This is going to give me a problem!
I came on SOTA to do HF but I do a lot of 50mhz from home, I run 350W to a 4ele and can work Meteor scatter to OH through SP to S5 and all points nearer 24X7X52, (I did 10 MS QSOs on tuesday evening without trying) I hadn’t thought about doing 6M out on a hill, maybe I’ll have to think again.
For anyone thinking of a dipole, B&Q do some tubular aluminium of various dimensions, and they slide into each other, this would make a very easy aerial. In fact I’ve used it to make 2 of these over the years: http://www.uksmg.org/content/smallantenna.htm which would possibly be quite a good collapsible beam. I’ve worked from jy, 4x though ve and w on one of those. I even used to have a regular meteor/iono scatter qso with Ken G8VR, the designer at about 600kms with one at both ends!
Polarization was mentioned, I’ve been able to compare incoming Es on a 5/8 vertical and a 3 ele horizontal at the same time and they can both work very well, the polarization gets really messed up in Es so its not always certain which will be better. I’ve worked UX and SV9 on the 5/8 with better signals than on the beam. I guess a wire 5/8 run up a pole would be a possibility. I have built this one before: http://www.uksmg.org/content/vertical.htm
Aurora is much easier on CW but can be done on ssb, keep an eye on http://spaceweather.com/ for an idea of whats going on, or http://www.solarham.net/ . From past experience Aurora can kill Es dead, but watch out for Auroral Es which can bring great openings into Scandanavia, often much later in the day than normal Es
Gabriel’s excellent dxmaps has already been mentioned for a real time view of who is working what, not very exciting right now but take a look in June!
And don’t forget 50mhz supports troposcatter contacts, Most RSGB contests I work IO80 in devon from IO86, 630kms, although that is qro both ends, but from a hill you’ll get quite a few qsos within the UK during the many contests even if Es gets shy (as it often does for a contest!)
looks like I’ll have to put something together to take 50mhz out on a hill!