A ham radio and shortwave listening concept created by John Linford and one which has also been embraced in the 11m DX Community by the Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC), SOTA is an esoteric contraction which refers to Summits On The Air DX activities. 

That is, DX transmissions undertaken from a mountain or hill summit by radio communications enthusiasts whom have climbed there, rather than taken a car or other form of transport.

According to the SOTA Program, the main aim of an activator is to climb summits and make QSOs from the top. 

This X-treme requirement is one of the reasons why SOTA is so DX-citing for those whom undertake it!

Another reason why SOTA DXpedition work is so appealing is because it unites the radio communications hobby with other high-adrenaline pursuits such as rock climbing, hill-walking, hiking, mountaineering, ice climbing, abseiling and mountain biking. 

So might argue then that it is the radio communications equivalent of an X Games event!

In reality the Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC) is blessed with the two most practiced SOTA DXpeditioners in the 11m DX Community…14DA058 John and 14DA161 Dorota whom are admired for their incredible courage (and craziness lol) in the SOTA field; hiking and climbing their way to mountain summits in more than a few different DXCC for the purpose of SOTA DX work. 

Both DA-RC members are savvy with the authentic rules and guidelines of SOTA and have applied them to 11m radio operations where applicable, undertaking many summits on the air activities in the past few years and carrying the flag of a brand new and exciting concept on 11m.

Based on the SOTA Program, expeditions are valid if:

  • Legitimate access routes are used and landowners’ permission is obtained if necessary
  • The final access to the summit is ‘person powered’ (e.g. hiking, mountain biking)
  • A portable power source is used (e.g. batteries, solar cells)
—   Fossil fuel based generators are not allowed
—   Operation from vehicles is not permitted
—   All equipment must be carried by the DXpeditioner to the summit
—   Operation from inside vehicles is not permitted

Also covered in the original SOTA Program is radio etiquette when undertaking SOTA activities. 

Directives include:

  • Always operate in a considerate manner
  • Avoid any damage to the mountain
  • Take your litter home with you
  • Be considerate of other people on the hill
  • Be sure that you are competent to undertake your proposed expedition and carry suitable equipment, taking account of the terrain, weather conditions, etc.

For more information on the SOTA concept and its original founders, please visit http://www.sota.org.uk/

73 de Darren, 43DA001