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1/4 Kilometer Wire Antenna - Thats not an antenna, THIS is an antenna! :)

That’s a good point - I’ve often wondered if the antenna can stretch beyond the AZ. I had one hut/park activation I threw the antenna wire over a tree branch that extended over a cliff face and ran an 80m EFHW vertical, top-fed. The result was about as poor as you’d expect - needed more tree-cliff separation, I suspect - but it did net me some 80m contacts where I’d never have got them any other way. Always wondered if I could repeat that for SOTA, or if the fact that the far end of the antenna was 40m below the summit would disqualify me.

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Gidday mate! Which part of the rules state that your antenna must be fully contained inside the AZ Ron?

It’s an NVIS antenna with a very specific task in mind, plastering approximately 1000k north on 80 meters with a big lobe of RF :slight_smile:

We’re going to chuck a long wire sloper roughly east west for a laugh, at 90 degrees to this monster…

Probably in excess of 200 meters long, we’ve got a bit of extra wire to get through… :slight_smile:

Chris,

It was a very weak signal on 14.31 today, not surprising if your target direction is the north island. But I was glad to chase the summit. Nothing heard on 7.095.

73 Andrew vk1da

Gents, General Rules, 3.7.3. The golden rule.

No it doesn’t say specifically all of your antenna or the station must be within the AZ. Most people wouldn’t worry if a part of the antenna were outside the AZ but 80 % or some large amount seems very iffy to me.

There is some wriggle room in the Rules. If you overstep the mark one of the MT will descend from a great height to show where you went wrong. Then there will be a rider written somewhere for future operators

The problem with wriggle room is its elasticity. I could follow the “operator only in the AZ” requirement by having a long mic/speaker cable and being in the AZ but the whole station behind out of it. I wouldn’t do it because I think that not only does it contravene the golden rule but is patently ridiculous.

Chris, I admire your exploits and I hope your field day operation was as successful as you hoped.

If I couldn’t fit most of my antenna in the AZ then either it’s not SOTA or I’m on the wrong summit. IMO.

73
Ron
VK3AFW

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In my very short SOTA experience I’ve noticed that when conditions are wet (i.e. often in Snowdonia) my 5w signal is reported as absolutely booming. I’ve put this down to the whole mountain providing some sort of turbo-charged counterpoising effect. If so, is this cheating as it’s well outside the AZ?

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Haha yes, I’m afraid so.

I suspect you will have to submit to Andy for your punishment - which may be quite severe I’m afraid…

:wink:

The golden rule is obviously a tricky one as it is so open to interpretation and you could fit an awful lot of stuff in there if it took your fancy. You could write off every drive up summit via the golden rule for example as you’re “in close proximity” (not defined) to your vehicle. Clearly that isn’t within the spirit of the program right? :stuck_out_tongue: In reality if you’re not using your vehicle to support your activation it’s fine, so any distance that you can achieve that is all good even if its a few meters presumably. What if the only parking space left is right beside the only place you can safely operate a drive up? Sacré bleu!

“The rule of cool” (a general principle, not a SOTA rule) is a pretty good one as long as it doesn’t interfere with any other explicit rule IMO.

If someone wants to build a big honkin’ antenna and run it on a SOTA peak (as long as it isn’t a permanant structure you didn’t bring the equiptment for yourself and build - then that’s a different thing and explicitly forbidden) - or you want to rope up and climb a serious peak and drop a big vertical wire off the side because that is your only option and most of that wire ends up outside of the AZ then that’s pretty cool and I think it pushes the program and is very much in the spirit of portable radio and the program in general, its just not “normal”.

K6ARK brings a whole lot of kit onto mountains that folks may not “consider to be SOTA” or “in the spirit of the program” via the golden rule (huge HF beams with rotators etc) but I think he’s a legend. Other people may have a different view :sweat_smile:

Always good to hear alternate view points though, I’m very often wrong! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Chris,
Another can of worms. Yes I think if you get most of your SOTA points from driving to the top then that’s cheating. I’ve only fairly recently come to this view. I know others have held this view for years and years.

VK has a very high number of drive to the top summits, many high point ones, so the temptation to get 1,000 points fast is there .

Of course as SOTA is a largely personal achievement program, ignoring the walking or running up bit is primarily cheating the person involved. I won’t claim goat hood because maybe 3/4 of my points have come from drive ups and so were not properly earned. Everyone has to make their own appraisal.

73
Ron
VK3AFW.

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That is a personal philosophy, it isn’t a SOTA rule. An important aspect of SOTA is that it is designed to be inclusive. Drive on summits, summits with rail or cable car access, summits with AZs measured in square kilometres and even including towns are all permitted, and rules regulating walk in distance or height gain are left out so that the aged, infirm or handicapped part of the ham population can take part. When you are ancient and decrepit you may rethink that philosophy! :wink:

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Brian,
Thanks for your response. A I am already ancient and in decline many of my past activities are now beyond me. It hasn’t changed my opinion on driving to the top.

73,
Ron.
VK3AFW

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As summits which can be reached by transport are a small minority in most Associations their existance is no biggy. Most SOTA activity will satisfy your philosophy. Personally, since I am now in my eighties I rather welcome the existance of easy summits, though ten years ago I could climb the same mountains that I climbed in my younger days, though more slowly since they seemed to have got a bit higher!

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I think you mean VK3. VK1 has 48 authorised SOTA summits of which 4 are ‘drive up’, <10%.

One only needs to view the VK league table to see the difference. Good on the Victorian land authorities for implementing fire trails and management access roads across the VK3 high plain mountain peaks.

Andrew VK1AD

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Hi Andrew,
Well of course I speak about my limited experience of peaks in VK (barely over 100 uniques). Yes one in three of the VK3 peaks in the central region are drive up especially for 4wd and if you are more adventurous there are more. Perhaps you should emigrate.:grin:

Sadly Mt Macedon has been axed, leaving us with only two peaks with licenced restaurants at the top.

Yes many summits have jeep access largely for fire spotting and fire fighting reasons. Very little of Victoria has not been subject to bushfire so there is some justification. Also the State is too big for TV and services coverage of the population from one mountain. So there are numerous peaks with comms towers and good tracks to the top.

If you are in VK1 you can drive to the top of many not too distant peaks in VK2. In all you could easily accumulate 100 points per year with your Japanese sedan from VK1.

Good luck

73
Ron
VK3AFW.

An impressive ham aerial.

Not knocking your achievements but many of the aerials/antennas on military and especially large commercial stations like Portishead had huge acreage of wire antennas. I never took a tape measure outside so I couldn’t tell you the longest!!

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I’ll be watching to see how this works. I’m planning to operate at a portable location for the Commonwealth contest (CW only, 12/13 March). It might be worth using a long wire if that increases my signal in the UK esp on 40 and 80m. I’ll be operating as VK1WIA again. The location I have in mind is a SOTA summit, but I will probably be using an alternator for power most of the time, battery at other times. Still, I will take time out occasionally when the alternator is off, to hand out a few SOTA points using my own callsign.
A problem I can see is that to support its weight at that length, it has to be strong, which makes it heavier, so must be even stronger etc. the tension on the end poles approaches infinity. How do you feed it? Open wire line and a sloping initial section? And if not terminated I presume it is bidirectional?

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

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Hi Andrew,
Chris has no doubt addressed all the problems.
The gauge of wire needs to be chosen to support its own weight plus the tension to keep it above ground. The tension at the end is only infinite if you try to pull the wire horizontal instead of allowing a nice catenary. This is a classic Electrical Engineering transmission line problem. I think the equations are all on the “The Net”.

Last century for my failed long wire project I used standard army telephone wire but needed two intermediate supports. It was a single copper conductor wrapped in steel wires in rubber insulation covered by a waxed cotton sheath. Sold in 1 mile lengths post WW2. Unchanged design since 1900?

You need to expect a little less gain down due to steel rf losses. Simple concept, many considerations.

Feed could be by a quarter wave OWL as per the original Zepp.

The site Chris has chosen may not have many counterparts.

I suggest a W8JK or other 2 element wire beam as best bang for buck. Two masts, wires in inverted vee shape.

Beams are the rotary clothes lines of the rf world. The Military outside the UK sold off their long wires long ago. Beams are Compact and Effective.

Two element Delta loop?

Lots to consider.

73
Ron
VK3AFW

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Looking forward to hearing how this went…

While out activating this afternoon a teenage lad was asking me all about ham radio and SOTA and was really interested in it all. I mentioned this crazy antenna project and he thought it sounded like fun.

He said he will do his foundation licence if he finds time in between his other hobbies.

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For those following this thread - part 2 is here The nuts and bolts details on the 1/4km long wire antenna