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VHF SOTA in Italy


#1

The XYL and I have booked a holiday in Northern Italy (Trentino region) and I may have the opportunity to try SOTA while we are there. With only 15kg baggage allowance I’ll be limited to a 2m/70cm FM only hand held, though I might manage a better antenna - I have a j-pole made from twin feeder which rolls up nicely.

My first question is “Am I likely to get any contacts?” We’ll be based at Campitello di Fassa. Many of the summits in the area look like they are yet to be activated. I know there is history concerning SOTA in Italy but I think that’s all been sorted out now.

My second question is “What frequency should I call on?”.

I know HF would be much better but I can’t see any way to get my HF gear there and have any more than the clothes I’m standing up in!

73,
John
G4YTJ


#2

Hello John, to the question 1. I believe that and on question 2. on 145,500 fm are already some QRV.
Announcement in the cluster and then I’ll hear.
When are you in Campitello di Fassa ??

greetings and 73
markus IN3ADF


#3

Hi Markus,

Thank you for your reply. 145.5 it is then. Is it ok to stay on frequency or should one QSY once the QSO has started?

We will be there in August, so plenty of time.

The hotel has WiFi so I should be able to spot beforehand.

73,
John
G4YTJ


#4

If you annunce the dates I’ll be qrv and I’ll make some pubblicity on a couple of local facebook groups.
73 de IN3AQK


#5

Hi John,

I activated eight summits in the Dolomites in July 2012 using VHF, for the same reason. Only 2m was successful nothing on 70cms. On two of the summits I didn’t manage 4 contacts so nul points, and the successful ones were either only 4 or 5 contacts. I think they have a lunchtime siesta and that was the time that people were more likely to be at home to answer.

I used a 3 element YAGI and the higher you get the more chance of contacts. It is a lovely area and was great fun though.

Good luck.

Colwyn
MM0YCJ


#6

Thanks, Paolo. We will be there during the week of 11th August to 18th August, but SOTA activities will be arranged on the day, depending on the weather and where we decide to walk.

73
John
G4YTJ


#7

Perfect John, I put an appointment on my calendar. My Locator jn56oo, very near your zone of operation
73 Paolo IN3AQK


#8

Thanks, Colwyn.

A yagi might be better than my rolled up Slim Jim, I’ll look into the various collapsible versions (made from tape measures).

73
John
G4YTJ


#9

My 3 ele tape measure 2m Yagi does work quite well, I used the designs for one of the 2m DFing antennas. The only issue is whenever there is more than a gentle breeze, the elements fold up and that is with 1in wide tape measure material.


#10

Thanks, Andy. Anything more than a gentle breeze on a summit? Surely not!
Maybe more thinking required…
John
G4YTJ


#11

I’m going to attempt activating Col Rodella (I/TN-089) on Wednesday 15th August at around 11:00am local time (0900 UTC). It would have been nice to have activated one of the so far in-activated summits, but I have to bear in mind my fitness and the fact that this is a holiday first and a SOTA expedition second.
Operation will be on VHF as I/G4YTJ/P initially calling on 145.5MHz. If that is busy I’ll move down in 25kHz steps.

Let’s hope the weather is true to forecast.

John
G4YTJ


#12

I have also observed how flimsy some tape measure steel is. The only answer is to cut up a good Stanley measure rather than a “dollar store” tape. Hurts to destroy good tools but the outcome is much better, apparently.
Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH


#13

Hey John,
I tried to spread the news as much as I could, I wish you good luck with your activation.
I know in Italy there’s a group of OM really into SOTA activity with FM handhelds, hopefully someone will be on air tomorrow morning.

Have fun!
73 Gab IZ1KSW EA7JUG


#14

Tomorrow there is also an Italian VHF contest, but unfortunately in SSB/CW.
Anyway I’ll be on mountains (Near Bolzano) and I’ll try to call on 145.500.

In3aqk


#15

Thanks Paulo and Gab. All set now ready for tomorrow.

73
John
G4YTJ


#16

Well, nothing heard. If anyone heard me and replied, I suspect interference from the masts may have been an issue. I did move further from the masts and the s meter calmed down, but still nothing.
Nevertheless, a great day in the hills, so not a loss in all respects.
Sorry for any chasers listening for me.

John
G4YTJ


#17

Tomorrow 19 August I’ll activate Col Rodela.
I’ll hope o no thunderstorms and interference from the masts.
73 de in3aqk


#18

Good luck Paolo. I’m back home now so cannot meet you. What bands will you be using?
73
John
G4YTJ


#19

Thanks activation done:

Col Rodela IN3AQK