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30m - what can it do?


Sorry, misread it. I’m a newbie on FT-8. The band was VERY busy (and yes, lots of G’s), but stuff was scrolling off my screen pretty quickly. Had exactly the same experience with VK announced activations on 20 mtrs - I can see lots of stations, but never seem to see the SOTA activators. I’ll be back on 30 mtr FT-8 around 0700Z to see if the band continues to be in top form.


@M1EYP/Tom, oh I wish I had seen this last week. I love 30m when I am in the states, when 20/40 are getting hammered with contest weekends, 30cw is a great fallback, I can hit most of the same chasers I would normally hit on 20/40 too. That said I was in VK last week when you were testing this and that would have been a great contact to make. I even did a couple of later in the day activations hoping to get some VK/EU S2S/QSO. maybe next time!


I thought folks interested in this post might be interested in this event:

30 Meter Multi Mode Weekend
When: March 16th and 17th 2019
Where: 10 MHz - 30 Meter Band (10.100 – 10.150)
Objective: To promote experimenting and using different digital modes on the unique 30 Meter Band

Please join in if you have time this weekend. Those of you who want to participate using the more common modes of CW, FT8, BPSK31, RTTY, we welcome that, but those wanting to try other less used modes please do so and turn your RSID/TXID on to help others know what mode you are transmitting (common modes i.e. BPSK31/RTTY no need for RSID, do use RSID on the less common/exotic modes i.e. QBSK/HELL/MSK/DOMINOEX/THOR/THROB/CONTESTIA/OLIVIA/etc.).

A number of digital mode groups will be participating this weekend so if you have wanted to try out a new digital mode or make some contacts using less common digital modes this weekend might be of interest to you. There are a number of multi-mode digital software programs so this is also a chance to get on the 30 Meter Band to try them out. Most of them have RSID/TXID (Reed Solomon Identifier- automatic mode detection and tuning which will help or aid for the less commonly used digital modes so turn on the RSID/TXID).

This event is NOT a contest…no set times…no rules…no exchanges…no logs to send in or to anyone…no winners other than those that participate with casual use of the 30 Meter Band knowing that others with like interests will be on this weekend to experiment, ragchew, DX and have some fun trying different digital modes!

Where on the 30 Meter Band to find different digital mode activity:
(Note: these are suggested only and observations of known digital mode activity…all dial frequencies are USB for digital modes…below " **** " indicates for the more active or used frequencies/modes)

[10.100 - 10.130](tel:10.100 - 10.130) CW ****

10.130 - FT8Call
10.132 - SSTV-Narrow (MP73-N) Region 2

[10.132 - 10.134](tel:10.132 - 10.134) ROS Region 1 (Region 2 - note not legal in USA)

10.135 - OPERA

10.136 - FT8 (WSJT) ****

10.138 - JT65 JT9 (WSJT)
10.1386 - MEPT/WSPR
[10.138 - 10.140](tel:10.138 - 10.140) - JT65 (WSJT)
10.1405 - PROPNET & PropNet Robots (BPSK31)
[10.140 - 10.141](tel:10.140 - 10.141) BPSK31 QRP
[10.140 - 10.142](tel:10.140 - 10.142) BPSK31 - DX Region 1,2,3 (or BPSK/QPSK,31,63,125,etc.) ****

10.142 - 10.144 RTTY
[10.142 - 10.145](tel:10.142 - 10.145) RTTY,MFSK,THOR,THROB,DOMINO,OLIVIA,CONTESTIA, SIM31,etc. - note:Turn on TXID/RXID
10.144 - FeldHELL (10.137 - 10.144)
10.144 - SSTV-Narrow (MP73-N) Region 1
[10.142 - 10.144](tel:10.142 - 10.144) - ALE-400hz
[10.145 - 10.148](tel:10.145 - 10.148) - ALE-2khz
10.147 – 10.148 PSKMail/APRS
[10.1491 - 10.1495](tel:10.1491 - 10.1495) APRS

For a more detailed 30 Meter Band Utilization Chart our digital friend Ian G3NRW has helped us on that so please go here: http://g3nrw.net/30m/

Operating hints for the weekend:

  • Do use RSID (RXID/TXID) for the less common/exotic modes (i.e. Contestia,Olivia,Domino,etc)

  • Do CQ with RSID for more than just a few of CQ’s, don’t expect to have someone to reply on a less common used mode the first few CQ’s…give it a while for others to find you and the mode being used

  • Do use good operating habits – clean signal, lowest wattage to complete the QSO, QRL in common mode first, if band is busy or crowded spread out or use narrower width modes (i.e. if band is busy don’t use OLIVIA 8/500 in the middle of the 30 Meter PSK 10.141 portion of the Band-not good operating habit if the band is busy and you will not make many friends)

  • Do not let not having a dedicated 30 meter antenna stop you from joining in…load up what antenna you do have and give it a go on 30 meters.

  • Do have fun and compare modes, wattage, antennas, etc with other operators that are interested to do the same…most the 30 Meter Digital Operators are not Call,599,73 most want a QSO (even DX) but also keep in mind that for poor band conditions or weak signal work WSJT modes of FT8 (JT65/9) is hard to beat!

  • Do use http://www.HamSpots.net for spotting, announcements of mode, etc.

****Please note we are secondary users of the 30 Meter Band and to use good operating procedures

Have fun and hope to see you on the waterfall!


Friday 1st March 2019 - The Cloud G/SP-015

I was on my way home from a day’s supply teaching in Newcastle-under-Lyme, and wondered about getting stateside on my newly built 30m GP vertical antenna. So I repeated my regular old trick of the past when teaching in the Potteries, and visited The Cloud G/SP-015 on the way home.

There was only a light breeze, so I was able to set up this enormous antenna right on the highest point. There was no issue with windload, but the radials had to be carefully placed not to block any paths.

I operated on FT8 on 30m, but I don’t think conditions were particularly favourable. DXCCs worked were EA, G, HA, OH, RA and several URs.

I also put out a few calls on 2m FM with the handheld. A total of 17 QSOs were made in the activation, 10 on 30m FT8, and 7 on 2m FM. Many thanks to all chasers.


Day off shift here today and saw you spot on FT8 looked for you but no luck. I wonder if your Vertical is resonant on 18 or 24mhz??? My home built doublet here is with less than 1.5 swr and the swr below 2.0 on 10mhz.



Saturday 2nd March 2019 - The Cloud G/SP-015

It was too windy for 17 candles for SOTA’s 17th birthday, so an activation comprising 17 QSOs it had to be (well not really, that was just a coincidence I noticed after getting home…)

I had a couple of hours free between taxiing Liam to Congleton and back where he was meeting a mate for the afternoon. Obviously that would be spent on Cloud summit, doing FT8 on 30m - mainly.

On the ascent, it was noted that the pathworks had progressed higher up towards the summit after a dormant few weeks. The reworked path, with tree-trunk borders, now extends just into the activation zone.

I set up beyond the summit rocks, just above the north ledge. It was a little breezy, but not so windy as to feel the need to actually drop down to the ledge to set up. As it was, there was a “courting couple” down there who looked like they would prefer not to be disturbed.

The only problem with erecting the huge 30m GP antenna where I did was that loads of walkers passed within a few metres of it, and without exception asked me to explain what I was doing. Of course, I was happy to oblige, even if it did hammer my QSO rate!

Not that there was any potential of a mega haul in the log anyway. There were no signs of any proper DX, and the band was closed to North America. The first 25 minutes of operating saw me scrape to the nominal four QSOs in what was looking like a total yawnfest. It reminded me of those initial activations 17 years ago in 2002, using a 230mW Standard C108 handheld and taking half-an-hour to complete four good contacts!

In protest at the embarrassment that is FT8, and its pathetic QSO haul, I switched to the entirely superior CW mode - and made three QSOs in the next twenty minutes… Maybe the 30m band wasn’t playing today?

I started, out of sheer boredom, putting out occasional calls on 2m FM, but that was pretty quiet too. 30m FT8 then picked up at least, and the QSO rate actually increased to the dizzy heights of one every three minutes!

Eventually the call came from Liam to say he was ready to be picked up. I told him I’d be at least half-an-hour, and to go in somewhere to sit down and have a hot chocolate while he waited.

Total QSOs: 17 (as if by design for SOTA’s 17th birthday)

30m FT8: 12
30m CW: 3
2m FM: 2

@GW0PLP - I would have thought that you are in the skip zone on this band, so no chance of us hearing each other?


Not heard (or seen) you today Tom on 10136 FT8. No surprise there, the skip distance would be wrong 90% of the time and I am in your dead zone, but I could see plenty of stations working you. Conversely Roger F5LKW/P was on later than you using FT8 also, further away so we had skip and I followed through after Don G0RQL giving Roger -15 and getting -05 back.

73 Phil


Friday 5th April 2019 - The Cloud G/SP-015

Because I am intending to use the big 30m GP antenna tomorrow morning in the VK-ZL-JA DX event, I thought I’d better sort the tangle situation out. The best way to do that was to deploy the antenna on a summit, add 12/13 small cable ties on each radial and accompanying guyline (as the guys anchor to the centrepiece, not just the ends of the radials), then wind the antenna back in with each radial wound separately.

Fingers crossed, with this now done, it should be a much easier and faster set up next time out. This afternoon, as anticipated, and as careful as I was when unwinding the antenna, there was still a significant amount of untangling to be done initially, so I really hope the measures put in place prove to be effective!

Of course, with the antenna fully set up on a qualifying SOTA summit, it would have been wasteful not to then conduct a SOTA activation with it!

And it was good fun:

30m FT8: 18 QSOs
30m CW: 8 QSOs
2m FM: 2 QSOs

Then back home for Irish stew and red wine - nice!


You were booming here on 30m CW when the QSB was favourable. I wish you and all the participants good luck and fun in the S2S event. I won’t join you unfortunately as it’s raining here now and so it probably will tomorrow.



Neither will I. Lovely weather here - but I overslept :frowning:


Monday 8th April 2019 - The Cloud G/SP-015

I had a short window of time available between dropping Liam off in town and picking him back up again. I made for my usual local summit and set up the 30m GP. Since adding the clips made out of small cables ties to better manage the long guys and radials, and winding them back in individually rather than together, I have had no more trouble with tangles. So set up is quite quick now.

What wasn’t quick was the QSO rate or response to my CQ calls on 30m FT8. Just two contacts made - HA2SK in JN86, and M0OJR - in IO92! It was very cold on The Cloud, and I packed up just after it went dark.