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SOTA News August 2016

SOTA NEWS AUGUST 2016 - Part 1 of 2

Editorial - by Mark G0VOF
Welcome to the August 2016 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Barry GM4TOE, Skip K6DGW, Roy G4SSH, Kevin G0NUP, Rob and Audrey G4RQJ, Allen VK3ARH, Warren ZL2AJ, Toru JH0CJH, Bob F5HTR, Viki M6BWA, Geert PA7ZEE.

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The July 2016 edition of SOTA News was viewed more than 1200 times.

SOTA AWARDS July 2016 from Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager.

July brought an upsurge in awards claims although, interestingly, no trophies were claimed. The introduction of certificates for the 10m/6m Challenge has seen quite an uptake with OK2PDT as the leading Activator Worldwide claiming his certificate.

Phil, G4OBK has joined the elite few who have made the 100k Chaser level and he is also well up the rankings as an Activator. It is always good to work Phil with his very distinctive signal and efficient working manner. Mention should also be made of HB9BIN at 30k Chaser level and GI4ONL who, at 20k, is the first to this level in GI.

There are two people named here who have also achieved what was originally thought impossible in the Summit to Summit Award – 10k points (Amethyst); OK2PDT and HB9BIN. That requires dedication at a wholly different level, my hat off to both of them. Who will make 25k points, the next level?

Final name check to Mirko, OM7SM, for reaching the Activator 2500 level. That also requires a level of effort many of us (me included) aspire to.

Certificates Issued

Activator
OM7SM Mirko Skunda 2500 points
JS1UEH Takeshi Saiki 500 points
MM0GLM Jim Glen 250 points
F6HHK Bruno Bally 250 points
OH3TIA Tia Leivo 100 points
WX4TW Tom Wilheit 100 points
IZ2JNN Stefano Paolini 100 points
DJ5VY Werner Pohl 100 points

Activator Unique
HB9FPM Eva Thiemann 250 summits

Chaser
G4OBK Philip Catterall 100000 points
HB9BIN Dr. Jurg Regli 30000 points
GI4ONL Victor Mitchell 20000 points
G4CFS Glyn Dodwell 5000 points
G0FEX Ken Porter 5000 points
VK6MB Mike Beall 2500 points
G1BLJ Steve Lovell 1000 points
VE2GT Pierre Jolin 100 points
DK3DUA Thomas Rudolph 100 points
G8OMB David Parker 100 points

Chaser Unique
HB9BIN Dr. Jurg Regli 4000 summits
VK5FANA Adrian Addison 250 summits

Summit to Summit
OK2PDT Jan Lavicka Amethyst
HB9BIN Dr. Jurg Regli Amethyst

Mountain Explorer
G4OBK Philip Catterall Platinum
G4OBK Philip Catterall Gold
DK9JC Johnny Chocholaty Bronze
DB7MM Dr. Michael Multerer Bronze

Mountain Hunter
G8OMB David Parker Bronze

SOTA Complete
HB9BIN Dr. Jurg Regli 500 summits

10m – 6m Challenge

The following were the leading station in their Associations:

DD5LP Ed Durrant Chaser DL
EA3HUX Jordi Remis Chaser EA3
G4OBK Philip Catterall Chaser G
DD5LP Ed Durrant Activator DL
EC2AG Antonio Garcia Activator EC2
HB9BIN Dr. Jurg Regli Activator HB
OK2PDT Jan Lavicka Activator Worldwide
EB1CU Andoni Axpe Activator EA1

Quite a challenging month with a lot of awards and merchandise requests to be processed and, with the exception of a couple of orders received late in the month, all despatched. Our North America stockist has run out of embroidered badges but stock is on its way to him so we should be able to fulfill outstanding orders of those items shortly. The stock of baseball caps in Olive have been exhausted in the USA and, with the current US$ to UK£ exchange rate it may prove more cost-effective for everybody to source these in the UK. I will check and hopefully have this colour available shortly.

The revised SOTA leaflet in English is available for download from the SOTA website and I now have translations available in Portuguese, French, Dutch and Spanish with German on its way. I will provide these for download from the website as soon as possible.

The screen printed sweatshirts were OK but, quite honestly, unless I can find a much cheaper source for them I cannot see them selling in the quantities I would need to order. Selling price would be about £20 from the current supplier with very little margin for SOTA funds so this is not really viable. Sales of branded shirts has fallen away considerably so, unless there is a lot of demand for sweatshirts, it is unlikely these will be available in the near future. I thought I had retired from shop keeping but that is still a distant dream!!

Nothing else to report this month so here is hoping everybody continues to enjoy the addiction that is SOTA and remains safe on the hills.

73

Barry GM4TOE
SOTA Awards Manager

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NORTH AMERICAN REPORT from Skip K6DGW

Hi All,
Well, it finally got hot across pretty much the entire continent. Here in Northern Nevada, high temperatures have been around 38 C [100-104 F] however the relative humidity stays in single digits this time of year. Andrea and I are totally used to warm summers, I live for them, so we’re pretty happy. Other regions of the continent have had it a bit worse.
Notwithstanding the warm-ish weather, NA SOTA is up in all the categories we track. One that I just track by hand is the number of new calls that show up on the NA SOTA Yahoo group. That number is up too.

NORTH AMERICA TOTALS
Total Activations: 673 [526]
Nr Unique Activators: 205 [185]
Total Chaser QSOs: 6128 [4928]
Nr Unique Chasers: 281 [249]
Total Summits Activated: 671 [516]
Unique Summits: 497 [393]
2m: 394 (6%) [222]
6m: 7 (0%) [4]
10m: 5 (0%) [9]
12m: 0 (0%) [0]
15m: 29 (0%) [32]
17m: 207 (3%) [135]
20m: 4180 (68%) [3345]
30m: 547 (8%) [430]
40m: 747 (12%) [745]
60m: 2 (0%) [1]
80m: 0 (0%) [0]
160m: 2 (0%) [1]
Unk: 8

CW: 3956 (64%) [3362]
SSB: 1780 (29%) [1342]
FM: 390 (6%) [223]
AM: 0 (0%) [0]
Data: 0 (0%) [0]
Other: 0 (0%) [0]
Unk: 8

We’re maintaining a fairly constant division between HF and VHF bands, and between CW, SSB, and FM. As we head into the minimum between Cycle 24 and the hoped for Cycle 25, 10/12/15 meters will be less and less productive. The “Unk:” entries for bands/modes are the ones where the summit name has commas in it which causes my script to just give up and move on.
AWARDS and ACHIEVEMENTS:
Guy posted the results for the 2015 Challenge for North America:

For NA Activators, the final results are:
Assoc, Call, Unique calls, Unique summits, points
W6 USA K6EL 1025 26 26650
W7A USA W7USA 128 18 2304
VE6 Canada VE6IXD 113 18 2034
W7O USA K7ATN 76 12 912
W4G USA KK4OSG 51 9 459

For NA Chasers, the final results are:
W7A USA W7RV 41 70 2870
W4C USA N4EX 40 69 2760
W1 USA AC1Z 28 40 1120
W4G USA K4MF 15 24 360
W4T USA NE4TN 17 18 306
VE1 Canada VE1WT 13 20 260
W4V USA W4DOW 14 16 224

Congrats to Elliott/K6EL and Tommy/W7RV for the No. 1 spot for Activators and Chasers in North America!

The complete results for NA are at: https://goo.gl/7LQTuU
You can see the worldwide results at http://www.sotadata.org.uk/ then View Results > Challenges. EA2LU was the top Chaser with 46,540 points. OK2PDT was the top Activator with 271,904 points.

And, a Big BAAAA! to Dave, NN5K:
“Yesterday July 4 2016, I worked my last activation to reach the 1000 point SOTA Mountain Goat Award! I just wanted to take the time to thank all of the chasers that made my summit activations successful. In my 135 activations 122 of them unique, I have not ever had a failed activation! On several occasions propagation due to CME made things extremely difficult but I always had at least 4 chasers help me make my activation count.”
"On my list of summits there have been some very difficult hikes because really that is the thing I love to do most. On a challenging hike due to weather, terrain, distance or some combination of those, there are always some anxious minutes until the first chasers take time out of their lives to work me. So thank you for all those contacts. Without chasers, guys like me would not be able to enjoy this activity as much as we do. Going forward I hope to continue to activate new and interesting peaks and will do my best to work all of you."
In case you’re keeping track, Dave is the #8 New Mexico MG.
NEWS:
From Daryl, WW7D/W7WAM, "I am pleased to announce the new W7W RM team:"
AF7GL Peter W7W/MC, W7W/RS
K7MAS Mark W7W/KG
K7NEW Mark W7W/NO
KF7PXT Matt W7W/PL, W7W/SO
KG7EJT Tim W7W/WH, W7W/SN
NU7A Bren W7W/CH
W7TAO Todd W7W/OK, W7W/SK
WA7NCL Bill W7W/CW
N7UN Guy W7W/LC
WW7D Darryl W7W/FR, W7W/PO, W7W/ST, W7W/WE

“There is a lot of SOTA experience in this group, and if you are an active chaser, I am sure you recognize many of the calls”

And, from Elliott, K6EL [NA’s representative to the MT]:
“Nice to work Herbert, OE9HRV, during his California visit last week. I engaged in an informal race with him during the 10/6 metre activator challenge and I lost. There was some consolation in the fact that he was the only station in the challenge who worked more unique chasers, and he and four other euro’s were the only ones with more total points. Good challenge for little pistols, because summit elevation was irrelevant… and I’m surrounded by nothing but one-pointers.”
“Reminder: to claim challenge award certificates, go to the database and check to see if you are your associations’ high score as an activator or as a chaser… then go to the shop and place an order. PDF only, this time, for print out. No mailed certificates.”
“As I write this, today is the third anniversary of the only time KU6J activated W6/NS-204, which was recently re-named, for Sota purposes, in his memory. Next month, the California AM and a group of his RM’s will activate it again and leave a marker with his call letters.”
“Early in July, KL7R completed the only activation to date of an Alaskan summit, the one three miles off the departure end of the runway at Fairbanks International Airport. It’s a drive-up, on which stands an aviation VOR beacon antenna. That worked out for him, since he used to be an FAA electronics maintenance employee. He used a secret weapon, too: satellite, via an 817 into a custom Arrow cross-band antenna, hand-held… seven quick SSB contacts in less than four minutes, logged with a recorder, during the brief pass.”

Thanks Elliott, personal note – I really do miss Eric, a really great friend.

And welcome to a new SOTA Addict [if you’re not now, you likely will be soon, Chris]
"Hello, new member Chris KQ6UP. I have been doing SOTA for a few years, but always stuck to the easier peaks because I was overweight. I have lost 75lbs, and want to try for some more challenging peaks. I hiked Mt. Brokeoff a couple of days ago and wished I would have had a self supporting antenna system. I would have activated it. I have a 31’ Jackite pole, but I would not want to hump that on a difficult hike. What is the best antenna per oz. that folks have been using for SOTA? I have a EFHW and I have purchased a smaller 20’ mast from SOTABeams. I am thinking inverted-V EFHW. I have noticed many SOTA images show hams with mag loops. I am curious about that too."
There is no way we can publicize the 14er Event too much, from Bob, K0NR: "I know you already publicized the Colorado 14er Event, but maybe put in a reminder for August 6/7: Colorado 14er Event, Pacific NW event, non-ARRL UHF contest. This might be newsworthy: I got an article in August QST about the 14er event and SOTA. Steve WG0AT was on the cover (great photo)."
That was a really cool cover photo on QST!
Another personal note, a good friend Matt, KF7PXT, fairly well known for Western US activations, usually with one or more of his numerous kids, is about to retire from the US Army. New career ahead, and hopefully a lot more activations!

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Lightning has been a discussion subject on the NA SOTA Yahoo group recently. Since many of the SOTA Folk frequent pointy places on the Earth’s surface, it is probably good to reinforce the axiom, “Don’t mess around with Lightning.” It can happen from anywhere in any place of course, and quickly, but a black cloud [or even a white-ish one] when your at the top of the mountain can spell disaster. Getting 4 Q’s does not trump many megavolts of energy. Please, all, be very careful.
KLF: We’ve had one activation in the new Association of KLF, I’m told it is a small mountain not far from the Fairbanks AK airport and home to a VORTAC … or something like that. Noteworthy is that it was all done via a satellite and a hand-held Arrow antenna, in less than 4 min [those LEO’s are quick!], using audio logging. Yet another mode, Andy may have to extend the SOTA DB a bit to accommodate.
That’s it from the New World this time, I’m sort of out of space. Thanks to all my contributors, and activate safely.

Skip K6DGW
Sparks NV DM09dn

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SOTA NEW ZEALAND REPORT from Warren ZL2AJ

Note from Editor:-
Warren complies a report for the New Zealand national magazine after the end of the month, to allow him to collect all the statistics. This is forwarded along to me during the first few days of a new month but misses our publication deadline on the last day of the month.
News from New Zealand will be inserted here upon arrival – Mark

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SOTA NEWS FROM JAPAN by Toru JH0CJH
Finally rainy season over in Japan and Tropical summer season has come.

Mt. Fuji, highest summit in Japan has opened for mountaineering season on 1 July in Yoshida route and 10 July in Shizuoka side (Fujinomiya, Subashiri and Gotemba routes). Number of hikers from 1 July till 28 July is around 68,000 only in Yoshida route. This is around +20% up from last year.

Personally I found APRS applications with SOTA activity is very useful. APRS2SOTA is the typical one and I registered this system and found the very stable and swift spotting on SOTAWATCH2. In addition to this SOTAWATCH2 spotting through APRS, Tomobe san, JL1NIE made application platform to get SOTAWATCH2 latest 3 update through APRS. By this application, we can post spotting and can confirm if the spotting has been made correctly. The details can be found below and very last part of this article, you can find how to use this function.

http://jl1nie.hatenablog.com/entry/2016/07/23/103353

This is reverse side of APRS2SOTA then SOTA2APRS like function…

18 July was national holiday in Japan and the day is “Ocean Day”. This national holiday has been launched in 1996, 20 years ago. Next month 11 August, new national holiday will start in Japan, and it is “Yama no hi” the meaning is “Mountain Day”. Many mountains and summits are allocated in Japan and mountains have a huge contribution and influence on to Japanese culture. On that day, we think over how important the existence of mountain in our life and how inevitable from our life.

20 and 21 August, we have Hamfair 2016 in Tokyo, the biggest amateur radio event in Japan. SOTA Japan association will be there with “Yama to Musen” (means “Mountain and Radio”) group stand. If you have a chance to come and join please visit our stand.

SOTA activity in June is a little bit slow due to rain seasons although it has been over now.

SOTA operation July 2016 in Japan

Total number of Expedition 112 with 983 QSO as of 30th July 2016.

JA: 112 expeditions with 983 QSO from Summits
JA5: 0 expeditions with 0 QSO from Summits
JA6: 0 expeditions with 0 QSO from Summits
JA8: 0 expeditions with 0 QSO from Summits

regards,

Toru Kawauchi
toru@kawauchi.homeip.mydns.jp

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THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH - 103 By Rob and Audrey G4RQJ

Off we go to the Isle of Man for our yearly visit, for once the weather is not set fair but we can deal with that on the day. Arrival day turns wet so we miss out on our usual first evening Mull Hill activation. The trick with the Island is to look at the forecast and if it is bad hide from it in the lee of Snaefell. The snag for activators is that the cloud tends to cover the hills so it’s evening before we walk up Mull Hill in the sunshine. As we are a little pushed for time we settle on vhf only but the returns are poor, just three from the mainland , none of them in the usual northern heartland. Four Irish stations make up the total all on 2m FM, not a promising start.

Next day Thursday 30th June and not a bad day so off up South Barrule, home of Manannin mac Lir, legendary Celtic sea god. We set up close to the shelter and a quick listen on the handheld gave us a S2S with GD0ENW/P on Snaefell. Gordon like us was on holiday and glad to make the contact. Just two more on the handheld one an S2S with M0JCQ/P on LD-021 and off to 5MHz for which the antenna was already deployed before the h/held spoke. Ten replies before things dry up and off to 40cw and the gremlins set in. The key has decided that it is not going to send dots. Research produces no answers but eventually we persuade it to key straight cw using one side only. 7,10 and 14 produce no replies and yet again the bands seem broken so we revert to 2m where ssb produces the usual no replies but FM produces four including JCQ now on Dale Head who reports a much improved signal now we are using the beam. The wx has become quite nasty by now so we don full waterproofs and walk down through the cloud now driven by a strong wind. Arriving back at the car nice and dry in the new lightweight waterproofs (Mountain Warehouse) we decide we may need some solder to remake the key lead (have a usb mini iron back at base) so nip into Castletown where we are totally soaked by a sudden torrential downpour as we nip waterproof less to the shop which of course has no solder.

Friday 1st July and a touristy day but did manage a chat from base with Gordon M0ENW/P who was on Mull Hill, not bad for the h/held in a room with three foot thick stone walls.

Saturday 2nd July and the wx is not perfect for the job but we need to get on with things so Snaefell it is. The wind is very strong but the majority of the walk is in the lee of the hill itself so we set off from the usual start point at the Bungalow Station on the Mountain Road. All is reasonable until we put our heads over the rim of the summit area where the wind is vicious. We head across to the relative shelter of the NATS building, the silver one at the opposite side of the plateau to the Hotel, Audrey holding on to the straps of my rucksack to stop being bowled over. maybe she would like the heavier bag! At the far end of the building, close to their antenna there is an area which provides reasonable shelter and we settle here and put up the 2m beam, there will be no hf in these wind conditions. Seventeen leisurely contacts on 2m FM and none on SSB. The wind is wicked when we step out of shelter but we are soon on the down slope and in relative comfort, 20 yds from the car the heavens open just to make sure we are wet when we get there!

Sunday 3rd July, a little overcast but fine for the walk up GD-002 Slieau Freoaghane. The route up the green road beside the plantation can be trying to the feet but the section up the heathered slope from the marker on the track is always a pleasure. (this is The Hill of The Heather) High up toward the summit follow the white stones in the track at intervals. No real shelter at the top just try to hide behind the large pile of white stones. Nine contacts on 2m before it dried up and we set up the hf antenna. On trying to key up on 5MHz we found the swr to be disastrous! We checked all the links etc without success, the plug/coax/centre we use is common to the 2m beam and the hf dipole but we reassembled the beam and it was fine, so the trouble was definitely in the wire elements but we could not find it. All this took almost an hour so no HF yet again. We did have a long chat using our h/held with Gordon now on Bradda Hill for an S2S before setting off down.

Back at base we set about fixing the HF dipole with no continuity tester. Eventually we managed to rig one by using our old transistor radio. We inserted a piece of plastic from a carton between the positive terminal of the AA battery and its holder. Turn the radio on, no sound, bit of wire across the plastic, music, we have a continuity tester. Use of the above kit brought us to a none continuity in one of the 10m sections, Audrey found the break by feel, the wire was parted but not the covering insulation. All fixed ready for tomorrows activation.

Unfortunately the wx has other ideas and conditions on the hills are awful and we feel sorry for Nick OOE and friends here for two days and pressed into activating. We spend the day low down in reasonable conditions calling and listening for them at intervals with no success. As we pick our way through the thick mist back to base via the Round Table mountain road we spot Nicks car in the gloom at the start of the route up South Barrule so guess they are on the way up so we stop and give them a shout on 2fm but no answer, guess they are walking. Later we catch them as we stand in the road in Colby, using our h/held with the long whip to the amazement of passing locals. It does not sound nice up there!

Tuesday is Manx National Day so in the mid afternoon we set of to Bradda Hill GD004. This little hill is very deceiving in several ways. Many people assume that the tower on Bradda Head is the summit, this is far from true. If you look across the bay from Mull Hill you can see that the land behind the tower rises to almost double the height and the true summit. The cliff path from the tower has quite serious exposure and not for me(Rob). The alternative us the route from Fleshwick with a short very steep climb in deep reeds and tall undergrowth, Just as well in my case as I can’t see the drop! Today it is hot and sunny and a true flog up. Audrey announces that I have climbed it in 25 minutes, a good time for me, it feels more like two hours fifty!! The reward for this little hil is some of the finest views on the Island with rocky cliffs and the sea far below from a safe perch, don’t miss it! 2m is short of contacts, just three GW and one EI despite endless calling and HF is worse with a single French chaser on 40m and zero on the rest.

Wednesday, another cloudy and wind day on the tops but Thursday looks a good if breezy so off to Slieau Freoaghane for a repeat activation. We are concerned that we have not put hf on for the chasers from this quite rare one so start on 5MHz. At last, the sky is playing, the key is ok, the antenna is fine but after two hours of cw pileup I have brain fade however everyone that wants to seems to have worked us so a quick shift to 2m produces just two one fm and one ssb. The stroll down through the heather is pleasant, the stones of the green road soon break up the euphoria.

Where we stay in the Island is quite high on the slopes of South Barrule and from the landing window the summit is clearly visible but not this year and the cloud remains obstinately in place for the next few days. conditions at lower level are fine and we pack in lots of low level walking and even a couple more trips up Mull Hill. The first on Sunday afternoon is mostly hf, the final on our last day before we head to the boat is a lightweight 2m FM affair that produces just four contacts in spite of the 4el beam, where is everyone! As we head to the boat with everything packed the summit of South Barrule in the distance clears cloud and is bathed in sunshine. They say that Manannin mac Lir controls the Manx weather from his mountain, South Barrule He is not malevolent but has a wicked sense of humour so this will be his trick to lure us back next year, we are already booked!

A trip up Lords Seat completed this months activity for us, normally a winter walk for us but the road problems took care of that. The new road along the east coast of Thirlmere is nicely done and a huge amount of work has gone on to stabilise the hillside. Unfortunately the whole area is subject to a 40MPH speed limit, this and a caravan in front of us picked up close to Newby Bridge resulted in our arrival being over half an hour behind schedule reminding us why we try to stay out of the centre of the Lake District in the summer. The Go Ape name seems to have vanished from the entertainment centre but the entertainments are still there and the car park is still very busy. Car parking is now camera recorded on entry and payment for time spent is calculated on exit. Cost us the thick end of £8 for the walking time and just over an hours activation. Luckily 5MHz produced no callers and 2m just TWO takers so the stay was not extended! On the way home it was like the Red Hour on Star Trek no, traffic and few people, guess they were all in the static traffic jam that is the southbound M6 on a sunny summer Sunday evening.

Well that’s all for now Thanks to the faithful chasers
Take care out there

73
Rob and Audrey
G4RQJ

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VHF AND UHF TOUR OF THE ISLE OF ARRAN AND SOME SOUTHERN UPLANDS SUMMITS 15 May – 1 June 2016

by Viki M6BWA

In the middle of May, we (M6BWA and M0JLA) drove up from the Welsh borders to Ardrossan for the ferry to Arran for a 5 night stay, followed by a week near Moffat and a further 4 nights near Biggar. We were aiming to enjoy some walking and activate some of the easier hills (we’re not fit enough and I have no head for heights) with M0JLA on HF and me on 2m fm and, hopefully, 70cm. I did enquire how many contacts I was likely to get and most respondents thought I would have grave difficulty – even on 2m fm. I was more hopeful as I though I would be within reach of the Glasgow area and, possibly, NI and the Lake District. Time would tell.

Unfortunately the weather changed within 24 hours of our arrival on Arran and we never had a decent chance of getting up Goatfell in the dry but we did manage 5 summits including a 4 pointer (SI-027 Mullach Buidhe) which had only been visited once before by one SOTA expedition. Unfortunately the cloud was down for most of the walk but we would highly recommend it to other activators and I qualified it easily on both frequencies – including 2 S2S with Gerald GM4OIG on Speinne Mor, Isle of Mull. A quick visit to Holy Island was great fun but a great rush owing to the times of the ferry and the bad weather coming in. I quickly gained a band of loyal local chasers (the mention of ‘Arran’ obviously helped the contacts to come in) who were prepared to make the effort to talk to me on 2m and 70cm eventhough they were not SOTA chasers.

On moving to the mainland the smaller hills (2 pointers) were more difficult and the 1 pointers were almost impossible on 70cm and very difficult even on 2m. I realise that, further north where the population is a lot smaller, I would have had to rely on help from HF. On the higher hills I was reaching the Lake District and even North Wales (from Croft Head and Capel Fell) which helped the numbers (see below). I managed to qualify all of the hills, eventually, on 2m but had to admit defeat with 70cm on 3 summits – and didn’t even manage to get any 70cm contact on SS-140.

I was using a VX-7R (max 5w) with Sotabeam dual band dipole on Arran although I had been trying out 2m on a J-pole for extra height back at home. Both rigs went up the first SS summits, as I thought the J-pole would not work on 70cm, but on Hart Fell (SS-037) an instant S2S with G1ZJQ on G/SB-008 on both bands so surprised me that I forgot to change aerials. I then realised the 70cm contact had been on the J-pole with no problems. From then onwards only the J-pole was carried and I think the extra height was a great help on the smaller hills. A summary of the contacts is given below.

Activations – in date order
(all contacts are GM unless otherwise mentioned)

Isle of Arran
SI-093 Fionn Bhealach 10 2m, 5 70cm: GI 1
S1-143 Mullach Mor 7 2m, 5 70cm: GI 1
SI-027 Mullach Buidhe 12 2m, 6 70cm: GI 2, G 1, GD 1, 70cm GI 1, S2S 1
SI-046 Beinn Bhreac 7 2m, 5 70cm: GI 1, S2S 1
SI-084 Tighvein 9 2m, 6 70cm: GI 3, 70cm GI 1

Southern Scotland (based at Moffat and near Biggar)
SS-029 Broad Law 7 2m, 4 70cm: GI 1, G 2, GD 1, 70cm GI 1, G 1
SS-122 The Wiss 4 2m, 4 70cm: G 2, 70cm G 2
SS-037 Hart Fell 6 2m, 6 70cm: G 4, 70cm G 4, S2S 3
SS-140 Turner Cleuch Law 4 2m, Nil 70cm!: G 2 70cm not activated
SS-074 Ettrick Pen 8 2m, 5 70cm: G 4, 70cm G 3
SS-082 Capel Fell 5 2m, 4 70cm: G 3, GW 2, 70cm G 2
SS-100 Croft Head 7 2m, 4 70cm: G 4, GW 2, 70cm G 3, S2S 1
SS-131 Hods Hill 5 2m, 5 70cm: G 1, S2S 1
SS-172 Lamington Fell 6 2m, 2 70cm: all GM 70cm not qualified
SS-049 Culter Fell 15 2m, 9 70cm: G 4, 70cm G 3, S2S 1
SS-158 Black Mount 5 2m, 4 70cm: all GM
SS-064 Tinto 12 2m, 7 70cm: G 3, 70cm G 1, S2S 1
SS-208 White Meldon 5 2m, 1 70cm: all GM 70cm not qualified

and we also activated
LD-046 Lambrigg Fell 5 2m, 1 70cm: all G 70cm not qualified
LD-052 Hutton Roof Crag 8 2m, 5 70cm: GW 1, 70cm GW 1

Total Scottish contacts 218: 135 2m, 83 70cm (plus 10 on 40m)

Viki M6BWA

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*********** SOTA NEWS PART 2 FOLLOWS BELOW ********

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SOTA NEWS AUGUST 2016 - Part 2

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Short report of Tour de Bohemia – Saku OH2NOS

Last summer I made Tour de Central Finland which result was hard driving three days and eighteen summits with eighteen points. That time I wondered if I could do this another way! So when looking SOTA map I remarked that DM/BM-area was full of ten point summits – why not visit there I asked from myself?

And the conclusion was start to plan German visit. During the winter halve of summit from BM/BM-area disappeared but because Czech Republic is so close I thought to visit there too. In fact my original Tour de Bavaria expanded to Tour de Bohemia.

During the spring I got negative feedback related to batteries. At least after long discussion I decided to be flexible and accept International (IATA) dangerous goods regulations and I bought two lithium ion batteries (4.8 Ah) for ensuring my power supply during the trip. I didn’t know how well these Chinese batteries are because they were so cheap. In Finland is phase: “with cheap price you cannot get anything good”. But from my point of view excellent was that I got two extra batteries to air plan without claiming with security checking employees.

Original route was to go via Deggendorf to south (via Austria) to Cesky Krumlov and at least to Zelezna Ruda because OK-side was very attractive. Yes, we arrived to Deggendorf and I operated two first days in this area. Only problem was high temperature which was +32 C – a bit much for Finnish Iceman. But the rain in third day changed my plan. Estimation was that in south will be two rainy days but in north one only – so to north!

In the evening of third day we arrived to Karlovy Vary. In the border I spent 15 minutes searching my passport which I at least found from my luggage. Karlovy Vary is very beautiful city where I recommend everybody to visit. Summit OK/KA-004 was big surprise, in that place is big contest station and during huge pile up one local ham come to shake hands – but I copied “OK” only. If somebody knows him, please tell greetings!

Contest station on OK/KA-004

From Karlovy Vary we drove to Plzen and spent the rainy day. In the road from Plzen to Zelezna Ruda I was aiming to visit in OK/PL-034 but my navigator made surprise. We were closer than two kilometer of the summit when navigator guided us to drive over the field where was not driving capable road any more. I decided to skip the summit.
Zelezna Ruda is a small border city close Bayerische Einstein where in both side is several easily reached summits. There I made my last activations. Beforehand I thought that temperature during the trip will be between 15 to 25 C but I was fully wrong. In the two first summits in the morning temperature was +7 C with high wind – so I was fully frozen with wrong clothes. The last day was reserved for travelling only and before Munich Airport we visited in Passau too.

Operating on OK/PL-013

As a summary for SOTAmates I can say that please, do this kind of trips if you have possibility. They are nice and teach very much. We didn’t have any problems during the trip. For next one (one day) I learned that do not underestimate travelling between summits because there can be whatever (road work etc.) and climate in abroad is different than in your home country – learn it a bit more beforehand. Now I eat as much summits as I could – twelve summits with 116 points – especial thanks for patient chasers! Next time I should reserve more time for operation. For batteries I am more than satisfied.

If somebody is willing to know more about my visit (summits, hotels, batteries, etc.) do not hesitate contact to me!

73, Saku OH2NOS
[oh2nos (at) sral (dot) fi]

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CHANGES TO FRENCH ASSOCIATION – Bob F5HTR

Dear OM,
Here is some news from France:
France is a very big country with a big number of references, 11 different regions & about 2500 listed summits. A lot of foreigners visit our country this year and activate summits. That is really great, France is a so nice country, with all types of landforms. Of course, errors exist and we have seen topics about French duplicate summits and other issues.

SOTA in France has not the same enthusiasm as it has in Switzerland or other European countries. There are about 12 regular activators and the same number of chasers. It has happened sometimes, when I activate summit, I do not copy any French stations.
SOTA France is in a little crisis these past months and we have decided to take control of it. F6ENO, creator, F5AKL, Co-creator and F5NEP are in agreement with these changes.
The first step will be to define a new team of RM around a new AM.
Bob, F5HTR is ok to take the lead and will organize as soon as possible a new team around him.
Of course if some French OM are ok to help SOTA France, it would be with great pleasure. They can contact F5HTR directly.

So, it is planned to propose a new team of OM mid August to the SOTA MT. It will be the first step to go. Then, we will work on valid or invalid references in each French region. If some of you detect any anomalies, just write me an email, and we will treat it in the next revision that I would like to propose to SOTA MT next January.

Activity in France in July was much more than usual, about 115 summits have been on the air! A lot of foreigners on holidays in France took opportunity to activate summits. This is the period of holidays, and a lot of OM mix trekking and radio.

This month, we can send a big congrats to F4CJP (Claude) and DM1LE for their really nice performance on Mont Blanc (F/AB-001) at 4810 meter on Tuesday 19th of July. Bob, F5HTR climbed onto 3750 m (F/AB-027) in front of Mont Blanc the same day! Also, the traditional tour of Mercantour have been done from F6HBI, F5LKW and F5HTR. It consists of trekking 5 summits other 2500 m in a day (F/AM-256-242-264-258-280). André F5UKL has done many activities from south west of France. He is the specialist of Pyrenees Mountains. Much other activation has been done from F1REI, F4ESK, F6HHK, F4EGG, F/JG1XMV/p, F5UBH, F6FTB, F4GLD, F8AAD. F8TMQ

French chasers are not numerous, but we can still hear Daniel (F5SQA) who is very busy on air.

I inform you that Union Française des Télégraphistes (UFT) will organize an expedition to the summit of Mont-Blanc end of August. It is planned from 19th to 21st of August. Gérald F6HBI will keep us inform about the exact date on the reflector.

I wish you good SOTA activity, nice holidays if you decide to spend them in France.
I stay at your disposal for further info.

Bob
F5HTR

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Half a Mountain Goat - Geert PA7ZEE

My first SOTA activation was during a Holiday in 2008 on DM/SX-008 Pöhlberg. After some nice QSO’s and coming home, I found out that I had activated a SOTA summit. In the years after this first activation, I was occupied by working as a volunteer teacher in schools promoting our Hobby and giving courses to become a Ham. Since 2014 I have more time and I am more active with SOTA and became fully addicted.

At first I was activating all alone but later I activated together with other Hams. This is nice on the long car drives from the Netherlands to Belgium or Germany. It also gives the opportunity to exchange experiences about technical equipment and operational skills. Last spring during our yearly vacation in Gran Ganaria, I activated every week one or two summits. This gave my activator points a boost.
At the end of July 2016, I made a trip to DM and OK together with my grandson Samuel PA4SAM. He was 12 when he passed the Novice exam and later he got his Full License. Now he is a student at the Technical University and during this summer holiday he had some time to join me. We had five fantastic days together altough for the weather and HF conditions, there was some room for improvement; rain and poor conditions made that we could not realise what we had planned and Samuel had on a few summits no QSO’s.

We both are very grateful to all the Chasers who worked us and esspecially for all the Spots they placed on SOTAwatch. For Samuel this was a new face of our Hobby. He likes very much the combination of Radio, hiking, nature, some meteo, adventure, orientation and creativity to build the best antenna in every situation. The low cost of a hotel and a meal in the Czech Republic, compared with Germany and the Netherlands, is one of the reasons to come back. When we left the Netherlands, I had 477 activator points. Coming back and filling in my log, the Database showed that I had passed the 500 points, in other words I am now half a Mountain Goat. The question remains which half?
Another question for me is, taking my age of 76 years in account, will I collect the other half in this life?
We will see what future brings for me.

Samuel DL/PA4SAM/P during his first activation on DM/SX-109 Steinberg

73 de Geert PA7ZEE

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SOTA ON TOP BAND - Mark G0VOF

Hello everyone & welcome to this month’s edition of SOTA on Top Band.

Two activators ventured onto Top Band this month, and with both on summit at the same time a rare 160m summit-to-summit contact was made.

First this month was an over night activation of G/NP-008 Great Whernside carried out by John G4YSS (GX0OOO/P) over the weekend on 2nd – 3rd July. This has become something of an annual tradition for John with contacts made in VHF National Field Day as well as for SOTA. With the better conditions available on the low bands at night this is also an opportunity to activate on Top Band with more chance of success.

After setting up station for VHF/UHF MF & LF on the summit & working several stations in VHF NFD John commenced on 160m after dark & was rewarded with good conditions, although here was a lot of QRN from Thunderstorms around the UK.

John made a superb 15 QSO’s (8CW/7SSB) with stations as from as far as Scandinavia & the Netherlands. Approaching midnight John retired for the night, although he didn’t get much sleep.

The following morning John was again QRV on 160m & despite conditions being much poorer than the night before a further 7 QSO’s (5CW/2SSB) were made on Top Band before John changed to 80m followed by a further stint operating in VHF NFD.

A superb report on this overnight activation can be found here:

G4YSS: G/NP-008 VHF-NFD Campover, 2&3-07-16

John was again active on 14th July from G/NP-001 Cross Fell, this time during the day & I took the opportunity to activate one of my local summits G/SP-007 Fair Snape Fell in order to attempt a summit to summit on 160m.

John had a very successful day with 6 QSO’s (3CW/3SSB) including S2S QSO’s on CW & SSB with me G0VOF/P on G/SP-007 Fair Snape Fell. My day was not as successful as I ran into serious antenna problems, so although we did make the S2S, that was the sum total of my operating on Top band for my activation. Fortunately I had a spare EFHW for 40m-17m so I had no trouble qualifying the summit on HF.

John has posted a superb report here:

G4YSS: G/NP-001 With Sasha on 14-July-2016

A short report on my activation can be found here:

G0VOF/P: G/SP-007 Fair Snape Fell 14th July 2016

Congratulations & well done John.

At the time of writing, these were the only Top band activations during July that I am aware of, if I have missed any others please let me know.

On 2 July, John GX0OOO/P (G4YSS) Activated G/NP-008 Great Whernside & made 15 QSO’s (8 CW / 7 SSB)
On 3 July, John GX0OOO/P (G4YSS) Activated G/NP-008 Great Whernside & made 7 QSO’s (5 CW / 2 SSB)
On 14 July, John GX0OOO/P (G4YSS) Activated G/NP-001 Cross Fell & made 6 QSO’s (3 CW / 3 SSB)
On 14 July, Mark G0VOF/P Activated G/SP-007 Fair Snape Fell & made 2 QSO’s (1 CW / 1 SSB)

As always, If you do have any suggestions on things that you think should be included, or if you wish to contribute tips, ideas or anything else that you think may help others on the band please email them to me at mark@brownhill.demon.co.uk

Until next month,

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF

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CW REPORT FOR JULY 2016 - Roy G4SSH

The month started with Marko OH9XX continuing to activate numerous high scoring summits in Finland, and Slavko TK/S53XX continuing his expedition from Corsica Island.
Special anniversary call S5100IF was again active from Slovenia during the first weekend.
Emil DL8JJ/p was active with his usual strong signal from Germany, calling CQ SOTA at 34 wpm, and there was also a welcome return to SOTA by Vlad Z35M.

Nick GD4OOE, Victor GD4ONL and Dave GD3TQQ were busy activating all five summits on the Isle of Man, followed by Rob and Audrey GD4RQJ a few days later, when both expeditions suffered from poor propagation and poor weather. Paul DL6FBK was activating summits in Austria and Liechtenstein, and Bob F5HTR with Gerald F5HBI activated a round of 5 x 10-point summits on the 7th. Liechtenstein was also a popular destination for Tom HB0/HB9DPR. Chris F/ON6ZQ was on one of his regular expeditions around France.

The weekend of the 9th saw expeditions in to Czechia by OK/OM4WY, Mike OK/OM4AA and Igor OK/OM3CUG, whilst Jürg DL/HB9BIN commenced a week-long expedition to the DM/RP region of Germany. Saku OH2NOS was active from summits in Germany, Austria and Czechia, and Kurt F/HB9AFI was on an expedition in France.

Special anniversary call S5100IF was again active over the weekend of 16th-17th and 23rd -24th.
The 80m band was alive with SOTA HB activity during the Swiss “76th Mountain Day” on the morning of the 17th July.

Conditions on the HF bands continued to be poor up to the end of the month, with deep and rapid fading affecting SOTA stations. There were many occasions when contact was lost with an activator mid-way through a contact.

During the last week of the month Geert OK/PA7ZEE was busy activating numerous summits in Czechia and Germany, accompanied by his Grandson Samuel PA4SAM (SSB). Sake was active from Belgium as ON/PA0SKP and Fred was also active from summits in Czechia as OK/DL8DXL.
Finally, Phil GM4OBK activated a few summits in the Scottish Borders and Hans was heard operating as M/PB2T.

As a footnote, I was temporarily grounded on the 28th, when as part of the ongoing investigative tests at the local hospital I was asked to swallow a capsule containing two colour video cameras on a silicon chip, powered by two tiny batteries, a light source, and a wireless transmitter. The capsule then took four images per second for eight hours, transmitting the photographs to a data receiver worn around my waist. I advised medical staff that I was a Radio Ham, generating up to 200 watts of RF and they were alarmed and intrigued because nobody had previously raised this situation with them. As they were unsure of any problems I was advised that it would be prudent to suspend SOTA chasing for the day. It was a bit unnerving swallowing a capsule with a bright flashing light, but all went to plan and ended well.

73 Roy G4SSH

(I’m glad to hear you had no problem swallowing the wireless transmitter Roy, I suppose the 5 element Yagi & 60 foot tower were a but more tricky Hi! – Ed)

========================================================

SOTA ACTIVITY REPORT FOR JULY 2016 by Kevin G0NUP

Mode: CW on 24MHz: activity for July

DF3MC/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9CGA/P, JH0CJH/1, OK1MLP/P

Mode: CW on 28MHz: activity for July

DF3MC/P, DL6FBK/P, F5HTR/P, F5UKL/P, HB9/F5HTR/P, HB9BIN/P, JP3DGT/3,
OE6PKF/P, OE6TTD, OK/OE5EIN/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2PDT/P

Mode: CW on 50MHz: activity for July

CT1DBS/P, EA1AER/P, F5HTR/P, F6HBI/P, JF1NDT/1, JI1TLL/1, JJ0RBX/0,
JJ1SWI/1, OE/HB9DQM/P, OE1WED/3, OE3IPU/P, S5100IF, WG3K, WW7D,
YO/HA8BJ/P, YO/HA8LLH

Mode: CW on 1240MHz: activity for July

K7ATN, NS0TA, WB9KMW

Mode: FM on 28MHz: activity for July

Mode: FM on 50MHz: activity for July

HB9ZCW, JN3PDF/3, N6MRW, VK3CAT/P

Mode: FM on 1240MHz: activity for July

JO1PHL/1, JS1GRO/1, K7ATN, WW7D

Mode: SSB on 28MHz: activity for July

CS7AGH/P, CT1DYH/P, CT5JLD/P, DB7MM/P, DL6FBK/P, DO1DJJ/P, F/LX1KP/P,
HA5OT, HB0/DH7FK/P, HB3YNY/P, HB9/OE9TKH/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9DQM/P, HB9FVF/P,
HB9RDD/P, IZ1OQU, JO3ALU/3, MM3ZCB/P, N6MKW, OE/HB9DQM/P, OE3HPU/P,
OE9TKH/P, OM1WS/P, S57D/P, S57MS/P, SQ9MDN/P, SV2OXS/P, SY2BIK/P,
VK1AD/P, VK1MA, WB7ENX

Mode: SSB on 50MHz: activity for July

9A/OE5JKL/P, AG5CQ, CT2HTY/P, EI/ON4TA/P, F6HBI/P, F8TMQ/P, HA5OT,
HB9CKV/P, HB9DQM/P, HB9PMF/P, I1WKN, IW2NHE/P, JA1KHZ/1, JF1NDT/1,
JF8LPB, JG1LPK/0, JG1LPK/1, JH0CJH/1, JH1EWV/1, JI1IHV/1, JI1TLL/1,
JI1UPL/1, JJ1SWI/1, JL1BWG/1, JM3GVH/3, JM3URG/3, JO3ALU/3, JR1NNL/1,
JS1UEH/1, JS1UEH/7, K3JH, K5RHD, K7ATN, KB1HXO, KD7WPJ,
KK6TMN, OE/HB9DQM/P, OE/S57MS/P, OE1WED/3, OE3IPU/P, OE9TKH/P, S52ON/P,
S55KM/P, S56LXN/P, S57MS/P, VK1AD/2, VK1AD/P, WA2FON, WA7JTM,
WG3K, WW7D, YO/HA8LLH

Mode: SSB on 1240MHz: activity for July

EI/ON4TA/P, K7ATN, KC5CW, NS0TA, WB9KMW
Regards
Kevin J Prince G0NUP

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SOTA News is normally published on the last day of each month, but there will be occasions when the Editor is not available at this time, in which case it will be published as soon as possible afterwards. It can only be as interesting as the items submitted, so 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 enthusiasts all across Europe, the USA, Australia and beyond, in a total of 114 different SOTA associations worldwide. Your input will be most welcome.

We receive many e-mails during the month containing details of activations, milestones reached and general SOTA news. Unless advised otherwise we will use this information in the next edition of SOTA News. It is important therefore that you advise us if any information is not intended for publication.

For ease of processing, please submit your input by e-mail direct to the addresses below and not via the Reflector. Items sent to Roy G4SSH should also be sent to Mark G0VOF.

==================================================

Roy G4SSH
SOTA News Editor
g4ssh@tiscali.co.uk

Mark G0VOF
Assistant SOTA News Editor
mark@brownhill.demon.co.uk

U.S. and Canadian reports to:-
Fred K6DGW/7 [aka “Skip” on the radio]
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude
Sparks NV
k6dgw@foothill.net

Australian input to:-
Allen VK3ARH
VK Reporter
VK3ARH@wia.org.au (note the recent change)

New Zealand input to:-
Warren ZL2AJ
warren@zl2aj.com

Japanese reports to
Toru JH0CJH
jh0cjh@jarl.com

South African input to:-
Dennis ZS4BS
zs4bs@netactive.co.za

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