SOTA NEWS - JULY 2013
EDITORIAL â€“ by Roy G4SSH
Welcome to the July 2013 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Barry GM4TOE, Peter ON4UP, Allen VK3HRA, Skip K6DGW, Rob & Audrey G4RQJ, Ken GM0AXY, Christine GM4YMM, Kevin G0NUP, Mark G0VOF.
SOTA AWARDS FOR JUNE 2013 - from Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager
This month has not been quite as busy as last month but not far off it!
Congratulations to new Mountain Goat Jure S57XX and all the people who have made the magic 1000 points for chasing and, in several cases, well exceeded it. Worthy of note is that â€œbat earsâ€ N4EX is climbing up the Activator scores as well, not quite as fast as his chasing score but he is getting there. It is also interesting that, after the initial surge, the claims for summit to summit awards has eased off this month but with â€œsummerâ€ now here perhaps this will change.
I have made a quick analysis of Chaser claims over the last couple of years. There is a steady increase in new claims at the entry (100 point) level which reflects the growing popularity of SOTA but the dramatic increase in claims at a higher award level (above 1000 points) is notable. No doubt this could be maturity of the programme but, seeing where these claims originate, perhaps it reflects the enthusiasm with which SOTA has been engaged in the Americas and Australia.
Many congratulations to all who achieved award targets in the last month.
S57XX Jure Vranicar
SV2OXS Christos Tzioutzias
VK3AMB Bernard Petherbridge
VK1DI Ian Sinclair
GW4VPX Allan Jones
N4EX Rich Homolya 500 points
G4OOE Nick Langmead 500 points
DL4MHA Wolfgang Renner 250 points
DJ2FR Frank Heidamke 250 points
W5SMD Stephen Denison 100 points
VK1DI Ian Sinclair 100 points
N4EX Rich Homolya 20000 points
M0BKV Damian Kamm 10000 points
K4PIC Larry A. Phillips 2500 points
G6LUZ Stephen Morgan 2500 points
VK3PF Peter L Freeman 1500 points
N4LA William Todd Brady 1000 points
SV2OXS Christos Tzioutzias 1000 points
MW0IML Barry Vile 1000 points
AA4AI Robert Richards Jr. 1000 points
GW4VPX Allan Jones 1000 points
W0ERI Martha Auchard 1000 points
VK1MDC Mark Cairns 500 points
W0ERI Martha Auchard 500 points
M0WMD Rufus Binks 500 points
VK3BYD Warren Brown 500 points
2E0LKC Peter Cairns 500 points
VK2JI Ed Durrant 500 points
DL1ASA Thomas Marek 500 points
VK2JI Ed Durrant 250 points
VK1MDC Mark Cairns 250 points
2E0LMD Anne Bate 250 points
2E0LKC Peter Cairns 250 points
VK3GHZ Rhett Donnan 250 points
MM0KCD Ken Davies 250 points
MM0KCD Ken Davies 100 points
MW3ZKT Marie Sargeant 100 points
VK1MDC Mark Cairns 100 points
VK2LAX Rod Jarman 100 points
2E0LMD Anne Bate 100 points
2E0LKC Peter Cairns 100 points
M3OUA Leslie Eaton 100 points
M0BKV Damian Kamm 2000 summits
G6LUZ Stephen Morgan 500 summits
KG7E Jim Kornacki 250 summits
VK5PAS Paul Simmonds 100 summits
N4EX Rich Homolya Silver
G6LUZ Stephen Morgan Bronze
Summit to Summit
HB9BCB Heinz Baertschi Silver
VK3WAM Wayne Merry Red
VK1DI Ian Sinclair Red
10th Anniversary Award
M0BKV Damian Kamm G Chaser
M0BKV Damian Kamm GM Chaser
M0BKV Damian Kamm GW Chaser
M0BKV Damian Kamm GI Chaser
I would like to bring to everyone’s attention the SOTA Complete award. Designed for the all-rounder who both activates and chases this gives a different target to achieve whether or not you have made the traditional award targets. Not easy but it might help with that decision â€œwhat to activate this weekend / during my summer holidayâ€. Why not activate a hill that you have already scored points on for chasing and, if it is particularly rare, why not give points to Chasers who also require that summit?
The 10th Anniversary award scheme is drawing to closure of its qualifying period â€“ don’t panic the award will remain available you just won’t be able to qualify for it shortly. G and GW qualification period ended at the beginning of March, GD the beginning of June, GM closes on the 1 July and GI on the 13 July. Possibly just time to grab the last two UK Associations. Just to re-iterate, you can claim for the award after these dates provided you qualified for them prior to the 11th Anniversary of commencement of the relevant Association.
Demand for the embroidered SOTA badges, including the ones with the annotation of Mountain Goat and Shack Sloth, far exceeded my expectations consequently I was forced to order additional stock within a week of introducing the badge. It is really attractive, about 75mm or 3 inches in diameter, but could not be described as discrete. Following an arrangement with Richard G3CWI at SOTAbeams it is possible to purchase some items of SOTA merchandise when shopping with him, all profits go back into the SOTA programme through his generosity. All items also remain available through www.sota-shop.co.uk or www.sota-shop.com along with the awards so this now gives you two ways of supporting SOTA.
Badges, embroidered and enamel, window stickers and bumper stickers are now in stock in the USA and, if you place a small order for these items and live in the USA or Canada, they will be despatched at a local postage rate. The package of bulk merchandise is now ready to go to VK so watch the reflector for an announcement of when the small merchandise items will be available for despatch locally â€œDown Underâ€.
I failed last month to thank several individuals for their generous donations either direct through Paypal or by a top-up when they have paid by cheque. It does mean that all the facilities provided free at the point of use for all Activators and Chasers are now funded and we are no longer struggling to pay the costs for these facilities.
Enjoy the hills and be safe, it may be summer in the Northern Hemisphere but the risks are still there.
SOTA Awards Manager
SOTA News also congratulates :-
Alain F6ENO who made 30 QSO’s on 6 meters whilst activating F/AM340 on the 13th June.
Alain did this by shortening his 40m inverted vee antenna and found that he could tune it on 50MHz using his FT 817 with just 5W output.
David G6DTN who has now got over 500 confirmed CW-only chaser points, of which 50 are S2S points. (as of 20th June)
Mike - N0TU joined the ranks of Shack Sloth on the 1st.
Karen 2E0XYL, completed activating all 76 North Wales summits on 3rd June
Phil G4OBK for completing activation of all the G/SB SOTAâ€™s
John OE7PHI on achieving Mountain Goat
Rod M0JLA, on achieving Mountain Goat
Martha W0ERI, who became a Shack Sloth on the 22nd.
ON SOTA NEWS - from Peter ON4UP
As from the 1st of the July, the ON association starts with their first association sponsored award: Completed All ON Summits Award. The objective of this award is to promote the activation and chasing of all the Belgium SOTA summits.
Since Belgium is a small country with a limited amount of SOTA qualified summits and all these summits are relatively easy accessible, completing all the ON summits becomes achievable for every SOTA participant.
To achieve the criteria for the â€œCompleted All ON Summits Awardâ€, a SOTA participant needs to have successfully activated and chased all valid ON summits at the time of the request. The valid summits list is the one included in the ON association Reference Manual valid at the time of the request.
The award is available in electronic format only (PDF-file for example) and free of charge!
All info can be found in version 5.1 of the ON ARM: Summits on the Air
73, Peter - ON4UP
SOTA ON Association Manager
VK SOTA REPORT from Allen VK3HRA
SOTA activity is still increasing in VK, and work continues on bringing
additional regions and/or states on-line as well as expanding the
existing list of valid summits.
With the winter bonus period active, the scent of extra points have been
bringing activators away from home fires and chasers away from chain
saws. The highlight of the month was Queens Birthday Long Weekend. We
celebrate a public holiday for Monday 10th June and given the weather
many decided to spend the long-weekend activating.
The activity was well prepared and there was a hectic time with over 50
activations accounting for more than 1000 QSOâ€™s over three days.
Existing and new activators alike went out which contributed to several
new Sloths. Congratulations go out to,
Who achieved 1000 chaser points thus qualifying for the Shack Sloth
100 chaser points were achieved by,
100 activator points were achieved by
Whilst new activators for the month include,
It is also a time for social interactions away from the summits. Both
VK1 and VK3 hosting gatherings for chaser and activator alike with good
attendance. There were award made and plans laid out.
12m and 20m activity is slowly increasing but the main bands are still 40
We donâ€™t expect the activity to decline with several activators planning
on taking advantage of the extra points and mild weather to continue to
activate well into winter so expect more next month.
Anyway time to take the batteries off the charge and pack as summits
await to be activated.
73 for now,
NA CANADA/US SOTA REPORT - by Skip K6DGW (statistics through 27 Jun)
SOTA activity in North America continues unabated. Summer (and summer
bonus points) is in full bloom, although there is still some snow in the
Sierra Nevada, despite a very poor water year. So, here we go:
NORTH AMERICA TOTALS
Total Activations: 248 
Nr Unique Activators: 82 
Total Chaser QSOâ€™s: 2296 
Nr Unique Chasers: 146 
Total Summits Activated: 231 
Unique Summits: 173 
2m: 52 (2%) 
6m: 2 (0%) 
10m: 4 (0%) 
12m: 8 (0%) 
15m: 62 (2%) 
17m: 92 (4%) 
20m: 1690 (73%) 
30m: 121 (5%) 
40m: 265 (11%) 
60m: 0 (0%) 
80m: 0 (0%) 
160m: 0 (0%) 
CW: 1623 (70%) 
SSB: 622 (27%) 
FM: 49 (2%) 
AM: 1 (0%) 
Data: 0 (0%) 
Other: 1 (0%) 
As usual, the numbers in square brackets are last months numbers. These
do NOT include the new W4K association which hasn’t appeared in the
database yet, however I don’t recall getting any Kentucky activation
AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:
Herm, KB1RJC reports from Madison NH that he and Merle, KB1RJD have
passed the 2500 mark as chasers. Congratulations and thanks for making
a lot of activators happy!
And Scott, W6IMC, reports that he activated his 10th Association
yesterday with W7N/WP-001, Wheeler Peak in Nevada. I looked back in
past months a ways and this may be a first for North American SOTA, I’m
not really sure and haven’t had time to scramble through the database.
Elliott, K6EL (see NEWS below) reports:
“Rich, N4EX, reached 20,000 chaser points, the last half of which came
in under 9 months.”
“Adrian, N6ZA, reached 500 activator points. Adrian is also the W6
“Dan, NA6MG [as in Mountain Goat], activated his 200th summit in less
than one year.”
Elliott, K6ILM, changed his call to K6EL, just in time to lose his
worldwide lead in S2S points. You could view that as a challenge,
Martha, W0ERI, joined Merle, KB1RJD, as the only apparent YL Shack
Sloths outside Europe. “Sloth” is such an unbecoming word for a YL.
Andy, MM0FMF, our intrepid and talented Database Manager dropped a note:
“W4K - Kentucky goes live on June 1st 2013. You won’t be able to log
activations/chases for a few days nor will you be able to alert or spot.
But you will be able to enjoy activating and chasing a new US
association. Once the data is loaded you can bring your logs up to date.”
“I leave the AM and team to introduce themselves and post an interim
link to the ARM for Kentucky.”
I’ve received 33 activation reports and a summary of KD9KC’s EU SOTA
activity while visiting family and friends in DL-land. There’s no way I
can include them all, however I hope everyone will continue to submit
them via the NA SOTA Yahoo group because then everyone else gets to read
all of them
I’m going to start with a summary from Mike, DL/KD9KC-OK/KD9KC, because
it appears that in Germany, there is a biergarten and/or restaurant at
the top of at least half the summits he and Helmut activated. Way to go
All the activations occurred between 12 Jun and 21 Jun (with some 1-day
breaks), and included Helmut, DG7NFV, and some included Mike’s wife
Bramberg â€“ DM/BM-133
Kreuzberg â€“ DM/BM-241
Hohe Holle â€“ DM/HE-002
Wasserkuppe â€“ DM/HE-001
Heidelstein â€“ DM/BM-238
Totnasberg â€“ DM/BM-366
Heidelberg â€“ DM/BM-364
Nassacher Hohe â€“ DM/BM-362
Stitarsky Vrch â€“ OK/KA-037
Ochsenkopf â€“ DM/BM-160
Grosser Beerberg â€“ DM/TH-001
Grosser Inslesberg â€“ DM/TH-004
Activator Summits: 13 Contacts: 341 Points: 104 S2S: 15
Chaser Totals: Summits = 44 Contacts = 44 Points = 208 Associations: 14
There were no NA chasers in his top 10 list, but DL5WA, G3LUZ, and S52CU
worked him on 10 summits.
OK, actually most of the summits were bare as nearly all are here, but I
couldn’t resist. Many of the summits were crowded with people and
Helmut seems to have had the PR duties and handed out a lot of QSL cards.
Scott, NM5SW, reported on their expedition to Four Summits, Four States,
Four Grids, One Day (the 4 corners area). Unfortunately, it is much
longer than I have room for, and when I tried to edit and summarize, it
lost the character that Scott put into it. I hope he’ll be able to post
it somewhere, it is a really great read.
COMMENT: Mike, KD9KC, introduced me to SOTA (and prodded me to
volunteer as the NA reporter) and at the time, W6 had around 200
summits, there was no W7, he had done a great deal of W5, there were
some in W0, the Colonies were represented by W1, and there were a few
summits in VE2.
Look at what we have today! Kentucky, W4K, just came on-line and is the
26th NA Association. We have 4 associations in Canada (VE1, VE2, VE6,
VE7), and in the US, we have W1, W2, W3, W0, W0M, W4C, W4V, W5A, W5M
(albeit only one summit), W5N, W5O, W5T, W6, W7A, W7I, W7M, W7N, W7O,
W7U, W7W, W7Y, and W8V. We don’t have VY1 and AK yet, both have some
impressive mountains, and while KH6 technically isn’t NA, we’ll adopt
them in a heartbeat if they can get started, also impressive mountains,
just not a huge number like W7.
And then there’s everything south. XE has mountains including active
volcanoes, much of the Caribbean sports them, North America (as a
continent) extends to the north shore of the Panama Canal. Some
mountains in Central America have Mayan ruins on the summit.
I am truly stunned at how fast a hobby usually associated by normal folk
with nerds who never see the sun has merged with a whole population of
people who enjoy the outdoors. As we were beginning to exhaust the more
vertical parts of the US and Canada, Andrea asked, “What next? … and
no, you can’t go climb the Andes.” I explained, as gently as I could
since she’s also a college graduate, “That would be South America.” And
as I think about it, South America is a little bit underrepresented in SOTA.
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude
THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH - 54 - by Rob and Audrey
Straight in this month and with improved weather at last we decide to attack Whitfell, a hill fairly close to home. There are two realistic points to start a climb up Whitfell, the Ulpha Fell road and the Corney Fell road. We have never used the route from Ulpha Fell, the car parking situation can be problem and different groups report different experiences with the farmer, guess it depends how much you get in his way! At the high point of the Corney Fell road there is space for about five cars on the west side of the road be careful not to block the passing places on the single track road.
The walk starts with a longish leg along the wall, beside which at the moment lie the sad remains of sheep killed in the recent freak snow storms that hit this area. The snow drifts were 15ft deep and the sheep in the midst of the lambing season died where they took shelter. Farmers who lost stock and recovered the bodies were faced with the extra expense of disposing of them, little wonder many lie where they fell. The route has become well trodden in recent years, follow the path to the two rocky outcrops on the horizon, The best route from here keeps to the south side of what can be a very boggy area to reach a rocky outcrop where the path forks, The left hand route ascends Burnmore before descending to meet the right hand path that contours Burnmoor and this is the start point of the climb up Whitfell itself.
The summit is stony and slippery under foot in wet weather. There is a shelter, large from the outside but room for only a couple of people inside. The top of the hill is fairly conical and grassy and it is usually possible to find a sheltered spot with lots of room for antennas. Today all the usual bands are reasonable but there is little response on 2m ssb in spite of French contest stations calling cq at good strength but not getting any replies! After 2m fm ran out of chasers we had a quick look at 70cms using the 2m beam and had a s2s with Kevin 2E0VEK/P a regular chaser having his first experience of activation on Pendle, a nice finish to the day.
Next Sunday and Great Knoutberry Hill across in Yorkshire. This one is easily done from the minor road between Garsdale and Dent, not to be confused with Dent the SOTA summit which is on the coast clear across the Lake District. Visitors to todays Dent arriving by rail must have a rude awakening as the station is totally remote from the village, about 2 miles away and 1000 ft up on the remote single track â€œCoal Roadâ€ from Dent to Garsdale. The area was featured a while back on the TV program Time Team, exploring the conditions endured by the navvies and their families building this high level track back in Victorian times.
The best that could be said is that they would have sold their souls for our waterproofs. Today it was sunny and the bog that forms a good part of the route up this one was almost dry. The â€œmenâ€, pillars of loose stone dominate the first ridge and are uncannily humanoid and seem to follow the climber en-route. Once we reached the top so did the clouds but could not spoil a really nice activation. Band conditions were odd 5 MHz and 10 MHz were not playing, the rest were fine. Not a soul to be heard on 2m ssb, a not uncommon thing for us, FM however did the business as usual. Two separate parties passed through, both very interested in SOTA.
Listening at home the conditions on hf have been very variable so we set off to Fountains Fell not knowing what to expect but at least the weather forecast is quite good This is a straightforward climb following the Pennine Way from the cattle grid on the minor road from Stainforth to Halton Gill, room for a couple of cars. Initially boggy the route reaches a well angled ramp giving a pleasant climb onto the huge summit plateau. Hardy souls can miss out the ramp and follow the wall from the base straight up the fell side, we are not hardy! The summit area is massive and very boggy in parts and new quad routes seem to appear every time we do the summit. Basically leave the Pennine Way at a wooden post just after crossing a wall by stile and head in the direction taken by the wall.(following the wall itself is hard work with bog etc). The quad track does lead to the summit pile of stones but has many diversions to avoid boggy patches. The wall arrives close to the summit and has a stile. The corner just over the stile can be a good sheltered spot in bad weather.
Today as we arrived so did the cloud and a strong wind. We took shelter in one of the small crater like depressions close to the stone pile. Be very careful if you decide on this option as the plateau is littered with sink holes and old mineshafts. The more serious ones have crude fence protection but care is needed. Navigation in thick cloud and rain is also interesting up here. We usually do this hill in winter bonus time but this year the winter weather beat us so we saved it for summer. No body seemed to have told the weather of this move as within ten minutes we had almost full winter conditions and were forced into fleeces, gloves, big coats etc. This lasted for most of the three hour activation but cleared as we set off down!
Set out on building a very simple lightweight link dipole for 14 thru 28 MHz using our usual dipole coax and centre which has terminals so we can fasten anything that we fancy to it. Used the usual lightweight Teflon? covered white antenna wire,
available at rallies if youâ€™re very lucky but donâ€™t get there before us â€˜cos we need some more. Audrey found some lightweight multi coloured cable ties in a bargain bin at a local DIY warehouse (5 items for Â£1 sheâ€™s a good shopper) These ties make excellent link separator supports, just tie the incoming wires to them and leave enough of an end to fit connectors. Gravity pulls the ties into a nice oval when erected; the mixed colours allow us a red pair for 28 MHz, yellow for 24MHz etc. For links we use the spade connectors as used in car wiring harnesses.
The 6mm spades and the females are about Â£2 a pack of each so four quid provides enough for quite a lot of linked dipoles. They have no weight to support of course, the cable tie does that. This results in a dipole that, less centre and coax can be carried in a coat pocket and we were looking for a trip out on Sunday to test it. The weather once again had other ideas. As a result testing had to be done in the garden, SWR was good and there on an otherwise almost empty 20m was Heinz HB9BCB/P calling CQ sota with no replies. We quickly rounded up a key for the 817 and a 559 both ways resulted. Great believer that if an antenna works well first time out then itâ€™s a good one, otherwise itâ€™s probably rubbish, wrong of course but it always seems that way. Either way itâ€™s going with us to the Isle of Man which is of course at the beginning of next month so expect extra bands. We hope to activate all five SOTA summits at least twice during our stay, times will be as the fancy takes us so expect some evenings etc. As usual there will be a small cert for those who work us at least once from each of them
All for now
Take care out there
Rob and Audrey
NORTH CAPE AND RETURN by Ken GM0AXY (LA6EF) and Christine GM4YMM
I thought of the headline â€“ A View from the â€œRealâ€ North â€“ but that belongs to someone else, I think!
Christine and I have had the ambition of doing a trip to the North Cape for almost as long as we have had a motor home. This year we made the decision to go for it. The only pre-trip planning we made was to book the ferry from Newcastle to Ijmuiden (Amsterdam) and return, allowing ourselves a full 5 weeks on the road. We knew approximately where we had to get to along the roads leading north, but made no pre-trip bookings of any kind. The route we chose went through The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway and returning south through the length of Norway and crossing back into Sweden in the very south-east corner of Norway to return via Denmark, Germany to Ijmuiden in The Netherlands.
We passed many SOTA summits along the way, and in an ad hoc manner we decided to activate some of them using the FT817 with a vertical antenna for 40, 20, 17 and 15 meter bands.
This is a summit in a nature reserve on the east side of Lake Vaettern. It was an easy summit to get to; I set the Lat and Long of the summit into the TomTom GPS in the van, and it took us straight to the parking area less than 500 metres to the north of the summit leaving less than a 100 or so metres of climb up through the forest to the summit. We tried to use 40 metres first, but it soon became very difficult as there was a Swedish portable contest on the go at the time, and without having the rules of the contest, we gave that up and QSY’d to 20 metres. There the hill was qualified in no time at all. This is obviously a very popular recreational area, and there were lots of people walking passed. Just as well there were two of us, whilst one operated the other could answer the questions and explain what we were up to!
SM/GA-004 Jarvs?klack (locals call it just Klackan)
We were camped at Hudiksvall at Bothnia Bay, and on the campsite notice board was a description of a nature reserve a bit inland from where we were staying. Consulting the SM SOTA ARM we found it was a SOTA summit within the reserve. Again putting the summit Lat and Long into the GPS we set off. The last 3 or 4 kilometres were on forest gravel tracks leading to a designated parking area to the south of the actual summit. A map on the display board showed us the path through the forest, all 1350 metres of it with a climb of about 250 metres, to the summit. The path goes through some original wilderness forest, and it is quite rough in places. Some trees which had fallen across the path had been cleared to the side, but otherwise it was has nature â€œintendedâ€. We set up for 20m and worked through a little pileup on 14285. I listened across 40m, but could only hear a few stations which sounded Russian speaking. So we gave that band a miss. 30 metres was just noise.
The following days we travelled further north through what appeared like endless straight roads through never ending forests. We crossed briefly into Finland at Haparanda / Torneo, before heading up along the Tornea valley to a campsite at Kuckolaforsen on the Swedish side of the river. This stretch of the river is very picturesque and could have warranted several days stay, but we pressed on and did a brief excursion into Finland again. This time to activate OH/KI-082. One can drive almost to the top of the summit, and there is an old hunting lodge from the days of the Russian Tsars virtually on the summit. Unfortunately there is also a very tall mast festooned with all kinds of aerials. As soon as I switched on the FT817, the S-meter went S9+ and stayed there on all bands. By moving to the opposite side of the summit away from the mast, we were able to make out some signals on 17 metres, and we were able to qualify the activation using that band. I tried to use CW both on 17 and 20 metres, but the noise level was so horrendous that I quickly gave that up. It was like sitting with the radio in a room full of those horrible little wall warts i.e. unfiltered switch mode power supplies.
This an alpine skiing area, and during the skiing season there are plenty of lifts and tows which will take one to the top of the mountain. However, on our visit towards the end of May, the place was virtually deserted. We drove up to the bottom of the ski slopes on the south side of the mountain. There is loads of parking space; our camper van was the only vehicle there in a space for several thousand vehicles. We looked around for any information on a walking route up, but could not see anything obvious. So we decided to tackle the mountain head on by walking up what appeared to be the slackest of the skiing slopes. Parts of the path we chose was actually a downhill mountain bike course… have you ever tried to walk up one of those? I do not recommend it.
Even though there were no mountain bikes around to interrupt our slow progress up the hillside, it was one of the worst and horrible climbs we have ever attempted. But we made it, even though we had to cross some areas fairly deep snow along the way up.
We had the summit to ourselves, and managed to qualify using 20m SSB.
At the summit there is a kind signpost indicating a walking path back down the hill. We chose to follow this path down… and it was fairly easy path at that. It took us nearly 2 hours to climb up, and about 45 minutes to get back down again!
So, if you wish to activate this SOTA Summit during the summertime i.e. no lifts or tows available:- park in front of the row of shops; walk over towards the north-east area and to the children’s nursery slopes, and there you will find the start of a rough gravel track going up the hill. The track bends round to the right (easterly direction) at one point just below the most easterly of the ski tows. This track will take you all the way to the summit in no time at all; relatively speaking!
North Cape â€“ LA/FM-019
We continued north through Finland and crossed into Norway and stayed a couple of days in Kautokeino before crossing the Finnmark plateau to Karasjok and then to Lakselv. We did this towards the end of May, early June and we had the most glorious weather with temperatures up into the 20’s deg C. Karasjok set a new record on the day we were there of 30.6 deg C with of course the obligatory 24 hours a day of sunshine!
We got up to the North Cape, and looked long and hard at the SOTA summit of LA/FI-019 which is only a couple of miles south of the North Cape. However, although the summit appeared clear there was still a band of very deep melting snow to be crossed. As we did not have any skis or snowshoes with us, we decided that the risk of venturing out into the snow field without the right equipment would be too foolhardy. So we left it for some else to do.
On the travels south through northern Norway we passed many, many SOTA summits too numerous to list. They are still there for those who wish to activate as many new uniques as one can take.
This SOTA summit is close to Trondheim, and one can drive all the way up to Skistua, a skiing centre just a few hundred metres below the summit. The path up to the summit is well marked and although a bit rough in places, it is easy enough. We set up just to the east of the summit just outside the fences which surround the various electronic installations on the actual summit.
We spent a couple of days at Roros looking around this world heritage site which is based on the old copper mines. Before leaving we decided to visit Olav’s Gruva, a few miles north-east of Roros itself, which is one of the actual copper mines outside of RÃ¶ros; all the copper extraction/processing happened at Roros but the actual mining was sometimes many miles away from Roros. On route to Olav’s Gruva one comes close to the summit of LA/ST-118, a previously non-activated summit as far as we could tell. A few hundred metres before Olav’s Gruva, there is a gravel track going north towards a large slag heap. We parked the van here, and climbed up passed some of the old mine workings and got to the summit just as the rain started; the only rain we had on all our activations. Christine had brought the old rain shelter and we were able to operate in relative comfort on 20 SSB and some CW.
OZ/OZ-010 GyllenlÃ¶wes HÃ¶j
As we by now, had activated 6 summits in 3 of the Nordic countries we decided to try to do this one as well in order to make it 7 summits in 4 countries. Again, our trusted TomTom came to the rescue as we did not have any detailed maps of the area. By putting in the actual summit coordinates we got to the parking area in the forest just a few hundred meters away from the summit with no problem. There is an information post with details of how to get to the summit, After a short walk under the dense canopy of broad leaf trees, one arrives at what is actually a memorial to resistance fighters from WW2. We set up on 20 m and after a bit of a struggle managed to qualify the activation. Having the aerial underneath that dense canopy of tall trees must have attenuated our signal quite significantly, but we made it!
So there you have it; a brief summary of a trip of a lifetime; if YOU have a chance, go and do it; you won’t regret it! It was close to 4900 miles on the clock by the time we got back home.
Once we have had a chance to sort out the heaps of photos taken during our trip, I shall try to post some on the Flickr SOTA pages.
Ken GM0AXY (LA6EF) and Christine GM4YMM
Hope it will work as I haven’t tried this before!
73 and enjoy!
SOTA ON TOP BAND - Mark G0VOF
Hello everyone & welcome to this monthâ€™s edition of SOTA on Top Band.
Three activators gave 160m a try during June, with all but one activating during the day; conditions on the band were restricted.
First up on the band, on the evening of 1st June was Zoli HA2PP/P who added 160m to his activation of HA/KD-003 KÃ¶zÃ©psÃ¶-Hajag. Being after sunset, conditions were good & Zoli made a fine total of 20 QSOâ€™s using CW.
Next, on 3rd June was John G4YSS using the Scarborough Special Events Group callsign GX0OOO/P. He planned to activate several summits in Englandâ€™s Lake District during a four-day holiday in the area. His first foray onto 160m came on 3rd June from G/LD-004 Skiddaw when John made just one QSO on the band, working Brian G4ZRP using CW. This was also Brianâ€™s first Top Band SOTA chase. Frank G3RMD also called John but despite several attempts they could not make a two way QSO.
Two days later on Wednesday 5th June John again included 160m in his activation of G/LD-008 Blencathra. This time the band was in better shape & John made 4 QSOâ€™s all using CW.
His third & final Top Band activation on 6th June was of G/LD-003 Helvellyn & this time two chasers made it into Johnâ€™s log on 160m, Phil G4OBK & Roy G4SSH.
John has posted a comprehensive activation report here:
Thanks for another excellent report John.
The next activator to try 160m was Ricky MW6GWR who made one SSB QSO during his activation of GW/NW-063 Ffridd Cocyn. Ricky was also active on 160m from another summit later in the month, GW/NW-052 Mynydd Cwmcelli on 22nd June, again making one SSB QSO.
Well done Ricky.
Also during the month Klaus DF2GN/P made several calls on the band from DM/BW-156 Lindenberg, although no QSOâ€™s resulted.
Thanks to all who ventured onto the band from a summit this month.
At the time of writing, those were the only Top band activations during May that I am aware of, if I have missed any others please let me know.
On the 1st June, Zoli HA2PP/P activated HA/KD-003 KÃ¶zÃ©psÃ¶-Hajag & made 20 QSOâ€™s using CW.
On 3rd June, John G4YSS (Using GX0OOO/P) activated G/LD-004 Skiddaw & made 1 QSO using CW.
On 5th June, John G4YSS (Using GX0OOO/P) activated G/LD-008 Blencathra & made 4 QSOâ€™s using CW.
On 6th June, John G4YSS (Using GX0OOO/P) activated G/LD-003 Helvellyn & made 2 QSOâ€™s using CW.
On the 15th June, Ricky MW6GWR/P activated GW/NW-063 Ffridd Cocyn & made 1 QSO using SSB.
On the 22nd June, Ricky MW6GWR/P activated GW/NW-052 Mynydd Cwmcelli & made 1 QSO using 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 email@example.com
Until next month,
CW REPORT FOR JUNE 2013 - by Roy G4SSH
Improving weather across Europe during the first half of June saw SOTA activations really take-off during the month. It became quite common for the number of spots generated in 24 hours to exceed 100, increasing to over 200 spots at weekends. Saturday the 8th saw a peak of 320 spots generated in 24 hours.
The totals were boosted in no small manner by the summer pilgrimage to the DL summits, which always increases further during the Friedrichshaven Rally, held this year on the 28th-30th June. Visitor Mike KD9KC also activated 12 summits in DL and 1 summit in OK-land during a trip to Europe during the month and Hans PB2T was active from Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Dan OK1DIG did some astonishing expeditions around OK-land, during the month, by activating up to 10 summits per day. He made a special effort to operate on 24 MHz and I was fortunate enough to find propagation on that band favourable between us between 1000-1500 UTC on some days.
Lutz DJ3AX, Peter DK2RMP and Benny started one of their tours on 3rd June and ended on 6th June.
The usual wideband multi-tone transmission operated intermittently on 30m during the month wiping out all transmissions between 10117 and 10121 KHz. This makes life very difficult for chasers who do not know whether to monitor above or below the QRM in order to hear an activator; however, the majority of activators move higher in frequency, around 10.120 KHz.
The 24 MHz band was very unpredictable. At my QTH it was open for short periods during daylight hours, often allowing just a few minutes for a contact to be made, with heavy QSB.
Unique chasers were rewarded with the continuing activation of Marko OH2XX in the JÃ¤rvi-Suomi area of Finland, Vasek SP/OK2VWB, in the BZ area and OM-land, Andre F5UKL in the EA2 area, Peter HB9CMI in EA5 and EA7, Ioan 2M0NNN in NS, Raf IZ5GHD in ER, and Luk DD1LD in EI-land. EO5JFF and UTUU4JIM were also regular activators at weekends with SOTAâ€™s in Ukraine.
HF conditions deteriorated rapidly during the last week in June, especially on the higher bands, which suffered from poor propagation and heavy QRN from fierce thunderstorms across Europe. At my QTH there were days when Klaus DF2GN commenced activity on 24 MHz, then went down the bands to 24, 21, 18, 10 and finally 7 MHz, which was the only band where he was just audible. A few days earlier he was workable on all these bands. 14 MHz was particularly poor during this period, with rapid and deep QSB so severe that you often lost an activator mid-QSO.
I never cease to be surprised at the number of times that identical figures in a SOTA reference happen to be active at the same time from different countries. This seems more than just random. For example, as I write this the last three references in my log are OK/US-003, HA/EM-003 and HB/SO-003. You have to double check to ensure that you have not made a mistake.
The Traditional Park of Mercantour Tour by Roger F5LKW
Our annual mountain pilgrimage is now planned! 5 summits in one day.
This is the 4th edition of this Mercantour tour ! My brother (F5LKW) and I call it : the “Tour Tour” !!! This “Tour Tour” is about 20 km long, with big slopes. All the summits are over 2500 m.
This year there will be 3 SOTAGoats: F6HBI - F5HTR - F5LKW.
F/AM-242: Mont PÃ©poiri (2674 m - 8773 ft)
F/AM-256: CÃ®me des Lauses (2640 m - 8661 ft)
F/AM-264: CÃ®me du Belletz (2600 m - 8530 ft)
F/AM-258: CaÃ¯re Archas (2632 m - 8635 ft)
F/AM-280: Mont Archas (2526 m)
We will operate exclusively on CW, mostly on 10 and 14 MHz.
We expect a good weather on 3rd of July.
(Information extracted from the Reflector, where the latest information will be posted - Editor).
Extracts from the Data Base - compiled by Kevin G0NUP
SOTA CW ACTIVATORS SUBMITTING ENTRIES TO THE DATA BASE ABOVE 7 MHZ DURING JUNE 2013. This file produced on 27 June 2013.
Mode: SOTA CW on 10MHz: activity for June
DF2GN/P, DF3MC/P, DJ2FR, DJ3AX/P, DK7MG/P, DK7ZH/P, DL/HB9AGO/P,
DL/HB9BRJ/P, DL/HB9CZF/P, DL/KD9KC, DL/PA0SKP/P, DL1ASA/P, DL2RVL/P,
DL6AP/P, DL8DXL/P, DL8MBS/P, EA2BDS/P, EA2EA/P, EA4ESP/P, EA5/HB9CMI/P,
F/ON6ZQ/P, F5HTR/P, F5LKW/P, F5UBH/P, F6HBI/P, F6KQL/P, G3RDQ/P, G3VQO/P,
G4AZS/P, G4OBK/P, G4OOE/P, G4RQJ/P, GM0UDL/P, GW3RDQ/P, GW4ASA/P, GW4AZS/P,
GW4ISJ/P, GW6DTN/P, HA/OM7PY, HA2PP/P, HA3HK/P, HA5LV/P, HA5MA/P, HA7UL/P,
HB9AFI/P, HB9AGO/P, HB9BAB/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BHW/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9BQB/P,
HB9CZF/P, HB9DGV/P, HB9DST/P, HB9IIO/P, HB9SVT/P, HB9TVK/P, I/HB9BQB/P,
K1JD, K6ILM, K7ATN, KI0G, KR7W, KU6J, LA1EBA/P, LA1ENA/P, LA8BCA/P,
MM3BRR/P, MW/DF3MC/P, MW6GWR/P, N1EU, N4EX/P, N5XL, N6JZT, NA6MG, NM5S,
OE/DL6AP/P, OE/DL7VMM/P, OE1MVA/P, OE3CHC/P, OE3HPU/P, OE4VIE/P, OE5EEP/P,
OH9XX/P, OK/DF8KY/P, OK/DJ9MH/P, OK/OM3CUG/P, OK1DDQ/P, OK1DIG/P, OK1DVM/P,
OK1MLP/P, OK2BDF/P, OK2BMA/P, OK2BWB/P, OK2HIJ/P, OK2PYA/P, OK2SAM/P,
OK4MM/P, OK8CCC/P, OM/OK2VWB/P, OM3CUG/P, OM6TC/P, S52CU/P, S53X/P, S57X/P,
S57XX/P, S58R/P, SP/OK2HIJ/P, SP/OK2VWB/P, W4TZM, W6AH
Mode: SOTA CW on 14MHz: activity for June
2M0NNN/P, 2W0NNN/P, AD5A, AE7UT, CT1BWW/P, CT1DRB/P, CT7AEZ/P, DF2GN/P,
DF3MC/P, DJ2FR, DJ3AX/P, DJ9MH/P, DK6YM/P, DK7MG/P, DK7ZH/P, DL/HB9AGO/P,
DL/HB9BIN/P, DL/HB9BRJ/P, DL/HB9CZF/P, DL/KD9KC, DL/PA0SKP/P, DL2RVL/P,
DL4FO/P, DL4MHA/P, DL6AP/P, EA1/HB9AFH/P, EA1AER/P, EA2/F5UKL/P, EA2EA/P,
EA4CWN/P, EA5/HB9CMI/P, EA7/HB9CMI/P, EO5JFF, F/HB9AFI/P, F5HTR/P, F5LKW/P,
F6ENO/P, F6HBI/P, F6KQL/P, G0VPS/P, G3VQO/P, G4ELZ/P, G4OBK/P, G4RQJ/P,
GM0UDL/P, GW0HIO/P, GW3RDQ/P, GW4ASA/P, GW4ISJ/P, GW6DTN/P, HA2PP/P,
HA5LV/P, HA5MA/P, HA7UL/P, HB9AFI/P, HB9AGO/P, HB9BAB/P, HB9BCB/P,
HB9BQB/P, HB9BQU/P, HB9HVK/P, HB9SVT/P, K0JQZ, K1JD, K3EL, K6EL, K6ILM,
K6TW, K7ATN, K7NEW, K7SO, KD7WPJ, KE5AKL, KI0G, KU6J, LA1EBA/P, LA1ENA/P,
LA8BCA/P, M0CGH/P, M1EYP/P, M6GWR/P, MM0FMF/P, MM0ROV/P, MM3BRR/P,
MW0BBU/P, MW0IML/P, MW6GWR/P, N1EU, N4EX/P, N5XL, N6JZT, N6ZA, N7WM, NA6MG,
NE1SJ, NM5S, NS0TA, NS7P, NX1P, NX1P/P, OE/DL4MHA/P, OE/DL6AP/P,
OE1MVA/P, OE3CHC/P, OE3HPU/P, OE4VIE/P, OE5EEP/P, OE6WIG/P, OE8SPW/P,
OK/OM3CUG/P, OK1AU/P, OK1AXB/P, OK1CZ/P, OK1DIG/P, OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP/P,
OK2BWB/P, OK2PYA/P, OK2SAM/P, OK8CCC/P, OM3CUG/P, OM6TC/P, ON6ZQ/P,
S52CU/P, S53X/P, S57X/P, S57XX/P, S58R/P, UU4JIM/P, VA2OTA, VA2VL/P,
VE7ETS, VK5CZ, W0CCA, W4AMW, W4TZM, W4ZV, W6AH, W6UB, WA6KYR, WA7JTM,
WH6LE, WS0TA, Z35M/P
Mode: SOTA CW on 18MHz: activity for June
DF2GN/P, DF3MC/P, DL/HB9BRJ/P, DL/HB9CZF/P, DL/PA0SKP/P, DL4MHA/P, DL6AP/P,
DL8MBS/P, EA2EA/P, EA4ESP/P, GW3RDQ/P, GW4ASA/P, GW4ISJ/P, GX0OOO/P,
HA5LV/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9CZF/P, HB9DGV/P, HB9SVT/P, K3EL, K7ATN, K7NEW, KR7W,
MM0FMF/P, MW/DF3MC/P, MW6GWR/P, N1EU, N5XL, NA6MG, NM5S, NS0TA, NX1P,
OE5EEP/P, OK/OM3CUG/P, OK1DDQ/P, OK1DIG/P, OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2BMA/P,
OM3CUG/P, S52CU/P, S53X/P, S57X/P, S57XX/P, UU4JIM/P, W4TZM, W4ZV, W6AH,
Mode: SOTA CW on 21MHz: activity for June
AD5A, CT7AEZ/P, DF2GN/P, DL/KD9KC, DL1ASA/P, DL6AP/P, DL8MBS/P,
EA2EA/P, EA7/HB9CMI/P, F6HBI/P, GW4ISJ/P, HA5MA/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9SVT/P,
K3EL, K6TUY, KU6J, MM0FMF/P, N5XL, NA6MG, OE5EEP/P, OK/DL8WJM/P,
OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP/P, OM3CUG/P, S57X/P, VE7ETS, W4ZV
Mode: SOTA CW on 24MHz: activity for June
DF2GN/P, DL/HB9CZF/P, DL4MHA/P, DL6AP/P, EA2EA/P, F6HBI/P, G4AZS/P,
GW3RDQ/P, GW4AZS/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9CZF/P, HB9SVT/P, HB9TVK/P, K0JQZ, KU6J,
M1EYP/P, N1EU, NA6MG, OE/DL4MHA/P, OE5EEP/P, OK/DL8WJM/P, OK1DIG/P,
OK1DIG/P3, OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2BMA/P, OK8CCC/P, S52CU/P, S57X/P,
S57XX/P, S58R/P, UU4JIM/P, W4TZM, W4ZV, W6UB
Mode: SOTA CW on 28MHz: activity for June
DF3MC/P, EA2EA/P, HB9SVT/P, OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP/P, S52CU/P,
CONTESTS DURING JULY 2013
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.
6th-7th 1500-1500 Original QRP contest CW.
6th-7th 1100-1100 DL-DX RTTY contest
13th-14th 0001-2359 SKCC Weekend sprint CW
13th -14th 1200-1200 IARU World Championship CW and SSB
20th-21st 1200-1200 DMC RTTY contest
27th-28th 1200-1200 RSGB IOTA contest CW & SSB
SOTA News is normally published around noon UTC 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:-