SOTA News May 2016

SOTA NEWS MAY 2016 - Part 1 of 2

Editorial - by Mark G0VOF
Welcome to the May 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/KF0CR, Allen VK3ARH, Warren ZL2AJ.

Note from Roy G4SSH:
I had the pleasure of meeting up with Mark G0VOF whilst attending the Blackpool Rally last month and he was happy to take over the post of assistant SOTA News Editor.

Shortly after returning home, I was rushed to hospital for an emergency blood transfusion and remained there for days of scans and tests. Mark immediately offered to take over the entire publication of the May edition of the SOTA News, for which I was particularly grateful. To date my scans are all negative and I am now recovering at home.

So it is over to Mark, with grateful thanks from myself and the readers …

The April 2016 edition of SOTA News was viewed more than 1150 times.

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

Far fewer claims for awards this month allowing me time to concentrate on my own station (and an activation!). G6TUH continues to reach new heights chasing but is closely followed by M0BKV and OE6GND. HG7WAV and W4KRN are also starting to accumulate large Chaser scores. Congratulations to two new Mountain Goats GW4VPX and K6HPX and welcome to the “club”. Once again an SWL features in the claims with Eyran now reaching 1000 points and with an interesting (and global) log.

I need to comment on the Microwave Award claimed this month. For some reason this has not really grabbed the attention of Activators in Europe (most of the claims are from the USA or Australia) which, as it is co-sponsored by the UK Microwave Group, is disappointing. Having said that I have gear for these bands but have never taken it on a SOTA expedition – this year then? There are quite a number of SOTA participants who are also microwave enthusiasts so how about getting operational on one of the bands, 23cm and above, and making a claim?


Mountain Goat
GW4VPX Allan Jones
K6HPX Kenneth Hirschberg

Shack Sloth
KD5ZZK Andrew Norman
DJ6OK Oliver Kleefisch

SWL Trophy
4X4-2238 Eyran Willis

Certificates Issued

GW4VPX Allan Jones 1000 points
DK3CW Jakob P. Strickler 250 points

Activator Unique
G4CFS Glyn Dodwell 100 summits
GW4VPX Allan Jones 100 summits

G6TUH Michael Morrissey 40000 points
M0BKV Damian Kamm 30000 points
OE6GND Gerhard Grundner 25000 points
HG7WAV Viktor Szota 5000 points
W4KRN Karen Russo 5000 points
GW4BKG Stephen Emlyn-Jones 500 points
GW4BKG Stephen Emlyn-Jones 250 points
M0WBG Neil Challis 250 points
VK3PAT Chris Hendry 100 points
F6HDW Glomski Jean Claude 100 points

Short Wave Listener
4X4-2238 Eyran Willis 1000 points

Chaser Unique
M0BKV Damian Kamm 4000 summits
W4KRN Karen Russo 500 summits
VK2JDL Philip Clancy 100 summits

Microwave Award
AX3PF Peter Freeman Red (Dist: 200Km Band: 9cm)

Mountain Hunter
OE6GND Gerhard Grundner Platinum
GW4BKG Stephen Emlyn-Jones Bronze

Visiting Blackpool for the Norbreck Rally was an eye opener in many ways being the largest rally I have visited since my teenage years (was it Alexandra Palace or Westminster Halls in those dim and distant days?). It was great meeting so many folks that I have only communicated with on the air, never eyeball to eyeball – just like broadcast radio presenters, none of you looked like you sounded on the air! The merchandise sales were reasonable and it did give many folks that chance to see our branded produce for the very first time. Will I visit Blackpool again? Probably not, it is a very long journey and necessitates at least two night’s B&B, but I can say I have been and have feasted upon Audrey’s home bakes – now that would be a reason to go again!

Stocks of T shirts have been decimated but I anticipate having fresh stock shortly. It appears that one of the colours (needless to say the one with the best sales) is no longer available so I will find a substitute (echoes of The Who?). Many visitors to the Norbreck stand commented on the T shirts and sweatshirts with the multi-colour logo on the front; these were produced some years ago in a very small batch and to print them now and be able to retail them at even a very small mark-up has been prohibitive. However, the company I use for our T shirts has offered me a short run of multi-colour screen printed shirts so I will purchase a small quantity of sweatshirts with the logo in full colour and see how they are received. Further information when I next report.

Several overseas amateurs have asked for a tracking number for their purchase. The cost of overseas tracked shipments is a lot higher than the regular Small Parcels service I currently use. Is there the need to offer this service, at a premium, or is everybody happy with the present arrangement? In all the years I have been sending out awards and merchandise I can only recall two or three packages going astray and the chances of recouping the costs is probably not worth the effort. (One was a certificate for a US ham who was also an international airline pilot – it was suggested he looked down while crossing the Atlantic to see if the swimmer carrying the package was in difficulty!)

Finally, I have now to design a certificate for those wanting to claim for the 10m/6m Challenge. Please bear with me, retirement seems to mean that I am busier than ever I was when working full time; I will get there, just need some inspiration (ideas to the usual email address!).

Having moved home to get away from the heavy snowfalls that I experienced every year while living in the Cairngorms it seems that the weather gods have other ideas and we have snow on the ground as I write this!

Summer is coming (for those of us that don’t hang upside down like bats) so the hills will be calling again – stay safe


Barry GM4TOE
SOTA Awards Manager



Hello to all from the Western Hemisphere,

Spring is coming very slowly this year. The mid-section and southern portions of the continent have experienced very severe, definitely non-SOTA-conducive weather, much of which then moves east to the former Colonies creating havoc there, and we even had a few flakes yesterday here in NW Nevada.

STATISTICS [as of 1800 UTC 04/27]: So far, there have been no activations in the KLA, KLF, and KLS associations in Alaska.

Total Activations: 394 [426]
Nr Unique Activators: 147 [145]
Total Chaser QSOs: 4457 [5949]
Nr Unique Chasers: 234 [270]
Unique Summits: 305 [304]

2m: 118 (2%) [178]
6m: 0 (0%) [1]
10m: 7 (0%) [25]
12m: 0 (0%) [1]
15m: 60 (1%) [150]
17m: 92 (2%) [393]
20m: 2844 (63%) [3353]
30m: 275 (6%) [595]
40m: 1050 (23%) [1245]
60m: 2 (0%) [0]
80m: 0 (0%) [0]
160m: 1 (0%) [0]
Unk: 8

CW: 2607 (58%) [4064]
SSB: 1723 (38%) [1695]
FM: 125 (2%) [183]
AM: 0 (0%) [1]
Data: 0 (0%) [1]
Other: 1 (0%) [1]
Unk: 8


Top spot on our list this month goes to Curtis, KC5CW, who received his B.S. degree while holding down a full-time job and all the rest of life, including a lot of SOTA [see next paragraph]. He began his educational effort while in the U.S. Military 18 years ago, and has been plugging away at it ever since.

Curtis also became the third Mountain Goat in W5T with a total of 1,020 activator points, right behind Mike, KD5KC’s 1,058. His activations spanned over 20 associations, including France, a first activation for that summit. Curtis and Andrew, KD5ZZK, are in a two-person competition for the most gallons of gasoline per summit. Congratulations Curtis!!

Peter, WA7JTM reports: “[Ken] K6HPX is the latest Arizona Mtn Goat, going over the top on April 20th while activating W7A/CN-013 just outside the Grand Canyon National Park. Ken did it all in under two years, completing 126 activations. A celebration in his honor is slated for the evening of May 12th in Tucson AZ.”

POSITION OPENING [Fame, no fortune]: “Everyone probably noticed that the May 2016 issue of QST magazine includes several full length articles about SOTA, in addition to 6 or 7 other nods over the last few months. Maybe now is the time to ride the momentum.”

Elliott (K6EL) and Guy (N7UN) would like to establish a new, unpaid Publicity Tzar position in support of all things SOTA for North America. The goal would be to track and publish, at least on a monthly basis, the SOTA events calendar and up-coming non-SOTA activities that our operators could align our efforts with…like the April 23rd QRPTTF event. “This type of calendar would benefit planning for Activators and likewise attract new participants to SOTA, we feel.”

“We already have Skip (K6DGW), “North American SOTA Reporter Dude”, submitting the monthly NA SOTA news to the worldwide SOTA newsletter. There is a lot of opportunity to promote SOTA within those outside events by a SOTA Publicity “Tzar”. Is this something you feel would be of benefit? Do you know of someone who would like the challenge of trying this position?”

“Let us know by email if you are interested. Thanks, Guy N7UN and Elliott K6EL.”


W6 ARM Update: Guy, N7UN, reports on the long awaited W6 Association ARM update – "A major update to the W6 Association is set to launch 1 May 2016. It includes:

  1. A change in AM from Adrian/N6ZA to Paul/W6PNG
  2. Changed to P150m (492 ft) prominence threshold and an Activation Zone of 25m (82 ft).
  3. Added 572 new summits based on an updated LofJ datasets (Jan 2016 download).
  4. Updated Lat/Longs on 189 peaks based on the 2016 LofJ dataset.
  5. Deactivated 42 summits due to location change out of AZ. Assigned a new Ref Nr to the same peak in the new location.
  6. Updated Elevations on 70 existing peaks based on 2016 LofJ dataset.

So W6 will have 4,328 net summits, making it the largest Association in the CONUS area. KLA-Anchorage has the most summits at 10,440, making it the largest in the world!

My thanks to the W6 2016 team that helped make this update – Clayton Nall, NF1R; Walt Underwood, K6WRU; Hal Rounds, N6JZT; Elliott Pisor, K6EL; Paul Gacek, W6PNG; Brian Boschma, N6IZ; and Mike Plaziak, W6AH.

This update finished the beginning work of our friend, Eric, KU6J [SK], and is dedicated in his memory."

These updates require a huge amount of detailed work, including creation and employment of software. A big thanks to your crew, Guy, from all of us in the SOTA community!

W0M Gets A New AM: Guy also reported – “After several years of not only starting the W0M-Missouri Association but actively promoting SOTA fun for a number of new Missouri participants, W4RK/Bill is stepping aside in his role as Association Manager. Taking Bill’s place will be John/N0EVH, a familiar Chaser call to many activators. Please welcome John to the new AM role in W0M!”

“And our many thanks to Bill for getting W0M off the ground! Be well, my friend!”

Bill’s post: “Playing a small part in the fantastic growth of SOTA in North America by leading the startup of WØM-Missouri on Feb 1, 2013 was very rewarding. I was just the “worker bee” with tons of support from N7UN, WGØAT, KD5KC, and NØEAX plus SOTA-UK Management Team members GØCQK and GØHRT. I still get a thrill every time I work someone on a WØM-Missouri summit or see activation reports going into the summit notes on SOTAwatch or see alerts and spots for Missouri summits. WØMNA, WØERI, NØEVH, NØSA, and KD5ZZK are among the most prolific WØM-Missouri activators and they deserve much credit for advancing the visibility of our Association.”

“When it was clear to me that I needed to retire as WØM-Missouri AM due to health issues, I was gratified that John, NØEVH, was willing to assume that role. John is a quality guy and very active as a Chaser and Activator. I have had the pleasure of activating with John and I know he will take WØM-Missouri to the next level.”

QRP To The Field: QRPTTF was held Saturday, 23 Apr. In keeping with ARRL’s National Parks On The Air [NPOTA], this years theme was “Park It Here.” This year, Paul, NA5N, who created QRPTTF and organizes it each year, bestowed the “Park” designation on any qualified SOTA summit activation. Despite some widespread questionable weather, the SOTA turnout was very impressive.

2nd Annual Atlanta SOTA Seminar: Kevin, K4KPK advised – “The second annual Atlanta SOTA Seminar will take place on June 9 and 11. The seminar is designed to help aspiring SOTA activators and chasers get started. On June 9, we will hold an online training session from 7:30 to 9:30 to prepare and plan for our activation. On June 11, we will activate Black Mountain W4G/NG-022. The training is open to hams interested in activating (operating from the summit) and chasing (contacting activators from the comfort of the shack).”

Topics include:

  • How to register for SOTA
  • How to post an activation alert
  • How to plan an activation
  • Collecting your SOTA points
  • The typical SOTA QSO
  • Tracking your SOTA progress
  • What to pack
  • Setting up and tearing down

“The training call is open to all ham radio operators, whether you are interested in activating or chasing. Activators: You must be able to hike about a mile up-hill. (We’ll go slowly!) If you are handicapped, please contact the seminar organizer. We will arrange an accessible activation at another summit.”

“You must be able carry your own supplies for a half-day outdoors. (e.g. sunscreen, water, snack). You do NOT need to have a radio. Bring your own or share a mic/paddle with another seminar participant. You must be a licensed ham radio operator. You must have a computer with an internet connection, we’re holding our training session via a Google Groups meeting. Email: seminar2016 [at] k4kpk dot com no later than Saturday, June 4, 2016.”

W6 Party: An on-air celebration of the new W6 summit line-up is tentatively scheduled for the weekend of 14-15 May. Watch the NA SOTA Yahoo Group list for late breaking news.

Finally … Roy, G4SSH, has been hospitalized for some medical tests, and this months NA News is going to Mark, G0VOF. I’ve been told that Roy is now home, let’s all wish Roy a speedy recovery.

REPORT OF THE MONTH: This month’s report comes from Fred, KT5X [aka WS0TA]:

“Today John (K1JD) and I went up an hour drive forest access road to activate Barillas Peak for QRPTTF/SOTA. Nearly there, we glimpsed the edge of a vehicle, a big Chevy Suburban as it turned out, over the edge of an almost cliff. Well, it was maybe 50 degrees embankment.”

“We were just saying to each other, “I wonder how long that’s been there?” when we heard a cry for help. We stopped and peered over to see that the truck was leaning against a ponderosas that was keeping it from rolling over, and the driver was down there, doing I know not what. That vehicle wasn’t going ANYwhere without a tow truck.”

"He says, “do you have a tow cable?” I said, “Man, that’s a BIG vehicle, and you’re completely over the edge, I do NOT think I can do anything with it, but yes, I have not just a tow cable but a ‘snatch cable,’ and the off-roader (WB6BEE) who said, buy it, swears by it. I’ll give it a try, but I am not going to burn out my clutch in the attempt.”

“A “snatch cable” is elastic. I also bought HEFTY bolts for attaching the cable to vehicles. When you pull something that weighs several tons, you don’t screw around. We set the thing up, I put the XTerra (off road) in low range reverse, and idled it backwards, feeding it gas as the cable began stretch.”

“It stretched 30% then recoiled ‘snatching’ the 3 ton Suburban right up that cliff and out! All three of us just stood there with the whites of our eyes showing and speechless.”

“We proceeded to the peak, but signals were very weak, (I know now that I was never spotted even after a lot of CQing), so after an hour we called it an activation while enjoying the view, a packed lunch, and a cold beer…”

There’s no doubt that Cycle 24 is over [and then some], the SFI has been running in the low 80’s and slowly falling. It will likely bottom out in the mid 60’s which is the quiescent level for our nearest star. Higher frequencies may sound dead but with low SFI’s, the D-layer absorption goes down so 30 and 40 may be better choices until we see spots again.


Skip K6DGW
North American SOTA Reporter Dude



SOTA Activity Report for March / April 2016

List Summits activated

Date Summit Code Summit Name Activator
4-Mar-16 ZL1/WK-026 Tauhara ZL2AJ
5-Mar-16 ZL1/WK-062 Ngongotaha ZL2AJ
13-Mar-16 ZL1/MW-087 ZL1/MW-087 ZL2AJ
28-Mar-16 ZL1/WK-024 Pureora ZL2AJ
12-Apr-16 ZL1/BP-201 Kakapiko ZL2AJ
13-Apr-16 ZL1/HB-130 Mount Threeve ZL2AJ
16-Apr-16 ZL1/BP-159 Maungakakaramea ZL2AJ

Fewer summits were activated for this period, reflecting the return to work phase and lesser holiday time. 7 summits were activated, all by me. The activations were not difficult to achieve so I encourage others to give it a go. Entering the summits into the database is also easy once you get the hang of it. If you would like some advice to get started get in touch with me by email and I can point you in the direction of many resources that exist.

It is good to see many ZL stations out chasing other activators, giving them the support to keep activating. Chasers from ZL include ZL1PO ZL2AJ ZL2UN ZL3CC and ZL1BYZ. There have been numerous others that I have heard chasing but have not entered the contact into It is important to enter the contact so that you are eligible for SOTA awards.

Now for the good news. Technically it’s not part of this reporting period, however its worthy of featuring now. ZL3 association is now live. South Islanders can (and have already) join in the fun of SOTA. I was pleased to be able to take part in a joint activation with Andrew VK3ARR. Andrew’s software made SOTA possible in ZL (and other entities). His involvement was key, and it seemed appropriate to celebrate the addition of 3920 summits to the list by activating just one of them at the opening. It was a pleasure to hear so many ZLs and VKs present to chase us and other summits during the activation. It was also great to work 2 other ZL SOTA activators for their first activations, as well as 3 summit activations in VK. The south Island was difficult to map, mostly due to its sheer volume of summits. It is with delight that the summits are now able to be activated. I hope to bag a few myself when I am in the neighborhood, and work many activators as they discover the magic of mixing the great kiwi outdoors with a touch of amateur radio.

With ZL now complete there are other entities in the queue for surveying. It is hoped that more associations involved will breed more SOTA activity.

If you are planning an activation, or have completed one, please write to me (or send me the link to your blog if you run one) so I can include it in the next report.

Total Summits Activated for Period – 7

Total number of ZL summits - 1252

Total number of ZL summits activated – 34

Percentage of ZL summits activated – 2.72%

Total ZL Chaser contacts for period 87

Warren Harris ZL2AJ
021 649284



On 14 April, very strong earthquake hit Kumamoto in JA6 area. After-quakes
still continue around this area and the number of after-quakes is over 1000
in 2 weeks. Many refugees are still evacuating from their houses.
Emergency frequencies were kept open in each frequency band and there is a
generic mood of condolences to victims of this sudden tragedy. Pray for

SOTA activity has also been affected by this and relatively small numbers of
expeditions have been carried out in April. Especially in the 2nd half of April
activity was lower. However from end of April there is big national holiday
season in Japan, known as Golden week. The weather is very good and stable in this
season then many SOTA expeditions are expected.

SOTA operation April 2016 in Japan

Total number of Expedition 100 with 808 QSO as of 30th Apr 2016.

JA: 95 expeditions with 753 QSO from Summits
JA5: 2 expeditions with 23 QSO from Summits
JA6: 3 expeditions with 32 QSO from Summits
JA8: 0 expeditions with 0 QSO from Summits

Toru Kawauchi


THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH - 100 By Rob and Audrey G4RQJ

Time for this month’s effort, which we are amazed to find is the one hundredth in the series. It was some time into the Sota program when we started writing in an effort to help the start of the new Sota News. We actually started activating on the 5th of May 2002 on Gummers How. We had wondered about starting almost from the onset of the scheme but what really started us was a chance contact with Shirley then MW3GTE, later MW0YLS on Moel Famau while we were testing a portable antenna on Hamps Fell near Grange. The following day we took the antenna up Gummers How and it’s been a Sota hill almost every weekend since. Some years later Shirley made a special effort to work us when we reached our 1000 points on Moel Famau. She was not then in the best of health and was a great loss to Sota becoming SK not long after. Many other calls have gone from the early days, some lost interest and some due to illness and age and we try to keep the hills alive for them.

So on to the hills and first this time is Muncaster Fell not much activated as like most of West Cumbria it’s a long way from anywhere. There is room for a car on the pavement just at the start of the long, long straight cart track that leaves the A595 just before the Muncaster Castle car park. The car park is free and there are toilets a few yards inside the castle gate. There used to be an honesty box by the gate but it seems to have vanished, a shame really as the car park is very useful and well worth a donation unlike the £10 a go places in the centre of the National Park. As said before the initial track is tractor wide, uphill and endless but eventually opens onto the pretty little wooded tarn. The surrounding woods have been seriously but pleasantly pruned but the real shock comes at the gate that opens out onto the fell proper. Here the tractors have been let loose and the whole area from the gate to the start of the final climb is a mass of deep, water filled ruts which take time to negotiate without a free foot and leg bath. The summit is a miniature mountain with a trig and some shelter from the wind to be had by stepping down a few feet on the appropriate side. This can be difficult, screened seriously to the south by Black Combe and Whitfell so the Whitehaven-Workington area is the centre of activity. Today just seven on 2FM and none on SSB. The sky was seriously broken totalling just another seven on HF a poor reward from over two hours effort.

So to Sunday 10th March and the long anticipated Blackpool Rally which as always a great day out and so good to meet with old friends and to make new ones. Amusing to see that Toms 69 mile trip from Macclesfield was slightly quicker than ours from Walney which is only eight miles if you believe sat nav and own a hovercraft!
See some discussion on helping knees deal with Sota, For the last 20 odd years I Rob have helped one and later both knees by using the type of knee supports used by rugby players. These are padded neoprene usually black and provide warm, secure support in all conditions. Best are those with Velcro fastening which are adjustable. The tube type tend to wear very quickly and become loose and baggy, also they do not go well with longer underwear in the winter (ooh err missus) but the Velcro type can go over the top. These and a couple of walking poles will keep you going for years.
With the chaser hat on we were pleased to be Allan G4VPX/P’s fourth contact on Skiddaw and helping project him into the goats’ enclosure. Thanks for the photo on your report Allan.

Sunday 17th and off to Great Knoutberry Hill in the North Pennines. We were concerned about reports saying that the Coal road from Garsdale station to Dent was in bad condition but found that the repair work has been done and the approach from the Garsdale side is fine. The start point at SD779880 has space for about six cars and the initial walk is along the bridle way until a gate is reached. At this point there is an old stone step stile and a farm gate on the left. In recent years the stile had become very rickety and climbing it had become an act of faith but a couple of years or so ago the farm gate was renewed and the stile blocked. The new gates have now sagged and the bolts are stiff so a bit of brute force is needed before you are out on to the fell. All this is done under the watch of the old men above on Pikes Edge. As a deterrent these cairns are large and quite impressive one in particular is a hooded giant with folded arms and others we have spoken to agree to feeling watched as they climb. When reached they are just piles of stones with no discernable shape, very clever. The climb is up three steeper sections and short level bits between with a fence all the way to the trig on the summit. Some deviation to the right may be needed to avoid boggy patches. Plenty of space on the top for antennas but the wind has the knack of always blowing along the wall so as a wind break about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Today is no exception so we settle for a spot just below the summit where the wind is manageable and the antenna can be supported by the wall and its top fence. Helpful spots produce a reasonable run an 2fm and 5MHz and even 2ssb produces four takers but hf conditions once again seem poor. Running 5w and not self spotting from the summits can be difficult but it can be all part of the game. We did not see a single person during the whole trip, where are all the walkers?

In the week I’m in the shack heavily involved in a construction project soldering iron in hand, when I hear an M6—/P put out a very short cq call. As I am in the middle of things I give him a miss and carry on but later I notice that he is still calling so give him a shout to find that he is a SOTA station looking for a fourth contact to make things stick. He is cold so we have a quick qso and he is off down. The lessons of this are if you are an activator struggling use a longer call, Call sign maybe 3 times, mention SOTA , your summit and if desperate for contacts mention this and your conditions. Repeat frequently. This should attract even the most hard hearted old chaser with a soldering iron in hand to put it down and give you a call. Chasers please do call, you may stop him freezing to death literally.

Sunday 24th April and Fountains Fell which is a hill we usually climb under winter bonus but last winter was rather different! As if to reprimand us it starts to snow as we leave the car at the usual cattle grid (room here for about four cars) We know that John YSS always climbs this one straight up along the wall which looks like hard work to us so as usual we follow the Pennine Way path that leads away to the left up the nicely graded ex old time miners ramp that contours round to emerge on the huge summit plateau. The path south west from the cairns just beyond the wall seems to be more used lately. There are a few post markers, a lot of sink holes and some mineshafts but amazingly the normally very boggy going underfoot is almost bone dry and no minor detours are needed. Given the normal conditions this is a minor miracle and we soon arrive at the pile of stones that mark the summit. The cold wind from the north is said by the forecasters to be straight from the Arctic, today we believe them and tuck down in the lea of one of the many small mounds taking care to avoid sinkholes! On the air things pretty much as usual, ten on 2FM, two on 2SSB both repeats from FM, even tried vertical polarisation but nil, just two on 5MHz, one a summit to summit with Andy FMF, thirteen on 10 MHz in very up and down conditions and nil on 7 and 14MHz. Two and three-quarter hours in a biting wind, couple of photos and off. Not a good year for photos! Who said “if you take pictures on cold grey days you get cold grey photographs!”

That winds up episode 100. If we can manage another 100 we should be well pleased :wink: We hope to be on Normanby Top at the start of next month so maybe catch some new chasers.

Meanwhile, take care out there
Rob and Audrey

Congratulations Rob & Audrey on your 100th edition of the View from the North, a feature of the SOTA news for many years & always a good read. I look forward to the next 100! - Ed

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


SOTA NEWS MAY 2016 - Part 2


USA SOTA Tour by Luc ON7DQ

Dear SOTA friends,
I started a blog on my SOTA and other ham activities, and as an “excercise”, I did a write up on my USA SOTA tour of April last year.

Read all about it here :

ON7DQ (KF0CR) HAM Radio Blog: KF0CR SOTA Tour - April 2015






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

April was a quiet month for Top Band SOTA with no activations to report. However one highlight for me was finally meeting up with the worlds leading Top Band activator, John G4YSS at the NARSA rally in Blackpool. After reporting on his many activations over the years, it was a real pleasure to meet him in person.

The rally itself was very enjoyable & there were more SOTA people in attendance than I have seen before. I will certainly be attending the rally next year!

Various photos & reports from the rally can be found on the SOTA reflector & are worth a look if only to put faces to callsigns, but be warned, I am not photogenic!

G4YSS: G/NP-004 & Blackpool Rally, on 10th April 2016
Norbreck rally (Blackpool) 10th April

It was a shock to receive a message from John G4YSS a few days after the rally telling me that Roy G4SSH had been taken into hospital. Thankfully as you will have read, Roy is now back home & well on the road to recovery :slight_smile:

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



(Apologies for a much shortened report this month for reasons reported elsewhere)

CT activators did a magnificent job celebrating Portuguese SOTA National Day on the 2ndApril. 21 SOTA summits were activated and more than 520 QSOs were established on QRG’s between 7 MHz and 1.3 GHz, using a variety of modes.

Jürg HB9BIN, was busy activating summits in the F/JU and F/VL regions along with his wife during the first week of the month. Carlos EA8AA was active from the Canary Islands, Joao CU3AA from the Azores, Alphonse EA6/DD5LT from the Balearic Islands and Dave CT7/G4AZO was active from the Algarve region of Portugal.

The last week of April was enhanced by the “Poland and Slovakia tour” by Nick G4OOE, Dave G3TQQ, Pete M0HQO and Victor GI4ONL, and although signals were weak at my QTH, in poor HF conditions, I at least managed to contact Phil, Nick and Victor on their last day, on HF CW.

The last few days saw an increase in the generally low volume of EU CW activations during the month, with cross border expeditions observed from Mirko 9A/S52CU, Catalin YO/F4HOD, Geert DL/PA7ZEE, Kurt F/HB9AFI, Tom OE/HB9DPR, Bob DL/F5HTR, Jürg DL/HB9BIN and Markus DL/HB9BRJ.

A team of HA stations Feri YO/HA8LLH, Nagy YO/HA8QW and Miklos YO/HA8WX were activating summits in Romania.

HB9BCB was spotted calling CQ SOTA on 3.525 MHz (a much under-used band) on the 30th. Heinz says “I have had fun with my newly built 80-10m EFHW (42.5m) with coupler on 3 activations in April (total of 36 QSO on 3.5 MHz). The special fun was that each time I could also work at least one VK (home or s2s) on 14 MHz using this giant wire, hi. Besides many other nice QSO’s, of course.”




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

Mode: CW on 28MHz: activity for April


Mode: CW on 50MHz: activity for April


Mode: CW on 1240MHz: activity for April

Mode: FM on 28MHz: activity for April

Mode: FM on 50MHz: activity for April


Mode: FM on 1240MHz: activity for April


Mode: SSB on 28MHz: activity for April


Mode: SSB on 50MHz: activity for April

7K1BAE, 9A/S57MS/P, JF1NDT/1, JH1EWV/1, JI1IKC/1, JK1NRL/1, JL1BWG/1,

Mode: SSB on 1240MHz: activity for April


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


Many thanks for the News this month Mark and best wishes for a rapid and full recovery to Roy. And congrats to Rob and Audrey on Episode 100 :slight_smile: Great to meet so many of you at Norbreck

73 de Paul G4MD


Thanks Paul :slight_smile:

It was nice to see you again at Blackpool, a very enjoyable day!

Very best 73,

Mark G0VOF

1 Like

Thanks for the news. I was wondering why i din’t log Roy in my last activities; so glad to know all is OK for Roy.
73 Gerald F6HBI

I think it may be been me on Harter Fell (LD-028) that Rob is talking about. (If so I logged you as RQT due to freezing hands making my writing worse than usual so will change it)

I will put out a longer CQ next time and mention that I’m freezing my bits off and on a SOTA summit.

Thanks for the feedback.

1 Like

Great job Mark. Thanks for that. Best wishes to Roy for a full and rapid recovery. :slight_smile:

73, Gerald G4OIG

1 Like

Thanks a lot Mark, very well done.
And all the best to Roy wishing to hear you soon agn.
73 de Ignacio

Thanks for news and QSO on 6 meters ! 73 QRO