Dayton 2019 Hamvention SOTA Meetup

It’s time to start thinking about plans for Hamvention! Just 3 months to go.

Last year we had a very fun meetup so I’d like to suggest that we do it again this year! It was sure great to gather with other SOTA folks.

Let’s try to meet at 1:30pm on Saturday, May 18th, near the Contest Station area between Buildings 2 and 3. If the weather is good, we can gather on the bleachers like we did last year. Or if it’s raining, we can meet just inside the doors of Building 2 where it would lead to the Contest Station area.

Please share other ideas below. Maybe a VHF call frequency?

Also for the past couple of years I have activated surrounding area summits both before and after Hamvention. I’m hoping to do so again but have not made specific plans yet. Maybe there would be some opportunities for joint activations. I think that DD5LP and the rest of the ICQ Podcast gang have a summit planned…there are not a lot of summits close to Xenia, but if you are willing to do some driving there are enough to satisfy.

Hoping to eyeball QSO with many new friends. Below is a photo from last year’s meetup.

Keith KR7RK


Hi Keith,
This has gone into my “must do at Xenia” list and hopefully I can fit it in between some of my ICQPodcast recording duties.

You are correct myself and at least one other ICQpodcast presenter are interested in fitting in a SOTA activation on our trip. In our case it will be Campbell Hill - the highest point in Ohio on our way back from Xenia to Chicago on the Sunday. Here are the details from my SOTAWatch alert:

As many contacts as possible would be very welcome as it will also be being videoed for a later show. (I’ll probably just be running 5w and a dipole, so don’t expect a big signal). (I hold DD5LP, VK2JI & G8GLM licences, so I thought I’d role out the Aussie one for this trip HI).

Looking forward to meeting a lot of faces at Xenia that I’ve only talked with via this reflector, email or on a rare occasion on the air.

73 Ed DD5LP / VK2JI / G8GLM

Sounds like you need a better road map.

Martha and I will be there again and look forward to the SOTA gathering on the 18th. We’ll be in the area for a week leading into the Hamvention so hoping to possibly do a summit or two between other plans too.

Gary a. - W0MNA

Oh I see - yes that should be OHIO not UTAH - Oops! - now corrected.

We’ll be heading for the Space Museum in Wapakoneta and staying in the town over night and if you draw a line from Dayton to there Campbell Hill (which is near Bellefountaine) isn’t that far off the route (at least that’s what I’m telling the Non-SOTA Hams on the trip).

I will make every effort to be at the SOTA gathering on the 18th.

A note to those who plan to go over to Campbell Hill for an activation. I learned earlier this month that access hours at the summit are restricted to 7am to 3pm on Saturday and no access on Sunday unless the gates happen to be open like they were for my recent activation. The summit is on a campus with a perimeter fence and gates that can be locked. I posted a note about this on the Campbell Hill summit information page. The activation zone is very broad and I think you could have a successful activation outside of the perimeter fence. You just wouldn’t have the joy of being at Ohio’s highest point!

73, Ward - WC0Y

I had hoped to attend my first Hamvention but our plans changed and we will still be in the UK. However, the upside is I can participate in the UK Lake District event.

Maybe 2020.


I will be at Dayton/Xenioa again this year, and am looking forward to meeting everyone.

73 Paula k9ir

Hello everybody, that one other ICQpodcast presenter is me! My name is also Ed (Edmund for the full version) and my callsign is M0MNG.

I have never taken part in a SOTA activation before… anywhere… ever! While Mr DD5LP will hopefully be working the world using QRP HF, I will have a trusty 2 meter / 440MHz handheld with me. I tend to have VHF tendencies in life in general! :slight_smile:

I know that the national calling frequency in the USA is 146.520MHz on 2m and 446.000MHz(?) on 70cms, but is there a SOTA-preferred simplex frequency for QSY purposes? Failing that, does anybody local have a recommendation for good frequencies to use?

73 and hope to work you.

Edmund W8/M0MNG/P

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Thanks Ward, I’ll map out the AZ in that case as it will be a Sunday visit.

73 Ed.

OK, all of Slone Boulevard is also well within the 25m vertical height AZ - so no issues:

Anything above the 450m countour is safely in the AZ.

Hi Edmund, I was actually referring to Chris - but it’s great that you are also interested!

73 Ed.

In my VHF experience here in Texas we typically do not move off a calling frequency. Even in my metropolitan area simplex use is not that common and qso on 146.520 or 446.000 is typical and in my experience appreciated as a simple means of checking activity other than on a repeater. In the wilderness that may not be the case due to the Wilderness Protocol.

Our use is certainly different than Scotland, where I learned that someone making an initial contact immediately moves off frequency. If you want to move off frequency, simply make the initial contact on say 146.520 and agree to move up, for example, by 30 KHz. I doubt it is different in Ohio.

@KG5AUU Thank you for the information Brent. I was under the impression that most simplex QSOs in the USA happen on 146.520MHz, well they do if the videos on YouTube are anything to go by! I am aware of the Wilderness Protocol, though, and that was one of the things that prompted me to ask the question.

You are right that, in the UK, we are taught not to hold conversations on the calling channels. I certainly wouldn’t dare try it on 2 meters, unless it was an extremely quick one-transmission “rubber stamp” exchange. On the other VHF/UHF bands with FM calling frequencies (51.510, 70.450 and 433.500MHz) I would be minded to stay on the calling channel simply because simplex activity is so scarce on those bands that it might actually help other operators to come across our QSO by accident and join in.

Although you can use 12.5kHz steps on 2 meters in the UK, 99.99% of QSOs you will ever hear take place at 25kHz intervals. So call on 145.500, move up to 145.525,145.550 or down to 145.475 or 145.450MHz and so forth. In the USA I understand that the steps can be either 15 or 20kHz depending on where you are and what has been agreed locally by the local frequency coordinators(?).

I am still looking for a definitive answer on the internet as to whether Ohio uses 15 or 20kHz steps, just in case I needed to QSY. If anybody knows then please tell me!

73 and thank you for reading this long message!
Enjoy the weekend

Edmund M0MNG.

I can recall activating on 433.500 (European 70cms FM calling frequency) which is very, very, very much quieter than 145.500. Many CQ calls produced no contacts so I went back to 2m and persuaded someone to work me on 433.500. After a few overs a Band Policeman appeared and told me to move away from the calling frequency. I pointed out that he had ignored nearly 10 mins of CQ calls without returning to me even just to reassure me I was transmitting but a few overs and he was on faster that a ferret down burrow after a rabbit. The expression “Cat got your tongue?” describes his responses to that observation!

I did my entire W6/CT-037 activation on 146.520 which felt wrong but my US guide and operating guru said it was kosher. That was overlooking the massive population centre of LA and nobody complained. Very different to the UK.

Edmund, I wouldn’t feel bad at all about sitting on 146.520 during an activation unless perhaps it was intended to be a very long activation. Local custom will no doubt manifest if parking on 146.520 is a problem. It wouldn’t be Ohio so much as that local population center and what those VHF operators custom is there. I would recommend starting on 145.520 and if someone voices a complaint politely explain you were told by a US operator that was ok but you will move. My concern is you will lose the opportunity of many chance contacts if you stray from 146.520. I don’t know that you will find much on 446.000 but give it an attempt.

If you need to move from 146.520 most operators practice moving by 30 KHz. 146.55 probably being most common followed by 146.58 and 145.490. There are others but I can’t imagine you would need additional frequencies unless a number of you plan on activating in the same area or the Hamvention is within range. I’m not the VHF guru though so if anyone has other thoughts please express them.

I forgot to add: I’m sure you would do this but be sure to allow a brief period between transmissions to allow third parties to break in if needed.

Here in California, the only time I’ve heard 146.52 busy is during contests.

The US band plan reserves 146.40-146.58 for simplex. I agree, moving by 30 kHz is pretty typical.

In the SF Bay area, I’ve heard fairly long chats on 146.52. People here are pretty polite about letting you break in.


Just adding a comment to this, to bring it to the top of the list as this meet-up is now less than a week away.

73 Ed.

I will see y’all there! Leaving the office in a half hour and heading to my first activation along the way to Dayton.

73, pat - KI4SVM