This years five Backpacker Contests are in the Calendar !!
1st is on Sunday 22nd May 2022 from 1100 to 1500 UTC (I Will miss this one due to a well deserved rest in Foreign Climbs although will be visiting 4 CT SOTA Summits while there )
2nd is on Sunday 12th June 2022 from 0900 - 1300 UTC I will be operating on G/SP-014 Longridge Fell (Alert on Sotawatch)
3rd is on Sunday 3rd July 2022 from 1100 to 1500 UTC I will be operating from G/WB-004 Titterstone Clee Hill (Alert on Sotawatch) This one coincides with VHF NFD
4th is on Saturday 30th July 2022 from 1400 to 1800 UTC I will operating from G/WB-015 Callow Hill (Alert on Sotawatch)
5th is on Sunday 4th September from 1100 to 1500 UTC I will be operating from G/SP-012 Easington Fell (Alert on Sotawatch)
As I always say, “best laid schemes of mice and men” to quote Robert Burns, there are factors to change these plans, WX, Family Issues and for me Health issues!!
But I must say, I have always thought that the Backpackers Contests run in parallel to SOTA as both require you to be out and about and totally Portable???
There are 2 levels of Ops for all the Backpackers Sessions: 5 Watts " Backpacker " and 25 watts " Hilltoppers " The only Difference for SOTA is Hilltoppers are allowed to operate from a Motor Vehicle UNLIKE SOTA!!
I also believe there is a stronger possibility of getting at least the 4 contacts required for qualifying the summit???
“FINGERS CROSSED” it all works out as planned Hey???
looking forward to playing Radio up the hills again
73 Tony de G1JPV
Good luck for anyone climbing up the UK SOTA Summits for the 144MHz Backpackers Contest Lets hope VHF Conditions allow some DX??? 73 Tony
I joined in briefly on one of the days a couple of years ago when by coincidence I was on Brown Willy in Cornwall for a SOTA HF activation. My VHF skills have improved marginally since but being in the south west FM contacts will be limited although we can get into GW if the wind is in the right direction.
Is SSB used much in these events?
Hi John, I came across the “Backpackers” the same way as you by accident when I was activating G/SP-001 Kinder Scout a good while back. I have been active in the Tuesday Night Contests last year and SSB was the preferred mode just because of the distance advantage for the points. So I think the same would apply for this contest??
I have sadly watched the slow demise of SSB on 2m over the years on SOTA Summits. It was always my personal choice of Mode on most of my Activitations in the past when I was out and up quite a bit.
Hence I am hoping to grab some SSB up the hills using these contest days to achieve qualification aswell as some possible DX??
I am away for tomorrows Session ,but have booked for the other 4 as you can see from this post? I always say give it a go, There seems to be a lot listening, but not many CQ’ing???
Tony, I might be able to make the 12 June event. Sadly, I’m on the north coast of France at the moment and with a good Yagi I might have had a chance of reaching the UK tomorrow. I have a Slim Jim with me but that might be a struggle unless I can string it horizontally between a couple of trees and try SSB… I’ll give it a go. 73
Yes, we in CT Land at present for our Wedding Anniversary which is tomorrow actually, Ive had no luck with VHF FM on the 2 I have Activated, hoping for better luck tomorrow as we try CT/AL-003 which I qualified on 2m FM back in 2019 only with a good friend Jose helping me find 3 others good luck tomorrow, hopefully to get a couple of the south coast uk stations. Tony
The RSGB BP event on 12-Jun co-incides with the annual Practical Wireless 2m QRP event, which runs from 10am to 5pm BST.
In last year’s event the leading station made 218 QSOs (running 5W into a 9-ele) and I took my venerable old IC202 and folding HB9CV up onto the nearby moors in the afternoon and made 27 SSB contacts in ten different squares in under two hours.
73 de Ross
Thanks Ross, great info, not seen many alerts for today, it looks warm and not wet over in UK??? Yes, SSB and CW should get you more points as they travel further generally, Hope you are well?? 73 Tony
I have just checked and the most 2m SSB contacts up a SOTA Summit was 28 on GW/NW-012 Cadair Berwyn in May 2009?? This also happens to be my Favourite North Wales Summit!! Tony
Seeing as I couldn’t watch the F1 live yesterday, your post prompted me to go get out and make the most of the weather and also try out a new’ish HB 3e beam adapted from a Band 1 TV antenna I found in the loft when we moved into our new QTH.
On arrival at a local high spot (just 110m ASL) I set up the antenna and then realised I had left the FT817 Pwr cables at home! I was glad I had recently charged the int batts (8 x Ikea LADDA 2400mAh) and was curious to see how long they would actually last. So, I dropped the output to 2w and only used the full 5w when responding to a distant Op. I only made 21 QSOs but I’m glad to say the batt lasted the whole 4hrs which surprised me plenty! I even managed my 1st ever 2m SSB contact with an Op in GM land… my furthest UK QSO to date! So, in all, a very enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon
Now… I need to choose which summit for 12th June.
73, Lea M0XPO
I listened from the north coast of France but with only a Slim Jim on a 6m pole I couldn’t hear anything. I’m kicking myself for not bringing a Yagi on this trip.
Afterwards I tried a bit of 2m FT8 but although I was picked up on PSK Reporter I got no human replies.
Cracking crop of contacts Lea shows what you can do when you start getting serious! Good luck in the contest
73 Paul G4MD
Incorrect polarisation isn’t going to help, up to 30dB loss to horizontal stations. We worked plenty of French, Dutch and Belgian stations on 2m in the contest from SW Scotland. Most exotic 2m contact was with an EI station in IO53 square which is not a hotbed on 2m activity normally And we worked our 1st /MM station on a 2m contest too.
That looks it may have been my contest group, was it GM3HAM/P ?
Yep…… it was GM3HAM/P. Luckily for me …… there was a bit less activity in second hour (?start of football perhaps?) and whilst it was a bit of a struggle we did manage to complete our QSO.
(nb: I could hear an EI station responding to a CQ but couldn’t grab his attention to QSY to another freq )
Small setup this time, one food/social tent and one operating tent. 5λ antenna on 10m mast
2m station, K3 (fairly fully loaded), P3 panadapter( partial on left), Kuhne transverter, GPS 10MHz frequency lock (partial on right)
Sometimes we’ve tried the K3 in full diversity mode with 2x Kuhne transverters and both horizontal and vertical antennas. Not enough people available this weekend for that kind of setup.
The K3+Kuhne is really amazing. It is truly effortless to listen to for hours and hours whereas the super hot rodded FT736 used before was noisy enough to cause your brain to melt after a few hours. The Kuhne also has the ability to really let you hear the weak stations.
The appearance of the Backpacker stations at 1200GMT is always great. Things always slow down a lot by then and suddenly there’s lots of new stations to work.
Interesting set up. Whereabouts were you exactly as I want to explore the topo profile further. According to my initial analysis, Wales should have played greater havoc with us being able to QSO.
73, Lea M0XPO
Well Done on 21 Contacts Lea, I have done the very same thing, leaving a power cable in the car!! I am Impressed with the Ikea Batteries lasting close to 4 hours.
I hope they 2m SSB bug has bitten you and certainly hope to grab you in my Log on 12June Event?
Nice Setup Andy, Our Club had a K3 , and I did love using it on Contest Events, I have always wanted one but could never afford the stretch of the cost, I am Jealous Tony
I was bitten by the 2m SSB contesting bug ages ago when I got chatting to one of the ‘Drowned Rats’ located near my old QTH. I’m a regular for the 144 UKAC but decided to give the Backpackers a go and enjoyed it !
73, Lea M0XPO
FB Lea, yes I am hoping more on here take up the Backpackers ?? Tony