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SOTA News July 2016

SOTA NEWS JULY 2016 - Part 1 of 3

Editorial - by Mark G0VOF
Welcome to the July 2016 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Barry GM4TOE, Skip K6DGW, Roy G4SSH, Kevin G0NUP, Rob and Audrey G4RQJ, Allen VK3ARH, Warren ZL2AJ, Toru JH0CJH, David G0EVV, Geert PA7ZEE.

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The June 2016 edition of SOTA News was viewed more than 1175 times.

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

Claims for awards rose slightly in June with new Mountain Goats GW6OVD, VK2IO and GI4ONL and Shack Sloths K0NR, WA6MM, GM6OVD, 2E0HTC, KX6A, W4ALE, VK3FLCS and N7LP. Martha, W0ERI, continues to amass high scores now reaching the 50k Chaser level. It is also good to see the continuing interest in the Summit to Summit and SOTA Complete awards.

With the announcement of the top stations in the 10m/6m Challenge I can now issue the certificates to these leading stations – just need to find a suitable design!

Trophies

Mountain Goat
GW6OVD Maldwyn Clee
VK2IO Gerard Hill

Shack Sloth

K0NR Bob Witte
WA6MM Brad Bylund

Certificates Issued

Activator
ON6ZQ Christophe David 1500 points
GW6OVD Maldwyn Clee 1000 points
GI4ONL Victor Mitchell 1000 points
VK2IO Gerard Hill 1000 points
IW2OBX Roberto Polvara 250 points
IW2OBX Roberto Polvara 100 points

Chaser
W0ERI Martha S Auchard 50000 points
KA5PVB Chuck Dobbins 5000 points
GW6OVD Maldwyn Clee 1000 points
2E0HTC Gary Carter 1000 points
KX6A Michael Geoghegan 1000 points
W4ALE Ron B. Fisher 1000 points
VK3FLCS Brett McAliece 1000 points
N7LP Lee Pemberton 1000 points
SP6NVB Bogdan Morawski 500 points
ZS5QI Mervyn Todd 100 points
ZS5AZH Brian Burger 100 points

Summit to Summit
VK3ARR Andrew Ryan Silver
ON6ZQ Christophe David Bronze

Mountain Explorer
VK3ARR Andrew Ryan Gold
ON6ZQ Christophe David Gold
VK3PF Peter Freeman Bronze
VK1AD Andrew Moseley Bronze

Mountain Hunter
VK3ARR Andrew Ryan Silver

SOTA Complete
ON6ZQ Christophe David 100 summits

Following requests for an update of the SOTA leaflet this is now completed and I will post it to the reflector as a pdf file so that anybody can download it and print it out for their use. I grabbed some images from the SOTA Flikr photostream to replace the images previously used in the older leaflet. I hope nobody objects to the use of their photos for this purpose.

Currently, our stock holder in the USA is on vacation so the shipment of small merchandise items normally shipped from North Carolina will be delayed until his return. Please bear with us.

I finally have a fixed telephone line and a decent broadband connection but only after intervention from the national press! Needless to say, I am not impressed with the performance of our UK monopoly telephone infrastructure supplier!

Summer is now in full swing in the Northern hemisphere but the propagation gods do not seem willing to help! Many of you will not have experienced SOTA during a solar minimum, don’t worry the world does not end you just have to choose your operating bands more carefully – a real challenge when using qrp but NVIS may come to your rescue. Apologies to those of you in the Southern hemisphere, just received a photo from a niece in Brisbane – snow on the beach, lovely!

73

Barry GM4TOE
SOTA Awards Manager

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NORTH AMERICAN REPORT from Skip K6DGW

Hi all,

Summer has arrived, and our Summiteers and Chasers are really coming out in force despite the dearth of sunspots! The sunspot number has been exactly zero for most of June. You’ll note the increase in 20, 30, and 40 meter QSO’s accompanied by a marked decrease in 15, 12, and 10 meter contacts.

NORTH AMERICA TOTALS
Total Activations: 526 [396]
Nr Unique Activators: 185 [152]
Total Chaser QSOs: 4928 [2904]
Nr Unique Chasers: 249 [222]
Unique Summits: 393 [329]

2m: 222 (4%) [188]
6m: 4 (0%) [2]
10m: 9 (0%) [1]
12m: 0 (0%) [0]
15m: 32 (0%) [17]
17m: 135 (2%) [97]
20m: 3345 (67%) [1807]
30m: 430 (8%) [283]
40m: 745 (15%) [503]
60m: 1 (0%) [0]
80m: 0 (0%) [0]
160m: 1 (0%) [0]
Unk: 4

CW: 3362 (68%) [1827]
SSB: 1342 (27%) [887]
FM: 223 (4%) [186]
AM: 0 (0%) [0]
Data: 0 (0%) [1]
Other: 0 (0%) [1]
Unk: 4

AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:

Word has arrived that Alan, NM5S, has surpassed 4,000 activator points, a truly amazing achievement!. Congratulations Alan!

Stop press: Phil NS7P gained his 60,000th chaser point this morning (30th June). It was with Martha (W0ERI) and Gary (W0MNA). Congratulations Phil!

Ryan, K7ODX, and Bob, K0NR have just become North America’s latest Shack Sloth, passing 1,000 chaser QSO’s. And, on 21 Jun, Bob managed to also make All VHF Shack Sloth, a QSO from Mt Garfield (W0C/FR-040) with Steve, K7PX.I believe this is a first in North America. Nice double achievement, Bob!

Ian, VE6IXD provided a report from Canada:

“It seems Canadians are not great “Mountain Explorers”, by which I mean that very few Canadian activators have gained a Mountain Explorer award.”

“Indeed I had hoped to write and tell you that I was the first to achieve that status, but upon checking, I find the first Canadian to achieve this award was VA3OZI, Matt, on 11 Dec 2015. Matt had activated peaks in W0C, W7Y, W0D, VE2, and W1. He has since activated peaks in W4V, W3 and W8V. I recently managed to gain the bronze level award on 13 June, 2013 with peaks activated in VE7, VE6, VE2, GW and G.”

“There are 2 people with activations in 4 associations, VA2VL and VA3SIE, and two people with activations in 3 associations, VA2IEI and VE2DDZ. It seems most Canadians like to stay close to their home Province when SOTA activating.”

“By the way, VA3OZI, Matt is not a chaser, and so it was difficult to list his awards, the only place I can find the “Show Awards” function is at the top of the Chaser Log, and the function is not available if the person does not log any chases.”

Incidentally, the RAC Canada Day contest takes place on 1 July [“The Real Date”]. Information at wp.rac.ca

NEWS:

Etienne, K7ATN advises that the current Pacific Northwest newsletter can be found at:

www.pnwsota.org/sites/pnwsota.org/files/downloads/K7ATN/PNW%20SOTA%20Newsletter%20Jul-Aug%202016.pdf

You can find back issues on the site too if you poke around a little.

From Ken, K6HPX [with editing by K6EL]:

“A few days ago, I went to Hawai’i to see one of my customers, Jupiter Research Foundation, and I combined that with a routine activation of the drive-up summit Mauna Kea (which means white mountain) at 13,795 feet elevation, followed by a far from routine activation of Mauna Loa (long mountain) at 13,677 feet… an active volcano and virgin Sota peak. For that one, I used a graphic contour map, plus Stuart Ball’s Hikers Guide to Hawai’i, plus a route suggested by a National Parks ranger over there, plus an altimeter to confirm elevations at my waypoints.”

“Before the trip, I went up Mt Evans in Colorado, a 14’er, to see if my old body could handle it. No problem, except for just a hint of a headache and a few minutes of visual disturbance each time I looked at the glare of anything white.”

“I started my hike with a 36 pound pack, including overnight gear, 15 pounds of water, and 6 pounds of electronics (KX3, etc.). I drove to a point near the Mauna Loa Observatory trail head before dawn and started from that 11,000 foot TH just as the sun rose. I climbed for nine hours to reach “Jaggar’s Pit” on the caldera rim and kept going as long as I could. The geological sights along the way were really something to behold… suitable for a National Geographic photographer. I bedded down for the night next to the trail and shivered instead of sleeping. Kay, my better half, warned me back in Tucson that my bag might not be insulated enough. When I woke up, everything was frozen. I continued to the summit and ran 12 watts into a horizontal end-fed half wave wire supported 14 feet up a fishing pole with a rock on the other end. Good thing about my decision to bring something more than QRP, because there was a minor geo-mag storm and really poor propagation. Notwithstanding that problem, I still made 13 contacts, all on 20 CW.”

“There was no RBN hit, but I got a spot from NQ7R, my first contact. The others were regular chasers, plus two unfamiliar calls and ZL1BYZ. I also tried to copy my customer’s off-shore Wave Glider, a floating device that can relay water temp, wave height and data from tagged sharks and whales, on PSK31. No luck.”

“Total time from the TH was 14 hours up and 9 hours down. A young guy who is very fit could cut those times in half.”

Kevin, K4KPK, posts articles of his activations. The current article [an interesting confession about what we’ve all done at one time or another] is at:

www.k4kpk.com/ebook/sota-ascent/i-always-activate-mount-stupid/i-always-activate-mount-stupid

His full collection: www.k4kpk.com/ebook/sota-ascent/landing-page/sota-serial-ebook

Curtis, KC5CW, who seems to get around a lot wrote:

“I just got back from an awesome NPOTA vacation to St Croix and St Thomas/John with over 650 QSOs on 4 national park sites. I saw a bunch of SOTA quality hills but alas it isn’t an association yet. I did plant the seed at dinner with the local ham club president. If anyone else goes there or talks to any USVI hams, plug SOTA!” Here’s a video of my trip: https://youtu.be/LdPaJhzSC3E

Finally, for our Report of the Month, an adventure from Brad, WA6MM:

“I activated Grizzly Peak (W0C/PR-022 13,427 ft) here in Colorado last Sunday. A great way to spend part of Father’s Day! This peak was first activated by our association manager, Matt (K0MOS), several year ago. What a fantastic peak to climb with a great operating position and amazing 360 degree views.”

Grizzly Peak

“On the surface, this climb doesn’t appear to be all that difficult. The trailhead is at 11,992 ft and the peak is only 1435 ft higher. However, you gain and lose elevation in many places along the ridge leading to the final climb to the summit. This amounts to ~2900 ft of climbing over the 6 mile round-trip hike. It took 2.25 hrs to summit and about 1.75 hrs to descend.”

“The summit was very windy and cold, in contrast with the near record heat in Denver! I was lucky to be able to set up my operating position in a partial rock-walled shelter that effectively shielded me from the wind. I had great cellphone coverage and was able to send out spots on SOTAGOAT. Life was good!”

“I started my activation on 40M CW as usual and made 7 quick contacts. After that I moved to 20M phone. Band conditions didn’t appear to be that great and there was a lot of QSB. My antenna mast collapsed after the first phone contact and I had to get it back up and stabilized. I wondered how much more wind this pole will take before it snaps in two!! I did squeak out 5 phone contacts before moving to 20M CW and making another 6 contacts. I contemplated trying 17M but thought the upper bands were probably not going to be fruitful due to conditions.”

Antenna on Grizzly Peak

“So, I moved on to 2M FM. I called CQ on 146.52 Mhz for awhile but couldn’t gather any attention. This peak is probably not the best VHF summit as there are some big mountains that block access to the more populated areas along the front range. I sometimes get lucky and make contact with mobile operators passing through the area but not this time. Then, to my surprise, KD0DPJ came back to me from 160 miles away in Nebraska! Awesome…made my day . Last week’s surprise was the contact with Andy (UX1LW) on 20M phone from almost 6000 miles away in the Ukraine. These little surprises really help motivate me to keep activating peaks.”

“I’ve now started looking for S2S contacts after I’m done with my usual run of spots and pileups. I saw Rob (AE7AP) spotted on a summit in Montana and was able to work him on 40M phone. And then, for my final contact of the day, I was able to work Ryan (K7ODX) on a summit in Utah on 40M CW. Ryan and I have been trying to do a S2S activation for a long time…we finally did it! Thanks Buddy!”

Operating position on Grizzly Peak

“I think I’ve finally got this activation stuff wired now (well mostly . It’s best to operate on both high and low bands, and use both CW and phone. I’m also a chaser so that reinforces operating on several bands and modes. I know it can be frustrating when chasing and you can’t hear the activator. Just changing bands or modes can make all the difference in the world! In any event, I’m interested in comments from chasers to help me improve my operating practices if there are things I could do to help improve the experience.”

That’s it from the New World for this month, I sure hope to get back into chasing before summer runs out. Might even manage an activation or two.
73,

Skip K6DGW
North American SOTA Reporter Dude

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SOTA NEW ZEALAND REPORT from Warren ZL2AJ

SOTA Activity Report for May / June 2016

List Summits activated
Date Summit Code Summit Name Activator
1-May-16 ZL1/WL-138 Lowry ZL2ATH
1-May-16 ZL3/CB-806 Coopers Knob ZL3CC
1-May-16 ZL3/MB-093 Altimarloch ZL/VK3ARR
1-May-16 ZL3/MB-093 Altimarloch ZL2AJ
1-May-16 ZL3/MB-278 Rahotia ZL2RE
5-May-16 ZL1/AK-023 Maungawhau / Mount Eden ZL/VK3ARR
7-May-16 ZL1/WK-134 Maungakawa ZL2AJ
7-May-16 ZL3/CB-822 Tauhinukorokio/Mount Pleasant ZL3CC
21-May-16 ZL1/WL-153 Mount Crawford ZL2ATH
5-Jun-16 ZL3/CB-822 Tauhinukorokio/Mount Pleasant ZL2AJ
5-Jun-16 ZL3/CB-822 Tauhinukorokio/Mount Pleasant ZL4KD
8-Jun-16 ZL1/WL-110 Belmont ZL2ATH
11-Jun-16 ZL1/WL-152 Mount Cameron ZL2ATH
11-Jun-16 ZL3/CB-746 Carews Peak ZL3CC
18-Jun-16 ZL3/OT-475 Mihiwaka ZL4OL
20-Jun-16 ZL1/MW-137 Tapuae ZL2AJ
25-Jun-16 ZL3/CB-737 Flag Peak ZL3CC
25-Jun-16 ZL3/CB-757 Lavericks ZL3CC
26-Jun-16 ZL1/BP-193 Otanewainuku ZL1SHP
27-Jun-16 ZL1/WL-116 Kaukau ZL2ATH

The cooler months would normally indicate a drop in SOTA activity. However with the addition of the ZL3 association, activity has increased. There are also more callsigns now showing in the activated summit listings which is good to see. Andrew ZL3CC has been busy collecting summits on Banks Peninsula in ZL3/CB Region. Wynne has been zipping around the hilltops in ZL1/WL region. Mike ZL4OL has kick started his adventures in ZL3/OT (He has already started filling my July spreadsheet).

After flying over ZL3 on a clear day it’s not hard to see the sheer volume of summits you have to work with. Many will take some getting to, but if you wanted to be at the top of a summit log (by activating a virgin summit) there are plenty to choose from.

Some have been a bit overwhelmed with the amount of technology, apps and websites available for SOTA. My recommendation to those that aren’t so tech savvy is to learn www.sotadata.org.uk first. It is the hub for all your contacts to go into as a log, if you want to collect points for the award. All the other websites and apps are tools to help you achieve a successful activation and be part of the SOTA community. Sotadata is the hub.

Within SOTA there are many different challenges and goals you can set yourself. Some activators and chasers are interested in unique summits, trying to work or activate different hilltops. Some like to collect summit to summit points. S2S contacts are very exciting to be a part of. You get to claim the summit points that you have activated (assuming you qualify it with 4 contacts), as well as the chaser points from the summit you chased from your summit. Both of these points are added together and are tallied in your S2S log. This can be found on sotadata under View Results, My Results, My Summit to Summit Log. Completing a summit is another challenge. How many summits have you both activated and chased? This log can be found on sotadata under View Results, My Results, My SOTA complete log. Set yourself some goals and make plans to achieve them.

Lastly it is important to remember that with changes to the Health and Safety legislation, some farmers are cautious to let us onto their worksite (farm) to activate summits on private land. It is important to seek permission before entering private land, and explain the activity you are wishing to do (radio experimentation from that hill there), hazards you may introduce to the farm, hazards that are on the farm already, and your methods of hazard mitigation (how to make sure you don’t get hurt). Some farmers may just say no and we have to respect that. It is good to find out what we need to do to achieve a positive result in such circumstances, and if you need help forming a safety management plan (which may be asked for) let me know and I can draw one up.

Stay safe out there. Keep an eye on the weather reports. Hills will always be there another day.

Total Summits Activated for Period – 17
Total number of ZL summits - 5172
Total number of ZL summits activated – 48
Percentage of ZL summits activated – 0.93%

Total ZL Chaser contacts for period 314

Regards,
Warren Harris ZL2AJ
021 649284

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SOTA NEWS FROM JAPAN by Toru JH0CJH

June it is rainy season in Japan. But fortunately weekend was not so bad in June this year. However Kyushu area got damage due to torrential and endless rain. The area has got damaged by earthquake in April then land slide has happened some of the area. Really hope to be recovered soon.

SOTA activity also got affected by wet weather condition and decreased the number of activations compare with May. We got a visit of VK3ARR Andrew on the way his Biz trip to Korea and he made SOTA activations on Kyusyu JA6 and Honsyu Ibaragi JA. In this occasion, we Japan SOTA association celebrated SOTA Japan one year anniversary with Andrew.

L-R: Nobi Hyakutake JA1JCF, Toru Kawauchi JH0CJH, Jun Hirai JI1IHV, Minoru Tomobe JL1NIE, Takeshi Abe JG1GPY, Andrew Ryan JI1GBE / VK3ARR, Junichi Susaki JI1TLL, Takeshi Saiki JS1UEH.

This photo has been taken just before the KANPAI (toast), then everyone looks quite sober but later… as usual, and it is global standard.

SOTA operation June 2016 in Japan

Total number of Expedition 158 with 1436 QSO as of 29th June 2016.

JA: 98 expeditions with 1337 QSO from Summits
JA5: 0 expeditions with 0 QSO from Summits
JA6: 3 expeditions with 32 QSO from Summits
JA8: 2 expeditions with 67 QSO from Summits

Personally I could make activation on JA, JA6 and JA8 regions in this month.

Regards

Toru Kawauchi
toru@kawauchi.homeip.mydns.jp

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THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH - 102 By Rob and Audrey G4RQJ

This looks like it will be a brief effort this month due to weather and inertia on our part. First outing was a trip up our most local summit LD-049 Kirby Moor on May 29th. The best approach to this hill is the old Slate Road that provides access to the wind farm that occupies the summit. Half of the area has been carted away in times past to provide roof material for the world but the quarries are all on the north side of the hill and avoidable. The Slate Road is surfaced and can be driven up with care and a reasonable ground clearance but the parking at the works building is very limited and we always park at the start of the Road and walk up. An alternative approach is from a disused quarry at Gawthwaite on the A5092 but we stopped using it as the road is frankly lethal to rejoin at a blind hillcrest. Only a couple of months ago an artic, (Semi for any transatlantic readers) doing the legal limit demolished a van with fatal consequences . HF conditions from the summit were truly awful with just one on 40m and 2 on 30m all of which happened in brief bursts when the band worked for a couple of minutes. 2M ssb was its usual silent and fm a longer chatty session. As we walked across the moor on the way down we spotted two people looking lost on the horizon. As we got closer one was seen to be wearing a work helmet and a T shirt tucked under it to keep the sun off his neck. He proved to be a rather eccentric friend of ours and his friend who were out looking for a cave in which to search for geological specimens. As they were mapless on the moor we were rather worried about sending them to the slate quarries but eventually they set off in that direction. No press reports since so guess they survived.

Next weekend on we visited a large local Garden Show and spent the whole day in the sun walking round albeit with proper sun protection but Sunday we were so “cream crackered” we spent the day recovering in the shade (advancing Years!) so no hill! Audrey is our gardener by the way, I waste my time in my “Evil Empire” restoring old WW2 radios, currently a basket case Hallicrafters SX-24

Sunday Jun 12th and a very patchy day weather wise with intense storms in places so we decide on Lambrigg Fell LD 046 another windmill infested top. This hill is easily reached from J37 of the M6 as it is clearly visible on the western side of the motorway. leave the motorway and head towards Kendal, Turn into Rowan Edge Quarry road where there is plenty of space beyond the Quarry entrance, leave room for large lorries turning in. Cross the Kendal road, head West and take the first gate on your right. From the gate a path takes you roughly along the line of a fence and after crossing a small service road continue to follow the line of the fence, now a wall, until reaching a cross wall with a gate… the previous section is often boggy but today is bone dry. At the cross wall there is a choice. On the far side is a bird reserve with lots of notices but the marked actual high point lies along the wall line and takes the form of what can best be described as a small out crop cum dune often in the centre of a marshy lake/bog. On the near side of the wall the ground rises over a couple of little hillocks until one is reached, opposite the afore mentioned dune 20 or so yards away on the other side and the same height, a much better option for activation. Best select you option before starting up this section as the wall is quite tall and there is no gate further along as confirmed by the farmer who had no objections to our activities. On the air things proved difficult, the reason for the repeat was mainly to check the resonance of the antenna on 14Mhz which we did but it did not improve things as there was no propagation! Loads of calling on 7MHz produced just two contacts, nothing on 5Mhz. We eventually managed a run of on 10MHz just ten contacts in difficult conditions thanks to a spot by IK2ILH, many thanks Mau. By now it was very clear that a major storm was closing on us and a quick shout on the 2M handheld produced no takers so we beat a hasty retreat arriving back at the car seconds before all hell broke loose outside so sorry any 2m chasers, staying was not an option.

Sunday 19th and we are up early, sarnies packed and we take a quick weather check before setting off up the coast. All the Isle of Man web cams are showing very heavy rainfall and mist down to sea level. This is a bad sign for the Lake District as under normal conditions what happens on the Island arrives here about an hour later but today it doesn’t take that long and within ten minutes torrential rain sets in and carries on all day with some local flooding. We stay put!

And that’s it for this month and almost time for our Isle of Man expedition. Assuming good weather we should do each of the five summits twice so plenty of time to earn our Worked all GD Summits 2016 Certificate, just work us once on all five and it will drop through your mail box in due time. Spots would be appreciated and hope to work lots of you.

For now take care out there.
73
Rob and Audrey
G4RQJ

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

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SOTA NEWS JULY 2016 - Part 2

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VK SOTA News from Allen VK3ARH

We welcomed Winter and two new Mountain Goats to VK this month.

Mitch (David) - VK3XDM/VK7XDM.
Mitch was introduced to Amateur Radio by Rik VK3EQ through their common interest in volunteer search and rescue and ski patrol. He gained a Foundation Licence in late 2012 and started SOTA with his first activation being a joint expedition with Rik in April 2013. David then upgraded to an Advanced Licence in January 2014 in order to access more bands for SOTA activations and has continued to activate high value remote summits, often in company with Rik, during the bonus period. Given the conditions usually present, these activations are of high value, fast and furious so valued by chasers.

He set a personal challenge to achieve 100 Activator unique, 100 bonus and 1,000 Activator points; which was completed on 17 June. Activations have included VK3, VK5 and VK7 and expeditions have included several First Activations including;
VK3/VE-036 Mt Winstanley,VK3/VE-174 Stilman Plateau,VK3/VE-033 Mt Number 3,VK3/VE-157 Mt Samaria,VK3/VE-140 VE-140,VK7/NW-046 Tinkers Lookout,VK7/NW-048 Gentle Annie,VK7/WC-003 Mount Field West,VK7/WC-005 Rodway Range,VK7/NE-024 Strzelecki Peak,VK7/NE-046 Counsels Peak, VK7/NE-057 Mount Killiecrankie and VK7/CH-022 Rats Castle.

Gerard - VK2IO
Gerard has taken 205 activations over 2.5 years in 25 SOTA regions to reach Mountain Goat status. The qualifying contact was from Mt Tarana VK2/CT-008 today with Nick VK2AOH on 40m CW with Steve VK7CW making it through the pile-up. The mid-week SOTA CW pile up itself an event that would not have been thought it possible a few years ago and deserves acknowledgment in itself.

Gerard’s unique style includes the use of CW during extended weekend and night activations. In typical fashion, Gerard qualified for Goat over the weekend when Sydney had its coldest day since 1996. The cold snap made for very wintery weather so the bonus points hard won. 10 of the 11 planned summits were activated giving 100 activator points including winter bonus.

Gerard qualified Mount Tarana at 1277m in the snow, with a chilly wind and the coldest temps of the weekend qualifying for SOTA Goat. We are all glad it did not turn to rain and cut short the activation.

Again well done to both Mitch and Gerard for gaining SOTA Goat status.

And on the subject of silly old goats out in the cold, several activators combined SOTA and Park activations to participate in the inaugural Freeze Your Butt Off (FYBO https://vk5cz.com/2016/05/13/down-under-fybo/) contest .This contest is to encourage portable operations during cold and possibly wet and windy weather conditions.

Held over 25/26th June during a cold snap which made for very wintery weather. I had planned to activate summits in Mt Buffalo National park with VK3BYD Warren however after checking out the snow on Mt Buffalo decided to stay below the snow line for this event. Bernard, VK2IB was in the ridge line to our left with the same intentions. Gerard VK2IO was busy activating to gain the points required for Goathood. SOTA summits activated during this cold period included;
VK1MBE Andrew on VK1/AC-040
VK2AOH Nick on VK2/CT-005
VK2HRX Crompton on VK2/CT-003
VK2IB/3 Bernard on VK3/VE-241, VK3/VE-144
VK2IO Gerard on VK2/CT-031, VK2/CT-042, VK2/CT-007 & VK2/CT-011
VK3ARH Allen on VK3/VE-126
VK3BYD Warren on VK3/VE-165
VK3GRK Graeme on VK3/VN-016
VK3JBL Andrew on VK3/VC-003
VK6NU John on VK6/SW-039
VK7XDM Mitch on VK7/SC-001
VK7ZMS Murray on VK7/SC-015 & VK7/SC-044

Also there were several park activations braving the cold including;
VK3ANL Nic at Phillip Island
VK4AAC/3 Rob at Churchill National Park
VK5HSX/4 Stef at Camooweal Caves National Park
VK5KLV/P Les at Mount Brown Conservation Park
VK5PAS/P Paul at Ettrick Conservation Park
VK6MB Michael at Sir James Mitchell National Park

My beanie goes off to those who camped in the snow (Gerard VK2IO, Compton VK2HRX and Nick VK2AOH), you’re heroes or barking mad, I’m not sure which.

Thanks to everyone who was out on the day and special thanks to Ian VK5CZ for organising the event.

Reports are coming in ;
Paul VK3HN - https://vk3hn.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/fybo-2016-at-kangaroo-ground/
Allen VK3ARH - https://vk3hra.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/fybo-2016-25-26th-june-2016/

and to continue the reports as to Andrews from abroad checkout,

Andrew VK1AD blog ( https://vk1nam.wordpress.com ) for reports of recent activations
Gaisberg Austria
https://vk1nam.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/sota-gaisberg-austria/
Kaienspitz in Switzerland
https://vk1nam.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/sota-kaienspitz-in-switzerland/
Helwangspitz –- Liechtenstein
https://vk1nam.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/helwangspitz-liechtenstein/
Lake Constance – Bregenz Austria
https://vk1nam.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/lake-constance-bregenz-austria/
OE/OO-420
https://vk1nam.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/my-first-oe-sota-activation-oeoo-420/
Schober OE/OO-265
https://vk1nam.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/first-austrian-summit-schober-oeoo-265/
Shining Tor
https://vk1nam.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/sota-shining-tor-my-first-sota-activation-in-the-uk/

Andrew VK3ARR the activator we can’t keep in VK latest activations in JA - https://vk3arr.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/ja6fo-042-oogusukuyama

Finally Andrew VK1DA ( http://vk1da.net/blog/ ) has documented his trip to the Uk;
http://vk1da.net/blog/2016/06/22/vk1da-in-england-at-sota-summit-np-028/ and recent activations

73
Allen
VK3ARH

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Northern Scotland, Cape Wrath and other first activations – from David G0EVV

Twelve months in the planning, my Sota trip this year was to the 3 one-pointers, two of which are within the Cape Wrath military bombing range and accessible only by passenger ferry (capacity 10 persons). I live just north of Newcastle in the town of Morpeth so the military range is 3 days travel away. Public access to the range is very regulated and access can only be granted with 7 days notice. I had no desire to become a target so compliance with the military requirements was imperative! I also wanted to use the window of decent weather, long daylight hours and as few midges as possible. This suggested as previously the end of May, beginning of June

I looked long and hard at the maps and decided I needed a chuck wagon companion. Chris, a long time friend and mountaineer, was not licensed to radiate RF. His part of the deal was to climb 2 Munros.

Chris was in charge of tent, and the expedition food. The three new ones were GM/NS-149, Beinn Akie, GM/NS-124 Fashven and GM/NS139 Sgribhis-beinn. A few weeks before the planned dates, during a Sota activation in the Tweed Valley, I learnt that Terry G0VWP had similar plans. We agreed to meet up in Durness on Monday 30th May and share the activity.

On the way North, with an overnight stop in Aviemore, Chris and I activated GM/NS-112 Ben Dreave 510m, 34QSOs, a nice hill with a quad-bike track all the way to the top, located about 40miles south of Durness.

On completion of the activation we continued the drive to Durness, met up with Terry on the campsite and booked into the Bunk House. We spent an interesting evening talking with runners who had just finished the un-supported 10day “Ultra Run” from Ullapool to the Cape Wrath lighthouse. Phew!

Monday was a grey day with the cloud base at about 500ft. We had breakfast early and prepared rucksacks for 3 days wild camping and Sotering. Then down to the ferry jetty to meet the boatman at 10:30. We were the second group. Within a few steps I realised how heavy my Bergen rucksack with its side pockets, Sota gear, sleeping bag, bedroll, spare clothing and food for 3 days was.

The Boat trip took about 10 minutes and then off up the single track road towards the Cape.

After about half a mile we took a left off the road towards GM/NS-149 Beinn Akie, then dropped the non-Sota gear and completed the rough grass ascent to the summit . At 288m we were just below the cloud base. Two stations were set up and activations carried out I made 31QSOs.

An hour and a half later we retuned down to the kit drop and continued to our first camp at the base of Fashven GR NC 325659. That rucksack had not become lighter but fortunately our route was across rough but mostly level ground!

After a rain free night we climbed GM/NS-124 Fashven 460m, entered the military range and carried out another double station activation in thick mist. I made 32QSOs.

After descending we cleared camp 1 and walked about 3 miles across more rough ground to Camp 2, South of. Sgribhis-bheinn GR NC 329695

After making camp we climbed GM/NS-139 Sgribhis-bheinn, 371m and undertook our third joint activation. Quite a lot of artillery and mortar debris was visible on the ground but we touched nothing and nothing exploded! I made 37QSOs

After another rain free night we packed up and walked back the 5 miles down the single track road to the ferry.

One near catastrophe was only just avoided. We had not reckoned on summer coming to Scotland on the first of June and earlier ferry sailings. Fortunately there were sufficient punters and we caught the second crossing avoiding a wait of 6 hrs.

Chris and I parted company with Terry and we drove over to Ben Hope to activate GM/NS-122 Feinne-bheinn Mhor before camping in the glen near Ben Hope. I made 32QSOs.

The following day the 2nd June was set for the activation of Ben Hope 927m, we were both feeling the strain so we decided to just do the climb without activation, apologies, but (as the song says) although the spirit was willing, the flesh it was weak!

At the summit cairn we met a couple just completing 50% of the Munros. Chris and I were offered a glass of Champaign, we accepted, it would have been rude to refuse!

The next two nights were spent at the Crask Inn.

This inn was built along with 7 other hostelries to aid travellers in the 1840’s. It is situated 20 miles from nowhere but has a bunkhouse, and beer. The following day was forecast for rain but at 0700 we had low, wet cloud. So an activation of GM/NS-014 Ben Klibreck 961m was agreed.
On the way up we collected a fellow traveller (Brian) who was 2 short of completing his Munros. Brian was not a happy bunny in the thick mist.

On the summit there are the remnants of 2 trig points, in successive events, both appear to have been blown off their pedestals by some cunning explosive device. In heavy rain a quick activation with 19QSOs was completed prior to descending down the hill to the bunkhouse.

On the final day we left the bunkhouse early and ascended GM/NS-119 Meall an Fhuarain 473m, the last new activation. After an easy ascent, Chris and I set up the Sota equipment and activated the summit. I made 40 QSOs.

After descending, and a much needed shower at the Crask, we drove south, overnighting once again in Aviemore

Sota kit:

FT857 at 50Watts
Link dipole for 60/40/30/20
Competition Roach Pole, feed point 20ft AGL
RG58 feeder and current balun
2 X 5Ah 3 cell Lipo batteries in parallel 2 sets taken, on expedition, re-charged on the car.
Hi Mound manipulator and bugambic keyer
Ear bud phones
Home brew electret tie mike
Waterproof paper

Thanks:
To Terry for his company and local knowledge.
To Chris for total support in return for 2 new Munros.
To all the chasers and the MT.
To Christine for still talking to me.
To Hill Baggers.co.uk for access ideas and maps
To Google Earth for assistance with topography and locating parking spots

Midges few
Ticks one, non attached, now dead
WX, cool, misty, sunny, wet, wind light

David G0EVV

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A Year Later by Geert PA7ZEE

In 2015 I had planned to combine a visit to Ham Radio with the activation of some summits in that area. A drive to the Bodensee area means 9 hours drive minimum from the Netherlands. On arrival on the west part of the Bodensee, I activated DM/BW-359 and -361. After that I had a good beer and a meal followed by good sleep. The next day I drove to Malbun in Lichtenstein, took the elevator and walked to the Augstenberg HB0/LI-004. Living below sea level it was not easy to do this without any accomodation. After my activation two other SOTA enthousists came up. It were Zoli YO2PB and Adé YO2LIW. We had a good talk and made some pictures.

After the Augstenberg I walked to the Pfālzerhütte where I had a quick drink and then I walked to Naafkopf HB0/LI-002. I passed some unexpected snow fields and every 15 minutes I had to rest because of the effect of the altitude on me. I felt terrible and about to vomit. After the activation I headed for the Pfālzerhütte where I had a reservation for the night. On the way down I slipped in a snow field and slided down. I managed to stop my self from sliding down by using hands and feet as anchor. It took me 15 minutes to reach a place without snow. My hands than became very painfull. Finally I came fully exhausted in the Pfālzerhütte. The Lady there brought me, without asking, a huge beer followed by a Bergsteiger. This is a meal with nudels, meat and some vegetables. At nine o clock I was in my bunk. No sleep that night because my heartbeat was still over 100 strokes per minute; normally it is around 50 since I have runned many marathons in the past. The other morning I felt much better and after breakfast, I walked down to Malbun where my car was waiting. From there I drove to Auf dem Hochstrasz DL/AL-227. After that activation I went to Ham Radio but by than the exibition was almost at the end.

Why this story a year later? Well looking back, I was very lucky with the weather compared with this year. I also realize that, beiing now 76 years young, maybe this was the last time that I could have had such a fantastic experience.
This year I met many SOTA friends on Saturday which was great.

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SOTA ON TOP BAND - Mark G0VOF
Hello everyone & welcome to this month’s edition of SOTA on Top Band.

Three activators ventured onto Top Band this month, with varying degrees of success. All of these activations took place with daylight fully established so conditions on the low bands were going to be difficult.

During June, John G4YSS took his annual trip to the English Lake District (G/LD) & included 160m on three of his activations. This first summit to feature 160m was G/LD-004 Skiddaw on 7th June where John managed 2 CW QSO’s with Phil G4OBK who has a very good Top Band station, & Roy G4SSH who manages very well with what is effectively a very short, non-resonant vertical on Top Band!

A detailed report can be found here:
G4YSS: G/LD-004, Skiddaw HF-QRO & VHF-QRP, 07-06-16

A short time after John was QRV, thanks to Ian VK5CZ for organisinand, Heinz HB9BCB/P spotted himself on 1832KHz from HB/BE-109 Blasenflue / Blaseflue, & a short time after that, Jan OK2PDT/P spotted himself on 1831KHz from OK/VY-040 Holý vrch! Sadly, neither Heinz nor Jan managed to work any chasers, or each other, but certainly having several activators out on the band at the same time is the only way summit to summit contacts are made. These are still quite a rare thing on Top Band, so well done both Heinz & Jan for trying!

The following day John G4YSS, again using GX0OOO/P, was active from G/LD-008 Blencathra - Hallsfell Top & again with daylight fully established only one CW QSO was made, again with Phil G4OBK. Midges were a problem, as was static build-up from the rain, however John came up with an ingenious solution which you will see in his report.

John’s report on this activation can be found here:
G4YSS: G/LD-008 Blencathra on 08-06-16

On Thursday 9th June John was again active on Top Band from the highest peak in England G/LD-001 Scafell Pike. After sessions on various HF & VHF bands John dropped onto 160m & was rewarded with two CW QSO’s, with Phil G4OBK & this time also with Roy G4SSH.

Another of John’s superb reports can be found here:
G4YSS: G/LD-001 Scafell Pike on 09-06-16

John has also posted a topic containing links to all his G/LD activations this trip which are also well worth a read which can be found here:
G4YSS: Lakes Week 2016, G/LD20-LD23-LD4-LD8-LD1 Report Links

The final activation on 160m this month came on 21st June when Jan OK2PDT/P tried the band during an activation of OK/VY-053 Duforty. Again, as daylight was fully established, conditions were difficult & Jan could not raise any chasers, but again well done for trying!

Congratulations & well done John, Heinz & Jan.

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

On 7 June, John GX0OOO/P (G4YSS) Activated G/LD-004 Skiddaw & made 2 QSO’s (2 CW / 0 SSB)
On 7 June, Heinz HB9BCB/P Activated HB/BE-109 Blasenflue / Blaseflue & made 0 QSO’s (0 CW / 0 SSB)
On 7 June, Jan OK2PDT/P Activated OK/VY-040 Holý vrch & made 0 QSO’s (0 CW / 0 SSB)
On 8 June, John GX0OOO/P (G4YSS) Activated G/LD-008 Blencathra - Hallsfell Top & made 1 QSO’s (1 CW / 0 SSB)
On 9 June, John GX0OOO/P (G4YSS) Activated G/LD-001 Scafell Pike & made 2 QSO’s (2 CW / 0 SSB)
On 21 June, Jan OK2PDT/P Activated OK/VY-053 Duforty & made 0 QSO’s (0 CW / 0 SSB)

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

Until next month,

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF

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*********** SOTA NEWS PART 3 FOLLOWS BELOW ********

2 Likes

SOTA NEWS JULY 2016 - Part 3

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GX0OOO G/NP-008 Great Whernisde 2nd-3rd July 2016

John G4YSS/p (operating as GX0OOO/p) will be operating from Great Whernside NP-008 during this coming weekend 2nd-3rd July, giving points to stations in the VHF NFD contest and for SOTA contacts. John will not be entering the contest, just giving points.

Weather permitting, he will be camping overnight and may be active from 2100z Saturday on HF, and top band. He will also be on HF for SOTA contacts after the contest ends at 1500z.

He will be active in the contest on 2m and 70cm. (Report, SRL & LOC required on VHF). On 2m SSB he will using 50w to a 3 ele beam and for 70cm he will be using 20w to a 9 ele beam. If the weather / forecast is poor he may restrict this to a one day event, or even cancel.

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CW REPORT FOR JUNE 2016 - Roy G4SSH

At the beginning of the month David GM0EVV and Terry GM0VWP were continuing their expedition in the remote Cape Wrath region of Sutherland, activating a string of remote first activations, whilst Tom MI1EYP and Jimmy MI0HGY continued their expedition around the GI region.

John G4YSS was also active daily, as GX0OOO/p from his annual holiday location in the Lake District and again made many chasers happy by concentrating on the 80 and 160m bands.

The weekend of Friday the 10th produced a feast of cross border multi activations:-

On the air from France was:- Kurt F/HB9AFI, Heinz F/HB9BCB, Pierre F/HB9AMO, and Markus F/HB9BRJ, whilst active from Germany was Markus DL/HB9BRJ, Ken DL/GM0AXY, Jürg DL/HB9BIN and Chris DL/ON6ZQ,( using his trade mark “UP 1”) procedure, on 10 MHZ, and EG2UNA was active as a special call for EA2 SOTA day on the 12th.

Around the middle of the month Phil G4OBK was active from Europe whilst on holiday as OE/G4OBK and several summits in the Ammergau Alps as DL/G4OBK. Vlad was active as RX9WT from the Southern Urals and there was a joint expedition by Marko DL/OH9XX and Max DL/DK1MAX in Germany.

Special event SOTA callsign S5100IF from Slovenia and SO9TA from Poland were active over the weekend of 18-19th June. Also OE/NSOTA from Austria on the 28th.

The 24th-26th June was Friedrichshafen weekend, with amateur radio enthusiasts attending from across Europe and many SOTA ops signing DL/, HB/, F/ and OE/ taking the opportunity to activate summits on their route to the exhibition.

Stations active during the remainder of the month included Geert DL/PA7ZEE activating numerous summits, Slavko TK/S53XX from Corsica, Milosz OM/SQ9PND from Slovakia, Karoily YO/HA8BJP from Romania, Kurt HB0/HB9AFI from Luxemburg and Germany, Jürg DL/HB9BIN from Germany and Jany LZ1GJ from Bulgaria.

73 Roy G4SSH

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SOTA ACTIVITY REPORT FOR JUNE 2016 by Kevin G0NUP

SOTA activators submitting entries to the database for 10m, 6m and 1240 MHz during June 2016. These files produced on 30th June - by Kevin G0NUP.

Mode: CW on 28MHz: activity for June

DL6FBK/P, EA2WX/P, F5UKL/P, F8TMQ/P, HB9CBR/P, HB9CGA/P, HB9IIO/P,
JH0CJH/1, JH0CJH/8, JP3DGT/3, LZ1GJ/P, OE5EEP/P, OE5EIN/P, OK1MLP/P,
OK2PDT/P

Mode: CW on 50MHz: activity for June

G3RDQ/P, HA5MA/P, JF1NDT/1, JG1GPY/1, JO3ALU/3, KD7WPJ, LZ1GJ/P,
OK2PDT/P, YO/HA8BJ/P

Mode: CW on 1240MHz: activity for June

Mode: FM on 28MHz: activity for June

Mode: FM on 50MHz: activity for June

KK4OSG, KM6CEM, N4STG, OK1DEU/P

Mode: FM on 1240MHz: activity for June

JS1GRO/1, MM0GYX/P, OK1DEU/P, WB9KMW, WW7D

Mode: SSB on 28MHz: activity for June

CT1END/P, DG7ACF/P, DL6FBK/P, DO1DJJ/P, EG2UNA, EI7GMB, F8TMQ/P,
HA5CQZ/P, HA5OT, HB9SHD/P, IW2OBX/P, JH0CJH/8, JI1IHV/1, K5RHD,
KB6CIO, KD4FTN, KK4OSG, LA5WNA/P, LZ1GJ/P, N6MKW, OE1ENS/P,
OK2PDT/P, S56LXN/P, S57MS/P, SV2CNE/P, SV2OXS/P, SV3IEG/P, SV5/SV2CNE/P,
WB7ENX, WX4ET/P

Mode: SSB on 50MHz: activity for June

9A/S56LXN/P, 9A/S57MS/P, CT2IUV/P, G1ZJQ/P, HB9SHD/P, HB9ZCW/P, I1WKN,
IW2NHE/P, JF1NDT/1, JG1GPY/1, JH0CJH/1, JH1EWV/1, JI1GBE/1, JI1IHV/1,
JI1IKC/1, JL1BWG/1, JM3HRC/3, JO3ALU/3, JS1UEH/0, JS1UEH/7, K0NR,
K6CMG, K7ATN, K7MK, K9SWT, KD7WPJ, KE7MSU, KJ6GLR,
KJ6QDU, KK4OSG, KK6TMN, OE5JKL/P, OK1DEU/P, S51TX/P, S55VN/P,
S56LXN/P, S57MS/P, SV2OXS/P, W6BJB

Mode: SSB on 1240MHz: activity for June

WB9KMW

Regards
Kevin J Prince G0NUP

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SOTA News is normally published on the last day of each month, but there will be occasions when the Editor is not available at this time, in which case it will be published as soon as possible afterwards. It can only be as interesting as the items submitted, so if you think your particular field of interest is not being covered then please submit an article by the 25th of the month.

Have you a favourite SOTA? favourite mode? favourite rig, antenna, or favourite band? How did you find your first day / month / year as an activator or chaser? Your comments and experiences will be read by enthusiasts all across Europe, the USA, Australia and beyond, in a total of 114 different SOTA associations worldwide. Your input will be most welcome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Japanese reports to
Toru JH0CJH
jh0cjh@jarl.com

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

3 Likes

The DB pages showing dynamic data will be replaced with fixed pages of final adjudicated results in the next few days.

The stations signing HB/ in fact were using a wrong prefix, as the CEPT T/R 61-01 explicitely states the prefix HB9 has to be used. The CEPT novice class has to use HB3/homecall according to CEPT ECC (05)/06. So HB is wrong in any case.
The unfortunate SOTA association prefix HB for Switzerland promotes this error as discussed in Invalid prefix HB

73 de Michael, DB7MM

Hi all,

This months SOTA New Zealand report now added.

Thanks & 73,

Mark G0VOF