SOTA NEWS - SEPTEMBER 2015 - Part 2 of 2
NORTH AMERICAN SOTA NEWS from Elliott K6EL - through 28 August 2015
Greetings from the land of big fires, little water and Elecraft, on behalf of Skip K6DGW. He and the Kamikaze Gardener have completed their move to a condo in Sparks, near Reno, Nevada. Now the gardening will be from pots and the RF will be from stealth antennas. Ah, the Golden Years.
Three new associations within Alaska are on the drawing board for a go live date to be determined very soon. Daniel, KL3TY, is the AM for one association, and N7UN is the temporary AM for the other two.
Since we last reported, W4DOW reached two times Super Sloth, K1JD became a double goat, W1DMH reached 250 unique climbs to earn Platinum Mountain Explorer, K0JQZ is within one contact of reaching trophy level S2S, K5RHD won the horse race and become the 31st MG in North America, Hawaiian AM KH7AL is moving today to Colorado Springs for some serious climbing (still USAF), and K6EL became the first member of the Management Team outside the UK.
The much more famous EL, W6EL, died April 11th. He was the author of MiniProp and the chief scientist for Hughes in the successful first Surveyor project to put a spacecraft on the moon.
The historic first QSO between a NA Sota chaser and the new JA association finally happened. W7RV did it on 15 meters, followed by WA7JTM four minutes later on the same band. Congrats to them.
According to K6WRU, there are many, many Bald Mountains in the Sota database. Curious, I took a look at some others. 400 Black mountains world wide, about that many Bald Mountains, and 148 Bear Mountains.
Remember the ARRL Challenge in 2014? You got higher points for working stations with higher responsibilities in the ARRL. Turns out our W0CP was worth a whole lot of points for each band and each mode because he is a past director. When the results came in, I was startled to see I had 43,671 points on only 419 contacts (over 100 points average per contact). Thanks, W0CP. Rumor has it that the ARRL is planning a new one-year challenge for 2016, and that Sota folks will be happy. N7UN is helping with that, and he says there will an announcement around October 15th.
Coming up is the annual NaSota Activity Weekend, September 12/13. Publicity is widespread, including page 95 of the current QST magazine. Also that weekend is a VHF contest, and K7ATN suggests you take a tech class ham with you up a hill. That’s their thing, and you might addict one of them to Sota. Also in September, NK6A will be on from EI land for 13 days starting the 18th. At the end of the month, watch for KD5ZZK going up the Eastern seaboard picking off 14 summits. Watch him on APRS (last time I watched, I noticed he left his HT on a hill, still transmitting APRS, and I tipped off KD5KC, who called him and sent him back up the hill to get it).
Save that date: October includes the big California QSO Party on the 3rd and 4th, with lots of Sota, and the fourth annual Sota lunch at Pacificon on the 17th.
In checking the biographies for the MT, I discovered that the Sota founder is also past president of the FOC (first class operators’ club, a social organization of high speed CW operators limited to 500 members). Unknown to most, there are many FOC members among NaSota climbers and chasers, including KT5X, K1JD, N6XI, K2UFT, N5AN, N5AW, AA3B, K6ZB, AK5X, W4MQC, K4BAI, AC5K, W1FJ, KR3E, EI6FR, and IK6BAK.
September 24th is the third anniversary of the birth of the KU6J RBNGate Sota Spotter. On the 22nd of that month, three years ago, N1EU was on a peak with his best antenna set up and was working the world. RBN showed he was heard by skimmers on multiple continents, but US chasers were complaining about poor copy. That put the kernel of an idea in the head of KU6J, Eric, near Lake Tahoe, California, but he took no action until this happened on September 24th: in the NaSota Yahoo group, W4MPS said “Rich (N4EX) is a chaser monster”, followed by K6EL saying “amazing stuff, a human skimmer…. hey! what if there was a real Sota skimmer? It would look for the terms CQ, Sota, and a call. Anyone know W3LPL?” VE7ETS then asked if the skimmer code was open source, and N1EU said no, it was proprietary to VE3NEA. A few hours later, KU6J said: “I’m trying to use the existing RBN right now, via Telnet feed, comparing RBN spots to either alerts or to a list of known activators if the signal is near the usual Sota frequencies. I could feed to Sotawatch the same way as SMS or APRS gateways if Andy (MM0FMF) can tell us how it works”.
The next day, he said: “Elliott, I’m planning to do alert cross-checking automatically, and it will pull down alerts from Sotawatch every few hours and cache them so as to keep the load off the system. I played around with the code and now I have a steady stream of RBN spots plus a known activator file. I think this is doable, just a matter of implementing it”. MM0FMF then said the spots are available by RSS, but not alerts, as a source of known activators, and that we could see those, too, “real soon, now”. N1EU suggested color coding to distinguish spots derived from known activators vs spots based on alerts. Still on the 25th, Andy and Jeremy helped reduce latency. On September 27th, KU6J said: “Holy Cow, it just worked!” WO6M (NA6MG), and later, K6ILM (K6EL), appeared on his laptop, skimmed by NC7J and WA7LNW and compared to the known activator list.
He ran into the shack to see if it was real, and there was WO6M on the air. There was no feed out of his laptop just yet, but the Eureka moment was done. K6EL then said: “Dibs, my pink slip for your software”. MM0FMF then offered to combine the output with Sota spot feed without using Spotlite. Tweeks and refinements followed. See the FAQ section at http://www.ku6j.com/ G0VOF likes to race the machine. If he hears an activator early, he tries to work him and manually spot him before RBNGate can do it.
Barely adequate temporary
CANADA/US SOTA Reporter Dude
SOTA AUSTRALIA REPORT
Apologies from VK reporter Allen VK3HRA who has been very busy on other duties.
His October report will cover the last 2 months.
CW REPORT FOR AUGUST 2015 by Roy G4SSH
The last 15 days of the 28/50 MHz Challenge saw activators concentrating on these two bands to gain as many points as possible before the deadline of the first part of the challenge, on the 15th August. Unfortunately propagation on the higher bands was poor over this period.
The first day of the month got off to a fine start with the summer holidays enticing many cross-border expeditions, including - Jürg OE/HB9BIN, Chris DL/ON6ZQ, Hans DL/PB2T, Jozef OK/OM6TC, Steffen SV5/DM3CW, Frank OE/DJ2FR and Csaxi YO/HA8LLH. Takeshi JS1VEH also appeared on 18 MHz.
Roger F5LKW did a round of 6 SOTA-Fever summits in the French AM region on the 5th, concentrating on the 28, 50 and 145 MHz bands.
Tom MI1EYP and Jimmy activated some GI summits during the first week in the month, including their first venture into the Sperrins GI/SM.
Sake DL/PA0SKP was active from multiple DL summits on the 8th.
The 2015 YO Marathon took place between the 9th and 15th August, with many YO calls on the air, both home-grown YO’s (Team SOTA Romania) and visitors, such as Paul YO/HB9DST and Hans YO/PB2T, making this a truly international event. The program included activation of 14 summits with a total of 126 points in the YO/WC, YO/MC and YO/EC regions, with an opportunity for visitors to see some of the touristic highlights in Romania.
Takeshi JS1EUH/1 was spotted calling CQ SOTA at 0427 utc on 28 MHz CW the 15th and Andy HB9JOE was heard using his visitors call OK8JOE after an expedition to Czechia.
(A shorter than usual CW report this month due to me being away on holiday for the last 2 weeks of the month)
73 Roy G4SSH
SOTA ACTIVITY REPORT FOR AUGUST 2015.
SOTA Activators submitting entries to the data base for 10m and 6m during July 2015 -
also 1240 MHz, by request. These files produced on 31st August from Kevin G0NUP.
Seems very light this month, conditions must have been pretty poor.
Mode: SOTA CW on 28MHz: activity for August
DF3MC/P, DK1WI/P, DL4MHA/P, EA2IF/P, EA2WX/P, F/DL6UHA/P, F5LKW/P,
F5UKL/P, F6HBI/P, F8TMQ/P, G4AZS/P, G4ISJ/P, G4TJC/P, GW4AZS/P,
GW4TJC/P, HA/ON6UU/P, HB9AGO/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9BQU/P, HB9BRJ/P, HB9IIO/P,
HB9JOE/P, I/DF3MC/P, JS1UEH/1, K6EL, M0HDF/P, MI1EYP/P, MM0FMF/P,
OE/DL4MHA/P, OE/HB9BIN/P, OE5EEP/P, OH2NOS/P, OK1MLP/P, OK2PDT/P, OK8JOE/P,
PB2T/P, S52ON/P, SP/OK1CZ/P, VK1DA, VK2AOH, VK2IO/P, VK3CAT/P,
VK4JAZ, W7USA, WB5USB, YO/PB2T/P, YO2BP/P
Mode: SOTA CW on 50MHz: activity for August
F4EGG/P, F5LKW/P, F6HBI/P, G4ISJ/P, G4TJC/P, HA2VR/P, HB9BIN/P,
I/F6HBI/P, JJ1SWI, JS1UEH/1, M1EYP/P, MI1EYP/P, PB2T/P, S5100ISONZO,
S57X/P, WB5USB, YO/F4HOD/P
Mode: SOTA CW on 1240MHz: activity for August
Mode: SOTA FM on 28MHz: activity for August
2E0YYY/P, G4TJC/P, HB9ZCW/P, SV1QED/P
Mode: SOTA FM on 50MHz: activity for August
G4TJC/P, GW4TJC/P, HB9PMF/P, HB9ZCW/P, M6ZXH, MI1EYP/P, VK1DA,
VK3CAT/P, VK3TST, VK3YY
Mode: SOTA FM on 1240MHz: activity for August
DL1DSR/P, G4TCU/P, JP1QEC, OK1DEU/P, SQ9KCP, WW7D
Mode: SOTA SSB on 28MHz: activity for August
2E0YYY/P, 2W0YYY/P, AE4BL, DB7MM/P, DD5LP/P, DF3MC/P, DG4DDA/P,
DG7ACF/P, DH1JH/P, DH7FK/P, DK4MH/P, DL/HB9DQM/P, DL/OE5IRO/P, DL/OE5RTP/P,
DL/OE9HRV/P, DL/OE9TKH/P, DL/ON7DQ/P, DL8DBW/P, DO1DJJ/P, DO1JC, EA1IEH,
EA2BSB/P, EA2EBX/P, EA2EX/P, EA2IF/P, EA3HP/P, EB1CU/P, EB2GKK/1,
EB2GKK/P, EC2AG/P, F4ESK/P, F6HBI/P, G1INK/P, G4AZS/P, G4TJC/P,
GW4AZS/P, GW4TJC/P, HB9BIN/P, HB9FPM/P, K3JH, KI4SVM, M0HCU/P,
M3FEH/P, MI0HGY/P, MI1EYP/P, MM0FMF/P, N4AAL, N6MKW, OE/HB9BIN/P,
OE/S56LXN/P, OE/S57MS/P, OE5AUL/P, OE5EEP/P, OE5IRO/P, OE5RTP/P, OE7FMJ/P,
OE9HRV/P, OH8GBO/P, OK/OE5IRO/P, OK/OE5RTP/P, OK/SP9MA/P, OK/SQ9OJN/P, OK2PDT/P,
PB2T/P, S5/OE5IRO/P, S5/OE5RTP/P, S51TX/P, S52ON/P, S56IAA/P, S56LXN/P,
S57MS/P, SP9MA/P, SQ9OJN/P, SQ9OZM/P, SV1QED/P, SV2CNE/P, SV3IEG/P,
SV6/OE5JKL/P, VK1ATP/P, VK1DA, VK1FJAW/P, VK1MA, VK1MTS/P, VK1NAM/P,
VK1RX, VK2AOH, VK2HRX, VK2IO/P, VK3CAT/P, VK3TST, VK3YY,
VK4JAZ, W7USA, WB7ENX, YO/PB2T/P, YO6PIB/P, YO9IRF/P
Mode: SOTA SSB on 50MHz: activity for August
F4EGG/P, F4ESK/P, F5LKW/P, F6HBI/P, GW4TJC/P, HA2VR/P, HB9BIN/P,
HB9TNF/P, I1WKN, JL1BWG, JS1UEH/1, K5RHD, K6EL, K7ATN,
K7MJC, KD7WPJ, KZ6T, MI1EYP/P, NM5SW, OE/S56LXN/P, OE/S57MS/P,
OE9HRV/P, OK/SQ9OJN/P, S52ON/P, S56LXN/P, S57AX/P, S57FA/P, S57MS/P,
S57TQ/P, SQ9OJN/P, SV3IEG/P, VK1ATP/P, VK1DA, VK1MA, VK1MTS/P,
VK1NAM/P, VK1RX, VK2IO/P, VK4JAZ, WA2FON, WA7JTM
Mode: SOTA SSB on 1240MHz: activity for August
Kevin J Prince G0NUP
SOTA News is normally published on the last day of each month, but there will be occasions when the Editor is not available at this time, in which case it will be published as soon as possible afterwards. It can only be as interesting as the items submitted, so if you think your particular field of interest is not being covered then please submit an article by the 25th of the month. Have you a favourite SOTA? favourite mode? favourite rig, antenna, or favourite band? How did you find your first day / month / year as an activator or chaser? Your comments and experiences will be read by SOTA enthusiasts all across Europe, the USA, Australia and beyond, in a total of 24 different countries. Your input will be most welcome.
I receive many e-mails during the month containing details of activations, milestones reached and general SOTA news. Unless advised otherwise I will use this information in the next edition of SOTA News. It is important therefore that you advise me if any information is not intended for publication.
SOTA News Editor
U.S. and Canadian reports to:-
Fred K6DGW [aka “Skip” on the radio]
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude
Australian input to:-
South African input to:-