Monday, 16 November 2009
SOTA introduces new awards
A new award for SOTA chasers has been announced by the Summits on the Air Management Team, called the Mountain Hunter Award. It was announced today by Barry GM4TOE The SOTA Awards Manager on the reflector to complement the award recently announced for Activators (I think I missed that one!).
The ultimate award is to encourage a Chaser to Work All Associations (this does require the use of HF and is not practicable on VHF without moonbounce!) but we also wanted to encourage VHF/UHF operations and so have also introduced an award that requires qualifying contacts on 70MHz and above only. The award is NOT points based like the existing awards but relies on valid contacts between Chasers and Activators on a qualifying number of summits in a number of Associations.
It is feasible at present for a Europe based Chaser to work 24 Associations on VHF with the possibility of 7 more in the offing. We have Associations on 4 continents at present and there is the possibility of Australasia joining in the future.
Both African and Asian Associations have a rarity value so this might encourage activity from them or persuade other countries to join the scheme (Who is up for Activation from the High Atlas?). It is recognised that the VHF award is very Europe biased but it is foreseen that the USA /Canada associations will, very shortly, be able to qualify for the entry level VHF qualification. It should be noted that, although Europe does not have the 1.25m and 33cm bands, this does not prevent those countries with these bands from using them.
The inclusion of the requirement to work some intercontinental associations (for the all bands award) does make this award different from the existing Chaser awards and will run in parallel to the existing Chaser awards; by introducing the requirement (except at the entry level) to work other continents this award should encourage activators in less active associations to operate as there will be demand from chasers for the rarer associations.
a) VHF (70MHz and above) Award
Hunter should contact at least 2 different summits in each of 5 associations using just VHF/UHF any mode.
Endorsement for UHF only qualification (430MHz and above)
Steps of 5 Associations for each award: 10, 15, 20, etc
Level/ No. Associations/ Min. no. of summits
1 /5/ 2 per association
2 /10 /3 per additional association
3 /15 /4 per additional association
4 /20+/ 4 per additional association
b) All bands Award
Hunter should contact at least 2 different summits in each of 5 associations The higher level awards require that at least one association claimed is on a different continent from the claimant’s normal residential QTH. Level 1 can be claimed with contacts only on the claimant’s own continent (1 continent); higher level awards require intercontinental contacts.
Endorsement for all 50MHz qualification
Steps of 5 Associations for each award: 10 (including 2 continents), 15 (including 2 continents), 20 (and 3 continents),
Worked all Associations
Level No./ Associations/ Continents /Minimum no. of summits
1/ 5 /1 /2 per association
2 /10 /2/ 3 per additional association
3 /15 /2 /3 per additional association
4 /20 /3 /4 per additional association
5/ WAA/ 4 or 5 /4 per additional association
The Award will be issued from January 2010 and summits may be claimed retrospectively (you do not have to start over; summits previously chased under the programme will qualify). Each claim must be registered on the SOTA database in the normal way and a new filter will be incorporated onto the database to track progress and allow checking of activators’ claims.
This award will be certificate based as with the Activator award however the MT would like to consider the possibility of producing a trophy for the Worked All Association award. Several suggestions have been made and we will seek input from participants to determine the level of interest in producing a suitable item.