It is interesting to see how dependent we are on SW. This afternoon activated Black Hill. I was QRV from 1530-1615 and was not spotted - even though I did work two chasers. I had no problem in making contacts but it was odd not to have the usual pile-up. I could have used SPOTlite of course but decided not to bother. If I had been on a bit earlier I suspect I would have had more takers and would have been spotted.
Good day on the hills with SP-001 and SP-002 ticked off my 207 list.
In reply to G3CWI:
You are right. When we were testing SOTAwatch1 I did comment that the system would change SOTA forever.
I have tried calling CQ on 40m SSB on the frequency that I alerted…no takers, then a Spotlite self spot results in a pileup. There is usually no need to spot on 5MHz if FE is clear. There is always a SOTA chaser monitoring, but if FE is occupied it is more difficult. I don’t think it is intrinsically “bad”. There will always be the hunters looking to be there first and put up the spot and there will always be the “real” sloths who monitor SOTAwatch.
Life I suppose.
73 John GW4BVE
In reply to GW4BVE:
I would suggest that the Sotawatch is what makes SOTA what it is. For me it is the only competition/program/contest/scheme that I can take part in with a degree of success because of the ability to know when and where to go to get my points/summits. I don’t have the time or health to spend all day in front of the radio so Sota watch really helps. It still comes down to skill, antennas and propagation of course!
The more SOTA associations that start up the easier it will be to turn on the radio and find someone somewhere activating a mountain. SOTA has gone from activators struggling on 2 meters to qualify a summit, to a situation where for the most part contacts are available everyday on frequencies from 160 through to 20 mts. From what I can tell many activations are becoming pile ups. As the sunspot cycle improves and France and the USA associations take off it will perhaps make it easier to find a SOTA activation without Sotawatch. Then again it will help with uniques and so on.
A beast was created and I can’t see it stopping, I love it! The SOTA team should be very proud of what they have put in place.
In reply to G3CWI:
It was eerie with SW being broken along with propagation being a bit hit and miss. Normally I switch on 5MHz, one CQ and I get an instant QSO. They spot me and then all hell breaks lose. It’s fantastic.
This afternoon, I called twice before Alastair GW0VMZ heard me along with GD3YUM and without SW it was a struggle to drum up QSOs. Propagation was down on this morning and that made things much, much harder. I managed 12 from SS-123 compared to 30 this morning from SS-056 when SW was working and conditions seemed good. It’s the first time on 5MHz that is has been a bit of a struggle to get the first 4 QSOs in the bag.
I gave up on 2m in Scotland due to the low usage. A few of my early activations almost failed due to nobody coming back which was why I decided to get myself a QSO magnet: 60m and GM call It only needs 1 spot on SW for 60m to fill with stations. It’s nice to be able to activate a hill which is still a unique for many SOTA stalwarts aswell. And that’s why I’m a little disappointed with SS-123 today. Sure I got enough calls for my activation to count, but I’m thinking of all the regular chasers who make this so much fun who missed out on this one.