SOTA NEWS - JUNE 2013
EDITORIAL â€“ by Roy G4SSH
Welcome to the June 2013 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Andy MM0FMF, Barry GM4TOE, Skip K6DGW, Reinhard OE1RHC, Gerhard OE1WED, Chris OE3CHC, Mark G0VOF, Rob and Audrey G4RQJ, Rod M0JLA, Viki M6BWA, Kevin G0NUP, Allen VK3HRA.
From Andy MM0FMF - Database Manager
The 12m Challenge starts June 1st 2013 and runs to May 31st 2014. There
are 2 sections, one for chasers and one for activators. Any 12m QSO will
score and there are multiplierâ€™s for each unique summit you chase or activate.
The database is fully aware of the rules and will automatically tally
your 12m Challenge score. There will be an honour roll in a few weeks
time. You can check your score by visiting the My Awards page where your
12m Challenge activator and chaser scores are shown at the bottom.
I want to thank everyone who commented on the proposals and everyone who
has been in touch with feedback. It has been a great help to have so
much positive input. There have been a few bugs and a few rough edges
which should be sorted now. There is probably a little more to do to
improve the displays during upload but that is a gradual process.
If you do find a bug or something does not appear to be correct, please
email me with the word DATABASE in the subject.
We reached the 6000+ users stage towards the end of May. There are, of
course, some dormant accounts amongst those 6000+. Sadly some belong to
some of our colleagues who are now SK. Some belong to others who are no
longer interested in SOTA. But it is both reassuring and somewhat scary
to see that SOTA continues to attract new users. Scary in that I have to
make sure we keep the database provisioned with sufficient resources. I
did some work in rejecting many bizarre search engines and bots which
were using up huge amounts of transfer bandwidth. That has got the
figures down to around 6-7GB per month. There are on average 26000
database page views every day. That’s quite a lot!
SOTA AWARDS FOR MAY 2013 By Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager
This month has broken all records for the number of claims for awards. If the number increases at this rate I will be looking for a pay rise (what pay?) . Rather than picking out claimants for specific mention of the level of award this month I would like to highlight the very first claim for the new SOTA Complete award, appropriately by the person who first suggested it â€“ GM4COX. There are numerous awards claimed by the North American associations and a steady rise in those claimed from Down Under as well, including two Shack Sloths. The summit to summit award is seeing an upsurge in the number of claimants too. I cannot pass by mentioning one claim which challenged me to get their name on the certificate without a change of font size â€“ EA3HLM, Rosario’s name just fits into the space without impinging on the protected area for framing!
Anyway, congratulations to everybody who made a claim this month, it has certainly made sure I am not short of work.
F5HTR Robert Ducroux
WA2USA Dennis G Martin
G6LUZ Stephen Morgan
VK3AFW Ron Cook
ON6ZQ Christophe David
VK3HRA Allen Harvie
AD5A Mike Crownover
EA2BSB Santi Arana
OE6PID Peter Schantl 1000 points
OE6BID Barbara Schantl 1000 points
NM5S Alan Shapiro 1000 points
OE6MGG Gerald Meister 500 points
SV2KBB Archelaos Iakovidis 500 points
VK3HRA Allen Harvie 250 points
G4ISJ Peter Martin 100 points
OE6KPF Kersten Pischler 100 points
OK1DIG Daniel Glanc 250 summits
OE6PID Peter Schantl 100 summits
OE6BID Barbara Schantl 100 summits
G6TUH Michael Morrissey 5000 points
KC3RT Gene Patterson 5000 points
W0MNA Gary Auchard 5000 points
2E0FGQ Nick Bennett 2500 points
KG7E Jim Kornacki 1500 points
G6LUZ Stephen Morgan 1000 points
VK3AFW Ron Cook 1000 points
ON6ZQ Christophe David 1000 points
NM5S Alan Shapiro 1000 points
VK1IRC Peter Menham 250 points
N6KZ Jim Zimmerman 250 points
M0HIQ Derek Cotton 100 points
VK1IRC Peter Menham 100 points
OZ6KS Erik Jacobsen 100 points
VK2JI Ed Durrant 100 points
LA9XSA Gunnar Rene Oie 100 points
VK3ANL Nicholas Lock 100 points
K0AZ Mike Sanders 100 points
NE4TN Walter Beaton 100 points
N6KZ Jim Zimmerman 100 points
VK5LA Andy Williss 100 points
EA3HKY Casiano Lopez Arenas 100 points
EA3HLM Rosario Bermejo Gomez de Rozas 100 points
W0ERI Martha Auchard 100 points
N4EX Rich Homolya 2500 summits
G6TUH Michael Morrissey 1000 summits
W0MNA Gary Auchard 500 summits
2E0FGQ Nick Bennett 500 summits
W0MNA Gary Auchard 500 summits
SV2OXS Christos Tzioutzias 100 summits
VK1NAM Andrew Moseley 100 summits
G7KXZ Kevin Holdford Bronze
NM5S Alan Shapiro Bronze
S52CU Mirko Curk Platinum
M1MAJ Martyn Johnson Gold
G6TUH Michael Morrissey Gold
VK5PAS Paul Simmonds Bronze
NM5S Alan Shapiro Bronze
Summit to Summit
OK1DVM Miroslav Vohlidal Silver
OK1DVM Miroslav Vohlidal Bronze
MW0IML Barry Vile Bronze
OK1DIG Daniel Glanc Red
G4ISJ Peter Martin Red
VK3HRA Allen Harvie Red
NM5S Alan Shapiro Red
GM4COX Jack Hood 100 points
10th Anniversary Award
GM4COX Jack Hood GM Activator
GM4COX Jack Hood GM Chaser
GW4VPX Allan Jones GW Chaser
Hopefully things will calm down a little now all the current award schemes are up and running. There is still a task to devise a new certificate for Andy’s 12m challenge, but as that runs for a year I have time to consult with the Management Team on what might be appropriate.
Once again I have been caught out by the demand for flags so a new (larger) order has just been placed to top up my stock levels. By the time this report is published I should have a new product line for the SOTA shop. Following discussions with a number of people we will have available an embroidered badge featuring the SOTA logo. This is beautifully made in full colour and with the beams of light in metallic gold thread. In addition to the standard format I will also have available, for those that qualify, the same badge but with either â€œMountain Goatâ€ or â€œShack Slothâ€ embroidered onto it. The price I have managed to negotiate with my supplier makes this a very competitive purchase indeed and at 75mm (about 3 inches) in diameter should look really attractive sewn onto your favourite jacket or fleece.
I have had an offer from Australia to hold stocks of the smaller items of merchandise so that they can be posted out at a local rate rather than attracting the obscene postal rates for shipping from the UK. Once I have managed to package together a suitable sized shipment to go to Australia I will modify the shopping system to take into account the reduced charges and the facility will go live. Remember, smaller items like window and bumper stickers will fit into the envelope for a certificate and will probably travel without additional postal charges.
With the summer (!) season about to start in the North I am holding a reasonable stock of T-Shirts and Polo Shirts in most sizes and colours and can ship at quite short notice. The insulated mugs would also keep your beer cold, as well as keeping your coffee warm, just the thing after a long day activating!
If you are visiting Scotland this summer and choose to activate some ES summits in the Cairngorms please look me up, I can usually be persuaded to supply coffee and have even been known to stand my hand in the bar next door!
Take care on the hills
SOTA Awards Manager
SOTA News also congratulates:-
Gerald MW0WML, who has upgraded from 2W0GDA
Mike 2E0YYY for gaining 1000 S2S points
Todd N4LA on qualifying for Shack Sloth on the 28th May
Paul HB9DST who passed the halfway mark, with 500 points towards his Mountain Goat, all uniques.
Miro, OK1DVM, who earned 100 S2S points in a single day, on the 18th May.
Heinz HB9BCB who gained 109 S2S points from 21 contacts on the same day.
VIENNA SOTA DAY SPRING 2013 - 26th May 2013
After a first try last year the OE1-association announced the “Vienna SOTA
Day spring 2013” at 26.05.2013.
The activity was well prepared with a list of activators and summits in and
around Vienna, including main operating QRGâ€™s for each summit, to avoid
confusing pile-ups, especially for the newcomers.
The main goal was to have fun, promote HAM-Radio and SOTA and to give
newcomers the opportunity to make their first QSOâ€™s. Unfortunately some of
the newcomers who passed the exam some weeks ago didn’t get their callsign
until the event. Another exam occurred on Monday and Tuesday after the event
but the time schedule was very tight and May, 26 was considered as the
Optimum during planning.
So from about 11:30 LT many groups and single operators from OE1 and also
some from OE3 and OE5 region spread out to activate the summits.
The weather report had predicted rain and cold weather and the newspapers
wrote “colder than Christmas day”. It was cloudy and there was a
considerable amount of wind on most of the summits, but no rain on any
The main activity took place at 145 MHz FM and from 145,450 to 145,575 every
channel was busy with activations.
We think that was more activity than heard for months, maybe years, at least
Some of the activators were also QRV on 6m and HF in SSB and CW, but on some
summits the conditions for HF were not really friendly.
For instance on HÃ¶llensteinberg there was QRN of S9+ on 20m making QSOâ€™s
absolutely impossible on this band.
Although there are not all logs online at the moment, there were 11 summits
activated by 23 Operators during the event
and for sure up to 200 s2s-QSOâ€™s took place.
We want to highlight, that some of the newcomers did their first ever QSO at
this event - congratulations!
Following the list of activated summits and operators:
After the successful activations some of us met in a restaurant in Vienna
for consuming some food and beer, for discussions and for planning the next
Inge, OE5IRO and Peter, OE5RTP took a 2 hour drive (one direction) to join
the event on two summits in Vienna. On their way from the summit they also
did their 50 QSOâ€™s for activating Hermesvilla for the COTA (Castles on the
air) program. They told that it was rather cold at the end of the COTA
The summits in and around Vienna are rather low-level and everyone was
able to walk up to his favourite summit.
As already seen on Vienna SOTA day fall 2012 (Nov. 11, 2012) there were some
activators who decided their participation in the last Minute and couldn’t
get a fixed frequency for their summit anymore.
These summits were “moving around” through the 2m band and it was a real
chase to get them. This even added to the fun of the activation.
Though nobody is obliged to “register”, it makes life a bit easier, at least
when you keep a copy of the list with you.
Activators, who decide on the same day are very welcome anyway.
There are 41 SOTA activators registered in the database from Vienna
(OE1) and the surrounding Lower Austria (OE3) and 21 of them were on a
summit on this Sunday. An unexpected plus were Peter (OE5RTP) and Inge
(OE5IRO), the two activators from Upper Austria (OE5). Some of the
activators started their activation career on Vienna SOTA day fall 2012.
Thanks to all activators and chasers in and around Vienna and Austria for a
really exciting HAM-Radio-Day.
Looking forward the next “Vienna SOTA Day”!
73 de Reinhard-OE1RHC, Gerhard-OE1WED and Chris-OE3CHC
U.S.A / CANADA REPORT - from Skip K6DGW
SOTA activity apparently reached a peak in April what with all the
organized activity … for May, things declined to more normal levels.
In the latter half of the month, solar conditions sort of peaked with
flux indices in the 140-150 range. Unfortunately, we had a period of a
few days with high M/low X-class flares in a steady stream of 2 or 3 a
day. The resulting CME’s, though not overwhelming, kept A and K high
and conditions were at best, unpredictable.
By the time you read this the SOTA 12m Challenge will be underway. 10m
was open during the WPX CW so hopefully we can scare up some activity on
a very underutilized band.
STATISTICS: As always, the numbers in ] are last months totals for
comparison. And, I still have one summit name with extra commas [the
Unk’s], just no time to fix the program. Note that 12m activity was up
NORTH AMERICA TOTALS
Total Activations: 247 
Nr Unique Activators: 80 
Total Chaser QSOâ€™s: 3410 
Nr Unique Chasers: 139 
Total Summits Activated: 230 
Unique Summits: 179 
2m: 42 (1%) 
6m: 4 (0%) 
10m: 2 (0%) 
12m: 19 (0%) 
15m: 169 (4%) 
17m: 213 (6%) 
20m: 2112 (61%) 
30m: 227 (6%) 
40m: 621 (18%) 
60m: 0 (0%) 
80m: 0 (0%) 
160m: 0 (0%) 
CW: 2445 (71%) 
SSB: 921 (27%) 
FM: 42 (1%) 
AM: 0 (0%) 
Data: 0 (0%) 
Other: 0 (0%) 
AWARDS and ACHIEVEMENTS:
Mike, AD5A writes: "I crossed the 1,000 point barrier today [25 May] and
in the words of W4ZV, I am a certified SOTAholic. I worked W6UB this
morning on 40m from Black Balsam Knob to get me over the 1K point total.
I am hopelessly hooked and I look forward to getting some activations
under my belt. With the closest accessible summit being ~7 hours away I
will have to travel to do activations. I plan to be in NH and VT a week
from next Thursday and will have 3 days to activate a few summits. I
started keeping track on February 2, 2013"
Congratulations Mike! Mike supplied his Top Activators worked:
WO6M/NA6MG: 12 summits
W4TZM: 66 points
Todd N4LA reports: “I would like to thank Dennis (WA2USA) and Rich
(N4EX) for their SOTA activation efforts today, as well as all the
activators I’ve worked in the past few months. This morning, 28 May, I
worked Dennis (WA2USA)at 15:23 UTC (7.033 cw) on (W4G/NG-023) Big Cedar
Mountain in Georgia. This contact allowed me to surpass the 1000 pt
chaser milestone and qualify for the SOTA Shack Sloth award!”
“Guess I’m now a official SOTA-HOLIC. Thanks again to all who helped me
reach this milestone – SOTA Rocks !!!”
And speaking of WA2USA, Phil, NS7P reports that Dennis made Mountain
Goat this month also, and points out that this is somewhat remarkable
since Dennis lives in Indiana. [Ed note: For those unfamiliar with the
topography of North America, that portion known as Indiana gives new
meaning to the term “flat”] And, Dennis has joined the elite group of
N4EX and NS7P with over 10K chaser points in North America.
NA SOTA NEWS:
Guy, N7UN reports: “The W7U-Utah update “launched” today [1 May] with
the upload to the SOTA database of 1,453 new summits to the existing 123
summits. Utah with 1,576 total summits, now offers a lot of Activator
choices. The previous summits are in “overlay” North (“NU”) and South
(“SU”) SOTA Regions while the new summits are organized by Counties. An
easy way to see the new summits is to visit
Sotadata3 then select W7U from the
dropdown menu and then the County/Region from the adjacent dropdown
menu. On the right is a hot link to a Region Map (SOTAmaps at
http://sotamaps.wsstvc.org/index.php ). This is a great tool for
planning an Activation and to visually view the summit locations with
each summit icon color-coded by points. The W7U ARM (Association
Reference Manual) Word document will be available in the next few days.”
“With this upload, the W7 FCC Call Area is complete with over 17,500
It should be noted that Guy has put a tremendous effort to get a
comprehensive summit listing for the entire 7th Call Area which covers 8
states, and he also functions as the AM for Oregon, Nevada, Montana,
Wyoming, and Utah. Thanks for all the work Guy!
And, while it isn’t “news” yet as I write this, it’s too cool a plan not
to mention. Todd, NM5SW, calls it, “Convergence: 4 summits, 4 regions,
4 states, 4 grid squares, ONE DAY!” The plan is to activate
-Pastora Peak, WA7/AE-015
-Abajo Peak, W7U/SU-014
-Park Point, WO/SJ-019
-Lone Tree Mt, W5N/NL-005
They’re planning to complete this in one radio day beginning on 8 Jun,
beginning at 0001Z [1800 Mountain time]. WA7/AE-015 is on Navajo Nation
land and they’ve obtained a one-time permit for the expedition.
For those not familiar with the state lines in the US, this is the only
point in the country were four states meet. It’s remote southwestern
desert, and pretty wild. There is a marker there, Google “Four Corners”
and click on Images. Possibly Todd would consider a special QSL card?
ACTIVATION REPORT OF THE MONTH:
For April, it comes from Andrew, KD5ZZK, who is the Arkansas Manager,
but lives in Louisiana. He activated W5M/MS-001, the only qualifying
Mississippi SOTA summit. He reports:
“My last attempt was aborted due to many ‘Posted’ and ‘No Trespassing’
signs along the woods leading to the summit. I had driven down Townsend
Rd as seen on Google maps, and found a house (shack) that belonged in a
Third World country. I didn’t attempt to make contact with the people
inside due to a pack of hound dogs that surrounded my truck, jumped on
my doors, and bit my tires!”
“This time, my goal was to have a meeting with the Choctaw County
Sheriff. My intent was to ask the Sheriff about the folks that live on
Townsend Rd. I’ve been a Deputy Sheriff for the last 19 years. I didn’t
want to inadvertently walk up on a meth lab or marijuana operation and
get shot. Choctaw County Mississippi has total population of less than
9,000 people. If the folks on Townsend Rd were ‘bad news’, the Sheriff
would definitely be able to tell me.”
"Before driving to Ackerman, MS to meet with the Sheriff, I drove to the
summit area. A logging crew was harvesting timber on the east side of
the summit along Hopewell-McCool Rd. I got out and asked them if they
knew the landowner of the County Highpoint just up the hill. As luck
would have it, the landowner was the guy I asked! I introduced myself
and explained that I had just driven up from Baton Rouge, LA. He was
very friendly and introduced himself as Mr. Billy Hunt. He was an older
man and knew what Ham Radio was, but not interested in it himself. I
explained what SOTA was and my interest in hiking to the County
Highpoint. He quickly said “Yeah, no problem”.
“When I explained that other SOTA Activators may also want to hike up
there, he said his permission was open to other Hams as well! He even
told me than another route to the top could be found on the northwest
side from Burks Rd. He doesnâ€™t live locally and said we don’t have to
contact him each time for permission. The permission is open for SOTA
Activators. He told me that some of his friends live nearby.”
“‘If anyone stops and asks ya’ll what ya’ll are doin’ on the property,
just tell ‘em Mr. Billy Hunt said ya’ll could go up there with yer Ham
radios’. He lets his friends hunt the property during deer season and
suggested that may not be a good time for us to be hiking to the
summit.” I’ll post this information to SOTAwatch including his name, Mr
Billy Hunt. The one and only qualifying SOTA summit in the
W5M-Mississippi Association is on private property, but now has open access!
Andrew’s efforts for the summit is a great example of perseverance to
gain access to private land and open it to other SOTA activators.
That’s it for this report, summer has finally arrived in Northern
California, we’re heading for 100F [38C] this weekend.
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude
VK SOTA REPORT from Allen VK3HRA
Whilst there have been a few drenched activations, overall the weather has
been congenial for activating. Winter is finally here and so the bonus
activation period is upon us presenting opportunities for adventurous
activators to take advantage of the increased scores for higher summits.
Congratulations go outVK3AFW Ron and VK3HRA Allen who achieved 1000
chaser points obtaining the Shack Sloth award. VK3KAB achieved 100
activator points in a hurry.
Activity was hectic with 18 unique activators active over the month. We
welcome new activators VK3DEE, VK1FB, VK3XL and VK3PI. VK3DEE activated
three summits whilst VK3PI gained a S2S and multiple band activations
including 6m on the first venture.
The highlight of the month was activations for the new region VK9. The
VK9NT DX-expedition team received notification on 2 May confirming that
the SOTA VK9 (External Territories) for Norfolk Island had been approved
in time for the expedition to Norfolk Island planned to commence 3rd
May. Several conversations with the DX team during the week confirmed
they intended to activate VK9/NO-001 on Saturday 11th. It was the quick
and dead. The first VK9 S2S goes to Wayne VK3WAM who gathered his gear
and headed up to a local summit when he heard that VK9NT had decided to
activate the new SOTA summit on Thursday earlier than the originally
planned Saturday. On Saturday there were several stations were out and
waiting for the VK9 activation to gain VK9 S2S contacts. VK3KAN Rik,
VK3MRG Marshall, VK3HRA Allen and VK3WAM Wayne made S2S contacts with
VK3CBV/9 and VK3QB/9 under harsh conditions.
Summaries of activations and upcoming plans are being documented via
blogs. The subjects covered are broad and provide a valuable source of
information for planning activations as well as an insight to the
experience from the other side.
VK SOTA Blogs,
VK1DA Andrew http://vk1da.net/blog
VK1DI Ian http://vk1di.blogspot.com/
VK2JI Ed http://vk2ji.com
VK3BYD Warren http://vk3byd.wordpress.com/
VK3HRA Allen http://vk3hra.wordpress.com/
VK3MRG Marshall http://vk3mrg.weebly.com/
VK3PF Peter http://vk3pf.wordpress.com/
VK3WAM Wayne http://waynemerry.wordpress.com/
VK3YY Glenn http://vk3yy.wordpress.com/
VK3ZPF Peter http://www.vk3zpf.com/
VK5AKH Andy http://vk5.akh.id.au/
VK5LA Andy http://vk5la.wordpress.com
VK5PAS Paul http://vk5pas.wordpress.com/
73 for now,
A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE - by Roy G4SSH
While on holiday last month I was travelling with a small group on an expedition into the Daintree Tropical Rainforest, north of Port Douglas in Queensland. We had just pulled off the road to have lunch in the small village of Karunda and were sat at a table outside whilst the tour guide was explaining our plans for the afternoon. We were all on first name terms and had become firm friends.
I was quite taken aback when one of the Australian couples (on holiday from Sydney) asked the guide if he would kindly shut up for a few minutes because they wanted to hear Roy speak. I almost spilled my drink in shock and asked the obvious question of â€œwhy me?â€
The answer was most interesting. It would appear that the majority of Australians can proudly trace their ancestors back to the U.K. and the ancestors of this couple came from Whitby, which is just 20 miles north of my home town of Scarborough in North Yorkshire. The request for me to speak was so that they could record me on their mobile phone and they did not care what I spoke about.
In desperation I fell back on a familiar subject and gave them a two-minute outline of the radio amateur network and the Summits On The Air scheme, with emphasis on the recent rapid development in Australia.
The lady thanked me and said that they were most grateful that they now had a treasured recording of how their great grandparents sounded, to play back to their children. She had tears in her eyes, but I am not sure whether these were the result of my Yorkshire accent or the subject matter.
As we drove off to Cape Tribulation and back along the Captain Cook highway I wondered if I had sown a small seed for Ham Radio and SOTA, to be played at small gatherings for years to come.
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 this month, despite the shorter nights making longer distance contacts more difficult, especially for those using QRP.
First, on Saturday 4th May was Wolf DK1HW/P who gave the band a try at the end of a day on DM/NS-123 Reinekensiekskopf. Wolf made 5 contacts all using CW.
Shortly after Wolf had finished his activation, Klaus DF2GN/P began calling on 1834.5 KHz CW from DM/BW-057 Lupfen, but sadly did not make any contacts on 160m on this occasion. Klaus also tried 160m from DM/BW-228 Hummelsberg during an activation on Sunday 12th May, again having no luck on the band.
Not to be daunted, Klaus again tried 160m when he returned to DM/BW-228 Hummelsberg on Friday 17th May. This time, his luck was in & his perseverance was rewarded with 3 contacts on the band, all using CW. Many chasers were listening for Klaus, including myself but unfortunately for me my noise level was too high.
The next activation on Top Band came on Saturday 18th May when Ricky MW6GWR/P activated GW/NW-033 Tarren y Gesail. Ricky made one contact on the band using SSB.
Ricky was also active on the band from a second summit that day, GW/NW-036 Tarrenhendre, where he again made one contact using SSB. Ricky becomes the first to activate both of these summits on 160m, very well done Ricky!
On a similar note, some of you may remember that I activated G/SP-005 Pendle Hill last September & was fortunate enough to make four separate contacts on 160m, two using CW & two using SSB. This was the first time Pendle Hill had been activated on Top Band & my second QSO was a summit to summit with John G4YSS (Using GO0OOO/P) from G/LD-024 Pike of Blisco. This was also the first time Pike of Blisco had been activated on Top Band.
I have finally uploaded the video I made that day, which apart from showing what lovely weather I enjoyed while many other activators were being rained on, does include the S2S I had with John on 1832KHz CW.
A link to the video is below, I hope you enjoy it:
Thanks to all activators who used Top Band 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 4th May, Wolf DK1HW/P activated DM/NS-123 Reinekensiekskopf & made 5 QSOâ€™s using CW.
On the 17th May, Klaus DF2GN/P activated DM/BW-228 Hummelsberg & made 3 QSOâ€™s using CW.
On the 18th May, Ricky MW6GWR/P activated GW/NW-033 Tarren y Gesail & made 1 QSO using SSB.
On the 18th May, Ricky MW6GWR/P activated GW/NW-036 Tarrenhendre & 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next month,
THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH â€“ 53 - from Rob and Audrey G4RQJ
A really short offering this month due to missing several weekends of operation. We have been on holiday to a SOTA-less area, Jersey in the Channel Islands. A beautiful place to visit (been before 20 years ago) but not hilly and we were surprised to hear the local weather forecast for cloud on the hills later? Back at home we had a weekend celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary, a super time and thanks to all the SOTA members for their good wishes. Now itâ€™s onward and upward to the Diamond.
All the excitement left time for only one activation and in beautiful weather we decided on Top o Selside, a small but surprisingly effort consuming walk. The reason for the choice of this one was purely aesthetic, itâ€™s the bluebell season and the woods on the approach are truly one of natureâ€™s gems. The hill is best climbed from the small car park at Dodgson Wood on the eastern shore of Coniston Water. Beware of the rocks in the parking area, they look innocent enough but we managed to break the front skirt of the car here last year while reversing. Take the track from the back of the car park to reach a small camping lodge after 50yds or so. The permissive path starts from behind the lodge and is well marked with small white arrows. The woods are old
West European Maritime woods which are quite rare nowadays, all tall deciduous trees that took a fair bit of damage from the serious gales a few years ago and made the path difficult to follow as the policy was to let them lie where they fell.
This year however the path has been cleared and is very much easier. The ground at this time is a carpet of blue and well worth the effort on its own but hurry if youâ€™re coming this year, in a couple of weeks it will all be gone. Follow the path up through the woods to a small gate that opens to a path and part time stream beside a wall on your left. This path climbs quite steeply to join the bridleway that contours the fell Turn right onto the bridleway and follow it for about half a mile to a post that marks a path to the left. Take this and then almost immediately turn left again and follow this path keeping right to reach the summit with a pile of stones marker. Reasonable shelter from the wind all round by dropping down 10 ft or so.
Today the sky was very broken and three quarters of an hours calling produced about six contacts. The initial spell of about half an hour produced zero but we returned to hf after vhf and this time picked up an automatic spot which resulted in the six replies.
As usual on this fell we heard the cuckoo calling, allegedly a sign of summer in these parts, donâ€™t hold your breath. As we write this the rain is falling steadily and we can only feel sorry for the poor souls who are visiting for the holiday week the only consolation we can offer is that it fills the lakes and feeds the green that makes the place so beautiful.
All for this month, sorry for the lack of activity, normal service should be resumed but all weather dependent.
Thanks again for the good wishes.
Take care out there
Rob and Audrey
Rod, M0JLA, and Viki, M6BWA, Visit Scotland
This was not the holiday originally planned! Plan A involved some of
the Munros around Glen Lyon, with some training and warming up on Tinto
and the nearby hills while staying at New Lanark for a couple of nights.
I printed a selection of my usual enlarged 1:50000 maps ranging from Ben
Lawers (1214m) to Moncreiffe Hill (223m). Fortunately accurate weather
forecasting and ground conditions reporting gave us plenty of warning
for preparing Plan B, so I printed more, ranging over a larger area and
concentrating more on 4 point summits.
A deteriorating forecast, reports of the pass from Loch Tay to Glen Lyon
being blocked by heavy snow and predictions of gale-force winds led to
Plan C; more map printing and route research concentrating on 1 and 2
point summits regardless of any other merits the hills might possess.
Instead of avoiding small forested summits we would actively seek them
out. Adding a possible extra day on the way home led to more maps; the
We were later than planned so Dungavel Hill, GM/SS-165, replaced Tinto
and gave us a taste of difficulties to come (including the biting strong
wind which accompanied us for the whole trip). The not very distant
large centres of population brought forth little fruit and four shared
contacts on 2m FM took 41 minutes. For Friday we had planned a longish
walk, Trahenna Hill, GM/SS-143, Broughton Heights, GM/SS-128 and a
possible extension to Penvalla (which we ducked). 2M FM shared again,
but I missed one and so only three contacts for me on SS-128 and no points.
Saturday we stopped off at Torlum in sunshine for a much more pleasant
and successful activation including five s2s on 2m FM but only one
contact on 40m, GX0MWT, the Marconi SES at Chelmsford. Knock of Crieff,
GM/SS-264, was a real surprise. Thirteen contacts on 40m on a Saturday
evening, including one s2s (Ricky on GW/NW-057, a new one for me); I
could hardly believe it. (Nor could M6BWA, who shared four of them
having drawn the expected blank on 2m FM in the trees and then
discovered on descending a felled area extending into the AZ.)
Sunday had to be Meall Tairneachan, GM/CS-080 (because of the mine
traffic we had already alerted it) with the possibility of CS-081 also.
It was not a nice day and amply justified our revised plans for the
rest of the week. Five shared contacts on 2m FM took just under 20
minutes. Activation was terminated by a minor blizzard which had us
packing up and heading for the relative shelter of the access track. In
spite of that very unpleasant departure, as conditions looked better by
the time we reached the car we had a go at Dun Coillich, GM/CS-100.
This turned out to be a really bad idea; two contacts (40m, this time)
for me and an extra (very poor) 2m FM for Viki then another blizzard
Drummond Hill, GM/CS-114, has a car park and a waymarked forest trail.
The trail turns back on itself some way before the summit, but the
forest road continues. Having found an extraction ride that looked OK
we made our way to the wall and followed that westward to the summit.
(A better route back follows the wall eastward almost all the way to the
main track.) Twenty-one contacts on 40m took 42 minutes and the
frequency then went quiet. Meanwhile M6BWA tried very hard for the
first 2m FM contact from this summit but without any success. The trees
protected us nicely from the wind as we discovered on getting out of the
car to visit the crannog (highly recommended).
The only Munro of the trip was Meall Buidhe, GM/CS-040, which was only a
short drive and had a gently sloping southern aspect with little snow
cover. The wind was still ferocious but the shape of the summit
produced a large relatively sheltered area and by dropping down towards
the NE crags I had room to shelter and erect the HF dipole. Twenty
contacts this time on 40m, including three s2s. M6BWA was beside the
icy cairn and worked 6 contacts on 2m FM with an s2s to Ben Venue, SS-058.
Wednesday we decided to be a bit more ambitious and attempt two
four-pointers. A short drive (we could have walked along the road) to
the Innerwick car park and some confusion over the tracks, streams and
bridges and we were on our way up Meall a Mhuic, GM/CS-087. Eight
contacts on 40m this time including one s2s but 2m FM drew the expected
blank as the hill is surrounded by higher summits. Down to the col and
up Beinn Dearg, GM/CS-068. One 2m FM and three 40m ssb contacts here,
with 40m living up to its reputation for dying quietly after lunch.
M6BWA was more successful on this higher summit and made 4 contacts in
On Thursday we had intended taking the day off as we felt like a rest
but the forecast for Friday was continuous heavy rain so we pressed on.
The wind was still very brisk when we left the car for the ascent of
Meall nam Maigheach, GM/CS-082. M6BWA struggled on 2m FM (Ben Lawers
was towering over us) but eventually got 4 contacts (thanks to Jack and
Anne). Eight contacts on 40m ssb including two s2s and two on 2m FM
made for a satisfactory activation before I nearly brought proceeding to
a permanent close by falling over backwards downhill as a result of an
attack of cramp when getting up to pack away. Sliding and overextending
a knee in the rain on the way down added to the unsettled feeling and we
retired to the Tea Room at Bridge of Balgie for soup and scones
On Friday the promised rain did not disappoint and we spent much of the
day watching the river rise which it did for about 10 hours.
Interestingly, the rain had little effect on our benchmark snow patches
but this may have been connected with the fact that the middle slopes of
the northern spurs of Ben Lawers turned white during the day. This rest
day also gave us the chance to tidy up and begin to pack so we were
ready for a fairly speedy departure for Loch of the Lowes on Saturday.
Having seen the osprey (four eggs this year!) with the naked eye
assisted with a superb telescope and also excellent cctv we also saw the
first (and only) red squirrels of the trip. Then it was time for
Newtyle Hill, GM/CS-122 from beside the loch. This was the only hill
where we completely messed up the route choice and became entangled in a
maze of gorse, walls and new (ie unmapped) deer fencing. Viki has
graded it â€˜Donâ€™t even think of itâ€™ which is one lower than â€˜Never
againâ€™! Despite this she made 4 contacts on 2m (including 2 s2s) and
another s2s on 40m. Apparently the route via the telecom mast is less
obstructed. We learnt this from an elderly gent whom we overtook on the
ascent of Birnam Hill.
Apparently he does this steep and unrelenting walk most days and was
quite put out that, evidently heavily laden and not the youngest
ourselves, we were able to outpace him. Once activation began and he
caught us up again he was mollified to discover that were were some 15+
years younger. Twelve contacts followed on 40m in spite of the time of
day and the weekend and included an s2s with the home country -
Titterstone Clee, G/WB-004. It took M6BWA 20 minutes to wake up the 2m
FM band (c1700 UTC) but then had difficulty closing down as the rain set in.
Now based at Perth we headed on Sunday for the Lomonds. The wind
remained chillingly unpleasant and inconvenient and we again relied on
2m FM with 6 contacts on W Lomond and 9 on E Lomond. Eight each
followed on Benarty Hill and Lendrick Hill to complete an exhausting day
for us and our, by then, regular chasers!!
Shopping delayed our start on Monday and the combination of local
population and bank holiday made 2m FM a good bet from the Pentland
Hills. Imagine our surprise when the next arrival on the summit of
Black Hill was carrying a long fishing pole and introduced himself as a
fellow activator, discussing expected operating frequencies before
setting up a very robust looking HF dipole. Further surprise when the
first calls on the HH using the helical stick were answered by Martyn
MM1MAJ with whom we once shared an activation of Great Rhos without ever
meeting in the thick fog. Attaching the now erected dipole gave a
rather better pair of signal reports with Caroline for a double s2s to
SI-093 on the Isle of Arran. Nine contacts in all before heading off to
Scald Law for a further eight. That was summit number twenty, but not
quite the end as we stopped for a break near the M6 and had lunch in the
car park for Hutton Roof Crags, G/LD-052. A further ten contacts
followed (8 on 40m and 2 on 2m FM with an s2s on each) with 10 on 2m for
Viki, to complete the SOTA tour.
Brief Summary from M0JLA (and M6BWA on 2m FM only in brackets)
Activator uniques 21, of which 2 unqualified; (21 and 1 unqualified)
Activator points 41 (43)
186 with 64 callsigns making one contact only.
(109 with 45 callsigns making one contact only.)
8 M3XIE & GM4COX (10 GM4COX inc 2 s2s
7 MW6GWR & MM0USU ( 9 MM0USU
6 G0RQL & G6LUZ ( 5 MM0KCD and 4 MM0HOL & GM0AXY
Summit to summit:-
GM 9 (12)
Our sincere thanks to everyone who took the trouble to answer the calls
and to persist in conditions that were often extremely poor; wind noise
must have been dreadful. From the above it is evident that we are
particularly grateful to David, Jack, Ricky, Don and Steve, (for FM
Jack, Andy, Ken, Callum and Ken, also to Anne GM4UXX who was my vital
fourth contact on 3 occasions!)
Many thanks also to our spotters and to the many non-chasers in Scotland
who bothered to help us out with contact number four on 2m FM as
desperation mounted. As I don’t suppose they will read this perhaps
their chaser friends would pass on our thanks.
Rod, M0JLA (and Viki M6BWA)
CW REPORT FOR MAY 2013 - by Roy G4SSH
Propagation on the HF bands was very changeable during the month of May and varied from days when SOTAâ€™s were workable on 21, 24 and 28 MHz, to days when the higher bands dropped out and the signals that were heard suffered from rapid and deep QSB. The lower bands also fared badly with 7 MHz becoming almost unworkable at my QTH due to a high background noise level.
The mixture of poor band conditions and world wide contests resulted in many SOTA CW activators who usually remain on 7 MHz appearing on 10 MHz and higher. There are a few stations that I use as propagation checks, such as Jurg HB9BAB and Paul OK1DST. If conditions are good I can copy them weakly on 7 MHz in early morning and late afternoons, but they become inaudible on 7 MHz at my QTH for most of the summer period. To my delight they both moved up to 10 and 14 MHz during the month, allowing solid copy.
There were also many expeditions to DL summits, with 7 x 10 pointers being activated in a single day. The month also provided a rich haul for SOTA rare and unique collectors, especially from the following activators:-
OH3K from the Kulju DX Club in Finland, with uniques in the OH/JS area
Dan OK1DIG in the OK/JM area
Gerald GM4OIG on various Scottish Islands,
Kurt F/HB9AFI in the F/MC area
Dave G4ASA in the EI/IS area
Dan DL/OK1DIG and Miro DL/OK1DVM from summits in DM/NS and DM/SA
Ian MM0GYX in the GM/NS area.
OK1DIG in the ST area
Andy DL2DVE in the DM/BM area
Eric F5RGY in F/VL area.
Miro OK1DVM, Paul HB9DST, Klaus DF2GN and Jurg HB9BIN were also active from a multitude of summits during the month.
The 30m frequency of 10118 KHz became very congested at times during May, with a succession of DX pile-ups, RTTY and wide band multi-tone transmissions causing problems to SOTA activities.
Extracts from the Data Base - compiled by Kevin G0NUP
SOTA CW ACTIVATORS SUBMITTING ENTRIES TO THE DATA BASE ABOVE 7 MHZ DURING MAY 2013.This file produced on 27 May2013
Mode: CW on 10MHz:
DF2GN/P, DF3MC/P, DJ2FR, DJ3AX/P, DJ9MH/P, DK1AX/P, DL/F5HTR/P,
DL/HB9AGO/P, DL/HB9BQU/P, DL/HB9BRJ/P, DL/HB9CZF/P, DL/HB9DST/P,
DL/OK1DIG/P, DL/OK1DVM/P, DL/PA0SKP/P, DL1DVE/P, DL2ZBO/P, DL4MHA/P,
DL8DXL/P, DM1LE/P, EA4MZ/P, EB3EPR/2, EI/G4ASA/P, EJ/G4ASA/P,
F/DL6UHA/P, F/HB9AFI/P, F/HB9DST/P, F/OE6WIG/P, F5UKL/P, F6HBI/P,
F8AAB/P, F8FEO/P, G3VQO/P, G4ASA/P, G4AZS/P, GM4COX, GM4OIG/P,
GW0NMD/P, GW4ISJ/P, GW6DTN/P, HA2VR/P, HA3HK/P, HA5AZC/P, HA5LV/P,
HA5MA/P, HA7UL/P, HB9AFI/P, HB9AGO/P, HB9BAB/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BHW/P,
HB9BIN/P, HB9BQB/P, HB9BQU/P, HB9BRJ/P, HB9CGA/P, HB9CLT/P, HB9DGV/P,
HB9DST/P, HB9TVK/P, K6ILM, K7ATN, KE5AKL, KI4ECU, LA1EBA/P, LA1ENA/P,
M0CGH/P, M0GYX/P, M1EYP/P, MM0GYX/P, MM0ROV/P, MW6GWR/P, N1EU, N4EX/P,
N5XL, N6JZT, NA6MG, NM5S, NS7P, OE3CHC/P, OE3HPU/P, OE7PHI/P, OH3K/P,
OH3T/P, OK/DL1DVE/P, OK/DL8RL, OK/DL8RL/P, OK1AXB, OK1DDQ/P, OK1DIG/P,
OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP, OK1MLP/P, OK2BDF/P, OK2BWB/P, OK2SAM/P, OK3EQ/P,
OK8DDR/P, OM/OK2VWB/P, ON4BEM, ON4KJM, ON6ZQ/P, S51RU/P, S52CU/P,
S53XX/P, S57X/P, S57XX/P, VA2SG/P, VK3WAM/P, W4ZV, W5FOC, W6AH, W6UB,
W9FHA, WA2USA/P, WA6ARA, WB5USB, WG0AT, WH6LE, WS0TA
Mode: CW on 14MHz:
AA4Q, AD4IE, CT1BQH/P, CT1BWW/P, CT7AEZ/P, DC8MH/P, DF2GN/P, DF3MC/P,
DJ2FR, DJ2MRK/P, DJ9MH/P, DK1AX/P, DK6YM/P, DL/HB9AGO/P, DL/HB9BQU/P,
DL/HB9BRJ/P, DL/HB9CZF/P, DL/OK1DIG/P, DL/OK1DVM/P, DL/ON6ZQ/P,
DL4MHA/P, DM1LE/P, EA1AER/P, EA2BD/P, EA4MZ/P, EB3EPR/2, EI/G4ASA/P,
EJ/G4ASA/P, EO5JFF, F/DL6UHA/P, F/HB9AFI/P, F/OE6WIG/P, F5UKL/P, F8FEO/P,
G3NYY/P, GW4ISJ/P, HA/OE1WSA/P, HA2VR/P, HA3HK/P, HA5AZC/P, HA5LV/P,
HA5MA/P, HB0/PC5A/P, HB9/PB2T/P, HB9AFI/P, HB9BAB/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BIN/P,
HB9BQB/P, HB9BQU/P, HB9BRJ/P, HB9CGA/P, HB9DGV/P, K0YO, K1JD, K6ILM,
K7ATN, K7SO, KD7WPJ, KE5AKL, KK4RR, KR7W, LA/K6ILM, LA1EBA/P, LA1ENA/P,
M0CGH/P, M0GYX/P, MM0FMF/P, MM0GYX/P, MM0ROV/P, MW0BBU/P, MW0IML/P,
MW6GWR/P, N1DN, N1EU, N1MB, N4EX/P, N5XL, N6JZT, NA6MG, NE1SJ, NM5S,
NS7P, NU0T, NX1P/P, OE/OK1DIG/P, OE1WSA/P, OE3CHC/P, OE3HPU/P,
OE6KYG/P, OE6PKF/P, OE7PHI/P, OH3K/P, OH3T/P, OK1AXB, OK1AXB/P, OK1DDQ/P,
OK1DIG/P, OK1DVM/P, OK1HCG/P, OK1MLP, OK1MLP/P, OK2BDF/P, OK2BWB/P,
ON4BEM, S51RU/P, S52CU/P, S57XX/P, UU4JDD/P, UU4JIM/P, VA2SG/P, VA2VL/P,
VA2VL/W1, VA2VL/W2, VK3WAM/P, VK5CZ, W0CCA, W4AGT, W4TZM, W4ZV, W5FOC,
W6AH, W6JP, W6UB, W9FHA, WA2USA/P, WA6ARA, WA7JTM, WG0AT, WH6LE, WS0TA
Mode: CW on 18MHz:
AA4Q, DF2GN/P, DL/OK1DIG/P, DL4MHA/P, EI/G4ASA/P, EO5JFF, F/DL6UHA/P,
F5UKL/P, F6HBI/P, G3RDQ/P, G4ASA/P, GW4ISJ/P, HA2PP/P, HA3HK/P, HB9BCB/P,
HB9BIN/P, K6ILM, K6TW, K7ATN, KD7WPJ, KR7W, M0GYX/P, MM0GYX/P, MW6GWR/P,
N1EU, NA6MG, NE1SJ, NX1P/P, OE3CHC/P, OE3HPU/P, OH3K/P, OH3T/P, OK1DDQ/P,
OK1DIG/P, OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP, OK1MLP/P, OK8DDR/P, OM3CUG/P, S52CU/P, S57X/P,
UU4JDD/P, UU4JIM/P, W4TZM, W4ZV, WG0AT, WH6LE,
Mode: CW on 21MHz:
CT1BWW/P, DF2GN/P, DK1AX/P, DL/OK1DVM/P, DL4MHA/P, EI/G4ASA/P, EJ/G4ASA/P,
F5UKL/P, GM4COX, GM4OIG/P, GW4ISJ/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BQU/P, K7ATN, KD7WPJ,
LA1ENA/P, M0CGH/P, M0GYX/P, M1EYP/P, MM0FMF/P, MM0GYX/P, MW1EYP/P,
MW6GWR/P, N1EU, N6JZT, NA6MG, NE1SJ, NM5S, OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP/P, S52CU/P,
VK5CZ, W4TZM, W4ZV, W6AH, WA7JTM, WH6LE,
Mode: CW on 24MHz:
AA4Q, DF2GN/P, DL/OK1DIG/P, EI/G4ASA/P, G3RDQ/P, HB9BCB/P, OK1DIG/P,
OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP/P, S52CU/P, W4TZM,
Mode: CW on 28MHz:
DF2GN/P, EI/G4ASA/P, HB9BCB/P, M1EYP/P, NA6MG, OE3HPU/P, OK1MLP/P, S52CU/P
73 de Kevin
CONTESTS DURING JUNE 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.
1st-2nd 1500-1500 RSGB National Field Day CW contest /P
1st-2nd 1200-1200 SEANET Contest CW, SSB, RTTY
8th-9th 1200 â€“ 2359 SKCC Weekend Sprint
15th-16th 0001-2359 All Asian CW DX Contest
22-23rd 1200-1200 Ukraine Digi Contest RTTY & PSK31
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:-