Summits on the Air: 2018-03-10 Club Meeting Presentation

Here’s a brief outline of topics covered this month during the education portion of the club meeting:

Summits on the air is a a carefully designed awards scheme to make participation possible for all Radio Amateurs and Shortwave Listeners – 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).

All amateur radio operators can participate!  For example, Terry (KE0HNW) and Steve (K0GUZ) made enough contacts (QSOs) from W7U/GR-012, an unnamed summit in the bookcliffs just west of the Utah/Colorado state line, using FM Phone on 146.52 to activate the summit.  They both used other modes and bands to get additional contacts.

Many of the summits are easily accessible by car, truck or ATV, making it possible for those who are not avid hikers to participate as activators! (Terry and Steve parked on a nearby gas well pad and walked about 100 feet to W7U/R-012.) And there are other summits that are at least two days hike into wilderness!

But, these summits wouldn’t be activated at all if it weren’t for all the chasers racking up the chasing points.

Points are accumulated for both chasers and activators.  The point value of summits is determined by each SOTA association.

A summit qualifies as a SOTA summit if it has 150 meters, or 492.13 feet of prominence in all directions. This is why Mt. Garfield and other prominent points on the bookcliffs do not qualify, but Mt. Lincoln (East North East of Mt. Garfield, behind the bookcliffs) does.  This also explains why there are three SOTA summits in the Kokopelli trailhead area.

In order to get points as an activator, you must have 4 contacts (QSOs).  Chasers get points with each contact they make to unique summits within the calendar year.  Activators can get points for the same summit once every calendar year.


Questions? Contact Terry at newhamnet [at]!