FIRST SOTA tomorrow (Sunday 4th Feb) G/WB-003 Stiperstones

I’m in the midst of packing my backpack for my first official SOTA activation tomorrow from Stiperstones (to tie in with the 5 ½ mile circular walk from the car-park). I’ve been enjoying hill walking and mountains for some years and taking the 2m handheld for casual QSOs but as yet have done any SOTA activations.

The plan is to take the Elecraft KX3 on 40m cw with a 10m portable SB mast. Antenna being a 40m or 30m inverted V / end fed wire type antenna (I’ve two cuts of wire for 40m and 30m with the plan being to use the one which isn’t radiating as the counterpoise).

I’ll also throw in Icom ID-51 as a backup if all else fails and I can hopefully do VHF.

All being well I’ll find somewhere quite(ish) to setup and then spot via the Sota Spotter App. Calling CQ SOTA CQ SOTA DE M0SER etc…

In terms of a log am I correct in thinking I just need to make note of the hill identifier (G/WB-003) each contacts call-sign, RST, time and frequency?

Is there anything else I need to consider on the radio front? (I’m confident I’ll have the kit on the mountain/hill walking side of things)

It’s super exciting but somewhat apprehensive as it’s a few hours each way from Leamington Spa and I don’t want to mess it up!

Any additional advice would be most welcome.

With vy 73 de Carl

I’d like you to work 30m, as I’ll have better chances to copy and chase you, assuming I’ll be QRV when you will be on air.

It’s required that the signal reports both ways are well copied to consider a QSO valid, but it’s not in fact required that you neither write them down on your log at the summit nor later when you upload it to the SOTA database.
Personally, I never write signal reports down on my paper log and I always leave the default 59/599 when I upload my activator log to my general computer log.

Good luck tomorrow. I hope to be able to chase you.




Hi Carl - from the SOTA-General Rules:

73 Ed.

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Understandable. But don’t let the presssure spoil the fun. If you don’t make any QSOs we wont think less of you because you actually did go and try. Trying is important bit. Succeeding is the icing on the cake.

I’d start on 2m FM with the handy. A rubber duck from Stipperstones is normally enough to work a handful of QSOs. Then QSY to 40/30. If you have alerted then your CW CQ calls should get picked up by the RBN network. That will auto spot you. You’ll need to fish about for someone clear for 40m SSB and self-spotting will be useful here.

But remember, it’s all about getting into the great outdoors and having fun. So do remember to have fun. Best of luck with activation #1.


Hi Guru, Thank’s - I’ll happily work 30m to try and make your contact. I’m not 100% sure of my activation time but I would guess around 13:30/14:00 UST but I’ll get a spot up as soon as I know.

As per Andy’s advice I will jump on 2m to begin with and then head over the HF.

Hopefully get to work you tomorrow - I’ll be keying a little slower as I’ll be head copying and making notes (a bit harder than typing copy at the PC!).

Vy 73 de Carl

That’s fab Ed, thank you. I’ve read the SOTA book on Kindle over Christmas so it’s just trying to retain all the important info until I’m in the swing of things.

Fingers crossed for at least four tomorrow!

With vy 73 de Carl

Excellent advice all round, Andy. Thank you. I’m going to spot for tomorrow now.

I’ll do as you suggest and start with 2m and then QSY to HF. My biggest apprehension is finding somewhere suitable for the antenna but worst case there are plenty of large rocks to use (!).

It’s a great place so fingers crossed for some nice clear weather.

Thanks again. Vy 73 de Carl

The trig point is atop a very steep bit of rock up there. But the ground beneath it is all within the 25m activation zone, so don’t feel you have to climb up to it. In fact, probably better if you don’t.

Advice? Get 4 contacts (or more) on 2m FM to start with. Anything after that - other bands/modes/gear etc is a bonus, but entirely unnecessary. Enjoy!

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Thanks, Tom. Sound advice which I’ll certainly follow. I remember the trig from the last time (a bit of a vertical climb to the top!) I’ll no doubt be ducking behind a rock away from the wind with the HT!

vy 73 de Carl

Hi Carl,
Let me tell you that you have a nice suffix. In Spanish, SER means TO BE.
We all know the famous Shakespeare words TO BE or not TO BE = SER o no SER :slight_smile:
I’m not sure I’ll be QRV to try to chase you on 30m tomorrow. If WX is not raining all day as it’s being today, we’ll probably go out somewhere. But the forecast is for more rain tomorrow, so I may be able to chase you. Thanks for trying anyway.
73 and GL AGN.


¡Ha llovido tanto hoy que he decidido ser un pez! :slight_smile:

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