Who can post spots?

I’m still new to SOTA and only started activations recently. Checking sotawatch2 on my return home from today’s activation I can see my self-spots (sent via SMS from the summit) but was surprised to see a spot from someone I don’t know, i.e.

Tue 11:58 G8CPZ/P on G/SE-002 5.262 cw
PSE WARC15 QRGs!! (Posted by SP9AMH)

Q1. Can anyone add unsolicited spots for an activator?
Q2. I’m genuinely unsure as to its purpose. Is the spotter directing the spot for my attention or for others (I had self-spotted the same frequency/mode a few minutes earlier)?

Clarification appreciated.
Andy (G8CPZ / M0ALC)

Anyone registered on SOTAWATCH can post a spot. I imagine that the spotter was intending the info to get you to QSY to a frequency that they could work you on. 5MHz allocations vary from country to country. Some activators like to monitor SOTAWATCH while activating and would have seen the spot.

Best is to ask Mariusz (SP9AMH) directly. He is a very experienced chaser, see


Anyone (registered) can post a spot. Often times it is helpful to ask some of your first contacts whether they see your spot (if you self spotted) and then if they don’t ask them to spot you.

I will spot people I know (unsolicited), especially if I know that they do not routinely spot. Part of the reason for this is that “we” are trying to build the SOTA community in out area and by posting a SPOT, others that our new comers will see it and know that there is activity for SOTA in our area…

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Thanks for your feedback, everyone. A couple of comments: -

As a novice activator I find I’m so busy handling the CW QSOs (especially on 40m), writing the log, stopping stuff being blown away in the wind, keeping my fingers warm, etc. so wouldn’t have be able to monitor the SOTA website and respond in real-time to a QSY request.

Before operating on 60m I read the entire ‘CW on 60m’ topic on this reflector and concluded that a) inter-EU CW working is currently a mess due to differing country allocations and b) experienced UK ops (e.g. G4ISJ) got lots of QSOs in the UK CW allocation, hence my choice. However, I would be happy to try inter-EU working on my next activation. 5.3550 and 5.3815 were two frequencies mentioned in the above thread which many countries have that I might try.

73, Andy (G8CPZ / M0ALC)

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Hi Andy,

There is no pressure to monitor Sotawatch when you are activating - I rarely do, and from many summits there is no Internet connection available anyway.
The primary purpose of spots is to let chasers know where an acitvator is, er, active. If messages are sent to the activator by this means, then that is an un document feature! Some like it, some don’t - but that is another thread :wink:


The MT discussed messaging on Spots some time ago. IIRC we concluded that requests for frequency or band changes, or comments on QRM or signal quality are a valid use of the Spots facility, though many activators would not see them until after the activation. The same goes for Spots to convey QSY information. Other comments are liable to be deleted.

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Hi Andy,
Most (if not all) activators use some kind of smart phone app, that provides you both with a display of spots on Sotawatch (which usually you can filter by e.g. band or mode) as well as letting you easily send a spot (either via Internet or SMS).One Android app “Rucksack Radio Tool” even reads out the spots to you as they come in!

While possible on a phone, webpage browsing (even those designed to adapt to a smart phone screensize) will never be as easy as a purpose written application if you are using a phone.

Mariusz was trying to point out that although you were on a correct frequency in the UK “Bandlets” on 60m, he could not call you as the frequency did not coincide with the WRC15, IARU Region 1 band frequencies and plan (there are a couple of overlap frequencies blocks where Continental Europe stations with the WRC15 band can talk to UK stations).

73 Ed.

Most. I simply use the browser on the phone.

That’s a bit of a sweeping statement!

There is a mechanism to forward new Spots to your smartphone using SMS/text which I have used. It is via Twitter and the config is described in several historical threads. SMS is more available than cell data so it is my mode of choice. Getting real-time Spots on a summit is good for finding possible S2S contacts.
I both send and receive Spots via SMS.

As a Chaser, I Spot for Activators who can’t Spot themselves, who are busy after QSY, when I want other Chasers to know about the propagation, when an Activator still needs/wants more QSOs, etc. Others do this too so “double” Spots from Chasers are not uncommon.

OK, OK, some do use a browser app!

I always find it very slow - but that could be just my phone or the Android Browser app that I use.

73 Ed.

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Dear all

The message title is “Who can post spots?” and not “Who can read spots?”, but:

I’m not able at present to follow SOTAwatch when activating abroad, so I cannot read such two way comments on the summit, even when they are intended to me and probably contain useful information. There is a lack of time on the activation for reading spots quite often even here in HB9. Thus, wenn the bull is running, it is running, so the next activator will be the spotter’s next chance . . .

However, some of these comments make me smile when reading them back at home. Frankly said, they provide quite often hints for a better life!

Vy 73 de Markus, HB9DIZ

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During and activationI will try to check SOTAwatch periodically–if I have phone signal–in the hopes of catching an S2S.