SOTA NEWS - FEBRUARY 2015 Part TWO of TWO
SOTA REPORT FROM NORTH AMERICA - from Skip K6DGW
Well, we’re one month into 2015. Much of the continent has been experiencing fairly harsh weather, particularly in the northeast and upper mid-west, while those of us on the western frontier have been basking in sunny days with temperatures approaching 20 C. That same western frontier is also becoming desperate for precipitation.
Total Activations: 374 
Nr Unique Activators: 108 
Total Chaser QSOs: 6165 
Nr Unique Chasers: 227 
Unique Summits: 277 
2m: 116 (1%) 
6m: 2 (0%) 
10m: 145 (2%) 
12m: 90 (1%) 
15m: 244 (3%) 
17m: 405 (6%) 
20m: 3834 (62%) 
30m: 341 (5%) 
40m: 988 (16%) 
60m: 0 (0%) 
80m: 0 (0%) 
160m: 0 (0%) 
CW: 4161 (67%) 
SSB: 1872 (30%) 
FM: 113 (1%) 
AM: 2 (0%) 
Data: 4 (0%) 
Other: 2 (0%) 
Notwithstanding the winter weather, we were up in just about all categories, and especially in the number of Chaser QSOs reported. I have been starting to suspect that the pile-ups on activators have been getting deeper and the SOTA Database bears this out. The band and mode splits remain fairly constant. As usual, I suspect those two AM QSOs were really FM and we’re beginning to see a little PSK31. I think the 2 “Others” may have been one of the WSJT modes.
AWARDS and ACHIEVEMENTS:
Larry, K4PIC, who became W4G’s first Super Sloth last October, has now achieved Super Sloth-dom on CW.
And Mike, AD5A, completed his 100th activation with Ouachita Pinnacle, W5A/OA-001.
Scotty, KG3W, reports that John [W7CNL] has reached 25,000 Chaser points.
Martha, W0ERI, has also reached the 25,000 chaser point mark as well.
Cap, W0CCA, joined the growing ranks of Mountain Goats in January. 118 unique summits, 24 of them in EU and 1 in S5 in 10 SOTA Associations.
Cap reports that he was “activator number 100 on my 100th summit,” and that he has 3 stents in his coronary arteries.
Elliott, K6EL, reports: “A few days ago, Guy, N7UN became the first person to activate the high points of both of the two most popular US vacation islands, Oahu and Maui. Guy is the co-founder of SOTA Hawai’i, and this was his first trip there since the KH6 association went live on September 1, 2013.”
Congratulations to all! Did the MT, when formulating SOTA and its award structure, ever consider that people would be amassing 25K Chaser points?
Elliott also reminded me of the big news for Feb: “The Annual North America Winter Summit to Summit Weekend will be from sunrise East coast time on February 7th to sunset West coast time on the 8th. Listen for 15 or more operators playing in the snow. Europeans welcome.”
Actually, ALL are welcome. The approximate UTC times are about 1200 on
7 Feb to around 0100 on 9 Feb. Cycle 24 is still hanging in there so the higher frequency bands might offer some intercontinental QSO’s.
Scott, W7IMC summed up “SOTA in 2014” for us:
"In no particular order of importance or relevance to anything, highlights from this past years adventures, achievements, trails and
–Highest and most expensive activation - Mauna Kea, 13,796 ft [4,206 m], $129 for the truck and $42 for fuel
–Lowest activation and one of most scenic - Makapu’u Head Oahu, 647 ft
–Most amount of points for least amount of effort - Mt Mitchell NC, 10 point drive up, also longest 2m HT S2S to Clingmans Dome approx 70 miles
–Least amount of points for most amount of effort - Kohelepelepe Oahu 2 points, 1150 ft [350 m] vertical climb, .6 mi [.97 km], hot and oh what a grinder
–Coldest (with wind chill) - 18F [-8C] Blue Mounds and Gilbralter Rock WI
–Most crowded summits - Diamond Head and Mt Mitchell
–Longest 2 wheeled ride without activating - Red Mtn Stanley Basin W7I.
32 mi [51.5 km], still sore
–Best Mountain Names - Big Windy, Jumpoff Peak, War Eagle and Deadline Ridge
–Most Activations single day - Four, Burnt River Range W7O/SE
–Longest HF SSB QSO - Oahu to NC
–Most Remote - W7O/SE Trout Creek Mountains
–National Parks added - Joshua Tree and Great Smokey
–Critters spotted - wild horses, deer, elk, moose, bobcat, grouse
–Most expensive fuel - $4.71 gal at Waikoloa Village Big Island, stateside - $4.41 gal in Anza CA
–Least expensive fuel - $1.99 gal in Twin Falls, ID
–Grand Total of new adventures - Priceless"
That’s it from the New World for this month.
North American SOTA Reporter Dude
REPORT FROM AUSTRALIA - From Allen VK3HRA
A big congratulation goes out to Rob VK2QR. Rob has achieve Mountain Goat status in just over 11 months. This is a staggering pace. Working through the high country from VK1 through VK2 and VK3 Rob is setting the standard for high value activations. By posting alerts on SotaWatch then managing the resulting pileups in a orderly and efficient manner Rob has a generated a huge following. We are looking forward to many more contacts as Rob continues his travels along the high country setting a pace few can answer.
Being summer in Australia the norm is to take holidays from XMAS to Australia day so activations were not limited to the weekend. Fires have placed some areas out of reach with Mt Gawler (VK5/SE-013) in particular being destroyed. However nearly 80 unique activators were out during this period with no reported issues except for the March flies.
In fact a SOTA activator came to the aid of other bush users when Tony VK3CAT came across a car that had just rolled. With phone service not available Tony was able to contact emergency services with HF with Mike VK3XL and David VK7DC responding. Tony then provided first aid until the emergency services arrived. No serious injuries but again a reminder to stay safe in the bush.
New Year Activity
New year’s day saw many SOTA devotees out on summits at a very special time in the VK SOTA calendar. The UTC year roll-over means we can double the chaser, activator and summit to summit points over a couple of hours. With daylight saving still active the UTC rollover is 11:00am EADST. Alerts published on SotaWatch late in December 2014 had given an indication that activators were planning to visit summits on the morning of 1st January 2015 to take advantage of the time zone and New Year rollover. This was not a planned activity it promised to be a busy day and delivered.
Prior to 0000 UTC each activator was keen to score as many s2s points as possible, so many chasers probably missed out on contacts during this period. Each activator CQ call was greeted with several S2S requests and priority was given to S2S contacts. It was frantic for a couple of hours running up to UTC on the 40m band with activators all the way up to 7170. This was the only way to provide the bandwidth. Not just 40m was in use, 20m for DX as well as 6m and 10m. A positive response to the new SOTA challenges. Several summits were activated by different activators during the course of the day. There was 1400 QSO’s post UTC recorded for 37 activators.
This event certainly surpassed even the frenzy that planned major events bring.
Overall a great day for SOTA operation. Blogs for the New Year rollover checkout;
VK1DI - http://vk1da.net/blog/2015/01/04/sota-feeding-frenzy-1st-jan-2015/
VK2IO - Day-long SOTA activation for New Year 2015 | VK2IO
VK3BQ - Sota Activations - New Years 2015. - VK3BQ
VK3HRA - https://vk3hra.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/2015-new-year-activations/
VK3PF - Bogong High Plains and the New Year’s Day rollover | vk3pf
VK3YY - SOTA New Year Rollover 2014-2015 | VK3YY
VK7TW - VK7/SC-003 & 004 – Mt Marian and Trestle Mountain – New Years Rollover 2014-2015 | VK7TW
Australia Day Activations
A special event prefix of ‘AX’ can be substituted for ‘VK’ on occasions of national significance including Australia Day. Being a long weekend and the end of holiday season many were out on SOTA summits as well as people in the parks calling CQ AX. Overall 17 activators accounted for 20 activations. Whilst the day was quite compared to recent activities, a hearty response never-less.
Organised Events coming up include;
Listen out on Sunday the 1st of February for VK1 celebrating the second year of SOTA. The SOTA group will be having a BBQ and joint activation of Mt Stromlo (VK1/AC-043) on Sunday 1st Feb, aiming to raise its QSO count above 1000, to make 3 VK1 summits with more than 1000 QSO’s. This will a great opportunity for those in the area to see a SOTA station first hand and given the DX agenda of several players opportunities for SOTA DX S2S. Contact - Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH
Don’t forget the VK3 SOTA Conference & BBQ - Saturday February 7th.
At the M&DRC club rooms at 33 Turner Rd, Highett. VIC Contact - Ron VK3AFW
SOTA NEWS FROM SOUTH AFRICA - From Dennis ZS4BS
This report covers December 2014 and January 2015.
The Eastern Cape (ZS/EC) has been busy during this period with a number of summits activated. In this part of the world, the summer school holidays were on hand.
On 6 December, Dave, ZS2DH, and Hendrik, ZS2CH, activated Menziesberg [Menzies Mountain], ZS2/EC-010 (4 points) near the village of Hogsback in the Amatola Mountains. Next morning, they were joined by Mandy, ZS2AV and Andrew, ZS2G, and took the road north to Queenstown to activate Hangklip [Hanging Stone], ZS2/EC-003 (6 points) about 14 km north of the town. Both summits were active on 40 metres; VHF equipment is normally taken with for a QSO with local amateurs.
On 28 December, Mandy, ZS2AV, activated Lady’s Slipper, ZS/EC016 (1 point). The summit is home to the ZS0NTP Packet BBS digipeater serving the Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, Despatch area as well as Jefferies Bay.
Dave, ZS2DH, from Port Elizabeth and Hendrik, ZS2HC, from East London took the road north to the southern Drakensberg and on 31 December, they activated Ben Macdhui, ZS2/EC-001 (10 points). The summit of Ben Macdhui is about 1 km from the border with Lesotho (7P8) and about 14 km from the village of Rhodes
In September 1894, the residents met to petition the government to proclaim Rhodes as a village under the Village Management Act of 1881. Rhodes was proclaimed a township with municipal rights in 1897. Between 24 June 1901 and 7 February 1902, the village was invaded no less than 29 times during the Anglo-Boer War.
Local legend has it that it was originally named Rossville after the Rev Ross and that the name was changed to Rhodes in the hopes that the mining magnate and then Prime Minister of the Cape, Cecil John Rhodes, would bless the village with his beneficence. Alas, this was not to be and the legend has it that he sent a wagonload of Stone Pine trees instead. Another variation has it that he sent the trees as well as £500. The story continues that the funds disappeared together with the official who received them.
On New Year’s Day, Dave and Hendrik again climbed to the summit of Ben Macdhui and activated it for the first one of 2015. They then packed up and left for home with a stop over in Hogsback. During the afternoon of 1 January, they activated Menziesberg, ZS2/EC-010. After a good night’s sleep, they activated Tor Doone, ZS2/EC-012 (4 points) just behind the village. Then it was off to Port Elizabeth and East London.
From the Western Cape, there was an activation on 20 December by Sybrand, ZS1SAS, of Square Tower Peak, ZS/WC-041 (2 points) in the Hottentots-Hollands Nature Reserve just above Stellenbosch.
During the PEARS National VHF/UHF Contest on 17 January, two summits in the Western Cape were activated. The planning was for HF working, but conditions were terrible. Sybrand, ZS1SAS, activated The Twins, ZS/WC-014 (2 points) also in the Hottentots-Hollands Nature Reserve. Paul, ZS1V, activated Moordenaarskop (Murderer’s Hill), ZS/WC-029 (2 points) in the lower part of the Hottentots-Hollands Nature Reserve near Gordon’s Bay. Both Sybrand and Paul report that they did not work many HF stations, but there was a lot of VHF and UHF activity in the Cape Town and Stellenbosch areas. Paul says he had a 70 cm QSO with Andrew, ZS1SBM, over a distance of 128 km. Paul was using a hand-held from the summit and Andrew was visiting in the village of L’Agulhas near Cape Agulhas, the most southern point of the African continent.
Coming up in February there are two activations planned for 7 and 8 February. South Africa. Mario, DL4MFM, will be active as ZS6/DL4MFM on this weekend with Eddie, ZS6BNE, Andries, ZS6VL, Cliriska, ZU6BV, and Mario, ZU6M. On Saturday 7 February they will activate Highest Point registered on the GMA database and on 8 February they will activate Magaliesberg, ZS/GP-008 (4 points).
ZS-SOTA is hopeful that the ZS summit update sent to SOTA HQ in September 2014 will become available on 1 February 2015.
Dennis, ZS4BS / 7P8DG
CW REPORT FOR JANUARY 2015 - by Roy G4SSH
At the beginning of the month Hans PB2T continued from the previous month by activating high scoring summits in DL and OK, whilst Mikel EA2CW and Marcial EA2BDS activated simultaneously on different bands on H/F.
EA6/OE5FSM/P activated EA6/MA-048 on Mallorca for the first time ever on the 2nd. followed by more activations on the next few days.
Miro OK1DVM started a tour of summits on the 2nd, activating up to 6 x six pointers in a single day and this was repeated on the 13th, 16th and the 22nd.
James was active from various summits in the Canary Islands as EA8/M0JCQ
Juerg started a tour in France on the 8th as F/HB9BIN and again on the 16th, when it was snowing so hard on some summits that Juerg was unable to use the key. As we went to press on the 30th he was just starting another tour in France together with Paul F/HB9DST.
Chris ON6ZQ was heard on a 6 summit activation on the 11th and the 18th working a few pile-up’s and listening “up” on 10.118 KHz.
Hans was heard operating from the Island of Gozo as 9H3BT on the 12th, with 9H3WJ.
On the 23rd Andre F5UKLwas spotted active on 28 MHz SSB and CW on F/PO-251. He then followed his usual pattern of working every HF band in descending order to ensure that as many chasers as possible were in his log. In my case it was a wait of more than 2 hours until he became audible on 14 MHz at my QTH, but it was reassuring to know that he would be worked when he came audible, no matter how long the wait.
Sake PA9SKP and PA0DLN were active from ON/ and F/ summits on the 27th and Markus was active as DL/HB9BRJ on the 30th.
Severe snowstorms and freezing temperatures saw European activations fall to a very low level during the last week in January.
SOTA CW ACTIVATORS SUBMITTING ENTRIES TO THE DATA BASE ABOVE 7 MHZ DURING DECEMBER 2014 - from Kevin G0NUP
This file produced on 29/Jan/2Ø15 (16:10Z)
SOTA CW on 1ØMHz: activity for January
9H3BT/P, AD5A, AX3CAT/P, DF3MC/P, DJ2FR, DL/F5HTR/P, DL/HB9BRJ/P, DL/OE5EEP/P, DL/PAØSKP/P, DL/PB2T/P, DL1ASA/P, DL2XL/P, DL3VU/P, DL4TO/P, DL8JJ/P, EA/MØHDF/P, EA2BDS/P, EA2CW/P, EA2IF/P, F/HB9BIN/P, F/ON6ZQ/P, F5LKW/P, F5UKL/P, F8FEO/P, GØHIO/P, G3RDQ/P, G4ISJ/P, G4TJC/P, GI4ONL/P, GM4OBK/P, GW4ISJ/P, GW4TJC/P, HA5BV/P, HB9AFH/P, HB9AFI/P, HB9BAB/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BHW/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9BQU/P, HB9CBR/P, HB9DGV/P, HB9DPR/P, HB9TVK/P, HL1KKC/P, K1JD, K7SO, KE5AKL, KXØR, LA1ENA/P, LA5XTA/P, M1BUU/P, N6JZT, NA6MG, NN5K, NS7P, OE5EEP/P, OK/DL8DXL/P, OK/PB2T/P, OK1CZ/P, OK1DO/P, OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2BDF/P, OK2BWB/P, OK2MPB/P, OK2PDT/P, OK8JOE/P, OM4XA/P, ON6ZQ/P, S53X/P, S53XX/P, SP8RHP/P, SP9AMH/P, VK2AOH, VK2IO/P, VK3CAT/P, WØCP, W2CKL, W5ODS, WA2USA/P, WA9STI, WBØUSI, WB5USB, WSØTA, YO2BP/P
SOTA CW on 14MHz: activity for January
9H3WJ/P, AC1Z, AD5A, AE5KA, AX3CAT/P, CT1BWW/P, DF3MC/P, DF8KY/P, DG5WU/P, DL/F5HTR/P, DL/HB9BRJ/P, DL/PB2T/P, DL2XL/P, DL3VU/P, DL8JJ/P, EA/MØHDF/P, EA1AER/P, EA2BDS/P, EA2BSB/P, EA2CW/P, EA2IF/P, EA6/OE5FSM/P, F/HB9BIN/P, F5LKW/P, F5UKL/P, F8FEO/P, G4GIY/P, G4ISJ/P, G4TJC/P, GI4ONL/P, GM4OBK/P, GW4ISJ/P, HA/PB2T/P, HA1ØSOTA, HA2VR/P, HA7UL/P, HB9AFI/P, HB9BAB/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9BRJ/P, HB9CBR/P, HB9DGV/P, HB9IAB/P, K1JD, K2JB, K4ADV, K4QS, K6HPX/P, K6SF, K6TW, K7JFD, K7SO, KD7WPJ, KE5AKL, KI4SVM, KTØA, KV4RH, KXØR, LA1ENA/P, LA9XGA/P, MØIML/P, MMØFMF/P, NØTA, N6JZT, NA6MG, ND7PA, NG7A, NM5S, NM5TW, NN5K, NSØTA, NS7P, OE5EEP/P, OH2NOS/P, OH7BF/P, OK/DL8DXL/P, OK/PB2T/P, OK1DVM/P, OK1KT/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2BWB/P, OK2PDT/P, OK8JOE/P, OM4XA/P, ON/PAØSKP/P, ON6ZQ/P, S51RU/P, S53XX/P, SP8RHP/P, SP9AMH/P, VA2VL, VA2VL/W1, VK1DA, VK2AFA, VK2AOH, VK2IO/P, VK3WAM/P, VK4BJS, VK4BJS/P, VK6NU/P, WØCCA, WØCP, W2CKL, W4EON, W4TZM, W5ODS, W6AH, W6YX, W7JET, W7TAO, W7USA, WA2USA/P, WA6ARA, WA6KYR, WA7JTM, WA7NCL, WA9STI, WBØUSI, WB5USB, WO7A, WSØTA, YO2BP/P
SOTA CW on 18MHz: activity for January
9H3BT/P, DF3MC/P, DL/F5HTR/P, DL/HB9JOE/P, DL/OE5EEP/P, DL3VU/P, EA2BDS/P, F5UKL/P, G4ISJ/P, HB9CBR/P, K1JD, K6HPX/P, K6TW, K7SO, KXØR, MMØFMF/P, N6JZT, NA6MG, NE4TN, NSØTA, OE5EEP/P, OH7BF/P, OK1MLP/P, OK8JOE/P, WØCP, WA2USA/P
SOTA CW on 21MHz: activity for January
9H3BT/P, AD5A, AE5KA, DL/F5HTR/P, DL/HB9BRJ/P, DL1ASA/P, DL4TO/P, EA/MØHDF/P, EA2BDS/P, F5UKL/P, G4ISJ/P, G4TJC/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BRJ/P, HB9CBR/P, K1JD, K4QS, KD7WPJ, KXØR, N7RR, NM5S, OE5EEP/P, OH2NOS/P, OK/PB2T/P, OK1MLP/P, S52ON/P, VK6NU/P, WA2USA/P, WA7NCL
SOTA CW on 24MHz: activity for January
9H3BT/P, DF3MC/P, DL/F5HTR/P, DL4TO/P, EA2IF/P, F5UKL/P, HA7UL/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9CBR/P, NA6MG, OH2NOS/P, OK1MLP/P, SQ9SHR/P
SOTA CW on 28MHz: activity for January
9H3BT/P, DF3MC/P, DL4MFM/P, DL4TO/P, F5UKL/P, HA7UL/P, HB9BQU/P, HB9CBR/P, K1JD, NA6MG, NSØTA, OE5EEP/P, OK1MLP/P, S51RU/P, W4TZM, WBØUSI
Kevin J Prince
Note from Editor
Last month I asked readers to let me know if there was enough interest to continue
publishing these statistics. I received enough positive replies to continue.
The main comment was “I like to check it out for my own callsign”
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 SOTA enthusiasts all across Europe, the USA, Australia and beyond, in a total of 24 different countries. Your input will be most welcome.
I receive many e-mails during the month containing details of activations, milestones reached and general SOTA news. Unless advised otherwise I will use this information in the next edition of SOTA News. It is important therefore that you advise me if any information is not intended for publication.
SOTA News Editor
U.S. and Canadian reports to:-
Fred K6DGW [aka “Skip” on the radio]
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude
Australian input to:-
South African input to:-