Many thanks to all for contacts today on my first HF SOTA activation.
As I noted when putting in an alert, I wanted to try out my new HF linear. I only started getting back into amateur radio last year, and realised that the FT-817, though great for getting up hills and pretty successful with 2m contacts, leaves a little to be desired power-wise for HF phone work. (I’m not (yet?) a CW fanatic and there are probably too many things to do at VHF and above before I have the time for that.) So the winter projects were to be three linears - one for HF, one for 2m and one for 6m.
The HF one is now done and clearly works - the story is at
where there are photos of the thing itself; it’s been a lot of fun to build. It was just 80m today as I only had the 80m dipole in Edinburgh, but may think about something more flexible for SOTA work at HF - don’t want to be carrying too much wire.
I have bought the FET for the 2m linear and hope to get cracking on that soon - also maybe a 9-ele beam. Might manage to give Don G0RQL a better signal from Bonnie Scotland! The 6m one might get done after that, I’d like to get active there too.
Cairnpapple Hill was chosen as I’d not been there before and access looked quick - and it really is. Not really much of a walk - the SOTA Access notes by GM4CFS confirm this, and Google Earth shows just what a flat top it is - quite a good place for a substantial antenna farm! The only useful photo I took was of the trig point when I arrived, to put on the trig points Flickr site. I was so pleased with the linear working that I forgot to take a photo of it in use - another time.
Had several S2S contacts, the first with Steve and Helen on G/LD-35. It was a bit quiet for a time - managed to work the De Havilland Aircraft Museum GB2DHH, and later GB40WAB - when I first heard the call I was a bit baffled but the explanation was quickly forthcoming. Should have realised - I used to help my friend Guy G3ZHL cart aerials and car batteries around the peat bogs of the outer isles to activate unusual grid squares a long time ago.
Thanks to G3RDQ for the spot which brought something of a pile-up! Had 25 contacts all told on 80m, and a couple on 2m FM to finish with. Sorry I didn’t get the beam up for 2m SSB, just gave a quick shout on the FT-817 helical.
So I will probably take HF with me on future activations - or at least some of them.