SOTA News June 2016

SOTA NEWS JUNE 2016 - Part 1 of 2

Editorial - by Mark G0VOF

Welcome to the June 2016 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Barry GM4TOE, Skip K6DGW, Roy G4SSH, Kevin G0NUP, Rob and Audrey G4RQJ, Luc ON7DQ, Allen VK3ARH, Warren ZL2AJ, Jürg HB9BIN, Toru JH0CJH, Nick G4OOE, Hans PB2T, Martin DF3MC, Geert PA7ZEE.

Firstly a reminder that the annual friedrichshafen amateur radio rally takes place from 24th –26th June. This is usually an ideal opportunity for activators & chasers from around Europe & beyond to meet up. Many activators also take the opportunity to activate summits in the area and also on the way to & from the rally.

The May 2016 edition of SOTA News was viewed more than 1250 times.

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

May has been a very quiet month for awards claims but there are some notable ones none the less. Congratulations to Mountain Goats KC5CW, HL2OLP and HL2IYQ; apparently there are more Mountain Goats than Shack Sloths in South Korea and efforts are being made to encourage more local amateurs to Chase SOTA activations. Shack Sloth award claimants this month are AC2KL, GW4BKG and KC6CMG.

DB7MM continues his steady activations now reaching 2500 points and HB9JOE has activated 250 unique summits – once again, congratulations.


Mountain Goat
KC5CW Curtis Hays II
HL2OLP Kim Chang-Shin

Shack Sloth
AC2KL Kevin Magde
GW4BKG Stephen Emlyn-Jones

Certificates Issued

DB7MM Dr. Michael Multerer 2500 points
HL2IYQ Hogyeong Gwon 1000 points
G1FOA Peter Franklin 500 points
ND9Q Douglas Quamme 500 points
N2GBR Richard Jones 250 points

Activator Unique
HB9JOE Andreas Thiemann 250 summits

K6CMG Christopher Goodman 1000 points
GW4BKG Stephen Emlyn-Jones 1000 points
AK5SD Scott T. Dupuie 1000 points
HB9FBG Mauro Santus 500 points
DG4KAI Kai Wendt 250 points
KB9AIT Gary Hoehne 100 points
AF7VP Tyler Call 100 points

Chaser Unique
OZ4RT John Arnvig 5000 summits
G1FOA Peter Franklin 100 summits
W0QFW Robert A Carter 100 summits
VK5PL David Poole 100 summits

Summit to Summit
G4CFS Glyn Dodwell Red

Mountain Hunter
DG4KAI Kai Wendt Bronze

I have been informed that my contact address is wrong on some pages of the shopping website, this is due to the ongoing lack of easy internet access and the requirement to do a full update of this website. If you do need to contact me then the address shown on the checkout page, and also on, is the correct one although I do have mail re-direct from my old address.

New T Shirts are now in stock with Red replacing Magenta (although I do have a few Magenta ones available if you are interested – email me to find what is available). I have a prototype sweatshirt with a multicolour screen printed logo on it and will put a photo on the SOTA website once I am happy with the results.

Just a reminder that awards (and merchandise) form the only income stream to keep SOTA, and its digital facilities, available free for use by all so please consider claiming awards as you achieve key levels to keep SOTAwatch and the database available.


Barry GM4TOE
SOTA Awards Manager


Hi All,

Well, as of this writing, still no activations from the new KL associations. News from the New World is a bit sparse this month. The statistics look a lot like last month … except we had just a bit over half the reported Chaser QSO’s of last month. Weather in the eastern half of the continent may have contributed to that decline, it has been wet, violent, and prolonged.

STATISTICS [as of 1730 UTC 29 May 2016]:

Total Activations: 396 [394]
Nr Unique Activators: 152 [147]
Total Chaser QSOs: 2904 [4457]
Nr Unique Chasers: 222 [234]
Unique Summits: 329 [305]

2m: 188 (6%) [118]
6m: 2 (0%) [0]
10m: 1 (0%) [7]
12m: 0 (0%) [0]
15m: 17 (0%) [60]
17m: 97 (3%) [92]
20m: 1807 (62%) [2844]
30m: 283 (9%) [275]
40m: 503 (17%) [1050]
60m: 0 (0%) [2]
80m: 0 (0%) [0]
160m: 0 (0%) [1]
Unk: 6

CW: 1827 (62%) [2607]
SSB: 887 (30%) [1723]
FM: 186 (6%) [125]
AM: 0 (0%) [0]
Data: 1 (0%) [0]
Other: 1 (0%) [1]
Unk: 6

The split between CW, SSB, and FM has remained essentially constant for many months, as has the preponderance of 20 meter QSO’s. 10 and 12 meters are pretty dead right now and 15 meters hasn’t been much better. Cycle 24 surely wasn’t anything to write home about, but at its peak it was still a lot better than now as we wait for Cycle 25 to crank up.


Doc, K7SO, advised me that, “Yesterday Alan, NM5S, became the 2nd NA activator to reach 4000 points. Next up is no doubt Fred, KT5X. That will put 3 New Mexico Goats leading the herd!” Congratulations Alan!


Paul, W6PNG and W6 Assoc Mgr, reports: “Michael, KX6A has assumed the duties of Region Manager for the W6 Southern Coastal Region, taking over from Christopher, K6CMG.”

Also from Paul: “As some of you might have seen in this months SOTA news we have added approximately 570 peaks to 3,718 we already have for a grand total of 4,329 and it didn’t include any serious tectonic activity but rather the benefits of improved satellite imaging.”

There is a brand new website at with news and W6 SOTA events.

And speaking of association web sites, this from Etienne, K7ATN: “Here on May Day, spring seems to have arrived in the Pacific Northwest. And so Here’s a link for the Pacific Northwest SOTA Newsletter for May and June”

“We’ve a great story from John-VA7JBE on his attempt on Mount Rogers and news about the SOTA Gathering in Seaside, Oregon on June 3, before the SeaPac hamfest.”

“You can find newsletter back issues here:”

Pacific Northwest SOTA Newsletters |

Although it’s a bit in the future, the Colorado 14er Event is a big one and Bob, K0NR reports: “We’ve made an important change to the Colorado 14er Event this year: it has been expanded from Sunday morning only to all weekend. More specifically, the event is all day Saturday August 6 and Sunday August 7. The 14er Event task force recently made this decision with the intent of expanding the event to give mountaintop activators more options to participate.”

“We believe that the inclusion of SOTA summits and increased event
duration is a very nice combination. For example, you might want to do
an easy SOTA peak on Saturday and then climb a 14er on Sunday. We expect that most of the activity will be concentrated on Saturday and Sunday mornings, because climbers will want to avoid the afternoon
thunderstorms. But many of the SOTA summits are near or below treeline, so we may see activations later in the day.”

“So update your calendar and think about how you might take advantage of the expanded options. The web site has been updated with the new dates.”

The rather cool 14er logo


This month we have a cross-Atlantic trip from Paul, AA1MI/HB9DST: “A return trip to the USA including 12 SOTA associations from New York to the Dakotas”

“My daughter graduated from Notre Dame this past May. My ex-wife Marge was driving from NH to IN and back. I offered to fly over from my home in HB-land to help with the driving, but only if we could activate every SOTA association along the way and back - and she took me up on the offer. Over three weeks we drove a total of 5650 miles (9092 km) and I activated 12 summits, each one in a new association for me, bringing my current total to 31. Our route was basically NH to PA, VA and WV, across KY and TN to MO, then to South Bend IN for graduation festivities. We continued to MN and SD (our western-most point), then to the upper peninsula of MI and finally VE2 before returning to NH.”

These are the summits I activated:

W2/NJ-009 (Palisades HP)
W3/PO-032 (Shanwnee Mtn)
W4V/GC-001 (High Knob)
W4K/EC-001 (Black Mountain)
W8V/NR-014 (3420)
W9/IN-002 (Jackson County HP)
W8O/SW-012 (Hamilton County HP)
W0M/SF-001 (Taum Sauk Mountain)
K0M/SE-003 (1110) / Frontenac State Park
W0D/ES-002 (Roberts County HP)
W8M/UP-062 (Sugarloaf Mountain)
VE2/ML-004 (Mont Royal)

“Because we were on a somewhat tight. ambitious schedule, I selected easy summits, typically ones you can drive up to. The most hiking we did at any one spot was 30 minutes. The first week of travel we were dodging thunderstorms, but I got lucky and needed my rain pants only once. The third week of the trip we had bright, sunny skies and summer temperatures. Besides the SOTAs, we made some side trips for Marge’s benefit to places including Monticello, Nashville, the Jim Beam distillery in Kentucky, Niagara Falls and a return visit to Montreal.”

“Operating CW only as AA1MI/P, my station consisted of a kit-built MTR-5B (and an ATS-4 for a backup) with a 9.9V LiFePO4 battery and an EndFedz 40/30/20m end-fed dipole elevated with a 5 meter mast secured at the bottom with a fishing rod holder. Fortunately I had no equipment troubles, and airport security showed little interest in my gear (as opposed to the Canadian border crossing when our car was scanned). I got two S2S QSOs (NS7P on W7O/WV-07 and K9PM/P on W7A/PN-001) plus two DX contacts with G4OBK and EA2LU, both of whom I have in my log many times from EU activations.”

“I discovered several differences in a SOTA activation compared to Western Europe. First is the number of chasers on the air. I did manage to get the required 4 QSOs on every summit, and I averaged almost 9. There was one case, though, where it took me a full hour to get just 4: it was noon on Mother’s Day (and I guess chasers have mothers, too, so weren’t sitting in front of their radios). But without spots and the Reverse Beacon Network, I’m not sure if I would have gotten all the activations in the log. This contrasts to Europe where you call CQ once or twice on a SOTA frequency, and within minutes you have a pileup to rival the ones I experienced during the 3W6C Vietnam DXpedition. Further, in Europe on CW, 40m and then 30m are the bread-and-butter bands; in the US I relied on 20m for 95% of my contacts and 40m was almost always dead. Finally, in the 12 activations I got only 2 S2S contacts; in Europe, where the number/density of activiations is much higher, I’m disappointed if I don’t get at least one S2S, and if I hang around for an hour or two on a summit I can generally bag 10 or more S2S QSOs.”

“As noted, it was sometimes not easy to get the necessary QSOs to qualify the activation. Thus, I would like to especially thank K4MF and W7RV, both of whom made contact with me on six summits, and KG3W, N8BB, NE4TN, NS7P, W0ERI and W0MNA, each of whom made contact with me on five summits. Great ears, guys, and thanks for the support!”

"As an aside, during the trip we had many wonderful experiences and saw many sections of our beautiful country. Marge also managed to book us into some interesting hotels, three of which deserve mention. First is the Deer Head Inn in Delaware Water Gap, PA. I visited this place 45 years ago when I was a bartender in the Poconos for a summer. It claims to be the longest continually running jazz club in the US, and we were there for a Thursday night jam session. Also, the hotel is directly (and I mean directly) on the Appalachian Trail.

The Deer Hear Inn

Second is the Benham School House Inn in Benham, KY. In the early 1900s, International Harvester built a school to educate the coal miners’ children, and not long ago it was converted into a really interesting hotel where the classrooms have been turned into hotel rooms. Third is the Thunder Bay Inn in Big Bay, MI. This is the place where the 1959 movie Anatomy of a Murder starring James Stewart, Lee Remick and Ben Gazzara and with a score by Duke Ellington was filmed. Don’t expect WiFi here, or even electric sockets that accept a third prong, but we listened to a group of locals perform an informal concert of country and folk music."

“All in all, it was a wonderful trip. The future? My other daughter graduates from the Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta next May, and I have the suspicion there might be a SOTA trip heading west from Atlanta as far as who knows where? Keep an ear out for my signal!”

Finally, from John, VA7JBE, some unplanned excitement:

“On April 14, 2016, four of us decided to make a late-season skiing attempt to summit Mt. Rogers in Glacier National Park, British Columbia. This 3,168m peak is named after a surveyor who first mapped the area in the late 19th century for the Canadian Pacific Railroad Company. Our attempt began just after sunrise the highway trailhead at 1200m. We climbed 800m through steep trees to reach the alpine before making a sharp turn and climbing another 500m up towards the Swiss Glacier between Mt. Rogers and the Hermit Range. The final approach was too steep and hard to skin up, even with ski crampons, so we strapped our gear to our packs and kicked steps into the snow for the last 400m.”

“We had decided on a turnaround time earlier in the day to allow us to descend below the large avalanche hazards before dark. Unfortunately, that time arrived at the same time that we reached a col 100m below the summit. Deciding not to risk further exposure, we took a few pictures and prepared to ski back down the glacier to the second car we had stashed earlier in the day. The FT-817 and 20m dipole I had climbed with for 2000m stayed in my pack, there was no time.”

“I skied first and after only a dozen turns suffered an equipment malfunction, tearing the toe piece of my binding out of my ski and sending me tumbling down a 40 degree slope. I was able to self-arrest after about 30m, with one ski on and the broken binding still attached to my boot. After checking to see if I was alright, the rest of the group skied down the glacier and confirmed that the ski was unrepairable.”

“With my mobility significantly limited, and sunset quickly approaching, I decided to contact the National Parks service and ask for help. There is limited cellular service in the park, and we were beyond the line of sight for all of the towers in the area. Fortunately my VHF handheld was capable of operating beyond amateur bands, and I had the frequencies for the Parks repeater. After contacting the dispatcher a helicopter was prepped and flew in to meet us at a flat spot on the glacier below. We had a good view of the route that took us 10 hours to climb up as the helicopter reversed it in less than 5 minutes.”

“See the following for a full report and photos:”

That’s -30- for this month, Safe Summits are Happy Summits,


Skip K6DGW
North American SOTA Reporter Dude


NZART Conference. My talk will be on Sunday 5th June 2016 (conference is Saturday as well).
I will activate a summit or 2 the following Monday.

Warren Harris ZL2AJ
021 649284

Note from Editor:-
Warren complies a report for the New Zealand national magazine after the end of the month, to allow him to collect all the statistics. This is forwarded along to me during the first few days of a new month but misses our publication deadline on the last day of the month.
News from New Zealand will be inserted here upon arrival - Mark


It’s May. Stable weather, dry air, many sunshine, the best season has come
to Japan.

More than 50% larger expeditions have been made compare with April and more
than double numbers of SOTA QSO have been recorded on database in May.
Especially in JA Honshu region the number of SOTA QSO is nearly 3 times of

Honshu region is obviously largest part of Japan and 81 percent of
population is allocated in Honshu region. This number means SOTA is
getting more awareness of ham radio group especially in Honshu region. It is
true that some stations started to use SOTA summit ID code in CQ calling.
We SOTA lovers are really appreciate the current state of awareness.

SOTA lovers group got reputation of good manner of operation of DXing.
There is famous DX cluster in Japan, and one day some wrong setting caused
SOTAwatch2 posting fed to the DX cluster. In the DX cluster self-spotting
is ruled out because of its congestion and abuse of cluster spotting.
However the SOTAwatch2 self spot feed looks exactly like those self
spotting on DX cluster. Some irritated DX cluster user started to claim
this self spotting by SOTA group. Suddenly all SOTA lovers stopped self
spotting on SOTAwatch2 to avoid miss treatment on DX cluster and try to
find out the route of this wrong feed. Fortunately this feed has been
stopped and came back to normal status but we made apology message to DX cluster
operator and users. Then we got the message that all DX lovers found this
matter write after feed started within DX lover group and they understood
that it shall not be the activity of SOTA lovers and they believe that
some mistake has been made at somewhere. This means SOTA lovers were
thought that they shall never doing such out of rule things on DX cluster.

We really appreciate this sincere comments and all of this come from
moralistic operation of ham radio by SOTA lovers and kind understandings
of DX lovers. We shall never end this trust between DX lovers and keep it forever.

SOTA operation April 2016 in Japan

Total number of Expedition 158 with 2000 QSO as of 30th May 2016.

JA: 146 expeditions with 1910 QSO from Summits
JA5: 3 expeditions with 34 QSO from Summits
JA6: 9 expeditions with 56 QSO from Summits
JA8: 0 expeditions with 0 QSO from Summits

Toru Kawauchi
JH0CJH / JA1CTV業務日誌 Just call me!

THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH - 101 By Rob and Audrey G4RQJ

Off we go again and first out of the box is Normanby Top, a by product of our visit to Lincoln for the Dam Busters Rally. This hill is a drive up top occupied by a radar site and wide swathes of field under intensive agricultural activity leaving not a lot of open space for activation. As usual we parked the car close to the radar site and walked a respectable distance from it along the road which has quite broad but sometimes muddy verges.

As we set up the 2m antenna a chap returned to a 4x4 parked in a field gate further down the road. He looked across at us and started fiddling with some sort of rod from the back of the vehicle. We had noticed an alert for an earlier activation from the hill so wondered if this was the other activator but he showed no sign of approaching us, just watching from a distance. We carried on and when our 2m beam rose in the air he shouted across “What are you after?” “Radio Amateurs we replied”. He nodded and turned to the vehicle and when he turned back towards us he had a large beautiful bird of prey on his arm He held the bird up for us to see, returned it to the vehicle and drove off,
Amazing what you see on summits. We launched into the activation on 2mFM, takers were few and far between but we eventually managed one on 2mSSB and six on FM including G6PJZ/M, Andy who had been the earlier activator on the summit and he drove back into the activation area to meet us to round off a nice basic activation.

Sunday 8th May and it’s bluebell time so off to Top O’ Selside where the woods are always spectacular… The only path up to the bridleway that borders the slope high on the fell is from Dodgson Wood car park on the eastern shore of Coniston Water. This small space in the woods can take about half a dozen cars but be careful of the rocks in the ground that can do serious damage to low slung cars. (We speak from experience). Today all the spaces are taken but there is still hope. About a hundred yards into the woods is a bunk house used for camping, the occupants use the Dodgson Wood car park and often pull out on a Sunday morning. One of them confirms that they are off shortly and another arrives soon after and swaps places with us leaving us temporarily boxed but free to set off up the hill. The path through the woods is a delight at this time of year with a carpet of blue and white among the green trees that cover the quite steep slope. At the end off the woods the path has a steep climb beside a wall and some parts do duty as part of the nearby stream. Once on the bridleway a pleasant walk contours round the slope with superb views over Coniston Water to the higher fells behind. When you reach a marker post it’s time to leave the bridleway and climb on grass back almost the way you came to curve eventually to your right to meet a little valley that leads up to the summit marked by a pile of stones. There is some shelter all round the summit but today the usual cold wind forces us onto the western slope with a poor takeoff to the important south. In the following two hours we managed just FIVE contacts including two s2s, all on 2m FM… On 2m ssb,5Mhz 7Mhz, 10Mhz 14Mhz NOTHING, broken sky and lack of chasers. Best DX was the first cuckoo of spring we heard in the distance on the descent!

After an exhaustive investigation the FT817 and the antennas are proved not guilty and it’s Sunday 15th and time for Holm Fell which is best climbed from rhe little car park beside Yew Tree Tarn room for about six cars but very busy with short stay photographers. The climb is steep once the low section to the east of the tarn is covered. As we climb steadily up the stony gully that does part time duty as the stream we are passed by a group of visitors who give us a friendly Hello but nothing else and speak a language we do not recognize with our basic French and German. They leave us at the point that we turn left up the steep grass slope that leads to the summit. We settled on the top, out of the wind, ready for a pleasant activation. After an hour on 2m we have made just seven contacts five on FM and two on SSB Of these one is a portable above Tilberthwait Gill about half a mile away, one a s2s with Ingleborough and one a pair with the same station in both modes. not an inspiring bag! perhaps HF will be better. Half an hour later after extensive calling on 5MHz I give a despairing last call with no replies I hear nothing but Audrey says she hears an s2s call, I try again and there is Andy FMF who reports similar lack of activity. 7MHz cw produces three and a half contacts in deep QSB, 30m and 20m are not playing at all, Eleven total in two hours is not good!

Time now for a midweek trip to Skipton so Tuesday17th and an early evening trip up Sharp Haw. The walk in from Bog Lane is always a bit of a slog but today it is almost totally dry under foot which is rather unusual given the name of the start point. The summit is unchanged and the remains of the once pleasant bench lie where they fell some years ago. Over the stile made from an ancient bed stead the summit area is quite eroded and dusty with lots of mountain bike tracks, three visit while we are there, 2m is hard work for just 5 on FM and1 on SSB the latter a repeat from FM.

Wednesday18th and we are on our way to Great Whernside, aiming to walk from the cattle grid 3.5 miles from Kettlewell. As we arrive at the start of the road from Kettlewell we find workmen putting up road barriers, the road is closed for three days from today, good news there is a diversion bad news, it’s 32 miles long! We have a hasty council of war, other local hill is Buckden Pike but we only know it from the same cattle grid and are not mapped up for it so Cracoe Fell it is. The lay by on the B6160 is small and hard to spot, the hundred yards to the start of the bridle way with no footway is the stuff of nightmares as the two way traffic is all doing 60MPH round the curve so can’t see you 'till they are on your lap, what fun. Personally I (Rob) find Cracoe hard work, the path from the cross that overlooks the valley to the obelisk marking the high point is wearisome in the extreme and I much preferred the old Thorpe Fell Top which was more of a navigation exercise Just 8 0n 2m FM and two on 2m SSB after a lot of calling and some long nice chatty QSO,s and we trudge off down. Its our wedding university again(53) so we are going out to celebrate, Wait a minute we’re staying in a pub with great food! problem solved.

Thursday 19th and the plan is to activate Rombald’s Moor. Following problems finding the road up the hill in the past I(Rob) have marked it for our GPS so off we go. It seems to pick a very strange route and after we pass through Ilkley and are miles up a single track road to nowhere it becomes obvious even to me that I have not done it very well! We turn round and Audrey navigates us faultlessly through Silsden and up to the radio mast. The moor is very dry (this is a relative assessment) and much work has been done on the footpath with stone flags since our last visit so we are soon on the top and in action. Just 4 on 2m FM and 3 on ssb and one of those is a double. In an experiment we stay in qso on 144.300 for about 10 minutes surely someone will tell us “You’re on the calling channel” but no the band remains as quiet as the grave. We close and head for the low ground.

Back at home and looking at our recent figures there would seem to be an alarming drop off in local chasers. We set out as an experienced operation running 5W ish from an FT817and a four element beam to see how well we can do from some of the lower northern hills. Most of the stations who worked us were either older folks who like a chatty qso (so do we) They will come on “to give you a point 'cos you seemed to be struggling but I don’t bother with going on the sota site” or new call sign holders breathless at working some DX. Both these are great and love this sort of contacts but where are the former regulars? Have they become disenchanted and if so why? We used to enter a log for an elderly chaser who we met on the air but never in person. He was not into computers so we printed a blank log sheet and periodically he would return a full one for us to enter. We still have a letter from him after he received his first Chaser certificate saying how proud he was of it as in all his years of amateur radio he had never achieved anything like it. Perhaps you know someone you could do this for. One of our recent callers turned out to have been seriously disabled in an accident, in better times he had climbed Cracoe many times and was delighted to hear about the summit and we were able to bring it to him for a few moments. Please take time to chat if conditions permit, if not say so, people are not stupid, End of sermon.

By the time the NEXT SOTA news comes out we should be on the Isle of Man for our annual visit. Once more the G4RQJ/P Worked all GD Summits Award 2016 will be available for anyone who works us on all five of the Manx Summits at least once. As usual we will try to activate all of them at least once on as many bands as possible, just hope hf conditions buck up a bit. Times will be variable as we fit in holiday stuff.

Hope to work lots of you, meanwhile

Take care out there
Rob and Audrey

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

SOTA NEWS JUNE 2016 - Part 2


VK SOTA News from Allen VK3ARH

The action for May was from VK9/N – Norfolk Island.

With amateurs converging on Norfolk Island for the Wireless Institute of Australia’s 2016 Annual general Meeting is was a given there will be activations both organised and ad hoc.

Organised activations were conducted by VK9NT. VK9NT consisting of a team of of five Australian radio amateur’s. The team established a base and as well as conducting activations qualifying for the SOTA and WWFF awards programs.
Some attending the Annual General meeting gained VK9 call signs (VK9PAS, VK9NG, VK9DAC) and many took advantage of the conditions to complete adhoc activate SOTA or WWFF positions. Call signs included regular SOTA and Parks activators (VK3PF, VK3AFW, VK3TWO, VK6FMON, VK5FMAZ, VK2XSE, VK2VVV) as well as the special call sign VI9ANZAC.From all accounts it was a successful and beneficial exercise.

More associations for ZL.
ZL3 South Island went live on May 1st. In total there are 3900 summits in ZL3. Congratulations go out to Warren ZL2AJ, Andrew VK3ARR, Richard ZL4FZ and Don ZL3DMC for the effort required to bring the South Island to SOTA.

Andrew VK3ARR happened to be in ZL on the launch date. Andrew VK3ARR and Warren ZL2AJ whilst working closely on getting the ZL associations off the ground and expanding had never meet. Andrew meet up with Warren to successfully gain access and activated ZL3/MB-093. Not alone on the big day, Paul ZL2RE activated ZL3/MB-278 and Andrew ZL3CC made it up to ZL3/CB-806 Coopers Knob to successfully activate on the day. VK activators came to the party to support with S2S opportunities as well as the growing band of chasers all to celebrate the launch of ZL3.

Upcoming events.

VK SOTA Bonus period. Additional 3 points for remote summits dependent on association. Whilst the weather has been mild, the road closures will ensure you work for the additional points.

Ian VK5CZ is organising the FYBO Contest set for 26th of June. Freeze Your Butt Off is run in America also as a mid winter contest. The main purpose of this event is to encourage portable operations during cold and wet and windy weather conditions. For rules and more information contact Ian VK5CZ at

October Long Weekend SOTA Event.
Rob VK2QR is organising a weekend of SOTA and WWFF opportunities in the Snowy Mountains National park. Accommodation is at the Snowy Mountains resort and Function center in Adaminaby. For more information, contact Rob VK2QR at

Looking forward to the SOTA bonus period,

73 & 44


11th HB9SOTA Annual Meeting successfully conducted on Säntis – Jürg HB9BIN

On Saturday May 21, 2016, the Board of Directors of the Swiss SOTA Group invited its members to this year’s annual meeting, which was held on the highest summit in the Canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden. With fantastic weather conditions, more than 40 club members along with friends of “ham radio in the heights” enjoyed a very successful event (tour of the Swisscom transmitter facility, club annual meeting and a presentation given by Herbert OE9HRV about the “hentenna” antenna); in the afternoon several members also took advantage of the situation to activate the SOTA summit Säntis (HB/AI-001). You can find a more detailed description (in German) at Amateurfunk HB9SOTA GV 2016| Amateurfunk, Amateurfunkgeräte, Funkamateur, Funkshop, Hobbyfunk | Lutz Electronics

The next HB9SOTA annual meeting will be held on Saturday May 13, 2017, on the summit St. Chrischona (HB/BS-001) in a meeting room at an altitude of 120 m ASL. There we will again take a tour of the Swisscom transmitter facility, then enjoy a meal in the Restaurant Waldrain, before setting up our SOTA stations on HB/BS-001 and enjoying a special presentation.

Jürg, HB9BIN, Präsident HB9SOTA, Assoziationsmanager HB
Paul, HB9DST, Vicepresident HB9SOTA


Two Construction Projects by Luc ON7DQ

Hi SOTA friends,

Two new posts on my blog you may like to read :

My building experience of the Chinese “Frog Sounds” QRP transceiver.
Yes I did make 1 QSO with it … but no SOTA activations so far …
Did you know this kit is actually based on the 49’er kit … designed by no-one else than Wayne N6KR from Elecraft !

Read more :

I used to have a simple CW key made from a pushbutton, but that didn’t work well, so I made up a new “design” … still very simple, it takes less than a half hour to make, and it costs practically nothing !

Read more :

Have fun !
Luc - ON7DQ


Two Ascents, One Descent & Rescue by Emergency Helicopter - Nick GM4OOE/P

Eva, my xyl and I were staying in a static caravan at Glencoe for a week and my main objective whilst there was to activate Ben Nevis for SOTA.

On Sunday we visited the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre to get some advice about conditions. The lady there advised me to use crampons as there was two metres of compacted snow on the summit and the zig zags were quite slippery. Armed with this advice I set off on Monday morning having taken out my FT-817 because I thought that it was too heavy and put in what I thought was my KX-1. I did use the crampons but noticed that no one else did and they seemed to manage alright. The weather was superb and I got some fantastic views from the summit. I set up my 2 metres station and soon worked Robin GM7PKT/P on GM/SS-044 then Andrew GM0UDL and Victor GI4ONL. I almost made contact with Caroline MI3ZCB/P and Martyn MI1MAJ/P but just not able to exchange reports. Victor and Robin were fantastic trying to muster up likely contacts but to no avail, either they couldn’t hear me or I couldn’t hear them. I then put up my hf link dipole and went to the rucksack to get out the KX-1 but to my horror I had the plastic container that had leads for the FT-817! So it was with mixed emotions that I left the summit, part elated that I had climbed and activated Ben Nevis but absolutely gutted that I only had made 3 contacts. When I reached my car I
said to myself - never again!

On Tuesday after resting the xyl could see my disappointment and said tongue in cheek, “Why don’t you try again later in the week?” The weather forecast was even better for Thursday so I had decided to have another go. I once again parked at the visitor centre and conveniently the toilets were opened at 0700 and I was walking by 0706. This time without crampons but with the FT-817. The weather was brilliant and a lot of snow on the zigs zags had melted since Monday and I managed to get to the summit quite easily without crampons. I met some fit young soldiers doing the first leg of the 3 Peaks Challenge. They had set off at 0400 for Ben Nevis and they were on their way down, their next summit Scafell Pike before finishing off with Snowdon all within 24 hours.

I reached the summit without any problems and set up the hf station and worked 36 stations using 10-cw, 7-cw, 7-ssb, 14-cw and 14-ssb. Again I only worked 3 stations on 2 metres. The weather was so good that some young lads were stripped to the waist on the summit and there was a young man on a mountain bike there too. On my descent I got past the snow line and slipped and fell on some loose shale and damaged my little finger on my left hand. I looked at it and thought that it was broken as I could see what looked like bone sticking out of the wound.

Two young ladies both called Jenna from Rayleigh in Essex came to my aid and helped me put a bandage over the open wound, then I started to feel a bit faint and they called the emergency services and it was agreed that Mountain Rescue would come up to meet me half way down at Lochan Meall. We started walking down slowly together and we were joined by their friend Jon who carried my still quite heavy rucksack. After a few more minutes it started raining so we all donned our waterproofs. Then out of the blue appeared a Coastguard helicopter and my companions signalled to it and I said that it couldn’t possibly be for me but I was wrong.

The aircraft circled a few times, flashed its lights and started hovering almost directly overhead. A man descending from a winch about 50 metres down from us on the track and ran up to us. He introduced himself as Josh and just took control of the situation. He sent walkers to block the path in both directions telling them not to let anyone past until the helicopter had left the scene, this was to ensure that nobody got blown off the path. Within a few minutes I was put in a cradle attached with Josh and my rucksack and winched off the track into the chopper. What an experience! I had superb views of the Ben.

The chopper took me down to the Lochaber Mountain Rescue team just outside Fort William and they took me by landrover to Fort William hospital. The hospital staff were brilliant, after x-rays the doctor said that I had dislocated my pinky and it was cartilage hanging out of the wound not bone. As there was no orthopaedic department it was decided to keep me in Fort William overnight and send me up to Inverness on patient transport the next morning. Meanwhile a no nonsense type surgeon dressed in football kit came in and said that we can’t send him up there like that. He asked one of the nurses to give me some entonox and he just took hold of my hand and pulled the bone back into its rightful place. It did hurt but I was so grateful and I got back some more feeling into the end of my finger. The next day I went up on patient transport with two other patients and a nurse to Inverness, a spectacular two hours journey with amazing views of numerous SOTA summits. In the afternoon I had an operation under a local anaesthetic. The surgeon
disentangled the bone and cartilage and cleaned the wound and capped it before stitching.

The surgeon and the medical team had a debate on whether or not pinky was a Scottish word. I said that I knew the word but maybe it is because I am married to a Scot! After much humorous debate he decided to write “little finger” on his report for my GP. I was discharged from there at 8 pm. Eva drove all the way up from Glencoe to Inverness to pick me up and take me back to the camp site. The next day she drove us back home to Scarborough.

Quite an eventful few days and I can only give praise and thanks to all the great, warm people that I met on Ben Nevis, in Fort William and Inverness.


(Not only two activations of the highest peak in the British Isles but a ride in a helicopter too! You really did have an eventful time. I hope the finger is healing nicely Nick! Ed.)


SOTA trip to Czech Republic by Hans PB2T

Last December I met Jan OK2PDT in the Czech-German border area, where we jointly activated two summits. We kept in touch and agreed to do a SOTA tour in the OK/KR region. On the 20th May I drove 1000 km to reach Masarykova chata, a lodge on a hill called Šerlich close to Deštné v Orlických horách in the mid-north of the Czech Republic.

Both Jan and I arrived around 5 o’clock, an excellent time for a welcome beer. After ten hours in the car I could use a little leg-stretch and we decided to do our first activation on OK/KR-069 just 300 meters away from our lodge. One of the many Czech-Polish border stones served as support for my antenna mast. Jan operated on 40 meters, while I did 20 and 30 meters. Within minutes we both had more than the required four contacts in our logs. We packed and went back to the lodge for more beer and a simple but good Czech meal. I also had the pleasure to meet Vrata, OK1KT who had been very helpful to overcome language problems in the preparation phase of this tour.

The next morning singing birds woke me up well before breakfast that started at eight. This gave a good opportunity to see if there were any DX opportunities. I set up my antenna on the terrace of the lodge and managed to make 29 QSO’s. Best DX were ZL1BYZ on 20 and 30 and VK3CAT on 20. Their signals must have been over the long path.

After breakfast we started a 12 km hike to four ten point summits OK/KR-068, OK/KR-010, OK/KR-061 and OK/KR-064. The first two summits are only 800 m apart, which offered a great opportunity for S2S and SOTA complete. After our little hike we went by car to parkings close to OK/KR-074, OK/KR-020 and OK/KR-075 at six points each. Jan knew a restaurant with free wifi close to the last summit. The schnitzels were great but the wireless didn’t work. Logs were uploaded over the 4G network after we returned in our lodge.

On Sunday we didn’t want to wait for breakfast as it would be a long day. Around 06h30 we left with two cars. Jan’s car was left at a parking, close to what I thought would be our last summit. We drove back to the lodge where it was still too early for breakfast. At 07h30 we started our walk following a NW-SE ridge with short stops to activate OK/KR-008, OK/KR-060, OK/KR-009, OK/KR-070, OK/KR-062, OK/KR-063, OK/KR-071 and OK/KR-013. Most are 10 point summits. Jan had a little bonus in mind. “Only 2.5 km from our parking is OK/KR-012” said Jan. “Why don’t we take the additional 8 points?” By the end of the day we had walked 25 km. On our way to the lodge there was another restaurant, this one with free and working internet. Nine summits on one day is a new record for me. After arrival I decided to make that a nice round number by again activating the house summit.

For the Monday there were no more 10 and 8 pointers left. Our first four summits were drive ups or nearly drive ups: OK/KR-077, OK/KR-079, OK/KR-080, OK/KR-078. Time for lunch!

The second half of the day required physical exercise: In total 15 km for OK/KR-072, OK/KR-016, OK/PA-034 and OK/PA-007, with slopes that were steeper than the ones on the previous days.
Monday is not a good day in Czech Republic. Most restaurants are closed. Because of a blocked road we arrived in our lodge when the kitchen was already closed. We were very glad that we had a good lunch. Our landlord fixed us some bread with sausages and with several good Czech beers we were ready for the night.

On Tuesday morning I did another activation of OK/KR-069 and after breakfast I said goodbye to Jan and drove another 1000 km back to the Netherlands.

Some statistics for our three day SOTA trip:
We activated 25 different summits with a score of 192 activator points.
Number of QSO’s 333 for OK2PDT/P and 555 for OK/PB2T/P.
The total distance on foot was 52 km.
Calories burnt: 5700 kcal. Unfortunately I didn’t lose any weight. I blame it on the Czech beer.

Jan, OK2PDT thank you for showing me the great SOTA opportunities that the Czech Republic can offer.

Cheers, Hans PB2T


A SOTA activation beyond the Arctic circle by Martin DF3MC

The Hurtigruten – Ship would be staying in the port of Honningsvag, a small town very close to the North Cape in Norway, for only 3 ½ hours. While most of the travellers take a bus-trip to the northern most point of Europe, I wondered whether it could be possible to activate the nearby summit of Storefjel, 319m, (LA/FM-386). This summit is located at nearly 71 degrees North and it would be the northern most activation of any SOTA-summit up to now. With the help of Aage, LA1ENA I found detailed maps of the area and a web-cam view of the mountain and could study the area in detail even before leaving home.

Soon after the doors of the “NORDLYS” were opened, I hurried through the streets of Honningsvag and up to the summit. Fortunately the weather was excellent, sunny and dry, and I found the track easily. The summit plateau was reached after 45 minutes and I walked to the highest point. I had my doublet antenna and a 5m pole, an Elecraft T1 tuner and the FT 817 with a small LiPo in my rucksack. The antenna was erected in a hurry.

VOACAP had predicted that the 17m and 20m-band would provide the best propagation to central Europe. So I started to CQ on 17m, and got a single QSO after a some minutes. Nothing after that. I changed to 20m and with the help of some faithful chasers I logged 5 more contacts for a successful first-activation, even one QSO with North America. Nil QSOs on 30m-band. My signal seemed to be very weak, probably due to the long distance to the main population of the chasers, and perhaps some peculiarities of the polar ionosphere.

After about 1 hour on the summit I had to pack up and walk back to town. I reached the ship in time, and even got an ice-cream in the harbour-café before my fellow travellers returned from their bus-trip.
Martin DF3MC



Hello everyone & welcome to this month’s edition of SOTA on Top Band.

May was another quiet month on Top Band with no activations or chases logged in the database, & no spots posted on SOTAwatch. MF/HF conditions have not been too good here & I am currently suffering from a new source of electrical noise, which has curtailed my chasing somewhat. After some initial investigation I have not found the source, but have obviously eliminated anything on my property. Ah well, these things are sent to try us!

Advance notice that John G4YSS will be activating in G/LD between Sunday 5th & Thursday 9th June with a strong possibility that Top Band activity will be included.

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

Until next month,
Best 73,
Mark G0VOF



The first week in May saw CW levels remain at a low level during weekdays, with just a few chaser points available from the regulars such as HB9BIN, OK2PDT, HB9AFI, F5HTR, F6EAH, F8FEO, F5UKL, F5LKW (TNX fer QSO on 50 MHz Roger).

On the first weekend of the month Bernd OK/DL2DXA had such a pile up o7.032 KHz that he was working chasers by the number in their callsign.

Zoli was active from summits in the Ukraine as UT/YO2BP and from Slovakia as OM/YO2BP.

At least six HA calls were heard operating CW from Romania on the 8th. These were:-
YO/HA8PK Sandor
YO/HA8BJ Weber
YO/HA8PI Attila

Carlos EA8AA was active from the Canary Islands on the same day.

Around the middle of the month we had Victor activating summits as EI/GI4ONL including many unique summits, also David CT9/G3RDQ, Bernd EA7/DL2DXA and Heinz DL/OE5EEP. Nick G4OOE activated Snowdon and Ben Nevis in short order. There were also activations from Saku, SM/OH2NOS and Jürg DL/HB9BIN on a tour around German summits.

Towards the end of the month we had Gerald GM4OIG and Paul GM4MD activating 10 summits on the Scottish Islands (Mull) and a three day tour of the Welsh Marches by Glyn GW4CFS. Bob DL/F5HTR was heard from Germany, whilst Pierre was active as F/HB9AMO also from Germany. Andy was active as OE/DK7MG, Mike was active as OM/OK2SAM, Matt was in Germany as D/HB9FVF and Kurt was visiting France as F/HB9AFI.

Chasers had to contend with a commercial printer operating on 10.118 MHz active for almost one week (strength S9+ at my QTH), plus a beacon sending continuous dashes on 14.063 MHz (Also S9). The weekend of the 21st saw activity increase to normal; This included cross border expeditions from Hans OK/PB2T on an expedition around Czechia and Geert ON/PA7ZEE touring Belgium.

The cross border activations continued, with Hans in Germany as DL/HB9AGO, Bob operating from Switzerland as HB9/F5HTR, Petr activating as IK2/OK1CZ from Italy, Jürg travelling around Germany as DL/HB9BIN, Heinz in Germany, as DL/OE5EEP, Laurent was in Austria as OE/F8CZI and Sake was also in Germany as DL/PA0SKP. Etienne MM/K7ATN was activating on a tour of Scotland, Feri was in Romania signing YO/HA8LLH, as was Miki as YO/HA8WX and Chris was operating from Portugal as CT7/ON6ZQ.

Chris was operating in his usual “1 up” method from Luxemburg as LX/ON6ZQ, Bob was in Switzerland as HB9/F5HTR and Joaquim was operating as EA1/CT7AGT in Spain.

The month was rounded off nicely with an expedition to GI-land by Tom MI1EYP and his son Jimmy MI0HGY, which commenced on the 30th.

During the month I was occasionally operating as G4SSH/A for a week at my daughters QTH in Cornwall (an FT-897 to a 1 metre indoor vertical antenna) and I contacted 30 SOTA activators. Interestingly, I did start off using the optional /A suffix in my call, but quickly discovered that most activators knew my call, are creatures of habit, and expected the familiar G4SSH, so did not listen to the full call . Out of the first 10 contacts 7 replied to plain G4SSH, which was what they were expecting. As this was causing problems I abandoned the idea. Perhaps the resident operators in Cornwall have experienced the same problem with the optional “K” in their call.

I passed through Manchester airport last week and was asked to remove my tablet, shoes and belt for extra screening (as expected). Having shuffled through the scanner in my socks, holding my trousers up the best I could, I was puzzled to see my cabin suitcase and small flight bag both in the “Red” line for further examination. It turned out that cameras are now suspect as “small electrical devices” and my Kindle suffered the same fate and had to be swabbed. Seems that additional items are being listed daily for special checking. My return trip from Newquay airport was painless and I happily passed through security without problems.

A few months ago I was stopped at Manchester Airport for having one of those small sample jars of jam (28g) as used in hotels and restaurant, in my flight bag. Sounds like an episode of Wallace and Grommet. “The case of the exploding Strawberry Jam”. It was detected and cost me £1.00 for a small plastic bag.

A reminder for Jürg HB9BIN and Bob KI0G to check the Alerts, You have both posted Alerts for CW activations in May 2026!




Activating in a country below sea level by Geert PA7ZEE

I feel the need to explain here what an Activator in the Netherlands has to do to collect his activator points. The village where I live is just south of Amsterdam. The drive to one of our four PA summits takes a minimum of one hour for PA/PA-004 and - 005 or more than two hours to PA/PA-002 and – 003. Activating in Belgium adds at least one hour extra. Driving to DM/NW takes even more.

My activating days start at 05.30 and end around 19.00 and I drive around 750 km on a SOTA day. In that time I try to activate as many summits as possible. It is obvious that time on a summit is limited. Since I don’t use a mobile phone to put out a Spot, I am depending on the RBNHole and/or Chasers who post a Spot when the have worked me.

During my last activations in Belgium, HF conditions were poor. Over the whole day I was only picked up twice by the RBN network and only once spotted by RBNHole. For my friend Frank PC7C it was even harder since he works in SSB.

Not one of the Chasers has put a Spot after working us. This made it very difficult for us to collect sufficient QSO’s to qualify.

May I ask the Chasers to listen out for us and put a Spot when they have worked us?
The result is beneficial for both the Activators and the Chasers because we can give more Chasers their points and we have more fun and enough QSO’s in our logs.

Many thanks in advance.
73 de Geert, PA7ZEE

(That is a good point Geert, as a chaser I always check to see if an activator has been spotted on SOTAwatch after or even before working them. If there is no spot for them I post one, which helps both the activator & the chasers. Ed.)



SOTA activators submitting entries to the database for 10m, 6m and 1240 MHz during May 2016. These files produced on 31st May - by Kevin G0NUP.

Mode: CW on 28MHz: activity for May


Mode: CW on 50MHz: activity for May


Mode: CW on 1240MHz: activity for May


Mode: FM on 28MHz: activity for May


Mode: FM on 50MHz: activity for May


Mode: FM on 1240MHz: activity for May


Mode: SSB on 28MHz: activity for May


Mode: SSB on 50MHz: activity for May


Mode: SSB on 1240MHz: activity for May

Kevin J Prince G0NUP


SOTA News is normally published on the last day of each month, but there will be occasions when the Editor is not available at this time, in which case it will be published as soon as possible afterwards. It can only be as interesting as the items submitted, so if you think your particular field of interest is not being covered then please submit an article by the 25th of the month. Have you a favourite SOTA? favourite mode? favourite rig, antenna, or favourite band? How did you find your first day / month / year as an activator or chaser? Your comments and experiences will be read by enthusiasts all across Europe, the USA, Australia and beyond, in a total of 114 different SOTA associations worldwide. Your input will be most welcome.

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

SOTA News Editor

Mark G0VOF
Assistant SOTA News Editor

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

Australian input to:-
Allen VK3ARH
VK Reporter (note the recent change)

New Zealand input to:-
Warren ZL2AJ

Japanese reports to

South African input to:-
Dennis ZS4BS


Hi Mark,

Just got round to reading the news after a busy month so far. I hope Nick’s pinky is healing well and he gets full use again. That was a sobering story. This could happen to anybody.

I enjoyed all the articles but no sign of ‘View from the North’ this time. Rob must have been too busy activating!

Sorry you had nothing to write about Top Band wise but there will be a small amount for the next news.

Thanks for writing the news. It’s much appreciated.
73, John.

It is about two fifths through; after Japan.


Thanks Rod,

I must have flicked past it. Teach me to read on a small screen. Now we’re on the desktop.

Reply to Rob & Audrey:

‘In the following two hours we managed just FIVE contacts including two s2s, all on 2m FM… On 2m ssb,5Mhz 7Mhz, 10Mhz 14Mhz NOTHING, broken sky and lack of chasers.’

‘Eleven total in two hours is not good!’

‘alarming drop off in local chasers…Have they become disenchanted and if so why?’

Like you Rob, I suspect that interest on VHF and maybe generally in the UK, has wained in the last 1 or 2 years. When Roy G4SSH is chasing I am in touch with him on my H/H while walking locally. I often ask him '‘How many spots for Britishers?’ He all to often replies, ‘Not many’ or ‘None at all.’ Most of Roy’s points are coming from OK, DL, HB9 etc these days.

For HF backup to 2m-FM perhaps you need an amp:

I find it a real help in poor condx and you can dispense with it when the summer doldrums are over. It was the same last summer and now this one too. If not VHF is maybe the best bet but if you are still getting only a handful with a 4-ely, goodness knows what else you could do apart from taking a 2m-FM mobile with you. Trouble is all these solutions are just more weight.

Another infuriating road closure scuppered both Plan-A and Plan-B. I hope that is properly sorted and they don’t have to rework it on VHF-NFD weekend.

Well done for helping that chaser with database entering. A thoughtful thing to do.

I know you always enjoy the IOM trips as you’ve done several now.

Thanks for another ‘View from the North’ and thanks for our QSO while I was in LD lately.
73, John.

Thanks Rod for clearing that up!

I caught part of John’s post earlier & couldn’t believe I would miss out such a cornerstone of the SOTA News!

Back home now & all is well :slight_smile:

Thanks & 73,

Mark G0VOF