2m Activation Equipment Advice (Part 2)

Continuing the discussion from 2m Activation Equipment Advice (Part 1) - #101 by M7OMZ.

Previous discussions:

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Continuing the discussion from 2m Activation Equipment Advice (Part 1):

Whilst true, many come up for sale second hand. I counted more than 10 HHs on that list that I own or have owned; the majority acquired in very good second hand condition.

It all depends what you want from a HH (Multiband, APRS, Digital, Large Colour Screen, etc).

For SOTA, my favourite no bells, no whistles HH is the FT-65 - which I have used for the majority of my VHF activations - and can still be purchased new today.

A quick search shows a second hand FT-65 as well as a FT-4X for a little over £60.

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I took @M0RWX recommendation of a FT-4X. Excellent little radio for £60 new!

And it survived being catapulted 30m onto rocks in a 70mph gust on Eildir Fawr :rofl::rofl:

Here it is on GM/SI-033 Travall on island of Rum, saving the day during a solar storm !

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@M0RWX and @G5OLD

Thanks - this is the info I need. For some reason (reading other posts here and there), I had it in my head that I must get a dual-conversion superhet. Hence I was looking at the FT-70d, or getting a new FT-60 shipped from the US.

I do want to try HF at some point too. Someone I was speaking to advised me against the X6100 because of its price (and potential for damage on SOTA). Well, my phone is £400, and that gets taken all over the place, so there’s not much difference there (save that the radio probably won’t get dropped down the loo accidentally).

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@2E0IYM - do you have an update? Keen to know how you got on. :crossed_fingers:

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I have been helping my son move flats over the last two weekends. Am looking to head out for the first time next weekend. Will post before I do. Plan is to take:

  • flowerpot 2m antenna
  • light fibreglass pole
  • Yaseu FT818nd
  • Flask of tea

cheers
Tony

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Hi Tony, I am glad you looking forward to your 1st Activation,

I am out and up on Sunday and Monday in Mid Wales.

It would be great to get an S2S and a Tony2Tony from one of them.

more so Sunday possibly for you ? and as I see your birth year is the same as mine also, and its my birthday on Sunday,

Good luck anyway and have fun wherever you climb

Tony

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Sounds excellent, will post when I know which day/time I am out and about

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If you can do Sunday I will be out also with the intention of working Tony (JPV) on their summit.

Depending on your chosen summit and distances, it maybe worth trying vertical 2m SSB (with your flowerpot) rather than FM for the summit to summits. I’ll have a small 3 ele beam which is trivial to switch to vertical polarisation if you want to try it out.

This also applies to any chasers who might want to try ssb but dont have a beam at home.

Ian (Not called Tony :slight_smile: )

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@G7ADF , @G1JPV , @2E0OMX
Plan is to head to Walbury hill on Sunday. I should be there from about 11ish. I will start with SSB and then try FM later. Will spot myself once I get started.

@G1JPV hopefully I can say happy birthday, though will be a fair distance :slight_smile:

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Looking forward to your report Tony. @2E0IYM

I’m volunteering at a mountain bike event, else I’d have headed somewhere high and listened out for you. There’s something quite exciting about S2S contacts. :+1:

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I am adding an Alert to SotaWatch, what are good frequencies to use, eg:

144.550 FM
144.200 SSB

Thanks
Tony

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For fm call cq on 145.500 and move to a clear channel on a reply.

With ssb 144.300 is the calling frequncy with a move up or down.

My normal method on ssb is to call cq on 144.300 and announce that ill be listening to replies on 144.290 (or a clear frequency ive found before making the cq).

Once established on a frequency, you can post a spot with the exact frequency.

Unless its a contest weekend (which i dont think this weekend is) 2m ssb will be quiet shluld be ok to stay with 20kc of 144.300. Turning up or down a lot on an ft-817 can be tedious especially if the rotary encoder is dodgy (like on mine). :slight_smile:

Hopefully can make the trip on ssb from south pennines on sunday

Ian

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Thanks , I have posted the Alert, fingers crossed for Sunday

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First SOTA Trip today, lovely weather and location at Walbury hill. Could hear something on the SSB Freq but could not make out the words. Tried FM and got one QSO in Reading who was at the McMichal Radio Rally trying out a new antenna.

Now I need to plan the next trip :smile:

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Hi Tony, I hope you enjoyed your first SOTA activation. It seems like you didn’t get enough QSOs to qualify the summit. You did the right thing by alerting beforehand and then self-spotting when on summit. One might think more 2m contacts were to be had on a Sunday morning but [on the rare occasions I do it then] it seems no better [outside of 2m contests and special events] than on a weekday morning.

I noticed your spot was for 144.512 FM which is an unusual frequency for FM. I wonder if you meant 145.512 FM or perhaps even 144.512 SSB. FM chasers might have been listening on the wrong frequency.

Good advice from Ian above. In any event, I hope you will try again.

73 Andy

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Good Spot, it was supposed to be 145.512 FM but I mistyped. I followed Ian’s splendid advice. Good practice and a nice day out :slight_smile:

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Generally, AFAIK, frequencies used for 2m are usually in 25kc blocks up & down from the calling channel, eg 145.450/475/525/550 etc. It’s rare, in my limited experience to see 12.5kc blocks used, though it might be an idea for next year’s NWSOTA field day! Hope that helps, 73 John G0MHF.

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I would advise that you don’t operate “new fangled” narrow band FM just a bug’s doodah above the calling frequency. Whilst the recommended channel spacing is 12.5kHz there is a huge amount of equipment still using 25kHz spacing and worse, old duffers like me who see little need to change to narrow spacing. The result is you QSY up 1 narrow channel 145. 5125 and then some old curmudgeon like me calls on 145.500 wide and splatters all over your signal.

You did nothing wrong but my advice would be to QSY to the 25kHz channels and move some distance from 145.500. Basically to avoid crusties like me :slight_smile: There’s lots of space that’s not too busy. 145.375/400/425 would be my suggestion. Especially for traditional analogue FM. If you want to play with these modern digital voice modes then, 12.5kHz channels are the order of the day.

Better luck next time. It’s all a matter of practice and patience.

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Glad you enjoyed it. Im just back from 4.5 hours on G/Sp-017. The weather was best described as damp for me.

Quiet on 2m ssb as expected but unfortunately i think our timings may have been out of sync but it would have been stretch to make the trip as conditions were not condusive.

Good to see youve caught the bug and planning the next one.

Ian

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