17m as a SOTA band

I’d be interested to know what people think about using 17m for SOTA. The reason I ask is I would prefer to work just one band on HF but obviously don’t want to choose a band where there is unlikely to be any SOTA activity! Bryn

In reply to G4ZHI:

Check out the band stats:


73 Richard G3CWI

In reply to G4ZHI:

The database says the following activator QSOs have been logged.

3.5MHZ : 34268
5MHZ : 57013
7MHZ : 795924
10MHZ : 139503
14MHz : 202614
18MHZ : 12358
21MHZ : 9658
24MHZ : 945
28MHZ : 6782

I’ve qualified summits a number of times exclusively on 17m. With the RBN network plus self spots I reckon you could be 17m exclusive and qualify your summits. It can be busy. One thing to consider, a lot of hams who are lucky to have beams may have decent antenna gain on 20/15/10 but may not have 17 covered on the beam. If you’re QRP sometimes it’s a nice safety net to know the chasers have big ears if conditions aren’t sparkling.


In reply to MM0FMF:

160M Andy? :sunglasses:

Mike G6TUH
in sunny Easy Sussex

In reply to G6TUH:

Chaser opinion…12 / 17 / 160…All I ask is dont make it too easy for us, as once things become easy they become dull…I personally get my buzz from the thrill of the chase…sometimes I get a contact, sometimes I dont…that level of difficulty sometimes is what drives me to do it again and again.
However good luck with the 12 concept as Im sure it will create great interest and help fund the low statistics.


In reply to MM0FMF:
Thanks Andy - good point! 73s Bryn

In reply to G3CWI:
thanks Richard - some interesting stats there.

73s Bryn

In reply to G4ZHI:

17 is one of my favourite bands for SOTA. If I had to select two bands for chasing and activating I would perhapse select 17 and 30. This is of course from my skewed Nordic perspective.

20 is nice band but quite often congested by contest QRM.

30 is also very nice and often provides nice contacts with short skip distance and dx-wise it can surprise big time.

On 17 it is reasonably easy to get antenna to heights where it can really perform, even with fiberglass pole support.

I am hoping more activity on 17 from the chasers perspective. On most days this band gives nice results between central EU and OH.

To your question on sticking to just one band… I would select at least two: one for short skip and the other one for longer skips.


toni oh3t

Hi Bryn

So far I have been able to qualify all the summits that I have used 17m on, it can be unpredictable on now easy or hard it is to get 4 contacts though. Rapid fading is common with the band full of signals one minuet and nothing the next. A sign that the band has closed for a while are ground wave contacts are sometimes made over quite good distances.

Some times I have had to search out contacts others a simple CQ will provide some very nice DX. There are a few SOTA chasers who are regulars in my logs but that is not always guaranteed.

I will usually use 17m exclusively if out with someone else otherwise it is used as a second (primary) band to something such as 20 or 40m.

17m is probably my favourite band for mobile/portable operating because of what it has to offer.