Sota news - may 2014

SOTA News 1 May 2014

EDITORIAL: Good news! Roy, G4SSH, will return to the editor position for SOTA News in May and you can expect a good deal more professional journalism in the future. :slight_smile: April was a notable SOTA month for me as I finally qualified as a Shack Sloth [my wife says I actually reached that pinnacle many years ago, SOTA just hadn’t been invented]. Appropriately, Mike, KD5KC, who originally introduced me to SOTA put me over 1,000 chaser points. I still need to claim my award from Barry.

SOTA News is published in English, but this is a hugely international group. None of my non-ham friends actually understand how international this hobby is with so many friends around the world I’ve never actually shook hands with. Roy gave me some great advice, I’ve tried hard to fix some of the translations, but never so much as to destory the character of where they came from. Hope I succeded.


SOTA Awards April 2014

Award claims definitely picked up this month with an increased number of people asking for printed versions of their certificates. Certainly, for key milestones, the printed certificate is worth ordering as it is printed on a heavyweight semi gloss paper. Congratulations to another antipodean Mountain Goat VK3PF, being so far from all the main centres of activity this is a challenge similar to those in the early days of SOTA. Equally, congratulations to three new Shack Sloths, two in Australia and one in Portugal.

On the activating side OK2QA is doing really well on 2500 points with several others climbing the ladder. Rudolf is no slouch when it comes to chasing as well, reaching 15k while close behind are DL7URB on 10k and G4ISJ on 5k. Apart from the trophy Shack Sloths congratulations also to MM0KCD, SM5MEK and DD0VE for also reaching this milestone.

Mike G6TUH has managed to chase 2000 unique summits with G4OOE on the magic 1000. If OK2QA achievements were not enough he has also managed to complete 100 summits to join the select band of completists although he lags behind in the Summit to Summit stakes (but for how long?) with VK1DI and GW4VPX on the 1000 S2S contacts.


VK3PF Peter Freeman

VK3FQSO Amanda Bauer
VK5AV Tim Hann
CT1BWW Manuel Alberto C. Marques


OK2QA Rudolf Klvana 2500 points
VK3PF Peter Freeman 1000 points
DL8WJM Lars Goepfert 500 points
DL8NBO Dr. Wolfgang Richter 500 points
G4ISJ Peter Martin 250 points
CT1BWW Manuel Alberto C. Marques 100 points
M0DDC Alan Copperwaite 100 points
VK5ASC Mark Withers 100 points

Activator Unique
OK1NF Jan Kraus 100 summits
G4OOE Nick Langmead 100 summits

OK2QA Rudolf Klvana 15000 points
DL7URB Robert Bree 10000 points
G4ISJ Peter Martin 5000 points
MM0KCD Ken Davies 1000 points
VK3FQSO Amanda Bauer 1000 points
SM5MEK Jenny Ostlund 1000 points
VK5AV Tim Hann 1000 points
DD0VE Ralf Mantyk 1000 points
CT1BWW Manuel Alberto C. Marques 1000 points
G0WGL Peter Furness 500 points
EB2GEV Jose Miguel Orueta Michelena 500 points
VK5AV Tim Hann 500 points
VK2LAX Rod Jarman 500 points
CT1BWW Manuel Alberto C. Marques 500 points
VK5NIG Nigel Freeston 500 points
HB9JOE Andreas Thiemann 250 points
VK5AV Tim Hann 250 points
CT1BWW Manuel Alberto C. Marques 250 points
VK5NIG Nigel Freeston 250 points
VK3ASC Mark Withers 100 points
EB2GEV Jose Miguel Orueta Michelena 100 points
KW6JIM James Armstrong 100 points
VK3UH Ken Brown 100 points
CT1BWW Manuel Alberto C. Marques 100 points
KW3F Robert Brown 100 points

Chaser Unique

G6TUH Michael Morrissey 2000 summits
G4ISJ Peter Martin 1000 summits

Mountain Hunter

DL7URB Robert Bree Platinum
G4OOE Nick Langmead Platinum
2E1HTG Steve Hall Gold
KW3F Robert Brown Bronze
VK5ASC Mark Withers Bronze

SOTA Complete

OK2QA Rudolf Klvana 100 summits

Summit to Summit

VK1DI Ian Sinclair Silver
GW4VPX Allan Jones Silver
G4ISJ Peter Martin Bronze
OK2QA Rudolf Klvana Bronze
GW4VPX Allan Jones Bronze
OK2QA Rudolf Klvana Red
VK3ASC Mark Withers Red
OK1NF Jan Kraus Red
VK2LAX Rod Jarman Red

I must publicly thank the number of individuals and organisations who have, this month, made a donation towards the running of SOTA. You should all have received thanks directly from somebody in the management team but it does not hurt to recognise the generosity of these people here in the news; the programme goes from strength to strength but these donations do mean we can keep the cost of awards, in particular, at a low level.

Late last month Royal Mail managed to sneak in an increase in postal charges which did not receive much publicity in this country. I managed to find out the new rates so anyone applying for an award or merchandise after mid April will have found a small, but not insignificant, increase in postal charges.

Each month I receive orders for Awards and merchandise which for some reason or another have not been paid. I do send out an email to the individual trying to find out what went wrong but if you have ordered something (especially using Paypal) and the items are not with you within a month (allowing for postal delays) then please contact me. Twice this month orders which were meant to be paid using Paypal have not been authorised so will not have been sent out. If you use the “Cheque or Cash” option remember it is also possible to pay by bank transfer and the details are on the shopping site and are also available at checkout.

While I type this the weather has turned glorious - why do I have to work for a living rather than be out and about on the hills! Regardless of the weather it is great to be back activating (even if it is just molehills on the air while I try to complete activation of the eastern Scotland summits) - my special thanks to those stations that eventually found me on Saturday afternoon when the spots did not go through and I struggled for the four contacts.

Be safe on the hills


Barry GM4TOE
SOTA Awards Manager

DATABASE UPDATE: [all of this should be old news by now, but for the record]

There are some summit changes afoot for the W0 Association for 1st April 2014 and all will become apparent in a few days time. One of the changes is that W0 which covers Colorado and The Dakotas is being split into 2 associations, W0C for Colorado and W0D for Dakota. I intend to do this within the next 24hrs as it has to be in place before we can do any further updates. Summits in regions W0/BB, W0/ES, W0/ND & W0/NW will move to W0D and their references will change. i.e. W0/BB-001 will become W0D/BB-001. All the other regions move to W0C, hence W0/FR-001 will become W0C/FR-001. Activators and chasers should see almost no changes, your unique count, points should not change. If you have activated or chased summits that were in W0 but now are in W0C and W0D then you will see a change in the number of associations you have.

Until we do the next part of the update and then update SOTAwatch there will be a difference in the summit refs. If you want to spot or alert a W0 summit then you will have to use the current reference, i.e. W0/FR-001. If you want to log a chase or activation you will have to use W0C/FR-001. This will only be for a few days.

Andy, MM0FMF
Database manager


Peter, VK3PF, has become the second VK Mountain Goat! Congratulations Peter!

Pat, KI4SVM achieved Mountain Goat status on 17/Apr/2014 becoming the 10th Mountain Goat in the New world and the first in the W4C Association. Just to be different, he did it on DM/HE-015 (Altkönig) while on holiday in Germany. Congratulations Pat!

Rich, N4EX … it has been rumored that Rich had his radio surgically attached … has crashed through the Quadruple Super Sloth barrier of 40,000 chaser points! One wonders if, during the birth pangs of SOTA, anyone ever thought anyone would get even remotely close to numbers like that. Congratulations Rich, just truly awesome!

And from late last month after posting the News: Pete, WA7JTM achieved Mtn Goat on Feb 28, 2014 by activating Porter Mtn and Lake Mtn to put him over the top. His first activation was on 7 Apr 2013, and Pete activated 115 summits for 1,005 points in only 47 weeks. Even more impressive, all 115 summits were uniques, all QRP, and all CW. In the process, he also amassed an even 1,000 S2S points. Well done Pete, congratulations!!



In April 1st 2014 marks the 3th anniversary of SOTA Portuguese Association,
so I am taking this opportunity to share information on the status of the
SOTA Programme in CT. [Hey Marq, CONGRATULATIONS!! 3 years!]

With 327 summits in 11 regions, CT is one of the smaller associations in the
SOTA International. However, there is constant growth in the number of HAM’s
participating in SOTA here; currently there are 14 chasers and 22
activators. So far just 3 Portuguese chasers have achieved Shack Sloth,
but we haven’t had anyone with a SOTA Mountain Goat yet.

As of this day, there are still over 200 summits waiting for their first
activation. and there is even an entire region (CT/BA) without single
activation. So if anyone fancies taking SOTA virginity from some hills,
consider Portugal as a destination for your next HAM holiday.

For visitors please look to the SOTA Mappings Tracks, a great Tool for
planning a activation, please select Region and Summit and you will find a
track . In case of difficulty please don’t hesitate to ask any further info.
If you are interested in receiving any info from SOTA CT, please send us
e-mail and we will introduce you on our data base email for correspondence
and news.

April has been a busy month for Awards with claims for trophies and
certificates. Particular note is Chaser award 1K for myself, Charles CT1BQH
with 5,7K and Dave CT1DRB with 2K.

Activator Award: 2nd CT for Marq CT1BWW after John CT1BHG getting the 1st on

The rest Not much to add to my report. Maybe the difference from last report
was on a a big change with incredible improvement in propagation on the HF
bands.This has continued, with all bands up to 28 MHz wide open.which was
almostunheard of 12 months ago. The Forecast in Portugal for last months
didn’t help for NEW Activators, but I’m sure that Next Months some
Activatores will apear. Since beginning of CT-SOTA only few activators still working on activation summits.

During this year we hope we had some more visitors, specially on Algarve or
Baixo Alentejo some HAM tourist could spend 1 day on the beach and the
another on the mountain !

Good luck to all of you - and vy 73



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

One activator was QRV on Top Band during April, Klaus DF2GN who had two very successful activations. His first activation involving 160m was on 14th April when he activated DM/BW-519 Hochwälder Höhe. His second 160m activation was of DM/BW-261 Hartskäpfle on 22nd April. Klaus has very kindly proved detailed reports for both activations which are included below:

14th April DM/BW-519 Hochwälder Höhe

On 14th April I went for another activation on Top Band from SOTA DM/BW-519 Hochwälder Höhe. This ended as a headtorch activation again, but that’s 160m for you :wink:
My antenna was a dipole resonant on 160/40/20 and 10m, I will write about that later, it may be interesting for somebody & you can easily try top band without carrying much extra stuff.

Firstly, conditions on 160m were lousy with a lot of noise & sometimes hard to copy signals below S7 due to many strong static crashes. I logged 28 QSO´s on 160m and a few on 40 and 20m, but I was mainly on 160m. 28 qso´s is not bad for difficult conditions. Some signals were genuinely s9+30db and also my reports later were often over S9 which was nice :slight_smile: For UK chasers it was not easy to get in my log, because the antenna was hung in a N-S direction due to the trees, with no other possibility to hang up the wire. You need free space for these long wires! Farthest QSO´s that night were OH9XX with good sigs and also UR5IAW with real 579 both sides. There were no further QSO’s but with S7 noise and no RX antenna there wasn’t really any chance.

I worked with a TS-480sat on this easy summit. I have reported problems with the SSB power output before, but the fix was very easy. First I thought I had a problem with the radio & may need to repair it. :wink: The power output on 160m CW mode was 100 Watts using my lifepo17AH ( 1600g ). On SSB mode the transceiver had problems if I ran above 10 to 15 Watts with the Relays fluttering and so on. During my tests on the summit I noticed that I could run about 30 Watts if I laid my hand on the radio. That was the easy fix, so why not take the easiest solution? I added 2 radials of about 40m length connected directly to the transceiver ground connection… No more problems with fluttering relays, all ok now :slight_smile: I should have known that :wink: !!

I didn’t use a full sized linked dipole as I had planned before, this time my 160m antenna was ZS6BKW. By adding two extra wires you are easily QRV on 160m. When I built the antenna, it was not planned as a top band antenna; I built a ZS6BKW with 300ohm twin feeder for portable operation as described here:
During my calculations at home I noticed that it should be made easily resonant on 160m with adding a wire of about 16mtrs length to both ends. This would give you an all band antenna that is resonant on 40, 20 and 10m, and by adding the two 16m sections you are QRV on 160m. i take the two extra wires with me or you can use two links at the ends of the zs6bkw and if no 160m is needed use the extra wires to fix the antenna ends.

The 16m lengths are approximate, not exact; I made the lengths longer & set the SWR by folding the wires back on themselves so I never have to cut them. Differences in the height of the dipole, or different locations mean that readjustment is necessary on top band. Also the antenna works fine as a vertical antenna with one leg about 1 or 2 meters over ground so you have not to build an extra antenna for top band. You have a nice antenna for higher bands with good SWR on 40, 20 and 10m, and if you want you can easily be QRV on the 160m band.

22nd April DM/BW-261 Hartskäpfle

On the evening of the 24th April I was out again on DM/BW-261 to do some SOTA, mainly on top band. I had a nice time under a clear sky with many stars…very fine!
This time my antenna was a vertical wire of about 30m in length with 4 radials 40m long about 2 meters over the ground, matched with a small LC network. This time I had more chasers on SSB than CW & signals overall were very nice and loud. Thanks to Mike, G6TUH for the request on SOTAwatch to call in SSB. Not many chasers had tried to call me on top band, only after Mike’s spot I began to get nice calls, also from the UK with good reports. So if I have a big antenna, I will ask chasers to try and call, also even if they do not have a big antenna for Top Band, it doesn’t matter because I have good ears sometimes :wink:

This time I made 18 QSO´s on 160m, 11 in SSB and 7 in CW mode, Thanks all for
calling in !

vy 73 Klaus DF2GN

Thank you very much Klaus for the very interesting reports & for the QSO’s when you were on DM/BW-519 Hochwälder Höhe. I was still in daylight when you began your activation but as the UK started to enter twilight your signal began to rise out of the noise. On our final QSO you were a genuine 579 on my very low 80m loop. Thanks again & very well done Klaus.

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

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

Rob G4RQJ and Audrey

The now usual weather forecast, gales on the high tops so of to yet another fairly local small one, Lambrigg Fell. This hill is perfect for anyone passing through the county on the M6 and looking for a quick activation. Leave the M6 at Junction37 and head west toward Kendal. Turn off to the left at the first junction, this road is access to Roan Edge Quarry. Drive past the quarry entrance, large heavy vehicles use this gate but further on down the road there is room to park at the verge. Walk back to the main road and cross to enter the wind farm at a gate. Follow the fence on your left which becomes a wall, cross a track and continue along to meet a cross wall. Here you have a choice. The cross wall leads to the summit but is difficult to cross higher up, the listed top is a small mound on the north side of the wall close to a small tarn but there are several other mounds of similar height in the immediate vicinity with a prominence of about ten feet, on both sides of the wall. The north side is an area used as a bird sanctuary with ground nesting birds and requests not to walk on them, the south side is in the wind farm and we chose it, not for the beautiful scenery! We operated from the lump adjacent to the nominated top on the other side of the wall sheltered from the strong cold wind, a good VHF takeoff to the south and a pleasant activation.

Sunday 6th April and off to Blackpool for the Norbreck Rally. We can see Blackpool from Walney, GPS reckons about 8 miles but with Morecombe Bay in the way it’s a 2 hour drive. We arrived to find the car park full of Scots weekend visitors, a broken down coach in the back lane and Blackpool hosting a Marathon so ended up parking away from the hall and lugging all the kit there by hand. Fortunately Jimmy had arrived before us and things were well in hand. Great to see so many visitors including folk from all over the UK making the trip and nice to speak to a few who actually read this effort. We sometimes wonder if it is worth carrying on with it. SOTA has grown so much since we started and this seems very Parish Pump stuff with all the new round the world info, so a bit of encouragement does not go amiss. A grand day out as usual and thanks to everyone for making it so.

Sunday 13th April and Whitbarrow Lords Seat or Whitbarrow Scar to give its more local name. This trip is a must at this time of year when the wild daffodils are out in the woods at the foot of the steep escarpment. We pulled into the usual parking spot by the school to find that the area of the school fields has been much thinned out and the wide open space feels very strange. The direct climb from the school is a little too exposed for me (Rob) particularly when the trees are not in full leaf to hide the drop so we walked north through the woods on a good track through the daffodils to climb Bell Rake which is a much better proposition. Although we did help a lady with vertigo here some years ago it holds no terrors for me (he added bravely). The forecast had warned about high winds on the tops but up to now it had been calm apart from one or two disturbances in the high treetops but it was quite breezy as we took the short route from the top of the rake to the summit memorial column. A busy day with lots of walking parties passing through and almost impossible to find shelter from the strengthening northerly. The summit is the top edge of a limestone escarpment and although greenish to the eye has virtually no soil depth making pegs useless and guys are best held with rocks. Several interested passing parties visited us, including one with an older lady who was delighted to see us, her late husband having been an amateur. After a couple of hours the wind had strengthened enough to make walking difficult and we looped round the longer route back to the head of the rake. Once on the rake and in the shelter it was a gentle walk back to the car.

See a lot of discussion on pile up behaviour on the Reflector; by and large we have had no real problems although on cw it would be nice to have about half a second more before chasers make a second call. Operating on the hill, often in gloves with a key strapped on a leg, a radio, a pad and a pencil all require a fraction longer than they do in the shack, we try never to leave anyone who wants a contact without one.

Talking of Reflector discussions and ages and here I quote mine (Rob) (Audrey is of course much younger)

First SOTA May 2002 age 61
1000 points Nov 2005 age 64
2000 points Jan 2011 age 69
2373 points current age 73

Things don’t get quicker with age but I’m a plodder. Audrey’s the walker, I’m the talker but whoever made the second certificate 2500 not 2000 must be a sadist hihi

Sunday 20th April. A trip over the Pennines to the Ripon Rally, just a small affair with no SOTA presence. Nice to catch up with friends from the Craven club who we have not seen recently. Managed to buy a spare meter for one of our Racal RA17s for £2, a good price. There is an RA17 all over the shack at the moment having all its fixed capacitors replaced which is a huge job, it weighs 70 pounds for a start and is seriously interfering with chasing activities in a small room. On the way home we activated Sharp Haw in the North Pennines. We climb from the beautifully named Bog Lane, always seems a long trail for one point. Today the wind was horrendous and Audrey was blown over a couple of times and that on the flat bit. We had to skip HF today, sorry.

That about wraps things up for this month as the 30th is publication day but before closing we must thank Skip for keeping things on track for the last few months. Great job and we hope to catch you on the bands in the future OM. Take care out there everyone
Rob and Audrey.

Allen, VK3HRA

Congratulations to Peter VK3PF who achieved Mountain Goat status on 25
April 2014. Peter is the second Australian Mountain Goat.

This will be no surprise to any who has had contact with Peter. His
enthusiasm for Amateur radio and portable operations in particular
appear to limitless. This was completed in less than 2 years. Starting
in May of 2012 the first year of activity was long for all, often
involving long activations to qualify a summit and even the occasional
unsuccessful activation, none of which was a deterrent for Peter.

Heavily involved with mapping process for several associations and the
promotion of SOTA through AR magazine. Peter’s support for SOTA extends
to the joint activations to introduce new operators to the joys of
portable operations as well as national park activations. It has been a
big month for Peter as he also completed the final activation required
for claiming the KRMNPA (Keith Roget Memorial National Park Award) for
the activation of all VK3 National Parks.

Many of the more remote summits are being activated as summer has well
and truly left us and we are heading into the winter bonus period.
There is a sweet period between seasons where you can go deeper into the
bush without worrying about the fire risk before winter makes these
remote regions too hard to access.

With the expected fine weather and opportunity to have 10 days off over
Easter and ANZAC day period many in VK headed for the hills. There were
66 separate activations for 1184 contacts. With so many activators out
and about S2S opportunities were aplenty. A summary of the S2S activity
follows with apologies to any I have missed,

VK1DA - 2 activations and 7 S2S. DM/BW-228 is cool.
VK1NAM – 8 Activations with 39 S2S contacts
VK1MBE - 4 Activations with 22 S2S
VK1RX - 1 activation with 12 S2S
VK1IO – 1 activation for 11 S2S
VK1MA 3 activations for 15 S2S
VK2DAG – 2 activations for 48 S2S contacts
VK2TWR - 3 activations for 9 S2S
VK2IB – 9 activations for 30 S2S
VK2LAX – 3 for 21 activations
VK3ANL - 4 activations for 7 S2S
VK3ASC - 6 activations with 26 S2S
VK3CAT - 5 activations for 22 S2S
VK3HRA - 1 activation for 4 S2S.
VK3MRG - 4 activations for 16 S2S
VK3PF – 11 Activations with 31 S2S contacts
VK3WAM – 8 CW activations for 10 S2S
VK3YY - 3 for 9 S2S One activation with S2S using dummy load.
VK5CZ - 2 activations for 4 S2S
VK5TX - 3 activations with 8 S2S
VK6MB - 2 activations for 6 S2S

Not to be content with local contacts the S2S contacts extended to DX
contacts with expat VK2JI now DD5LP out for a activation with the intent
to work VK. The summit (DL/BE-094) was qualified completely with VK
calls (2 of these S2S) for a total of 4 x S2S (3 VK and 1 GM) and 20
contacts in all from VK1,2,3&5, KA3, EH1, YO7&8, YL2, EA1&2, LA, OH,
LZ1, GM and G. This activations is available from:

There is still a window of mild weather to exploit so enough for now.


[It appears that the SOTA virus has spread to the southern hemisphere!]

Etienne, K7ATN

Thirteen operators on ten summits (two 4-pointers, two 2-pointers and the rest 1-point peaks). Three Activtitors encountered snow on their summits and one experienced snow falling - we were fortunate that everyone else had a dry activation under mostly cloudy skies. All activity was on 2m FM using 5W or sometimes less. We had three new activators and one on his second activation - the newbies had fun and are excited to try SOTA again.

On the Chaser side we had participation from one occasional SOTA Chaser but were also chased by three new folks from the Pacific Northwest VHF Society: Kevin, K7ZS, Greg, K7YDL and Dave, N7DB. Way to go to encourage more VHF operation guys!

Best DX was between Marys Peak, OR and Mt. Defiance, OR at 120 miles with 5W HT on both ends - nice!

It took about an hour to work through all the permutations for Summit-to-Summit and Chaser contacts. Eight of us attended the after-Party party at a local pub and shared activation stories and enjoyed meeting in person. Thanks to Rachel-K7NIT for coming up with the idea. We’ll try it again in August. Here are the participants:
Doug-W7ZV on Mt. Defiance, OR
Etienne-K7ATN on Mt. Sylvania, OR
Geoff-K7WIX on Silver Star, WA
Grover-KG7O on Davis Peak, WA
Nick-N7ICM on Mt. Scott, OR
Rachel-K7NITon Mt. Sylvania, OR
Matt-KF7PXT on Bald Peak, OR
Jason-NT7S on Cooper Mtn, OR
Jon-KG7GMQ on Mt. Scott, OR
Benton-KF7QLP on Bald Peak, OR
Dan-AE7RP on Larch Mtn, WA
Gary-K9ZMD on Skyline Ridge, OR
Roger-ND7PA on Marys Peak, OR

[Apparently, there are a nearly countable infinity of ways to enjoy SOTA, and of course a conclusion at the pub pretty much ices the cake. :-)]


International SOTA Day is this Saturday, 3 May, as is the ever-popular QRP To-The-Field. “Fiesta de QRPTTF,” the theme this year is “Tres de Mayo,” operate anywhere with a Spanish theme [pretty easy here in California, anywhere in Sacramento would qualify :-)]. SOTA seems to have become an integral part of TTF, summit activations give everyone multipliers, and it’s a huge amount of fun.

There has been a fairly extensive discussion on the NA SOTA Yahoo Group [we know there are non-NA lurkers there :-)] about getting more value from the Resources links on the summit description pages. The sort of bottom-line seems to be: Use them for every activation; Post access information; Post information that could be of use to those with limited mobility; Post links to activation reports, blogs, and photos. This feature of the Database is hugely valuable and does seem to be underused.

Total Activations: 386 [328]
Nr Unique Activators: 114 [103]
Total Chaser QSOs: 3197 [8545]
Nr Unique Chasers: 170 [206]
Unique Summits: 473 [261]

2m: 60 (1%) [98]
6m: 0 (0%) [7]
10m: 27 (0%) [206]
12m: 737 (23%) [3333]
15m: 85 (2%) [380]
17m: 91 (2%) [356]
20m: 1645 (51%) [3057]
30m: 204 (6%) [370]
40m: 343 (10%) [729]
60m: 0 (0%) [1]
80m: 0 (0%) [0]
160m: 1 (0%) [0]
Unk: 4

CW: 1937 (60%) [5435]
SSB: 1193 (37%) [3002]
FM: 63 (1%) [103]
AM: 3 (0%) [0]
Data: 0 (0%) [1]
Other: 1 (0%) [2]
Unk: 4

And, can’t pass this one up from Jason, W3AAX:

Wow - I have major respect for what activators have to go through now! I had 100 points just for SWL, but since I got my General, I decided it was time to take the KX3 and the Alex Loop up to try an activation. I heard the Sugarloaf Mountain was easy, but I am 6’3", 270 pounds, and out of shape.

I learned a few major things right off the bat. First, sunrise [park] openings are not really at sunrise. I woke up at 430AM and drove to the mountain park, and I got there at 615AM EST, and had to wait until 8AM for the gates to open.

Finally, got in, and walked up the trails. Had to stop a few times but made it. Thank goodness I bought a bug net the day before because they were out in full force. I didn’t have to use deet, at least. Ugh, I forgot my sunscreen, but thankfully I didn’t get burned. After using my trex20 to verify I was on the actual summit, I spotted on sotawatch for 20m. Thankfully, Gary from Broken Arrow, OK picked me up right away, but for some reason, he was all I could hear. Scanning up and down the band, I found a lot of “nets” but nothing to break into with ease. Maybe I should be more patient when spotting? I call about 10 times before moving on. I wanted to hit more actual “chasers”, but I couldn’t find any.

Switched up to 10m and found two contacts from Venezuela. First a guy, and after scanning through the band again a half hour later, I was able to work his XYL/YL. I tried spotting again, but no luck at all. Found a clear signal, but little by little, the QRM increased, so I went back to scanning.

Found a couple other DXers, but they weren’t biting on my mere 5 watts QRP, Finally, I was able to grab a special event for warriors against cancer from Puerto Rico. I didn’t pack up until 12PM noon. Phew! For 1 measly point, I thought I was insane, but I did feel like I accomplished a ton. I think I will go for a 4 pointer next time, but I am a completest, so I want them all.

Not shabby I guess for a brand new general ham and a first timer. Whoever thought this was easy though, wow… is all I can say. I am beat!

W3AAX (Used to be KC3BRW)
Jason Johnston

Yet again confirming, SOTA is addictive. :-))

Thanks to all of my contributors, I get a huge number of activation reports, way more than I have room to use, but N4EX seems to be there for every one. Welcome back Roy!


Fred “Skip” K6DGW
Auburn CA USA


SOTA in Macedonia started on 1 May 2009.
For five years from 268 SOTA peaks in Macedonia activated were a total of 136.
Macedonian radio amateurs made 366 activations, all on HF.
Z3-SOTA chasers contacted more than 2500 activated summits.
Several Z3-SOTA summits were activated by foreign radio amateurs from Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Greece.
Z3-SOTA operators activated several summits in Greece and one in Germany.
Damjan, Z35BY is a Mountain Goat with 1397 points.
Vlado, Z35M has won 100 S2S Award.

                                          Vlado, Z35M

                                          AM Z3-SOTA

In reply to K6DGW:

Many thanks for taking over and holding the fort at short notice Skip and for doing such a magnificent job.

I will now return as SOTA News editor and look forward to your usual USA/Canadian news input.

Congratulations on a job well done and grateful thanks.


Thanks for the news Fred. Thank you also for a terrific job filling in for Roy, an effort that I’m sure has been appreciated by everyone.

Welcome back Roy.


In reply to K6DGW:

From Andy, MM0FMF:

There are some summit changes afoot for the W0 Association for 1st April 2014 and all will become apparent in >>a few days time.

In parallel with the W0 Association being split into W0C (Colorado) and W0D (The Dakotas), Steve/wG0AT has “retired” from his position as Association Manager. Steve started W0 in early 2009 and has been a significant contributor to SOTA via his many “goathiker” videos and numerous presentations.

In his place, Matt/K0MOS has stepped in as the new W0C Association Manager. Matt is also a significant SOTA contributor as an Activator and developed the NA SOTA website ( The fine tradition that Steve started with W0 is in capable hands.

Congratulations to Steve for his contributions and in turn to Matt/K0MOS for taking the reins for the future!

Good job Steve and Matt! Guy/N7UN

In reply to K6DGW:
Great newsletter, I enjoy reading it every month but I have noticed you have my call sign incorrect in the awards announcements. In the Activator and Mountain Hunter.

My call Sign is VK3ASC not VK5ASC



In reply to VK3ASC:
I’m sorry Mark, I never know if these are just fumbles on the keyboard, but if it’s been more than once, it’s definitely a brain fart on my part. They seem to happen as the birthdays accumulate.

Skip K6DGW
NA SOTA Reporter Dude