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Sota Fun Evenings


I see no reason why the concept of a fun evening should be tied immovably to the activity contests. Fun is fun! I spent some time on six with my emergency antenna but the Es that was obvious on the UKSMG map never penetrated far enough for me, a pity as now its August the Es will be winding down. I shall do a little listening for aurora tonight, though!



Each to their own I guess, but it works for me. Overall, I maintain a healthy split of my SOTA activating between HF and VHF, and between CW and phone modes. I choose to do most of my VHF and phone stuff at times where there’s loads of VHF and phone activity throughout the UK and Europe - I mean, why on earth wouldn’t I? :wink:

Be good to have you as another S2S on future Tuesday evenings Adrian. Last night was a bit disappointing after the 8 SOTA stations active last month. Just me on The Cloud G/SP-015 and Rob LAS on Shining Tor G/SP-004 last night AFAIK.


Last I checked, the wx looks quite nice for later on - Tuesday evening. I will be operating on 6m from The Cloud G/SP-015 and the RSGB monthly 6m activity contest is on too. Anyone fancy a bit of 50MHz? Anyone fancy a bit of midweek evening SOTA?


Around what time will you be on Tom? I’m happy to swing the beam around your way and take a listen for you. No S2S possibility from this end as portable operation on 6m in Germany is not allowed unfortunately.



Winter is upon us soon.

How about planning more of a summer thing for this above idea. But like to see more 4m and 6m in use. I have now the items i need for 6m portable and certainly like to get out a little more in 2017 and certainly be on 6m…

But question raised, why is 2m so popular, say compared to 70cm to which can understand as its harder to travel further on 2m understandable but i suppose 6m is not quite UHF, 6m is more vhf, and 2m more of a challenge. especially with HF becoming harder during the down years of the up coming part of this latest sun cycle. never been on 2m or 70cm’s and 6m is totally new experience to me and sorry to say this, repeaters leave me cold. Good old fashion reach others via the days relevant conditions is me , an Ionospheric jockey :horse_racing:

But as some no doubt wiil say we don’t use repeaters off summits, thankfully :slight_smile:


Because it is most likely to give the greatest “bang-per-buck” on a regular basis than the other VHF / UHF bands.


You have to look at the capabilities of the bands. Two metres is in a sweet spot: it isn’t as good as 70cm for tropospheric ducting but it is better than six and four, in fact widespread ducting on six is rare. For various reasons you can get away with a poorer location on two than on 70. Two will get the occasional sporadic E opening in summer, but I have never heard it on 70 - but on six an Es opening happens most days during the season. Then there is aurora, which is good on six and two but very rare on 70cm. You also have to factor in history - a lot of surplus equipment was available for two about the time that the repeater network was starting to spread, there was very little available for 70cm at that time, plus there was a perception that mobile flutter was worse on 70. When the G8s were allowed on two in 1968 it became the bread and butter band, but when the A and B licenses were combined those with poorer locations and those with a taste for something different migrated to the HF bands.



Karl, the SOTA Fun Evenings did indeed start as a summer months activity when originally proposed by Paul G4MD. I just kept them going through the winter as well! I try to get out /P from a summit on the 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of everymonth, to coincide with the RSGB contests on 2m, 70cm and 6m respectively.

Ed, I hope to be QRV at 1900z this evening, but could be delayed until around 1920z. I intend operating through to 2130z.


Hi Tom,
Please swing the beam to the South east at some point and perhaps (if the propagation gods are with us), we may make a contact. Otherwise I wish you success with getting many contacts (and some of them S2S) in any case. My beam is now pointing NW in readiness. I’ll be listening between 8pm and 10:30pm local time here.



Sorry Tom listened for a couple of hours tuning around at the bottom end of six, but nothing heard. Neither from you or anyone else in the UK activity evening, mind you propagation predictions are not good at the moment with the solar wind that just hit:

73 Ed.


Nothing was heard from outside of the UK at all, until ten minutes before the end of the contest when TF3ML came up with a huge signal. As you might imagine, he had a huge pile-up, and I didn’t make it through.

So my best DX contacts were into JO00 and IO70 squares. 65 QSOs made, all 6m SSB.

No other SOTA activations heard, so no S2S. That is usually the effect as Summer Fun Evenings become Winter Fun Evenings!


SOTA Fun Evening tonight anyone?

I know it doesn’t seem right on a Thursday instead of a Tuesday, but the RSGB Contest Committee seem to have gone into overdrive with contentious changes this year! And one of them is that the 6m UKAC is now on the 2nd Thursday of each month, instead of the 4th Tuesday.

So I’ll be on The Cloud G/SP-015 this evening between 8pm and 10.30pm (1900-2130z), weather permitting, and mainly on 50MHz SSB and CW. My 5 watts was getting into Eastern Europe yesterday on 6m, so fingers crossed for a bit of life tonight.

Even in flat conditions, my 5 watts should make it into all corners of the UK and near-Europe, and with a few Es, who knows?


Hi Tom,

I had great fun over the weekend with the Es & yesterday was very busy with signal well into the evening. What do you think are the chances of the band dropping out about 10 minutes after the contest starts :wink:

I may be vertical tonight as I get better results on 50MHz with a J-Pole than I do with my horizontal dipole when the band is open, I won’t be portable either.

Hope to catch you later, Good luck!

73, Mark G0VOF


Well here I am playing with a change to the SOTA cluster and I see a spot for Tom come in from Hungary on 6m. So there is Es on 6m during the contest. That’ll make it a bit more fun.


My six metre beam is out of commission, but for fun I tuned my 102-foot doublet to six with my MFJ-949E and the first station I found was OK2SGY at S9+. No sign of Tom (he’d be off the end of the wire) but I bet he got a decent score!


Thursday 8th June 2017 was quite an evening on 6m. The Sp. E was better at some times than others, but kept coming back strongly, and was with us right through to my going QRT at 10.30pm BST.

Operating from The Cloud G/SP-015 with 5 watts from an FT-817 and a SOTAbeams SB6 Moxon antenna @ 4m, I made 62 QSOs - 2 on 2m FM, 13 on 6m CW and 47 on 6m SSB. DXCCs worked on 6m were DL (1), EA (1), G (35), GI (1), GW (4), HA (5), I (2), OE (1), OK (4), OM (3), S5 (2) and SP (1).

The first hour was hampered by 3 heavy rain showers, so the bothy bag provided essential shelter to allow me to continue operating. I briefly QSY’d to 3m FM on the stroke of 2200 BST to hear the election exit poll, and after the contest started to digest that particular result with the farmers in the Harrington Arms at Gawsworth. There was a new guest ale on called “Socks and Sandals” and it was really good.

Getting home at around 2345 BST, I was surprised to find Marianne still up at this late hour - she’s normally in bed long before I get back from a night-time activation. But she was of course watching the election coverage on BBC1 and celebrating the result. No, not the election result, but the other one that came through that day - Liam having passed his Grade 4 vocals with Distinction.


Interesting reading up this thread and the ideas of scheduling FM in the hour preceding the UKAC. Well tonight of course there are two events: 1800-1900z the FMAC on 433MHz FM, and then 1900-2130z the UKAC on 432MHz SSB.

I’ll be out and QRV. Can I anticipate any S2S or any chasers?


Well that was good fun. SOTA Fun Evening on Tuesday 13th June 2017. Dry, mild and only a light breeze. Don’t get many evenings as comfortable as that across the year!

A total of 77 contacts were made, all on the 70cm band, in this activation. 54 on SSB and 23 on FM. DXCCs: F, G, GD, GI, GM, GW. Squares: IN99, IO64, 74, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, JN09, JO01.

The QSB was troublesome throughout the evening, and all things considered, I felt satisfied with the results of my QRP station.


Very well done Tom. Thanks for once again, “Flying The Flag”, for 70cm. band. It was great to make contact with you on FM.
Best Wishes Paul M0CQE.


Regarding UKAC and SOTA, how do you know if you have made a S2S contact?
Do you give out your SOTA details to every /P operator in the contest, or just hope that the other operator recognises your call?


I have been out portable in the UKAC a few times recently and have been asked whether I was on a summit as my callsign was recognised. Unfortunately I had to advise that I wasn’t and even had I been, then I would have been non-complaint as I was operating in a vehicle. Care needs to be taken to establish whether anyone in the UKAC who is actually on a SOTA summit is operating fully in accordance with the SOTA general rules. There are quite a number of SOTA summits where it is possible to park within the AZ.

Unfortunately I have had to miss both the 2m and 70cm events this month. With the light evenings, May, June and July are ideal for combining contesting and activating.

73, Gerald G4OIG