First activation under my belt.

I finally got around to my first SOTA activation here in western Canada. I decided to do a VHF one first, then an HF cw later. I picked the easiest summit in the Vancouver region and put up a 3 element beam on a pvc pipe and a extendable wash pole. I decided to try ssb first and fm later. After a few ssb contacts, I tried fm and had no luck at all. Pretty quiet out here.
Thank you to Bob WA7ZWG and Aaron W7BCM for seeing me on the spotter and qualifying my effort.


Well done Jason! @VE7FXY

When we visited the Vancouver area (and further North) I found 2m FM very quiet. That was in 2018 and again in 2019. I managed to activate VE7/SL-129 on 2m FM, but that was a single contact.

When we return to Canada I am definitely going to take HF gear :wink::grinning:

Good luck with your future activations.
73, Simon


Welcome Jason.
I’m intrigued - what is that concrete tree in your photo at the summit?

That’s a water tower at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby BC. The summit is located on the university grounds at the top of Burnaby Mountain. It’s a 1 point summit and probably the easiest in the Greater Vancouver region. I was able to park a few hundred meters away and lugged a full size deep cycle rv batttery along with the beam antenna to the site. That explains the nice picnic table and bulky IC 706 radio.
The next summit I’m going to attempt is a 25 km round trip with lots of elevation. It will be an overnighter and the rig will be a YouKits hb-1b. Antennae will be VP2E and an end fed random wire.
Last night was a good test run. Anything from here forward is going to be much more challenging. The summits in VE7 land are high on elevation and low on points😉


Hi Simon. I’m familiar with the Stawamus Chief. I’m only an hour drive from it. I might have to consider it the near future.

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Jason, the first one is done! Congratulations!

I live out in Langley and have done a number of FM activations with my HT from St. Mark’s Summit (VE7/GV-017) in the west to Mt. Cheam (VE7/FV-007) in the east. It’s always been possible to make the minimum 4 contacts and more besides, and it hasn’t taken very long.

I post an alert, and then a spot on SOTAwatch. I post in the VE7 SOTA group on Facebook. I might sometimes tell my local club or make an announcement on VE7RPT or during the morning Rainbow Country Net on that repeater, telling people what time I will be activating and what frequencies I will use.

2m SSB has been harder and I have only had success on the annual day in November when there is a 2m QSO party. 2m FM has consistently been easy.

There are many 1-4 point summits in the area where you can activate with a handheld or, if you want to pack the gear, a mobile unit. I’m happy to have a conversation if you’d like that. My info on QRZ is accurate. Similarly, if you’d like to join me on an activation, I’d be glad to have a partner if we can find a date.

Bruce, VA7SGY

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Hi Bruce. I did spot on both ssb and fm. Two US stations found me from the spot and the other ssb contacts were due to the Western Canada Weak Signal group getting ready for their weekly net. I headed out on short notice and would have made prior announcements had I known. I will be bringing an ht on future trips but ultimately want to work hf cw.
I’m getting out hiking as often as possible again and would enjoy joining you in the future on an activation. I’ll keep an eye out for you in the meantime.

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