1296Mhz Microwave or not?

I had my first (albeit short distance) 1296Mhz contacts yesterday from the Scottish Borders.

Is 1296Mhz (23cm) consider uWave in the SOTA world or is the lower limit 13cm?

Just inquiring Incase the 1296Mhz contacts qualify for something more than plain vanilla contacts to achieve an activation.

Paul M0SNA / W6PNG

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23cm comes into the SOTA Microwave Award category.

Yes, 23 cm is considered microwave.
More here:

Also, remember that some special logging info (location) is required for the microwave awards.
See Microwave Contacts

Note the reference to UHF in the rules. When I wrote that, I later changed it to “UHF/microwave”, because only the two lowest bands are UHF. The other nine are microwave. That change never got completed. Some year down the road, I’ll get to it.

Elliott, K6EL
Sota MT

It would probably be nice to include 902MHz for our left-pondian cousins. Not really uWave but almost!

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A 50km award. Drats…by my calculation mine was only 45 km!!

Is the only way to include the chaser’s 6 digit maidenhead in the logged QSO (and hence have it show up as a uWave qualifying contact) via a CSV upload or can I do it via manual web page entry?


It’s not that long ago that we used to generate 23cms by putting 10W of 70cms into varacter diode and get a couple of watts of 23cms out. 50km… Luxury! :slight_smile:

ISTR that in my day it was a 2C39A (and a big soldering iron!), varactors came later

Be careful Paul, you might catch the microwave bug! It’s so much smaller than the SOTA bug, almost impossible to detect. Once in the host, the microwave bug never leaves.

Good DX.

73 Andrew VK1AD

The Maidenhead reference is in the notes section, so can be put in either via CSV or via manual web page entry.

Thanks and realized that after I had uploaded a csv with the %QRA stuff

Next step as with anything new is to optimize this setup especially as the tripod is far too bulky and heavy for this application.


  1. Can the stock 2 element Yagi be attached directly to the transverter (i’ve seen others do this) without adversely impacting its somewhat impaired performance?

  2. Is placing the Yagi 12" (30cms) above ground OK. Pretty sure this should be OK but worth asking

  3. FM worth pursuing versus SSB? I ask this as I’m wondering about attaching the transverter to my 2m/440 handheld which is only FM.


It will function magnificently attached directly to the transverter if the 13cm version is any indication (mind you directivity is a variable!). Making yourself a short multi element yagi from plastic pipe and aluminium rod would give you a dramatic improvement in performance over the 2 element and not affect your backpack load too much or you could make yourself a horn antenna. Of couse, you could use the 2 element to feed a dish but carrying that up a hill (and staying there in this wind) might be a problem

Depends on the depth of the undergrowth! Wavelengths above ground are as applicable as they are on any other frequency so you may find the match to your antenna a little compromised.

Personally I wouldn’t bother but there are fans of FM who would no doubt gladly work you - do they still use vertical polarisation for FM on the microwave bands - I have no idea?

I’ve used the SG Labs transverter with the supplied antenna attached directly to it, and had some good contacts on SSB and FM (driven by a Wouxun handy on one occasion).

Suprisingly good results, and on a nice day the transverter with antenna attached sits well on a trig point. Just lay it down flat to change polarisation. Yes, I think vertical is the norm for FM, I have worked a couple of fixed stations with “white stick” antennas.

Because it is so light, I have tried holding it at different heights during a QSO and found no great difference from waist level to arm at full stretch up. I’ve not tried it at 30cm, I think that might be a bit below optimum unless you are close to a steep drop off - interested to hear how you get on.

Edit: Activation log from Pynlimon GW/MW-001

The setup:

If you could mount the antenna at 2m it’s nearly 10wavelengths above ground. Go ask a serious DXer if he would like his 7ele 20m monoband Yagi at 200m and see how he smiles. But really a couple of wavelengths above ground is good… easy at microwaves.

PVC waterpipe and aluminium rod will make a lightweight Yagi that will work well. As do the double quads (bowtie) antennas.

SSB will always outperform FM and most serious uWavers will sneer at FM. But hey a 23cms QSO in FM is still a 23cms QSO. Also there are a good number of people who own legacy 23cms handies as well as the recent Alinco DJ-G7 tri-bander. You need to make a fuss and drag people out of the woodwoork. It worked for us on 13cms (where activity has been quiet lately).