The current state of SOTA

I’m starting to get concerned about the current state of SOTA. Sure, the levels of activity are probably unprecedented, despite the poor conditions of late, but I’m talking about the attitude of some of the more vociferous participants.

Since the new year my on-air SOTA activities, both as chaser and activator, have been somewhat curtailed as I spent much of my time assisting with the birth of first SOTA-France, and then, more recently, SOTA-Belgium. I naively believed that the more Associations, and thus summits available, the happier everybody would be. Alas, it seems that I was mistaken.

The comments seen on the SOTA reflector are sometimes rather aggressive, but I took it all as a bit of fun. No longer can I take this view. There have been some really unpleasant remarks made about a recent series of activations. The more polite have suggested that the activator was selfish, whilst the worst cast considerable doubt on his honesty. To me this is not an acceptable way to behave in what is just a hobby after all. The SOTA rules are clear in many respects, but open to interpretation in others. What one person may see as entirely within the rules, another may deem totally unacceptable. That is not the real point. Anybody who actually breaks a rule is ultimately only cheating themselves because, as we are constantly reminded, SOTA is a non-competitive activity.

Unless we wish SOTA to fragment, or even fail, we must accept that our personal vision of SOTA does not always coincide with everybody else’s. So, I suggest that we stop making accusations of foul play and selfishness and remember a few facts.

  1. No activator has an obligation to work any band, any mode, or any station that they choose not to.
  2. No activator has an obligation to post an alert on SOTAwatch.
  3. No activator has an obligation to actually use any or all of the pre-notified bands and modes if circumstances dictate.
  4. No chaser has the obligation to spot a SOTA station if he/she chooses not to do so.
  5. No chaser has the obligation to relay, to the activator, messages that are posted on SOTAwatch requesting band/mode changes, etc.

Perhaps some of you may have other suggestions to add to this list. Please let’s act like adults and just enjoy this aspect of amateur radio, otherwise I can foresee some folks choosing to vote with their feet if they don’t like the atmosphere.

73 de Les, G3VQO

In reply to G3VQO:
To put it briefly, remember the Golden Rule and forget the eleventh Commandment!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

What has coverting another mans wife got to do with SOTA?

:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

M0LKB/In the garden with a beer.

In reply to G3VQO:

Spot On Les…

I got involved in SOTA because it was fun, and contributed greatly to my renewed interest in Amateur Radio, after 10 years or so of inactivity!

I doubt if I’ll ever be a Mountain Goat or Shack Sloth…but who cares! I see SOTA as part of my hobbies (Walking & Radio), and as you say ‘cheating’ means you are really only cheating yourself.

Like most people I HAVE to go to work (and put up with the beurocracy and PCness that seems to be endemic in a large institution now). I don’t HAVE to partake of my hobbies, I do them for fun. So I hope SOTA continues to go from strength to strength… but please folks …don’t take it TOO seriously, or the fun element will cease to exist.

73 Rob G1TPO

In reply to G1TPO:
Quite right Rob - enjoy SOTA.

And ignore the odd ‘scuffle’ - a lot of the causes are simple enthusiasm which can be measured in many different ways.

73 de CRIS

In reply to G3VQO:

Hear,hear Les. Well said.

One of the great things about getting involved in SOTA and amateur radio in general is the range of different options available. Bands, modes, equipment. Quick activation in pouring rain and howling wind or lingering for a couple of hours in the sunshine. Experimenting with new ideas. Doing something different. Working new people or catching up with the regulars.

Let everyone else do what they enjoy and hope they’ll let you do what you enjoy. Sometimes you’ll find others agree with you, sometimes not. Thank God we’re all different!


In reply to GW8OGI:

Maybe it’s time to appoint moderators to remove any postings which are deemed to be OTT? or would that be seen as a step backwards?

73 Mike GW0DSP

In reply to GW0DSP:

Maybe it’s time to appoint moderators to remove any postings which are
deemed to be OTT?

Interesting point Mike… although I would suggest that maybe the intial step should be to produce/republish guidelines for what is considered good reflector practice and usage.

I dont know if these ever existed on the Yahoo group but they are certainly pulled out by the moderators from time to time on a couple of other lists I’m on to “cool the jets” of some posters.

Moving to a moderated reflector would be the next step if this didnt work…

We seem to be a friendly (and reasonable) bunch here so I think that would be a “last resort”.

My 10 cents worth…

73 Marc GØAZS

In reply to G0AZS:

Whenever you reply to something here, the box includes the following text:

"Think Before You Post! Is your post appropriate, constructive, friendly and suitable for all ages?
Your post is open to the whole Internet and will be available from search engines and forever associated with you and your callsign!

This group is not, in general, moderated, so please post responsibly. Please only post messages that are relevant to SOTA and amateur radio at large. Off-topic messages or messages that may be offensive to some members of the group may be deleted. Members who persist in posting inappropriate material may be excluded from posting in the future."



In reply to GW0DSP:


My opinion is that we should be self-regulatory. Thank goodness we are largely of the same mind and OTT incidences are rare.

As we lodge posts we are reminded about the content of our post. Surely that says it all.

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:

My opinion is that we should be self-regulatory. Thank goodness we are
largely of the same mind and OTT incidences are rare.

Spot on Gerald…

I think the fact that this thread has arisen (and thanks for the reminder on the posting guidelines Richard) will be enough to keep us on track :slight_smile:

73 Marc GØAZS

In reply to GW0DSP:

Maybe it’s time to appoint moderators to remove any postings which are
deemed to be OTT?

In my personal view, you should never try to supress or censor.

If you have someone who is regularly OTT (and we all have different definitions of where the limit is) then after a while people just start to ignore them. Sure they may post stuff you don’t particularly want to see, but supressing disent etc. will only make things worse. If nobody responds to OTT posts, the OTT poster will normally tone things down.

Simple my 2p worth. Feel free to agree, disagree, insult or laugh. I wont mind, I’m a big boy now! :wink:


In reply to MM0FMF:
100% agree Andy - its all down to the sensitivity level of the recipient, and as you say, if insulting comments are ignored they generally stop (the perpetrators only let themselves down at the end of the day anyway!).
Personally I don’t mind any kind of criticism, as long as its constructive.

73 de CRIS

In reply to GM4FAM:(and everyone else)

I tend to think moderation wouldn’t be a good idea…

However one interesting point… all posts include the posters callsign (don’t they?). The callsign is unique, to that poster/operator. It’s not a CB handle, which presumably can be changed at will.

So if somone posts something offensive, abusive, whatever, we all know who they are!!

So it’s really in everyones interests to be ‘self moderating’.

I hope you follow my drift!

Rob (G1TPO)

In reply to G1TPO:

Quite a few opinions and I’m glad to see that the majority, myself included, see no need for moderation. I think it would be a step backwards.

Most of you have said it already, what is OTT? and how can anyone define it?

Myself, nothing bothers me much, like Andy and Cris, I have broad shoulders, hi, although we must always remember that youngsters have open access to these threads.

I think that the main problem with the written word is that it is always down to the individuals perception of what is meant, and therefore can easily be taken out of context, wheras with the spoken word, the emphasis within the voice leaves the recipient in no doubt what is intended.

73 Mike GW0DSP

In reply to G3VQO:

Hello Les,

you wrote, SOTA is a non competitive activity.

Why do we have Moutntain goats, Shack slots, Hight-tables, Roll of honor and so on ?

Because the conditions in the associations are very different, let´s throw this ballast over board !

vy 73 Lothar, DL3MAV