SOTA NEWS NOVEMBER 2012
EDITORIAL – by Roy G4SSH
Welcome to the November 2012 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Andy MM0FMF, Barry GM4TOE, Skip K6DGV, Wayne VK3WAM, Martin DF3MC, Colin M0CGH, Mark G0VOF, Vicky M6BWA, Rod M0JLA, Rob and Audrey G4RQJ, Kevin G0NUP.
WANTED - Association Manager for EA6 and EA9
Peter ON4UP has identified the summits in EA6 which qualify for SOTA.
He’s also produced a viable points structure for these summits. He would
quite like to see an association up and running in EA6 as I’m sure many
others would. Access is easy for everyone in Europe and of course the
islands in EA6 make excellent holiday destinations. Sun, sea, sand,
sangria and SOTA
The vast majority of work has been done by Peter and apart from
uploading the data to the database, the only blockage is the lack of an
AM who is resident in EA6. Here on the MT we strive very hard for the AM
to be local to the association so if you live in EA6 or you have a
friend who lives there and would be interested in being the AM please
get in touch with the MT.
Likewise there is a single summit in EA9 Ceuta and if you know of an EA9
amateur who wants to be AM please get in touch. Is a single summit
association viable? Well Ceuta is on mainland Africa and is a 1 hour ferry
ride from Algerciras. So a it’s possible to make a day trip and add a
new continent to your tally for not a lot of effort!.
If you are interested or know of someone who is interested please
contact the MT.
SOTA AWARDS FOR OCTOBER 2012 By Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager
OK, big mouth – I thought last month was record breaking when it came to awards! Well this month was just unbelievable and I have spent absolutely ages checking and issuing awards. Congratulations to everybody who achieved their own personal goals but especially those amongst you that met the requirements for our milestone Shack Sloth and Mountain Goat awards. Special mention must be made of DJ5AV who claimed his 50k Chaser award (even though he actually passed that target last year) , he also managed to chase 5000 Unique summits. Also reaching the “Supersloth” level at 10k points is Stefen DL4ALI while making up a trio of DL Chasers is Robert DL7URB at the 5k level. Many other Chasers are snapping at their heels so keep going chaps! Activators and Chasers in some of our newer Associations are climbing up the tables so watch this space for news of their achievements.
SV2KGA Adamos Sarailidis
OK1DIG Daniel Glanc
EB2GEV Jose Miguel Orueta Michelena
KG7E Jim Kornacki
G4ISJ Peter Martin
WH6LE Pete Larson
HB9CLT Thomas Rapold
SV2KGA Adamos Sarailidis 1000 points
WH6LE Pete Larson 250 points
VK3WAM Wayne Merry 250 points
DL4ALI Stefen Dopping 100 points
WH6LE Pete Larson 100 points
VK3PF Peter L Freeman 100 points
DJ5AV Michael Oerter 50000 points
DL4ALI Stefen Dopping 10000 points
DL7URB Robert Bree 5000 points
S52CU Mirko Curk 2500 points
KC3RT Gene Patterson 1500 points
OH6JYH Harri Liimatainen 1500 points
EB2GEV Jose Miguel Orueta Michelena 1000 points
KG7E Jim Kornacki 1000 points
G4ISJ Peter Martin 1000 points
OH6JYH Harri Liimatainen 1000 points
GM0OAA Mike Wigg 1000 points
SQ9APD Bartosz Kuzma 500 points
M6BLV John Moore 500 points
G6XBF Walt Lambert 500 points
DD6UDD Detlef Wabersky 500 points
OH6JYH Harri Liimatainen 500 points
M6BLV John Moore 250 points
VK3PF Peter L Freeman 250 points
2E1HTG Steve Hall 250 points
W0AO Robert Kimbrell 100 points
W1PNS Peter N. Spotts 100 points
VK3YY Glenn Sneddon 100 points
W5WIL Dennis W Walden 100 points
M6BLV John Moore 100 points
2E0EEY Chris Hall 100 points
F5VLY Adrian Wilson Green 100 points
WB5LJO Martin W. Raue 100 points
W4RK Bill Gerth 100 points
2E1HTG Steve Hall 100 points
W0MNA Gary Auchard 100 points
DJ5AV Michael Oerter 5000 summits
SV2KGA Adamos Sarailidis 250 summits
OH6JYH Harri Liimatainen 250 summits
M6BLV John Moore 100 summits
OH6JYH Harri Liimatainen 100 summits
KG7E Jim Kornacki - Gold
DK1AX Klaus-Dieter Graef - Gold
K6ILM Elliott Pisor - Gold
G4ISJ Peter Martin - Gold
WH6LE Pete Larson - Silver
K6ILM Elliott Pisor - Silver
DL4ALI Stefen Dopping - Bronze
W0AO Robert Kimbrell - Bronze
W1PNS Peter N. Spotts - Bronze
WH6LE Pete Larson - Bronze
M6BLV John Moore - Bronze
DD6UDD Detlef Wabersky - Bronze
OK1DIG Daniel Glanc - Gold
ON9CBQ Franz Fleischmann - Silver
ON4UP Peter Preud’homme - Silver
M6BLV John Moore - G Worked all Regions
2E0COZ Derek Cotton - GD Chaser
F5VLY Adrian Wilson Green - G Chaser
The task of keeping up with so many award claims (as well as merchandise) is rapidly becoming a significant part of my spare time activity so please remember I cannot guarantee turning round your certificate or merchandise requests in less than 10 days and trophies will take significantly longer. There were so many purchases of flags this month that I was caught by surprise when I ran out of stock; well the supplier pulled out the stops and they are available again. The larger sizes of T-shirts are disappearing rapidly, I guess not everybody has the sylph-like figure that I sport (dream on Barry!) or else prefers their shirts on the looser side so my next order will be skewed towards the more ample figure. If you are genuinely size M or L then I am reasonably well stocked with garments.
Last month I said that I would announce plans for some new awards and perhaps revisions to some existing awards. Well, the revisions will have to wait but we can announce that we are in the finalising stages for a Summit to Summit Award and for what has been nicknamed the “Dog Food Award” – where a somebody has both Activated and Chased a particular hill: SOTA Complete!
Summit to Summit Award
This award is being introduced to recognize what many Activators regard as the pinnacle of their activating expeditions where they complete a contact with another activator on a qualifying SOTA summit. We have taken into consideration the existing award that has been available from elsewhere for some considerable time which rewards unique summit to summit contacts and do not plan to compete with that award – it would be both pointless and also not in the true spirit of amateur radio.
The new SOTA S2S award builds on our existing structure and rules and can be integrated into the database without any great difficulty. It must be noted that there has not been a system for recording S2S contacts within the database (although some activators have used the comment field for this purpose with no common structure to their records) and to do a cross check between activator records to locate summit to summit contacts would put an unwarranted strain upon the database servers. Consequently we will introduce the new award from 1 February 2013 for new S2S contacts only; it will not be retrospective both for fairness to all but also for technical reasons with administration of the database.
How will points accumulate? This has been the subject of much discussion but the rules will be as follows:
- The award will be scored by taking the sum of the points value of the activated summit and the chased summit
- The rules for activators will apply to the activated summit score i.e. the summit may be scored only once per calendar year. If subsequent activations take place from the same summit in the calendar year only the chased summit score will count for the award
- Only the points value of the activated summit will be counted, summer or winter bonuses will not be included as they are already used for activator awards.
- The rules for chasers will apply to the chased summit i.e. the summit may only be counted for the award once per day.
- Commencement date 1 February 2013 to allow for modifications to the database to collect the relevant information. S2S prior to this date will not be counted
- The database will be revised so that summit to summit contacts can be indicated (a tick box probably)
- Award qualifying points values will be announced prior to commencement of the award, this is still under discussion
Because there will be some (minor) changes to the database Andy will liaise, on request, with those individuals that use information from the database for their own software to ensure they can keep their services operational once the changes are introduced.
Details of further awards will be announced next time.
Winter is rapidly approaching; we have already had reasonable snowfall in the village so more care will be needed on the hills. Do not be as stupid as the three hill walkers who had to be rescued last week from the Perthshire hills because they were relying on mapping on their mobile phones and didn’t have map or compass to back it up when the found themselves lost.
Barry Horning GM4TOE
SOTA News also congratulates the following
Peter G4ISJ for gaining Shack Sloth on the 5th October
Matt G8XYJ for gaining Shack Sloth on the 21st October
Franz OE2SNL for gaining Mountain Goat status.
Aage La12ENA for activating all of the 16 G/SP summits
Mike 2E0YYY for making more than 500 Summit-to-Summit contacts.
Damian M0BKV on gaining his Mountain Hunter Award, Platinum standard.
The above achievements have been passed to me by e-mail or have been mentioned on the reflector, If you have reached some personal target, perhaps not one for which there is an award, and would like a mention here, then just drop me an e-mail… Editor.
REPORT FROM SOTA DL - by Martin DF3MC
During most of October the weather was favourable for SOTA activity in the German Alps. A lot of nice activations were possible and several milestones could be reached.
In all more than 50 summit activations could be counted and all nine regions were on the air this month. Several guests from abroad visited SOTA-DL summits.
Stephan, DM1LE completed the activation of the highest summit in each of the 9 regions, thus qualifying for the SKYWALKER AWARD. He is only the second activator to reach this ambitious award and it took him less than one year – Congratulations and “Chapeau”!
Now each of the 9 top summits of SOTA-DL has been activated at least two times, both in CW and SSB – I wonder if any chaser has a QSO with each of these summits in his log. There also is a Chaser version of this award available, for details, please visit our SOTA-DL website.
Martin, DF3MC has now activated more than 100 unique SOTA-DL summits for the CHALLENGER BRONZE award. “It took me almost three years, I had to walk over 700 km and drove 310 km by mountain bike. It was great to visit so many different mountains!”
On Oct. 25, Andy, DK7MG made a “Grand Tour” right through the BE-region and activated five summits in a row. It is quite a long walk with a lot of up and down.
Now arctic cold brought a dramatic drop in temperature and we got a lot of snow, even in the valleys. So the higher summits seem to be “closed for the winter”, but we still hope to reach some of the lower mountains.
Greetings from SOTA-DL
CANADA / U.S. REPORT By Skip K6DGW
North American activity was down a bit for October, which isn’t too
surprising given that NA SOTA Day was in September and it really brought
out the crowds. Winter is also closing in, even here in supposedly
OCTOBER STATISTICS [through 26 Oct 2012]:
Total Activations: 175
Total Unique Activators: 55
WA2USA: 20; N4EX: 19; WO6M: 12; KE5AKL: 8
Total Chaser QSO’s: 1,957
Total Unique Chasers: 121
Top Chasers (QSO’s)
N1EU: 133; NS7P: 124; W7CNL: 88; W4TZM: 69
Total Unique Summits: 135
Most Popular Summits
W6/NC-150: 5; W0/FR-063: 3; W1/HA-069: 3; W1/NL-004: 3
- 33 activated twice
AWARDS and ACHIEVEMENTS: It was a good month for the high-achievers in
Canada and the US:
Multiple congratulations to Fred, KT5X on becoming the first Mountain
Goat in the New World … in fact, the first outside Europe. He was
closely followed by Doug, W1DMH with the second North American Mountain
Rich, N4EX became the first Super Sloth outside Europe, and K6ILM, ND0C,
VE1WT, KK1W, N1EU & K3KYR all amassing 2,500 chasing points in the last
And Pete, WH6LE, has a personal take on just how active Rich, N4EX,
"I thought I’d pass this on as something you might consider including
in next month’s North American entry. It is meant to demonstrate
again how active Rich Homolya (N4EX) is in Summits on the Air.
My first QSO on my FIRST activation: N4EX 30DEC11 W4C/WP-011
My first chasing QSO: N4EX 24JAN12 W4C/EP-007
QSO that put me over 1000 chaser points (Shack Sloth): N4EX 02OCT12
Congratulations to our new Shack Sloths [1,000 chaser points or more]:
Ken, VE7KBN; Steve, WG0AT;
Elliott, K6ILM, reminded me that:
“In the last 30 days on the chaser side in California, KU6J & KA6AIL
reached 250 points, WO6M reached 500 points, and K6ILM reached 2,500
points. On the activator side, WO6M did the unthinkable by scoring 438
points in 3 months, including 17 multi-peak days.”
Some of you may remember that when the W7 Association came on line they
instituted a plan where the first activator of an unnamed summit got to
name it. Well, Etienne, K7ATN, has named his, and “the” first peak,
W7O/CN-082. Formerly known by the somewhat proletarian name, “4980”, it
is now “Chasers’ Rock.”
While I didn’t receive any report on it, while processing the
statistics, I noted that W7W/LC-102 is named “Coaxial Mtn.” Highly
suspicious, I’d say.
RBNGate: Of all the things you can do to get QSO’s on an activation,
being spotted is probably at the top of the list. Most of my spots have
come from N4EX as my first QSO. Then, the ability to send an SMS
message from your phone to both SOTAWatch and QRPSpots arrived and we
could self-spot. Droidspot [and I’m sure something for the iFolks too]
made that a lot easier. All depend on phone coverage on the summit
however. Now, from the fertile mind of Eric, KU6J, and in his own words …
“Automatic SOTA spotting is here! KU6J’s RBNGate software is designed to
automatically spot CW activators as soon as they call CQ SOTA on any CW
frequency, and has been performing well in early testing.”
“RBNGate works by monitoring spots from the Reverse Beacon Network
(RBN). RBN is a world-wide network of stations (known as “skimmers”)
that are equipped with wideband receivers and Alex VE3NEA’s CW Skimmer
software. The skimmers automatically spot any station heard calling CQ,
whether they are calling CQ DX, CQ SOTA or just CQ by itself. Most
skimmers monitor only the HF bands, but some monitor the VHF bands as well.”
“When RBNGate receives a new spot from RBN, it checks to see if the
callsign and time match any Sotawatch alerts. If a matching alert is
found, it sends a spot of the activator to Sotawatch (if the activator
has not already been spotted on that frequency). The spot’s summit
reference number is set to the one from the matching alert. The spot’s
comment includes additional information such as the callsign of the
skimmer that first heard the activator, the activator’s signal-to-noise
ratio at the skimmer (in dB), and their approximate speed in words per
minute. If the activator changes bands or changes frequency by more than
1 kHz, RBNGate will spot them again (if not already spotted on the new
band or frequency).”
“Activators who spot themselves will also be tracked and spotted by
RBNGate, even if they have not entered an alert for their activation
into Sotawatch. Activators can also use self-spots to override their
alerts in instances where they find themselves running late, decide to
activate a different summit, etc.”
“If you are an activator who prefers to not be automatically spotted by
RBNGate, please E-mail your callsign to KU6J and he will add you to the
opt-out list. Additional information and FAQ’s regarding RBNGate are
available by following the links at KU6J’s website: http://www.ku6j.com .”
PACIFICON: Steve, WG0AT, was a presenter at Pacificon in mid-October in
Santa Clara CA, and this year, Pacificon was also the ARRL National
Convention. Rooster and Peanut couldn’t make it [no ID for the airport,
and perhaps a few other reasons], however Steve arranged for a pair of
4H goats in what the Air Force would call a “static display.” His
presentation was nearly full [I’d estimate maybe 80 or so] to hear about
That’s about it for this month. Thanks to all the folks who keep me
informed, I can’t make this stuff up you know.
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude
VK REPORT by Wayne VK3WAM
The loneliness for us VK3’ers lessened this month as our VK5 brethren
joined the SOTA activation fray. The VK5 association manager, Ian VK5CZ
and Wayne VK3WAM welcomed VK5 into SOTA with the very first VK5
activation QSO being a s2s within a few hours of VK5 going live between
VK5/SE-012 and VK3/VN-020. Ian is an avid CW operator and EU operators
have had somewhat of a happy hour with VK5 chasing. The author hopes to
regain some CW action into Europe and the UK with a similar setup to Ian
with an end-fed 20/40 on a 7m squid pole. Having the end-fed close to
the ground merely only warms clouds and not the DX heart. The old
vertical is no good for the quick SOTA activation.
Paul VK5PAS has been chasing SOTA increasingly throughout the year, and
is far in front in chasing SOTA DX from VK. He has also been active in
chasing VK3 activations, and now he has some action on his doorstep.
Rumour has it that he intends to create some activation damage soon.
Elsewhere, VK3 operators were keen to gain some last minute bonus points
with the close of the seasonal bonus on October 14. Where the
activations actually got the required 4 QSO’s, these bonus points were
well earned as there was a very late season dump of snow in the leadup
to the last bonus weekend, up to 50cm in places. Wayne VK3WAM survived
using a 2m FM HT, while the 40m antenna sounded like it was not properly
plugged in, but alas it was. Allen VK3HRA climbed the highest summit in
Victoria, Mt Bogong VK3/VE-001. The climb would have been well over 1000
vertical metres from the car, and he was rewarded with only 1 contact.
Others remarked afterwards that it was some of the worst conditions on
40m they had seen.
We now head into late spring and summer. The next few months could see a
lot of SOTA activity with better WX. Late summer might see a drop off as
the spring has been dry, meaning the fire risk will be high in January
through to March. Over in VK5, summers are very hot, so it remains to be
seen what activators plan to do.
for the SOTA news.
MTR KIT TEST by Colin M0CGH
For my birthday present this year, back in April, I was lucky enough to be able to secure one of the 150 ‘MTR’ kits made available by Steven Weber, KD1JV. The ‘MTR’ or Mountain Topper was designed with SOTA in mind and is a development of the popular ATS series of rigs. The rig is designed to be built in to an Altoids mint tin and provides up to about 5 Watts of CW on two bands, chosen at the time of build. My MTR, serial number 131/150, was built for 40m and 20m.
For the past few years, I’ve volunteered for RAYNET duties supporting the Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay race, held every year in October, based in Patterdale. My usual checkpoint is on High Street, G/LD-011. For one reason or another, I’ve never managed to claim the SOTA points for this summit, so this year I was determined to bag the points! With my MTR, 2.2AH LiPO (discharged to 12V), Palm Paddle, linked dipole and some knowledge of CW, I was now equipped with good means to bag the summit points without too much of a weight penalty.
Sunday, 7th October, 2012
My tent was frozen when I woke up at 03:20utc at the Brotherswater Inn camp site (Sykeside), near to Patterdale, on the morning of the event. I set off walking by 04:15utc, after packing away my tent and eating breakfast etc. The sky was really beautiful, it was a clear and frosty morning. The almost full moon was providing just enough light to see where I was going. There were no street lights at all, so there was absolutely no light pollution - the stars and planets were twinkling very brightly.
I followed the bridleway from Hartsop along the path marked ‘Pasture Bottom’ on the O/S map. I chose this path because it looked the easiest, although longest route up to the summit – I wanted an easy walk because the sun would not be up for a couple of hours! The route took me on a sort of ‘N’ shape.
I was on the summit of High Street, G/LD-011, at around 07:30utc, it had taken quite a while to navigate in the dark using my (basic) GPS and O/S map in conjunction with a torch! I set up my dipole and called CQ on 40m first of all, using my MTR at around 12 Volts, which gives me in the region of 5 Watts. I worked a number of stations, the first in my log, at 0801utc, was Vlad, OM1AX, then followed contacts into OE, G, DL, PA, HB9, GW and finally F, giving me a QSO total of 27.
At 0845utc, I had to go QRT, as I had to get ready for my RAYNET duty. I had intended to try 20m as well, but the pile up had taken some working through, in the end, I had actually had to pull the plug whilst I was still being called, sorry guys! My RAYNET duty went well, the weather was fantastic, it was warm and sunny with little wind. I had started off by wearing a down vest on top of my fleece, I was down to just a tee shirt by the end! All the participants of the relay race (65 pairs) on our leg came through our checkpoint quickly without getting lost. Usually the summit is clouded in fog and rain and normally at least a few runners go the wrong way!
As it was such a lovely day, I decided to stay on the summit after my RAYNET duty and I again set up my dipole and MTR, this time on 20m. My MTR will put out around 4 Watts on 20m. After a few CQ calls I was answered by Jozsef, HA7UG, who posted a ‘spot’ on the SOTAwatch website. A pile up was soon created! I went QRT at around 1230, having worked 30 QSO’s into HA, I, HB9, OK, OM, S5, DL, EA, OE, VE, N, G and F.
The little MTR had performed brilliantly and I didn’t realise until much later that I had achieved my most ever number of QSO’s during a single activation – 57 QSO’s were in the log!
Looking at the previous summit activation history, there had only been 10 QSO’s recorded on 20m and 66 QSO’s recorded on 40m, so I guess my activation may have provided quite a number of unique points for chasers, especially those further afield. Most the activity from High Street G/LD-011 seems to have taken place on 2m, which seems a shame because the summit has such a large amount of room, you can easily put up any kind of antenna you want!
I came down from the summit via The Knott and back to Hartsop, before walking along the Kirkstone Pass road back to the camp site. The route back was much more agreeable, I’d probably ascend that way next time, but in all it was a lovely day and it was nice to do a sort of circular route.
SOTA ON TOP BAND - Mark G0VOF
Hello everyone & welcome to this month’s edition of SOTA on Top Band.
October was a quiet month for 160m activations with only two activators venturing onto the band. As these activations took place in the middle of the day & from pretty remote summits, not many chasers managed successful contacts but as the band can produce surprises it can still be worth a try.
The first activation on the band took place on Wednesday 10th October when John GM4YSS/P activated GM/NS-005 Ben Wyvis. He used a mixture of the Scarborough Special events callsign GS0OOO/P & his own callsign GM4YSS/P but it is the latter call that he has logged the QSO’s into the database with.
Regardless of band conditions, being as far North as John was, the chances of working any of the regular 160m chasers was pretty slim, especially with only 5 Watts from an FT817. That said John made a sterling 3 QSO’s, 1 on CW & 2 on SSB with relatively local GM stations Ray GM3PIL & Andy GM0UDL. It was Andy who was first to work John, & hence be first to chase Ben Wyvis on Top Band, & he worked John again later on SSB after Ray had bagged the chaser points on 160.
There were no further answers to Johns calls on 160m from this summit & he did not attempt the band from his next summit GM/NS-050 Little Wyvis later in the day.
However, on a later activation of GM/NS-044 Glas Bheinn on Sunday 14th October John tried 160m again, this time using 100 Watts from his Icom 706GII. John left Top Band towards the end of his activation but even so, there were no answers to his CQ’s. I was monitoring at home in Blackburn using my 50ft vertical but there was no trace of John on 1832KHz at any point.
John has produced very detailed reports covering both of these activations, which can be found here:
GM/NS-005 Ben Wyvis http://www.sotawatch.org/reflector.php?topic=7338
GM/NS-044 Glas Bheinn http://www.sotawatch.org/reflector.php?topic=7346
The only other activator to venture onto the band was Ricky MW6GWR who again gave the band a try during an activation of his local summit GW/NW-063 Ffridd Cocyn on Saturday 13th October. This was very unusual in that Ricky used the original voice mode, AM! This is mode rarely used but nonetheless Ricky had a successful QSO with local station Kevin MW3RNI. After last month saying that he was not intending using 160m again it is very nice to hear him giving it another try. It is very challenging, but certainly not as busy as 40m!
Ricky has posted a report which can be found here:
Thanks to both John, & Ricky for activating on the band this month.
At the time of writing, those were the only Top band activations during October that I am aware of, if I have missed any others please let me know.
On the 10th October, John GM4YSS/P activated GM/NS-005 Ben Wyvis & made 3 QSO’s on 160m. (1 using CW & 2 SSB)
On the 13th October, Ricky MW6GWR/P activated GW/NW-063 Ffridd Cocyn, & made 1 QSO on 160m using AM.
On the 14th October, John GM4YSS/P activated GM/NS-044 Glas Bheinn, but no QSO’s were made on 160m.
As always, If you do have any suggestions on things that you think should be included, or if you wish to contribute tips, ideas or anything else that you think may help others on the band please email them to me at email@example.com
Until next month,
Vicki, M6BWA and Rod, M0JLA visit the Isle of Man
Since the mid 1960s we have had some interest in visiting the Isle of
Man; in 2012 we decided to give it a try. The five Marilyns all looked
fairly easy ascents and miles of coast path as well as a few HUMPs and
many antiquities looked likely to keep us busy for a lot longer than a week.
After a very wet morning the weather improved so we went South. We
started with Mull Hill, GD/GD-005, a short walk although longer than we
hoped because of impenetrable gorse. Both on 2m FM, although I tried
70cm with no response. Vicki was very pleased, while perched on a
pill-box, to get her best result in nearly 200 SOTA activations: “5
regions in the first five contacts from GD-005 on 5w”. Thanks to
GW4XPL, MI0GDO, GD4RAG, EI7JT, M3UGN . I missed GW and GM through
persisting with 70cm.
Day two looked promising so we started with Snaefell, GD/GD-001, walking
up from The Bungalow. Arriving at the same time as a train made the
summit a bit busier than expected but the other visitors dispersed and
we got on with activating. Seven contacts on 70cm FM (G & GW) was much
better than hoped for and included s2s with Phil (MW/ON4TA/P) on Foel
Fenlli. Slieau Freoghane, GD/GD-002, is reputed to be more difficult
because Snaefell is in the way. After a much more interesting walk than
Snaefell we reached the summit and HF was prepared to ensure that
activation was completed successfully but the 817 misbehaved again. I
qualified by sharing some of Vicki’s eight 2m FM contacts, including s2s
with Mike (YYY) on M Bodavon. Meeting a pair Geocaching gave us an
interesting interlude on the descent as we exchanged information on our
respective obsessions. South Barrule, GD/GD-003, was a short, stiff
ascent and 70cm FM gave me six contacts into G, GI and GW whilst Vicki
was wading her way through 17 2m FM contacts from Ormskirk to the Wirral
via N Wales, Northern Ireland and a s2s with Richard G1JTD on G/LD-210,
For Bradda Hill, GD/GD-004, we chose the longer, less steep, coast path
route which is very pleasant, although a bit exposed in places. The
tower (reputedly ‘key-shaped’) was well wrapped in scaffolding and
plastic but will be a great addition to the already very enjoyable route
once restoration is completed. Saturday gave us the benefit of more
listeners and 70 cm brought in eleven contacts from four countries (G,
GD, GI, GW), no EI, this time even though it was nearer than for
previous summits. (And still no GM!) Two s2s, Barry (IML) on Moel
Cynghorion and Gerald (GDA) on Scafell Pike. Vicki worked 19 stations
with three s2s (adding Mike (YYY) on Shining Tor and giving Barry,
MW0IML, his 250th s2s - many congratulations, Barry), none from NI or EI
but her very first Scottish contact GM0GOV, Fred 20m South of Glasgow
with a 43 from 5w. Best of all she gave Liz M6EPW her final GD chaser
Activation of GD SOTA was now completed, so on to the HUMPs. We had
never activated a HUMP before, but on the map the GD HUMPs looked
interesting and I had prepared activation sheets just in case. An
account of the activation of North Barrule is expected to be in the
November Summitsbase News. However, the chasing aspect belongs here.
The day must rank as not only a grand walk on a delightful day but my
best ever day for chasing. I made fifteen summit contacts from the N
Barrule ridge, some repeated for second activators and some for 70 cm
instead of 2m FM. The eleven distinct summits were G/LD-005, G/LD-007,
G/LD-021, G/LD-030, GD/GD-001, GM/SS-267, GW/NW-001, GW/NW-008,
GW/NW-012, GW/NW-026 & GW/NW-071, so including my only Scottish contact
for the week. We finished the day off by nipping up Snaefell again for
a summit to summit with Karen & Neil on Snowdon, with Vicki getting a
couple of hours ahead (and having another chat with Liz M6EPW on
G/LD-005, Great Gable and 25 other contacts) while I was busy chasing
(and so giving me the only GD chaser contact).
We were incredibly lucky with the weather; the waterproofs came out as
extra windproofing but never got wet. A wonderful week in the Isle of
Man and greatly recommended.
Rod, M0JLA/P & Vicki M6BWA/P - October 2012
THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH 46 By Rob and Audrey
Saturday 6th Oct Lingmoor Fell
As a result of missing a weekend because of awful weather we decided to activate this one on a Saturday instead of our usual Sunday allowing us a clear run at installing a new kitchen, deep joy. We always ascend this one via the path at the right of the beck, just opposite Blea House. Blea tarn is a very popular place and the car park is NT
operated with appropriate pricing! In fairness they do spend some of it on the fells.
Blea tarn in our experience is seldom blea (blue) more often it is grey and the phrase, “The dark tarn closed over the House of Usher “springs to mind. The path is steep grassy and often slippery with mud, keep away from the gill itself which is on the lines of a small ravine. The views from the summit are superb and there is plenty of space for antennas on the grassy southern side, vhf takeoff to the south is excellent, allow plenty of time to stay.
Sunday 14th Oct Binsey
Having scaled the Everest of the Kitchen and with the descent to come we decided to have a crack at Binsey the most northerly of the Lake District summits. Having been seriously rained off earlier we felt it owed us a day out. The tourist route is the favourite for this one but it does seem to be full of tourists. The old high level stile in the wall at the start has been replaced by a civilised gate which cuts out most of the climbing on this one; the ascent is a walk up a grass slope. The summit is a grass rocky ridge with old shelters/sheep pens on the eastern side. In view of the constant traffic to the summit marker we opted to use the shelter from one of the pens to keep off the breeze. The HF bands tries all worked well but vhf from this one can be a little tricky particularly to us of the 5w brigade, and all contacts were in the local area, several on local Wainrights. There is however a good path into Northern Ireland.
We have been very impressed with the automatic cw spots on hf and many thanks for those responsible. Not great fans of fiddling with phones on the hilltops so it’s nice to know that an alert will go out.
Sunday 22nd Oct Watch Hill.
We have only activated this little hill once before and that was not altogether a pleasant experience. In a gale we walked up through the woods having struggled to park at the base of the track which can be congested by mountain bikers. We descended via a direct path which was steep muddy and in parts the mountain bike track. As the weather today was beautiful (like summer but without the rain) we decided to use the route which is part of the Allerdale Rambler bridleway. The route leaves the road close to a fork(NY137313) where there is room for half a dozen cars and heads fairly gently over the fields toward the summit which is not visible at the start,. Leave the bridleway when close to what appears to be the summit where another wall heads off in the direction of the true summit. We made the mistake of
following this wall whish does a fair bit of up and downing resulting in a late arrival at the summit where a stile ahead leads into the woods. We operated from the small lump close to the stile in beautiful sunshine.
Once again the HF bands were in good shape but like its close neighbour Binsey the takeoff to the south is less than perfect and we failed to raise a single station on 2m ssb although we did hear Don G0RQL in Devon on144.310 but were unable to raise
him. On the descent it became obvious that had we climbed the first false summit on the way up we would have seen the contouring path that avoided most of the ups and downs of the ascent.
See Liz having problems with an AntiSOTA on Dent. Over ten years we have had all sorts of enquiries from passers-by, many favourable and just the odd one downright rude. We will always offer to drop the antenna if people want to photograph scenes or to suspend operation if it offends them. The response has been overwhelmingly supportive of us often to the extent of thanks for the entertainment as people leave.
We can even claim a now Mountain Goat who, back in the early days joined us, in a blizzard, on Wards Stone as an interested spectator with no amateur interest. The rest
is history. There will always be the odd objector, just play along, don’t get mad and they usually go away.
The month’s column is short again due to missing a weekend at the beginning, computer problems and a trip to Llandudno for the rally and a stay to activate some Welsh summits after in prospect. Hope to meet lots of you at the rally, look for the old style SOTA sweatshirts. If not look for us on the air, we will have Wi-Fi and will spot.
Meanwhile, take care out there
Rob and Audrey G4RQJ
CW REPORT FOR OCTOBER 2012 - by Roy G4SSH
The wide band multi-tone transmission causing QRM from 7029-7033 KHz which commenced operations on the 13th September finally QSY’d on the 11th October after causing great problems to SOTA CW activators who tried many different methods of avoiding this transmission.
The obvious one was, of course, to move up a band and many stations used 10.118 KHz as an alternative, with great success, Others moved away from the congestion around 7032 KHz. DL5SE operated on 7.003 KHz listening 1 up, Jurg HB9BIN and Kurt HB9AFI ran dual transmissions again on 7, 10 and 14 MHz whist on HB/BE-137, and Frank DJ2FR and Wolf DL4MHZ did likewise from DL/AM 045
There were many CW highlights during the month. Miro OK1DVM Miro ran expeditions to UT, YO and OM, there was a welcome return activation by Vlado Z35M and expeditions were active from TK, 9H, EI, EA5, LX and some elusive African countries, in the form of CT9 and EA8. Aage LA1ENA was active as M/LA1ENA and as we went to press Norby LX1NO was busy racing around all the DC’s and SC’s in the UK using his less-familiar UK call M0NMS, .
The HF bands up to 28 MHz began to carry SOTA activations and many chasers with only modest antennas managed to copy Dan WO6M in California on 28 MHz CW and Ian VK5CZ on 14 and 10 MHz. There were also inter-European contacts on 28 MHz with activators in EA, HB and OK. At the other end of the HF spectrum there were activations on 3.5 MHz by EI/OK1HAG and OL1MLP, whilst the Top Band report details activations on that band.
The number of spots began to reduce rapidly towards the end of the month as winter weather began to spread across Europe and our thoughts went out to anyone caught in the terrible devastation caused on the U.S. East coast by Hurricane Sandy on the 30th.
It was with great sadness that the SOTA fraternity heard of the death of HG4UK.
Zsolt was a regular activator on the CW bands, especially on 10118 KHz and I last had a QSO with him less than 3 months ago, in early August this year. Our condolences go to his family. He will be sadly missed.
Extracts from Data Base – compiled by Kevin G0NUP
SOTA CW activators submitting entries above 7 MHz during October were:-
AA4GA, DF3MC/P, DJ2FR, DJ3AX/P, DK1IO/P, DK7MG/P, DL/HB9BQB/P,
DL/HB9DST/P, DL/OK1DVM/P, DL/OK2QA/P, DL/PA0SKP/P, DL2RVL/P, DL4MHA/P, DL4NV/P, DL6AP/P, DL8DZL/P, EA2/F5UKL/P, EI/G4ASA/P, EI/GI4ONL/P, EI/OK1HAG/P, F/HB9AFI/P, F/HB9BIN/P, F/YO9FWO/P, F5UKL/P, F6AVE/P, F6HBI/P, G3RDQ/P, G3WGV, G4ISJ/P, G4RQJ/P, GM0UDL/P, GM4OIG/P. GS0OOO/P HA2VR/P, HA5AZC/P, HA5LV/P, HA5MA/P, HA6QR/P, HB0/OE9AMJ/P, HB9/PB2T/P, HB9AFH/P, HB9AFI/P, HB9AGO/P, HB9AXL/P, HB9BAB/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BGG/P, HB9BHW/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9BQU/P, HB9CGA/P, HB9CZF/P, HB9DST/P, HB9TVK/P,
I/HB9CMI/P, I1ABT/P, IV3RJH, IV3RJH/P, K2UFT, K4RKP, KD9KC, KE5AKL,
KU6J, LA1ENA/P, LA1KHA/P, LX/HB9BIN/P, M/HB9CZF/P, M/LA1ENA/P, MM0FMF/P, MM0ROV/P, MW/HB9CZF/P, NM5TW, NS7P, OE/DJ2FR, OE/DL4MHA/P, OE3KAB/P, OE5EEP/P, OE6KYG/P, OE6RDD/P, OE6WIG/P, OE8SPK/P, OE8SPW/P, OK/OM6TC/P, OK1DIG/P, OK1DVM/P, OK1JAX/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2BDF/P, OK2HBY/P, OK2SAM/P, OK2VWB/P, OK3EQ/P, OK4IT/P, OK8DDR/P, OM/OK1DVM/P, OM6TC/P, ON/HB9BIN/P, S5/OE3CHC/P, S52CU/P, S57X/P, S57XX/P, UT/OK1DVM/P, VK5CZ/P, W4G, WO6M, WS0TA, YO/OK1DVM/P
2W0NNN/P, 9H3CZ/P, AA4GA, DF3MC/P, DL/PA0SKP/P, DL2DXA/P, DL2ZBO/P, DL4MHA/P, DL6AP/P, DL9MDI/P, EA1XN/P, EA2/F5UKL/P, EA5/DK1IO/P, EI/G4ASA/P, EI/GI4ONL/P, F/HB9BIN/P, F5UKL/P, F6HBI/P, F8FEO/P, G0VPS/P, G4ISJ/P, G4RQJ/P, GM0UDL/P, HA5LV/P, HA5MA/P, HB0/OE9AMJ/P, HB9AGO/P, HB9AXL/P, HB9BAB/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9BQU/P, HB9BRJ/P, HB9CZF/P, HB9DTN/P, I1ABT/P, I1YDT/P, K0JQZ, K2UFT, K4QS, K6ILM, K6TW, K7ATN, K7NEW, KA4LPH, KD7WPJ, KD9KC, KE5AKL, KH2TJ, KU6J, KX7L, LA1ENA/P, M/LA1ENA/P, M0CGH/P, M0KLO/P, M1EYP/P, N1EU, N4EX/P, N6IZ, N6ZA, N7RR, NK6A, NM5S, NM5TW, NS7P, OE3CHC/P, OE3KAB/P, OE5EEP/P, OE6GC/6, OE6KYG/P, OE6RDD/P, OE7OPJ/P, OE8SPW/P, OK/OM3CUG/P, OK/OM6TC/P,
OK1DVM/P, OK1LV/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2BWB/P, OK2SAM/P, OM1ADX/P, OM3CUG/P, S5/OE3CHC/P, S5/OM1ADX/P, S52CU/P, TK/DL1DXA/P, UT/OK1DVM/P, VA2OTA, VA2VL/P, VA2VL/W2, VA3SIE/VE2/P, VK5CZ/P, W4G, W6JP, WA2USA/P, WH6LE, WO6M, WS0TA, Z35M/P
9H3CZ/P, CT9/MM0FMF/P, DF3MC/P, DL/OK1DVM/P, DL2DXA/P, DL6AP/P, DL6MZ/P, EA2/F5UKL/P, EI/G4ASA/P, F/YO9FWO/P, G4ISJ/P, HA2PP/P, HB9BCB/P, KU6J, MM0FMF/P, OE5EEP/P, OE8SPW/P, OK1DIG/P, OK1DVM/P, OK8DDR/P, S52CU/P, S57X/P, S57XX/P, UT/OK1DVM/P, W4G, WH6LE, WO6M
AA4GA, DL/OK2QA/P, EA2/F5UKL/P, EI/G4ASA/P, EI/GI4ONL/P, G4ISJ/P,
HB0/OE9AMJ/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BQU/P, M1EYP/P, MM0FMF/P, N1EU, NM5S, NM5TW, OE5EEP/P, OE7OPJ/P, OK/OM3CUG/P, OK2BDF/P, OM3CUG/P, S52CU/P, W4G
EA2/F5UKL/P, HB9BCB/P, KU6J, S52CU/P
EA2/F5UKL/P, HB9BCB/P, HB9BQU/P, KD9KC, KU6J, N1EU, N6ZA, OK2BDF/P, OK2BWB/P, WO6M
CONTESTS DURING NOVEMBER 2012
The following scheduled contests are expected to cause QRM to SOTA activity, especially on the 40m band. Activators should plan accordingly with alternate spots/bands. This is not a complete list of contests.
3rd- 4th 1200-1200 Ukrainian DX contest
4th only 0900-1100 High Speed Club CW contest
10th-11th 0001-2300 RTTY Worked all Europe contest
10th-11th 1200-1200 OK/OM CW DX contest
17th only 0001-2359 CQ SA SSB contest
17th-18th 1200-1200 LZ DX CW/SSB contest
24th-25th 0001-2359 CQ WW CW DX Contest (major disruption to all HF bands except WARC)
SOTA News is normally published around noon UTC on the last day of each month and can only be as interesting as the items submitted. 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 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