There has to be a better way. Filter on a word?

So it is 0045 UTC, most of the North American activations are over for the day, it is late for all but the west coast. I’m out in the garage working on the JEEP. JEEP stands for JUST EMPTY EVERY POCKET, and the words JEEP and FINISHED are never used in the same sentence. I have the phone set to SOTA-Watch-3, just because I might get lucky.

Maybe it is my phone configuration or something, but my phone will not stay in expanded spots. And when I tap on a spot, it opens the summit page, not the expanded spot. In the last hour there have been three spots, and they were all test spots. Two on actual 20m-SSB freqs and one on 40m-CW. All three seemed possible.

Maybe I shouldn’t be annoyed by it, but each time I cleaned my hands and came into the house to have a look, and only then did I see it was a test. Does this annoy anyone else?

If I post a test, and I do so only rarely, I’ll use a frequency impossible for the majority to chase, like 1294.500-FM. But hoping this becomes popular isn’t going to happen.

SO - is there some way to filter out spots containing the word TEST or Test or test? Or should I just get used to it? Hope this doesn’t come across as whining.I would hate for the ability to test be removed, that is important too. But running in to find it is a test… UGH!

Vy73 – Mike – KD5KC – El Paso, Texas.

The web site SOTAWatchFilter - SOTAwatch Filter by default drops spots with the word test or ignore in their comment field and can do filtering on several other fields as well.

The SOTAWatch Filter page displays nicely via a smartphone browser as well:

To complex to type in? OK here you go - a TinyURL shortcut:

73 Ed.

It would help if you said which phone, which phone OS and which phone browser Mike.

My Motorola MOTOG7 android does the same on SOTAWatch3.

I don’t want to load yet another SOTA app. Must have more than 6 already. Of

I just swear, increasing the level by 3 dB every time it happens in a session. It does nothing for my frame of mind but keeps bystanders well back.


Won’t stay expanded? Goes to summits on click? or both?

(Click for expansion is only configured when you click on the [+] sign for collapsed spots (multiple in a row from same activator). Otherwise the toggle is under the settings). When you click on a spot, the only part of the spot that is active is the summit ID. The rest of the spot is not active, nor has it ever been.

So, when you hit the spot on your screen, because your fingers are probably larger than you think or realise, you’re actually just clicking on the summit code, which will take you to the summit page.

Hi Andrew,
I had tried using very light touches for expanded spots and firm pecks for the summit screen. It did not work more than half the time.

I now find that I can use a firm tap to get the expanded info if I keep well away from the summit writing. So assuming no tweeks by you or Andy in the last few minutes, your fat fingers theorem seems valid.

Good morning all. WOW - some good answers here!

The phone is an Android, Motorola, I think a Z3-Play. I liked it because it was cheap and has a piggy-back second battery. Pretty much I dislike cell phones, a true love-hate relationship. Browser is Chrome.

Yeah, probably fat fingers. If I tap just the right place and gently, it seems to work now. It’s the little things I guess…

When I am home I use the Win-10 computer here in the house. Somehow, going out to the garage I just naturally opened SOTAWatch-3 on the phone.

When I visit Germany, I only carry my Android Tablet now, using it for everything. I used SOTA-Spotter over there for chasing. And I loaded that into my phone for monitoring while sitting in the garden. Why didn’t I think of that, the display is nicely formatted. We’ll be using SOTA-Spotter when out working on the JEEP today!

I still wish folks would put unlikely freqs like 1294.500-FM in the test, only the most local would run to try that.

Thanks for all the useful replies.

Vy73 – Mike – KD5KC – El Paso, Texas.

I’ve done some experiments here. The phone is an old one, original Moto G (4g) that has been updated to Lineage Android 14.1 (Android 7.1.2) which is now fairly old. It has Firefox 68.x on it which is a few days old. I use it for checking out apps and not as a phone, it now has Peanut on it and as a GPS when activating in foreign countries. (Seem a lifetime back since I last did that).

It has no SIM so is connecting over the house WiFi.

I shutdown and restarted FF, went to Sotawatch3, it displayed compact spots by default. I did not login. I asked for expanded spots. Then I left the phone to power off the display, left it for 30secs, hit the power button and the the displayed show Sotawatch in expanded spots.

Then I let it power off the display again and left it for about 5 minutes so the phone would have dropped into sleep. This time when I hit power I had to unlock the phone. Again FF was displaying the last screen with expanded spots and a few seconds after I woke the phone, it updated with the latest spots in expanded mode.

I restarted FF and displayed Sotawatch and the display was still expanded.

I rebooted the phone (full restart) and only then did it drop back to compact spots.

I went and found my actual phone I use for, you know, calling people and checked on there. (A Moto G6play Android 9 with the 1st Feb 2020 security updates). I hadn’t looked at Sotawatch since yesterday. When I opened FF I had to login in again to SSO then Sotawatch appeared and it was still in expanded mode. This was using 4G data.

What this tells me, is that on Android with FF it is possible to set expanded mode and it stays that way across short and long sleeps.

If your phone isn’t doing this then it’s either how you have it setup or the software you are using.

Hi Mike,
What you describe has also happened to me and I confirm it’s a bit annoying. Same happens when you see a spot on a regular frequency & mode , you go there, hear nothing and then you extend the view to see the coments and find something like QRT. TX chasers.
This “upheaval” to the chasers could be avoided by writing text on the frequency field. I tested some time ago on SOTAwatch2 and realised it was possible raising a spot for a frequency like 14.QRT.
I didn’t try, but I guess it was also possible spotting on 14.TEST.
I have just tested on SOTAwatch3 and it’s not anymore possible. The system only accepts actual frequencies expressed with figures, not text.
It’s for Andy @VK3ARR to evaluate the possibility and the interest of allowing text on the frequency field when raising a TEST spot.


I don’t think it’s a good idea to allow text into a numeric field - especially with so many apps accessing it.

As I said above the SOTAWatch Filter webpage from Christophe ON6ZQ filters out test posts for you very well. I believe some of the Android Apps may also be able to be configured to do that as well.

What could be a good guideline - if the Activator remebers / has the time / can be bothered - is to set the decimal digits in the frequency to 0000 - as that will not be a valid operating frequency most of the time and should make it clear that this is not another new summit for the chasers to grab.

73 Ed.

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Test spots: Good idea to use bands and modes that won’t be of interest to the majority of viewers, rather than a band and mode like 7-cw. I do that myself when trying things. And then when finished, I delete it.

If there was an extra field in the spot syntax it could be used to flag spots as “test only” or “administrative”. Viewer software (and the SW web page) could filter out the test spots depending on user preferences. The tester could then see that the spot works and not trouble anyone else.

“QRV soon”, “go to 20m”, “try again”, “thanks”, duplicate spots, “QRT now” are other administrative or procedural spots that could be flagged as such when posted (or even, when received by sotawatch?) and given a different status which users could filter out, electing perhaps to see only operational/actual/real spots.

With an extra field in the spotting syntax, a lot could be done.


Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

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Just two weeks ago we were dealing with complaints that people were entering any old frequency information and could we please lock it down to just valid frequencies :slight_smile:


DELETE? New feature? SOTAWatch2, I do not recall that feature. I think I haven’t done an activation with 3 yet. Then again, I spot with SOTA-Spotter…

I guess I need to look into it some more…

Vy73 – Mike – KD5KC – El Paso, TX.

Yes, just tested it. Actually there are functional links Edit / Repost / Delete against the spot on sotawatch (for spots you post).

And while it did allow me to Edit the spot (moved it from 10368 to 1832khz), the delete function didn’t seem to work on SW3 website (Safari on Ipad 6).

So I went to sotagoat and did it there successfully.

Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

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Hi Andrew,
Alert and Spot tests successfully posted and deleted on SOTAWatch3. BUT the delete button on SPOTs was to the right of the normal view screen and I had to swipe the display to the left to see it in portrait view. This might be just my Motorola phone. But I can do it.

You have always been able to delete spots and alerts you have posted.

Is now just a distant memory.

Then it’s time to learn what the website features are. Learn how to use the SOTA websites first then learn how to do the same with an app.

Just as guidance - the user does not see the delete option unless he/she has logged into SOTAWatch (then he or she only sees the function on spots that were posted under their ID). Perhaps this is why Mike hasn’t seen the option.

73 Ed.

Hi Ed,
That is possible. I have the expanded spots function ticked as a default but if I tap on the posting I get more details including the name of the operator. If I hit the summit text then it’s off to the summit listing. Amazing.