Activations on 70cm SSB

I have only activated on 2m/70cm FM and HF so far and not ventured onto 70cms SSB

Is there a preferred area in the band for 70cm SSB operation for SOTA or just spot on 433.200mhz ssb and go from there?
I have a 70cm beam which I fixed and yet to try and its a long beam I was looking at a drive on summit i.e Great Orme to operate from.

Cheers

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I haven’t found a calling frequency or centre of activity for 70cm SSB published. I used my new 10 element Yagi a couple of weeks ago from SE Cornwall and reached to Swansea on 70cm FM using 433.500.

I would be up to giving it a go and will be on a HEMA summit on the edge of Dartmoor 1300 to 1530 tomorrow (Saturday) if the forecast dry spell appears. I’ll take the Yagi if you are free but there will be other opportunities I’m sure. The only snag might be Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa might be in the way of a north/south path!
73
John

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432.200 MHz is the SSB centre of activity in the current RSGB Band Plan

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Thanks, I can’t find it mentioned in the current band plans on their website but it is mentioned in their contest rules.

https://www.rsgbcc.org/vhf/rules/22rules/General.shtml

Hi John,
As Barry says 432.2 is the SSB calling frequency on 70cm - or at least it used to be …

I suspect you might find more success making a contact on 2m SSB and then moving up to 70cm rather than just starting on 432.2. It’ll all depend upon where you are, which direction you are pointing your (horizontally polarised) beam and which direction others are pointing theirs. setting up on 2m first will enable beams to be pointed towards each other.

Good luck, 73 Ed.

P.S. It’ll be interesting to see if the VHF and up activity in Europe in general increases with the introduction of the entry-level licence “DN stations” in Germany this year as those operators will only have VHF/UHF privileges. (Like it was for those of us with the old UK G8 Class-B call signs).

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It’s on the RSGB band plan pages

https://rsgb.services/public/bandplans/html/rsgb_band_plan_2022.htm

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Hi John
Yea Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa might be in the way a little unless I am on top of it!
I am not sure on the highest point around me. I have welsh hills to one side
Its all weather dependent TBH.
Cheers
John

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For 70cm SSB I have modified my 5 element 2m SOTAbeams yagi to add 8 elements for 70cm. The design is on the web pages by Martin DK7ZB for his dual band yagi designs. The advantage of the dual band design is that it only uses one feeder. I normally operate on 2m SSB first and move up to 70cm when the contacts dry up.

If I am specifically aiming to make a decent amount of contacts on 70cm, I will use a small linear, though the 5 watts or so from the FT-817ND seems to work okay. I usually specify a working frequency in my alerts (I use 432.222MHz) so chasers can monitor the frequency.

Success on 70cm SSB will largely depend on where the summit is. You should be okay in Lake District / Lancashire / North Wales / Welsh Borders areas, but elsewhere it could be rather patchy. There are certainly fewer people active on SSB than on FM. I don’t generally bother with 70cm up in Scotland, though I have had some useful contacts from the Southern Uplands into the Lakes area.

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Slightly off topic as it’s about 70cm FM. Here in G/NP I can call CQ SOTA on S20/V40/145.550 and almost always get a response. If I called on the 70cm calling frequency would anyone be likely to reply? I’ve really only used 70cm to access repeaters.

Vicky @M6BWA is the authority on this. I feel like 70cm is unfairly treated as there are many benefits to the activator. I’m guessing most chasers on 2m FM could also chase on 70cm with their existing equipment. Possibly less using non-FM modes, but there must be a fair number of folk who could do vertically polarised 70cm SSB or CW with their existing equipment too.

Maybe we should organise some 70cm SOTA activity weekends? Has this already been done? I’d get a kick out of doing 70cm CW.

Regards, Mark.

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I often call out on 433.500 in GW/NW and while it’s rare to get a reply it does happen.
I find the best way to get contacts on 70cm FM is to start on 2m FM and tell people you want to try 70cm.

I managed 1 contact on 70cm SSB when I had GB22GW.

Hi Mark,
If you want to plan this, perhaps it would be good to have the activity coincide with the RSGB run 2m/ 70cm activity nights. These are generally FM followed by SSB/CW.

Ditto - if on a weekend - coincide with the RSGB contests. This would maximise the contacts.

2023 calendar (rsgbcc.org)
73 Ed.

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I was going to suggest that Ed. I know when my contest group do VHF Field day or the UHF and up contests over a weekend that we would kill to know there were a number of UHF SSB SOTA stations to hunt down for a QSO.

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Looks like May 6th 2023 would be the best day for a 70cm SOTA event, although it could be the whole weekend.

This coincides with:

but also coincides with the Kings Coronation on the Saturday.

Regards, Mark.

Hi Mark,
As you are looking at the coronation weekend, as a possible date, here’s an idea:
The RSGB have said that they want to organise something around the old fire beacons to celebrate the coronation, this could be an opportunity for SOTA to do something similar. Passing a message such as “God Save the new King (message #)” via S2S contacts on any mode from East to West across England and Wales using 70cm contacts between SOTA summits. Starting at number 1 and adding 1 to each message as it goes across the country. There could also be an attempt to do the same from the south coast up into Scotland if enough stations were willing to go out, although considering population density, I think the East to West coast would be more likely to be able to be achieved.
73 Ed.-

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Yes, Viki will always try to activate on 2m FM and on 70cm FM. Usually she’ll ask the 2m callers if they can do 70cms as well (which most can as you say) and then we follow her up once she’s got through the callers in 2m. Seems to work well.

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Cheers all. I think some planning and prior notice will be needed to activate on 70cm SSB. I think before I do that I might test the beam on a 70cm contest night to see how it performs.

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If anybody needs a base station on (QRO), and think they may be within range (up to 400 km), PM me and I will fire the beast up

Barry GM4TOE
IO87RP

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IO87Rp might be a hike from North Wales?

If you are up a hill, perhaps with an airplane for scatter, not a problem.
Work GW most activity nights

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