spots (SMS and RBNHOLE)

When activating summits abroad, I have no mobile data and am self-spotting via SMS. Today I sent 4 SMSs to the UK number from within the SOTAspotter app (yes, the number is correct). Back home I checked SOTAwatch and found 4 RBNHOLE spots showing me as DL/HB9BRJ/P, but no evidence of my SMS self-spots.

Is it a SOTAwatch feature to suppress SMS spots when the occur in parallel to RBNHOLE spots? Just want to make sure that my SMS spots are published in case I’m not detected by any skimmer.

73, Markus HB9BRJ

Your callsign that you sent contained an embedded newline character which resulted in the spot being rejected.


I guess that is something your phone has “helpfully” added for you.

K2CZH & KB1HQS also were having finger trouble today sending malformed spots.

Thanks Andy! The culprit was neither SOTAspotter nor the texting app which opens after hitting the send button. BRJ himself entered the newline character in the callsign field. It was raining on the summit and he was stressed when entering the spot…
Will contact the author of SOTAspotter. Hope he can remove erroneously entered newline characters before sending the spot.

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Converting all space-like and newline-like characters to a standard space is a good plan. I’ve been doing that for 25 years working on Internet search engines.


Ah, the joy of sanitising input. The input parser is quite strict for reason, when there’s cruddy characters in there then it’s usually indicative that this is not going to be a spot but spam.

Hmmm… if the string still looks like a spot after cleaning up the white space, and comes from a source you recognise, I think there is a very good chance that it is in fact intended as a spot. It’s not as if random junk is likely to contain a valid SOTA reference, frequency etc.


There’s lots and lots it could do. There are plenty of occasions where it could make educated guesses at was intended but it doesn’t. If a field is in some way wrong the parser gives up. The only exception is the mode field, which if missing is set to “Other”.