Spots per hour

what a frenzy of activity on 20m today .
I roughly counted over 60 spots in the hour 0700 to 0750 on the spots list.
many cw and ssb activations, managed to chase a few myself from EU and around VK
Well done everyone.
Regards from
Ian vk5cz …

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Remove the self spots and the number would not look quite so impressive however.

Exactly. This is the DX Cluster disease, which has now infected SOTA Watch.
The DX Cluster network is awash with self-spots and SOTA Watch is going the same way.
Is this misuse of the spotting facility? It’s a matter of opinion, I suppose.

Multiple self-spots by the same activator on the same frequency is certainly misuse in my book.

Walt (G3NYY)

So are you suggesting self spotting in any circumstances is not to your liking? So activators should call speculatively and await being found?

Taking that to a logical conclusion Alerts of any sort are then equally deprecated?

One aspect of self spotting I like is that it allows me to get the contact process working quickly which gets me (safely) off a cold mountain top earlier.

However I agree that multiple self spots for the same mode and frequency are pointless.

Sorry to the original poster for the topic hijack.

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Never thought of it as misuse more a normal practice letting the chasers know the activator is safetly set up and ready to go. I recon self spot is ok, if no one else spots you how are the chasers supposed to find you easily or at all. It could be the difference between qualifying or not in some cases. If it’s infected it’s been like it for the four years I have been activating/chasing, must be feeling pretty crook by now.
Ian vk5cz …

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It has always been acceptable to self spot on SOTAWATCH. Indeed self spotting has been part of SOTA almost from day 1 - long before SOTAWATCH.

When SOTA was in its infancy I set up a system that converted SMS messages to emails and published them on the SOTA Yahoo Group. It sort of worked.

Whether all self spotting is necessary and whether some people over-use it as a method to solicit QSOs is another matter.

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There is a program that groups spots together and displays only the most recent one. Putting the cursor on the spot opens a box that shows all the others. Unfortunately this only seems to work intermittently and perhaps needs some attention.

The problem with multiple self-spots is that it can crowd earlier but ongoing activations off the display, making it harder for them to attract contacts, for that reason I do sympathise to some extent with Walt’s POV.

Sorry, Gerald, but that is a “Straw Man” argument, great for firing up controversy but otherwise not helpful. Walt neither said that or took it to your logical conclusion. Bearing in mind that if you want to retain the view of “Alerts”, only ten spots can be shown, then multiple spots on the same frequency is IMHO antisocial. This is not the same as saying that people should not self spot, just that they should not be inconsiderate.


Hi Brian,

As with all things there are generally acceptable exceptions. And as with all things there is always going to be someone who takes exception. They have their reasons.

If I have been calling for 30 minutes since my last self spot with no response then I would self spot again, otherwise a chaser may think i had left the peak. Self spotting when a frequency change is made is also advisable.

RRT only shows the latest spot for each callsign which helps reduce the clutter. Tonight I had to remove all but 20 CW or 20 m SSB to get most of the active activators frequencies to listen on.

That’s a good problem to have.

SOTA Watch allows opening a long window of spots so you can see everybody who is on.


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Golly, yes! Not too many years ago 60 spots a day would have been terrific, and further back there were days with only a handful of spots. It took me several years to get my SS in 2010, but now it can be done in months! And to think that SOTA is still growing…


I entirely agree Gerald. Also you can turn the argument on its head and consider the chaser position. Self-spotting allows chasers to utilise their time more efficiently. Most people lead busy lives and juggling chasing with other activities relies on spots to achieve the maximum chance of making a contact. Few have the time to sit waiting for an activator to come on frequency - even that relies upon the selected frequency being clear. This morning I noted several people having to spot new frequencies due to QRM. Overall I thought the balance was right - no-one appeared to be hogging the limelight.

73, Gerald G4OIG.


I think the frenzy of activity this morning was due to the fact that there was an unusual number activators out on the summits from around 06:00 onwards. This had been organised and does not reflect on the normal activities on the spotting system. As one who uses the system on a regular basis I find it to be a superb system (4 summits in the last 3 days), I also monitor it on a daily basis for chasing and have no complaints.

My only complaint is as happened to me on Y Llethr yesterday is that our spots/activations find their way on to the DX clusters. Please chasers ask the activator if he wants to be placed on a DX cluster with the inevitable extra pile up that ensues sometimes…

73 Allan GW4VPX

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I think the real problem is that some people haven’t got those grey sliders at the right hand edge of their windows so cannot adjust the view. Once it has scrolled they think the data is gone!

All they need to to do is

  • roll the mouse wheel
  • click the scroll arrows
  • drag the scroll bar
  • press page_down / page_down key
  • press the arrow_down / arrow_up key
  • drag their finger across the screen (touch devices)

or best of all just press the biggest key on the keyboard, the space bar, to scroll down a page. You don’t even have to look at the keys to find the space bar. Shift+space bar scrolls up a page. Or they could wait till the next update when their display will jump back to the top.


Funny how a thread that was launched as an expression of positivity has become a grumblefest.


Oh, I don’t know. Grumbling is one of the great tax-free pleasures in life!:wink:

Hopefully, the next version of SOTAWatch will be similarly enthusiastic about grouping spots.

I made use of the SOTA spot filter ( SOTAwatch Filter ) to try to extract useful info from the somewhat heavier than usual spot rate. Didn’t catch anything, however, as 20 metres was clobbered by the VDSL re-training comb that seems to pop up here from some neighbouring property any time I hit transmit on the band these days… but that’s another thread.

<slap_forehead> Well, you learn something new every day! </slap_forehead>

I never use it, it only has one speed - too fast!

You do know this is the internet, right? :smiley:


That was my point exactly. I quite often self-spot at the start of an activation (not always), but I do not spot myself more than once for the same frequency/mode. Many people use RBNHOLE when activating on CW, and in that case it seems hardly necessary to self-spot.

Walt (G3NYY)

Conscience troubling you, Tom?

:smiley: :stuck_out_tongue: