Having never used 70cms before, is there much use for Sota ?.
And if yes what is best vertical or horizontal .
Thanks Ken G0FEX
Having never used 70cms before, is there much use for Sota ?.
Take a look at the activator table:
Where it defaults to
-All Bands- change it to
433MHz and click
For G you will see the table headed by Viki, M6BWA, with hundreds of summits qualified on 70cm. If you open it up to
-All Associations- you’ll see even bigger scores.
So the answer is “Yes” for sure. Of course some areas will be more challenging than others. I usually find GW/NW fine for 70cm FM using a vertical. My 2m Slim JIM seems to work pretty well despite being a bit off tune. I also have one cut for 70cm. It certainly helps to catch people on 2m first and persuade them to QSY, but a surprising number can turn up anyway.
I had never used 70cm until I got a baofeng handheld. Then I used it once on an activation and it was good fun. I should try to use it more but haven’t got round to it.
I keep forgetting that my VX8 and aerial will work on 70cm - must make note to remember to use 70cm more often
Something to remember about 70cms is that it can be a real ‘life-saver’ in some instances. I have done a number of activations using a hand-held and J-pole in and around NW England and N. Wales. The population density is such that 2m FM is very successful with simple equipment and as someone who mainly does HF activations, it’s a pleasure to be able to active with simple equipment.
However, interference from co-sited or nearby PMR equipment can severely impact success. Some 2m handhelds are much better than others. My preference is for a Yaesu VX-170 (or later FT-270) for 2m as it is much better in such conditions than other handhelds I have. My Icom ID-80, Alinco DJ-G7, Yaesu VX1 all suffer badly from breakthrough and overload on 2m when used with a bigger antenna than the rubber duck and the ID-80 can be unusable even with just that. Similarly an FT-817 on 2m is very tolerant of such conditions.
In these circumstances, switching to 70cms has been key to successful activating. On Grayrigg Forest LD-037, my ID-80 was being badly overloaded from the commercial tower sites further down the hill. I was having huge difficulty hearing any signal that wasn’t S9 on 2m. Switching to 70cms saved the day as I worked plenty of stations with no interference. This is something to always bear in mind.
As for 70cms as a primary band to use is a choice for the activator. Gerald G4OIG showed a small beam & PA made 70cms SSB quite viable but that does require a key band of chasers. Vicki M6BWA has shown and still shows that 70cms from a handheld with a set top antenna is quite viable. What they will both tell you is that the problem is not the paths that can be worked but getting people listening on the band in question.
The recent VK-EU and EU-NA events have shown to people that if you want VK-EU S2S contacts, getting a big bunch of people on the air at the same time is key. A 70cms activity event would let people see how well it works for SOTA certainly in countries in Europe that have a high population density. People in parts of VK or USA might find 70cms a little lonely!
It just needs someone to suggest a date and time period for a 70cms activity session to demonstrate the band’s potential to people who have never used it or only used to access a local repeater etc. The last time we had a UHF event in Scotland I worked 5 S2S contacts on 70cms which put quite a big smile on my face as the band is quiet up here outside of contests etc.
Hello Ken. Do you intend to Activate, Chase, or both, on 70cm. band? Andy, MM0FMF, gives a great deal of useful information as does Simon G4TJC and I am sure would Viki, M6BWA and Bill, G4WSB. However they are, I believe, mainly Activators and very good indeed. If you intend Chasing Sota there may be different information required. 70cm. can be a great band.
Best Wishes, 73 de Paul M0CQE.
Like the idea of a 70cm s2s party.
Many thanks for all the information, I will never be a great activator, but If and when I am out and about I will try 70Cms, I bought a 7 ele2 metre ZL Special from a well known company, however when the antenna arrived it was a 70Cms ZL, to cut a long story short I contacted the said company, at the end of the day they said keep the 70Cms antenna & we will send you the correct one that you ordered, hence I have a 70Cms antenna.
Very much appreciated for all info received.
Cheers Ken G0FEX
I used 70cms for a number of years, mainly in North Wales, North-west England and the Lakes…In those days there were a reasonable number of chasers. Unfortunately there are considerably fewer now. I still use 70cm and 23cm for my activations with the old Class B call, principally from Wales. The summit location is a major factor in achieving success on the band - you need to be in an area where there are chasers. Once you hop over the border into Scotland, it is a case of hoping that the few people that run the band are around and more often as not they aren’t!
Having the ability to change polarisation is a good idea as many people use a 144/432MHz or even a 144/432/1296MHz colinear. Unfortunately both my 70cms antennas take time to swap over. Of course I am referring to SSB operation. FM is essentially vertical polarisation. The thing is,be ready for the unexpected to happen. Last year I worked Viki just running the 817 barefoot when she and Rod were on Arran and Paul and I were on Mull. One of the contacts we made was over a visually obstructed path, our end sitting behind considerably higher hills.
If there is sufficient interest in a 70cm activity day, then I am definitely up for it and will drag my linear up a suitable summit or two.The last time out was in November on Aran Fawddwy GW/NW-007 and Glasgwm GW/NW-015, so it is about time I aired the B call again.
73, Gerald G4OIG / G8CXK
Hello Gerald. Great to have your input on the use of 70cm. in Sota activations. If distance contacts are of interest, 70cm. band can provide far more than, “line of sight”. the two summits mentioned, GW/NW-007 and GW/NW-015, are in my log ,thanks to you. Both over 80 miles from my QTH. I use a hand held dual band TX. with 5 Watts max. It would be great to have more Activators on 70cm.
Best Wishes to all. 73 de Paul, M0CQE.
There will be lots of 70cm activity this evening (Tuesday 14th March 2017). 1900-2000 is the FM Activity Contest, then 2000-2230 is the UK Activity Contest - mainly SSB. It’s a good opportunity for any 70cm-keen activators to qualify (and more) on 70cm as there is lots of activity. There should be at least one SOTA activator QRV - me!
I spent all of 2016 playing around with 70cm on summits, mostly SSB though. Good fun, try it out you have a much larger AR population base to work with in the UK and around Europe and I guess in some respects lesser distance between workable stations to overcome. Aircraft enhancement mode is my personal favourite which takes a fair amount of coordination with chasers to achieve a good outcome.
from my blog, 24 activations on 70cm. I must write up a summary page.
My alert is up for a 70cm activation this evening. Any other takers?
I hope to be on from home using relatively high power - BUT the wind has just got up and there is no way I am cranking the mast up if it doesn’t moderate!
Will keep an ear out for Tom (and any other Activator) but anywhere is a long haul to here on UHF
Hello Tom. This evening unfortunately, I will miss any contact with your 70cm. activations. I leave here 19:00, to collect my grandson from work and take him home, (no bus at that time). I return here 21:00. As I use FM only, and never mobile, maybe no chance of QSO. Good luck with the activation. Many thanks for the 3 summits that you activated yesterday,GW/NW-051, GW/NW-044, and GW/NW-054.
73 de Paul.
Can confirm I should now be QRV shortly after 1900 so taking part in the FMAC as well as the UKAC. Usually at some point after 9pm things go a bit quiet in this event Paul, so at some point I try and pick off a few extras on FM. Jim G3KAF is usually looking for 70cm FM contest QSOs after 10pm too. So you never know!
I can report that 70cm SOTA is alive and well.
I did an activation on the evening of Tuesday 14th March 2017 and made a total of 75 contacts - 16 on FM, 1 on CW and 58 on SSB.
Let the flow of posts stating why my 70cm SOTA activation “doesn’t count” commence…
Nice to work you in the UKAC tonight Tom. Was struggling with QRM at my end, but got you in the log eventually.
We were parked up at a local high point (500 ft asl) just outside Scarborough. 44 worked in the end.
73, Phil G0UUU
what antenna you using for 70cm? are you coupling it to your FT817?
Think I might have to try a 2m/70cm SSB activation sometime now i have an ft817.
Hello Tom. I see that you have posted Alerts for SOTA activations to-day, 15/03/2017. Any chance of trying 70cm. first, if possible, before 2Mtr. band, (FM only here). The points would be most welcome. I look forward to trying for the contacts. Thanks for 70cm. QSO last evening. Well done with the contacts, especially 16 on FM.
Best Wishes for to-day. 73 de Paul M0CQE.