Hi. I’m thinking of trying 2m SSb out on Saturday. Never done it before. Anyone got any hills in NP or possibly lakes, but might be too far on Saturday, in the 6-10 point range that is good for 2m SSB or places to avoid? Will be using the 3 ele original Sota beam with ft817.
Nobody replied to you so I thought I’d jump in. Actually that sums up my experience with 2m SSB - nobody replies! - I failed to qualify Bredon Hill because I only managed two QSOs. The FT290 I was using at the time has a fault on FM Rx so I couldn’t change modes.
2m FM seems much more reliable in my experience.
Choose a summit with a trigpoint and put an alert on, you should then attract some of the WAB group who collect trigs as well as summits. Avoid G/NP-026 unless you`re up for a challenge.
You probably need to make a big song and dance about each activation. As an example, see how Tom M1EYP attempts to resuscitate the dead horse that is portable data by making a fuss each time he goes out.
Every morning, I do an extract from SOTAWatch of all the UK alerted activity and post it, along with the WAB square and trig point details, (where appropriate) on the WAB reflector and FB page. What Steve, G1INK suggests, is a good way to go as the information will get to a wider audience.
My advice is to pick your day and time carefully! Mid Morning and Mid Afternoon on a weekend are the best times.
As Richard says, make a song and dance about it as well. I activated G/WB-004 about 3 weeks ago on a Saturday at around 1030 and had a 9 QSOs on the band and mode.
This band and mode is my 1st choice for activating! Please do not give up on it!
I am thinking cross fell to be my destination. I have never activated that and failed to get there a few years ago on my birthday in February due to white out conditions.
This activation will be on Saturday 1st April.
I will use FM if need be to activate the summit, just wondering if I should take HF as a backup? I might take the hf pole and antenna anyway, if the weathers nice I can stay there a while.
I’ll go find the wab reflector and facebook page then. i suppose the trig will have a number they want how do i find this? I’ve got the locator and WAB square.
on a small side note is there a list of rare wab squares somewhere?
I haven’t been up Cross Fell since 2008 when I worked 10 chasers on 2m FM using my 817 and a J-Pole.
On Saturday I went up Arenig Fawr (854m) and worked 19 stations on 2m FM mostly using 5W with a 1/2 wave telescopic vertical, and managed to work 3 stations on SSB using 25W and 4 ele beam. The worst bit was trying to keep the beam pointing where I wanted it to in the 20-25mph wind. Have had quite a lot of success other times just using a centre fed dipole horizontally. Agree about weekends being the best time, and if conditions are up that tends to encourage more people to venture on too. Good luck.
To be assured of SSB contacts on 2m or 70cm, the only certain method is to pick a weekend when there is an RSGB VHF Contest on. The best bet is to choose to be active during one of the Backpackers Contests, when there is a lot of QRP activity. Be sure to know your full QTH Locator and the first two letters of your postcode (of the nearest town) at the portable location, because the contesters will want that information.
A full list of RSGB VHF Contests, with dates and times, is here:
You must have been activating when no one was listening. 144.300 is always on here when I’m in the shack.
OK So Cross Fell is the designated target for 2M SSB and 2m/70cm FM if required and if time allows.
ETA for activation around 12-1pm start.
Depending on weather and time I might try to grab another activation on way home.
Quick question as I’ve never done 2m SSb. Is it channelised like FM so you call on 144.300 then qsy or not?
The SSB portion is not channelised, but yes, it’s good practice to move off the recognised calling frequency.
I’d suggest you start on 144.300, find somewhere close-ish to QSY too and then when you finish your QSO call QRZ/CQ. Hopefully someone will spot you on your QSO frequency so you won’t have to keep switching back and forth to 144.300
Also, make sure you know how to use the 2 VFO feature of your rig or at least the frequency memory feature so you can switch between two frequencies quickly and accurately.
Good luck, Colin G8TMV
ooo good idea. I’ll read the manual. I’m still a newbie with the ft-817.
I couldn’t agree less.
1st Tuesday evening of the month, 8pm to 10.30pm UK time is the best, trust me.
I regularly use 144.333MHz. I always alert for this frequency and start there. Rarely do I use the 144.300MHz calling frequency - usually only if I am struggling to qualify the summit. You should be fine from Cross Fell. I see you have a beam which will certainly help. I don’t know why Steve INK cast aspersions about NP-026. Kisdon is a lovely summit and not really that hard to get a signal out of. Of course I usually run a small linear which helps a bit, though probably not much more than an S point relative to the 817 barefoot.
Have a good time up there. I will get on if I can. Nice to see more interest in the mode on 2m which has waned in recent years.
73 Gerald G4OIG
I am planning on doing one of these short contests this year but unsure how good I’ll be given my location in the UK. I’m not in the populated south. IO94.
It was stories from m1eyp on here about 2m SSb that made it a feature that was one of the reasons of getting a ft817.