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SOTA Quarterly News August 2020

Welcome to the August 2020 edition of the SOTA News. At this time, with the Covid-19 pandemic still having some effect on activity, I hope that everyone stays safe, as lockdown eases or even retreats in some instances as I am hearing as a write on the TV News this evening about VK3. For contributions: thanks to Tim G4YBU, Ken G0FEX, Ignacio EA2BD, Luc ON7DQ, Barry GM4TOE, Allan GW4VPX
and Etienne K7ETN who allowed me to filch items from Gabor VE7JH, Jim KK7A and
Bill WA7NCL out of the Pacific Northwest newsletter.

First some disappointing news from Elliot K6EL
The Covid-19 virus has caused postponement of the ninth annual free SOTA lunch at Pacificon, originally set for October of this year. The new date is October 16, 2021, again at Pacificon, in California.
Elliott, K6EL


Next we take a look at the SOTA contribution towards Covid-19 research and also the contribution of other Radio Amateur teams

Radio Amateurs, Covid-19 and Folding@Home

Around the end of May, some of us became aware of an effort to use distributed computing, where people lend some of their CPU and GPU resource for analysis of Covid-19 via an app called Folding@Home. Once you install the app it can use your computer to download analyses called Work Units from the Washington State University in St. Louis and process them using both your CPU and GPU, then return the results - you have to do nothing - the app does is all… In fact your GPU contributes more than your CPU. Once the app is running your computer fans will work harder and with laptops, you have to be careful about the core temperature. I use a laptop cooling pad with 6 fans to manage mine. You have the ability to control just how much of your computer resource the app can use. After a few posts to the reflector we set up a Summits On The Air team. At that time the effort had already been going from some time there were over 2 million contributors and over 200 thousand teams. Our team membership increased steadily and with advice from the SOTA president, G3WGV who was already contributing as part of the Club Log team, we were able maximise our effort. The team has grown to currently 34 members and has gradually climbed through the team tables reaching 1202 of 254484 teams and has achieved 288,425,500 credit points in the process.

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Visualization of the analysis in progress

Radio Amateurs are making a major contribution to the Folding@Home effort with many teams. A significant Amateur Radio contributor team is Club Log users - Amateur Radio which has achieved 1,426,282,903 credit points reaching 368 of 254484 teams. In that team the SOTA president who had already started contributing before our team started has achieved 458,814,261 credit points about 32% of the team total.

Another team is Ham Radio Operators which has achieved 2,360,485,963 credit points and is at 230 of 254484 teams and may be the largest contributor of amateur radio teams. Others include Do Something Amateur Radio Club, Amateur Radio Community, Amateur Radio - HAMS, Amateur Radio Operators for the cure, Irish Radio Amateurs who are smaller contributors than our team.

What is mildly interesting is to read the individual efforts to which you are contributing which to me are unintelligible such as "This project simulates the non-structural-protein 13 (NSP13) Helicase of SARS-CoV-2 to study how it interacts with viral RNA. Helicases act on the viral genome, made of RNA, and are useful for the viral replication and transmission. This project hopes to study the helicase NSP14 and identify potential hidden druggable pockets. " Well if you understand that you are way ahead of me.

If there are still people who would like to contribute and join our team, please register using your call sign and search for Summits On The Air in the teams list. It is team number 265845.
The numbers above were recorded this morning 4th August and will be changing constantly


From Luc ON7DQ
The OST Morse Box

While not a direct SOTA topic, the issue of “learning CW” has popped up on the Reflector every now and then, so this homebrew project may interest some of you …

When I started SOTA in 2014, all my QSO’s were HF SSB or 2m FM. Soon I discovered that I was missing out on half of the fun (and possibly S2S points !), and I decided to brush up my CW skills.
What helped me a lot was the regular CW practice sessions in my local club, and becoming a member of the SKCC in 2016.
At present, about 50% of my QSO’s are in CW.

My local club in Ostend, Belgium is the OST branch of the UBA.
We have a small group of people that hold a weekly CW practice session on the local club frequency in the 2m band.

Some years ago, I had the idea to build a Morse Box , to be able to have ‘Tone CW’ practice and QSO’s on the 2m band, using FM mode. So I made a prototype in breadboard style, and it worked OK, but was not a project that others could easily copy. After a while, I had other projects on my mind, and so the Morse Box got in the background …

Until this year !
While we were in full Covid-19 lockdown, I called in some help from a fellow club member Gilbert, ONL12523 , who is a keen designer and programmer, and this is what he came up with:

This is the block diagram:

It’s a versatile circuit that you can fit between the microphone and the microphone input of any transceiver. It was mainly designed for use with a VHF/UHF transceiver, but can be used for many other purposes.

By using an inexpensive Arduino Nano the following functions are available (it is a LONG list!):

  • DDS Tone-Generator in software, for a perfectly pure sine wave
  • Microphone is switched off while transmitting CW to avoid disturbing background noise
  • Automatic activation of the transceiver PTT
  • Adjustable DELAY for the PTT, from 0.5 … 10 seconds
  • Variable CW speed of 10 … 35 words per minute (WPM)
  • OLED display to read the set parameters and texts
  • Keying with Straight Key, Paddle or a built-in Touch Paddle!
  • Paddle polarity settable to NORMAL / REVERSE
  • Built-in “Keep Alive” circuit for use with a Power Bank
  • Adaptable to all existing transceivers, using the appropriate microphone plugs. The basic model is based on the widely distributed RJ-45 connectors
  • Power via the USB connection of the Arduino, via the microphone jack or from an external power supply
  • Use as a separate electronic keyer for transceivers without a built-in keyer
  • Random CW generator , display characters in the serial monitor and on the OLED display.
  • Beacon function , can also be used as a memory keyer (1 memory of 80 characters).
  • Additional functions can be set via AT commands via the serial monitor
  • Entering and transmitting text via the serial monitor
  • Windows program for controlling the OST Morse Box (then no need for the Arduino IDE)
  • Built-in TEST function for touch paddle

There is 32 page manual in DUTCH and ENGLISH , which was my input to the project. A French manual is coming up as well.
(I still need a German translator … anyone ?)

It describes all functions and detailed building instructions, from building a very basic circuit to the full option Morse Box.

All files needed for making the PCB are on github (see link at the bottom). Make it yourself, order it from a local manufacturer, or order them cheaply in China (send me a mail for more info). You can also change the PCB to your liking, it was developed with the free edition of DipTrace (https://diptrace.com/).

We ordered 10 PCB’s in China, but they have all been sold to local club members, and we don’t intend to order any more. But Victor GI4ONL has also ordered 10, so he may have some left over, send him a PM if interested.

Versatility: not all options are mandatory, those who wish to do so, can partially fill the PCB to obtain only the desired functions. This is clearly indicated in the construction manual.
(If you wish, you could even build the basic version without the PCB, just build it on a breadboard)

This is what the full option PCB looks like. External components not shown are an OLED display, speaker, touch paddle contacts, LED’s and some buttons and switches.
And your own straight key or paddle of course!

image

The “jumper block” to the right must be wired according to the microphone pinout of your transceiver. Transceivers with round (8 pin etc) connectors have to be wired to the pads near the 16-pin socket, omitting the RJ-45 connectors.

The relay in the picture was a special model for the first prototypes, but the PCB has been adapted since, for a more common relay type.

All code and documentation files are on my github page: https://github.com/on7dq/OST-Morse-Box

73,
Luc ON7DQ


From Barry GM4TOE
SOTA Awards May to July 2020

This report covers award claims for the period May to July 2020.

Highlights are: SV2RUJ (5 x Mountain Goat),SA4BLM (10 x Supersloth), and EC2AG Amethyst Summit to Summit; these are incredible achievements but there are many other equally remarkable results and, of course, those who have achieved their own goals.

Trophies Issued

Mountain Goat

OE5JFE Johannes Fellner

KK6YYD Phil Mosbacher

JS2VVH Kiichi Hoshizaki

SV2RUJ Stavros Triantafilloy

AC7MA Richard P Heineck

WA7NCL Fremont Burrows

G7HEM Mike Hartley

Shack Sloth

KF9D Roger Scott

W0NF Bill Leahy

WD6TED Ted Thompson

JH1NJN Motonao Saito

M0LEP Rick Hewett

N0DNF Bill Skerjanc

KM3A David Wise

Certificates Issued

Activator

SV2RUJ Stavros Triantafilloy 5000 points

SV2RUJ Stavros Triantafilloy 2500 points

OE5JFE Johannes Fellner 1000 points

KK6YYD Phil Mosbacher 1000 points

JS2VVH Kiichi Hoshizaki 1000 points

DM3FAM Marcel Muller 1000 points

SQ9RNW Mirek Szewczyk 1000 points

G7HEM Mike Hartley 1000 points

K7VK Vick Applegate 500 points

OK1DU Libor Cech 250 points

W8BUD Buddy Coulter 250 points

OE5LXR Alexander Entinger 250 points

JI3BAP Akihiro Matsuda 250 points

EA6KB Lorenzo Ramon 100 points

N5AAS Lane Dossett 100 points

W8BUD Buddy Coulter 100 points

JO7DBY Hiroya Fujii 100 points

Chaser

SA4BLM Lars Markus 100000 points

W4KRN Karen Russo 20000 points

KI4TN Ron Burns 20000 points

AD0YM Michael Smith 10000 points

EC2AG Antonio Garcia 10000 points

GI0AZA Esther Harper 10000 points

WC0Y Edward Hall 10000 points

KI4TN Ron Burns 10000 points

KD8DEU Allan J Van Brocklin 5000 points

SV2RUJ Stavros Triantafilloy 5000 points

W6JP Jeffrey Philpott 5000 points

K1LIZ Elizabeth Burns 5000 points

JH1NJN Motonao Saito 2500 points

M0LEP Rick Hewett 2500 points

K1LIZ Elizabeth Burns 2500 points

SP6NVB Bogdan Morawski 2500 points

DM3FAM Marcel Muller 1000 points

WD6TED Ted Thompson 1000 points

OE5JFE Johannes Fellner 1000 points

JH1NJN Motonao Saito 1000 points

MW6IUT Bryan Williams 1000 points

M0LEP Rick Hewett 1000 points

DF1AKR Andreas Kirchner 1000 points

K0ES Jerry Kirshenbaum 1000 points

KM3A David Wise 1000 points

AI6XG Dan Koellen 1000 points

HB9LEK Martin Neukomm 500 points

M1FHM Alan Kelly 500 points

WU0A John Layman 250 points

HB9LEK Martin Neukomm 250 points

G4TCI Michael Soars 250 points

DO1HFS Heinrich Schnell 250 points

N6MST Michael Thompson 100 points

JH5AOZ Hirofumi Yakushiji 100 points

HB9LEK Martin Neukomm 100 points

EA1AXW Oscar Trueba 100 points

W6OBI David Fulmer 100 points

JI8UCI Hiroto Miura 100 points

KF6FLJ Vincent LeVeque 100 points

BU2EQ Weishan Liao 100 points

KB9JMU James Adams 100 points

Chaser Unique

W4KRN Karen Russo 2000 summits

SV2RUJ Stavros Triantafilloy 1000 summits

Activator Unique

SV2RUJ Stavros Triantafilloy 250 summits

KK6YYD Phil Mosbacher 100 summits

Summit to Summit

EC2AG Antonio Garcia Amethyst

OE5JFE Johannes Fellner Gold

K1LIZ Elizabeth Burns Gold

DM3FAM Marcel Muller Silver

K7VK Vick Applegate Silver

DF1AKR Andreas Kirchner Silver

K1LIZ Elizabeth Burns Silver

K1LIZ Elizabeth Burns Bronze

G4IPB Paul Hodgkinson Red

OE5LXR Alexander Entinger Red

IZ1UMJ Marco Giulini Red

HB9LEK Martin Neukomm Red

K1LIZ Elizabeth Burns Red

Mountain Explorer

KB1HQS Stuart Thomas Gold

K7VK Vick Applegate Silver

KB1HQS Stuart Thomas Bronze (VHF)

SV2RUJ Stavros Triantafilloy Bronze

Mountain Hunter

SV2RUJ Stavros Triantafilloy Amethyst

DM3FAM Marcel Muller Bronze

DM1KK Kevin Kruger Bronze

OE5LXR Alexander Entinger Bronze

JI3BAP Akihiro Matsuda Bronze

Microwave Award

AA0BV Joe Olsen 300 km 23 cm

K6LDQ Jon Kuroyama 150 km 23 cm

SOTA Complete

SV2RUJ Stavros Triantafilloy 100 summits

The current global pandemic has had a significant impact on SOTA operation but, hopefully, the gradual easing of restrictions will see more folk out and about activating. The key factor being to keep fit and to avoid catching or spreading this horrendous disease.

A decision by the USA administration to dramatically increase their charges for handling international mail means that the USA now has a World postal charging zone all of its own – it is now the most expensive place in the World to send merchandise. Unfortunately this was introduced without any advance warning by Royal Mail and caught me by surprise when I visited the Post Office last week. SOTA has absorbed the increase in charges for packages sent then but I have had to dramatically increase the cost of postage to the USA for the second time this year. Small items are not significantly affected (e.g. certificates) but once the package includes any real weight – ouch!!!

I am looking into using courier services (Fedex, UPS etc.) to see if I can resolve this but you might consider pairing up with somebody near to you when ordering to take advantage of these services. More information once I find out if it is practicable.

A few months ago I asked for ideas of other branded merchandise we could provide One suggestion was taken forward and an order placed. The Coronavirus struck and deliveries stopped. I now have had a partial shipment so I will be able to offer what are apparently called “snoods” branded with the SOTA logo – hillwalkers amongst us will be more aware of this product under an alternative tradename: Buff ®. If you need face covering, a neck warmer, a head covering then this is the product for you! Currently available with a microfleece section and microfibre main section, I will get these onto the shopping site just as soon as I can get some photos.

Finally, I am still having difficulties purchasing some replacement stock. Manufacturers are still not making in the quantities needed by the wholesalers so I have to wait my turn to get embroidered product. It will sort itself out but, meanwhile, my apologies if the colour or style you want is not in stock.

That is it for this quarter – stay safe on the hills and keep away from anybody carrying that infernal virus
73
Barry GM4TOE
SOTA Awards Manager


Extracts from the Pacific Northwest Newsletter for Jul/Aug/Sep
With thanks to Etienne K7ATN for permission to reproduce
http://www.pnwsota.org/

SOTA Story from VE7-land from Gabor VE7JH

Since my plans to enter the CQ-WPX-SSB Contest at the end of March at VE7UF’s QTH had fallen by the wayside due to COVID-19, I decided to activate some summits that I have never visited before. Here on Vancouver Island I thought I’d choose some easy ones because the weather was rather dreary and showers were forecast.

I spent Saturday near Langford, BC and visited Mount Wells VE7/CL-011 and Mount McDonald VE7/CL-015. These summits can be attacked from the same parking lot and they each take only about an hour to ascend. It was raining on and off so once on the summit I just stuck to 2m-FM and had no problem making a half a dozen contacts with chasers in Victoria area.
Both mountains have easy to follow trails that are quite well maintained. If one has a half a day to kill in the area they make for a perfect two-fer.

On Sunday I visited Mount Work VE7/CL-010 (pictured below) and Partridge Hills VE7/CL-020 in the Saanich/Highlands area. Both and are situated within parks and have well-maintained trails. There were a fair number of hikers around but finding a quiet spot in the activation zone was no problem. I just operated 2m-FM from CL-010, but once I summited CL-020 the sun came out and the winds eased up so I was able to set up my 20m CW gear and worked a handful of USA stations along with DJ5AV, EA7GV and ZL1BYZ.

image
There is great 2m FM simplex activity in the Capital Region (that’s what the “CL” stands for) and US stations across the water are easily reachable too. One should have no problem making the required four QSOs from any of these summits with just a 2m HT and an aftermarket antenna. I have now have activated 31 different summits but there is still plenty to go!

73, Gabor-VE7JH

(These events below were reported on the Reflector without detailed report and to the best of my knowledge the following detailed reports were only in the PNW Newsletter and not posted to the reflector before)

Jim-K7MK – Idaho’s Newest Mountain Goat! by Jim-KK7A

On April 18th 2020 at 20:36 UTC Jim Cullum, K7MK completed his fourth QSO from Kodiak Peak (W7I/SR-167) and became Idaho’s second ever Mountain Goat! And not just MG on that day – it was also his birthday! See the banner photo for this newsletter for the view from his MG summit…

Jim’s quest began five years earlier on this same peak with his first ever SOTA activation. Obviously, he enjoys the hobby and after five years and 218 activations he achieved his goal. During his SOTA career Jim has activated US summits in Idaho, Arizona, Massachusetts, Vermont, Utah, Oregon, California, Washington, and South Dakota. He also took advantage of some business trips to Germany and activated summits there. There are numerous “first activations” in Jim’s SOTA career – often involving bushwhacking up Idaho’s all too common trail-less summits. More than once Jim aborted summit quests when the brush got too thick and the planned for route just was not going to work. About 70% of his activations and 60% of his points came from his home state of Idaho.

When Jim started his Mountain Goat campaign, he was exclusively an SSB operator. A year later he made some initial QSY’s into the CW world. This was also during the ARRL’s National-Parks-On-The-Air program and for both NPOTA and SOTA, CW is a most useful mode. Within a few months, by the fall of 2016, Jim was operating exclusively in CW, a mode he continues today. Chasers will hear him flying along at 20+ words per minute – they better be ready to hear their callsign come back over the airways.

And, of course, Jim could not have achieved Mountain Goat without dedicated chasers following him to summits. Across the almost 5,000 QSOs Jim logged from summits in the past five years there were six operators who worked him more than 100 times. These were: WØMNA (157), WØERI (156), W7RV (124), KK7A (118), N4EX (108), and NS7P (108).

image
Jim is already off and working on his second Mountain Goat. He is borrowing some from KR7RK’s playbook down in Arizona. Longer activations with bigger antennas and more power across more bands and

Rich-AC7MA becomes another W7W MG! by Bill-WA7NCL

Rich has been an outdoors enthusiast for many years. He hiked and climbed extensively in the 80’s and 90’s. I met Rich through work in the late 90s and found he was a fellow ham. I encouraged him to get a station going and he became a regular with my small Field Day group. We also did a few VHF contests together as a portable station.

Rich is well known for his contributions to many of the Elecraft products including the K3/K3S, KX3, and KX2. His SOTA setup consists of a KX2 with integrated key, internal tuner and battery. He has a link dipole that he has designed with a twisted pair feed line and collapsible fiberglass pole. The system deploys amazingly fast and he has an extremely effective system that works well on 40 thru 15 meters.

In 2017 - Rich and I introduced Josh-WU7H to SOTA with a July trip to Tinkham Peak. The trip was not an ideal SOTA initiation and Rich bunged up his knee which reduced the SOTA output for the rest of the summer.

In 2018 - Rich retired from Elecraft and his SOTA numbers jumped tremendously. Spring saw his first winter bonus peak. July featured a one-day marathon to Pechugh, Kelly Butte, Sawmill Ridge, and Colquhoun Peak and a three-day trip to the Entiat and Tyee Ridge. The later trip featured a plague of yellow jackets and a windy night near Tyee Mountain.

In 2019 - Rich and I made a made a five-day July expedition to seven peaks on the Columbia Crest. This included first activations of W7W/ FR-009 Midnight Mountain, FR-010 King Mountain, FR-021 Graves Mountain, and FR-007 White Mountain. Also notable were two summer “death march” day hikes to Thomas Mountain and Rock Mountain.

image

In 2020 - the Coronavirus made SOTA peaks difficult in the spring. Rich discovered the Campbell Global forest lands outside of Snoqualmie and made many trips to the lowland peaks there using a combination of hiking and biking. After the shutdown was lifted, he made an expedition back to the Entiat Ridge peaks and achieved his Mountain Goat there

Willamette Valley S2S Party – On 20 June SIXTEEN Activators on ELEVEN summits worked through all S2S permutations in an hour! And the rain nearly stopped (for most of us). No amazing DX with all summits in Oregon, but it was fun and a good way to kick off summer. Below are photos of Etienne-K7ATN on Bald Peak and Troy-KF7SEY on Dorn Peak.


Radio Tales from Wales by Allan GW4VPX

Due to slightly different Covid-19 lockdown policies Wales was the last nation in the UK to allow free movement and it was wonderful to hear voices on my VHF and UHF radios transmitted once again from the hills and mountains in Wales.

Many activators have once again taken up their quest to reach Mountain Goat with many making their muscles ache with some really challenging climbs activating quite a few SOTA summits on a daily basis. One of these is Richard M1HAX who camped for 3 nights NW of Capel Curig so that he could focus on the high pointers around the Ogwen valley and Snowdon and may I add at a breathtaking speed……MG before Christmas Richard?


Taken by Richard M1HAX/p on his way up to Tryfan GW/NW-006


Taken by Richard M1HAX/p from Trym y Ddysgl GW/NW-024 showing his ‘office’ and view


A misty and damp Pen Llithrig y Wrach GW/NW-013.

Another activator who is nearing his Mountain Goat goal is Philip G4HQB and could be heard from the mountains of North and Mid Wales as soon as lockdown was lifted. His XYL Gillian 2E0OVW has also been by his side on many occasions and gradually adding to her SOTA activation points.

Rod M0JLA and Viki M6BWA have just completed a week of SOTA activations in North Wales and it was great to get them in my log from every summit and also s2s on one day when I ventured out myself for the second time after lockdown. The day I was on GW/MW-029 Hafod Ithel I was called by David GW0EVV/p for a summit to summit on 2m. David had just activated GW/NW-001 Snowdon using CW and completed his Three Peaks CW challenge…thank you and well done David.


Made sure I was comfortable on my second summit after lockdown…Hafod Ithel GW/MW029 (pic…GW4VPX)

As I mentioned before it’s not very often I get the Lake District from West Wales (160 miles?) but my 5 element beam once again pulled in Mark M0NOM/p on the Old Man of Coniston G/LD- 013. He was using his handheld with a Diamond RH770 telescopic whip antenna which is an effective antenna as I also logged Andy G8CPZ/p on Loughrigg Fell G/LD-047 a week earlier using the same antenna on his handheld radio. These are great antennas but beware that there are cheap imitations out there…I had one and it broke on its second activation….

It was great to hear a young voice calling from GW/NW-011 Arenig Fawr. It was newly licensed Alice M7SQT/p who along with her father Alistair M0TYM/p were activating the group of SOTA summits East of Trawsfynydd. Congratulations Alice on your new callsign.

Roger Dallimore MW0IDX (Region Manager for Wales) has started a new Facebook group entitled GW SOTA (Summits on the Air)

If you are venturing on to the hills and mountains of Wales please send me a brief report and especially some pictures of your activation so that I can include them here.

Useful Blogs and SOTA Mapping

If you are intending to visit Wales to activate a summit the following blogs contain valuable information. Information on routes to our summits in Wales are also on SOTA Mapping https://www.sotamaps.org and is an useful first port of call.

Simon G4TJC continues to find new routes in North Wales with historical links and they can be found on his blog http://g4tjc.blogspot.com/

Allan GW4VPX continues to add reports and routes to ‘Radio Tales from West Wales and beyond…’ [https://gw4vpx.blogspot.com/ ]

Phil G4OBK … a wealth of information http://catterblog.blogspot.com/

Tom M1EYP …summit info as well as useful advice on places to stay and eat [http://tomread.co.uk/] (click on his link to SOTA on his website).

Andrew M1CJE http://blog.m1cje.uk/ well worth a visit with interesting presentations and information linked to summits in Wales

Paul M0PLA http://m0pla.blogspot.com/ well worth a visit with interesting presentations and information linked to summits in Wales

Facebook:- GW SOTA (Summits on the Air)

73 and Stay Safe …. Allan GW4VPX


From EA2BD Ignacio
VHF FM Long distance SOTA activation 2020:

We, SOTA activators, have plenty of fun and joy when preparing and doing a mini expedition to operate portable on a mountain top.

But motivation rises up even further when we operate for a special event. This year, the second in a row, a group of EA hams and SOTA friends made a plan and invited others to join a special activity that took place last July 25th, focusing on a multiple summit activation on VHF FM.

We had the following targets:

  • Favouring VHF FM contacts trying to cover long distances.
  • Promoting the use of VHF band for which many hams have radio gear available, which are, however, very much underused nowadays.
  • Spreading knowledge of the SOTA scheme and showing how activating SOTA can be started using low powered simple gear and small sized antennas, while having a lot of fun.
  • Involving new amateurs by inviting them to chase us and attracting them into SOTA.
  • Suggesting participants to go out to elevated areas in the outdoors to improve their signal coverage towards the summits being activated in this event.
  • Checking and learning about VHF propagation in praxis, to be aware of the influence of elevation, radiated power, the kind of antenna and the effect of the sea.

We had been preparing this event for weeks in advance, by identifying the proper summits with best potential to provide long distance QSOs in various SOTA associations in EA and also F. Then we assigned frequencies to the activators to try to minimize interference and give them better chances to be chased. Then, we finally published the plan in the SOTA reflector and in other ham forums inviting all to join this event.

The activity finally took place on July 25th, as scheduled. We are very happy with the achieved results; there were many participants.

image
EA2BD activating with two homebrew antennas

We are still collecting and analyzing all logs and I will soon publish a detailed report with the relevant data, but I can now provide some highlights in advance:

  • 35 summits were activated simultaneously (twice as much as in last year’s event!)
  • Long distance QSOs up to 500Km were achieved within EA and some even longer distances across the sea reaching TK, IS0, EA8 and F.
  • Several non frequent SOTA chasers participated from home or traveled to elevated areas in the outdoors to chase us. The VHF FM portion of the band was crowded for several hours during the event.
  • SOTA activators achieved higher qso rates than usual in VHF and got many S2S qso.
  • Many operators, who didn’t know much about SOTA, have now shown some interest on this scheme and want to get involved into it.

QSO map for EA3BV, as a sample of working chasers in many directions:

As stated, detailed results will be published after analysing the logs.

The response to this event was excellent generating a good echo in the ham community.

We will keep on doing such events in the future to have fun, help spreading SOTA and to attract new hams.

73,

EA2BD Ignacio


From G0FEX Ken
I thought it was about time I should send something in for Sota News.

I would like to thank all the activators that make Sota such a fun hobby, without you we would have nothing, so keep up the great activity.

Sadly I am getting the impression that a few chasers consider this to be a competition, I look upon Sota as a hobby and a fun thing to do, my own thoughts are, what I do not contact today I can always contact tomorrow.

image

Over the years that I have been chasing Sota I have made many good radio friends and it is always a pleasure to contact them when they are on the summits, the most important thing is enjoy the hobby and be safe.

Hopefully in the very near future when things get back to some normality, I will activate my local summit G/CE-004 at present the schools are on holiday, so I will do this once they re-open when there is less chance lots of people being around.

I would like to thank all the Management Team for all the work they do, I for one do appreciate what they do, and finally, very well done to all activators that have reached MG status this year, Congratulations to all.

G0FEX - Ken

7 Likes

For the first time since I have been editing the SOTA News I have hit the 32,00 character limit on a post so this last section has to be posted as a reply to the first section.

From Tim G4YBU
SOTA G/SE Activity Weekend 22nd/23rd August.

A number of clubs and individuals are planning an activity weekend to be held on 22nd and 23rd August. Our objective is to activate as many as possible of the 15 summits in the Southern England (G/SE) SOTA region with the usual opportunities for activators and chasers. We’re hoping those who haven’t done any SOTA activations before will join in and get the bug!

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G4YBU on Wilmington Hill G/SE-011 with views across the South Downs

There are some lovely hills in the region, many easily accessed often with nearby car parking and a relatively modest ascent.

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G4YBU/P station for 40m CW on Cliffe Hill G/SE-014

Maybe you know some newly licenced amateurs who this would appeal to. You could introduce them to a fascinating aspect of amateur radio that will take them to new heights! So be it for half an hour or the whole week-end, this is a date for your diary. If you want more information please contact Tim Price, G4YBU at tim@timprice.org.uk or Richard Perzyna, G8ITB at g8itb@yahoo.co.uk

Tim Price, G4YBU and Richard Perzyna, G8ITB


Final editorial comment.
So that’s it for this quarter. Many thanks to all who have contributed. Stay safe while this Covid-19 virus persists. What News have I missed? Well add it in by posting a reply. This is it E&OE.

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