I have started preparation for attempting 1200 Mhz activations. So I am looking for other chasers and activators interested in participating. My QTH is in W6 (Sonoma County) and I am willing to travel a bit. Mount Umunhum (W6/CC-052) to Mount Diablo (W6/CC-045) might be a good start.
I’ve had good luck with ‘advertising’ my microwave activations with the local V/UHF club. They don’t often get a chance to use their gear on bands above 430MHz except during contests, and so they are happy to ‘chase’ me on SOTA summits. They like grid square exchanges and often a lat/lon instead of a SOTA summit reference - all contacts are good!
I use an Alinco DJ-G7 for FM, a SG-Lab transverter for SSB/CW/FM (FT-817 IF), and WA5VJB PC antennas or one of his ‘Cheap’ yagis. Have fun!
Etienne - Thanks for the encouragement. I picked up a used DJ-G7 and I have ordered a WA5VJB yagi. With luck I will get them to a summit in September. My notice on this reflector is my beginning step toward finding other activators and chasers! We have a few 23 cm repeaters north of the Golden Gate bridge and a significant number in Silicon Valley so I have hopes that some of them will give chase! I have looked in the database for 1.2 Ghz activations in W6 and there are not very many. Perhaps we can stir up some interest. Thanks again. Joe - AA0BV
Myself, W6PNG, NA6MG, and N0OI from SoCal had been emaiing each other last month about trying 1296 MHz on a SOTA. I have the Alinco DJ-G7 1.2 GHz HT with a 10 element Yagi. I have only tried it once on a SOTA but it was a last minute thing and I had no contacts. For the upcoming ARRL VHF Contest on Sept 14, I plan to try a SOTA with all VHF & UHF gear so would use 1294.50 MHz which is the FM calling frequency.
Right now I am in HI and hope to activate from Kauai tomorrow (Sept 2nd) if the rain lets up. Fortunately I was able to operate from Haleakala in Maui last week for my 25th SOTA state.
Scott - Glad to hear from you and glad to hear that others are considering 1294.5 on September 14th. I doubt that even from Mount Diablo (W6/CC-045) I could work SoCal but I will try to get to Mount Tamalpais (W6/CC-063) and see what can be accomplished.
Perhaps some NorCal SOTA folks will see this thread!
I recently ordered transverters for 902 and 1296. Once they arrive I’m hoping to activate some summits with microwaves.
Looking forward to your 23 cm alerts!
I couldn’t resist saying hello…
We have been doing 1296 on FM here in Arizona since April of this year and it is a very interesting band. There are 14 of us on 1296 with Alinco HT’s, 1 watt, and small yagis. Also a number of home big guns willing to work us on FM.
So far the best HT to HT DX is 165 miles…an s2s contact. Signals were 5x9…line of sight. We are looking for that LOS 200 mile QSO, but it is definitely a challenge on 1296 with one watt.
As for myself I have:
Since April of this year I have made over 112 contacts on 1296…all with one watt.
36 s2s QSO’s
37 summits worked on 1296
21 summits activated by myself so far
No ssb/cw yet…the HT route was too easy allowing many of us to get on the air very quickly and easily.
so keep it up…it is definitely worth doing!
After seeing WA7JTM’s post I though I would mention that the operators in Arizona do not use the calling frequency of 1294.5 Mhz. We typically use 1296.410 because weak signal operators using transverters typically can only tune down to 1296.0. You can also go down to 1296.100 the SSB calling frequency and try to attract the attention of the weak signal operators. The frequency of 1296.410 was selected because locally the SOTA activators use 144.410 as a 2m SOTA frequency so 1296.410 was easy to remember. I have also worked a number of contest stations and rovers on this frequency during the January and June VHF contests while activating a summit.
The GM SOTA activators using 13cms nearly always operate on the narrowband calling frequency of 2320.200MHz. We don’t QSY unless there are several activators QRV at the same time and then we only move 5-10kHz from 2320.200MHz. The reason is simply that there may be non-SOTA people active/listening on the calling frequency unaware of SOTA activity and will be pleased for to find activity. If it was 50.110MHz then a band-policeman would be along to tell us to QSY. On the uwave bands, people are delighted to find new stations.
This discussion points out local practices for calling frequencies. For the record, here in the Pacific Northwest we ‘typically’ use 1296.1 for SSB/CW and 1296.2 for FM. Usually for 13cm we use 2304.1 for any mode.
I haven’t done much on 23cm, but I use the national FM simplex calling frequency, 1294.500.
I’'m looking for the same thing here just north of New York City. If you are ever in my neck of the woods lets set something up, and if there is anyone else out there reasonably close please message me for a sked!
Curious about the antennas being used for 23cm FM on SOTA activations. I have an Alinco DJ-G7T with a Diamond SRH815S and a WA5VJB PC board yagi. I am looking for something directional with a bit of gain, SOTAable (hiking/backpack), and affordable.
Easy to make, easy to carry, and very effective for the price are these “Cheap Yagi” designs by WA5VJB:
AA0BV - I have the 400 - 1000 MHz log period on a PC board and it works great! They (he - Kent) also has a model that will cover 1.2 GHz that I am certain would perform as well, and definitely be an easier size to handle.
23cm (1294.5 Mhz) S2S from Mount Tamalpais (W6/CC-063) to Mount Davidson (W6/NC-423) today was my first 23cm SOTA contact. (Also my first 23cm contact ever)
To make it more fun this was a S2S contact with K6EL. The distance was only 15 miles (24 km). On both summits we used Alinco DJ-G7 transceivers - 1 watt. I started with a Diamond SRH 816S (6" vertical) and after initial contact switched to a WA5VBJ PC board yagi (signal strength improved).
I am looking for more opportunities and greater distances for contacts.
Most of us in Arizona bought this yagi for 1296…10 elements pretty cheap, small, work well. Pretty hard to beat for $38.
Thanks Pete. I saw that antenna and wondered if it would do work for 1296.
I checked mine out on a network ana and it looks very good from 1200 to 1300 mhz…over 20 db of return loss at 1296. I dont think is has as much fwd gain as the beams optomized for only the 1296 band, but this one only sticks out om my daypack abour 4 inches and weighs very little.
The only problem so far is that they ship it in plastic and a few had to be sent back due to damage.