EA8 SOTA DXPedition

Hello Everyone,

I will be active on the Canary Islands EA8 from the 7th to the 20th of January. I will be moving around a bit, starting on Lanzarotte, then La Palma, finishing up on Tenerife and La Gomera. I plan to activate 16 different summits, ranging from 1 pointers through to 10 pointers with a seasonal bonus.

You can read more about the schedule/plan here:

I’ll aim to add notifications of upcoming activations at least the day before and will be spotting via SMS where coverage allows.

Now my questions are which bands would more often than not support daytime SSB contacts back to the UK on 10w or less from EA8? I will take a range of antennas for options but I was thinking of 20m/17m/15m/10m?

Also I plan to take a LiFePo battery with me, any hints for airport security?

James M0JCQ (soon to be EA8/M0JCQ/P, not short!)

Tell me which flight you will be travelling on, and I’ll make sure I’m not on it!

will be listening for you


Hello James,

The SOTA I have worked this year from EA8 seem to favour the higher bands. Here is a snip via DXKeeper from the activators on EA8 in 2014… Of course this does not allow for variations in the activators setup, propagation changing to where it is now etc. etc. but may give you an idea…?
Sent Rcvd
20M- EA8/PA3FYG/P SSB 25-Feb-2014 12:59 55-57 59 Hans
10M- EA8/G7KXZ/P SSB 12-Mar-2014 11:05 59 59 Kevin
12M- EA8/G1INK/P SSB 14-Mar-2014 14:21 31-51 57 Steve
12M- EA8/G1INK/P SSB 15-Mar-2014 12:11 58 59 Steve
12M-EA8/G1INK/P SSB 16-Mar-2014 12:13 55 53 Steve
12M-EA8/G1INK/P SSB 17-Mar-2014 12:33 57 59 Steve
12M-EA8/G1INK/P SSB 18-Mar-2014 11:41 57 59 Steve
12M-EA8/G1INK/P SSB 19-Mar-2014 08:27 58 59 Steve
12M-EA8/G1INK/P SSB 21-Mar-2014 13:59 51 55 Steve
12M- EA8/G1INK/P SSB 23-Mar-2014 09:13 58 59 Steve
12M-EA8/G1INK/P SSB 24-Mar-2014 13:48 52-54 59 Steve
12M-EA8/G1INK/P SSB 25-Mar-2014 12:51 52 59 Steve
17M-EA8/M1NNN/P SSB 07-Apr-2014 10:15 58 59 John
20M-EA8/M1NNN/P SSB 07-Apr-2014 11:29 56 59 John
15M-EA8/M1NNN/P SSB 07-Apr-2014 13:02 54 59 John
12M-EA8/M1NNN/P SSB 07-Apr-2014 13:42 57 57 John
15M-EA8/M1NNN/P SSB 10-Apr-2014 10:48 51-58 59 John
12M-EA8/M1NNN/P SSB 10-Apr-2014 12:38 55-59 59 John
10M-EA8/M1NNN/P FM 10-Apr-2014 12:52 59 59 John
17M-EA8/M1NNN/P SSB 14-Apr-2014 11:52 31 57 John
15M-EA8/M1NNN/P SSB 14-Apr-2014 13:45 44 56 John
12M-EA8/M1NNN/P SSB 14-Apr-2014 14:20 55 57 John
20M-EA8/M1NNN/P SSB 16-Apr-2014 10:51 57-59 59 John
12M-EA8/M1NNN/P SSB 16-Apr-2014 11:32 59 59 John
10M- EA8/HB9TNF/P SSB 06-Nov-2014 14:54 44 54 Guido

Good luck in any event and seasons greetings.


As for the batteries, see:


and many other related websites.
Also, check the website of your airline for specific information!

Good luck
Martin df3mc

Hi James, The following is an extract from my first La Palma report (EA8-LP2) and deals with experiences at Manchester Airport. I think a lot depends on who is on duty at the time. I had enquired via the travel company and had an email to ‘flash’ which seemed to help. I also had my licence handy. 100Wh is key to getting a Li-Po through but I think in some circumstances you can go to 160Wh. 100Wh is quite a big Li-Po (9Ah) at 11.1V. I took two 6Ah and some 2.2’s. The thing I thought I would have no trouble with was a SLAB but it was what they were most interested in. It’s worth allowing 15 minutes extra to get through security and just be ‘open. Hope you have as good a trip as we had. La Palma was magnificent’. If you hire a car don’t forget to listen for USA broadcast stations on Medium Wave just pre-dawn. Checkout my waypoints for LP1; LP2 & LP3 on summit info pages and if you need routes sending by email please ask. They will be in Garmin .gdb format however…

Air Travel and Batteries:
Three months prior to travelling, I sent an email to Thompson Air containing a detailed list of the ‘contentious’ items which I intended taking and how I would carry them. There was a list of transceivers, antennas, mast and other gear but the nitty-gritty concerned my Li-Po’s. All were under 100Wh and I intended to carry them aboard in hand luggage. I mistakenly put a small sealed lead-acid battery on the list to be carried in my checked-in baggage.

It took a few weeks to get an answer and they put me right on the latter item but all the rest was accepted as being in the right place and ‘no real problem so long as the individual items are dealt with in the manner that the customer (me) has stipulated.’ I had stated that all terminals would be taped and LiPo Guard fire resistant bags would be used. The SLAB would be secured in a carton inside my hand baggage. All battery types including three small Li-Po’s for the Jingtongs, 3V Lithium cells for a translator and ten AAA Alkalines for the GPS would all be in hand baggage. Aside from shipping Li-Po’s direct to the hotel, an option I had considered, there was little more I could do. Now I just had to hope for the best.

At Manchester Airport 04-04-14:
Despite being armed with the reply to my advanced notifications and both my amateur licences, I wouldn’t say it was plain sailing on the day. We were delayed for almost 15 minutes while an ever increasing number of security officials (three or four at one point) poured over the contents of my bag which had (as expected) failed to pass the scanner test. Li-po’s comprising of one 6Ah, a 4Ah and two 2.2Ah (all 11.1V types) were disgorged from their protection to be taken with my documents to various desks and discussed by ever more senior officials. At length I was asked, ’ Are these batteries?’

As for the SLAB, it was swabbed for explosives and deemed clean after initially appearing to be ‘public enemy number one’ due to its acid content. Nevertheless, I thought myself lucky. Though he didn’t seem to mind at all, our 6 year old was frisked and had his shoes X-Rayed!

Hi James,
Echoing what John has said on the batteries, my experiences (all long distance flights) have been that with LIPOs (and I am assuming LIFePOs as well) as long as the terminals are taped and your carry them in your carry on baggage all is OK. DO NOT put them in hold baggage as some holds amy not be pressurised! I always highlight that I have the batteries in my carry on baggage when I check in with the airline. Sometimes they check with security and get the reply, as long as the terminals are well taped so no shorting can occur, all is fine. I have never been stopped at security with questions about the LIPOs. Perhaps the fact they have had a call in advance eases this step?

I personally would never carry a SLAB on a plane as should it get dropped, there is the chance of acid escaping. Of course housed in a suitable (acid proof) box would make it safe enough but I personally would not take a SLAB given the extra risk (IMHO) plus of course the weight of the SLAB is less desirable than a lighter weight LIPO of the same capacity.

Hope all goes well with the activations and I hope by then to have my 2 element tri-bander mini-beam up, so I may have a chance of working you.

73 Ed DD5LP.

Sealed gel acid isn’t really likely to leak – that is the whole purpose of the SLAB design, with regards to Lithium Iron technology if a battery where to get punctured by something sharp that would create a very nasty situation of which smoke heat and other chemical related atrocities could occur to it ! SLAB’s are fairly docile IMHO. Of course shorting is the worst that could occur to any battery.


Thanks for the info Jonathan. I haven’t drop-tested a SLAB but if you say they’re designed not to leak, I guess the greatest problem is if you drop it on your (or someone elses) foot HI.

73 Ed.

They are incredibly tough things, I have dropped one from a trig point upon hitting the floor the top plastic cover broke off and exposed the sealed caps over the cells. When I got home I noticed, with the one of the caps removed that the cells are packed with a jelly like substance. I think for shear electrical and mechanical durability you can not beat a good old SLAB !

HA ! yes that would certainly hurt Ed, ex army boots keep that from happening to often :smile:

Congratulations on today’s activation.


Thanks John, I have found your summit write ups for La Palma very useful in planning for this island, they are very detailed and give me an idea of what to expect.

I took an SLAB to Portugal a couple of months ago and it was a pain to get through, as you said it looks like public enemy number 1 initially and the ominous black box appearance does little to put anyone at ease. I’ll leave this at home this trip and take the LiFePo, but also taking AA’s as backup for the KX3.

It would be much appreciated if you could send through the route files for the Garmin, then I can load these up for reference. My email is james_carpman at hotmail dot com.

James M0JCQ

Hi James,

Good luck in EA8. Looking forward to see the photos from Teide.

Ref. antennas. I would have thought that 15m is a good all-arounder with the current conditions.
It depends a bit on the time of the day when you will be at the summit.
You could also use 20/17m if you are up there early or late in the day and 10/12m at midday.

This will give you a feel for things. http://www.voacap.com/ - coverage & point ot point online tools.

73 Angel

Thanks Angel, that’s a really useful tool! They even have an online version (http://www.voacap.com/hfbc/). Seems to echo that depending on the time of day 15m would be a pretty decent bet.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for El Teide, I have the permit, so just hope the summit is open on the day I’ve chosen. I’m not clear on whether the two hour slot means I have to ascend and descend within this time or whether I just need to start my ascent within this range… Any ideas?

Hi James.

I have just given the National Park a call to try to answer your question.
The first thing to check is their web to make sure the trail to the summit is open. For instance, it is closed right now with ice.

You should be at the cable car no later than 40min before your permit starts. Recommended one hour, in case there are many people.
You have 2 hours to go up to the summit and down. The trail is about 750m in distance and 150m ascent at 3500m though. I guess that will not leave you too much time at the summit, so you will have to be relatively quick and use a rapid deployment system. I guess I would go for your superstick vertical on 15m or 10m.

Good luck
73 Angel

I arrived on Lanzarote on Tuesday and have activated 4 summits here so far. Thanks to all the chasers, especially the UK ones, I seemed to hit it right with my 10m choice yesterday on Corona, G stations were coming in 59+.

So far I’ve worked the following:

EA8/LA-005 - Montaña Blanca
EA8/LA-008 - Guatisea
EA8/LA-003 - Corona
EA8/LA-001 - Peñas del Chache

Highlight so far was Corona, an absolutely stunning location set on the ridge of a volcano overlooking the whole island, was drop dead gorgeous… apologies poor internet connection does not allow me to upload pics, I’ll add some as soon as I can.

Today I plan to activate the following summits:

EA8/LA-002 - Atalaya de Femes
EA8/LA-006 - Hacha Grande
EA8/LA-007 - Pico Redondo

I’ll be spotting via SMS and hope to work some of you again today.

James M0JCQ

1 Like

Be prepared for heavy commercial qrm on LA-002, it killed my 817.

Morning James
thanks for the summits LA 007 and 006 yesterday and yes one was a waiting for you on the second but no third as dragged off to the shops.

But wot made one laugh about second contact was the other half. She normally don’t like sound of the radio, so when one came down stairs, she commented that ( he must been close by damn good audio" one looked at her and laughed. He,s on top of a big hill in lanzarote just off the north mid coast of Africa by a couple K X KM. She was surprised.

Looking forwards to more contacts for 10m is working well for you but mostly that one island one has not worked yet. And especially when the photos are up loaded.

Keep up the good work


I was pleasantly surprised, I looked on in dread at the array of antennas setup on the summit and expected the worst.

What I noted was the higher bands suffered much less, I started on 10m with no QRM, 15m I started ti hear a bit and then 17m suffered about S3. I didn’t try 20m, but I can imagine it gets even worse there :wink:

Thanks Karl, nice to work you twice and thanks for spotting me on the 2nd summit. I was surprised after voice keying a CQ call to get your response straight away, I guess maybe you’d kept your radio on the same frequency. I usually voice key to hold the frequency while I write the SMS spot :smile:

Sorry to miss you on the 3rd summit, to be honest it was late in the day and conditions back to the UK weren’t too hot anyway.

I managed to activate all 3 summits and made 78 QSO’s in total with many G, DL, EA, VE and N/W stations.

Today is a rest day as my legs are pretty stiff after much walking for not many points! What I really learnt yesterday is that the number of points for a summit don’t reflect how much effort the activator has to put in to get there :blush:

I’ll be back in business on Saturday with 3 summits:

EA8/LA-010 - Montaña Negra
EA8/LA-004 - Guardilama
EA8/LA-011 - Señalo

James M0JCQ


Hi James,
well done all of your activations so far. Each time I see a spot for you I jump on the gear and take a listen, unfortunately so far no matter which band you have been on I have not heard you from any summit. That’s a reflection on my antenna not your end.

I’m hoping the conditions get better soon before you leave EA8 and if you manage your planned activations, who knows, I might hear you on my piece of wet string (wire dipole), I’ll certainly be listening!

For now thanks, stay safe and good SOTA-ing in 2015