What makes SOTA better than other portable operating award schemes?

Still works fine with me Christoph - perhaps an issue with your ISP cache. Please flush the browser and the ISP cache - i.e. do a shift+refresh in your browser.

73 Ed.

Ed, the server hosting the SMP was down - offline - yesterday evening for nearly 7 hours. Fortunately, just a temporary glitch…

I agree with Brian G8ADD - I’ve driven by Castle Peak W6/NS-038 for the last 16 years always wondering what it would be like to climb to the top? Along comes SOTA and not only do I find the motivation to climb to the summit but also talk to a bunch of great folks on the radio from there! This is true for me now on almost all the peaks around my home that I thought would be interresting to climb as well as many that I never knew about!

SOTA is a great radio activity for both activators and chasers - hat’s off to all the folks involved in the back ground!!



[quote=“DD5LP, post:1, topic:10737”]
There are many other portable operating award schemes as well as SOTA, for example WWFF and RADAR, so why is SOTA “better” ?[/quote]

I’ll resist a sense of Schadenfreude, after WWFF had its own troubles a few years back… Likewise, I’d argue that WWFF also has all four of the advantages mentioned.

However, I’d like to echo this bit - there is some rivalry between WWFF and SOTA, but many activators and chasers take part in both… and it is always easy to snipe at other people’s efforts.

And those who think they can do better will, I am sure, be welcomed by the MT (here and/or at WWFF etc).

So a Vote of Support to the MT from me…

(WWFF LogSearch Author,
& GxFF Coordinator)

I don’t think there is any serious rivalry, perhaps a bit of gentle ribbing occasionally - there is room for both and it is possible to do both at once. I must admit that I haven’t looked at the details of WWFF, I remember that the website of its predecessor was a bit opaque!


Hi Andrew

I think they are both good schemes, and I share your vote of support for all volunteers who organise these things and keep them running.

While I was in Ireland recently, I activated Arderin on 40m. The band was not in good shape, but I made contact with a GFF portable station in northern England, who was running 5w from an FT817 just as I was. We exchanged good reports and had an easy and pleasant contact. It was one of the most relaxed QSOs, probably because of the low noise level at both ends.

SOTA suits me at the moment, but I don’t regard it as a competition between award schemes. I would encourage anyone who has yet to operate battery powered portable to get out there and have a go. And to anyone at home in the shack, please call any portable stations that you hear, they will appreciate your effort!



Let me say that I also believe WWFF and SOTA to be compatible schemes, with activators often activating both at the same time when the activation areas coincide at the same location. WWFF activations are often announced on SOTA lists. To be honest, I have not got too involved with WWFF, do they have a similar spoting, alerting and scoring infrastructure?
While the title of my post infers a competition between scheme’s it’s great when people have the option to partake in mutiple schemes, especially as they get us out of the shack and into nature.
My feeling is that the organisation and infrastructure that SOTA has is well matured and for me SOTA remains a very interesting award scheme with many more personal targets to be met.

73 Ed.

On the other hand, compared with programs WWFF and GMA: Using SD of 2000km^2 SOTA becomes the most restrictive in the possibilities of exploring new landscapes and highlands with radio.


Well, we went over this in pretty fine detail in the P150 thread, and IIRC I invited you to come up with a better way to do it. Have you made any progress?

The thing is that the SOTA summits are well defined, any restrictions that you may feel are not due to the SOTA rules but to the forces of geology not having got around to providing flat countries with mountains!


The more restricted set of summits adds to the SOTA challenge; you often can’t just go up the nearest hill, you have to find the highest (for well-defined values of “highest”). That’s why I participate in SOTA and (mostly) don’t go for HuMPs or GMAs.

I am, perhaps, a little unusual in enjoying activations most when they involve relaxed contacts with just enough activity to keep things flowing, and tend to avoid the big pile-ups.

73, Rick M0LEP

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Brian, I’ve described it here twice already, but it’s not as easy to calculate as your concept. You didn’t answer, what do you think about the method mentioned.


Karel please do not restart P100/P150/SD in this thread. I know Brian G8ADD has responded and you are merely responding to him. Please take the discussion into a private thread or PMs or emails, but not in this thread. Please.

EDIT… our posts have crossed and you have taken it elsewhere to discuss. Thank you.

OK, I replied in a PM, Brian and you.


Well, when the Uniques bug bites and returning to a summit holds considerably less interest than when you first activated it, HuMPs make a useful addition to get that new summit fix. That’s why I participate in the Summitsbase HEMA scheme having activated all the English and virtually all the Welsh SOTA summits…

That could describe a typical HuMPs activation. Fewer chasers combined with a lower key approach to the scheme makes for a more relaxed activation… that is until the WAB brigade find you are sitting next to a trig and then all hell can be let loose. :wink:

73, Gerald G4OIG

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[quote=“G4OIG, post:35, topic:10737”]until the WAB brigade find you[/quote]Heh! I did get asked during my activation last week whether I was near the trig point. I was happy to say I could see it about 70 yards away, surrounded by sheep… :wink:

Hi Ed,

I have bitten my tongue on this subject for quite some time now. There seems to be ‘some’ SOTA activators who view park activators as their ‘poor cousins’ in the portable field.

To show my hand, I am the co-ordinator here in Australia for the WWFF program, so of course I am going to stick up for WWFF, but in response to your comments…

  1. the ability to communicate ones intentions in advance to a hoard of willing ‘hunters’. This can also be done with WWFF via the Forum.

  2. the ability to indicate when you are operational and on what frequency and mode, which almost guarantees more than enough contacts after your fight to get to the top of the hill. Again, this can also be done with WWFF via various spotting platforms.

  3. the ability to centrally record and produce reports on your achievemtns and if you wish to, compare them against others. This can be done on WWFF LogSearch

  4. the camraderie between all involved. The camraderie between park activators and hunters is no less than SOTA.

You are of course entitled to your opinion. By all means sing the praises of SOTA, but don’t attack other portable programs. I believe they all have their own unique attractions to a varied group of amateurs and can all cohabitate together in harmony.

Best 73,

WWFF co-ordinator Australia (and also a keen SOTA activator/chaser).


Not me. Parks operation/WWFF is a different thing entirely.

Me neither. In fact WWFF fits in far better with my cycling that SOTA does. However, unless things have changed WWFF does not have quite the same level of infrastructure to support activation as SOTA so (last year) I struggled to make WWFF contacts on cycling trips. I think I might have had more luck on SSB but the weight penalty was not acceptable for my mode of transport.

OK Richard, here’s how it is done. 20m is where all the WWFF chasers hang out. Calling CQ with a GFF reference on 20m cw or ssb will soon generate a pile up even without a spot. Someone will put you on the cluster. Other bands are nowhere near as successful. CW generally does better than ssb too.

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But the title itself proclaims the superiority of SOTA, anybody who agrees is therefore automatically denigrating other award schemes! Just treat it as a bit of light-hearted fun, and if it gets nasty then I as moderator will put a stop to it.