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A homebrew tarp for a sunny day


Hello SOTA mates,
Last July 3rd I did a joint activation with Jorge, EA2LU, and went to activate Mt. Baratxueta, EA2/NV-068.

The weather is very hot nowadays and I thought it was a good oportunity to test a homebrew tarp I built. It is made of a nylon fabric I bought in a kite shop.

The material is very very light, watertight and wear resistant. It is hold with one walking stick.
We arrived in the summit and started setting up our stations.

Jorge had brought his umbrella to protect from the sun.

I moved a bit apart to have less RF interference and deployed the antenna and fixed my tarp to test it.

I felt the tarp worked just fine to provide certain level of sun protection, but I touched the transceiver after a while and it was very hot, although I kept it under the tarp all the time. I think this fabric is good against the wind but it is not good enough to protect against UV rays.

I have to think on how to improve it; any ideas to make it better?
Maybe I need to add an extra piece of protection just for the rig.

Additional trouble:
During the activation I suffered a bit from another problem: some cows aproached near my operating position. I was a bit afraid as I was trying to get two stations Summit to summit by the time, but it all went fine in the end…

Don’t look at me, please!!

Oh my God, it’s not Sanfermines yet…

Hope you find interesting the tarp for summer time. I know there are commercial avalilable tarps but they are much bigger or heavier.

73 de Ignacio


Hi Ignacio,
Something I learnt while in Australia, adding white plastic to the top of my black FT-817 made all the difference in keeping it cooler in the hot sun. This is the sticky backed plastic sheet that can be bought from craft shops, stationary supplies, supermarkets etc. and is often used to line drawers.

73 Ed…


Good idea Ignacio !
And hahaha … I especially like that last picture … the dangers of SOTA !

As for the KX3, when I know it will be a hot day, I pack my little fan-in-a-box :

Total weigth is 120g.

It has short leads with Powerpoles, and I use it toghether with the Powerpole accesory I described here :

Sometimes I also use an umbrella, or my writing board, to give the KX3 some extra shade.

73, Luc ON7DQ


That box should be labelled AMD not AMP as we all know the correct (as defined by my old employer IBM) is “Air Movement Device” - hence AMD (nothing to do with the chip manufacturer).

73 Ed.

Ah yes Cows and SOTA - I think they want to know where the goats are that they’ve heard about! In my pack on Ammerleite there was no Bull thankfully!


Not normally a problem in Scotland Ed, but I needed to make a sunshade last weekend as the 817 was too hot to touch just laying in the sun. The white plastic sounds like a good solution.


I didn’t think I’d need it after moving back to Europe and removed it - a couple of months later a new piece was being fitted!

By the way, rememeber to punch holes or cut a circle out of the plastic before fitting it, otherwise the FT817 speaker sounds somewhat muffled!

73 Ed.


or else, use earphones and forget about the speaker, as I do… :wink:




Yes mee too, when signals are hard to hear, but actually real over-the ears headphones with noise cancelling function built-in - AU$40 from Aldi about 5 years ago.

73 Ed.


Hi Ignacio,
I like your comments!
I use what you see in the photo. It offers many configurations and is perfect for us.
Greetings to Jorge.

73 de Dani EA5FV.