Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Temporary operating restrictions


OfCom have now published details of tempoaray operating restrictions affecting several amateur bands to allow for additional commercial and official frequencies during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The document can be found at http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/radiocommunication-licences/amateur-radio/ar_spectrum_use/

Whilst several bands are affected to some extent, it is likely that the 70cm band will be most relevant to SOTA. The document makes rather tortuous reading, but in simple terms it means that frequencies between 432MHz and 433MHz (the normal SSB segment) will “out of bounds” from 28th June until 23rd September in the vicinity of various Games venues. G/SE-002 Leith Hill, G/SE-005 Botley Hill and G/CE-005 Wendover Woods are the only three SOTA summits actually within the affected zones, but other summits may also be affected by the lack of available chasers.

The document also states “There are a number of Amateur contests that fall within the period of the 2012 Games. We can accommodate these providing the Amateur activity is kept to the dates of 6th - 8th and 10th July, 4th - 5th August and 14th August, 8th - 9th and 11th September”. I take that to mean that the temporary restrictions will not apply within the relevant contest periods, but that’s only my interpretation so check before use!

73 de Les, G3VQO


So no probs with the 70cm UKACs then :slight_smile:


In reply to M1EYP:

So no probs with the 70cm UKACs then :slight_smile:

Yeah, so long as you don’t include the WX in that statement!


In reply to G3VQO:

G/SE-002 Leith Hill and G/SE-005 Botley Hill are
the only two SOTA summits actually within the affected zones, but
other summits may also be affected by the lack of available chasers.

Hi Les,

With only 8 70cm SOTA contacts from Leith Hill in 10 years, it seems there’s not too much for SOTA activators or chasers to worry about :wink:

Elsewhere, things ain’t too much better though. For example, of the more than 10k contacts from G/SP-004 Shining Tor, only 226 have been on 70cm.

Seems the UHF band is sadly neglected by activators, myself included :frowning:

73 Mike


In reply to M0MYA:

In reply to M1EYP:

So no probs with the 70cm UKACs then :slight_smile:

Yeah, so long as you don’t include the WX in that statement!

I second that one Dave! However of course we sit in the car!!!



Lightweights! Why not take the short walk up to the summit of WB-004 from your parking spot, and combine your contesting with some SOTA? The summit is bound to be a better take-off compared to the furthest point you are allowed to take your car on that hill.

I will be outdoors in grim looking wx for the contest tonight, but not on a SOTA summit, unfortunately.



In reply to M1EYP:
Hi Tom

I certainly do, and I think Dave would also agree with you!! The summit is the place to be. However as you say we are lightweights and sit in the Car!! However judging from your recent comments on the RSGBcc website, it would appear that truly /p whilst contesting has not been a nice experience.

I am sure that in May-September we will probably go to the summit of Clee Hill and give it a good go. It is a fantastic site and on 4m I have had tremendous distance and a plentiful amount of QSOs. However I think between the months of October to April then Car Portable has to be the way to go.

Car Portable allows you to have warmth, protection from the wind and precipitation, a good anchor point for any antenna poles (In our case 4 5’ swage poles) and we keep all our equipment away from harm. Including the netbook, which allows us to run MINOS and save on all the uploading and transcribing of logs.

Our contest site for car portable is not actually bad, it is somewhat limited to the North, however the South and East are fantastic and the west is good. We operate near the road to Random Farm which happens to be just East of the true summit. We have never operated from the summit car park (Where all the mining activity was) as it has a massive lump of dolerite blocking the track to the North! You can see it on the map it is called Random Farm and is just to East of the Summit.

This year I hope to have a go in back packers, I think that the hills of choice have got to be Brown Clee, Wrekin and Worcestershire Beacon. I bet the latter two are fantastic sites as they are pudding hills, have nothing else around them and must be good in all directions.

So for WB I would imagine the top contest sites would be
Titterstone Clee Hill
Brown Clee Hill
Worcestershire Beacon
Black Monutain (That was WB)

I dont know for SP! You have more experience than me Tom, however the Cloud clearly is good and Mike proves Tor works well. I know your not a fan of HuMPs but I bet even you would have to admit that the Roaches and Shutlingsloe would be worth a go for a contest.

Roaches is 200m higher then the cloud and has a clear path in all directions, in addition Shutlingsloe reminded me of the SP Worcesterhire Beacon - basically a massive steak and kidney pudding shaped hill! You should have a go one night Tom, just to see if it is any better - Roaches takes about 20 mins to walk up!!!

I look forward to a Summit to Summit with you whether it be Marilyn , HuMP or any Hill to be honest!!

73 for now

Matt G8XYJ


Shutlingsloe and The Roaches are both superior hills to any of the SOTA-qualifying Marilyns around here. The disadvantage with both of them is that they entail both longer drives and longer walks, to pack inside a Tuesday evening.

The Cloud was only a 20 minute drive and 7 minute walk, while my current contest site (not a SOTA or a HEMA) is a 35 minute drive, but 1 minute walk.

Shutlingsloe would be a great contest site - except for the fact it is virtually on top of the Macclesfield Forest/Walker Barn/Werrilow Hill/Charity Lane/Chaser Central site used by 100 watt contest station M0GVG/P.



In reply to M1EYP:
All understood Tom

I got sick and tired of driving the 18 miles to the parking spot on top of Longmynd, further more my nerves were always shot afterwards. If you have ever driven up the Longmynd from Church Stretton you will know and of course coming down in the dark makes the whole experience worse!

OK on Shutlingsloe and the QRM, I have similar issues with 4m on any hill top in WB! G4ASR his 160 watts and 2x7ele are not always easy to block out!

Anyway I am taking this massively off topic


Matt G8XYJ


I only like to use the north road onto and off the Long Mynd - the one that passes the shooting box car park. I care little for the other two, with the words “never again” buzzing around my head after each of the single times I have used them!

Being rubbish with heights, I always fear that sheer drops like that will bring about a Permanent operating restriction. (See Matt, brought it back on topic for you).

Fog last night was awful, visibility down to 1 metre on the summit. Care had to be taken getting back to the car which sounds ridiculous for a 1 minute walk! The A53 (Leek Buxton) and A537 (Cat & Fiddle) are poor in fog, and so it took me an age to crawl home after last night’s contest.



In reply to M1EYP:

I only like to use the north road onto and off the Long Mynd - the one
that passes the shooting box car park. I care little for the other
two, with the words “never again” buzzing around my head
after each of the single times I have used them!

I’ve never tried the north road but the one on the west side isn’t too bad, its the most direct continuation to the Stiperstones - the one at the south end by the glider field is a bit worrying, though!



PS I have to say that 70 cm activity is so poor in my area that I’m sure we wouldn’t miss it, and that’s a pity because I started on 70, but you get tired of whistling in an empty hall!


In reply to M1EYP:

Did you work any DX Tom? Barry GM4TOE said he needed a big stick to beat back all the LAs he was working on 2m.



In reply to G8ADD:
Hi Brian

I am included in the lack of users and I have 3 rigs at home that will do 5, 20 and 75 watts on 70cm SSB, plus various handhelds and mobile rigs for FM.
I cant work out why more people do not give it a go!

When you think long and hard about 70cm it does not make any sense
-Most commercial rigs have 70cm FM about 35 watts
-All the 8_7 series of Yaseu have access to SSB
-Commercial colinears are generally dual band for 2m and 70cm
-Due to its wavelength antennas can be physically small ye have massive gain
-It is a big band in the U.K. with 9MHz allocated to us!

I said that in 2012 I was going to make a greater effort with the band, but I will openly admit that I have been somewhat laid back about this!
When I have used it, it propogates very well with a small 5 ele beam and people on the other end are normally really pleased to chase you using this band!

I am moving out the family home soon and have plans for 70cm already, I am looking at a pole on the apex of the house with a 2m LNA and 10 ele beam then a 70cm LNA and a 10 ele beam, plus a colinear on top if I get chance.

I will swing my beam your way Brian and we will have to have a QSO!


Matt G8XYJ


In reply to MM0FMF:

No. Disappointing evening. 90 QSOs, 15 multipliers and no DX.



In reply to G8XYJ:

Starting March 2011 and last recorded March 2012 I have made 140 activator QSOs on 430MHz, all but 5 on FM. The 5 on ssb were on the UHF fun day from Garway Hill.

These from 30 summits and qualifying 19 of them (or 18 or 20) and contributing to qualifying several others.

Counting the contact callsigns is complicated by the W country suffix (and by promotions) but there are surprising many and this is reflected by the small number of contacts with indiividuals. Bob G6ODU gets the prize with 12 (thanks very much indeed, Bob), followed by Vicki, M6BWA with 5 and then Stewart G0LGS with 4. Unless I spend ages linking the Ws and the /P, /M no one else reaches more than three although I am pretty sure that adding all together Karen 2E0XYL reaches more if this is done. (G8XYJ three and 2E0XTL one, Matt)

More details to follow as I extract them.

(PS Not bored out of my mind, ministering to a software install!)


In reply to G8XYJ:

Hi, Matt, I don’t think it is a matter of people not giving it a go, its more a matter of people having withdrawn from it. In the mid 70’s, with lots of G8s coming on the band, it was more active than 2 metres! When the G8s were allowed on 2 metres activity dropped off. Even ten years ago though you could get a contact on SSB most nights and at any time on FM, but its been downhill ever since, I guess both 70 and 2 being abandoned for the easier and longer-distance contacts on HF…and the repeaters being abandoned for other choices, mobiles and internet.

You need to think a bit more about 70: it is better than 2 for tropo so people put up gainy beams to squeeze out some DX, but gainy beams have a narrow beamwidth, so if they are not beaming near to your direction you won’t hear them, whilst the wider beams on 2 spread it around a bit more. Then two has aurora and Es to offer, but they don’t reach 70. Few people can get their antennas up above the trees: mine would need to be 80 feet up to peep over the mature oaks and limes that are so plentiful around here, and trees are very absorbant on 70 - some of my regular contacts on 70 were strictly seasonal: chat in winter, inaudible in summer! This afflicts vertical polarisation more than it does horizontal, but both suffer. All in all, then, 70 has become a backwater, home to a dwindling band of devotees and with not enough on offer to tempt many new adherents!

A shame, but there it is!


Brian G8ADD


In reply to G8ADD:
Hi Brian

You are probably right and it is probably those devotees that I want to target and become. From my very limited experience of the band it does work well for Tropo (Dave M0MYA) will back this view up, but in addition the antennas are no bigger than a modern day TV antenna so in terms of neighbour relationships it is very much a viable option.

Have you tried ON4KST? I play with PSK 31 on 2m and that seems to help generate some activity, not many people monitor 144.138 PSK hi hi!!

I am still waiting for that big opening on 23cm! I have seen videos of tropo on the band, but have yet to work it!!!


Matt G8XYJ


In reply to M0JLA:

Hi Rod,

I’ve had very limited SOTA success on 70cm, even from G/SP-004. Maybe the secret is to start an activation on 70cm and the QSY to 2m. I must agree with Tom, there’s very little activity around my QTH on the 70cm band, my local 2m repeater is where it all happens.

73 Mike


In reply to 2E0YYY:


My 70cm activations were nearly all planned as such so that Vicki and I could work at the same time just using the VX-7s. All therefore started on 70cm and most were 70cm only. A few involved giving up and going over to 2m to get the last of the vital four contacts.

When we did Shining Tor I did not try 70cm seriously (if at all) but the following day I did Black Hill entirely on 70cm using the water-pipe dipole at only about 2m above ground and right in the middle of the plateau by the trig. Much to my surprise and, I think, theirs reaching Martyn and Caroline on the Black Mountains.

The others were G4ZRP, 2E0XYL, G6ODU, M0APO, 2E0NHM, GW4EVX all Yorks, Lancs, Cheshire or N Wales, so no surprises there. There have been other times where 70cm has been a complete washout, so, as usual, we never know.

Speak to you soon,


In reply to M0JLA:

Hi Rod,

Well done on qualifying G/SP-002 on 70cm with just an HT!

Black Hill is difficult enough to qualify on 2m.

Despite being 1909ft ASL, there are quite a few activators who have fallen foul of the poor take-off and struggled or failed to qualify this one on UHF/VHF. As you point out, planning is the key and your alert most certainly paid dividends.

However Black Hill gained the accolade of SOTAs 24th most popular summit, certainly beats me!

73 Mike