Activating Roccabella HB/GR-269 with an unusual antenna and hiking with (to ?) much baggage

Three days before my SOTA holiday in Graubünden (HB/GR) I read this topic from Roberto, IW2OBX. Why not using a vertical EFHW for 20 m by myself? Checking my stock I’ve found all the necessary things, a 10 m telescopic travel pole, guy ropes, light tent pegs, a transformer, wire and a wire cutter :wink:. The antenna was completed and tested in the backyard.

In HB/GR I was wandering about the right summit to collect experience setting up this antenna. I decided to use Roccabella, a well known summit to me (seven times on this summit before). The summit is large and the ground good to use tent pegs. During the week with fine wx only a few visitors a day. And, I had a joint activation with Roberto and Zac on this summit in 2019!

My plan was to stay as long as possible on the summit and make more contacts. The descend should start not later than half past 6 pm. So I could reach the more flat part of the way by sunset, also with my slow speed. But I was not 100 % sure about this because of a lack of training and the increased weight of my backpack. And the weight was increased because I was not 100 % sure (and the 10 m pole.) I nice circle. I packed some things for an emergency bivouac.

Looking back after 20 % of the way

Looking back, the valley to septimerpass (left), a pass used also by the old romans

10 m pole, a nice view

my shack on the summit

The activation was a success: 51 contacts on 20 m in a range from 100 km up to 2000 km, the most amazing loud and 13 contacts on 40 m, all in 2 ½ hours operation time.

For 40 m I used the vertical wire as a ground plane. I replaced the transformer by a direct connection and added two 20 m wires on the ground.

a large shadow after beginning the descent

The descend was a struggle. After a fight I reached the flat part after sunset but by good light. But on the last 500 m descend on a good country lane some snails overtook me (so far as I remember).

73, Ludwig


Thanks Ludwig, a great activation report with photos. Well done. :+1:

cheers :beers:

Geoff vk3sq

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Hi Ludwig!
i’m honoured to inspire you, but you can work 40mt with a lightest set up. i use this set up when I search the dx qsos.
A ground plane with variable coil at center on five meter telescopic pole is a nice choice.

Roberto iw2obx


Hi Robertto,

thanks for your hint. My main goal was to replicate your 20m-antenna. For this I needed the 10 m pole. When using this it was simple to transform the 9.xx m vertical wire in a GP for 40m.

Now, with a little bit more time after my SOTA-holiday I compared this 9.xx m vertical EFHW and my “old” 6.5m vertical wire with one wire horizontal above the ground. I made some simulations using 4nec2. The radiation efficiency, the gain and the radiation angle was nearly the same. The feeding was different. For the 6.5m-antenna I need a ATU, for the vertical EFHW not.

So I guess I will use this “old” antenna also in the future. Shortening the pole (minus 3 lower segments) saves 0.5 kg.

73, Ludwig

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Dear Ludwig
Today (17.09.2022) I also activated Roccabella. My problem was the wx not the antenna (EFHW)!
73 de HB9BIN, Jürg

Dear Chasers
Sri for my CW of today!


Dear Juerg,

this year I missed such a weather in August and beginning of September. After seeing your pics I’m satisfied :wink:

73, Ludwig

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