Saturday August 1, 2020 to Sunday August 2, 2020
On Saturday, August 1, 2020 through Sunday, August 2, 2020, amateur radio operators from around Southern California will be hiking up to the tops of California's greatest summits to make radio contacts with other operators locally and around the world. If you are new to ham radio, this is a perfect opportunity to get outdoors and practice your radio skills with a supportive and amazing group of people. SOTA (Summits on the Air) is an award scheme for radio amateurs that encourages portable operation in mountainous areas. You can find more information on the SOTA website here. The SoCal SOTAFest event has three main goals (besides having lots of fun):
- Make summit-to-summit contacts with other radio operators and wrack up activator points for the group. Activators are those who summit a mountain to make radio contacts and earn SOTA points.
- Provide an opportunity for people new to SOTA to experience the thrill and adventure of hiking up to beautiful and remote destinations and making radio contact with others.
- Give "chasers" an opportunity to earn tons of chaser points. Chasers are those who seek to earn points by making contact with mountain activators.
If you are new to SOTA and would like to join someone on a hike to a summit to activate it, please join our group and post no our mailing list using hashtag #sotafest. Due to COVID-19, we ask that you consider safe practices like washing hands with soap or sanitizer if sharing gear or supplies.
General Event Information
The SoCal SOTAFest will take place the first weekend of August from Saturday August 1 to Sunday August 2. The event will run from 6am on Saturday to 9pm on Sunday. You do not need to be in Southern California to participate in the event, but making contacts will be much easier if you are. Since this is a local event, awards and prizes will be given only to Southern California residents who both live and activate in any of the following counties: Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura.
To sign up for the event please
create a record in this year's event database.
Awards Categories and Raffle
After the event, awards will be given across various categories. These awards categories are purely ceremonial, but serve to make the event more interesting. Awards categories may include:
- Highest summit
- Lowest summit
- Longest hike
- Shortest hike
- Lightest rig
Entries will be collected after the event, and awards will be announced during our August 11, 2020 SoCal SOTA meeting.
A raffle will also be held for registered participants. More details to come.
Operating Frequencies and Modes
2m (VHF) Simplex Frequencies
2m FM frequencies are popular among operators using handheld transceivers.
- 147.420 FM Simplex Primary 2m FM Frequency - Changed to 146.420 per TASMA on 7/31
- 147.450 FM Simplex Alternate 1 - Changed to 146.450 per TASMA on 7/31
- 147.480 FM Simplex Alternate 2 - Changed to 146.480 per TASMA on 7/31
- 147.510 FM "Party Line" frequency to work with other activators. Please be courteous by allowing break-ins and sharing this frequency with others.
Since there will be multiple operators active during this event, please do not use the 2m National Calling Frequency 146.52 as an activation frequency. You may want to briefly announce on 146.52 that you will be activating a summit, but please switch to a simplex frequency to avoid congestion on 146.52. Thank you!
70 cm (UHF) FM Simplex Frequencies
The 70 cm FM frequencies will also be active due to the dualband handheld radios
- 446.000 FM Simplex Primary 70cm Frequency
- 446.025 FM Simplex Alternate
- FM DMR 441Mhz Talk Group 99 Color Code 01
23 cm FM Simplex Frequencies
The 23 cm FM frequency may see some use during the event
- 1294.5 FM Simplex Primary 23cm Frequency
Other VHF Frequencies
The following frequencies are less common than 2m and 70m frequencies.
- 144.200 SSB 2m SSB Calling Frequency
- 223.500 FM Simplex Primary 1.25m Frequency
- 50.125 SSB 6m SSB Calling Frequency
- 52.525 FM Simplex Primary 6m FM Frequency
High Frequency Bands 20m and 40m are the most popular bands for HF operating. Look for activity on these frequencies depending on conditions and QRM
- 7.032 CW 40m CW Frequency
- 7.185 SSB 40m SSB Frequency
- 10.110 CW 30m CW Frequency
- 14.060 CW 20m CW Frequency
- 14.345 SSB 20m SSB Frequency
- 18.092 CW 17m CW Frequency
- 18.158 SSB 17m SSB Frequency
- 21.060 CW 15m CW Frequency
- 21.330 SSB 15m SSB Frequency
- 28.060 CW 10m CW Frequency
- 28.350 SSB 10m SSB Frequency
Stations of Interest
The following stations might of interest during the event:
- VK4TJ - Australia chaser station. Possible opening at 2Z (7pm PST), either 20m or 17m. May be on VK4/SE-024 or VK4/SE-058.
Hiking is a fun activity, but like all hobbies you should prioritize your safety and the safety of others above all else. By participating in this event you hold SoCal SOTA harmless with respect to any and all injury, disability, death, or loss of damage to person or property, whether caused by negligence or otherwise.