Category Archives: News

Eric June (KU6J) Memorial Activation

Eric June (KU6J) was a key participant and contributor to the SOTA world. As the W6 Northern Sierra (NS) Regional Manager, Eric knew his territory through being an all weather activator of peaks in and around Lake Tahoe and beyond. Eric felt passionate about SOTA and to that end he created regional awards to promote the enjoyment of SOTA in his stunningly beautiful part of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. However, the most significant and lasting contribution he made is the auto spotting software for CW SOTA activators. The utility was groundbreaking and has served many across the globe exceptionally well. It represents a selfless contribution in terms of hours, days, weeks spent developing and testing the software all to make our passion more enjoyable and efficient for us.

Our recent trek up Eric’s mountain (W6/NS-204) was an easy commitment for this team to undertake. Eric was first to activate this peak, is in his backyard and represents the intersection of skiing, hiking and the wilderness all of which he loved so much.

Eric’s peak is up at about 7,500 ft and snow has come early this year to the Sierras. While only about a mile and a bit long, the trail runs out half way in and the last three hundred feet or so of vertical ascent is through trees and over fallen timber. All very picturesque but treading carefully is a must.

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Last 300 ft of vertical ascent is up and over many fallen timber
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View from peak

Given Eric’s CW contribution, Rick (WB0USI) and Woody (K1LB) as our CW operators deploy their stations and are up on 20m/40m respectively quickly.

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Woody (K1LB) setting up his YouKits station with dipole
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Kipper negotiating for his turn at CW on Rick’s KX3
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My contribution to CW….Rick using my KXPA100 to boost his KX3 CW output
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Ron (W6PZA) setting up his Buddipole for use with a Yaesu 857
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Ron operating SSB via Yaesu 857D

We probably netted around 200 contacts between us on 20/40m using CW and SSB.

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“I get the ‘no operating’ but what about dog treats” declares Kipper
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Thank you Eric for all you have done for SOTA!
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Rick (Wb0USI), Woody (K1LB), Paul (W6PNG), Ron (W6PZA), Jordan (WC6J) and Kipper (W0OF)
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We moved mountains for you!!

We are excited to announce that approximately 570 peaks have been added to the California SOTA roster joining the existing 3,718 for a new total of 4,329 peaks.

These peaks are across the state and in most all regions. Some are quite accessible from the major metro areas while others have a little bit more of an adventure feel to reach them.

Peaks were added/moved as a result of the following;

  • A recent SOTA wide alignment on P150 prominence criteria measured as 492 feet versus 500 feet for 2012 and before peak list
  • More accurate topological data from advanced satellite imaging

In all of this, the one aspect that made me chuckle was the fact that 40 peaks have moved…well the peak didn’t really move, we simply have more accurate peak information or corrected for past errors and so in effect the peak has moved and in so doing the previous peak code has been retired (don’t use it any more) and a new one assigned. The most notable is San Gorgonio, CT-001, Southern California’s highest peak (11,500ft), which has a new code, CT-245. That aside its still a tough one to get to the top of!

The easiest way to detect an addition or move  is to check the “Valid Dates:From” and “Valid Dates: Until” column in the 2016 ARM. If either field is 1/5/2016 (UK date format for May 1st, 2016) then the peak code is new or retired respectively.

Region Additions “Moved”
Northern Coastal (NC) 101 5
Southern Desert (SD) 93 1
Souther Sierra (SS) 78 7
Southern Coastal (SC) 75 4
Northern Sierra (NS) 60 2
Northwestern Ranges (NW) 44 4
Northeastern Ranges 35 0
Inyo Mountains (IN) 33 1
Transverse Range (CT) 32 5
Northern Desert (ND) 19 6
Northern Ranges (CN) 1 0
Desert Ranges (CD) 0 1
Coastal Ranges (CC) 0 1
Sierra Nevada (SN) 0 3
Totals 571 40

Enormous credit and thanks goes to Guy Hamblin (N7UN) who has driven this effort and untaken a lot of work personally.