Sotawatch Frequency Spotting

Can I remind everyone to take care when spotting the frequency of a station.

Sotawatch assumes the frequency is in MHz and not kHz.

This means that if you spot yourself or someone at 7150 SSB then their frequency is 7.150 GHZ (GIGA Hertz). Likewise 14285 SSB is 14.285 GHz (GIGA Hertz). Neither of which is correct.

Remember to put the decimal point in place, i.e. 7.150 SSB or 14.285 SSB.


Thanks for that Andy.

I don’t think I have been guilty of that error, but I value your good guidance on here.
The same applies to subtle yet important changes that have been applied. For instance, I think there has been a change in the time slot within which the RBN network flags up a spot, I may be wrong however.


Very important this to those of us Chasers who use CAT linked via a mouse click to the SOTA DX Cluster run by Mr Andy FMF MT himself. My HF transceiver does not operate in the GHz region, or even VHF above 70 MHz. last spot seen 16:55 today: 10113.0 = 10113 GHZ correct input should be 10.113 = 10.113 MHz. My CAT does not like…

73 Phil

Thank you for posting this reminder Mr Andy FMF MT Member


Today the new LY association is on the air for the 1st time as far as I know. Sadly SQ9MDF has now spotted himself on 3.7GHz, 5.3GHz and 7.1GHz on Sotawatch with a request to spot him on the DX cluster. Had these spots been placed with the correct frequencies they would have been automatically been copied from the SOTA cluster to the DX cluster network. But as they show as out of amateur band allocations then that wont happen.

Please spread the word amongst our community to spot the correct frequency and make life easier for yourself.

@SQ9MDF maybe read this :wink:

Hi Folks.
We can easily make an error cosly many app which use differents formats:
For example:
SOTA GOAT: you have to write 7,032
SOTLAS: 7.032
SMS OE: 7032
Then, I think it’s why some time we do few mistakes.
When we are on the summit, after a long hike, we try to send spot with GSM with our big fingers and our eyes see nothing, we are winner ! hi !

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Well, the first two, give or take the comma/stop decimal point, are equal. The root of the problem, however, is that (at least in the wider amateur radio world) some spotting systems use kHz while others use MHz (or even GHz), so you have to remember which units to use where. Some systems are better than others at making the required units clear, and there’s enough scope within amateur allocations for potential confusion between valid bands to make validation (or auto-correction) a Mite Tricky™.

I would say German and English speakers have a very different view on that.

My SMS OE Spotter in the mode were username+password are provided the frequency comma and decimal point are converted are assumed equal. And it requires kHz - just like the “old” SPOT SMS gateways.
The official SOTA SMS syntax requireds MHz - also via my gateway.

It is as usual: crap in - crap out.
If users don’t read the infos on the website like: input fields or in SOTA Spotter app on frequency in kHz or MHz what can you do?
Ignore all spots that are out of amateur bands?

The SMS spotter accepts , or . for the “decimal point” and insists there is a such a char or the spot is dropped. It’s the simplest way of ensuring the frequency is likely to be valid. Sotawatch, in some form or other, has been around since at least 2006 and has always been in MHz. The current SOTAwatch spot form does say MHz and will not allow input after a comma in the tests I did.

Those without international experience, anyway. I have encountered occasional mind-bogglers though, like a friend who had a banking issue where a UK-based payment system interpreted a comma as a thousands marker rather than a decimal point and turned something entered like “50,00” into “50,000.00”…

It would not surprise me if it accepts either depending on your browser locale

I was hoping it would do that and was going check later when using a different PC.

It’s a regex, not a locale test, so it must use a decimal point.

Leszeck SQ9MDF has plainly not got the message so I have asked him via email if he can enter his frequency of operation in MHz and not KHz.

ScreenHunter 459

73 Phil G4OBK

This is starting to get a real problem. More and more people are NOT READING what it says on SOTAwatch about spotting in MHz.

To gain the attention of those who refuse to play nice I will start temporarily disabling your SSO account. This means no SOTAwatch, no database, no 3rd party tools. Acknowledging you’ll play nice and you get access restored.

This seems to be the only way of actually getting people to take notice.

Hi Andy,

A bit intensive but it’s your call as admin.

Just because I looked at it: There are apparently ways to get a comma into SW3


See marked spot.
Some short lines of code (replace comma will digit) could fix that and prevent such errors?

Or in SW3 have a field next to the frequency input that shows “what the system” understood.
Maybe a out of band warning too? I know that is not trivial with the ITU zones but mayor errors would be identified.
If users get visual feedback during entry errors will hopefully reduce.

My 2 cents

Yes it’s extreme, but how do we get people who have been PM, mailed etc. about the issue to do it right. It’s extreme but it gets the attention of those who don’t or won’t listen.

Commas don’t matter, they’re understood by all as a number/decimal separator and are handled by the cluster, spotter etc. Use of the comma is very commonplace.

What like this that is already shown?


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It will not solve bad spots via SMS or apps but a suggestion for SW3:

  • add “in MHz” to both labels
  • use the existing error message for a band check question

Btw. Manuel @HB9DQM has something similar in

73 Joe