I thought I would just add a post to thank the unsung heros making up the Reverse Beacon Network.
When I started on Sota I was operating SSB/FM and relied upon spots made by others.
This worked, but often it took some time to build a pilup. I guess many opportunities were lost from me never being found. Then came the magic telephone numbers enabling self spotting that I still use on SSB and CW. A smart phone was another big improvement allowing direct self spotting.
Then, slowly but surely, the Reverse Beacon Network has improved. I now mainly operate CW, the RBN works like magic. Very rarely does it take more than 2 minutes from my first “CQ SOTA” call to have become noticed with many chasers on my frequency. Even the lesser used bands such as 60m are now well covered. No longer do I worry about not having a phone signal on the summit!
Perhaps an article (by someone who really understands it) explaining this valuable resource would be useful for those new to CW in the hills.