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70cms Activity


#22

70 cm can be great, when you find a quiet (radio-wise) place, and if there is enough of an “audience”. I found that it is well possible to work over the horizon with 10 W and a HB9CV, or even with 2 W and a vertical.

Unfortunately, there are significantly fewer amateurs active on this band than on, say, 2 m, and activity levels seem to have fallen over the years. Also, many exposed locations are used for commercial applications that either transmit directly in the 70 cm band (ISM), or splatter into the band, making operation difficult. Be also prepared to hear a lot of noise if you are close to a larger settlement. That having said, the local meeting frequencies for radio clubs are or were in the 70 cm band in some regions (such as the Ruhr area), just because 2 m is or was very busy there.

Just my experiences from Germany.

73, Jan-Martin


#23

I was listening last night, heard a few stations but very weak at my end, got to improve the setup,many thanks for all your input, it is appreciated…
Cheers Ken G0FEX


#24

Yes, rig is FT-817. Antenna is 6-el Yagi - SOTAbeams SB270 - great antenna, but no longer in production.


#25

Think my next activation will be 2m SSb I haven’t done that yet with my ft817. I would do 70cm ssb too but I have the original sotabeams 2m 3 ele antenna and would prefer an antenna designed for 2+70 rather than a 2m only.


#26

Hello Ken. Sorry I haven’t replied before but I hadn’t found the thread. Very glad to hear that there is someone else out there with 70cm kit (even if inadvertently!) As you may have gathered I decided to start trying to qualify all my SOTA summits with 70cm fm as well as 2m about 3 years ago. The kit is a VX-7R with a 2m Sotabeam dipole which seems to work even better on 70cm! Hence I can change frequency at the flick of a button (if everything is working OK). Very occasionally I have 2 radios with me and have to just swap from one to another.

I nearly always call (and qualify if I can) on 2m fm first and ask every caller if they can work 70cm (usually on 433.475) as well as I know that getting 4 on 70cm can be difficult - and sometimes impossible. When the main pile-up has died down (if there was one!) I QSY to 70cm after promising that I will return to my 2m frequency as soon as possible. On 70cm I get, if I’m lucky, enough of my 2m chasers to qualify but often it seems to be 3 - and sometimes nil. I nearly always go quickly to 433.500 to see if I can pick up any listeners (G3XEV is the most likely person to be found - thanks John) but any answer is rare. Then I’m back to my 2m frequency and then the 2m calling channel - with a special plea for 70cm if I am short of contacts. I do occasionally get pile-ups on 70cm (Titterstone Clee and Stiperstones come to mind) and can get 17 or more contacts but this is not frequent.

I am very grateful to all those who have helped me to qualify my hills on 70cm - fellow activators (especially GW4VPX, Allan), keen 70cm chasers (M0CQE, Paul) and the many callers who aren’t interested in SOTA in any way but will always give a helping hand - especially when I only need one more callsign to qualify and am obviously desperate.

I would happily join in a 70cm SOTA day if one is suggested and I am available. Meanwhile whether you are in the shack, the car or on a hill, don’t forget that your cheap handy may well work on 70cm and make the contact - especially if you poke it out the window, get out of the car or even run to the top of the house and put the fishing pole out of the window (thanks for the many difficult contacts G0TDM, John!)
73 Viki M6BWA


#27

Interesting topic. Most of my SOTA friends are telling me to move below 2 meters and get on the HF bands, while I am thinking perhaps I need to move up in frequency. 70 cm would be the next obvious band given the availability of dualband transceivers. In Colorado, it is often a challenge to make enough contacts on 2 meters, especially in the more rural areas. I expect 70 cm to be that much more difficult. One obvious strategy is to make contact on 2m, then ask the station to QSY to 70 cm.

I do wonder about other bands…maybe 1296 MHz (23 cm) or even 10 GHz

73, Bob K0NR


#28

Hi Viki
Many thanks for your advice, very much appreciated, I presume your sotabeam 2 metre dipole is the MFD as was, if yes I have one, I have the Ft 817 as you know will do 2m & 7 cms, plus I have a Wouxun dual band handy, which I find very good on receive and to date have not had any bad reports on tx.

I look forward to catching you one day hopefully in the near future once I get things sorted my end.
Many thanks & best wishes…
Ken G0FEX


#29

A wonderful antenna mine is very battered now but still works remarkably well :slight_smile:

Surprisingly, it also seems to work passably well on 70cm. I’m sure the reasonable SWR is partly due to the feeder loss in the RG58 coax, but nevertheless I have had several 70cm contacts over considerable distances. Works better than the antenna you might get one day every time :wink:

73 de Paul G4MD


#30

It is easy to add 70cm elements to a 3 el SOTAbeam - see the website by Martin DK7ZB. Although there isn’t a specific design for a 3el 2m + 3 el 70cm, I am sure you can adapt the 4 + 5 el design. It is possible to use the 2m beam on 70cm, but you would get more gain by adding three short rods. I have adapted my 5 el SOTAbeam for 70cm where I get 8 elements and a significant improvement. The only downside is that it takes a bit longer to assemble.

73, Gerald G4OIG


#31

There was a version of the 2m 3 element SOTAbeam with a set of 7 holes and pins for 70cm. The result is a pair of beams, one vertical and the other horizontal; by using two feeders you can switch at short notice without leaving the operating position. You can, of course, receive on both at the same time but unless TX is disabled this might not be a good idea :rage:

I used this a lot before taking to HF and still carry the whole lot in the car in case M6BWA needs it.

73,
Rod


#32

ooo i never actually thought of adapting the 2m beam i already have, great idea. Its weird as i have seen many a 2m +70cm beam on one boom but my mind never made the link. I’ll check out DK7ZB website and see what i can do.
Thanks
Anthony


#33

The nice thing about Martin’s designs is that only one feeder is required. I use a length of 5D-FB (LMR300 near equivalent) which is 7mm diameter and semi-rigid. It works well on 70cm and even better on 2m. It is brilliant cable - much easier to deal with than RG-58 and RG-174 in cold weather.


#34

Hello 70cm activators in UK,
70cm is the hottest band around Tokyo area in JA.
My main band is basically 6m indoor or outdoor, however, without 70cm most of my S2S contacts could not be counted so far.
In the course of walking, I’m listening to 433MHz (70cm FM calling channel here) and when anyone at a summit is calling CQ, I reply to him immediately and call him again after arriving at my summit. I’ll check someone is activating or not on 70cm again there before calling CQ on 6m or 2m. My gear is VX-5 or VX-7 and RH-770 (5/8L rod antenna) on 70cm.
If you have a chance to activate in JA, try to call CQ on 433.00MHz/FM and QSY to a clear channel nearby. You can get more calls or pile-up than those on 2m.
Jun, JI1TLL


#36

G0FEX
Hi Paul
Yes I do intend to chase & activate on 70cms, it will not be a vast amount of activations, but at least there will be a few .
Many thank for all the info…
Cheers Ken


#37

I hope to be going up to the top of the Black Mountains (Waun Fach, GW/SW-002) on Sunday, if weather and energy will allow, when I will be starting on 2m fm but then concentrating on 70cm. According to my calculations (which have been checked by MM0FMF) if I can get 4 people to reply then I will get my 1000 points on 70cm at long last.

It would be lovely if fellow activators who think they may be in range could get up a hill for 1130 UTC (sorry this hits Sunday lunch but Saturday’s weather is not promising) so we could get a number of 70cm S2S in the log. I will hope to be taking the 70cm beam and will try to get round to assembling and even trying to use it for once (I’m usually too lazy…) I will also be hoping that a number of chasers will leave their dinner table (with permission!) for a quick word so I have more 70cm contacts in the log. I do hope to be calling for a bit longer than usual but the forecast is fairly cold but with a light wind so I hope to be as high as possible but still with a bit of shelter.

It would be a great shame to do the walk (!'m hoping for some lovely views) and not get enough 70cm contacts (it has happened from that hill) but I am confident that I can rely on help from my fellow SOTA enthusiasts (especially in Cheltenham!!) Thank you in advance everyone and I hope to speak to you on Sunday - but I don’t think I will reach you at home Ken G0FEX, even if I can get the beam assembled. If you can’t reach me then my porter and guide M0JLA hopes to be operating on 60m and 80m I believe but probably not 40m as it is so difficult to find a frequency on a weekend, please listen out for him too.
Viki M6BWA


#38

The forecast looks to be “Scorchio!” for the West, I have plans for a pair of West Coast GM summits.

Now there’s the flaw in your plan! He’s an idiot! :slight_smile:

Sadly I doubt I’ll be in 70cms range Viki but I’ll be with you in spirit. I do hope you can get more than 4 QSOs for this one. Best of luck.


#39

With luck, Andy, we might manage an HF s2s if the timing is right.

As the loading coils seem to be OK I expect to spend a fair bit of time on 80m; always being aware that the best laid plans don’t always come to fruition.

73,
Rod


#40

Hi Viki

I’m heading for Plynlimon on Sunday. I’ll just have the handie with it’s attached antenna on 70cms, but I think that should be adequate for an S2S - might even be able to wave if the visibility is good :o)

73 and best wishes for the 1000,

Adrian
G4AZS


#41

Hi Viki

I’ve managed to escape from work so will try to get up Walton Hill and will look for you on 2m and 70cm.

Looks like it’s a line of site path just sneaking past the summit of GW/SW-041 so should make it even with my basic equipment!

Have a great activation whatever :slight_smile:

73 de Paul (G6GGP this time!)


#42

Thanks, Paul and Adrian.

All extra 70cm FM activity is much appreciated; we might even qualify on s2s and then I hope to give away some points on HF.

73,
Rod