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Sota news october 2012



Welcome to the October edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Andy MM0FMF, Barry GM4TOE, Wayne VK3WAM, Skip KD6DGW, Elliot K6ILM, Nick G4OOE, Richard G3CWI, Chris OE3CHC, Mark G0VOF, Rob & Audrey G4RQJ.

My apologies for the late publishing of the October edition of SOTA News, which was due to me not returning from holiday until the 1st of the month. My priority was then to gather together the contributions in the bulging in-tray to enable me to publish on the following day, so I was unable to acknowledge individual inputs. Please advise me if anyone has submitted any input which has not been included.


The MT were so busy towards the end of last month with new associations
and updates we missed the deadline for the news.

So 1st September 2012 saw the Estonia ES association commence along with
West Virginia, USA W8V. At the same time we removed a few duplicated
summits from EA7 and there was an update to the Greece SV association.

For October, 3 new associations, Madeira CT3, Alberta VE6 and Georgia,
USA W4G go live on 1st October 2012. These have been uploaded to the
database and should be available on SOTAwatch already or will be soon.
In addition there has been a minor update to the OZ association to fix a
summit position.

At the time of writing, South Australia VK5 is ready for upload as is an
update to Z3 Macedonia and these should be in place for 1st October
2012. There’s a possibility that Australian Capital Territory VK1 will
ready as well.


SOTA AWARDS FOR September 2012 - by Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager

Several notable milestones were reached this month; the first Mountain Goat in North America KT5X was rapidly followed by the second W1DMH – something about buses and then two come along! I mustn’t miss Heinz OE5EEP who also made Goat status as well. Heinz also claimed his Shack Sloth award although this actually dates to last year. Other Shack Sloth’s this month are Bill AC0A and Sara M6NHA. Don G0RQL reaches the dizzy heights of 30k Chaser points, there can’t be many UK activators who don’t have Don in their log, while one of the most prolific Chasers in North America, Rich N4EX, achieves what has been named “Super Sloth” status. Congratulations to all of you. I must admit I had a laugh at the application for Doug W1DMH trophy; it was paid for by Fred KT5X (the first NA Mountain Goat) with the attached message “It is now a North American SOTA tradition that each new Mountain Goat will be awarded by the preceding Mountain Goat”. No pressure there then!


Mountain Goat
OE5EEP Heinz Schnait
KT5X Fred Maas
W1DMH Doug Houston

Shack Sloth
OE5EEP Heinz Schnait
AC0A Bill Freeland
M6NHA Sara Ratcliff

Certificates claimed

HB9BIN Dr. Jurg Regli 1500 points
DL1DLF Jorg 1000 points
KT5X Fred Maas 1000 points
W7IMC Scott Burgess 250 points
ON7ZC Pierre Desmaele 100 points
DJ2FR Frank Heidamke 100 points

G0RQL Don Roomes 30000 points
N4EX Rich Homolya 10000 points
SM7GUY Ingvar Lagerholm 5000 points
K6ILM Elliott Pisor 2500 points
DL8UVG Volkhard Groenke 2500 points
YO3RK Paul Mastu 1500 points
AC0A Bill Freeland 1000 points
M6NHA Sara Ratcliff 1000 points
KG7E Jim Kornacki 500 points
SQ9PBT Agata Plesnar-Bielak 250 points
SQ9PBS Wojciech Bielak 250 points
G0WGL Peter Furness 250 points
ON6NA Paul Dhaese 250 points
KF7SEY Troy Greenberg 250 points
VK5PAS Paul Simmonds 100 points
K0NR Bob Witte 100 points
VK3AFW Ron Cook 100 points

Chaser Unique
YO3RK Paul Mastu 250 summits
KG7E Jim Kornacki 100 summits

Mountain Hunter
G0RQL Don Roomes - Platinum
YO3RK Paul Mastu - Gold
YO3RK Paul Mastu - Silver
G8TMV Colin Tuckley - Silver
2E1HTG Steve Hall - Bronze
DL8UVG Volkhard Groenke - Bronze
G0RQL Don Roomes - VHF Bronze
EA1NW Jesus Santaya - Bronze
G4OOE Nick Langmead - Bronze
KF7SEY Troy Greenberg - Bronze

Mountain Explorer
W7IMC Scott Burgess - Bronze
G8TMV Colin Tuckley - Bronze

10th Anniversary
M0VCM John Robson - G Activated All Regions
G0RQL Don Roomes - G Chased All Regions
G0RQL Don Roomes - GM Chased All Regions
G0RQL Don Roomes - GW Chased All Regions

Each month I am amazed at the number of claims for awards, I just seem to have finished checking a batch when more claims arrive by email. In fact, as I write this, I see I have two more in my email inbox. Some people wonder at the time it takes to turnaround an award claim (and I must admit I can be slow at times) but perhaps if you understand the process then maybe the ten days for certificates and a month for trophies will not seem so long. When a claim is made I have to enter the data into the SOTA accounts, I then need to log into the database to check that the claim is correct and that the award date is correct, the data is then entered into the awards log and a unique reference number assigned to the certificate.

Only then can I prepare the certificate, print it, sign it, address the envelope, take it to the post office and post it. Alternatively I have to prepare the certificate, convert it to a pdf file and then email it. Having a trophy engraved will always take longer. After processing it in the same way as a certificate I have to give the pre-prepared trophy to the engraver, tell her precisely what is to be hand engraved onto it (no second chances here!) and leave her to lay out your callsign, award date and any other information then engrave it. Once the engraving is finished the work has to be infilled with a special paint and then packed and posted.

The preferred method for ordering awards and merchandise is to use the SOTA
shop (www.sota-shop.co.uk) because it ensures that I receive all appropriate
information. However, there is nothing to stop you using conventional email
or snail mail to send you claim and payment for the Awards or merchandise.
Some folk don’t like or use Paypal and there is the facility to make
payments by other means such as direct bank transfer, cheque or even cash.
If you use the shopping system please choose the appropriate option for
payment before checkout; if you don’t the system assumes Paypal and it shows
on the orders screen that I interrogate as “Unauthorised” and then DELETES
all details within three days! If you wish to use alternative payment
methods the details are shown on the checkout screen when you place the
order but can also be found under FAQ from the shop front page. If in doubt
email me - sota-awards “at” btconnect.com and I will help.

Those of you who are waiting with bated breath for news of new awards will have to wait a little longer, this is taking more effort than I expected and I still have to nursemaid the approval through the MT before publishing details. Those of you who know the members of the management team will understand that this process can be a little like herding (wrangling) cats! Rest assured, what is planned should satisfy at least some of the demands for greater scope to the Awards system.

Recently I have been asked about whether claims are valid without the asterix (*) which shows that a cross reference between the Chaser and Activator log has been successful at confirming the contact. There is no requirement to have this indicator, it is provided for your information and is not considered unless there is serious doubt about the veracity of an award claim (this rarely happens). There are many reasons why a confirmation star is not there, the other party does not keep a database record is the most common. The other most common reasons are incorrect data entry (a letter “O” is entered rather than a number “0” being the most common), an activator may have missed the second page of their log, or the activator may be rather slow in updating their database record. Very rarely the Chaser is “not in log” because the exchange that they thought they had made with the Activator was in fact made with another chasing station. I guess a plea to make sure you are actually the station worked. In addition, where several activators have activated the hill as a group and only one puts the log into the database then there will, of course, not be a match; perhaps a plea on behalf of Chasers everywhere for all activations to be entered onto the database under the callsigns used. If you, as an individual, wish to make a claim for an award based on confirmed contacts only you are perfectly at liberty to do this; the rules of SOTA are not proscriptive on this and you may wish to be absolutely certain in your own mind that this is the way to go. Harder, but absolutely fair and correct.

May I thank the individuals who made a donation to SOTA funds this month, it is most appreciated.

Congratulations to all who achieved significant milestones in SOTA during the month, may you continue to enjoy the activity and stay safe on the hills.


Barry Horning GM4TOE
Awards Manager

VK Report from Wayne VK3WAM

The month of September saw improving weather and a significant increase
in activations in VK3. Ron VK3AFW had a go at activating Mt Buller in
the late ski season, and nearly all of the regular activators went out,
including VK3HRA, VK3XJM, VK3ZPF, VK3YY, VK3WAM and VK3PF
with a quite extensive trip around Mt Hotham.
A number of activators are chasing the seasonal bonus before it expires mid next month.

We are also seeing a significant number of VK5 chasers create account on
the sota database and log their contacts. It is a good sign for the
expected startup of VK5 in October - fingers crossed. VK1 and VK2
activity has also arisen. VK1 is close, but there are still some
unfinished tasks before it can join the SOTA activation family.

Conditions on 40m were quite reasonable for activators throughout the
month, and aside from Ron on Mt Buller, activators seem to be able to
get their required contacts without too much trouble. No significant DX
for activators, but Paul VK5PAS is making a name for himself chasing DX
SOTA activators, with two successes in the month.

Wayne VK3WAM for SOTA news.


Hi Summiteers,

Well, NA SOTA has outstripped the software I wrote to download and
process the statistics from the database, I’m going to have to rewrite
it to accommodate much larger arrays. :slight_smile: I never would have expected
this sort of growth in such a short time. Apparently there are a lot of
outdoors people, and I guess a lot of them are hams, so SOTA was a
perfect marriage for them.

First, the statistics for Sep [thru the 26th] for the current 22 NA


The top activators [number of activations]:

W1DMH 20
NE1SJ 14
WS0TA 14
WO6M 13
K6ILM 11

and the top chasers [QSO’s > 75]

N4EX 286
N1EU 123
NS7P 115
K6ILM 98
AE4FZ 82
W7CNL 76

The most popular summits # of activations > 2]

W2/GA-003 6
W5A/MA-004 4
VE2/SG-029 3
W2/GA-010 3
W5A/MA-001 3
W5N/SM-001 3
W6/NC-265 3
W7/SU-016 3

and 31 summits were activated twice. Not quite up to the record of The
Cloud, but then our summits are a bit farther apart, higher, and
somewhat harder to get to. :slight_smile:

Now, some NA-SOTA records were set in September of 2012 which certainly
deserve mention:

First off, Scott, w7IMC, achieved his Bronze Mountain Explorer award in
very late August, after the deadline for last month’s report. He also
probably exceeded 250 chaser points this month.

And we have the first two NA Mountain Goats, Fred KT5X, and Doug,
W1DMH. Quoting from an NA-SOTA post by Elliott, K6ILM:

"Fred and Doug both took exactly 51 weeks to be Goats, with Doug
starting and finishing 2 days later. Doug’s bonus points are 108, which
is the same number of Fred’s summits. Doug’s first and last summits
count the same…one point each. Fred’s first and last summits also
count the same…ten points each.

Doug’s summit total, 175, is the same as my friend DF3MC when he and I
started up Mt. Livermore last month.

Doug needed more trips due to his being surrounded with Lilliputian
hills, and Fred had longer climbs with fewer trips. Doug took exactly
one month off, and Fred 15 weeks off."

Congratulations Fred and Doug! One really does have to understand the
extreme differences between the topography of the NA east coast and the
western third of the continent for those parallels to make sense. That
they both managed it in the same time frame speaks both to the diversity
of SOTA, and to two individuals’ drive.

Eric, KU6J, one of the primary players in getting the W6 Association
into the database with 3,500+ summits mentioned, “Dan, WO6M, is on pace
to be the fastest ever Mountain Goat in NA (the world?) with an amazing
55 summits and 412 activation points in only 3 months of SOTA
participation. Go Dan!”

On the Chaser side, Rich, N4EX … “Every Activator’s First QSO” … has
achieved 10,000 Chaser points. He pretty much camps on the SOTA
frequencies, he’s called me right after I sign my call after tuning the
antenna. Just truly amazing Rick! Congratulations!! and thanks!

I have a whole folder of really great activation stories, unfortunately,
I’m running out of space. If you want to see them all just subscribe to
the NA SOTA Yahoo Group, it’s free. :slight_smile: We’ll close with one from Eric,
KU6J. The 160m QSO was with me, may be the first 160 NA SOTA QSO, I
don’t know, but Eric managed 5 activations in a fairly unique way:

"Wow, that was a lot of fun! I activated two summits on NA SOTA Day,
camped on a third and activated it that night and the following morning,
then did one more summit the next day on the way home. They were worth a
total of 26 points. I made 62 QSO’s including 4 summit-to-summits. I also
made my first ever SOTA QSO’s on 80m and 160m.

This was the first time I used my KX3 and it performed great. Coupled
with my hastily constructed 135-foot doublet, it gave me all band and
mode capability 6m-160m. The ability to instantly switch bands or modes
without having to futz with the antenna boosted the fun factor

All QSO’s except for one were on CW, and the SSB QSO was with the
non-SOTA Route 66 special event station W6A. I tried to find and work
more SOTA folks on SSB but it was not to be.

40m had surprisingly high productivity even during the daytime
activations, including giving me a summit-to-summit and 9 out of my 16
QSO’s on the first activation (during the time period when most of the
other NA SOTA day activations were happening). Here are my QSO counts
per band:

 15m – 3
 20m – 31
 30m - 6
 40m – 17
 80m – 4
 160m – 1

More details and photos (including log photos) are in the last album here:

http://www.grizzlyguy.com/HamRadio "

Nice going Eric. Until next month, keep climbing, just stay safe too.


Skip K6DGW
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude

Additional U.S. news - from Elliot K6ILM

Diehard Dan, WO6M, has earned 462 activator points in three months, including 19 multi-summit days in that time. It seems he will soon join the only two Mountain Goats outside Europe, assuming he avoids tumbling down to break his crown.

Further in North America, the biggest news was about KT5X and W1DMH becoming the first and second Mountain Goats outside Europe, in addition to N4EX becoming the first Super Sloth outside Europe. Chasers in NA are becoming more noticeable, with 2,500 points now reached by K6ILM, ND0C, VE1WT, KK1W, N1EU & K3KYR.

Elliott, K6ILM


I hope to be active 23 - 25th October, using HF CW, HF SSB and 2m FM

Slieau Freoaghane GD/GD-002
Snaefell GD/GD-001
South Barrule GD/GD-003
Bradda Hill GD/GD-004
Mull Hill GD/GD-005

Nick G4OOE


SOTAbeams is a company established by Richard, G3CWI, a co-founder of
the SOTA Award Programme. It is hard to imagine, but back then the
sort of lightweight radio that SOTA activators take for granted these
days was the preserve of a few die-hard specialists and sources of
lightweight radio accessories were in short supply. Richard wanted to
encourage people to try new things and, with the introduction of the
FT-817 he was especially keen to tempt 2m FM operators onto SSB -
hence the now famous SOTA beam. SOTAbeams was an important contributor
to establishing the SOTA programme with donations to cover printing
costs, hosting fees and exhibition costs; something that Richard
intends continuing.

Ten years on and the SOTA beam and indeed SOTAbeams are still going
strong; nowadays SOTAbeams stocks over 30 products. To celebrate 10
years of SOTA and 10 years in business, Richard is offering a special
deal for SOTA News readers: a 10% discount using the Voucher code
OYC50KHNQ59. This code is entered on checking out. The offer is valid
for orders over 10 pounds and up to 31st October. For each order placed
using this code SOTAbeams will make a further 5% donation to the
running of the SOTA Award programme.

SOTAbeams’ website is at http://www.sotabeams.co.uk

6th -17th September 2012 By Nick G4OOE

This month Eva (xyl) and I flew out to Munich to spend a few days with our son Neil and his family in Haimhausen, one of the city’s suburbs. We then drove down to Garmisch, a beautiful town surrounded by mountains. The hotel we had picked was excellent, from our balcony we had views of Zugspitze, Alpspitze and the nearby Wank mountains. On the Monday evening Martin DF3MC came over to meet us and he gave us advice on the local SOTA summits and he lent me some equipment which was a great help and very much appreciated.

The forecast for Tuesday was good for the morning with possibilities of rain in the afternoon so Zugspitze seemed a good option but it would mean an early start and missing breakfast! We had a hotel that supplied complimentary bus ticket and we took the 8.31 bus to Garmisch railway station. It was just a short walk to Garmisch Zugspitze station where we purchased our return tickets at 49.50 Euro each. The train left at 9.15 and at Hammersbach we changed to the rack railway arriving at Eibsee at 9.45. Here you get a choice to either continue on the railway to Zugspitzplatt followed by a short cable car ride to Zugpitze summit or a direct cable car ride to Zugspitze summit. We chose to continue on the railway. The journey was fantastic, breathtaking scenery and going through a long tunnel eventually arriving at Zugspitzplatt at 10.28. We had a quick walk around before continuing on the cable car arriving at Zugspitze summit at 11.00.

I was itching to get started but I agreed to Eva’s suggestion of something to eat first! The summit area was already getting quite crowded with people. The area is very large and has restaurants, snack bars and souvenir shops on both sides of the Germany/Austria border, although clearly the highest point is in Germany, so sadly only a single ten pointer! I managed to get the 40m dipole up along a fence and after giving Roy G4SSH a few rings, I was on the air on 7 Mhz at 11.22 (0922 UTC). The going wasn’t easy because more and more people were arriving at the summit, I even had a young boy slapping me on the back in the middle of a QSO asking me what I was doing. Eva did her best, explaining in broken German what her husband was doing sat on the ground making funny noises, I did feel a bit guilty putting her through this on our holiday.

I managed a QSY to 10Mhz using my tuner, then later I had better results when I replaced the 40m antenna with the 30m antenna. I even managed a couple of contacts on 2 metres fm. At 1 pm I called it a day as there were just too many people around. However, I was more than pleased with my 42 contacts. The rest of day we spent looking at the panoramic views on the summit area, eating curryworst and chips and then on the way back down, apple strudel at Zugspitzplatt. What a memorable day and luckily the forecast was wrong for we had glorious sunshine throughout.

On Wednesday I had planned to go up Wank mountain but the weather was poor with mist and rain so we decided to walk into Garmisch. In the afternoon back at the hotel I took a quick look at SOTA Watch and noticed that DL/OE5EIN/P was active on Zugspitze on 145.500-fm, so I gave Max a quick call on the handheld and he said that there was 5cm of snow there! What a contrast from the previous day. Later I checked the log and saw that he did manage to qualify the summit on 2 metres and I was his fourth QSO.

Thursday’s weather was even worse so we drove to Mittenwald and spent the day dodging the showers by visiting shops and cafes. This is another beautiful little town surrounded by great mountains although we couldn’t see the peaks through the mist and rain.

Thankfully, Friday was a much better day so I drove to the Wank (pronounced Vank) station and took the gondola up to Wank summit station. This was about a 20 minute ride each way at 19 Euro return. After about a ten minute walk to the summit near Wankhaus, I cleared the snow off a bench next to the summit cross and after calling G4SSH again, I was on the air at 10.48 (0848 UTC). I had 25 contacts on 10 Mhz and one contact with Martin DF3MC on 145.500-fm. This little summit is fantastic, there are some lovely walks around and great views of the Zugspitze massif. The afternoon was spent swimming and relaxing in the hotel. Eva had enjoyed her morning looking around the market in Garmisch.

Saturday was to be my most challenging day. Eva was going for a walk into Garmisch again and I drove off early to Mittenwald to catch the first cable car up to the Karwendel station which left at 8.30 and cost 22 Euro return. We all had a warning briefing telling us under no circumstances should we go beyond the summit cross due to at least half a metre of drifting snow and ice on the path. The summit cross was not visible from the cable car station due to mist and I missed one path and following a signpost I started climbing a very large rock formation using a steel cable as a hand rail. After about 10m of ascent, I could see the rock rising in front of me in the mist and I thought there is no way that I can continue with this load on my back so I turned around and went back to the cable car station. Just as I was about to reluctantly abandon the activation, the clouds lifted and I could see the summit cross and the other footpath beyond to the left of the large rock formation and after much slipping and sliding in snow, I eventually got on the right path.

Just before reaching the summit cross I met a young English girl who had just descended the large rock and was completely lost. Then thankfully, her walk leader appeared on my path and he then congratulated her on doing the alternative category c route. The poor girl looked vacant and was just glad to have been found! The walk leader went on to explain the categories from a to e, apparently category e can involve no support for the feet at all. The thought of dangling over a big drop filled me with absolute terror!

After climbing the summit I went back down to the spot that sits on the border and after the usual 3 rings to G4SSH, I was active from Westliche Karwendelpitze, OE/TI-293 and then later DL/KW-008 for twenty points. The vertical antenna worked very well and most stations were 599. Although the temperature was about 3C, I was sat on a snow covered ledge and after about an hour I did start to shiver. The QSO count was 41 from OE and 19 from DL. I packed up shortly after 1 pm and made my way slowly back to the cable car. The route was quite slippery with patchy ice and snow but fortunately I was able to hang on to the steel cable over the scary bits. I arrived back at the hotel at 3.30pm in time for a swim and then a walk into Garmisch for a well earned Jaeger Schnitzel!

On Sunday Eva and I went up to Wank and we did some of the circular walks and had our lunch, another curryworst on a terrace listening to live music from a group called Dreisam. The sun was shining and once again we had the great panoramic views. It was a perfect way to end our holiday.

I would thoroughly recommend this area for a holiday and there are just umpteen SOTA summits in Bavaria and Tirol. We really enjoyed our time in this part of Germany and hope to go back next year. I would like to thank DF3MC for all his help with equipment, maps and advice, G4OBK for his help with maps and brochures of the area, G4SSH for monitoring my phone calls and spots and to DL7URB, HA7UG, HA5TI and S52CU for additional spots. All very much appreciated!


Nick G4OOE


First I want to send special thanks to Andy, MM0FMF and Adrian, MM0DHY for their very useful comments on my planned route, to Mike, 2E0YYY for his detailed information for Arthurs Seat and to my XYL Lilo, her brother Josef and his XYL Eveline for supporting my hamradio-activities during this vacation.

Our trip lead us from Edinburgh to Benderloch (near Oban), Skye, Dulnain Bridge (near Inverness), Aberfeldy and back to Edinburgh and I planned some points to go QRV with my QRP rig HB-1B, linked-dipole or wire-vertical.

The first IOTA-activation was planned for the Isle of Iona, but as we arrived there it starts raining cats and dogs, so I only did some first QSOs from the Isle of Mull during a dry phase of the day. There I had the first and luckily last contact with the nice little midges, which started to attack us just after the setup of the antenna and rig was finished hi.

At the Isle of Skye we had a great sunny day and I curiously looked on the wonderful summits of the Cuillins, but they will be part of another trip to GM. I made a short IOTA and LH activation at Neist Point Lighthouse, where I also had a nice eyeball-qso with John, G3VPW.

Creag Bheag, GM/CS-111:

After a very rainy day between Skye and Inverness (the only day I cancelled the planned route) we started from Dulnain Bridge in a wonderful day. Besides all the touristic attractions I had the summit Creag Bheag, GM/CS-111 near Kingussie in my bag. As the weather was sunny with view clouds we all decided to try the first walk on a GM-summit. Well prepared with the information and map from www.walkhighlands.com we started the assent to the summit on Friday, Sept. 7th.

After a nice 1 hour walk we reached the summit with an impressive view to the Graincorms and down to Kingussie. With a strong wind from south-east I setup my portable mast with the linked dipole, and thankful had the support from my XYL and her brother in securing the mast against the wind. Started at 40m and had luckily the first QSO with Roy, G4SSH thanks for QSO and the post.

I worked then G0NUP, GI4ONL, G4VXV, PA0B, G4ISJ, GW4ZPL, DL8UVG and DJ5AV on 40m and OM1AX, OE3KAB and SM1CXE on 20m. So I was very lucky and we enjoyed all the way down to Kingussie.

East Lomond, GM/SS-198:

The last day before coming back to Edinburgh Saturday Sept. 8th, we wanted to visit the nice coastline opposite to Edinburgh called the East Neuk. On the way I found the easily reachable summit East Lomond, GM/CS-198 near Falkland. From the car-park near a commercial radio-station its just a 30 minute walk up to the summit with a nice 360deg view down to the plains of Fife. As there was again strong wind on the summit I only setup 7m of my mast and made the linked dipole ready for 20m. As first QSO I worked OE/DL1AX/P, s2s at OE/TI-119 then OK1GT, OE8SPW (Paul tnx fer post), DL3JPN, my friend Gert, OE3ZK at home, S52ON and finally Barry, N1EU, who made this activation perfect!

Arthurs Seat, GM/SS-272:

Arthurs Seat was planned for our stay at Edinburgh. But as I have done 2 summits at this point, at breakfast I proposed to cancel it for a detailed walk through Edinburgh. Whow my family said - No are you crazy you have the permission and we want to walk on this summit - what should I say- hi. With a taxi we went to an entrance of Holyrood Park near St. Margarets Loch and walked the Queens Drive (which is closed for car traffic on Sundays!) to Dunsapie Loch and then up to the summit. As Mike, 2E0YYY described many people were on the way to the summit. There was not a square meter without someone. I first tried to call on 2 Meters with my TH-D72, but as expected no response. So I managed to setup a wire-vertical for 20m some meters down the summit. After some CQ-calls Jan, OM1AX came back with 599/599 so I was happy that this setup works. After QSO’s with HA8TG and EA5YI no more contacts on 20m. So I tried to match the vertical with my ZM4 to 30m and DL7VKD and DL8MBS made my activation valid. As there was no more response and the crowd around got larger I decided to stop the activation after 30 minutes.

That’s the story, thanks to all the Chasers, who made the activations successful.

Overall we all are very impressed on the wonderful and different landscapes of Scotland, the very friendly and helpful people there and finally I liked to drive the small single-track roads, the most scenic and friendliest roads Ive ever seen - every time you have oncoming cars at a passing place its a nice procedure to greet and thank each other. I am sure this was not my last trip there!

You will find some pictures about all the SOTA-Activations at

Have fun comments are welcome!
Vy 73 de Chris OE3CHC


It was noon on the morning of Thursday the 6th September and SOTA activations had been few and far between. A combination of the seasonal lull and the end of the school holidays with children, teachers and students now back at school and college had been reflected in the lack of activations. There had been no CW Alerts posted for the entire day on SOTA Watch and only Karl DL2XL and Lutz-with-Benny DJ3AX had made it into my chaser log.

I had just started lunch when the phone rang - it was John, G4YSS, who lives about 100 yards away in the same village, asking if I was interested in activating TW-004 with my special Olympic Games callsign 2O0OOO, which was due to expire in three days time?

I did not need to be asked twice!

I hastily packed a spare FT-897, Palm paddle key, log pages; pencils and a handful of assorted connectors, and posted a quick alert on SOTA Watch for 1415 UTC. John would bring along his inverted vee dipole and battery.

It took me about 20 minutes to prepare to depart and another 20 minutes to find the microphone which was eventually located in the 897 delivery box, still in the original wrapping.

Bishop Wilton Wold, TW-004 is located about 20 miles distant from Scarborough and the journey took about 40 minutes. This was longer than usual because it was peak harvest time, the sun was blazing down from a cloudless sky and the narrow winding country lanes on the North Yorkshire Wolds were filled with combine harvesters and tractors pulling trailers loaded with bales of hay.

Neither of us had previously visited TW-004 but we knew the way and soon located the lay-by at the top of the hill. We searched for a suitable operating place. There were some tall communications masts and electricity poles which we wanted to avoid but we found a suitable spot down a minor road opposite the trig point, where we parked the car and walked a further 100 yards to find a sheltered spot from the moderate wind in the lee of a thick hedge, where we set up the station.

My first SOTA activation was an interesting comparison between the skills required to be an activator as opposed to a chaser. The first problem I discovered was the difficulty attempting to read the digital display on an FT-897 in bright sunshine. We managed to read the frequency with fairly large figures, but deciding whether it displayed CW or SSB with letters only about 3mm high was particularly difficult,.

Finally we were ready to go, right on the alert time of 1415 UTC and a first CQ de 2O0OOO/p on 7032 CW brought in Kevin G0NUP who generated a spot. A few minutes later all hell broke loose as we appeared on SOTA Watch and the DX Cluster. We had a mixture of SOTA chasers desperate for any contact on a slow SOTA day and prefix collectors after the Olympic “Oscar” prefix. The pile up grew bigger and proved the fact that chasers will work an activator regardless of whether they are worth 10 points or a single point. I gradually worked through the mass of 51 CW callers, whilst John did a heroic job as logger.

We finally cleared the frequency of callers down to noise level and moved to 7128 KHz SSB where there were a further 33 chasers waiting to get our call into their logs. Many chasers remarked that they did not expect me to use SSB, being a CW chaser only, but that is my choice alone and is no reason to deny SSB enthusiasts the points.

We then moved to 14 MHz CW to try to make more distant contacts. We were again spotted by Kevin G0NUP, but the band was in poor condition and we only made eight QSO’s.

We finally moved to 10118 CW where we were again in demand (thanks to a spot by DL7VKD) and we finished with a further 16 QSO’s, for a grand total of 109 QSO’s in just over two hours of operating. A few chasers had problems with the call and this was because they received it OK, but could not make sense of the figure “2” and five “oscars” written down on their scrap pad Is your call Two hundred thousand? was a common query.

The biggest difference between chasing and activating is, without doubt, the lack of background noise and the signal strength of the chasers out in the country. As a chaser on the outer perimeter of Europe I am used to QRP signals being right on the noise level, waging a constant fight on 7 MHz, using headphones and closing my eyes in order to concentrate to read the smallest ripples in the noise in an attempt to confirm my callsign, with 90% of activators not moving the S-meter off the stop. As an activator there was no background noise, nearly every callsign was end-stop with at least 100 watts and the only problem was the QRM from dozens of callers at the same time. There was such enthusiasm that I had to send “QRT” and “LSN” a few times to bring the pack into line, but once they realised that I was not taking calls out of order they were well behaved.

It was a most enjoyable experience and left me with a buzz of pleasure at giving points to so many chasers. Who knows, I may just have another go sometime. Thank you to all who called in and for the spots from G0NUP, G4OBK and DL7VKD.

Special thanks to my mentor John, G4YSS, who not only was an excellent logger but demonstrated his skills at erecting a SOTA activating position in record time and knew the calls of all the regular SSB chasers.

Roy 2O0OOO

WORKING SPLIT ON 20 and/17m - by Andy MM0FMF

I’ve noticed it getting difficult to control the pileup recently when
I’ve been on 20m CW or 17m CW. I feel this is because the chasers cannot
hear the other chasers local to them and therefore outside the skip
zone. When chasers don’t realise just how many people are calling it can
make life very difficult for the activator.

After consulting with Roy G4SSH for some procedural guidance, I have
started working split on these bands. The results are really pleasing.
I tried this recently on Belling Hill where I have to admit I had lost
control of my frequency as chasers called on top of each other non-stop.
At first I thought my chasers had lost their manners but as soon as I
started calling CQ SOTA UP1 I regained control. Once the chasers could
clearly hear me the vast majority of what appeared at first as poor
operating disappeared. 99.9% listened to me and did as I asked with just
a handful thinking that no matter what I asked for, their call was what
I wanted! The effect this had was remarkable.

As a CW newbie I’ve avoided things like split operation or announcing a
WFF number, I know my place! However, it was very straightforward to
work split and made the activation much easier. I’m sure I worked more
in less time because of this and would recommend it on bands with plenty
of space like 20m etc. when the pileup seems fierce.



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

You can tell winter is on the way as September was a bumper month for Top Band activations with 7 activators having successful contacts on the band. I even managed to qualify a summit myself on 160m for the first time, with 4 separate contacts from G/SP-005 Pendle Hill, but more on that later.

So with a lot to report I will try to keep things brief.

The first activator to try the band this month was Ricky MW6MGR/P during an activation of a relatively local summit, GW/NW-063 Ffridd Cocyn on 1st September. Ricky is quite new to activating & does appear to be having lots of fun & during this activation he put his radio a good workout by making contacts on no fewer than 10 different amateur bands, including 160m. Ricky worked local station MW3RNI on the band during with both stations using their MO & MW prefixes, so technically there was only one QSO valid for SOTA on 160m as the “O” prefix is a callsign modifier, rather than a completely separate licensed call-sign. Of course, that is taking nothing away from Ricky’s achievement & to make even one contact on 160m in the middle of the day is superb. I don’t think Ricky is planning to activate on the band again, but very well done in any case.

Ricky posted a brief report here:

The next activator to use 160m, later on 1st of the month was Wolf DK1HW/P who made two successful contacts in the early evening from DM/NS-123 Reinekensiekskopf. By the time of these QSO’s the band would be opening up nicely with the severe daytime D-layer absorption very much reduced. Wolf also used CW, which can greatly improve the chances of success on the band when compared to SSB.

Wolf was followed a little later in the evening by regular Top Band activator Zoli HA2PP/P who made a superb 8 QSO’s on 160m from HA/KD-003 Középsö-Hajag, also using CW. Both Zoli & Wolf were spotted on 1832KHz but as far as I can tell they did not work each other, despite being active around the same time.

The next activator to try Top Band was Eric KU6J who gave 160m a try while on an overnight camp on W6/NS-223 Pinoli Ridge & was rewarded with what was the first ever 160m QSO for Fred K6DGW. It is very nice to see more US activators giving the band a try, given the challenge Top Band presents, not only for fixed stations, but especially for portable summit stations. Well done to those at both ends of the QSO.

It is very nice to be able to report that the next activator to use 160m was me, using GO0VOF/P on Sunday 9th September from G/SP-005 Pendle Hill. My activation on that day was decided upon as I knew that John G4YSS would also be activating on Top Band from G/LD-024 Pike of Blisco also using the “Olympic” prefix with the Scarborough Special Events Group club callsign. This was the last day that amateurs in the UK who had the relevant Notice of variation to their licences could use “O” in place of the regional identifier normally used. The 9th September was also the second day of the SOTA UHF fun day, & many stations would be activating summits using 432MHz & upwards, so I also took along a 5 element Yagi for that band, as well as various other antennas for HF/VHF.

My ascent was via the steps that lead up from the farm at the end of the track that leads from Barley lane, & was the easiest ascent I have ever made of the hill. It was even easier than the ascent I had made a few weeks earlier on a Raynet exercise despite carrying a heavier pack on this occasion. I can only put that down to finally having some success at stopping smoking thanks to electronic cigarettes. If you have been a smoker most of your life & find it very difficult to give up, try the electronic alternatives, they are much easier than cold turkey, much better for you than smoking, & they still give you “something to do with your hands”.

Anyway, I had superb weather on Pendle Hill with Sunshine, broken could & light wind for most of the day, & I could comfortably sit in a T-shirt for most of the 6 hours I was on the summit. The one spell of rain I had was very brief, & consisted of only a few large drops, much better than conditions I heard reported by other activators in The Lake District & Northern Pennines.

For 160m I took my FT817 + 7Ah SLAB & my full size half wave dipole, although I only brought a 7m fibreglass fishing pole rather than the 9m carbon fibre pole I have used previously. This was because I wanted to keep my kit as light as possible & also wanted to used the fishing pole to support vertical j-pole / dipole antennas, & of course the carbon fibre pole would interfere with their operation. I set up on the North side of the wall that runs across the North side of the summit which gave me plenty of shelter from the wind, which was coming from the South that day. My chosen activating position was determined after very careful consideration of the size of the activation zone of Pendle Hill using as detailed information as possible, in my case this was the 1:25000 OS map. Pendle Hill has a large activation zone & there is no real need to be next to the trig point, which can get very busy when the weather is good.

As I was using a full size dipole for Top Band & I may have been active for several hours I chose that spot to be out of the way to avoid any possible conflict with other users of the Hill. I did find a convenient pile of old railway sleepers against the North side of the wall that made a convenient bench, which after very careful study I determined where still within the activation zone by a clear margin. I am sure I have heard mention of the locations of these sleepers on the SOTA reflector in the past & in my opinion, with good visibility & very careful checking, they do appear to be well within the activation zone, & they do make a very handy & comfortable bench Hi!

I was set up well before my alerted time of 0830z & when I had not heard anything from John by about 0825z (he is usually early) I decided to put out a CQ call myself. My antenna was very low, with the apex at around 4m AGL, & each end of the dipole fixed to the dry stone wall. One of my first calls brought a response from Mike G4BLH in Nelson, who was only using his 40m dipole & we exchanged 559 reports. Mike therefore bags the bragging rights as first to chase G/SP-005 Pendle Hill on Top Band. Mike very kindly spotted me & a little later I heard Frank G3RMD calling me. Despite several calls it was clear that Frank was not hearing me, although with only 5 Watts at my end & a very low dipole, that was only top be expected. Thankfully Frank was around to work me later on both 80m CW & 60m SSB so he didn’t miss out completely. There were no other answers to my CQ’s on 1832KHz CW.

I continued to monitor 160m for John G4YSS & a short while after a Summit to Summit on 2m FM with Phil G4OBK on G/LD-008 Blencathra I suddenly heard 1832KHz spring to life with a CQ from John G4YSS using GO0OOO/P. I quickly set my video camera running & got back to my key just in time to answer his first call.

John was a solid 599 with me & he gave me 569, which with only 5 Watts I was more than happy with. Neither G/LD-024 Pike of Blisco nor G/SP-005 Pendle Hill had ever been activated on Top Band before so I was honoured to be first to chase Pike of Blisco on the band. John continued his activation, logging another CW QSO on 160m with George GI4SRQ but unfortunately he had no further calls on the band. Johns tally for the day on the band would remain at two QSO’s, however G/LD-024 had now been activated on Top Band.

John as usual has provided a very detailed report, which can be found here:

A short while later when I spoke to Frank G3RMD on 60m SSB I mentioned that John had been running little bit late, so sadly Frank did not manage to work John on 160m.

I knew that Sunday is a popular day for local Nets on Top Band so after working a few stations on other bands I returned to 160m where I found Roger M0RWH & Mike G7ING just about to close the regular Sunday morning Preston SSB net. I called & was brought in by Roger who could hear me pretty well. Mike was struggling with a high noise level but after some perseverance we managed to exchange reports. This brought my tally of QSO’s on Top Band to 4, the first time I have made 4 separate contacts on the band during the same activation. I was very pleased, & then continued with my activation on various other bands. I must have enjoyed the day as I had logged 54 QSO’s, a new record for me. I do have quite a lot of video / audio of the day which I have not finished editing yet but I hope to have something online in the next week or so. Thanks to all stations that worked me but especially those who did, or listened for me on Top Band.

The next activation took place on 22nd September when Zoli HA2PP/P activated HA/KD-006 Kab-hegy. This was another evening activation & Zoli made two contacts on the band using CW.

Zoli also returned to HA/KD-006 on evening of Friday 28th September when he made one CW QSO on 160m before moving on to 80m, where he had more success.

So a bumper month for Top Band!

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

On the 1st September, Ricky MW6GWR/P activated GW/NW-063 Ffridd Cocyn, & made 1 QSO on 160m using SSB.

On the 1st September, Wolf DK1HW/P activated DM/NS-123 Reinekensiekskopf, & made 2 QSO’s on 160m using CW.

On the 1st September, Zoli HA2PP/P activated HA/KD-003 Középsö-Hajag, & made 8 QSO’s on 160m using CW.

On the 9th September, Eric KU6J activated W6/NS-223 Pinoli Ridge & made 1 QSO on 160m using CW.

On the 9th September, Mark GO0VOF/P activated G/SP-005 Pendle Hill & made 4 QSO’s on 160m, 2 using CW & 2 using SSB.

On the 9th September, John G4YSS (using GO0OOO/P) activated G/LD-024 Pike of Blisco & made 2 QSO’s on 160m using CW.

On the 22nd September, Zoli HA2PP/P activated HA/KD-006 Kab-hegy, & made 2 QSO’s on 160m using CW.

On the 28th September, Zoli HA2PP/P activated HA/KD-006 Kab-hegy, & made 1 QSO on 160m using CW.

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 mark@brownhill.demon.co.uk

Until next month,

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF

THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH 45 by Rob and Audrey G4RQJ

This month started with our trip to Shropshire for the Telford rally and a week of activating Welsh Border summits. This time we were based in Marsh Brook just off the A49 and about 3 miles out of Church Stretton to the south. This proved to be an excellent base with reasonable distances to the SOTA summits in the area with very few ghastly lanes to contend with.
The lanes in this area can be very narrow and difficult; many villages although marked on the map do not seem to exist as what we would call a village up here in the north, often they seem to be an area and the only way to tell that you have reached them is when they vanish from the sign posts to be replaced by the next one! Best keep your satnav on a short leash as well as their simplistic idea of a driveable road can be severely tested at times. That said it is a beautiful area and a delight to visit. The only real problem with base was a complete lack of phone coverage and no internet, TV is satellite due to a lack of terrestrial signals. Just as well we were out every day on the hills in beautiful summer sun shine (not said that for a bit).

Saturday 1st Sep Long Mynd and Stiperstones.

These two are a natural pairing and so it was off up to the former on the nightmare road from Church Stretton. The road is narrow with little room for manoeuvre and passing, The unfenced, unprotected drop on the right is something to behold even to those of us used to the Lake District Passes. The plan today was to ascend this way and return via Stiperstones thus missing out the much more scary descent (this in a car!) Good Parking at Long Mynd and an easy ten minute stroll to the summit. We decided to hand hold the 2m beam on the short 12ft mast thus causing minimum disruption to the hordes of walkers passing through. We had no problems with them and indeed at one point ended up giving an impromptu talk and demo of sota to a twenty strong school party. The teenagers had never heard of amateur radio and were genuinely amazed that we could speak with people over forty miles away without the use of a telephone.

Soon we moved on to Stiperstones which again was very busy. The short walk on grass up this one is really nice but the ridge itself is very broken and rough on the feet. Once we were in action on 2m the FT817 finally decided it had had enough and stopped in protest forcing us onto the Kenwood h/held and we decided that looking for a new 817 at the Telford rally would be a good idea. On this trip we were testing a couple of the little tripod camping seats, not what we would take them up Scafell Pike but so far they were a pleasure to use although one (mine of course, Rob ) had developed a small tear in one side.

Sunday 2nd Sep Telford Rally.

We always enjoy this small friendly rally and in our eagerness actually arrived early and joined the queue to get in. Only one big dealer there but they did have one 817 at a reasonable price so the deal was done. We had been expecting this for some time as the old rig has had a lot of hard work and is really ready for a rest. The plan is, with more time to work on it, get it back to a workable standard to use it in the shack and as a possible back up as required. The rally itself was really good and we met lots of sota people, many for the first time as it’s a long way from home turf. The talk on light, UV and IR communication was very interesting. Would it count for sota?
Monday 3rd Sep Titterston Clee and View Edge.
Once on the summit of Titterston Clee, a short, steepish climb from the huge but potholed parking area, we set up close to the trig, perched on our little stools and were soon in business on 2m, what a delight; there was no sign of the breakthrough that usually plagues this summit. It seems that the radar site there is now inactive.

Next came View Edge a drive up summit on a very narrow road with very little parking. We used the disused quarry gateway just a few yards to the east of the high point of the road. We investigated the path to the SSTI into which we were welcomed by a sign on the gate but on reaching the quarry could spot no easy access to the higher ground above it. We decided that rather than search we would return to the road, walk up to the high point and take the path to the south which rises a few feet to the height of the summit and is within the activation area. Here we used the mast and beam handheld on the path and soon qualified the summit, just as well as the insects were becoming a pest and we had had enough sun for the day (enough sun in 2012??!!)
Tuesday 4th Sep. Brown Clee.

The hardest thing here is to find the parking place by the phone box at SO585868. Best advice is don’t trust the satnav or the maps alone. Room for a couple of cars on the grass verges. After we visited Stokesey Castle near Craven Arms. Well worth a look, families will love it.
Wednesday 5th Sep. Callow Hill.

Touristy stuff first today but we did notice a large antenna site right on the Shropshire Herefordshire border by the A49, no notices, wonder who that belongs to? In the early evening we climbed Callow Hill a reasonably mild climb to the Tower if you use the ramped path rather than the overgrown vertical ascent through the woods. We were soon seated comfortably and in action in the warm evening sunshine when a gentle tearing sound heralded the catastrophic failure of one of the small seats depositing the operator gently but firmly on the floor in the midst of the wreckage.

Thursday 6th Sep Burrow.

A unique for us and an interesting navigation exercise among farm fields and crops very different from the moors etc. Audrey spotted a rustic seat in the far distance which proved to be the key to getting on to the track up to the Iron Age fort which is a lovely place to operate on a fine summer’s day (again!) Later we visited “The Land of Lost Content” in Craven Arms, a museum of artefacts from the 20th century. If you remember any of that time we defy you not to say “We had one of those” at least once during your visit. Truly more” Stuff” than our loft. Acton Scott, farmyard in several TV programs is also close at hand.

A return home and back to earth as the weather reverted to wet and windy, Sunday 16th, we posted for Binsey and set off through low cloud and torrential rain which the forecast assured us would quickly clear from the north This is the best part of a two hour drive for us through the heart of the Lake District and we arrived at the start point to find it covered in cloud and torrential rain. We waited for some time for the promised clearance and eventually retired to a garden centre with a café to await the break. Lots of wet bikers and walkers doing the same thing and after about an hour and a half when the rain started to come through the roof we decided enough was enough and set off home. Every summit including tiny Gummers How and Kirby Moor, was deep in cloud and monsoon rain, no chance of a quick alternative so apologies due to chasers waiting for us.

Sunday 22nd Sep Pike o’ Blisco.

The easiest start for this one is the Three Shires Stone at the head of the Wrynose Pass. There is room for a few cars at road side but please don’t use the passing places. The stone marks the place where the old counties of Lancashire, Westmorland and Cumberland met. This was before the county reorganisations which absorbed Westmorland and Lancashire over the sands (the occupied territories of Lancashire hi hi) into the new county of Cumbria. From the Stone there is a good path via Red tarn to the summit of Pike o Blisco. The work parties have done a splendid job on path regeneration. The route over the Pike from Langdale to Bow Fell is quite busy and had become very eroded The new stepped sections are excellent and the trap of forward sloping flags, so slippery when wet or icy has been avoided. The summit is very broken but there are nice little sheltered spots if you know where to look, avoid the north face! Today, although only September it was very cold on the top and we were forced to don all the layers we were carrying before the end of the three hour stay.

This edition has to go to press on Sunday 30th so the details for then will have to go into next month. This assumes that there will be a break in the dismal rain and cloud which seems to be standard fare lately. Meanwhile, take care out there

73 Rob and Audrey

Stop Press
Sunday 30th Sep. No hill, weather dire. Heavy rain and gales at 70 plus mph


September was the month when propagation changed from Summer to Autumn conditions. The background crackle which has plagued the 40m band for the past 6 weeks finally vanished allowing some of the weaker SOTA activators to be heard at my QTH. There was the expected seasonal decrease in the number of activations during the latter half of the month, as colder weather and snow began to affect SOTA’s in Europe.

Unfortunately the commercial wide-band multi-tone transmission which appears on 7032 KHz approximately every six months arrived around noon on the 13th wiping out all signals from 7029 to 7033 KHz. At my QTH this transmission faded out around 0900 and came back in at 1400 UTC. It was last reported to be in the Black Sea area and chasers nearer to the source fared badly with Erwin OM7PY pleading for activators to move up or down from 7032 as he had experienced non-stop QRM for days. Early morning and late afternoon activators throughout Europe moved to 7028 or 7035 KHz in an attempt to find a clear spot. This transmission has usually lasted for no longer than 3 days before moving on, but this time the QRM was still there at the end of the month.

On the positive side, the improvement in propagation allowed stations to move up a band or two with 10118 again attracting almost as many activations as 7032 and many activators used 18 MHz with great success, with some even using 21 MHz and higher.

There were many USA (non-SOTA) stations calling CQ on 7032 in the mornings and EU activators using 14 MHz and upwards began to be worked by U.S. chasers from 1000 UTC.

Highlights of the month included a CW expedition to Corsica by Adrian TK/MM0DYY which gave many chasers a new country, a remarkable week of activations by Dan OK1DIG who operated from 27 OK summits on 7, 10, 14 and 18 MHz at the start of the month, plus operations from EI-land by OK1HAG, GI4ONL and G4ASA, There were also expeditions to Scotland by Chris OE3CHC, plus many activations from Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Greece and finally a trip to Malta & Gozo by 9H3RV.

The OE5 SOTA day on the 8th was enthusiastically supported by many activators and chasers, I cannot recall the last time the number of spots had passed the 100 mark before 1000 UTC then went on to display more than 250 spots in the day.

Readers will remember that in last months CW report I mentioned that the listing of SOTA activations above 7 MHz during the previous month had increased to such an extent that it was becoming unmanageable. My thanks to Andy MM0FMF the database manager, who has forwarded extracts from the database. My thanks also to Kevin G0NUP who has liaised with Andy whilst I have been away and manipulated the listings into a format suitable for inserting into SOTA News. Note that the list now shows activations that have been submitted to the data base. Stations that have operated outside their own countries are included in the list and activations on Top band are included in the report by mark G0VOF.

SOTA CW activators submitting entries above 7 MHz during September were:-

10 MHz


14 MHz


18 MHz


21 MHz


24 MHz


28 MHz



The following scheduled contests are expected to cause severe 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 only 0700-1000 German Telegraphy contest
6th-7th 0800-0800 Oceania DX contest SSB
7th only 0600-1000 ON UBA SSB contest
13 – 14th 0800-0800 Oceania DX contest CW
13-14th 1200-1200 Scandinavian SSB Activity contest
14th only 0001-2359 UBA CW Contest
14th only 0001-2359 SKCC weekend sprint CW
14th only 0600-0900 ON UBA CW contest
20th-21st 1500-1500 Worked all Germany CW and SSB contest
27th -28th 0001-2359 CQ World-Wide SSB DX contest (Major QRM to 40m)

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
Auburn CA

Australian input to:-
Wayne VK3WAM
VK Reporter


In reply to G4SSH:

Thanks, Roy, a good read as always!

I noticed this bit in your activation report: "The first problem I discovered was the difficulty attempting to read the digital display on an FT-897 in bright sunshine. We managed to read the frequency with fairly large figures, but deciding whether it displayed CW or SSB with letters only about 3mm high was particularly difficult."
I find it useful when using the large figures option to select the option that gives you the mode by the display colour. This is on page 93 of the manual, but many people seem not to have noticed it! There are two choices, “Mode:1” gives red for LSB, orange for USB and yellow for CW, “Mode:2” gives pink for LSB, blue for USB and lavender for CW. Even in bright sunlight if you shade the screen with your hand you can see the colour. You might like to try this out next time!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

Good tip Brian, I will give it a try next time.


Roy tnx fr this Info & fr Lutz and Benny

In reply to G4SSH:
Thanks for the news Roy, much appreciated as ever. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get an article to you on time for inclusion. As you are probably aware “The Victors” did manage a few activations during September and I had hoped to have a report for the news but once again work got in the way. We hope to get a couple of activations on 7th October and that will probably be it for the month, however, with my work season drawing to a close we are looking forward to many more outings over the winter with quite a few first time activations already planned.

73, Victor GI4ONL

In reply to GI4ONL:

OK Victor. However I will be happy to publish a report from you in the November edition should you manage to write one. Expedeition reports are always welcome and do not go out of date. Will look for you on the 7th

73 Roy G4SSH

In reply to G4SSH:

A good read, thanks Roy.



In reply to G4SSH:
Hello Roy
Thanks again for this really pleasant news.
I hope we’ll meet again.
Best 73
Andre - f5ukl

In reply to G4SSH:

6th -17th October 2012 By Nick G4OOE


I’m a bit baffled by this one as it is only 10th today; was it September?

Congrats on a very successful first activation. Not surprised the callsign foxed a few chasers.

Thanks for an interesting newsletter; I hope to have something for the next one.



In reply to M0JLA:

Hi Rod - Yes it should have been September - this one slipped through the proof reader! Now corrected.

Your input to SOTA News will be most welcome

SOTA News Editor

In reply to G4SSH:

Thank you so much for another edition of the Sota News.
I’ve enjoyed reading it and I do expect to have the chance to work you as an activator, Roy.
Now you’ve tested the thrill of it, I look forward to hear you are walking around with a radio at hand… Don’t miss it!.

But I hope not to deal with unfinished O’s there that time… hi hi.

VY 73
Ignacio EA2BD