Hello from M6NSV

Hello Everyone.

I’m new to radio & SOTA, I currently live in South Staffordshire UK, & only been chasing on VHF/UHF so far.

I first got on the air in October of 2015, so very low chaser score currently, hope to get an HF radio in the shack soon which should help increase my scores.

Also planning to start activating in 2016, G/WB-010 is the closest SOTA summit to me & the obvious place for me to get started, I look forward to making contacts with some of you very soon.




Hello Neil

Welcome aboard!

The Wrekin G/WB-010 was my first successful activation, and is a good choice.

I look forward to working you before too long.


Greetings Neil

First of all welcome to Sota but be warned it is addictive but fun.

Plus just because your restricted to 10w like myself don’t let that hold you back and good luck with the first Summit on air also. as my score is fast approaching 11K and been sota-ing for about 18 months. Look forwards to catching you on air as chaser or activator .

Karl M(K)3FEH

…while 5 watts is still relatively high power for activating - so no issues there!

Welcome to SOTA Neil, and enjoy the ride. Some information about lots of summits within range of you here - http://tomread.co.uk - and also via the Summits link on the SOTAwatch main page Hiking in the mountains: tips for beginner hikers - Mountain Day

Hi Neil

A good tool to see what other summits are within a suitable drive range of your QTH is www.sotamaps.org, click the ‘mapping’ link on Sotawatch. Once on sotamaps click the ‘range’ button - put in your postcode and distance (as the crow flies) you are prepared to travel and the software brings up all the summits within that range.

Enjoy the journey, but you have been warned it can become addictive. Catch you on the air soon.

73 Glyn G4CFS

Many thanks for the warm welcome guys.

I really appreciate all the links & advice, very useful, I will be reading through them all & checking out the rest of the topics on here, radio is a vast subject & I’m starting out slowly, but SOTA is something that really holds great appeal for me & I can’t wait to get up that first hill !


Welcome and enjoy Neil. The mistakes are as much part of the fun as the successes! Though not always at the time!

Yes… Number one… Try not to shut your keys inside the locked boot of your car! :blush:
Luckily it’s a hatchback, and the front door was still open! Still, took me probably 15 minutes or so to clear all the junk out of the back, and the boot, to scrabble around and find it!
Apologies to Viki, because of that, I didn’t make the s2s :frowning:

Oh, and welcome Neil :slight_smile: feel free to give me a shout if you fancy giving HF a go from some G/WB summit!



Number two … Try to remember the radio, especially if you’re going to the effort of carrying a SLAB and all the rest of the kit up a hill :confused:

Done that in the middle of nowhere in Northumberland and all doors were locked closed - no phone signal - miles to walk. Fortunately I learned about 50 years ago how to pick a lock but with no tools to hand, with a knife I cut a bit of plastic from a discarded plastic agricultural bottle. Shaped it up and to my surprise picked the lock after just 2-3 minutes.

From my recent interest in the tools needed to do this sort of thing, I thought you needed at least two picks. One to pick the pin(s) and the other to turn the barrel of the lock ?

I remember the old generation of Vauxhall cars (Opel) where if the door seal was removed a coat hanger could be bent to shape to pull the internal lock indicator bar up and hence open the door !


Welcome Neil

Number 3… Don’t rely on a good voltage reading to gauge how much charge is left in a LiFe battery

Did that yesterday and had to cut an activation short when it suddenly dropped from 12v to 9v after just over half an hour :blush:


Note to self…always at least do a quick charge before setting out

1 Like

Correct. (But this is getting quite off topic)
I used the knife to apply the torque and the shaped plastic did the rest. I learned with a knife and a paperclip. It is all to do with machining imprecision - it is almost impossible to get the pin cylinders absolutely aligned. As for car doors one of the best was the plastic strip often used to secure packages, That bent double would easily slip around the rubber seal and with a bit of manipulation of the two ends could be persuaded to slip over the then popular lock lever allowing it to be popped.
Jim (never a criminal - only ever a helper)

Ah… very interesting Jim :smile:

Never tried a car only simple pad locks, that was with more brute force using a screwdriver :smirk:

A SOTA top tip : Don’t forget the key or the microphone, and always have an alternative way to power something or connect something up. Theres nothing worse then not being able to play radio at the top. Only happened to me once…


I can tell I’m going to learn a lot here !

Thanks to all for the Welcome, it has been great reading some of the threads today, I’ve lots to learn !


[quote=“G6PJZ, post:9, topic:12330”]Try to remember the radio[/quote]…and don’t forget that critical component essential for turning a bunch of techie bits into a usable station. For example, the microphone, the morse key, or that adapter tht allows you to connect rig to antenna…

Number 4…the coax as it’s kinda hard to connect to the antenna without it as I once found out and of course Number 5… something to write on and something to write with !

There speaks the voice of experience :confused:


Victor GI4ONL

Hello Neil - welcome to SOTA.

Lots of good advice here but I don’t think anyone has suggested to following for a first activation:-

Pack your rucksack ready for the expedition at least a couple of days beforehand.
Take it into the garden (or park, or friends/relatives garden)
Set up, listen and try for a QSO
If all seems well repack the rucksack ready for the hill - and leave it ready.

On return sort it into a box ready for the next one (if you don’t need the kit for use at home). If you can’t do this make a good list and check carefully through it before the next activation.

Hope to catch you soon,

Gosh that’s very organised!:innocent:
In reverse I’ve also forgotten to unpack the whistle I take as safety equipment. The next match I refereed was a bit quieter than usual🏑

I’ll add to the list of advice tips - if at all possible, do a “reccie” of the summit beforehand to see what antenna support options are available. If there are lots of trees a horizontal wire antenna of some sort is ideal (EFHW for example). If there are some smaller trees or fence posts, and you have a telescopic fibreglass pole an inverted-V centre or off-centre-fed dipole works well. If there’s no support available (i.e. a small rocky summit), a few of us use a loaded vertical whip on a camera tripod.

One thing I have found out by experince, if the summit is covered with a forest (as many are over here) - leave the vertical at home - it simply won’t work - the dipole or EFHW on the other hand work fine inside forests.

73 Ed DD5LP.