SOTA NEWS - JUNE 2014
EDITORIAL â€“ by Roy G4SSH
Welcome to the June 2014 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Barry GM4TOE, Skip K6DGW, Allen VK3HRA, Mikel EA2CW, Phil G4OBK, Martin DF3MC, JÃ¼rg HB9BIN, Mark G0VOF, Rob and Audrey G4RQJ, Kevin G0NUP,
This issue marks my return as regular SOTA News Editor after a tragic family bereavement. My thanks go to Fred (Skip) K6DGW for taking over and holding the fort at short notice whilst I was unavailable, and for doing such a magnificent job.
Fred will continue to be the USA/Canadian SOTA news reporter.
SOTA AWARDS FOR May 2014 By Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager
The 29th May saw a significant milestone reached in the history of SOTA. Roy G4SSH has reached the total of 100k Chaser points all of them claimed for CW contacts. Congratulations from everybody on the Management Team.
Three Mountain Goats this month, KI4SVM, N1EU and HB9BCB, congratulations to them. In addition we have 6 Shack Sloths, NS7P and ON4FI on 30k Chaser points, G6ODU on 25k, W0MNA and M0BKV on 20k and G4OOE on 10k.
Finally we have G4SSH also claiming a Chaser Unique certificate for 7500 Unique summits on CW. What a bumper scoring month.
KI4SVM Patrick Harris
N1EU Barry Gross
HB9BCB Heinz Baertschi
G4TJC Simon Melhuish
HB9DST Paul Schreier
VK2LAX Rod Jarman
VK3YY Glenn Sneddon 500 points
VK3CAT Tony Middleditch 250 points
EA2BDS Marcial Vecilla 100 points
K1MAZ Nicholas Masion 100 points
G4SSH Roy Clayton 100000 points
NS7P Phillip Shepard 30000 points
ON4FI Karel Naessens 30000 points
G6ODU Robert Gum-Wah Leong 25000 points
W0MNA Gary Auchard 20000 points
M0BKV Damian Kamm 20000 points
G4OOE Nick Langmead 10000 points
VK3CAT Tony Middleditch 5000 points
VK2IO Gerard Hill 2500 points
EA2CW Mikel Berrocal 2500 points
OE6SMF Martin Schwingenschuh 1500 points
VK3CAT Tony Middleditch 1000 points
G4TJC Simon Melhuish 1000 points
VK2LAX Rod Jarman 1000 points
EA2BDS Marcial Vecilla 1000 points
HB9CZF Dominik Bugmann 1000 points
VK3ASC Mark Withers 500 points
VK3PI Mark Stephenson 500 points
VK4OZY Dave Clodd 250 points
VK3PI Mark Stephenson 250 points
VK3ERW Erwin Bejsta 100 points
M6ANX Peter Tillotsen 100 points
VK3PI Mark Stephenson 100 points
G4SSH Roy Clayton 7500 summits
M0BKV Damian Kamm 3000 summits
EA2CW Mikel Berrocal 500 summits
VK2LAX Rod Jarman 100 summits
EA2BDS Marcial Vecilla Platinum
G3NYY Walt Davidson Gold
G4TJC Simon Melhuish Gold
VK3CAT Tony Middleditch Silver
VK2LAX Rod Jarman Bronze
VK3CAT Tony Middleditch Bronze
Summit to Summit
VK3CAT Tony Middleditch Bronze
EA2BDS Marcial Vecilla Bronze
EA2CW Mikel Berrocal Bronze
VK2LAX Rod Jarman Red
Last month I reported that I had found it necessary to increase postal costs due to a price hike by Royal Mail; what I did miss was them also changing the maximum sizes for letters. The upshot of this is that the price of shipping a trophy, and some merchandise, within the UK will have to be revised again. My apologies.
I have a minor glitch with Mountain Goat trophies. Recently the blank trophies from the manufacturer have arrived with the front face, onto which your callsign is hand engraved, being very reduced in area due to rather aggressive shaping of the glass block. I have complained and some have been replaced. However, the latest delivery showed even less space to do the engraving (without the callsign etc. obscuring the design) and my engraver felt that the surface was not acceptable for her to do a satisfactory job. Consequently I have rejected the complete order and they are being remade. This will affect some deliveries in the short term but it is still possible to order on our website.
The weather has taken a turn for the better here so, with a bit of luck, I can continue my objective of completing the ES Region this year. Hopefully I can work as many Chasers, and fellow Activators summit to summit, as possible. Keep an eye on the spots, I might just be there.
SOTA Awards Manager
2W0NNN Silent Key
The Management Team have been advised that young Activator 2W0NNN, Ioan Jones, has become a SK. He was about 29 years old and, apparently, disappeared off a tanker off the coast of Malta in early May and is presumed drowned.
Our thoughts and condolences are with his family on this tragic loss.
EA2 SOTA DAY 2014 - SOTAren Eguna - from Mikel EA2CW.
On Sunday, June 15th, 2014, We will celebrate the first EA2 SOTA Day “SOTA EGUNA”. (2014-06-15 for follow the standards).
We’ll activate Saibi Mt. EA2/BI-014, near Durango (Bizkaia) using the special call EG2SOA, on all bands & modes.
Then we’ll have a “sota” lunch at Urkiola, 1 hour from the summit.
All of you are invited to call, chase, or take part!
More info at:
73 de Mikel!
EU SOTA TOUR from Phil G4OBK
Phil G4OBK and Nick G4OOE will embark on a 10 day European SOTA Tour when they drive to the Ham Radio Fair at Friedrichshafen this month. They intend to activate every day, including the days that the Radio Fair takes place. Nick will be driving and Phil will navigate. The channel crossing will be via DFDS from Dover to Dunkirk. HF operation is planned using 40m and 20m in CW / SSB and also 30m CW if they have time. Their likely programme is as follows:
Sunday 22 June: G/SE-005 Botley Hill
Monday 23 June: ON/ON-011, ON/ON-013, ON/ON-010 (With Peter ON4UP and Franz ON9CBQ)
Tuesday 24 June: LX/LX-001, DM/BW-042
Weds 25 June: DM/BW area summits
Thurs 26 June: DM/BW area summits
Friday 27 June: OE/VB-512 Pfander (Late afternoon)
Saturday 28 June: DM/BW-349 Aacheck (Late afternoon)
Sunday 29 June: DM/BW area summits
Monday 30 June: DM/BW area summits and ON/ON-016
Tuesday 01 July: F/NO-133 (Early morning)
Yaesu FT-857 transceivers running 30 watts will be used with link dipoles for the 20/30/40m band. Yaesu FT-817s will be carried as backup. Phil and Nick intend to operate â€œContest styleâ€ to maximise the summits visited and will spend up to one hour operating time on each summit visited.
WHAT OF THE (SOTA) FUTURE - 1. Roy G4SSH
“These boots were made for SOTA’ing”
Inventors in India have developed sat-nav boots which come with an app that can be downloaded to a Smartphone.
Using a Bluetooth link to communicate with the phone-mapping system, the boots emit a buzz if you go in the wrong direction. They can even be programmed to monitor how many calories you are burning.
As a postscript to the above, it is interesting to note that map sales have plummeted by 40 percent, thanks to sat-navs. In future Ordnance Survey will only print some maps on demand.
MY SOTA THREE PEAKS CHALLENGE - by Martin DF3MC
In the National Three Peaks Challenge, participants attempt to climb the highest mountains of Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours. Every year this is done by many mountaineers. But only a few SOTA activators have been active from all three, of course not within one day.
After climbing Ben Nevis (GM/GW-001), the highest mountain in Scotland in 2012 and Yr Wyddfa (GW/NW-001), the highest mountain in Wales in 2013, I planned my personal SOTA Three Peaks Challenge, to become - as far as I know - the first non-British radio amateur to make radio contacts from the famous triple.
In May I had the chance to travel to England again to visit the Lake District. The weather was favourable this year. It was a beautiful walk from Seathwaite to the summit of Scafell Pike (G/LD-001) and I enjoyed the view over the Lakeland fells as far as to the Irish sea. I took my time for the activation and made 43 QSO on 40, 30 and 20m. During the next few days, I also reached Skiddaw and Helvellyn.
As in the year before, the trip ended with a nice meal with Tom, M1EYP, his family and friends in Macclesfield.
“SOTA is a lot about radio and mountaineering, but the best part is to meet friends, who share a common interest!”
Thanks a lot for all the advice and to the chasers who made this trip a success.
73 - Martin DF3MC
VK NEWS - from Allen VK3HRA
Hi all, another busy month with milder weather.
May saw the much-anticipated release of the latest batch of the Mountain Topper Radio (MTR), by Steven Weber (KD1JV). Due to the size and mass, these devices are sought after by SOTA activators. At least five MTR v2 devices made it down to VK. These are in various states of build. Their use will add to the existing band of SOTA CW operators and encourage CW skills in chasers.
May started with a team of Gippsland activators out and about in the hills, based at Mount Hotham. Rob VK3EK, John VK3MGZ, Peter VK3PF, Mike VK3XL and Ron VK3HAK, together with some additional family and friends, were based at Mount Hotham for the first weekend in May. Unfortunately, the weather put early plans into the rubbish bin. Mike, Peter and Rob managed to activate some summits on the Friday, despite the high winds and low cloud.
The team gathered at a lodge at Mount Hotham on Friday afternoon.
Decisions about activities on Saturday were delayed until after breakfast. The cloud and winds were still evident, with around 6 cm of snow on the ground. The team decided to head for some lower summits to the east. Mike and Ron headed to Mount Sam, Rob to Mount Livingstone and Peter and John to Mount Phipps.
After brief activations and several S2S contacts, the team headed on towards the next summit: Peter & John to Mount Birregun, Rob to Mount Phipps, and Mike & Ron to Mount Livingstone. Some chasers appeared to be desperate, despite advice on-air that the summit would be activated again in the near future. Once on the new summit, each team worked chasers until after they had again worked S2S with the other teams, then they moved on again. By mid-afternoon, all three teams had activated Mount Livingstone, Mount Phipps and Mount Birregun before heading back to base at Hotham.
On Sunday, the team split up and headed for home. Mike started with a brief activation of Mount Hotham, before heading to the lower summits of Mount Baldhead and Mount Delusion. Rob headed for VK3/VG-036 and then Mount Delusion. Peter headed to Mount Nugong and then Mt Nunniong. Peter then went on to activate Brumby Hill and Mount Pendergast. Several S2S contacts were made, including activators further afield.
May was also the month for OS activations. Wayne (W3/VK3WAM/p, W4/VK3WAM/p, W6/VK3WAM/p and W8 VK3WAM/p) is again leading the charge with 13 W summits. Tony F/VK3CAT/P activated 2 (F/MC-101 & F/AB-468) F summits whilst Fred VK9DAC (VK3DAC) activated VK9/NO-001 on Norfolk Island between bird watching sessions.
Ron VK3AFW combined his trip to the WIA Annual Conference with some much sought after VK4 activations.
Several other activators were out and about, adding to the fun for both Activators and Chasers. Chasers are encouraging Activators to keep trying different bands supporting cross-country contacts. We are also seeing continued late afternoon activations in an attempt to make DX contacts into Europe with Ed DD5LP (VK2JI) still activating looking for VK contacts from Europe.
We should note that the activity levels were high across eastern Australia, as shown by Amanda VK3FQSO. Having started chasing SOTA Activators in early January, Amanda reached Shack Sloth status (1000 Chaser points) by the end of March. By late May, she had notched up the next 1000 points as a Chaser! This achievement is only possible due to the increased number of Activations.
Work on checking of candidate summits is continuing in VK7, and the VK6 summit initial survey is in progress so expect more summits soon.
CANADA / U.S. REPORT by Skip K6DGW
Welcome back to Roy this month! North American SOTA is picking up as we begin moving into summer. I actually got a little chasing in for May too … no records, but more than usual for me, we retired weenies are soooo busy.
STATISTICS: [as of 2100UTC 30 May 2014]
NORTH AMERICA TOTALS
Total Activations: 408 
Nr Unique Activators: 136 
Total Chaser QSOs: 5907 
Nr Unique Chasers: 220 
Total Summits Activated: 403
Unique Summits: 313 
2m: 153 (2%) 
6m: 7 (0%) 
10m: 20 (0%) 
12m: 577 (9%) 
15m: 556 (9%) 
17m: 246 (4%) 
20m: 2869 (48%) 
30m: 322 (5%) 
40m: 1152 (19%) 
60m: 1 (0%) 
80m: 0 (0%) 
160m: 1 (0%) 
CW: 4461 (75%) 
SSB: 1283 (21%) 
FM: 155 (2%) 
AM: 4 (0%) 
Data: 2 (0%) 
Other: 2 (0%) 
I still haven’t found the “Total Summits Activated” problem in my code, primarily because I haven’t looked at it yet, but my HP48GX tells me that 403 looks a lot better than the 3,800+ from last month.
AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:
Pat, KI4SVM, has grown horns and is now a Mountain Goat!
And Barry, N1EU, did likewise this month! That’s # 9 and #10 in North America … I’m not sure the order of achievement but hearty congratulations to both and thanks for giving us chasers a chance to make some points.
Gary, W0MNA, has very quietly slipped past the 20,000 chaser points total. As of 30 May, he is #3 in North America, behind Phil, NS7P, and just ahead of Dennis, WA2USA.
And speaking of Phil, the always-heard call NS7P has surpassed 30,000 chaser points. He managed this just a few days before his third SOTA anniversary date. Let’s see … checking the calculator, that’s 10K points a year!
Jean-Francois, VA2VL, reminded me that there is a "VE2 Megactivation Weekend, coming up in August … 29-31 Aug to be precise. This would be a good one to get marked on the calendar, there are a lot of virgin summits up there in QC.
Guy, N7UN, reports:
"W7 S2S Activity Weekend and the Rocky Mountain SOTA Rendezvous: This year on 2-3th of August. This first weekend is also when the ARRL UHF Contest occurs and K0NR’s Colorado 14er event. Last year we had the first W7 S2S Activity Weekend which was very popular. According to W4ZV/Bill, over 500 Activator points were available during that weekend!
See the NA SOTA reflector message #18450 or Yahoo | Mail, Weather, Search, Politics, News, Finance, Sports & Videos for more information about the Rocky Mtn SOTA Rendezvous. Note that this gathering is for anyone including chasers, activators, families and a perfect time to vacation in central Colorado. Bob, K0NR, has a lot of information about the Colorado 14er Event at Colorado 14er Event - August 3, 2014 - The KØNR Radio Site"
And for the annual NA SOTA Day(s):
" NA SOTA Day on September 13-14th: Lot’s of discussion last year around having this event on the ARRL VHF Contest Weekend which is also the 13-14th of September. Obviously there will be a lot of 6m and 2m activity and some Activators might want to camp out to participate in the VHF contest as well as SOTA."
Elliott, K6EL, reports:
“Just as Gary goes over 20,000, Scott, W7IMC, becomes the first to activate Mauna Kea, KH6/HW-001 and thereby add the third KH6 Island to the list. Temperature on top was 52 F and the wind was 8 MPH…just like basking on the beach, eh? Very visible from the top is Haleakala crater on Maui, another drive-up waiting for action. Who’s wants to do it and add our fourth activated island?”
He included a striking photo which I can’t include here so I posted it at www.foothill.net/~andreaj/Images/Mauna Kea.jpg [Case will matter on that link.] If you measure the “tallness” of a mountain as the distance it sticks up from the surrounding “plain,” Mauna Kea is the “tallest”
mountain on the planet, sticking up over 11,500 meters 38,000 feet] from the floor of the Pacific Ocean.
Doug, W1DMH, successfully activated W7W/RS-001, Mt. Rainier, at 4,392 meters [14,405 feet] in May. I don’t have any details from his 10-point activation yet, but I can tell you that Mt. Rainier is a striking view from most of NW Washington, and is almost as high as Mt. Whitney.
Hopefully more information will arrive before the next news.
Merle, KB1RJD and Herm, KB1RJC offered:
"We are pleased to have achieved 5,000 chaser points. Not nearly as impressive as the many multi-supersloths, but done with only ssb and FM.
We also added to the activator score and escaped mud season in NH by following the Appalachians south in the RV as far as Alabama. The aim was to do “completes”, which had us visit many places we would never have seen but for SOTA. In addition to visiting our 3 kids, a highlight was to have breakfast with Pete, WH6LE, in NC and then have him join in an activation a few days later. 17 summits enjoyed. 2 not so much!
Thanks to chasers for help. We now have heightened appreciation for those activators who go out and do multiple activations for days on end, and we’ll be better next trip. Drove south into summer and then followed spring back home to find snow still on ground in spots on May 8 and the black flies waiting our arrival."
And finally, in the “Work A Forest Ranger” department, Daniel, N0BN, is spending his summer in the fire tower on W0C/RP-005 [Zenobia Peak]. He has a radio of course, and he’ll be there all summer, 10 days on, 4 days off. His latest plan is:
“Actually I can only effectively be QRV when I turn off the inverter I usually run during the day. My system is totally off the grid. I have decided it might be best and easiest for me to call CQ/SOTA for about a half hour from 1400-1430Z.”
“Contrary to my prior offer, it might be a bit impractical for me to arrange skeds as my government cell phone minutes are limited and I usually have my personal cell phone turned off. You might try contacting me via APRSLink (N0BN@winlink.org).”
ARRL Field Day comes up the last weekend in June. Rich, NU6T, and I
activated W6/SN-039 [Leviathan Peak] several years ago on Field day. We made about 58 QSO’s on CW, SSB was a whole lot tougher. If you’re planning a Field Day outing coupled with an activation, I’d suggest getting on the air before FD starts and work the SOTA chasers. It’s almost impossible to find them later in the FD bedlam.
That will do it from the New World for this month. Thanks to all of my contributors, and again, welcome back Roy!
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude
THE HIKING PARADISE. MADEIRA, SOTA, THE KX3 AND THE BURNING BATTERY - by Dr. JÃ¼rg Regli, HB9BIN, President, HB9SOTA
Having already activated Lanzarote, England and Scotland, this year I was able to convince my XYL to join me on a SOTA (Summits on the Air) expedition to Madeira (CT3) from April 22 to 29, 2014.
The Elecraft KX3
During my trip preparations, I quickly determined that in terms of weight it would not make sense to bring my Yaesu 857D with its 100W output, the necessary batteries and a Buddipole along to the mountainous island of Madeira. With the exception of Pico do Areiro (CT3/MI-004), a NATO listening post, Madeira does not have any SOTA summits that you can drive directly up to with a car. For the 100W FT-857D station including batteries, Buddipole and a laptop, the weight of my backpack quickly reached more than 25 kg, which I could carry for at most an hour in my current physical condition. Thus my selection was between a KX3, a FT-817ND and an AlexLoop from PY1AHD. The latter is a light-weight magnetic loop antenna covering 7 to 30 MHz and that instead of a metal loop uses a 50-ohm coax cable and can handle up to 20W of power.
The KX3, a follow-on to the legendary K3 from Elecraft, is a QRP transceiver covering the 160 to 6 meter bands with a maximum output of 12W and an optional accessory for 2 meters. It comes standard with support for RTTY and PSK31 without a PC and sound card, and it also decodes CW signals. It is designed as a software-defined radio (SDR), which combines the direct conversion principle with quadrature component receiver processing. Because of its many excellent specifications and features, it is considered the Rolls Royce among QRP transceivers. Indeed, it stands up very well in comparison to most full-size and high-end rigs.
The 4-hour flight from Zurich to Funchal gave me just enough time to re-read the 52-page manual. It is written in a somewhat dry but very instructional manner and contains countless tips about operating techniques, characteristics of the various ham bands, about various types of QRP antennas plus a glossary of terms that is a valuable resource for newcomers.
You can find many test reports on the Internet and in magazines that extensively praise the many positive features of the KX3 in detail (including a switchable preamplifier, optional antenna tuner and roofing filter). Instead, however, I would like to point out some of its drawbacks for SOTA operation. Compared to all the other QRP transceivers, it is the most expensive, heaviest (0.68 kg), has the largest dimensions (8.8 x 18.8 x 4.1 cm) and is the most liable to set-up mistakes due to the many multifunction buttons and knobs. For instance, one time on a summit in Madeira I at first inadvertently transmitted first using VOX mode. This is suited in particular if you have a high SWR or have not connected an antenna. It certainly will not destroy the rig because in this mode only IF is transmitted and no HF (hi hi). In addition, the KX3 is not watertight, which is something that the Yaesu FT-857ND can almost claim to be. Even so, I have already operated with this rig from many summits in downpours and snowstorms. After all, only hams who are retired can freely select the dates and summits so they make activations in good weather; those of us who are still employed can do so only on our days off.
In summary, I can say that the KX3 is best suited for SOTA activations in dry weather, when there is a bench or picnic table on the summit so you can easily reach all the buttons and knobs, the trail distance does not consist of a full-day trip with many hours of hiking, and you would like to operate from a rare summit on 40 or 30 meters with a good antenna. In this case, you’ll end up with a huge pileup, which you can work through with no problem using the roofing filters. This would be difficult with another QRP transceiver because most of the chasers respond on the very same frequency where you call CQ. In conclusion, however, it is worth mentioning that many SOTA activators operate exclusively with a KX3 and are extremely satisfied with this rig. I, on the other hand, always match the transceiver, antenna and battery size to the weather conditions, hiking distance and conditions for erecting an antenna on the summit.
LiPo battery catches fire
On the second evening of our stay we were on the way back from the hotel bar to our room and were quite amazed to see a crowd of people (hotel manager, his assistant, security officers and cleaning personnel, etc.) standing in front of our room’s door with a fire extinguisher and discussing something in a very excited manner. Recalling the large number of videos on YouTube about Lithium-Polymer batteries catching fire, I quickly determined that I was a victim of Murphy’s Law â€“ you should never charge LiPo and LiFePO batteries unsupervised. Because the burning LiPo battery set of a fire alarm, the diligent building services personnel sprayed everything very liberally with the fire extinguisher. We quickly got a new hotel room, but for the rest of our vacation our clothes and my equipment smelled of white powder and the black layer of soot! The unfortunate aspect of this event was that it was exactly the 3-cell LiPo battery for the KX3 that had burned up. Thus, for the rest of my visit, I had to operate with my FT-817ND. In contrast to the KX3, which immediately shuts down if it sees a battery voltage higher than 16V, it accepts a 4-cell LiPo or LiFePO without any problem.
In the end, everyone was happy: the hotel manager was proud to see how well his fire alarm system and the fireproof wall-to-wall carpeting had worked, and I was happy about the fact that I always take a complete backup station with me including battery and charger. It seems like the end of every fairy tale: if the LiPos have not already died, they simply burn up!
Madeira: a paradise for hiking and SOTAs
Madeira has a total of 11 SOTA summits. Of these, I activated four along with my XYL and an additional one by myself. On average, we needed from 90 minutes to 2 hours to get to the top of a summit. We started with Pico Ruivo de Santana (CT3/MI-001), which at 1863 m ASL is the highest summit on Madeira. The trail is paved the entire 2.6 km. In addition, it is well marked with signs and has three shelters along the way. Madeira is really a hiking paradise! For my final summit, I was thinking about Pico Penha de Aguia (CT3/MI-011), which no ham had activated before. In contrast to the burning battery, here I had lots of luck. I was able to join a French hiking group that intended to go up to the same summit with the help of a local guide. Thanks to him, I found the virtually hidden trailhead. I, however, had less luck during my second “first SOTA activation.” On the rocky ascent to Pico Poio Moledo (CT3/MI-003), which had no marked trail, the weather changed from sunny to very foggy. My progress along the trail was very slow, and because time was running out I turned around 300 meters from the summit. When you are doing SOTAs, it’s important to know your limits. You must be able to admit defeat because in precarious situations the weather and the mountain will ultimately be victorious.
Until recently, 12 meters was not a very popular band for SOTA. In fact, in early May 2013, there were a total of 1.8 million SOTA QSOs, but only just 0.05 percent of them were on this band. However, because 12 meters is often open for DX during a sunspot maximum and antennas for this band are small and easy to construct, the SOTA Management Team decided to promote activity on the 12 meter band with a special certificate program extending from June 1, 2013, through May 31, 2014. As a result, of my total of 284 QSOs during the trip, I made 278 (97.9 percent) on this band; I made an average of almost 56 QSOs on the 12 meter band from each of the five summits I activated. This is quite high number that it would be possible for me to achieve on a summit in Switzerland only if running at least 100W and I could operate the entire day.
It was fantastic operating from Madeira and being able to work chasers from both Europe and the USA. In Switzerland, when on 12 meters I naturally hear HB9 stations only using ground waves. From Madeira, though, with the benefit of sky waves, I heard 15 hams from HB9-Land and made a total of 25 QSOs with them.
A highlight of every SOTA activation consists of contacts with hams who are likewise operating from other summits. During my stay on Madeira I made a total of six such summit-to-summit QSO’s. I was most pleased with the one I made with Heinz, HB9BCB/p. When I was operating from Pico Chao dos Terreiros (CT3/MI-008), he responded to my CQ from his station on Gross Schwyberg in the Canton of Freiburg (HB/FR-030).
Thanks to my XYL and the Balearians
I would like to extend my grateful thanks to my XYL, who I could once again convince to join me on a SOTA expedition. This is not something you can take for granted because a vacation with a ham radio operator is clearly different from one for a normal married couple. This starts with booking extra luggage, continues during check-in at the airport where my dear XYL regularly must help me smuggle batteries in our carry-on bags, her patience in the hotel room with all my equipment along with my smelly backpack (which always spends the night in the bathroom), holding an umbrella while I am operating, the long hikes because streets are blocked with boulders, and ends with holding back her anger because a LiPo battery caught fire in our hotel room and set off a fire alarm. In other words, the famous feminist Alice Schwarzer would never allow such an article to be published in her magazine. Until now, I have always been able to combine a â€œladies programâ€ (orchid exhibition, etc.) with my SOTA activations. I am also certain that my XYL will accompany me next year on a SOTA expedition to the Balearic Islands (EA6). She never gets bored while with me, and the Balearic Islands were recently accepted into the SOTA program as a new association â€“ and it provides a wonderful selection of new summits to activate.
The Swiss SOTA Group (HB9SOTA)
If with this article I have been successful in my role as President of the Swiss SOTA Group to attract a new member or two for our club, I will be very content. If any hams would like to experience a SOTA activation live, in person, with me during a short or long mountain hike, they should simply get in touch via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will be pleased to show him or her this very attractive side of our hobby.
Finally, I would like to thank Paul Schreier, HB9DST/AA1MI, for translating this article into English.
WHAT OF THE (SOTA) FUTURE - 2.
A gadget that allows people to take photographs with their eyes is being developed by Google Glass.
The online search giant has registered a tiny camera on a contact lens, allowing the wearer to record images straight to their mobile phone (thus allowing the activator to record images at the summit without the additional weight of a camera).
SOTA ON TOP BAND - Mark G0VOF
Hello everyone & welcome to this monthâ€™s edition of SOTA on Top Band.
Two activators ventured onto Top Band this month at a time of year when good conditions are not around for long in Europe due to the extended hours of daylight.
First this month was Zoli HA2PP/P who took advantage of the improved propagation available after dark with a late evening activation of HA/KD-003 KÃ¶zÃ©psÃ¶-Hajag on Friday 2nd May. He was rewarded with 4 CW QSOâ€™s with Italy, Poland & Switzerland.
The next activation took place towards the end of the month on Monday 26th May, a bank holiday in the UK, when John G4YSS using the Scarborough Special Events Group callsign GX0OOO/P activated G/NP-009 Buckden Pike. This particular date was a bank holiday in the UK so more chasers would be likely to be active than on a normal weekday. Sadly, I was away from the radio all day so I missed John this time round.
After good runs on 2m FM & 80m CW / SSB John adjusted his antenna for 160m. Despite daylight being very much established John made 3 QSOâ€™s, one each on CW & SSB with Phil G4OBK who has a fine 160m station & another on SSB with Nick G8VNW who was not far away & using a marine transmitter. His signal was reaching further afield at times but fading meant no further contacts were made on 160m.
John has again provided a very detailed report on this activation that can be found at the link below. Sorry I missed you this time John!
Thanks & very well done Zoli & John.
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 2 May, Zoli HA2PP/P Activated HA/KD-003 KÃ¶zÃ©psÃ¶-Hajag & made 4 QSO’s (4 CW / 0 SSB)
On 26 May, John GX0OOO/P Activated G/NP-009 Buckden Pike & made 3 QSO’s (1 CW / 2 SSB)
As always, If you do have any suggestions on things that you think should be included, or if you wish to contribute tips, ideas or anything else that you think may help others on the band please email them to me at email@example.com
Until next month,
THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH - 66 - by Rob and Audrey G4RQJ
A very short entry this month due to poor weather and a holiday in the rather flat part of England.
Sunday 27th April (last month but outside the deadline) and a trip up Top oâ€™ Selside. This hill just has to be climbed at bluebell time as the woods on the ascent are a picture (this year youâ€™ve missed it). Best route is from Dodson Wood car park on the eastern shore of Coniston Water. There is room for about half a dozen cars but take care as the surface is very rough and we (I Rob!) did Â£200 worth of damage to the front skirt of the car a couple of years ago. The Route has four distinct sections, first the woods old English maritime deciduous woodland, rare and very pretty even without the bluebells. Tip:- About 100 yards into the woods from the car park a bunkhouse building appears to block the path, Keep to the right and go round the back where the path continues.
After a climb through the wood, a gate leads onto the second section a steep climb beside a wall on a rocky path that doubles as a stream. The path leads up to the third section, a bridleway which contours the hill as a broad balcony with spectacular views over Coniston Water to The Coniston Fells .Follow the balcony round until a marked track appears on the left. Take it and almost immediately turn left onto a track that leads up the fourth section a straightforward open fell walk to the summit. A large pile of stones marks the summit and it is possible to find cover from the weather from any direction. Lots of dx has been worked on 12m but the band does not want to work for us. After a lot of fruitless calling we heard a strong signal from Liverpool and gave him a shout. We were 59 with him which seemed to surprise him in view of our power output (5w) but he had regular skeds with several stateside stations so would scare up some traffic for us. He called for about 5 minutes; nothing then he had a phone call from one of the Stateside group asking where he was. As he was running the legal limit and a 4el beam at height we concluded that possibly the sky was broken and left!
On Sunday 4th May after a spell of poor wx we decided we had to do something so off to Hutton Roof Crag. This little hill is one of our favourites after an initial bad start when we used to attack it from the north which results in battles through the thick undergrowth and encounters with the limestone pavement, large thin vertical layers of rock with deep narrow fissures between them, good for ankle injuries and loosing things forever and best avoided. The best start is a small disused quarry now a country park area with car park and seats. The car park is very potholed and care is needed especially at the entrance. To get there take the A6070 to Burton in Kendal and at the southern end of the village take Dalton Lane leading east. A couple of miles up the road and the car park is on the left The walk through the woods is pretty but there had been a huge amount of logging which has left a scene reminiscent of the Eagles and No More Walks in the Woods… The summit has a trig pillar and there is plenty of room for antennas BUT the shrubs are thorny and love to catch wires as they are spread out, and particularly to the north the ground that looks sound grass contains a lot of hidden ankle damaging clefts. There is a boulder in this area which gives reasonable shelter and we set up camp there. The cloud that had been hanging about all day and was the main thing that drove us to this little hill continued to lower and with driving rain soon enveloped the summit. We managed close to three hours before being driven off dripping.
The weather for the next weekend was vile and the following weekend we embarked on a trip to Bedfordshire Pretty countryside lots of aviation museums etc which really are the clue to an area with no hills but lots of old airfields. By the time we were on the return run we were in dire need of a quick SOTA so stopped by on Billinge hill, an easy drop of from the M6. We have always found parking for this one a little difficult due to private roads and a narrow lane. The small area at the high point of Crank Lane has an area ostensibly for entry to one of the many utility sites but there is room for one car among the discarded black bin bags of rubbish.
This was to be a short hit and run VHF only activation which we do not like but needs must. The walk is short and boring but our personal weather system of high winds located us and we were forced into the shelter of the summit tower There is a good nucleus of chasers in the area and despite the breakthrough inherent on this hill we soon raised over the required number and were back at the car before the bin bags had a chance to complain. Selecting the southbound entry slip road on the M6 resulting in a trip down to the next junction to turn round was not my (Robs) finest hour!
Looking at the spots and upcoming activations seems to show a worrying reduction in UK activations or maybe it is the increasing worldwide spots that make this look so. Also worrying is that many UK posts are for the same old faces, us included, we do not seem to see many new recruits. Are we falling to the amateur radio stereotype of DX obsessed older people? Do we need a second front? Just food for thought.
Enough doom and gloom, summer and the Isle of Man just round the corner. Meanwhile we will try to resume our regular pattern of activities if only the weather improves
Take care out there.
Rob and Audrey
What of the (SOTA) future - 3
ACTIVATORS LIVE LONGER
For many people retirement is a chance to slow down, but those who want a healthy old age would be better doing the opposite. People who walk more lower their risk of a heart attack, a study shows.
Rather than have a sedentary lifestyle in retirement, researchers found that those aged over 65 who maintain a physical activity, such as walking, can improve their heart’s well being.
A study of 985 adults found that those who did the most exercise had an 11 per cent lower risk of heart attack than those who did the least.
Dr Luisa Soares of the Harvard School, of Public Health in the U.S. said “Any physical activity is better than none, but maintaining your activity has added heart benefits as you age”.
CW REPORT FOR MAY 2014 Roy G4SSH
Conditions during the month of May were some of the worst I have ever known, with frequent fade out’s of an entire band. There were days on end when SOTA signals from activators in Europe were inaudible on 7 MHz at my QTH and still very weak or inaudible even when they moved to 10 and 14 MHz, which was most unusual. Deep QSB and strong QRN also distorted many signals. There were times when I had to look out of the shack window to check that my antenna was still there.
The number of activations also reduced considerably. On the 13th May at 1030z the number of spots in the last 12 hours were just 12, compared with the 9th March when the number of spots in the last 12 hours was 487. For some reason the number of CW activations appeared to be the worst hit, with the SOTA Watch screen showing only SSB activations for hours on end.
However, highlights of the CW month were:-
Klaus DF2GN continuing to be active every few days during the month testing various antennas and closing each CW activation with a popular QRS CW session.
Robin, active as 9H4RH from both Malta MA-001and Gozo island GO-001, to give many chasers a new one.
Marko OH9XX was very active from many of the OH/JS region summits and Dan OK1DIG continued his almost daily activations of 4 or 5 OK summits.
Mikel EA2CW was active as AO2EU from an EU exhibition in Bilbao on the 9th May to celebrate Europe day, followed by activity from a local SOTA summit.
Phil CT9/G4OBK and Nick CT9/G4OOE were active from Madeira Island on the 16th and 17th. Operating from either side of each summit with a 2m link between them they successfully activated two bands simultaneously to give HF coverage on each band, both CW and SSB.
Nothing delights a chaser more than two activators operating different bands simultaneously, which ensures that at least one band will be audible to them. This method was also employed by Kurt HB9AFI and Heinz HB9BCB on their DL tour, later in the month, also by Emil DL8JJ and Martin DF3MC and Tof F5UBH with Bob F5HTR, also active on a German tour of 10-pointers, to the delight of many chasers. Later in the month came Pavel OK2BMA with Petr OK2BTK and Paul HB9DSTwith Peter HB9TVK and Bruno HB9CBR…
The improving weather across Europe brought out many activators travelling cross-border, where multi-summit activations were undertaken. Amongst those heard were:-
CT9/G4OBK, CT9/G4OOE, CT9/DM1LE, CT9/DG5WU,
F/HB9BIN, F/G8TMV, F/HB9AFI, F/ON6ZQ, F/VK3CAT,
DL/ON6ZQ, DL /PA3EYC, DL/OK2BDF, DL/HB9BRJ, DL/HB9AFI, DL/HB9BCB,DL/HB9BAB, DL/HB9DST,
LX/PA9CW, M/DF3MC, MM/PA1IJF
OE/HB9DST, OE/DM1LE, OK/DL6AP, OK/DL8RL, OE/DJ2FR,
ON/PA0SKP, ON /PA9CW, OZ/DL6AP.
SP/PB2T, SP/OK2VWB, SV8/DJ5AA,
My apologies if I have missed any activators who feel that they should be on the above list, but this is a one man job and I do have days away from home. (Ed).
The deadline for the 12m challenge was the end of May and in their eagerness to collect some last minute points, some chasers were reacting to a SOTA Watch spot by sending their call blind on the 24 MHz frequency given, and being answered by a station giving 599 BK, which they acknowledged and presumably entered this in their log. However, the month of May was a prime time for special event calls out of Russia and other special occasions such as YP10NATO, SN777HMY and 4Z266POPE and 24 MHz was a popular band for these stations.
I did post a warning on SOTA Watch to the effect that on one occasion the activator in question was underneath an anniversary station who was answering calls from chasers and Phil G4OBK issued a similar comment about an SSB station. The advice is simple, ALWAYS wait for confirmation of the call of the station you have worked.
SOTA CW ACTIVATORS SUBMITTING ENTRIES TO THE DATA BASE ABOVE 7 MHZ DURING MAY 2014 - from Kevin G0NUP
This file produced on 30th May 2014
Mode: SOTA CW on 10MHz: activity for May
9H4RH/P, AA5CK, AD5A, AO2EU, CT9/G4OOE/P, DF2GN/P, DF3MC/P, DJ2FR, DJ5AA/P, DJ9MH/P, DK7FH/P, DK7MG/P, DL/F5HTR/P, DL/F5UBH/P, DL/HB9AFI/P, DL/HB9BCB/P, DL/HB9BRJ/P, #DL/OK2BDF/P, DL/ON6ZQ/P, DL/PA3EYC/P, DL1ASA/P, DL2DXA/P, DL4KCA/P, DL4MHA/P, DL4TO/P, DL8JJ/P, DL9TX/P, EA2BD/P, EA2BDS/P, EA2CW/P, EA2IF/P, EA4MY/P, F/HB9AFI/P, F/HB9BIN/P, F/ON6ZQ/P, F5IRO/P, F5LKW/P, F5OAU/P, F5UKL/P, F6HBI/P, G3RDQ/P, G4ASA/P, GM4COX, GW0HIO/P, GW6DTN/P, GX0OOO/P, HA2PP/P, HA2VR/P, HA5AZC/P, HA5LV/P, HA5MA/P, HB9AFI/P, HB9AGO/P, HB9BAB/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BHW/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9BQU/P, HB9BRJ/P, HB9BSH/P, HB9CAT/P, HB9CBR/P, HB9CGA/P, HB9CMI/P, HB9CZF/P, HB9DGV/P, HB9DST/P, HB9EWO/P, HB9IIO/P, HB9JOE/P, HB9TVK/P, I/F6HBI/P, IV3RJH/P, K0JQZ, K1JD, K7ATN, K7SO, K9ZMD, KC5CW, KD5KC, KE5AKL, KF7PXT, LA1EBA/P, LA1ENA/P, LA5XTA/P, LJ1GB, LX/PA9CW/P, M/DF3MC/P, M0HJV/P, M0IML/P, MM0GYX/P, MW0IDX/P, N0OI, N1EU, N6JZT, NA6MG, NE1SJ, NF1R, NM5TW, NS7P, OE/DK7MG/P, OE/DM1LE/P, OE/HB9DST/P, OE1MVA/P, OE3HPU/P, OE5AUL/P, OE5EEP/P, OE6PKF/P, OE8SPW/P, OK/DL6AP/P, OK/DL8RL/P, OK1CZ/P, OK1DIG/P, OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2BDF/P, OK2BMA/P, OK2BTK/P, OK2BWB/P, OK2HIJ/P, OK2KGE/P, OK2SAM/P, OK2VWB/P, OK8DDR/P, OM3CUG/P, OM4DW/P, OM4XA/P, ON/PA0SKP/P, ON/PA9CW/P, ON4FI/P, S52CU/P, SP/OK2VWB/P, SP/PB2T/P, VA2VL, W3/VK3WAM, W5RST, W6/VK3WAM, W6AH, W6UB, WA2USA/P, WA9STI, WH6LE, YO/DL2DXA/P, YO2BP/P
Mode: SOTA CW on 14MHz: activity for May,
9H4RH/P, AA5CK, AB1AV, AC1Z/P, AD5A, AE7AP, AO2EU, CT1BWW/P, CT9/G4OBK/P, CT9/G4OOE/P, DF2GN/P, DF3MC/P, DF8KY/P, DJ2FR, DJ9MH/P, DK2JK/P, DK7FH/P, DL/F5HTR/P, DL/HB9AFI/P, DL/HB9BCB/P, DL2DXA/P, DL4FO/P, DL4KCA/P, DL4TO/P, DL8JJ/P, DL9TX/P, EA1AER/P, EA2BDS/P, EA2CW/P, EA2DPA/P, EA2IF/P, EA4MY/P, F/HB9AFI/P, F/M0LEP/P, F5LKW/P, F5UKL/P, F6HBI/P, F8FEO/P, G0HIO/P, G3NYY/P, G4ASA/P, G4RQJ/P, G4TJC/P, GA0BKC/P, GM4COX, GW0HIO/P, GW0NMD/P, GW3NYY/P, GW4ISJ/P, HA/OH0FM/P, HA2VR/P, HA5AZC/P, HA5LV/P, HA5MA/P, HB9AFI/P, HB9AGO/P, HB9BAB/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9BQU/P, HB9CAT/P, HB9CBR/P, HB9CGA/P, HB9CLT/P, HB9CMI/P, HB9DGV/P, HB9DST/P, HB9IIO/P, HB9TVK/P, I/F6HBI/P, IV3RJH/P, IZ5GHD/P, K0JQZ, K1TNT, K5WI, K6CMG, K6EL, K6HPX, K7ATN, K7NEW, K7SO, K9EZ/P, K9ZMD, KB9FKO, KC5CW, KD5KC, KD7WPJ, KE5AKL, KF7PXT, KI6FCT, KK1W, KR7W, KX0R, KX9X/1, LA1EBA/P, LA1ENA/P, LA8BCA/P, LJ1GB, M/DF3MC/P, M0BGR/P, M0FMF/P, M0HDF/P, M0HJV/P, M0IML/P, M1BUU/P, MM0GYX/P, MW0IDX/P, N0BN, N0OI, N1EU, N2GDS, N3RN, N6CK, N6JZT, N7KRN, N7UN, NA6MG, ND0C, ND7PA, NE1SJ, NF1R, NK6A, NM5S, NM5TW, NS0TA, NS7P, OE1MVA/P, OE3HPU/P, OE5EIN/P, OE5FSM/P, OH3KRH/P, OH9XX/P, OK/DL6AP/P, OK1CZ/P, OK1DDQ/P, OK1DVM/P, OK1FRT/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2BMA/P, OK2BTK/P, OK2BWB/P, OK2QA/P, OK2SAM/P, OM3CUG/P, ON/PA0SKP/P, ON4FI/P, PA0SKP/P, S51RU/P, S51WX/P, S52CU/P, S57X/P, S58R/P, SP/PB2T/P, SV1COX/P, VA2L, VA2SG/P, VA2VL, VE2DDZ, VK5CZ, W0CCA, W0EA, W1ZU, W2CKL, W3/VK3WAM, W4TJE, W4ZV, W5ODS, W5RST, W5SMD, W5YA, W6/VK3WAM, W6AH, W6UB, W7JET, W7USA, W8/VK3WAM, WA2USA/P, WA6ARA, WA7JTM, WA9STI, WB0USI, WH6LE, WS0TA, WT5RZ, YO/DL2DXA/P, YO2BP/P
Mode: SOTA CW on 18MHz: activity for May,
9H4RH/P, AA5CK, AD5A, CT9/G4OBK/P, CT9/G4OOE/P, DF2GN/P, DF3MC/P , DJ9MH/P, DL/HB9AFI/P, DL/HB9BCB/P, DL/HB9BRJ/P, DL/PA3EYC/P, EA2CW/P, EA4MY/P, F/M0LEP/P, F/ON6ZQ/P, F5OAU/P, F5UKL/P, F6HBI/P, G3RDQ/P, G4ASA/P, GA0BKC/P, HA2PP/P, HA2VR/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9BRJ/P, HB9CAT/P, HB9CBR/P, HB9CGA/P, HB9CMI/P, HB9IIO/P, K1JD, K1TNT, KC5CW, KX0R, LJ1GB, M/DF3MC/P, M0BGR/P, M0FMF/P, MM0FMF/P, MM0GYX/P, N0OI, N1EU, N6JZT, NA6MG, ND0C, NS7P, OE/DM1LE/P, OE1MVA/P, OE3HPU/P, OE5EEP/P, OH9XX/P, OK/DL8RL/P, OK1DDQ/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2BMA/P, OK2BTK/P, OK2BWB/P, OK8DDR/P, ON/PA0SKP/P, S52CU/P, W0EA, W1ZU, YO2BP/P ,
Mode: SOTA CW on 21MHz: activity for May,
AA5CK, AO2EU, CT9/G4OBK/P, DD5AM, DF2GN/P, DJ9MH/P, DL/HB9BCB/P, DL/PA3EYC/P, EA2BD/P, EA2CW/P, F5UKL/P, F6HBI/P, G4ASA/P, GW0NMD/P, HA5MA/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9BQU/P, HB9BRJ/P, HB9CBR/P, HB9CGA/P, HB9CMI/P, HB9DST/P, HB9EHP/P, HB9TVK/P, K1JD, K6EL, K7NEW, K9ZMD, KC5CW, KD5KC, KD7WPJ, KK1W, KX0R, KX9X/1, M0IML/P, M1BUU/P, MM0GYX/P, N0OI, N1EU, N6CK, N7UN, NA6MG, NE1SJ, NK6A, NM5S, NM5TW, NS0TA, NS7P, OE1MVA/P, OE5EEP/P, OK/DL6AP/P, OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2BWB/P, OM3CUG/P, S52CU/P, S57X/P, S58R/P, VA2VL, VE2DDZ, VK5CZ, W4ZV, W5ODS, W5RST, W6AH, WA2USA/P, WA7JTM, WB5USB, WS0TA, WT5RZ
Mode: SOTA CW on 24MHz: activity for May,
9H4RH/P, AD5A, DF2GN/P, DL/F5HTR/P, DL/HB9AFI/P, DL/HB9BCB/P, DL/PA3EYC/P, DL2DXA/P, DL4KCA/P, DL4MHA/P, DL4TO/P, EA1AER/P, EA2BDS/P, EA2CW/P, EA2IF/P, EA4MY/P, F/HB9AFI/P, F/HB9BIN/P, F5UKL/P, F6HBI/P, G3RDQ/P, G4RQJ/P, G4TJC/P, GM4COX, GW4AZS/P, GW4TJC/P, HA2PP/P, HA2VR/P, HA5LV/P, HB9AFH/P, HB9AFI/P, HB9AGO/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9BQU/P, HB9BSH/P, HB9CAT/P, HB9CBR/P, HB9CGA/P, HB9CMI/P, HB9CZF/P, HB9IIO/P, K1JD, K1MAZ, K7ATN, K7NEW, K9ZMD LA1ENA/P, M0FMF/P, M1BUU/P, M1EYP/P, MM0FMF/P, N0OI, NA6MG, NE1SJ, NK6A, OE5EEP/P, OH3KRH/P, OH9XX/P, OK/DL1DVE/P, OK/DL8RL/P, OK/OM4DW/P, OK1DIG/P, OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2BDF/P, OK2BWB/P, OM/SQ9SHR/P, OM4DW/P, ON4FI/P, S52CU/P, SQ9SHR/P, VE2DDZ, W4ZV, W7JET, W7USA, WA7JTM, WA9STI, WB5USB, WH6LE, YO/DL2DXA/P,
Mode: SOTA CW on 28MHz: activity for May,
DJ9MH/P, DL/HB9AFI/P, DL/HB9BCB/P, EA2CW/P, F5UKL/P, F6HBI/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9CAT/P, KX9X/1, NS7P, OK1DVM/P, OK1MLP/P, W5ODS, W6AH
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