Welcome to my blog about Amateur radio and the SOTA (Summits On The Air) programme.
The world of Amateur Radio offers many different things to the three million plus people who enjoy this communications hobby.
Amateur radio enthusiasts communicate with each other by transmitting voice, Morse code, slow scan television pictures and live digital TV signals, some operators transmit their signal via satellites or even bounce signals off the moon!
Amateur Radio is a world of modern communication and experimentation and has had a new lease of life since the regulations were changed in 2005 to remove the requirement to know Morse code. At the same time the new “Foundation License” was created. The new license conditions allowed young children and others who in the past would never have been able to participate, take up the hobby.
The modern Amateur operator is a person whose life has seen the impact of Internet, Television, Ipods and the Space Age. The modern amateur has also evolved with digital radios and modern methods of communication while still retaining the classic appeal of the “wireless”. It is a hobby that has survived the industrial revolution and the electronics age and continues to grow with a unique appeal.
Summits on the Air (SOTA) is an award scheme for radio amateurs and shortwave listeners that encourages portable operation in mountainous areas. SOTA has been carefully designed to make participation possible for everyone – this is not just for mountaineers! There are awards for activators (those who ascend to the summits) and chasers (who either operate from home, a local hilltop or are even Activators on other summits).
SOTA is now fully operational in many countries across the world. Each country has its own Association which defines the recognised SOTA summits within that Association. Each summit earns the activators and chasers a score which is related to the height of the summit. Certificates are available for various scores, leading to the prestigious “Mountain Goat” and “Shack Sloth” trophies. An Honour Roll for Activators and Chasers is maintained at the SOTA online database.
During the past 30 years I have experimented with all modes and aspects of the hobby, there has always been something new to try. Now I find myself participating in SOTA and I have to say this would be one of the most rewarding aspects of the hobby. I can recommend it to anyone looking to breathe some new life into their amateur radio interests. So why not give it a try if you haven’t already, it would great to contact you from a summit!
Gaining some bonus winter activation points!
Crossing the Murrumbidgee River on the way to a SOTA summit.