SOTA NEWS NOVEMBER 2015 - Part 2 of 2
NORTH AMERICAN REPORT - from Skip K6DGW/7
October has been a very SOTA busy month over here in North America.
While activations and chasing seems to have declined, that may be an artefact of the database issues that have been plaguing Andy and the MT.
People who know me have said that there has never been a technology I couldn’t break, but I promise, I didn’t break the SOTA database.
NORTH AMERICA TOTALS: as of 29 Oct 2015 22:24 UTC
Total Activations: 403 
Nr Unique Activators: 139 
Total Chaser QSOs: 2434 
Nr Unique Chasers: 161 
Unique Summits: 516 
2m: 118 (4%) 
6m: 0 (0%) 
10m: 15 (0%) 
12m: 5 (0%) 
15m: 50 (2%) 
17m: 82 (3%) 
20m: 1493 (61%) 
30m: 186 (7%) 
40m: 480 (19%) 
60m: 3 (0%) 
80m: 0 (0%) 
160m: 1 (0%) 
CW: 1420 (58%) 
SSB: 892 (36%) 
FM: 119 (4%) 
AM: 0 (0%) 
Data: 0 (0%) 
Other: 0 (0%) 
2 meters seems to be increasing slowly, most of it seems to be FM which is how it looks on Sotawatch in the alerts and spots too. All the other band/mode stats seem to be fairly stable.
AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: A lot this month!
If there was an award for “Most Gasoline Consumed in the Pursuit of SOTA,” I’m sure it would go to Curtis, KC5CW. As a result, he has posted over 100 unique summit activations. It happened while on a trip to France. Really nice gesture on his wife’s part to OK activations on her birthday trip.
And, as if that isn’t enough, David, KG5EIU notes: "Big round of applause for Curtis KC5CW today Oct 17, 2015 I was with him when he crossed over a 1000 chaser points to obtain the coveted “Shack Sloth”
status. Well done Curtis!!! KC5CW is a SOTA Shack Sloth - YouTube
Merle, KB1RJD, and Herm, KB1RJC report: “Congratulations to Frandy, N1FJ, who became the second Mountain Goat in W1 (and reportedly North America’s most elder) with the activation of his second summit today.
Heading to the second summit a road was found impassable, but with an adjustment to another summit he was able to salvage his historic day.”
“While sneaking up to the goat line on summit 1, Frandy also provided the QSO that put us over 10,000 chaser points to become Super Sloths.
Congratulations and Thanks, Frandy.” “Sequential Senior Spousal SOTA Super Sloths?”
Robert, W0QFW, new to SOTA, has made it over 100 points thanks to AE7AP on W7M/GA-080. He’s now a Bronze-level Mountain Hunter.
Brad, WA6MM, reports: “I had the distinct pleasure of pushing David
(KG5EIU) over the 1000 Chaser point level last weekend while activating Independence Mtn here in Colorado.” “Congrats to another new Shack Sloth!”
Fred, KT5X, reported: “New Mexico saw its sixth and seventh activators achieve mountain goat status (K5RHD and WB5USB).” “Lo the poor New Mexican… so far from heaven, so close to Texas.”
NEWS: Lots of that this time too …
Elliott, K6EL, brought to my attention a new challenge for 2016: “As mentioned in the Reflector by KQ2RP, the ARRL today announced the 2016 National Parks challenge. There are numerous awards, including Five Star Activator and a special chaser award for those who contact activators in 75% of the 59 US national parks. Use of log book of the world is required, like the 2014 challenge. N7UN has a list of summits in the parks and other locations in the NP system.”
“Activators at any elevation will be swamped with callers running big power and big antennas. Time to practice handling pile-ups. As those of us who have operated from DX locations know, it is not for the faint of heart, especially if you don’t want to use split frequencies.”
Etienne, K7ATN, continues, “This will be a fun program for sure, but note that 10 QSOs are required (yep, ten) - and contacts will need to be uploaded to LoTW to count for NPOTA. There are also suggestions about how to ‘prove’ you were actually in the NP Unit for the activation. Look over the Activator Guide:
“There is a place for “Activator Tips”
NPOTA Activator Tips but for SOTA we should be certain to post specific experience information on SOTAWatch summit pages to share with other SOTA Activators that would head to peaks in our footsteps. Note that the “Spotting” and “Alert” functions at https://npota.arrl.org/index.php requires LoTW registration. Whew! This could be exciting!”
From Guy, N7UN: “There are some 1,900+ SOTA summits in the boundaries of the 430 National Park units. The NPOTA Challenge is patterned after the DXCC program with each National Park unit being an “entity”. The awards program has two tracks, one for Chasers and one for Activators. A separate leaderboard tracks the top participants in each track. QSOs with a NPS unit scores points. Likewise for Activators. There are special awards for each track. Note the similarity to the SOTA Awards program.”
“In addition, a SOTA Activator (KJ6WEG) in CA who works with the Google Earth development team, is developing a Google maps mashup of the 432 NPS Units plus the SOTA peaks within those parks. This should help the SOTA community in selecting SOTA peaks for the NPOTA program.”
“I think this 2016 ARRL-sponsored challenge will be a huge opportunity for SOTA to ride the coattails of this event. A SOTA Activator within the NPOTA program is going to attract a huge number of QSO’ss by folks not familiar with SOTA, i.e. a great opportunity to attract a lot of new SOTA participants.”
“BTW, the NPOTA program was designed/patterned after SOTA. There are a number of SOTA participants working at the ARRL.”
Also from Elliott, K6EL, who hosted the Annual SOTA Luncheon at
PACIFICON: “The fourth annual free SOTA lunch at Pacificon went as planned, with several added surprises. There were 17 guests, those who RSVP’ed plus several SOTA recruits of Hiroki, AH6CY, plus Wayne, N6KR, designer of the KX3, co-founder of Elecraft, and long-time friend of SOTA. At Wayne’s end of the table were several KX3 users. Do you think there were discussions about that rig? Take a wild guess.”
“There was a further guest who checked in remotely just at the end of a presentation by Don, NK6A… Rob, KC6TYD, talked to two of us on VHF from 12,000 feet, but he wasn’t on a summit. He was descending in a parachute, overseen by jumper Mark, AF6IM, a lawyer who was a schoolmate
of K6EL both in college and law school. Comments after lunch were
universal: ‘So nice to finally meet folks we’ve worked many times over a lot of years.’ Four states were represented. Was this the largest sit-down lunch in NA SOTA history? See you all at the fifth annual, where we might see the return of WGØAT and K6DGW.” But wait, there’s more:
“Surrounding the lunch date, NK6A did multiple climbs, as usual, and lunch participant Lee, KF7URE did his first climb nearby, promptly bagging summit to summit contacts with NK6A, K6EL and KDØYOB in rapid succession. Not bad for a first outing. His brother is climber KB6CIO, and I’ll bet we hooked him with two barbs.”
“Paul, W6PNG, finished lunch and left for Lake Tahoe, where he attempted a 28-hour marathon of five icy 8-pointers picked for him by Sierra guru Eric, KU6J.”
And in other news from Elliott, K6EL, who just chased his 2,000th unique
“The three Alaska associations have been re-worked by N7UN to a standard of 150 meter prominence (492 feet) and 25 meter activation zone (82 feet), at the request of the MT. As a result, the launch date has been moved to December 1, 2015. Further, all associations world wide will change to that same standard at the next revision, if needed. That will allow the addition of new summits for those whose standard was looser.”
“I have analyzed the logs in the four new JA associations. JA8 Hokaido
has no activations. JA5 Shikoku has had one activator, JG5JXW. JA6
Kyushu has had two activators, JG6CRU and JS1GRO. The large JA Honshu association has had many activators with all JA chasers and one, JS1UEH specializing in DX. He is responsible for Austria, Russia, China, many VK’s and the early USA contacts with KA1R, W7RV, NF1R, twice with WA7JTM, NG6R, & NA6MG, and three times with W7GA and K6HPX, who worked him on three bands during three days.”
And that segues nicely into this news from Bruce N7RR: “The Management Team of Summits on the Air has voted to require that all upland SOTA Associations worldwide use 150 meters (or 492 feet) as the minimum prominence instead of the 500-foot standard which has been used for much of the USA.” [The US is going metric, inch-by-inch. Ed.]
“There are some lowland areas where a 100-meter standard can be used, but that definitely doesn’t apply to Washington State or most of Western NA. This means that 48 new SOTA summits will be qualified in Washington State, including Maury Island, which is exactly 492 feet high Maury Island - Wikipedia as well as Liberty Cap, whose prominence is 492 feet. A total of 698 summits will be added to SOTA in the USA, including 98 in California.”
“Shortly there will be three new SOTA Associations for Alaska, and they will also be required to abide by the 150-meter standard. There are likely a large number of SOTA-qualified summits in Alaska whose prominence lie in the range from 492 feet through 499 feet. The activation zone is being standardized to be within 25 meters (82 feet) elevation of the actual summit.”
Bruce is planning a “Real Mountain Climb” of two secondary summits on Mt.Ranier. He posted the details on the NA SOTA Yahoo Group. It sounds like this one is not for the faint of heart or inexperienced. Mt.Ranier is a VERY pointy mountain.
EPILOGUE: Andrea and I are more or less settled in Sparks NV, and I’ve gotten the remote to W7RN working, so I’ve been doing a little chasing in the mornings. A few bugs to work out, but basically it’s working fine.
Lots of news and awards this month, this got very long so we’ll skip an activation report this time.
North American SOTA Reporter Dude
NEWS FROM AUSTRALIA
AUSTRALIAN SOTA REPORT - from Allen VK3HRA
VK1 Report by Andrew VK1DA
Our most notable event for the month was the day on which Andrew 1NAM achieved Mountain Goat. We worked out a few weeks earlier that he wanted to complete his 1000 points on Mt Gingera, which is several km south of Mt Ginini. We wondered if we could make a QSO that would finish his MG qualification and also give me 500 points. By the weekend of Andrew’s trip to Gingera I was just 11 points short of 500. I planned a three-summit day, the first of which would coincide with Andrew’s activation of Mt Gingera.
In the event we did manage to QSO each other, our 4th and qualifying contact on our respective summits being with each other. Strangely enough just after our contact, a goat bleat was heard over the radio, creating some mirth among those listening. When will the goat next call? I think Al VK1RX and Ian VK1DI may hear it some time in the next year.
Earlier in October Adan VK1FJAW undertook a recce of a previously unactivated summit, Mt Tidbinbilla, curious to know how accessible the track was. Enthusiasm got the better of him and he kept going past his planned target, reaching the summit and activating it spontaneously. On the way back down, his track took him through some thick grown saplings, and by the time he got back to his car he realised that his backpack had been sufficiently loose to allow his near new DXwire pole to be dropped.
This was a great loss after a 6 hour trek and Adan was so upset that he went back and retraced his steps several days later, unfortunately not finding the pole. A multiple activation later will search for the missing pole using his GPS track as a guide.
In other activations, three activators set out to activate Mt Gudgenby for the first time on 25 October. This required a combination of cycling along a road closed to motor vehicles, then a substantial climb through a mixed terrain. Unfortunately Andrew VK1NAM felt unwell and was unable to complete the climb. The activation by Al VK1RX and Adan VK1FJAW went ahead after receiving assurances that there was no need to cancel. By the time they returned to Andrew he had recovered and was ready for the return trip to the car.
At the VK1 SOTA dinner on 27 October, a presentation of a certificate and a trophy was made to Andrew VK1NAM, celebrating his achievement of Mountain Goat. The trophy was designed and 3D printed by Adan Vk1FJAW, and consisted of a goat atop a model of the Mt Gingera topography, engraved with Andrew’s details and the achievement of MG.
A photo can be seen on www.vk1nam.wordpress.com.
(Further VK Reports to follow)
CW REPORT for September 2015 - by Roy G4SSH
The month got off to a busy start with Jürg F/HB9BIN mopping up the last few summits in France. Once done he should have completed the magnificent task of activating all of the summits in the Vosges (F/VO) region.
The weekend of the 3rd-4th saw a sudden improvement in both propagation and weather, with the result that the spots increased to over the “300 in 12 hour” mark, Stephan OE/DM1LE was on one of his regular tours in Austria, Kurt F/HB9AFI was doing the same in France, Sake DL/PA0SKP and Hans DL/HB9BQU were in Germany, Geert ON/PA7ZEE in Belgium, Sake OE/PA0SKP in Austria, Mike OM/OK2SAM in Slovakia, Art HB9/KH6AM, in Switzerland, Robin 9H4RH from Malta, Mike OM/OK2SAM in Slovakia, Vlkado Z35M in Macedonia, Reinhard EA5/DK1IO in Spain, Igor OK/OM3CUG, Hans DL/PB2T and Rick DL/M0LEP were all active.
On the 4th there was a group of stations from Spain activating the EA2/NV-050 summit simultaneously. Heard activating were Marcial EA2WX, Javier EB2AOC, Mikel EA2CW and Crux EA2EAX.
Paul OK2PDT was, as usual very active on most days, but on the 5th he was operating as DL/OK2PDT from Germany, whilst Lothar was again operating from Spain as EA5/DK1IO, Jürg was active as DL/HB9BAB, Guido was active as DL/HB9BQB, Markus was operating as DL/HB9BRJ and Fred DL8DXL was operating as OK/DL8DXL.
Takeshi JS1EUH was spotted active around 0600z on the 10th, on 14 and 21 MHz by VK stations, and 3 JA’s spotted around midnight on the 11th.
The two Victors, GI4ONL and MI0JST were on a tour of EI again on the 12t h
Towards the middle of the month and no doubt due to a mixture of poor propagation and early winter conditions across Europe there was a lack of SOTA activity. On the 16th October at 0945 UTC (a peak time for EU SOTA activity) my screen read “3 spots in the last 12 hours - oneVK2 on SSB one HL on 2m FM and one N7 on CW”)
Gerald MW0WML commenced a tour of summits in Mallorca on the 16th October.
Andy DL6AP was active as EA6/Dl1AP from Mallorca on the 17th and Phil G4OBK started a week long holiday in Ibiza as EA6/G4OBK on the 18th.
Geert PA7ZEE commenced a multi summit expedition in Germany on the 18th, as DL/PA7ZEE. Weber YO/HA8BJ,and Feri YO/HA8LLH were heard operating summits in Romania on the 18th. Tof F5UBH was active from Germany as DL/F5UBH on the 19th.
Robin 9H4RH was active from Gozo Island on the 19th, and Glyn G4CFS was active from the Isle of Wight on the 18th and 19th. Hans PA3FYG,
Sake commenced an expedition to Germany as DL/PA0SKP along with Hans DL/PA3FYG, on the 19th and Peter DL8DXL activated many summits in the DM/TH region of Germany on the 23rd.
The special anniversary call S5100ISONZO was active on most weekends during the month of October.
Activators were very busy on the last day of the month, with Chris ON6ZQ on a multi- summit activation of summits in Germany. Stephan DM1LE on an expedition to Austria. Igor OM3CUG operating as OK/OM3CUG, Andy operating as OE/DK7MG and quite a few SO(x)TA callsigns out of Poland.
73 Roy G4SSH
SOTA Activity Report for October, 2015
SOTA Activators submitting entries to the data base for 10m, 6m and 1240 MHz during October 2015. These files produced on 29th October by Kevin G0NUP.
Mode: CW on 24MHz: activity for October
9H4RH/P, EA2IF/P, F5UKL/P, HB0/DL3TU/P, HB9CBR/P, OH2NOS/P, OK1MLP/P
Mode: CW on 28MHz: activity for October
CT1DBS/P, F5UKL/P, HB9/PB2T/P, HB9AFI/P, HB9CBR/P, JS1UEH/7, N0PCL, OE5EIN/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2PDT/P, SV2JAO/P/QRP, WB5USB
Mode: CW on 50MHz: activity for October
JI1TLL/2, JJ1SWI/1, JS1UEH/7
Mode: CW on 1240MHz: activity for October. Nil
Mode: FM on 28MHz: activity for October. Nil
Mode: FM on 50MHz: activity for October
Mode: FM on 1240MHz: activity for October
7K1CPT/1, JG6CRU, JP1QEC/0, JS1GRO, JS1GRO/4, K7ATN, OK1DEU/P, SQ9KCP, WW7D
Mode: SSB on 28MHz: activity for October
AB3TQ, CT2IWW/P, DB7MM/P, DD5KI/P, EB2GKK/P, HB9ZCW/P, K3JH, KB1HXO, KB1RJC, KB1RJD, KB6CIO, KC5CW, KG6HQD, KI4SVM, KK4OSG, N6MKW, OE5AUL/P, OE9EGI/P, ON4TA/P, S55KM/P, S56LXN/P, SV2HSZ/P, VA2IEI, VK3CAT/P, VK3MCD, VK3YY
Mode: SSB on 50MHz: activity for October
7K1CPT/1, I1WKN, JH1EWV, JI1TLL/2, JJ1SWI/1, JR1NNL/1, JS1UEH/1, JS1UEH/7, K5RHD, OE/S57MS/P, S52ON/P, S56LXN/P, S57MS/P, VK1NAM/2, VK3ANL, VK3CAT/P, VK3MCD
Mode: SSB on 1240MHz: activity for October. Nil.
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 SOTA enthusiasts all across Europe, the USA, Australia and beyond, in a total of 24 different countries. Your input will be most welcome.
I receive many e-mails during the month containing details of activations, milestones reached and general SOTA news. Unless advised otherwise I will use this information in the next edition of SOTA News. It is important therefore that you advise me if any information is not intended for publication.
SOTA News Editor
U.S. and Canadian reports to:-
Fred K6DGW [aka “Skip” on the radio]
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude
Australian input to:-
South African input to:-