FAQs

Q. Who should I contact if I have a problem using any of the SOTA facilities or understanding any of the rules?

A. If you go to the SOTA website and go to the “About SOTA” page, you will find a list of members of the MT and their areas of responsibility within SOTA, each member has a contact button so that you can send them an e-mail.

Q: As an activator am I only able to count contacts to SOTA chasers or is contact to any amateur operator acceptable?

A: Any legal contact from a summit is acceptable.

Q: Do I have to join a SOTA group to join in as I would like to post information as to when and where I will be activating?

A: All that is necessary to post Alerts (and Spots) on Sotawatch2 is to register and log in.

Q: Is there a way I can edit my logbook entry? After I checked my logbook submission and then hit the submit button, I realised I entered a callsign incorrectly.

A: Unfortunately there is no simple way to correct part of an entry. In the case of a Chaser entry you will have to delete the contact and re-enter it correctly. In the case of an Activator log it is best to copy the log of the activation and correct the copy, then delete the original and replace it with the corrected copy.

Q: I am a new Activator and wish to activate my local summit. I see that somebody else activated it earlier in the year. Does this mean that I cannot activate it?

A: No. Each activator can activate any summit and claim the points for a successful activation once per calendar year. An activator can activate any summit as often as he/she pleases but only one activation will count for the score.

Q: I am a new Chaser. I worked an activation of a local summit yesterday. Somebody else is activating it today. If I work this station will my contact count towards my Chaser score?

A: Yes. A Chaser can score the points for working a summit once in every day, but contacts with other Activators on that summit during that day will score no additional points.

Q: I activated a summit earlier in the year, and have realised that if I had waited until December I could have scored three more points for the winter bonus. Will I have to wait until next year to activate the summit with the winter bonus?

A: No, if you activate the summit again in December you will not be credited with the points for the summit again, but you will be credited with the winter bonus for that summit.

Q: I have just successfully upgraded my license. Does this mean that I will have to start again with the new callsign that will be issued to me?

A: No. Your scores will be counted for all your valid callsigns.

Q: I hold a UK Foundation license. I understand that this means that I can only activate in the UK, but is it all right for me to work Activators in other countries?

A: Yes, you can work Activators in any participating country.

Q: I am holidaying abroad later this year. The country I am visiting does not participate in SOTA. Will I be able to activate any summits while I am there?

A: The lack of a participating Association means that any summits that you will activate will not count as valid SOTA activations. Unfortunately this remains true even if an Association is formed in that country at a later date.

Q. My country does not participate in SOTA at present, what needs to be done to include our summits in the SOTA program?

A. It will be necessary to form a new Association for your country. To begin with, it will be necessary to find a radio amateur willing to act as the Association Manager (AM) and he should then contact Rob Harwood, G0HRT via the “Contact Rob” button on the About” page of the website (www.sota.org.uk/AboutSOTA) Briefly, setting up a new Association will involve writing an Association Reference Manual (ARM) which can be done by using a current ARM as a template, and producing a list of summits, which can be assisted by using certain on-line resources, but the MT can provide advice and assistance.

Q. I will be visiting a country which does not have a SOTA Association at present. Would it be possible for me to set up an Association so that I can activate summits whilst I am there?

A. The MT prefer that the Association Manager (AM) for any Association be either a resident of that country, or have strong ties to that country, as the AM should have good local knowledge and be able to advise people wishing to activate summits there on access, conditions, hazards etc.

Q: The summit that I wish to activate has a sign saying that it is private property. Does this mean that I cannot activate it, and if so why is the summit listed with a SOTA reference?

A: If any part of the Activation Zone (within 25 metres vertically of the summit) is outside the boundary of the private property then it may be possible to activate from there, otherwise you will only be able to activate by obtaining the permission of the landowner. The summit remains listed for completeness and because in time the access situation may change.

Q. What is the Activation Zone?

A. Often it is inconvenient to operate from the actual highest point of a summit, there may be structures there, or on a frequently visited summit there may be too many people about. The SOTA rules permit the operating position to be away from the summit but not more than 25 vertical metres below the summit. If you draw a contour line on a map 25 metres below the summit, the area within this contour is the Activation Zone. If you operate from outside the AZ, the activation is not valid and will score no points.

Q: Would it be permissible for me to include the SOTA symbol on my QSL card and website?

A: Yes, this can be done without seeking permission as long as the symbol isn't used for commercial gain such as implying SOTA approval of a product, or as a logo on items for sale.

Q: I think I have found a summit which is not listed in the ARM but should be. Can this summit be included so that I can activate it?

A: You should contact the Association Manager (AM) and give him details of the summit. If he confirms that it is indeed a valid summit then it can be included in the next update, but will not be valid until then.

Q. I have found a summit where some of the details listed in the database seem to be incorrect. What is the procedure to have this information corrected?

A. You should contact the AM of the Association and inform him of the apparent error including the source of your information. If your information is verified, then the details can be corrected in the next update of the ARM.

Q: Having just completed my first activation I want to enter it into the database, but the database will not accept my password, what should I do?

A: You are probably trying to enter your Sotawatch password, the database requires a separate registration and password.

Q: On my last activation I made some contacts via satellite, are these valid for SOTA?

A: Although satellites are effectively repeaters (and contacts via repeater are not valid for SOTA) the MT decided that the difference is such that satellite contacts are valid for SOTA.

Q: I do not understand why the highest point in my countries Association is not a valid summit, can you explain this please?

A: There is a less than 150 metre drop to a col before a rise of more than 150 metres to a summit which is over the border. For purposes of assigning validity SOTA ignores political boundaries.

Q: I am a registered disabled operator but would like to activate some of the more easy to access summits. I would need to use my mobility scooter to get to the area where I would set up my station. Would using this scooter make my activation invalid?

A: In the case of a disabled operator the MT are prepared to issue a waiver that would permit the use of a mobility scooter or E-wheelchair, but operating from a car within the Activation Zone (AZ) would remain against the rules.

Q: I have problem with your website and cannot find something or you website does not appear to be working?

A: Please let us know if you are having problems with any of the on-line services. But first please do some simple debugging. Visit the website http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ and enter the SOTA website address you are having problems with. This will help you find out if the problem is with our equipment or your equipment. If it does seem that there is a problem please contact us but make sure you include the full URL of the SOTA website you are having problems with as this will help us pinpoint problems quicker.