Sota news july 2010



Welcome to the July 2010 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Barry GM4TOE, Rob and Audrey G4RQJ, Rick VP8DND/GW0VMW, Les G3VQO, Laurent F8BBL, Mario DC7CCC, Tom M1EYP.

The mid-summer month of June saw propagation again decline on the lower HF bands and there were many days when 7 MHz was unworkable for most of the daylight hours. Chasers were very grateful when activators used more than one band which doubled the chances of a SOTA contact. The trend to use the higher bands continued with some activators regularly starting on 14 MHz and above.


New SOTA Associations

Although SOTA has had a foothold in Asia since the accession of Lebanon in September 2008, it has not really attracted much attention in that part of the world. Starting 1st July, we are hoping that SOTA will really make an impact on that continent. Our new Asian Association is SOTA-HL South Korea, or to give it its correct name Republic of Korea. Jason VA2VLA has been using his time working in the country to set up a local Association, and raise interest amongst the locals. It has been painstaking work to define a robust list of summits complying with the 150m prominence criteria, but Jason now believes that the SOTA list is the most accurate and complete such list in the country now! With 2460 summits across sixteen Regions, there is considerable scope for SOTA to become well-established. Hopefully, the sounds of SOTA participants having fun will attract the attention of their near-neighbours in Japan.

Meanwhile, in another hemisphere, progress continues apace in North America. In response to suggestions from those based in the W7 call area, we have decided that the sheer size and complexity there calls for a separate SOTA Association in each of the eight states. Luckily, there are sufficient expressions of interest to ensure activity in most, if not all, of these states. Detailed preparatory work has been underway for some months, and the Utah Association is the first to come to fruition. The initial list, which mainly covers the highest peaks, contains 125 summits in two distinct Regions. Undoubtedly there will be further additions over the months and years ahead. The harsh climate in Utah means that one Region has a winter bonus, whilst the other has a summer bonus. Some tough activators will be required there! Our thanks to Association Manager Jim K9JWV for his hard work in getting this one off the ground.

Hot on the heels of Utah comes another W7 Association, this time from Oregon in the Pacific Northwest, just north of our existing W6 Association. Guy N7UN has done an excellent job in dividing the 1340 listed summits into ten Regions. It looks as though W7 is set to become a very busy part of SOTA in the coming months.

Next in line, just to the east, many months of hard work have come to fruition as Mike KD9KC brings SOTA-W5 into the SOTA community. This covers a vast area across six US states, although two of them are too low-lying to yield any SOTA-compliant summits. Small wonder, then, that there are no less than seventy-five SOTA Regions listed in the ARM, which is so large as to be in two sections. Each Region has been carefully defined with an absolute maximum of fifty summits to make the concept of activating all summits within a Region a viable target.

With such an array of new Associations to excite us, we must not overlook updates in California, Québec and Greece that have each added a few new summits. All in all, a significant month all round. Now to get on the air to work them …


SOTA AWARDS FOR JUNE 2009 By Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager

Some quite remarkable scores this month and the continuing emphasis on CW is also evident. Congratulations to Mario, HB9HAT, on achieving Mountain Goat status and to IK3DRO on reaching Shack Sloth. Particular congratulations also go to DL1FU who has now reached 25000 Chaser points all on CW. Looking through the Chaser scores it is quite amazing the number of points that are being claimed over the target level of 1000; G4WSX on 10000, IK3GER 5000 (all CW AND on 40m – not easy at this time of year) and HB9BIN on 2500. How do they find the time I wonder?

This monthly report would not be complete without special mention of N2YTF who becomes the first activator to claim an Activator certificate for summits on the North American continent; Thomas also happens to be the W1 Regional Manager.


Mountain Goat
HB9HAT Mario Pasini

Certificates claimed

HB9HAT Mario Pasini 1000 points
N2YTF Thomas Tumino 100 points
2M0NCM Neil Cunningham 100 points

DL1FU Friedrich Winzer 25000 points
G4WSX John Fogden 10000 points
IK3GER Paolo Corsetti 5000 points
HB9BIN Jurg Regli 2500 points
IK3DRO Gino Scapin 1000 points
2E0LAE Tony Ciathos 500 points
G6HXL Derek Latham 250 points
2E0MCA Martin Addison 100 points

Chaser Unique
2E0LAE Tony Ciathos 100 summits

Mountain Hunter
DM5JBN Eddy Herzig Bronze

Can I remind all participants of the availability of the Mountain Hunter and Mountain Explorer certificates – these offer a quite different challenge from the normal awards and with the ever increasing number of Associations (not to mention the ever improving state of the bands) are available to everybody. If you are traveling to another country on holiday why not take advantage of the CEPT conditions and take your rig along to activate a summit in another Association.

A plea for when you apply for a certificate or trophy – please tell me which award you are claiming and also include your callsign and your name. I have had several claims this month delayed because my crystal ball clouded over and I was unable to guess who was claiming for an award!

Finally, may I thank those award applicants who have added an extra to their claim payments as a donation towards the running of the programme. This is very much appreciated and goes a long way help pay the costs of running SOTAwatch and the database.


Barry Horning GM4TOE
Awards Manager

Congratulations also to:-

Gerald G4MD on reaching his 300th Unique activation whilst on Binsey on the 20th June

Tom N2YTF for being the first activator in the USA achieve 100 points in SOTA activating.

Milos, S53X, on becoming the first Slovenian Mountain Goat on 4 June. This was achieved entirely on CW

Phil G4OBK for activating TW-004 on 5th June and finishing with a QSO total of 262 thus making the highest recorded number of QSO’s in one day from a G summit.

And finally, very many congratulations to Christian OE5HCE and YL Sandra who became engaged to be married whilst on a SOTA expedition to the top of Stoderzinken OE/ST-103 on the 27th June. A unique occasion which brought expression of good wishes from Germany, France, Austria, England, Croatia, Ukraine, Poland, Switzerland, Wales and Hungary. A truly international occasion.


For Info I shall be in Corsica from 10th to 24 July with callsign TK1ØB.

TK10B - Callsign Lookup by QRZ Ham Radio on 2 or 3 IOTA EU-104 EU-164 EU-100 ? and 2 SOTA also

It will be a pleasure for me to contact chasers from Corsica Island

73 Laurent F8BBL

“Summit to Summit” and “School to School”. By Tom M1EYP

My new batch of Foundation licensees, plus a few of last years, will be having our summer Cloud SP-015 outing on Friday 9th July. But this time, inspired by the idea of Jordan M3TMX, we hope to conduct S2S contacts and greetings messages with pupils from his school, who will be on Kirkby Moor LD-049.

Other schools with amateur radio are welcome to join us on frequency, maybe even from a SOTA summit yourself if the risk assessments can be turned around in time!

Of course, we look forward to working all the chasers as usual. Fingers crossed for decent WX this time - we all got a drenching last year!


Please note that if a German citizen holds a foreign ham radio license, they are not allowed to work with this callsign in Germany.

A lot of German citizens hold a U.S. license, but are not allowed to work as DL/US-Callsign. Other countries have similar rules - for example, it is not permitted for a German citizen to work with his U.S.-Callsign in the Netherlands, because Dutch rules say that after PA/… the operator must use his national callsign.

For me, a recent DL/ON… operation was maybe illegal, because I think he is German. Maybe you can publish this information to make SOTA activators aware of DL rules.

73, Mario DC7CCC


“Oh my God” This has to be the most challenging place to date to activate summits. After reading the excellent research work done by the association manager and team from the UK to produce the manual I was not expecting it to be a walk in the park so to speak and it certainly wasn’t. My first on the ground experiences will hopefully help others who may venture to these desolate parts.

My initial research centred around which summits to try and activate whilst here on business. As we were to be based in Stanley (where 85% of the 2500 non MoD population live) and I happened to be in possession of a very detailed live ordnance map for the area (more later), the most obvious summits were Two Sisters EF-013 and Mount Kent EF-006 west of Stanley. Mount Kent is theoretically the easisest summit to ascend as it is the only summit with a well made track to the top, for a reason however as I was informed it was a military installation and unlikely to welcome guests. So the relatively small summit of Two Sisters it was to be, and this appeared to have a track/road running along the north side for reasonable access to the base of the summit.

Now I had to decide which bands to operate on with my trusty FT817, and there is not a lot of choice here. We are mid winter (short days) at polar latitude at the bottom of the cycle with virtually no population in short skip distance range, so that leaves ‘dx’ on 20m only as I’m not doing night activations and 2m FM for local work. 2m is an interesting band here, it is virtually dead now. There was a special (open) 2m licence for locals to purchase at one time for essential communications, which has now it seems been de-regulated and is no longer required according to my taxi driver with his Icom mobile tuned to a working frequency of 144.600 (and useful to know for emergencies or hailing a cab). Despite this every time I had a CQ call replied to me on S20 I was always greeted with ’ are you all right’ by one of the old timers. 2m was very active before but not since the invention of the mobile phone and now only seems to be used by people in distress and there was me thinking it was for QSO’s.

The next and big problem here is the weather. There is a slight error here in the association manual regarding climate, the temperatures are referring to max/min and not average. The average temperature only varies by about 3-5 degrees between summer and winter, and is basically cold/cool all the time and it can snow at almost anytime of year. Wind is a problem all year round and sensible activation days are few and have to be picked carefully.

Another problem is access to the summits in more ways than one. The roads are fairly basic, mostly concrete or dirt track with only a few tarmac roads in and around Stanley itself. Travelling times by car are lengthy and slow and distances further than you think, with no evidence from maps as to how good a road is, it all comes down to local knowledge. Venturing off the beaten track in East Falkland usually means having to negotiate your way around the minefields and having the MoD ordnance map is a good idea (available from OED office in Stanley), although you never really feel 100% safe. No one has been injured or died since the hostilities ended though and the Argentinians precise mapping has apparently proved very accurate where some recent clearance has been done. Not surprisingly, well trodden footpaths are not easy to find or marked on any maps and the terrain is predominantly peat bog with rocky outcrops and their unique stone rivers. Superficially it is very similar to the west coast of Ireland but the flora and fauna are not the same.

After waiting several days for a break in the weather, we finally got a wind free and sunny day on the 2nd June. We decided to get to the summit base by mountain bike as these could be hired for a reasonable cost from behind the harbour visitor centre. We made steady progress out of Stanley initially and onto a dirt track. After a few miles we had to fork left and unfortunately were greeted by a sign declaring ‘unsuitable for motor vehicles’. This track was incredibly bumpy and strewn with deep black puddles that you were never quite sure if you would reach the other side. I think it took an hour and half of hard riding along here, past minefields to get to the base of the summit where we abandoned our bikes for the walk up. We followed a route taken by a 4x4 up towards the summit and arrived some 30mins later completely shattered. Just below the rocky summit lies a small wooden cross laced with beads, a tripod machine gun base and old rusty ammo box. This was a small Argentinian outpost involved in the final throes of the Falklands war just before Stanley was recaptured by our forces.
There was also lots of GPO telephone wire lying around which I thought might be useful if I had forgotten the antenna and the tripod base would also make an excellent support for a fishing pole!

It was now very late, much later than anticipated and it would soon be going dark so I quickly set up my dipole for 20m and had a look round the band and gave a few calls, but to no avail. A quick change over to 2m and eventually I managed a qso with a local chap in Estancia. It was too late and dangerous to stay and try to qualify the summit so we packed up and hot footed back down to the bikes. No sooner had we got back down and the mist descended over the summit. An hour and a half later we were back in Stanley in the dark without any lights. I’m glad the bikes owner couldn’t see the state of his brand new bikes when we returned them though.

In hindsight I should have allowed more time for the ascent and activation, but it was still great fun.

If your contemplating a long holiday to these Islands I would recommend coming during their summer (November - February) and flying from Stanley airport to Saunders Island and spending some time there (accommodation available) as this has good hiking and summit possibilities and excellent penguin colonies. There are regular light aircraft flights linking a few of the smaller islands but others may require your own boat. Otherwise make sure you hire a 4x4 and allow plenty of time.

I suspect it would take a very dedicated local person to conquer all these summits and it would be no mean feat.


Rick GW0VMW and VP8DND


It was Monday 21st June and I was on the last full day of my monthly visit to my daughters QTH in Cornwall, where I operate as G4SSH/A when time permits, using an FT-897 and a 6 foot indoor vertical antenna. It had not been a good week for SOTA chasing, with the 7 MHz band just a crackle on most days, but 10 MHz was fine and I had left the rig tuned to 10118 KHz with the speaker switched on.

At 1512 local time I heard a burst of CW at around 30 wpm, with CQ SOTA. I dashed up 40 stairs to the attic (great for exercise) and worked MD0NMS on Mull Hill, GD-005. It took me a few seconds to recognise the UK call of Norby LX1NO, but his operating style is unmistakable and I was surprised at the FB 599 inter-UK signals on 10 MHz.

At 1626 I worked MD0NMS on GD-004 Bradda
At 1800 I worked MD0NMS on GD-003 South Barrule

At this stage a pattern was beginning to emerge; surely Norby was not going for a clean sweep in just half a day? The rig remained on speaker watch.

At 2000 I worked MD0NMS on GD-002. Slieu Freoagnane

This HAD to be the last one for the day; surely Norby would not attempt Snaefell in the dark with the mountain railway closed for the day?

To my absolute amazement I finally worked MD0NMS on GD-001 at 2153 local time just as darkness was beginning to fall. And still 599 on 10 MHz! A full house and in order 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ! This was all the more satisfying because I rarely hear GD stations from my home QTH in North Yorkshire, being inside the skip distance for 40m and above.

Thanks Norby, your efforts were really appreciated.

As a final icing on the cake, the following morning before I departed for the airport I managed to work Andre F5UKL on 24906 KHz for my first ever SOTA QSO on this band . Thanks Andre! Some days really are milestones.

73 Roy G4SSH

THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH 18. By Rob and Audrey

Sunday 30th May, Great Knoutberry Hill

Straight in this month and in an attempt to avoid the crowds heading to the Lakes and the horse drawn caravans etc heading to the Appleby Horse Fair we went for Great Knoutberry. The minor road from Garsdale station to Dent has been resurfaced at last and is a straightforward drive up to the start point with space for about six cars.

HF was hard work even with spots but 2m was back to normal service which after the SC summits last week was a pleasure. The summit is very open with very good all round views but the cold, strong wind; a usual companion on activations lately, drove us a little away from the summit cairn into the shelter of the wall. Conversation was difficult once your head was above wall level but in the lee things were very pleasant.

We had seen just three other people as we drew to the end of the activation when a lone walker, heavily hooded against the wind approached along the path which passed about 10yards in front of us. Audrey smiled and greeted her as normal and received no response but as the woman drew level she snarled loudly from under her hood, ”Destroying the peace and quiet of the hills!” and strode on past. This upset us somewhat as we are always careful to operate away from people as in this instance and will always ask visitors if we are disturbing them and if the antenna is spoiling their view/photographs. If so we are totally prepared to accept that and close down but in practice over many years of hilltop operating we have never had a hostile response, keen interest being the most usual. In addition we had just spent fifteen minutes chatting to a disabled amateur and trying, successfully we hope to give him some of the pleasure that we gain from the high places. Our accuser continued down the path turning at regular intervals to stare at us which as she found us so offensive and had ahead of her one of the finest views available seemed rather odd. As we were at the end of the activation we closed and descended, fortunately in the opposite direction. Just hope you don’t meet her!

This week has been dominated by the tragic events in Whitehaven so it seems proper to explain a little about West Cumbria, its problems and its beauties. The area is very different to the tourist honey pots of the central Lakes, remote and with limited road access. From the M6 it’s basically the A590 from junction 36 or the A66 from junction 40 both of which take a roundabout route leading eventually to either end of the A595 which is THE road through the area. There are the high passes that shorten things but you do need reasonable weather for these. The coastal plain between the mountains and the sea is pleasant countryside and the villages tend to be small ex-pit villages usually clustered along the roads.

Over recent years the heavy industries, coal, shipbuilding, iron and steel have gone leaving little employment except the Sellafield nuclear plant. This too has been under a process of closure until recent developments have shown it to be a very necessary resource. The plant is now the only visible industrial site if you discount the huge and ever expanding wind farms at sea. All this was not helped by the devastating floods earlier in the year and has made the area very self contained and self reliant. The local accent sounds almost like a Newcastle accent to outsiders (with apologies to our friends in the area, of which we do have quite a few in spite of the intense rugby league rivalry between Whitehaven, Workington and Barrow). The recent TV digital switch over shows the general attitude to the area, change over to 40 plus channels was promised when the change came about some repeaters only carry the basic tranche of channels, imagine this in the home counties!

But enough sociology. SOTA wise the area is well supplied with hills and has easy access to Wasdale, the hidden jewel of the Lake District, Ennerdale and Eskdale. The larger hills around these areas should be little trouble but the smaller tops (Muncaster, Dent, Watch Hill and Blake Fell) can be problematic. Muncaster Fell is one of our bad weather opt outs, an easy pleasant walk but you may well have problems with numbers, particularly if you are 2m only with no beam on a weekday. There is a good clean sea path into North Wales but huge screening from the Lancashire chasers by Black Combe and Whitfell. There are a few regular chasers to the north and north east but a beam is really the weapon of choice for VHF. Dent is similar as is Blake Fell but their extra height makes things a little easier. Only done Watch hill once, in the teeth of a gale but we did manage it on 2m with the hand held and local assistance.

So if you’re visiting West Cumbria, please remember it’s further than you may think, and accommodation can be scarce. If you’re self catering bring food to get you past at least your first night, just in case you’re late arriving, convenience stores are not common and if you explore the bigger town centres on a weekend evening, just as in the rest of the country you may well find them full of strange accents and scantily clad ladies. The latter effect becomes more noticeable with your age! Please, please do keep visiting us, the area is fine, having a hard time but we will survive. Drop us an Email before you set off, you can have our phone number and we can probably rustle up those extra contacts for you if you’re stuck.

Sunday 6th June, Whernside.

The long walk in from Ribble Head lets you have a close up of the amazing railway viaduct and later the stone bridge that carries the wide track and the river over the railway line. On the final ridge approach which small children and octogenarians skip up there is an alternative for the vertigo challenged. A new wire fence has been erected up the ridge as far as the cross wall. Before you reach the cross wall climb over the remains of the ridge wall and continue to climb between it and the wire fence, parallel to the path to reach a stile by the cross wall. Cross the stile and follow the cross wall about 100yds to a small field gate. Through the gate return along the wall to regain the ridge now with the protection of the ridge wall and continue happily to the summit.

The weather was strange today, the climb up the southern sheltered face was very warm, shirt sleeved stuff but the north side over the wall was the best part of twenty degrees colder with mist and cloud spilling over. This was the side we chose in order to be away from the crowds. The new Wouxun behaved very well on 4m with nice reports from about half a dozen stations. The gap, only milliseconds, between the release of the PTT button and the resumption of reception is a bit disconcerting at first but no real problem and the rig handles nicely. After 3 hours we had resorted to coats, hats and gloves and were a strange sight for the shirt sleeved hoards arriving at the other side.

Does anyone else find that seating position on a summit affects their CW? I find that not having a back rest (wall, rocks etc) or not having knees bent like sitting on a chair upsets sending. I use a paddle strapped to my right knee and find both of the above situations do not help. The wall on Whernside was covered with nasty looking flying things and there are no rocks handy which made sending hard work, the rain did not help and then to cap it all when someone asked me where we were near I decided to send “Ingleborough” out of my head at which point the whole thing fell to pieces! So sorry for the less than good performance but nice to catch Roy G4SSH on 40 and 30 which must have doubled our number of contacts as normally we’re always the wrong distance apart.

Sunday 13th June Wild Boar Fell.

One of our real favourites, follow the bridleway from the B6259 at Hazel Gill farm, go left to bypass the farmyard, under the railway track and on to join the long ridge to the summit. Today, it being Sunday, the WX was very poor and on arrival at the summit it was obvious that HF was not going to work with a gale raking thick cloud and rain across the large open summit area so sorry if you were waiting for us. We eventually found limited shelter from the pile of stones( all of 2ft 6in high!) about half way across the flat moor between the steep edge and the trig This is a strange fell for vhf particularly to the south and the vast majority of stations worked were to the north. As an example Sue OHH in Lancaster could not copy us at all but was copiable with us while Bill USW in Barrow copied both of us and was able to relay but we were not able to make the contact across a virtual line of site path. Possibly Baugh Fell is in the way, on a better day we would have walked over to the southern edge of the plateau but this was not the day for it, sorry Sue.

This week the radio has reports of a serious fire on Muncaster Fell involving an area of “some five hundred football pitches” so hope it does not make the fell unpleasant for operations.

Sunday 20th June Nine Standards Rig.

North Yorkshire again, the dry weather lately has made the usual bog hopping in this part of the world into a none event and even the awful Rollinson Haggs are like a dry desert. The route from the road follows the route of the coast to coast walk (winter version) and is really nice on a good day. From the signpost at NY817057 a new track has developed, unsigned but leading north east to the viewfinder on the summit and avoiding most of the bogginess. We operated from the ruined building close to the trig point that gives reasonable shelter from most directions. HF conditions were once again strange and the hill is poor to the south for QRP vhf. There are however one or two keen chasers on the north east coast. In spite of the intermittent lift conditions there was no response on 4m except possibly G4BLH but too weak for a QSO.

Great to have a visit from G1OPV at our club (FARS) meeting on Monday night. Phil is enjoying a walking holiday in the Lakes and it was a pleasure to see him at the club. Please remember if you are in the area that we meet every Monday night at 8pm in the side bar at the Farmers Arms in Newton in Furness and are always pleased to see visitors. Occasionally we may be at Gleaston Water Mill for a talk etc but Tony behind the bar can redirect you.

Worked Phil on Wednesday from Muncaster Fell and he reports the recent fire damage as no problem for SOTA activators.

Next month on the Friday 9th July, Jordan M3TMX will be taking a party of his form mates and teachers on a trip up Kirby Moor LD-049 to experience SOTA first hand. They will be accompanied by some FARS members, not us however as with any luck we will be joining in from a GD summit. Jordan has spoken to Tom M1EYP who will take some of his pupils out to their local high spot which should be interesting for both groups. Please join in and have a chat, things kick of around 1300 local time but I guess Jordan will post more detail nearer the day.

No hill this weekend, nothing to do with the world cup, all the gear is packed for the Isle of Man. In addition to the normal bands we will take the 70cms beam, a two element yagi for 4m FM, and dipoles for 20, 15 and 10 m which should give us plenty of scope. No fixed program of activities but we hope to activate all five summits, probably more than once during the next fortnight. We have the small shelter with us so can probably do long stays and very possibly some evening activations (a good sunset from Snaefell summit is sensational). All is of course very dependant on the weather. No Email however unless we can find a free hot spot so all postings would be appreciated. As before the free GD4RQJ/P award will be available to all those chasers who manage to work us at least once from each of the five summits.

Take it steady out there
73 Rob and Audrey G4RQJ


SOTA CW activity increased during the Month of June and there a few days when there were more than 100 points to be gained. Unfortunately many QRP activations on 7 MHz were inaudible due to poor propagation and heavy QRN. At my QTH there were many days when the 40m band was devoid of any signals for a couple of hours around noon and I was very grateful to the many activators who used more than one band. We again had activity on every HF band from 1.8 to 28 MHz and many operators were starting on the higher bands first:-



21 MHz: F5UKL, M1EYP, OK1CZ,


14 MHz:

S57X, S57XX,

10 MHz:

S53X, S53XX, S57XX, S57X, S51RU, S5/HG4UK,

We also had a few stalwarts who always use the lower CW bands for the benefit of dedicated 80 and 160m enthusiasts:-

3.5 MHz G4OBK, GX0OOO,
1.8 MHz G4OBK, GX0OOO,

A warm welcome is extended to the following stations heard activating SOTA’s in CW for the first time:-

Mario SC4CCC (DC7CCC), Karel OK1AIJ, Eddie DM5JBN, Alex UT4FJ, Johan SA2ME, Jozef S51HU, Jaakko OH6FQI and Gerard F8AAB.

Cross-border expeditions are always popular in mid-summer. Heard operating outside their home countries were:-


Congratulation and thanks to Andre F5UKL who operated on 28, 21, 18, 14, 10 and finally 7 MHz from F/PO-183 on the 4th June. This really is appreciated by chasers and gave me a rare 10m SOTA QSO, which was quickly followed the same day by another first on 21 MHz from Sven DF9MV activating DL/MF-105.


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.

3rd -4th 1500-1500 Original QRP contest CW.
3rd - 4th 1100-1100 DL-DX RTTY contest
10th -11th 1200-1200 IARU World Championship CW and SSB
11th only 0001-2359 SKCC Weekend sprint CW
18th only 1200-1200 DMC RTTY contest
18th only 0900-1200 RSGB QRP Field Day CW
and 1300-1600 RSGB QRP Field Day CW.
24th-25th 1200-1200 RSGB IOTA contest CW & SSB

SOTA News is normally published around noon UTC on the last day of each 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, in a total of 24 different countries. Your input will be most welcome.

SOTA News Editor

Absolutely excellent Roy, again. A fine edition, and thanks to Rick for the fascinating Falklands article, and to Rob for the insight into West Cumbria.


In reply to G4SSH:
Thanks Roy for another outstanding read. Sean M0GIA

In reply to G4SSH:
Hello Roy and the team
Thanks a lot for really nice report.
I became red with embarrassment when I read It.
Mountain and radio, and reverse, are great and It always a pleasure for activators to meet friends on the air. It is a great moment for us, also.
Best 73 and I hope we’ll meet this morning.
Andre - f5ukl

In reply to G4SSH:
Where is 7MHz in your report? :wink:

In reply to DL2AJB:

There are hundreds of SOTA stations using the very popular and congested 7032 KHz Jens, and I could not possibly list them all.

I only mention CW stations who have been heard activating different bands, in an effort to demonstrate that as we move out of the sunspot minimum the higher HF bands are becoming a useful alternative for SOTA contacts. Many chasers, including myself, struggle to copy SOTA QRP signals on 7 MHz (which is particularly poor at the moment) and they really appreciate activators who operate on at least 2 bands.


In reply to G4SSH:
Hi Roy,

you are asking for more activity on higher bands. I tried once more. After long CQ on 10 MHz 0 QSO’s, after long CQ on 14 MHz 1 QSO. After short CQ on 7 MHz - pileup …
Never mind, i will try again.

73 Vasek, OK2VWB

In reply to OK2VWB:

This can happen Vasek.

Most chasers with one receiver will monitor 7032 KHz, so in order to make SOTA contacts on 10 MHz and above the activator needs to post an Alert or self spot, to attract chasers. Once spotted there should be no problems.

I look forward to our next SOTA QSO


In reply to G4SSH:

Hello Roy,

You asked about experience and practice with SOTA-operation:
More than 30 OM’s are regular Chasers, which is very much appreciated, besides the grate service your group is providing for us.

Now, I use an IC-703,
powered by a Li-ion-accu / 71 AH ,
Output 10 W - ssb,
an inverted Dipol , resonant for the 20 m-band

the dipol is supported by a 6 m telekop-mast(folded 45 cm)
about 2.50 m below the top, i have attached two horizontal spreaders of 5.o m each( very expensive). The antenna-wire is attached tonthe tip of those spreaders. Thus I don’t have to anchor the wires to the ground, not annoying other mounteneers with strings and thelike. My antenna stand independent on one mast, the spreaders about 3 m above ground.

What is my worst experience ?
A broken or torn BNC-plugs, therefore it pays to carry a spare koax and and some small tools (Swiss Army Knife, hi)
Never forget to reload you accu, recently I bragg to a friend OM, that my accu provides power for three activations, but a Day later, it was the third activation, I reached the top, set up my equipment, turned on the power an I was punished, for there was no mor power after 5 Min .
Otherwise my setup is just doing fine, my contacts include all Europe, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Northern Africa. But as I said above, your British OM are on the top of my list.
I am 78 years , my dog, a Rauhaar-Dackel is 12 and accompaning me on every activation, except HB-AI-002, the Altmann, I hope be ON-the-Summit for many years to come, and expect you all to be reade to chase.

Many thanks and vy 73 de Edwin HB9ZAP

In reply to HB9ZAP:

Hello Edwin

Thank you for sharing your interesting SOTA experiences. As it is almost the end of the month not many people will re-read the July news, so I will copy your comments into the August edition of SOTA News.