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SOTA News - September 2018

SOTA News for Sep 2018:

Greetings! Mark, G0VOF, is taking a holiday and I’ve agreed to fill in for him and collect as much SOTA News as I can. I’ll post a notice on the SOTAWatch reflector regarding the deadline for monthly input about a week or so before the end of the month. You can email any items to k6dgw@foothill.net and photos as attachments to the email are also welcome. Please do not spend a lot of time formatting inputs, that all seems to get “adjusted” when I post.

It is just fine if you prefer to post your area or association news directly, we need to make this as easy and simple as possible in Mark’s absence. Most of the news I received for this issue is from “The Usual Suspects” in North America, but I’ll work with anyone who would prefer I post for them. So… on to the news:

EUROPE: Luc, ON7DQ, made an enviable trip to Gran Canaria earlier this year and made progress toward the Gold Mountain Explorer Award. His report with some great photos is at https://on7dq.blogspot.com/2018/04/on7dq-gran-canaria-sota-tour-aprilmay.html. He activated nine summits for a total of 52 points.

NORTH AMERICA: I’m still suspicious of a problem in my statistics generator. We again show 3 VLF QSO’s which I really doubt. I did see some chatter on the NA SOTA group regarding 1240 MHz, so I think I believe that one. I don’t know if 70 MHz is authorized in Canada, but it isn’t in the US.

NA Statistics for Aug
Produced: 08/30/2018 at: 19:27:58 UTC

  Total Activations:    837
   Total Activators:    250
 Total Chaser QSO's:   9212
      Total Chasers:    352
     Unique Summits:    592

BAND     #     PCT
 VLF:    3  (  0.0%)

3.5MHz: 67 ( 0.7%)
5MHz: 261 ( 2.8%)
7MHz: 1423 ( 15.7%)
10MHz: 914 ( 10.1%)
14MHz: 5208 ( 57.6%)
18MHz: 434 ( 4.8%)
21MHz: 109 ( 1.2%)
28MHz: 60 ( 0.6%)
50MHz: 14 ( 0.1%)
70MHz: 1 ( 0.0%)
144MHz: 510 ( 5.6%)
433MHz: 17 ( 0.1%)
1240MHz: 14 ( 0.1%)

AM: 4 ( 0.0%)
CW: 6111 ( 67.2%)
Data: 1 ( 0.0%)
FM: 531 ( 5.8%)
Other: 3 ( 0.0%)
SSB: 2433 ( 26.7%)

Awards and Achievements: The Herd of NA Mountain Goats just got a LOT larger …

Mark, K7MAS, became the second Mountain Goat in the W7W Association on 9 Aug. Darryl, WW7D, the W7W Association Manager reports: “In 2011, Mark did his first SOTA activation, and his only activation for that year. He did a few more over the next couple of years, but really took off with the activations in 2014. Today, he completed his 156th activation and his 100th unique summit. Not one to shy away from effort, Mark activated Tamanos Mountain, W7W/RS-015, in Mt. Rainer National Park. The 10 mile [16 km] RT, 3,000’ [916 m] gain hike was made more difficult by a Puget Sound heat wave combined with smoke from numerous fires. Mark’s enthusiasm shined through the thick haze that dampened the views.” https://djholman.csde.washington.edu/ww7d/TamanosMtn2018/

And, Darryl, WW7D, also achieved Mountain Goad status on the same activation with Mark.

Peter, KD0YOB, also reached Mountain Goat status in August, activating217 peaks over 3 years in the W0C, W7Y, K0M, W0D, and W9 Associations.

Doug, W1DMH, reports that Jim, KK1W, became a Mountain Goat on 19 Aug.

Lee, N7LP, joined the W7A Mountain Goat herd on 26 Aug. His activation buddy Jim, K7JFD, anticipates getting his antlers in Sep.

Tom, K6TAA, who has climbed many 14’ers in Colorado, Africa’s Kilimanjaro, and several 17’ers in South America achieved Mountain Goat with an activation of W5N/OT-004 in August. His activation buddies were John, K1JD, and Fred, KT5X.

While Tom is in the spotlight, Fred, KT5X, reports: “The 4th NM Iconic Peaks award goes to Tom, K6TAA. He has activated eight of the ten peaks. the eighth was Sierra Blanco which has the most prominence of any NM peak peak, over 4,000 ft (1,219 m) of prominence. He activated it in the clouds, fogged in, with his wife, Valerie.”

On the chaser side, Tom, NQ7R, who chases from Casa Grande AZ slipped past 15,000 chaser points and by the end of Aug his total is 16,673, over 16 Shack Sloths!

Fred, KT5X, reports that Bruce, W2SE, has been awarded New Mexico Century Award #7 for making 100 QSO’s with stations activating W5N summits.


Word was just received in Aug that Bob, W2CKL, passed away in September 2017 at the age of 38. Bob was a 2-time Mountain Goat and, at the time of his passing, he held “Last Activator” status on 39 summits in the Catskill and Adirondack mountains.

Pete, WA7JTM, announced the "W7A 10-point S2S Madness Day on 30 Sep 2018. At least 24 summiteers will have at least 20 W7A 10-point summits on the air, and the number will probably grow by the end of the month. Pete will post details here on the SOTAWatch reflector.

Etienne, K7ATN, has posted the Pacific Northwest SOTA Newsletter for Sep/Oct at:


Management Changes: Elliott, K6EL, the NA MT representative reported on some Association Manager changes: “Two of our top Association Managers, AE9Q and W6PNG, have moved their residences and consequently resigned their AM positions. On behalf of the MT, I thank them very much for their super work for SOTA.” We are pleased to announce appointment of the following as new AMs and assistant AM:

W4A: Ron, N4SFR - AM ronlagrone@hotmail.com
W6: Rex, KE6MT - AM rex@vokey.org
W6: Jamie, N6JFD - Asst AM jfdahl@gmail.com

We welcome them to our admin and thank them in advance for their volunteer service."

Alerts: If you’re looking for the rare Alaskan KLA Association summits, Scott, WA9STI and his wife, KB6LAS, will be activating KLA/KS-622 (Lookout Mountain) on or about 6 Sep. He may be able to post a SOTAWatch alert via APRS.

That’s the SOTA news that has made it to Sparks NV. Many thanks to this month’s contributors: ON7DQ, WA6MM, WW7D, NS7P, W1DMH, WA7JTM, KT5X (WS0TA), NQ7R, K7ATN, and WA9STI. Until next month,


Fred [“Skip”] K6DGW
Sparks NV USA
SOTA News Reporter Dude


You will find that the “VLF” band value has been generated by the database script which runs when:

  • a user uploads his/her activations/chases as CSV to the SOTA system,
  • AND when a frequency value has been incorrectly typed by the user in the CSV, and is subsequently interpreted by the script as being below 1.8MHz. So, for instance a value of “1.8kHz” (instead of “1.8MHz”) is interpreted as VLF.

Similarly, when a value is typed in the CSV like e.g. “1240GHz” (instead of “1240MHz”), it is interpreted as Microwave. And there are to date over 300 instances of the latter in the SOTA db:

Thanks! That explains it.


Skip, K6DGW

In a similar vein, I use RUMLogNG on the Mac which rounds on the exports. It exports 7.285 (7,285.00 in RUMLogNG) as 7.3 in the CSV and the database interprets that as microwave. Was never sure who to really ask to make the change so I just adjust them to 7.2 in the CSV when I remember, though I’m sure I have a few “Microwave” chases.

73 Mike/KX6A

At the top of every page on here is a line of links. One of them is Contact SOTA, but that is recent, maybe 6months old. There is another, SOTA Home which used to called Website. That link has been there for 3 years at least. That takes you to the website where all the ARMs are stored and the rules plus links to all the other websites. On there, is the Contact SOTA link too. If you click that there is a webform that lets you message any single MT member or all of us.

The drop down link which lets you select your target to contact has my name, call and job title, viz. Andy Sinclair MM0FMF Database Manager. A message to me and I’d have fixed this sooner. It will get fixed along with a 23cms range bug later this week as there is a new association to add.

Thanks Andy!


I had this exact problem, and found the same solution, last night entering contacts into the database. I should have looked at the reflector sooner!

The script correctly interprets 7.090 as being in the 40m band. I am puzzled by 1296Mhz not being recognised as on the 23cm band and classified as microwave.

There’s a typo… from memory the international 23cms band is 1240-1300MHz and 1240-1320(?) in the UK. The figure in the DB code is 1280 not 1300 so if the frequency is 1297.500 (UK FM call freq) then the frequency falls through all the tests and ends up in a catch-all microwave bin.

Wikipedia says the UK goes up to 1325 MHz.

Region 2 FM calling frequency is 1294.5. All the calling frequencies listed in Wikipedia are above 1280.


I know my DJ-G7 tri-band handy doesn’t cover the top of the UK 23cms band. Here in the UK, because we have a bit more band than the rest of mainland Europe, all the TV repeater output are in the top bit above 1300MHz. It also means there is more frequency separation between repeater input and output. Every little helps!

I have just uploaded a quick fix to the database that should correct these logging errors. Also Mexico’s new association (XF4) is now included in the ALL XE virtual association. There’s a DV section in the AM reports as well but you will not see that for at least 24 hours.

Thanks for the news Fred!

Does anyone know if there is a reason we don’t have stats for 900Mhz? I worked 902 from W2/NJ-009 in August and September for the ARRL contests and I figure there might be more nuts out there…

Tom, N2YTF
W1 Area Manager

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