The Official SOTA 12m Challenge

The Official SOTA 12m Challenge (12MC)

12m is not a popular band in SOTA at present. There are 936 activator QSOs recorded out of a total activator QSO tally of 1788210. So 12m makes up 0.05% of the QSOs. It’s a band, that when open, is capable of great DX, yet will also support short skip QSOs. Antennas are compact for this band and easy to make at home. It seems to me the reason this band is neglected is because it’s not a busy band normally and hence people ignore it.

The aim of the challenge is to promote use of the 12m band for SOTA QSOs. At the end of the challenge period, certificates will be available for the highest activator score and highest chaser score. The database will keep track of scores and you will be able to see your 12m Challenge score in much the same way as you can see S2S and SOTA Complete scores separately from your normal activator and chaser scores. Scoring of 12m QSOs is independent of any other scores you have.

The challenge will run from June 1st 2013 to May 31st 2014. This should include a major part of the 2013 Es season, the solar maximum, the Autumn(Fall) DX period and the start of the 2014 Es season.


Score 1 point for each summit you chase on 12m.
Score 1 multiplier for each unique summit chased on 12m during the challenge.

Score = #QSOs * #multipiers


Score 1 point for each activator QSO you have on 12m.
Score 1 multiplier for each unique summit activated on 12m during the challenge.

Score = #QSOs * #multipiers

Normal SOTA validity rules apply for activators and chasers.

As the scoring of the challenge is independent of other awards then it’s possible to activate the same summit many times and claim points.


M1EYP activates SP-004 1st Jan 2013:

Tom can claim activator and bonus points.

M1EYP activates SP-004 1st Mar 2013 and has an S2S QSO amongst his contacts.

Tom can claim S2S activator points but cannot claim activator points as these are claimed for 2013.

M1EYP activates SP-004 1st Jun 2013 and has a QSO on 12m and an S2S QSO amongst his contacts.

Tom can claim 12MC activator QSO points and 12MC activator multiplier points but cannot claim any S2S or activator points for 2013 as these are claimed for 2013.

M1EYP activates SP-004 1st Aug 2013 and has a QSO on 12m and an S2S QSO amongst his contacts.

Tom can claim 12MC activator QSO points but cannot claim 12MC multiplier points as he has activated this summit on 12m during the challenge and cannot claim any S2S or activator points for 2013 as these are claimed for 2013.

The important difference between this and other activation awards is that you can score for multiple activations of the same summit but only for 12m contacts. Chasers can chase the same summit twice on the same day, once on 12m and once on any other band and score points.

We have designed the scoring so that every 12m QSO will count. However, the key to gaining a significant score is to activate or chase as many unique summits as possible.

The database features will be rolled out with the S2S CSV upload feature before the challenge starts. In the meantime there’s time for chaser and activators to prepare themselves for the start of the challenge.

Andy, MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:
This will be interesting. All mode?
Mike G6TUH

In reply to G6TUH:

Yes. We want this to be inclusive of as many people as possible so any modes count.


In reply to MM0FMF:

Hi Andy,

Sounds great to me. 12m is a very good band when it’s open. I have worked all over the world with 100w and a 10m band vertical antenna. Would be great to get SOTA QSOs on this band.

Looking forward to some activity.

73 de Mick M0MDA

In reply to MM0FMF:

"Yes. We want this to be inclusive of as many people as possible so any modes count. "

Jolly good, thanks Andy.

Mike G6TUH

In reply to MM0FMF:
Well I am up for it and will be more active on that band from now on,

I’m well up for this! Antenna already built and tested. Game on!


In reply to MM0FMF:

Sounds good Andy, I don’t think I’ve ever had a QSO on 12m.

I better start looking at some designs for 12m rigs!

73, Colin, M0CGH

In reply to MM0FMF:
For the purpose of selecting a spot to send CQ Sota, what are the cw and phone band edges on 12 meters in Europe? Are they uniform throughout?
Elliott, K6ILM
Loophole Guy

In reply to K6ILM:

In the UK the suggested bandplan is:

12m 24.890 - 24.990 Mhz
24.890-24.920 CW only
24.920-24.929 Digital modes and CW
24.929-24.931 Beacons
24.931-24.990 Phone and CW

Bandplans are not mandatory in the UK though it’s considered “poor form” to overtly ignore them. Only regulatory limits are the frequencies and power. All UK license types can use the band.

I don’t think there are mandatory bandplans in Europe either but some digital modes may be illegal. (France recently legalised many digital modes including D-star etc.)


…and the IARU Region 1 bandplan (for what it’s worth) is similar:

Frequency kHz Width Use
24890 - 24915 200 CW, 24906 kHz - QRP centre of activity
24915 - 24925 500 Narrow band modes - digimodes
24925 - 24929 500 -"- Automatically controlled data stations (unattended)
24929 - 24931 — IBP, exclusively for beacons
24931 - 24940 2700 All modes, Automatically controlled data stations (unattended)
24940 - 24990 2700 All modes, 24960 kHz - Digital Voice Centre of Activity

In reply to MM0FMF:
Now I’m going to have to built a 12m rig.
I don’t know where I’ll find the time this month!


In reply to MM0FMF:

Thank you Andy!

Excellent concept!

Especially for one who has just one pointers to activate.

I’m in! :slight_smile:

In reply to M0LEP:
Delta loop fits squid pole easily in triangle config. 24.906 Into 300 divide answer by 6 gives you antenna length plus 75 ohm matching transform into 50ohm feed line. Cu on 12 m de Ian

In reply to MM0FMF:

Nice idea - tnx!
But 3 weeks ago I built a linked dipole for 10/15/17m …grrr…hi.

But there is enough antenna wire left for a new 12m ant.

73 de Chris, OE3CHC

In reply to OE3CHC:
Hi Chris,

you only need two wires about 35 cm long. Connect these wires to the open 10m link and you are ready to go on 12m!

Good luck,


In reply to DL3SBA:
Hi Lutz!
That’s what I already did …hi.

Looking forward the next activation.

Tnx es 73 de Chris

12m seems to be a very interesting band. today i worked four chasers on 12m.
DJ5AV and HB9CMI via groundwave with over 50km distance.then i worked K3EL and N4EX with nice signals.the best dx band for me today ;-).at the time i had no spots from rbn in NA on 20-15m.seems that band is worth to try.

vy 73 Klaus DF2GN

If people want to experiment with loops for the 12m Challenge, I have added a suitable matching transformer to my web-store:

This will allow direct feed for most full-wave loop designs.

73 Richard G3CWI

I have spent a happy couple of hours modelling antennas for 12m. My conclusion is that it will be hard to beat the performance of a simple half-wave dipole mounted on a SOTApole. Nothing else comes close.

73 Richard G3CWI