Again: SOTA crossband

Hi everybody.
This item has been brought up earlier, but I missed the final solution.
I observe many SOTA stations from UK on 5 MHz and can copy them often nicely. But many of them activate only 5 MHz and 3.5 MHz SSB, which (at daylight) gives little chance for stns outside UK to chase them.
Unless these activators do not want contacts outside the UK, they should open for crossband 5 MHz / 7 MHz and announce that possibility on their alerts. The question is, how such a qso can be logged at the database qrg-wise ;-).
By the way - I feel pity for all the French stations that never get a chance to work SOTA SSB on 40 meters (normally the activators use a qrg higher than 7.1). I understand why the activators prefer 7.118/115, but there should be room for split after the pile up is over, shouldn’t it?

In reply to LA5SAA:

Hi Mike, the use of 5MHz in the UK requires an extension to your licence. The use of 5MHz for crossband DX contacts is discouraged. It might not be illegal but it is contrary to the spirit in which 5MHz has been allocated in the UK. This means you might not get many activators prepared for such contacts.

I can understand your frustration that you can hear summits you cannot work. I know I have activated many summits from Scotland that are wanted by chasers all over Europe but I have tended to use 5MHz SSB only because it works so well. 7MHz SSB with 5W is very hard work, even above 7.1MHz where it is quieter. The fact that I have a limited audience (UK 5MHz licence holders) is one of the reasons I have started to learn and use CW on 7MHz (and soon 10MHz) simply so I can give non-UK chasers the chance to work some rarer summits.

I hope this explains a little as to why crossband operation is uncommon from the UK on 5MHz. Also thanks for the CW contact the other week, I think I was on GM/SS-033 at the time operating as GS3PYU/p.


In reply to LA5SAA:

By the way - I feel pity for all the French stations that never get a
chance to work SOTA SSB on 40 meters.

In the past I have tried to work 80, 40 and 20 ssb from each summit I’ve activated. As my FT817 has never been modified (It needs a solder job that I’m not equiped or competent to do, and my nearest reputable repair firm would charge an excessive amount for the job), I am limited to working within the original 40M allocation, and no 5MHz which is only a temporary concession anyway. My way round the overcrowding on 40M is to activate on a weekday (It tends to avoid overcrowding on the hills as well). I have had a few QSOs with French stations, but perhaps they are all at work during the week.

I’ve not been out yet this year. My medication has severely affected the circulation to my fingers - I’m waiting for the Great British Summer to arrive, but I’m not holding my breath for this coming Bank Holiday weekend.

Look forward to a QSO with you

73s, Dave, M0DFA (on VHF) and G6DTN (on HF)

In reply to LA5SAA:

Like the previous comment I too always try 40m SSB. Sometimes successful but more often than not my calls go unanswered. I usually run an FT-857 and use 20w-30w on 80 & 60m. When I move to 40m I use a fresh 7aH slab and if I get no replies I wind up the power to full (100w). I always call on 7.115-7.118 and then move down to 7.090 for any French stations. I usually self spot or announce my QSY for the UK stations to spot me, but it seems to me as if only certain stations have a 40m EU following.

73 Steve GW7AAV

In reply to MM0FMF:
Hi Andy and all others.
I am quite sure that my Norwegian license allows me to contact all radio amateurs on cross band, as long as I myself transmit within the Norwegian band allocations and power limits.
But your comment clarifies that UK stations transmitting on 5 MHz might have a problem to work crossband.
Thank you.

In reply to GW7AAV:

40m SSB is hard work. 40m CW is easy-peasy. That was my motivation to learn the code. Some stations like INK, COX etc have mastered 40m SSB from the UK, but I’ve never been able to emulate it.


In reply to M1EYP:

It shouldn’t be. I have worked the world from home using the same equipment, power levels and a similar antenna and on most hills the QRM is much lower than at home. When 40m is working SSB is like shelling peas. What I find hard to understand is how sometimes you can get 5/9 from say one DL and one S5 and then no body else in the whole world can hear you, while 5Khz up the band every man and his dog is working Inky or one of a handfull of ON or DL stations that always put out a rocking signal. On a similar note certain stations seem to be workable more often than not while others more not. To whom do you have to sell your soul to get a regular 100 contacts in the log using FM and SSB only?


In reply to LA5SAA:

As far as I understand the extension of 40 m is still in progress in France. I thought that 5 MHz would be available also in LA and OH, but maybe that was only for radio clubs with a special permission.

I updated my list of useful frequencies for SOTA activators

In the new region 1 band plan the center of emergency moved from 7090-ssb to 7110-ssb and 7090-ssb is now center of QRP activity.

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL

In reply to M1EYP:

40m CW is easy-peasy.

Hi, Tom. Not when I’ve listened to it. Sounds like PM’s questions in the House of Commons - everyone ‘shouting’ at once, and no Speaker to try and control things. Not so many QSOs on 40 ssb, but much easier to work.

73s de Dave, G6DTN (HF)

In reply to M1EYP:
I agree with you, Tom. Thanks to all activators using 40 m CW. Many of them are marginal copy here, like (in the moment) DL/HB9AGO/p (339), but SSB from him would be hopeless to copy here. At 10:53 we have OE5REO/p on 7.162 SSB, Martin works a few (ON and DL nice copy here), but absolutely nothing from Martin in my QTH.
I found out myself from my home station: If I use 40 m 5 w CW, I ALLWAYS get replies. With 100 watts SSB it has happened that I had to call CQ for more than 30 minutes without a QSO.
Nevertheless - thanks vy much although to all the SSB activators who manage to carry a big battery to the summits. I myself cannot :-(.

In reply to F5VGL:

I thought that 5 MHz would be available also in LA and OH, but
maybe that was only for radio clubs with a special permission.

We are still waiting for the promised regulations change that will make 5 MHz available for all Norwegian amateurs. Hopefully this will happen before this summer.



In reply to LA5SAA:

By the way - I feel pity for all the French stations that never get a
chance to work SOTA SSB on 40 meters

Just returned from Brecon. On 23rd I operated from GW/SW-005. Between 11:30 and 11:45 I was on 7.083 and had 6 QSOs : 4 from GM, ON8BN and DL4FDM, but nothing from France. However, F4FHV was one of 6 QSOs on 14.285. 80 was in poor condition with only 4 QSOs.
On 25th I was on GW/SW-001, operating from 11:20 until 11:40 on 7.087. 13 QSOs on this frequency, but nothing from France. 80 was better with 6 QSOs, but this time 20 was poor with only 2, including (by ground wave?) G3RMD.

5 watts from FT817 with a stepped inverted ‘V’ dipole.

Chances missed?

73s, Dave, G6DTN/M0DFA

In reply to LA5SAA:
With regard carrying a heavy akku up to the mountains, I came across a very handy Lithium-Akku , 12/13.2 V / ~6.5 AH from “Batteryspace” in California/US. I bought my first set a year ago, coming as a set with charger. The akku wheigts 600 gr. / size : 13 x 8 x 4 cm. Using my IC-703 / 10 W SSB, its god for two to tree activation of 1 hour, if it takes longer I give up anyhow.
In the beginning I too carried a 1 kg “brickstone” around, now my equipmnt wheigts 7.0 kg, all included, which is IC-703,akku,3 koax cables (RG-174), 2 antennas (20m-loop % invert.17/20/40 m dipol and 6 m -teleskop-fishingrod mast.
In the past I worked all Europe, from Spain to Finland, from Greek to Britain,Norway and regularly to Norway and Sweden. I too get few contacts to France, probably there not so many listening, as compared to the UK, which by far are to most active chasers, thanks to you all.

Edwin HB9ZAP