the new table is usually published on the
Several familiar callsigns from SOTA activating and chasing
appear in the table. With the increasing popularity of CW
in SOTA, and take-up of the mode by beginners who want to
use it to chase and activate, charting one’s progress on the
weekly table is a good way to encourage you to keep active
on the mode.
Tom M1EYP has even started trying to select a band for a
SOTA activation that would give him the best probability of
increasing his score in the following week’s table!
73 Tom M1EYP
CW REPORT FOR JULY 2009 - By Roy G4SSH
Propagation was very variable during July, with 7 MHz very poor at times and 10 MHz unusually unreliable. There was a strong, wide, multi-tone commercial transmission between 10-118 and 10121 KHz on some days, totally wiping out some activations.
The number of SOTA activators using CW continues to increase, especially during the summer months and is quite noticeable that there are a many new chasers who have joined the pack in the last few weeks. There are now 373 CW chasers listed in the data base and at times it appears that they are all calling at the same time !
A warm welcome is extended to the following activators heard using CW for the first time during July: Petr OK1CZ, Gabi HA7PO, Gerald F6HBI, Anders SM0HPL, Franz OE5SNL, Karel OL7CX and F5PLC,
There were numerous cross border expeditions in July, by:- DL/OK2QA, HB9/OK1CZ, DL/HB9AGO, OE/DL4CW, OE/DL8DZL, DL/LA1ENA, OE/DK1HW, OK/DJ3AX, SP/DJ3AX, HB0/HB9AFI, OE/HB9AFI, OE/HB9CSA, W2/OE5EEP, F/G3VQO, OK/DL6UNF PA/PA1AT and ON/DL8YR.
An interesting development during the month was that the higher bands began to carry almost as many activators as 40m. Heard active above 7 MHz were:-
28 MHz:- DK1BN (Thanks for my first ever 10m SOTA CW contact, Walter).
21 and 18 MHz F5UKL
14 MHz:- M1EYP, F5UKL, DL/LA1ENA, HA7PO, OE5EEP, GW4OIG, F5UKL, OH7BF, OK1JOC, OH7BF, M1EYP, OK1NF, W2/OE5EEP, S53X, OH7BF, W2VV,HG4UK, HA7UL, OK1CYC, N2YTF, HB9DGV.
10 MHz:- DL/OK2QA, F5UKL, DL/HB9AGO, HA7UL, DL/LA1ENA, OK1NF, S57XX, HA7PO, Z35M, OE5EEP, DL/LA1ENA, OE/DK1HW, OK1DDQ, Z35M, HB9BHW, F5HTR, OK1NF, F5HTR, HE8AFI, HB9BHW, HA2VR, SP/DJ3AX, GD4RQJ, F8BVX, S65ZJ, N2YTF, W2/OE5EEP, SM0HPL, OE/DK1HW, OK1IF, F5UKL, S53X, OK1JOC, OH7BF, S53MN, S51JZ, G4RJQ, HE8AFI, W2/OE5EEP, HG4UK, SM0HPL, HA7UL, LA5SAA, DL4CW, DJ5KZ, DK1BN, HB9DGV.
It was very encouraging to see a number of activators commencing on the higher bands before using 40m, such as HG4UK, LA5SAA, OKD1DQ. OK1CYC, DL4CW, Karel OL7CX and newcomer Anders SM0HPL.
On the 31st July, Andre F5ULK activated F/PO-141 on 7, 10, 14, 18, 21, 24 and 28 MHz – I lost him after 18 MHz but thank you for the first SOTA QSO on that band Andre and a marvellous trawl through the CW bands.
Commencing on the 1st August, Hakan SM6EQO intends to activate 18 Swedish summits in a seven day period, exclusively on 10.118 CW. He will only use 7032 KHz only if in the early morning or late evening. I look forward to this with great anticipation. It is more than a year since I last worked Hakan, on 18th July 2009, but I hope to have many QSO’s during this posted expedition.
It has been stated many times, but it would appear that it is necessary to repeat that SOTA DOES NOT HAVE EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS TO 7032 KHZ. Any station can use the frequency, and this includes non-SOTA, Special Event and even Contest stations. It is first come, first served. Chasers who attempt to hound other stations off the spot do not do any favours to SOTA. It just gives the organisation a bad reputation.
There was a shameful occurrence on the 26th July, when Norby, LX1NO, was calling “CQ LCA” whilst activating from Castle LX45 and some idiot was causing deliberate QRM by repeating “SOTA ?” If the chaser involved is reading this then I can assure you that Norby has already given long and prolific service to SOTA by activating SOTA summits since January 2006 and is perfectly entitled to call for Luxembourg Castles around 7032 KHz if he so wishes.
Please continue with LCA and SOTA Norby, it is only the odd low-IQ person who does not have the intelligence to know better, not the majority of SOTA chasers.
It is depressing to see that a regular pattern of low operating standards emerging on CW whereby a spot is generated on SOTA Watch and this is followed a few seconds later by one or two chasers tuning up on the exact frequency spotted; then, after a few seconds comes the customary “SOTA ?” The art of listening to a station before transmitting appears to have been lost, and I have also lost count of the number of chasers who reply to any /P callsign around 7032 KHz with an immediate challenge of “SOTA?”
Unless they listen carefully before transmitting, newcomers will be unable to differentiate between genuine SOTA stations and other perfectly legitimate stations.
During July there were CQ calls from the following non-SOTA stations, signing /P around 7032 KHz:-
CQ IOTA (Islands On the Air) - yes - there is only one dot difference on CW.
CQ LCA (Luxembourg Castles Award) www.rlx.lu
In addition to the above, the following stations were also active on 7032 KHz using a similar reference system to SOTA:-
CQ GMA (or DMA) (German Mountain Award) http://tvota.adventureradio.de/
CQ SCA Swiss Castles Award http://www.dxawards.com/DXAwardDir/switzerland.htm
CQ WASL (Worked All Swiss Lakes) http://web.ticino.com/wlog2000/laghi/hb9.htm
On the 27th July at 1016 UTC “CQ DE HE8BYZ/p was giving reference WASL HB/ZH-002, which fits a SOTA reference, so if you worked Walter around this time and thought his name was Wasl, then it does not count for SOTA points. Similarly Walter HE8BYH was giving WASL ZH-001 at 0915 on the 31st. Both were spotted as SOTA, until corrected…
To put it quite simply, if a station calls CQ and signs /p without using the word SOTA then it is reasonably safe to assume that bit is not a SOTA station. There really is no need to grab him by the lapels and shout “ARE YOU SOTA ?” in his face.
SUMMER SOTA TOUR - by Lutz DJ3AX
Here is a brief report on my recent SOTA summer tour by myself, my XYL and Benny, my faithful SOTA dog, when we activated 15 mountains in the TH and SX regions of Germany, plus OK and SP.
Unfortunately the weather was very poor, with much rain and many thunderstorms, making conditions very difficult at times. Due to the conditions we had to abandon activity on one summit after only 15 - 30 QSO’s.
To add to our problems:-
On DM/SX-014 my RX was by rendered totally deaf by QRM from a powerful commercial transmitter.
On OK/LI-010 there was a music festival with a local radio station playing loud and hot music, with hundreds of people gathered at the summit.
On SP/KA-001 the temperature varied from 20 to 3 degrees Celsius within a short time
However, these problems were more than compensated for by the beautiful sight of a car selling beer on the summit of DM/SX-025 Hi !.
Bands used were 40 and 30m, with the majority of contacts on CW. I had s2s contacts with OE, DL, HA, and S5. On completion of this tour I now have more than 300 Uniques activated.
My rig was the FT 857 and an MP1 antenna, 7 Ah akku fer 20 watts or 12 Ah akku fer 40 watts. All my equipment performed well in spite of the strong rain.
Some days were very hard and long, but it was great fun.
My thanks to all who called, and for spotting, which was much appreciated.
CU AGN from the summits!
HELLO MR MURPHY - by Roy G4SSH
Regular readers will be aware that during the summer I spend one week every month at my daughter’s QTH in Cornwall, where I have an FT-897 rig and indoor vertical antenna. This allows me to chase SOTA’s as G4SSH/A, when I have some free time.
Although the indoor antenna is relatively inefficient, it is the only option available to me at this location and in the four years that I have been operating from there I have averaged 117 CW chaser points in the six day stay. This depends on propagation conditions and SOTA activity, and has ranged from a low of just 9 points in June 2007, to a high of 450 points in June 2008 when DM activations were at their peak.
However, during my visit last month I experienced a strange and unusual effect. All was well for the first 4 days. Then I discovered that every time I keyed the transmitter the background noise increased from S2 to S6 which swamped out the activator I was calling. This noise lasted for about 2 minutes then revered to S2 .By this time the activator had replied to me a couple of times and given it up as a bad job. I must apologise for the dozen or so activators who experienced this phenomenon.
I spent a couple of hours reading through the FT-897 manual and playing around with the AGG and TX delay settings, without success. In desperation I started at the power supply and worked my way through to the antenna, checking all the leads, connections and settings in my attempt to locate a fault that if not cured would effectively signal an end to SOTA chasing from this QTH.
I finally moved the position of the vertical antenna, which is normally stood in the centre of an attic dormer window, to take advantage of the low absorption afforded by the glass and wood surround. To my surprise (and considerable relief) a move of less than a metre to the side of the window instantly cured the problem and I was back in business.
I am sure there is a logical explanation, but nothing had changed in the set-up of which I was aware.
THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH 7 - by Rob and Audrey
This months offering will be more like News from the Far Northwest, as we’ve spent the first two weeks in the Isle of Man (GD). The island is a wonderful destination for anyone who likes sea, hills, moors, cliffs, wildlife and friendly people, but there is now very little in the way of old style mass tourism entertainment.
This was our 25th consecutive visit in 25 years so it must be doing something right. Getting there can be expensive and you really do need a car to reach all five SOTA summits. To reduce travel costs via Steam Packet look for deals, avoid weekends, and travel overnight. If the quote is ridiculous try moving start and /or finish date one day either way. Often doing this saves you enough for an extra days stay! Expect about £210 return, car plus two for unlimited stay, less for under five days. Beware, like SOTA, it can be addictive! There are five SOTA summits which can be done in a day using a car between start points. We have a route sheet giving details of this, just ask.
Tuesday 30th June. Mull Hill
We have a quiet day after the overnight trip but sitting among the rocks at sea level watching the seals and we are pleased to work John GW3GUX/P on NW-003 with just the h/held and rubber duck. Inspired by this we decide to do a quick VHF only activation of Mull Hill (GD005). This is an easy 10 minute walk up a surfaced track from a road side parking place just beyond Cregneash village (four cars). It is possible to drive up to the top if your car has good ground clearance (ours hasn’t). There are two WW2 pillboxes on the summit in surprisingly good clean condition which can be used if the wx is poor. Just beware of the low beam at the entrance, concrete and heads don’t mix. Phil OBK can vouch for this as well!! Audrey just passes serenely under it. The new 70cms 10 el worked well, I drilled a set of holes in the 2m boom to take the elements while we were recovering from flu last week. No luck on 4m however. I mended the talking brick during the same period, not used it for a couple of years it’s too heavy!
Wednesday 1st July. Slieau Freoaghane
GD-002 is climbed from a green road that heads north from the B10 Kirk Michael road just west of the junction with the B22. Look for a small stone marker on the eastern side of the green road and from here take the path through the heather to the summit. We are using our shelter tent so are set for a long activation. 5MHz is poor with just one contact, 7MHz works, but contacts are hard to come by, nil on 10MHz but VHF makes up for it.
Thursday 2nd July. South Barrule
GD-003. Our favourite, a straight climb from the “Round Table” road junction. The summit has a shelter which is of little use. Generally it is possible to hide from the elements on the appropriate leeward slope. All the usuals, plus eight on 70cms and two on 4M.
Saturday 4th July. Mull Hill
An evening quickie with no regulars worked. The band opened just as we had to close down, typical!
Sunday 5th July. Snaefell.
GD-001 is easily climbed in about 30minutes from the Bungalow on the mountain road. The tram will take you up from here if you need it. In the past we’ve done this as an evening activation but we’re based in the south this year so it’s daytime only.
The summit has three buildings including the café; today being windy we decided to hide at the northerly end of the most northerly one. Surprisingly the interference was not too bad and on vhf we were just able to beam into Wales past the corner of the metal structure that sheltered us. All bands reasonable and even a summit to summit on 4m with John GX0OOO/P, thanks to Mike BLH who set it up.
Monday 6th July. Bradda Hill
Manx National Day deferred from the 5th, it being a Sunday, so off to the Tynwald at St Johns. Dropped in on the IOM Radio Society exhibition station on the fair field to their usual warm welcome. SOTA sweaters on for this one! Then off to GD-004 Bradda Hill. This summit is often confused with Milners Tower on Bradda Head which overlooks Port Erin from the southern edge of the Bradda Hill ridge and is about half the height of the true summit.
There are two basic attacks:-
- The cliff path from Bradda Head, narrow, eroded and exposed, enough said.
- The climb from Fleshwick. This involves a very steep path up the cliff on grass and bracken which takes a good 20 minutes of really hard work. This year the bracken is very tall and we were left floundering like Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn in African Queen for those old enough to remember it. Next comes about 20 metres of exposure by the cliffs. I can manage this one in calm weather but if it’s windy I divert over the little crag by the wall then across the moor to rejoin the cliff path after the exposed bit. On the summit hf was poor but again vhf came to the rescue including a 4m summit to summit with Mike DSP on Great Orme. This little hill is really hard work for 1 point; it came high in a poll of hard work 1’s a few years ago. We only did it once this year, sorry
Tuesday 7th July Mull Hill
Another short evening activation, just eight contacts all on 2m.
Thursday 9th July Slieau Freoaghane
Same route, all bands OK, even 4m.
Friday 10th July Snaefell
Little tent this time and a longish stay. All bands very good. The 4m wire dipole snapped, it was a temporary thing at best. Realised that the welding wire reflectors of the 2m beam were about the right size so stuck one in each side of the 2m centre piece terminals and ran it up the mast. It worked OK for FM but I wouldn’t like to try it horizontal.
Sunday 12th July South Barrule
Another tented long stay.
Sunday 12th July. Mull Hill
Last visit for the year, a request trip as one or two still wanted it.
Just a warning that Lyme disease is about again. Our hosts’ son has it, picked up it is thought from a tic carried by a sea bird (he is one of the Islands official bird ringers) Be sure to look out for tics after an activation. Current thinking seems to be to remove them with tweezers, being sure to get the head out. Shocking them off with cigarette ends, spirit etc makes them vomit all their contents into your system including the infection. The more medically inclined may like to correct me here.
While charging the battery for the old PRP76 ex police force handheld that does duty on 4m, it occurred to me that the battery contributes about two thirds of the weight of the rig. This might make it good as a defensive weapon but not for carting up hills. Found an old duff battery pack, removed the contents and replaced them with a simple IC voltage regulator and flying lead that plugs onto the normal battery carried for the FT817. Big weight reduction.
Sunday19th July. Top o Selside
Audrey is still a bit short of steam so just a small local hill. Really nice climb from Dodsons Wood car park on the east shore of Coniston Water. Space for about ten cars often full with canoeists and divers. If coming from the south M6 J36 leave A590 at Greenod. Take the A5092, then the A5084. Turn right at the Red Lion pub (Lowick Bridge) and almost immediately left into the road for High Nibthwaite and on up the east side of the lake. This road is narrow and winding with lots of blind bends and is much used by cyclists. The hill would suit an active family but a bit hard on toddlers.
Try it in bluebell time, the woods are unbelievable.
All bands went well except 5 MHz (no contacts). The PRP76 needs a little work, the contacts are a little intermittent on transmit, the PTT almost needs two hands to hold it down.
Managed to get some re usable cable ties at a local steam rally on Saturday. These are hard to find in this part of the world but invaluable in the “bits box” during an activation. Previously we only had four which were a gift and jealously guarded. When using walking poles as an end support for wire antennas use one to fasten the pole to a “V” type metal tent peg which holds it much better than trying to stick the pole into the ground. Red ones are easiest not to lose.
Sunday 19th. Gummers How
An easy little hill and a late start due to wind and rain. There is a good car park for this one. Leave the A590 at the Newby Bridge roundabout heading for Windermere on the A592. After about 1 mile at Fell Foot take the fell road on the right. The car park is on the right just before the top of the steep hill. Children will love this one. A woodland walk to a stone staircase/path. From the top of this either a short scramble to the top or follow the grass path that curves round to the right. Great views over the lake and in the week often low flying military jets flying the length of it. Allow about half an hour for the climb. We ended up on the north side of the summit keeping out of the wind and rain showers and looking out for strays from the Windermere air show. A pretty normal activation and only a Jet Provost and a Hawk spotted.
Thanks to all those we worked from the Isle of Man.
Just six people won the GD4RQJ/P All GD Summits Award 2009.
Graham G3OHC, Bill G4USW, Nick G0HIK, Sue G1OHH, Mike G4BLH, Mike GW0DSP. They should all have received their certificates by now. Sorry that Bradda Hill reduced the number of successes, it really does get steeper every year. Next year we’ll do it twice! We are already booked. If anyone needs a QSL card via the bureau please remember to send one to G4RQJ, not GD4RQJ else it will do a lot of wandering before Martyn GD3YUM intercepts it and sends it on.
Thanks everyone for the spots, take care
73 Rob and Audrey
PREDICTABLE PIRATES PROMISING POINTS By Roy G4SSH
There was a return of a regular SOTA CW pirate on the afternoon of 6th July when a station commenced sending “CQ SOTA de S53X/p” at 1530 UTC on 7032 KHz.
He really did not do a good impersonation of Milos, both his CW “Fist” and his operating procedures were wrong. His Morse was too slow and defective, his speed was too slow, he did not reply by using the names of chasers, and crucially, his signal strength to me was too loud.
This is almost certainly the same pirate who pretended to be Norby, LX1NO/p a few months ago. Same procedure – work about a dozen chasers, then send “QRX” and do not return. However, this time there was a twist in the tail,
After working about a dozen chasers as S53X/p without giving a SOTA reference, he gave the customary “QRX” and fell silent, which gave me time to alert chasers on SOTA Watch that this was a pirate. He obviously read this information on the Spots page, which gave him the confidence to re-appear.
This time he worked a few more stations until directly challenged for the SOTA reference by G0NUP. There was a hesitation and he replied with “S5/TK-036” which was a bad choice – in panic he had quickly scanned the spots for the reference used by the genuine Milos at 1156 UTC. He then realised his mistake - it was unlikely that an activator would re-appear on the same SOTA more than 3 hours after close down.
Cornered by his own over-confidence, he now had to seek another escape route – so sent “QSY 10117” and went off the air. The real Milos would never QSY off 40m after 6 minutes, whilst other stations were calling. He did not, of course, appear on 30m.
It is interesting to note that this person, who so obviously craves to be wanted, has access to SOTA Watch. Milos confirmed that he was back home at the time.
Chasers Beware! I am sure the pirate will try his luck again.
CONTESTS DURING AUGUST 2009
The following scheduled contests are expected to cause severe QRM to SOTA activity, especially on the 40m band. Activators should plan accordingly with alternate spots/bands. This is not a complete list of contests.
1st only 1200-2359 EU HF Championship CW & SSB
8th – 9th 0001-2359 Worked all EU CW DX Contest
15th-16th 0800-0800 RDA Contest CW & SSB
16th 0800-1600 SARG RTTY Contest
22-23rd 0300-0300 Russian PSK contest
29-30th 1200-1200 SCC RTTY Contest
SOTA News is published around noon local time on the last day of the month and can only be as interesting as the items submitted. If you think your particular field of interest is not being covered then please submit an article by the 25th of the month. Have you a favourite SOTA? favourite mode? favourite rig, antenna, or favourite band? How did you find your first day / month / year as an activator or chaser? Your comments and experiences will be read by SOTA enthusiasts all across Europe and beyond, and your input will be most welcome.
SOTA News Editor