In an unexpected development, GB20SOTA returns to the airwaves tomorrow morning. It is licensed by Ofcom to be operated from The Cloud G/SP-015 from 2nd to 29th April.
I won’t be QRV all of those days as I have family, work and other commitments, but I’ll give the call as much of an airing as I can. After all, it’s not every day you get to chase G/SP-015 for SOTA - just most of them…!
I’ll probably kick things off on 30m CW & FT8, with a bit of 2m FM chucked in at some point.
Good luck with the special call Tom, will be listening out for you.
Best wishes. If you are able to plan ahead enough to post an alert it would give me a chance to get the antenna up in the garden. I’ve done SOTA FT8 on 2m but not HF yet so that would be a first. With enough planning we could even do S2S.
You were -20 in VK2, Tom.
There were two other stations on a similar frequency so no QSO.
I did try calling many times just in case. Maybe you heard me.
73, Gerard - VK2IO
Sorry, no rx of you Gerard. I’ll try again in the morning. What do you think would be the best band?
30m was packed so no real surprise. Whether 40m or 20m would be better is debatable. Made very few EU contacts this cycle until the last few weeks.
Possibly more important than the band is to have a clear frequency. One suggestion is to activate on a secondary FT8 frequency such as 7.056, 10.131 or 14.090 where there’s more likelihood of working DX from a portable situation.
I’ve run out of time for an early activation today, so will probably go and put something on for the EU chasers on 40m later.
Secondary FT8 frequency on 30m sounds good for my next early morning effort.
10.131 was suggested above, but I think 10.133, yes.
I listened out for you today on 40 & 20m SSB but couldn’t hear you from a sunny Somerset back garden so… I look forward to your next outing!
73, Lea M0XPO
Thanks for the Contact on 2m C4FM this morning with the special Call Tom, much appreciated
A little update report on the adventures of GB20SOTA do far:
Saturday 2nd April 2022
Mainly 30m FT8 and CW, plus a few 2m FM
Sunday 3rd April 2022
Took the Alexloop and flicked between bands. Did 10m, 40m, 30m and 20m. FT8, FT4, SSB, CW. Then a bit of 2m FM.
Monday 4th April 2022
Windy and drizzly so dropped to the ledge. Not as much shelter as I’d hoped, but still tried to erect the 40m dipole. Mistake! As a snapped SOTA Pole and snapped dipole testifies. Ended up making two contacts on 2m FM, and two more on 2m C4FM, with the handheld, before retreating.
I’ve still got a pole and other antennas in working condition, so should resume further special eventing tomorrow. Repairs will commence once I’ve assessed what I need and ordered it from the local supplier! Probably at least one SOTA Pole and another reel of mil-spec green antenna wire.
Tuesday 5th April 2022
GB20SOTA on G/SP-015
Another underwhelming activation unfortunately. I repaired the 40m dipole and and sorted a functional pole out - “Trigger’s Broom” style.
The dipole repair failed - somewhat to my surprise - but SWR was mediocre but usable on 40m, and marginally better on 10m and 20m! I tried calling on CW and FT8 on all three bands but managed just one QSO - with SM5LNE on 20m CW.
2m FM was also rubbish with two stations worked, but both reporting low audio and intermittent signal. This is (hopefully) another preparation fail - insufficient charge in the battery. I say “hopefully” as the feasible alternative is an issue with the antenna connector on the handheld.
I’ll be back out as boring old M1EYP/P later for the activity contest night.
GB20SOTA will resume operation in the morning with hopefully a better effort than the poor form of the previous two!
You were loud last night on FM (when I was /P) but very quiet on SSB from home - signal isn’t usually as good from Gun to mine.
I was on the 817 and 5-el SOTABEAM last night Peter. The issue was when using the handheld earlier that day.
Wednesday 6th April 2022
Better one this morning. At the last moment, I decided to go with the Alexloop. I operated mainly on 20 and 40, with a little bit on 30 and 2. Main HF mode was CW with some SSB and FT8.
Back to Gun G/SP-013 and the home call tonight for the 2m FT8 contest session.
I know @VK2IO has been looking for me but no decode yet. I tried on 10.133, but still no VK there. Back on 136 now and VK4 is Clg me. QSO not completed yet though….
…and didn’t get completed. Still no VK in the log…
There were no decodes at all so I didn’t try sending. Wandered off to 15m for JA and missed the 10.133 spot. Now back on 10.136.
I missed your spot today. I wonder if 17 m might be better.
15 m had been good into Europe around our local sunset.