SOTA NEWS OCT 2015 Part 2

SOTA NEWS - OCTOBER 2015 - Part 2 of 2


I want to thank Elliott, K6EL, for taking over the NA SOTA Reporter duties while we bought a new house, sold the old one, and moved house.

We are finally getting settled. Again, thank you Elliott for holding down the fort while moved … for the last time in our lives!

In the statistics below, I removed the last month’s numbers since they reflected May and not August.

[as of 28 Sep 0015 UTC]

Total Activations: 557
Nr Unique Activators: 186
Total Chaser QSOs: 5329
Nr Unique Chasers: 266
Total Summits Activated: 557
Unique Summits: 423

2m: 283 (5%)
6m: 5 (0%)
10m: 20 (0%)
12m: 1 (0%)
15m: 20 (0%)
17m: 149 (2%)
20m: 3466 (65%)
30m: 364 (6%)
40m: 1017 (19%)
60m: 0 (0%)
80m: 0 (0%)
160m: 0 (0%)
Unk: 4

CW: 3285 (61%)
SSB: 1762 (33%)
FM: 278 (5%)
AM: 1 (0%)
Data: 0 (0%)
Other: 2 (0%)
Unk: 4

September ionospheric conditions were jumbled at best. The Kp index hit
8 several times during the month, and stayed there for most of one day.

The NA SOTA Yahoo group was filled with reports of lousy conditions, fading signals, and activators and chasers just suddenly disappearing.

Let us hope October shows the beginning of winter conditions.


Elliott, K6EL, tops the good news section this month with:

“Three new NA associations in Alaska, named Anchorage KLA, Fairbanks KLF, and Southeast KLS, will launch November 1, 2015. The Association Manager for KLA will be Shannon KL3JI, and the temporary Manager for the other two will be Guy, N7UN. The total number of qualified summits in Alaska is enough that North America will contain over half the SOTA
summits in the world. Guy will be busy, as he is giving a SOTA
presentation at the next Dayton Hamvention.”

Studying the map, it looks like nearly all if not all of the US States that have at least one qualified SOTA summit are now “on the air.” We have some Canadian Provinces not yet organized, however I’m not sure if all of them have any summits. Who will be the first to activate Denali?
Denali’s key col is the Panama Canal which sort of opens the door to Mexico and Central America!

And, also from Elliott:

“The fourth annual SOTA lunch at Pacificon will be held at Bishops Grill, inside the San Ramon Marriott, at 11:45 am, Saturday, October 17th. You must be registered in the SOTA database to attend this free lunch, hosted by K6EL. The hotel is smaller than the usual location in Santa Clara, so an RSVP is required, sent to

Guy, N7UN, reports on the National Parks On The Air:

"According to the ARRL Media folks, mid-Oct is the release date for the NPOTA program. Other than the very generalized info from the ARRL, we really don’t have any specifics yet about the year-long 2016 ‘Challenge’. This new program will have ‘chasers’ and ‘activators’
categories and will utilize LoTW as a log repository similar to the 2014 Challenge.

There are 420+ units within the National Park Service’s control. I’ve determined some 2300+ SOTA summits that are within these NPS units. In addition to the SOTA component, I would expect a lot of field day type, multi-day setups in a number of the parks. SOTA would be mostly back country, mountain tops and of limited duration. There was a lot of discussion with the NPS folks about “setup locations and safety issues”
as the NPS was concerned about big antennas and guy lines, etc.

I fully expect this to be a lot of fun where a typical SOTA activation within a NPS unit will attract a lot of new chasers who want to score points within the NPOTA system. Some of those folks will, by association, get involved with SOTA.

There is no definition yet for how best the SOTA databases can provide some cross-reference services.

Stand by…more to come before long. The ARRL folks are predicting this Challenge will be the biggest operating event ever! I just want to make sure SOTA can ride the coattails as much as possible. SOTA activators may be challenged with really big pileups!"

Thanks Guy, for the news and for all the work you put into the administration of NA SOTA.

Don, NK6A, reported that SOTA was represented in the Southwest HAMCON, attendees were WA6KYR, N6HEG, NK6A, WA9STI, K6TW, KM6CEM, K6QCB, NA6MG.
There’s at least one Mountain Goat in that list!

Mike, AD5A, has amassed 100 unique activations! The 100th:

“I picked a tough day to get my 100th unique activation. I am in Utah on a business trip and had some free time today. I picked Scott Hill, W7U/SL-008, for the activation. Scott Hill is ~10,100 ft. ASL. It’s a nice hike, about a 3.5 mile round trip with nice wide trail up. It was a beautiful day in Utah, however propagation was horrible, or was it just me? I called CQ for 5 or 6 minute before I got my first call in the log, NG6R, and then it was another 16 minutes before I had number 2, N4EMG.
After that, there must have been a pipeline to W4 as I worked 5 W4’s in about 5 minutes. All the QSO’s were on 20m. I called CQ on 30m and 40m and not a peep.”

“I followed up with Quarry Mountain, W7U/NU-067, which isn’t too far away with only slightly better results. 11 QSO’s in 30 minutes of calling and all on 20m, despite calling CQ on 40m, 30m and 17m.”

“Despite the results, it was a nice day in the mountains.”

Congratulations Mike, 100 Uniques is quite an achievement!

AWARDS: I don’t have any communications about other awards and achievements, but I was reading my emails on a microscopic screen on my Android phone for a few weeks, and I’m sure I missed a lot.

REPORTS: We have several, they’re short, and two are newcomers!!

From Robert, K6WFV in Santa Maria CA: “I made my 1st activation yesterday on W6/CC-028. Even made a Summit 2 Summit to contact with KY7S Doug near Seattle, Wa. What a fun time. I’m hooked. Even with the lousy band condition. Thanks to all that made contact with me.”

Jim, N4EEA, reports: “Yesterday was my first activation as well. Made 6 contacts including W0ERI and 2 S2S! Thanks for the contacts and anyone else who tried. It was a beautiful day to be on a mountaintop (W4G/HC-006)!”

The stalwarts weren’t idle either, this just in from Scott, W7IMC:

“Activated seven summits with KF7DDT Boyd this weekend in central W7I including W7I/CI 092 Big Southern Butte, W7I/CI-021 Buckhorn Peak,
W7I/CU-057 Whiteknob, W7I/CU-100, W7I/LE-011 Sheep Mountain, and
W7I/LE-039 Trail Peak. We made a 1/2 day attempt trying to find access to the Beaverheads with no luck as all roads were closed above 8,000
ft. All but one summit were 8 pointers and most involved significant
two wheeled travel up less than ideal mining roads followed by 800 to
1400 ft untrailed class 2/3 vertical ascents. Did I mention smoking the knobbies up some of those roads? Top elevation for Boyd was 10,865 on Sheep Mtn and 10,835 for myself up White Knob Mountain. Game spotted included deer, antelope, grouse, Huns, rock chucks and the trip highlight of a bull moose at the 9600 ft contour line on White Knob.
Band conditions were less than ideal, but we did manage at least four qso’s on each summit and Boyd deploy ed his new KX3. As always we spotted some yet unactivated 10 pointers which of course will need addressed.”

Welcome to our newcomers! There’s lots of good advice and guidance on how to succeed and have fun on your activations, and chasing adventures.
Keep in mind, this all works better when we all share what worked …
and what didn’t.

EPILOGUE: The move is over, we have our Nevada drivers’ licenses, tags for our two vehicles, we own this house, our daughter and son-in-law own the “Farm” in Auburn, and we’re registered to vote in Nevada … citizens of the Silver State. I will initially appear with RF on the bands from W7RN which I can operate remotely from home. We have some rules in our little community here, one is “No 70 foot towers with a tribander.” I will have a flag pole in back maybe next spring, and I’ll begin making RF from home then too.


Skip K6DGW
North American SOTA Reporter Dude
Sparks NV



There were two new VK SOTA Goats to report. They have quite different approaches to SOTA. This demonstrates that whilst SOTA has key components being the use of amateur radio from defined peaks, what people put into and what they get out of SOTA is very different.

Both started activating in Feb 2013 and achieved the magic 1000 points required for SOTA GOATHOOD this September.

VK3EQ Rik has been working the alpine summits trekking and skiing to the higher peaks. In single week running up to goat hood Rik VK3EQ notched up 7 activations yielding 69 points bringing his total to 986. Rik then returned to finish up with 141 summits for the 1000 pints for SOTA Goat.

VK1NAM Andrew is VK1’s first Goat and our most profic activator with over 360 activations to his credit. Andrew can be found most evenings on a summit chasing DX or on the weekends out positioning himself to for Summit to Summit contacts. With over 1035 S2S contact to his name, Andrew is in the top 10 for the world. It’s a rare activation these days when I don’t make at least one S2S with VK1NAM.

SOTA is as busy as ever. Whilst the weather improved, band conditions did not. This has lead to longer times on summits to qualify on 40m during the day and the increased use of 2M where suitable to secure the required contacts.

Andrew VK3ARR as ZS6/VK3ARR activate ZS/GP-001 and ZS/WC-070.
Andrew VK3JBL as E51AGN activated E5/RA-002.

Gerard VK2IO spent 13 days in the Snowy Mountains area activating 20 SOTA activations and 6 WWFF activations.

There was a frenzy of activity in the last week of September as the bonus period was closing. Those who could access the higher peaks in the improved weather went out to secure the extra three points. So the last weekend of September saw 150 activations over 12 WWFF references and 34 summits.

During this weekend Tony VK3CAT was activating his annual loop through VK3/VC and VK3/VT whilst at the same time VK3PF was activating in the area. After a quick chat during activations they decided to head to a common summit Mt Useful for the end of the day. What started as a pop from the car ended up as smoke

Fortunately Tony VK3CAT was 10 min behind so Peter was not alone.
Equipment was retrieved from the car and fire extinguishers deployed in vain.

As the phone system did not cover this part of the park, again it came down to 40M to get the message through. Between Tony VK3CAT, Johnno VK3FAMB and Col VK3LED the CFA was informed and the location communicated.

By the time the CFA had arrived Peters equipment was in Tonys’ car as the fire had taken hold destroying the Subaru.

A big word out to all involved. Calm heads prevailed in what could have been a dark day for SOTA. Though activating a summit on the drive out was the mark of true dedication. A fly on the wall (or window) reports that as the pair (VK3PF & VK3CAT) was approaching Mt Useful VK3/VT-016 the conversation turned to activating one more summit;

“Well they looked at each other and said “why not!” “Single station”
said Pete," I’ll set up the KX3, you to a spot qrv in 5" - Tony “We can do 80m if needed, what do you think Pete?” “I’ll do the spot for 40 metres. CW Tony?” Reply “No just 7.090 and get things done quickly.”
Peter, “want to work each other on 2 metres either side of the activation zone?” Tony - “But of course!”

They did rule out VT-034 however apparently there was too much fog and you have to draw a line somewhere. Again glad that Peter got out safely. Ten out of ten for style for going on and activating another one on the way home though. Read details on;

Note that changes to the start time for second period of the SOTA 6/10m challenge now makes it possible to contact field and home stations operating in the VK VHF/UHF field day on 14/15 November to participate.





I found my call sign in SOTA NEWS - AUGUST 2015( Part 2), in which Elliott K6EL wrote “Did anyone hear the JA activations?”. Yes, that was good question. You can now find many Japanese reports since the beginning of SOTA Japan, however, very few signal is cached outside Japan.

In Japan, outdoor operation at the top of mountain is basically made on VUHF bands.
The reason is quite simple. As for myself, I want to make many DX QRP QSOs taking advantage of the best location for direct ground wave propagation. That’s why I’m operating on 6, 2 and 0.7m at the summit. A beam antenna is also available. HF bands are not actually suitable for ground wave DX QSO. I’ve sometimes heard foreign call on 6m by sporadic-E propagation. That was not a matter of my interest. Direct propagation on VUHF bands with HL or BV station from Japanese summit seems more attractive. I can still not understand why most SOTA activations are made on HF bands.

You can hear many CQ calls (in Japanese) at summits every week-end in Japan since the 1970s. We welcome your activation in Japan and recommend you to operate on VUHF bands.




The month got off to a good start with a magnificent 8 day SOTA expedition to Northern (and occasionally Southern) Ireland by Nick G4OOE, with Geoff 2E0NON, who managed to activate all the Mourne Mountains.

Also heard was Kuba SQ9SHR, Etienne SV2/K7ATN and the special anniversary call S5100ISONZO out of Slovenia. Sake PA0SKP commenced an expedition to the BW region of Germany and Paul DL2FBK was active daily on many modes and bands. Paul has only been active since June 2015 and already has activated many summits.

Go, JJ1SWI was active on 21 MHz CW at 0555 on the 5th and Victor EA6/GI4ONL was heard calling from Mallorca Island at the start of an expedition which lasted until the 17th.

It was a great pleasure to hear Vlado Z35M once more on the air, calling CQ SOTA on his usual spot of 14.059 MHz on the 8th. It must be well over a year since he was last active.

John GS0OOO was active from the GM/WS region of Scotland from the 6th to the 17th of the month, starting with Ben Nevis on the 8th of the month.

Marko commenced one of his expeditions around the SL region of Norway and Jurg HB9BIN and Kurt HB9AFI were both active from France. Markus HB9BRJ commenced a tour of summits in the German BW region on the 11th and Chris ON6ZQ was also heard from France.

A group of Hungarian amateurs crossed the border into Romania to activate YO/WC-047 on the 13th. Stations heard were YO/HA8BE, YO/HA8PK, YO/HA8BJ, YO/HA8LLH, YO/HA8QW and YO/HA8PQ.

Geert commenced one of his regular expeditions into Germany as DL/PA7ZEE on the 20th of the month, as did Tom DL/HB9DPR. Whilst Kurt HB9AFI was working with Heinz HB9BCB simultaneously on different bands.

Phil G4OBK commenced his four-day expedition to the OK/KR Eagle Mountains region of the Czech Republic on the 25th of the month. Phil closed this tour by activating a remarkable 8 summits in one day on the 28th.

Bjorn LB1GB commenced a one week’s expedition on the 28th

It was a great pleasure to hear the welcome return of Lutz DJ3AX and his faithful Mountain Mutt Benny, back activating again on the 30th, after a long silence.

Info from Jürg HB9BIN:- 30th September:-

"I will continue to activate F/VO-Summits and then move on to DM/RP-Summits. I will stay on the road one more week until next Saturday.

Once I am finished with this trip, all summits in the Vosges (F/VO) are activated."



SOTA Activators submitting entries to the data base for 10m, 6m and 1240 MHz during September 2015. These files produced on 30th September by Kevin G0NUP.

Mode: SOTA CW on 28MHz: activity for September


Mode: SOTA CW on 50MHz: activity for September


Mode: SOTA CW on 1240MHz: activity for September. Nil

Mode: SOTA FM on 28MHz: activity for September


Mode: SOTA FM on 50MHz: activity for September. Nil

Mode: SOTA FM on 1240MHz: activity for September


Mode: SOTA SSB on 28MHz: activity for September


Mode: SOTA SSB on 50MHz: activity for September


Mode: SOTA SSB on 1240MHz: activity for September. Nil

Kevin J Prince


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
Sparks NV

Australian input to:-
Allen VK3HRA
VK Reporter

South African input to:-
Dennis ZS4BS