Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

70cm Activations


Yes, but when I win, the jackpot will be £2.50 less now!


£2.50??? It was a quid when I last played it.

When my wages were paid for by the taxpayer, I was quite happy to gamble with your money Andy. Now that I’m self-employed, I’m not prepared to gamble with my own dosh - so I’ve not played it since making the switch.

It’s been a bad day. When I got it my car this morning it was nearly as wet on the inside as it was outside - looks like the seals have failed and water is getting in via the car radio aerial. That resulted in me having to cancel a day of booked supply teaching work at the last minute and means that tomorrow I’ll be paying a garage bill instead of being able to earn anything. I had to walk through a kitchen in which toad-in-the-hole and bubble and squeak was being prepared, knowing I’d have to forego it to do the contest. Despite getting back early, there was none left. And all the results in League 2 are going the way we need them not to, and it looks like Macclesfield are going to be six points adrift at the foot of the Football League.

As days go, it’s been a stinker.


I’ll buy you a nice motor if I’ve won big time.


Garage bill of £20 was a minor “win” I guess. As long as I don’t factor in two days of lost work/pay. Now - any more winter bonus going before Saturday…?


Tuesday 9th April 2019 - The Cloud G/SP-015

I spent much of the day contemplating whether to do The Cloud on this evening for the FMAC and UKAC events, or go to the crunch Macclesfield v Exeter League 2 football match. At least I had the best environment in which to contemplate - the sunshine-bathed and beautiful Macclesfield Forest, in which Marianne and I enjoyed a splendid 7 mile circular walk during the day.

Upon returning home, I recalled the SWR problems with the 70cm beam (SB270) last time out. So I investigated - but drew a blank. All the elememts were the correct lengths. The same feeder was working perfectly with the SB5 2m beam. I focused on the driven element, using my multimeter to check for continuity indicating a good connection between the elements and croc clips, and to rule out any possibility of a short between each side of the driven element.

All indications and tests were good - but the SWR was still unacceptably high. I can’t fathom where the problem might lie with this - but it certainly clarified my plans for the evening! I decided to pop up Cloud after dropping Liam off at his vocal lesson, do the first 20 minutes of the 70cm FM Activity Contest using just my handheld, then clear off and go to the match. In order to beat the queues, I called at the stadium to buy my ticket before heading to G/SP-015 - conveniently, it is located on the very main road south out of town I would be taking anyway.

I was a little early on summit. It was still glorious - visually, but bitterly cold. Ahead of the 7pm start time for the FMAC, I made three QSOs on 2m FM.

Between 1800z and 1819z, I made eleven QSOs on 70cm FM. Then, as planned, I descended and made the short drive up to the Moss Rose, the home ground of Macclesfield Town Football Club. The exciting 3-2 victory over Exeter City was definitely worth skipping the contest for.


Having still not identified the problem in my 6-el beam for 70cm, I was originally thinking of skipping the May 70cm FMAC and UKAC completely. However, I’ve now had another idea which will be interesting, albeit less competitive than with a working beam (but more competitive than with a non-working beam).

I’m going to take part using just the SOTAbeams MFD. I’ll use this vertically mounted for the FMAC 1800-1855z, then swap it to H-pol for the UKAC from 1900z. If all works well I’ll be QRV until 2130z (10.30pm local BST), so plenty of opportunity for those interested in chasing SOTA points on 70cm.

But I really need to set aside some time to work out what’s happened to the 70cm elements on my SB270. I’ve eliminated the feeder from any suspicion, and verified that the driven element isn’t shorting in the middle, so I can only assume that one (or more) of the elements has become the wrong size - though it looks OK and I don’t recall any bits breaking off!


Have you verified the the cable by measuring the resistance (or lack of) in each conductor and that there is no DC short in the cable?

ISTR a tiny break in the centre conductor of a patch lead that worked FB on 2m but was awful on 70cms. The tiny break forming a capacitor which was effectively a short at 2m at open at 70cms.


That sounds feasible - thanks, I’ll check. Especially as Jimmy reported the occasional intermittent with the same cable yesterday.


Not sure I’m following that :-s

I had an intermittent the other day due to the centre pin of a BNC plug having receded back slightly into the body of the plug - Presumably I must have incorrectly installed it, or the cable had had a good yank. Possibly something to look for - if it’s BNCs Tom’s having trouble with!

73 de Paul G4MD