When I started in amateur radio I wasn’t brave enough to operate a radio on a park or any other recreational area. I felt shy and got nervous: what people would think of me using that strange equipment?
As years have passed I am confident and feel happy to operate the radio in public. There is nothing wrong with it, and if anybody is interested on what I’m doing I’m pleased to explain and give some brief info on what ham radio is, and about the magic of radio waves propagation.
What I do is to choose a quiet spot on a public area, far from any important attraction, I extend the antenna away from people or paths, avoiding noisy environment, and far from childs if I can.
Holiday style chasing
Chasing SOTA activation at home is great, but when I’m far from home for holidays I’m excited about chasing with my portable SOTA gear.
This is challenging because you are operating low power and simply wire antennas, as the activators do, and logging a SOTA chase in that situation is a real joy.
You have to put an extra effort to choose when to call and squeeze your operating skills, as you hear the rest of chasers calling with huge power and better antennas. I never call using /P after my callsign not to confuse the activator with a S2S.
A few days ago I visited some relatives in North Spain, in the Cantabric sea at the village of Castro Urdiales (EA1/CT region).
I decided to spend a bit of time near the beautiful lighthouse, located right at the high point in front of the sea. Is there a shack more beautiful than this, to operate greeting your SOTA mates, feeling the breeze in front of the sea, hearing the signals and watching the small fisherman boats work nearby?
- My setup: Rig LNR LD-5, three 18650 LiIon batt and a multiband EFHW inverted vee.
Activity was intense, jumping up and down the bands as the spots scrolled in Sotawatch.
I felt rewarded logging 10 stations in the hour I stayed in the park. I received lower signal reports than at home, and I blessed the activators for hearing me in the crowd.
Have you ever tried that or do you feel embarrassed?
Try chasing outside if you can: lots of fun and rewarding.