6m Tonight

Well the Challenge might be over but I’ll be SOTA activating on the 50MHz kit this evening. The wx is forecast to be good, albeit cold, so some chasers calling in as well as the contesters, would be most welcome.

I won’t be self spotting, but I’ll be there somewhere from 2000 to 2230z.

How did you get on.
Would been there if got me radio with 6m on it here, as got me 6m moxon ready to test out.


It would be great if you came on for the contest nights Karl. Hardly ever get anything from IO70, so having a SOTA chaser coming on from there and looking for me would be excellent! Don G0RQL used to pop up occasionally on Tuesday nights, but not worked him in a UKAC for a long while.

How did I get on? Well not great really. The wall of noise from IO83 and IO93 means I’m probably missing a lot of good stuff under the splatter of nearby strong stations. I worked 67 QSOs, all 6m SSB, 4 DXCCs (G, GW, GD, GI) and 10 locator squares (IO64, 74, 81, 82, 83, 84, 91, 92, 93, JO03). I heard, but didn’t work IO75 and 86 (GM) and 94 (G). I never heard anything from fairly usual squares like IO80, IO90, JO01 or JO02.

It was a very cold night and I could actually watch the frost forming on the red Exped drybag I keep my FT-817 in!

QSOs: http://www.rsgbcc.org/cgi-bin/vhfresults.pl?kml=/2016/u7kVa54mOdSY3mGo26FRZdpOQ7trcze

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Hi Tom,
You did a good job
spending the night out with 50mhz

I just noticed, you are not far from Blackpool, where i lived and worked (1976-1979).

73 Gerald

I wonder if anyone has activated the top of the Blackpool Tower.


Walt (G3NYY)

I haven’t replaced my storm damaged beam yet, I tried with the wire antenna but didn’t hear you - unsurprising, I guess!


I’d expect so Walt, but then again Radio Wave 96.5 emits from the top of there, so whether a VHF handie would be usable up there is another matter!

Working towards a FT450D and the penny jar is growing slowly.
Already got the 6m moxon portable on go and plan couple for home sometime this year. But can’t buy NICE radio if pennies going else where.
As the Trio 120v, good radio, shame it not do WARC or 6m, let alone 160m
But soon,one day soon, i will have my grubby paws on a nice FT450D.
First lesson on this radio is to learn the Power settings and set it to what my licence allows. the rest no doubt will fall into place :smile:

So wanna get on with me antennas but there on hold til that penny goal is reached.


The FT450 is a surprisingly competent radio for a “budget” model. I know some serious DXpeditioners who use them by choice.

or …you could also work towards your Intermediate licence…you’d be surprised how much you already know Karl.

73 Allan GW4VPX


Karl, I agree with Allan.

Jimmy did a long - 7 years (some would say ‘too long’!) - apprenticeship on the FL as M3EYP. When he finally did step up, he breezed through the Intermediate and the Full in the space of about 7 months.

There is no doubt that if you have the FL and are actively engaged in the hobby (as indeed you are), then you are picking up a good chunk of what remains in the Intermediate and Full syallabi.

I actually did my Full before getting involved with SOTA - but through SOTA I have learned and understood a massive amount more about radio than I ever knew before. So you probably have too.

At the moment the step from Intermediate to Full is probably a bit more of a jump than the one from Foundation to Intermediate. It might be a good idea to go for Intermediate soon.

Hi Karl,
I know someone in the UK who may wish to sell a FT450D in very good condition, so I have just let him know about your plans in the hope that he may wish to contact you and offer his rig.
I also want to encourage you to progress on your licensing towards Intermediate and then Full.
Good luck.
73 de Guru

Still can’t get used to the idea of Thursday for an evening SOTA activation! Nonetheless, I’ll be QRV from 8pm tonight, through to 10.30pm BST (1900-2130z).

First activation back after my non-SOTA tour of EA8, EA7 and EA5!

I need some 6m CW QSOs for the UK CW table so I might manage to get on.

Also, I’m planning a quick SOTA expedition to your neck of the woods on Monday/Tuesday. Current plan is to try for Cloud, Gun and Shining Tor

73, Colin G8TMV

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Thursday 13th April 2017

After working in EA8 recently, EA7 seemed cold when we arrived there on the tour. It warmed up a bit when we moved onto EA5. Here’s a clip from the opening of that show (feel free to ignore / skip!)

Well if I thought Marbella was nippy, you can imagine the shock to the system that 4.5 degrees on the summit of The Cloud G/SP-015 was! Of course, normally, that would be a relatively comfortable and mild night for me in a UK activity contest. On this occasion however, I did feel the cold!

I certainly wasn’t as organised as I should have been, and my mobile phone was nearly out of charge as I arrived on summit. This was unclever, especially as interaction with the ON4KST website is now permitted in these contests. Fortunately, I had my SOTAbeams Phonepole with me, so I could charge up my Samsung Galaxy S3 from my Tracer LifePO4 battery during my activation. I think this is a discontinued product, but instructions to build your own are online: http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/content/Phonepolebuild.pdf

It was another discontinued SOTAbeams product I was using as the aerial, the SB6 Moxon. In days gone by, rotating the antenna (essential in UKACs) was a laborious process involving getting up from the operating position and repegging two guylines of the delta loop!

Anyway, 59 contacts were made, all SSB except for one on CW. DXCCs worked were F, G, GW, GM, GI and GD. Squares worked were IN99, IO64, IO72, IO73, IO74, IO81, IO82, IO83, IO86, IO91, IO92, IO93, IO94, JO01 and JO02. Many more squares were there for the taking (IO75, IO80, IO84, IO85, IO90, JO03 etc) but I just couldn’t track them down!

The last half hour was particularly slow, and my logbook showed a gap between QSO #58 @ 2109z and QSO #59 @ 2129z - I particularly felt the cold through that twenty minutes! Nonetheless it was good to be back activating again after a huge (for me) 20 day gap since my last one! A pint of ale and a beef pie at the Harrington Arms, Gawsworth on the way home helped me to warm back up a bit.

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