It has come to my attention that many activators, especially in the UK, have not added their alternative callsigns in their SOTAWatch account when they operate outside their home country. For example mine shows:
Its very easy to add your alternative callsigns. In SOTAWatch you just click on your callsign top right > Update account then add Alternative Calligns (towards the bottom of the page). You don’t need to add the /P for it to register.
If you list your alternative callsign then chasers can see your name against your spots when you are operating from a country other than where you reside, such as if you are a GI station and you have an EI callsign (like today) then we will know who you are without having to use QRZ.COM to look you up.
73 Phil G4OBK
I was not aware of that. I have just added all my possible UK&CD combinations. Is it not possible for the software to do that automatically? I know some of the SOTA systems understand UK regional prefixes.
I just checked my account to find I already had added my contest callsign DP9X. However, if you mouse-over a DP9X spot, the OPs name is unknown.
The name shown when you hover comes from the name on the SSO account. The callsign spotted gets a bit of processing to remove any CEPT type prefices and things like /P etc. and then is looked up and if found in SSO, the name is used.
My call in SSO is MM0FMF and when that is spotted and you hover, you see (Andy) for the name.
I did a test spot as CT9/MM0FMF/P and SW3 correctly stripped CT9/ and /P, leaving MM0FMF, which was found and Andy is displayed. Note CT9/MM0FMF is not a valid CEPT call… I cannot be operating in CT9 and also be in MM at the same time!
SW3 doesn’t understand UK call rules so it doesn’t know MM0FMF and M0FMF are the same, it cannot process the secondary locator letter and so doesn’t find M0FMF in SSO and doesn’t know the name.
I did a test as CT9/M0FMF/P and again this is processed to M0FMF and not found.
I have MS0TA/P as a secondary call in my account. SW3 doesn’t use this. MS0TA doesn’t have an SSO account and so SW3 doesn’t know the name. (Verified in a test just now.)
So it only works when your CEPT style call can be simply processed into the call in SSO by stripping any prefix and suffix. AFAIK the secondary calls is leftover from something Jon had working when we started the work to update everything to modern software frameworks.
The bottom line is it only works if your call in SSO and your DXpedition call have the same core.
Thanks for this information. I have updated my account to take in the G variations that I am likely to use but it didn’t seem to work using GI4OOE/P then I re-read Andy’s post and understand why.
And as explained, that doesn’t work as a quick test showed. Sorry.
Yes my test failed - hi hi!
Yes, and if I wasn’t trying to take part in a conf call, read work emails and read this I’d have noticed you said it didn’t work.
I have just tested it with DL/G4OOE/P and it works fine. I just now need to go to Germany and use it for real!
FN in June is beckoning Nick - I am booked in with Victor DL/G4ONL/P. We are flying to Prague and driving from there.
I read that Ryanair are curtailing flights from London Stansted to Frankfurt in March. A route to FN that I was considering. They were listing flights up until last week through the summer, and then I heard last week that because of the airport costs in Frankfurt they are curtailing flights on March 26.
FB on your alternative callsigns working and displaying your name - lets hope you can use them soon. None of us are getting any younger, so travel and SOTA adventures outwith the UK will for some of us not last for many years longer. Covid and now inflation is now also eroding the spare cash in our pockets also for these trips. Chasing is cheap as chips once you have built your station… LOL
A closer alternative, with direct from the UK and Eire - Ryan Air flights, (if they haven’t cancelled to there as well as Frankfurt) would be Allgau airport on the A94 between Munich and Friedrichshafen. (aka Memmingen Airport).
Less than an hour drive to FN from FMM. From MUC, it can be done in 2 hours by a local but better reckon on 2.5 hrs with bad traffic.
Yes I noticed flights to Memmingen, but no fun in going straight there when you want to make a SOTA tour of it. Also guest houses are cheaper in Czech and so is hiring a car, by a substantial margin.
PS Flight times were not good for me, not sure about Victor. I would need to overnight on the way out at Stansted (More expense) and I would lose the chance of doing a summit or two on the last day as the flight back is at 10:35am. From Prague the flight times are good for both of us (Belfast and Manchester out) and we can activate on both the travel days as well.
There are a few summits in Allgau but a lot further south and not nearly as high scoring as those in the Czech Republic but if Nick is not travelling with you and Victor, he might be interested in this as an option. They used to be relatively cheap if you booked well in advance - the problem however is with Covid, if Ham Radio Friedrichshafen doesn’t go ahead but borders are still open - you’re stuck paying for the flight. Not a problem with your trip Phil as you can just extend the Czech Republic / NE Bavaria holiday.
I’m not making any predictions about Ham Radio FN 2022 but I do hope it will happen!
Thanks very much for the information. I am considering various options.
Yes, Memmingen is good and currently very cheap for those living south of the Trent area in England and who aren’t bothered about doing much SOTA touring en-route. Let’s hope the show goes ahead, but now we’ve booked our flights we are going to Prague anyway Covid regs and testing etc permitting.
Looking at public opinion after todays lunchtime news we could well have another Prime Minister by then…nuff said
I spent 15mins looking at flights on Easyjet’s site from Edinburgh. Wow… prices seem cheap but what a dark model they have chosen so it’s very difficult not to end up having to pay extra for a seat. You try to unselect a seat, hell of a job. Scummy business practice, they must have been looking at Amazon
I do fancy another session in FL/ but still playing with ideas. One thing I never considered was that Prague is North of Frierichshafen, I always thought it was a bit South and a lot further East.
Just read a few minutes ago on the DARC website that the Funktag in Kassel in April 2022 has been cancelled. If things do not improve, I recon that the same will happen to the Ham Radio.