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Help - Sotapole Transport by Air


Hi All

I need help… no really. I am likely to take a Sotapole with me on holiday for 3 weeks as I will be trying the following if all goes to plan:

a) Operating in the IOTA contest as I’ll be on a Swedish Island which is part of the Kalmar group.
(IOTA reference EU-037)
b) Trying to chase SOTA (please use 30M) from time to time if the weather is really bad… as it is now and has been for a while where we’re going!

Please listen for SM7ZAU in either case.

Any tips for a hard transport tube/box/case that will allow me to check a Sotapole into hold luggage as “sports equipment” to avoid the BA luggage surcharge?

Thanks… Marc GØAZS


In reply to G0AZS:

how about a fishing rod tube.

73 Barry M3PXW


In reply to G0AZS:

The one I use is strong enough as is, maybe tape the top and bottom bungs up.

Being a telescopic fishing pole, as described on the main tube, how can they say it’s not a piece of sports tackle?

73 Mike GW0DSP

ps: The rod tube that Barry M3PXW refers to, is a plastic tube approx 2" diameter with plastic end caps. They come in various lengths.
It would probably accomodate two sotapoles or a sotapole and sotabeam and are only a couple of quid at any fishing tackle shop.


In reply to G0AZS:#

Maybe best just to wrap it in corrugated paper and label well - add a strap to help carry (B&Q). There are fishing rod cases that you can get - probably overkill for what you need though.




In reply to G3CWI:
Thanks all…

I took Barry’s advice on rod tubes… and once again “Google is my friend”…

I found some Wychwood 50 inch (127cm) rod tubes for £9.99 from various suppliers. That might do it if I cant fashion something for myself.

Thanks again… Marc GØAZS


In reply to G0AZS:

£9:99 ??? a couple of quid max up here.

Don’t buy one yet Mark, I’ll go see if I have a spare in the garage that I can post to you.



In reply to GW0DSP:

You might get a nasty shock when you try to post it!




In reply to GW0DSP:

Wow thanks Mike… I’ll reimburse you of course. Otherwise I’ll take Mick’s advice and pop down to the plumbing supplier…

Although I am mindful of the fact that I don’t really want to turn up at Heathrow with something that looks like a pipe bomb! :slight_smile:

73 Marc GØAZS


In reply to G3CWI:

Ah… in which case… don’t put yourself out Mike… I’ll try the “HJD” route.


In reply to G0AZS:

Got 3 spares and u can have one gratis.

What length do you need? I’ll cut it to size, save on postage, hi.

Will post it tomorrow via Royal Snail, oops meant Mail.

Is your address good in QRZ.com? If not, email it to me gw0dsp@hotmail.co.uk

73 Mike GW0DSP


In reply to G3CWI:

In reply to GW0DSP:

You might get a nasty shock when you try to post it!



Tell me more Richard???


In reply to GW0DSP:

Sending it will cost more than the cost of the pipe.


In reply to G0AZS:

I’m confused now Marc, hi, do you want me to post it or not?

Pity Richard didn’t enlarge on his comment.

I can’t see the postage being more than £1.80ish for an empty tube.

73 Mike

oops!! good timing Ric


In reply to 2E0HJD:

Ouch!! nearly £4 for an empty tube!!! Looks like a trip to B&Q Marc.


In reply to GW0DSP:
Hi Mike

Thanks very much for the offer of help and sorry if the thread got a bit confusing but, yes I’ll take myself out to the local hardware supplier instead.

…and thanks to everyone else… seems I’m an expert on pole transport now. :slight_smile:

73 Marc GØAZS


In reply to G0AZS:
Went to Cyprus and took my 10m fishing pole last month. I brought a fishing rod bag from Argos, bright blue i thought it would only draw attention so i dumped that idea. Taped the ends of the fishing pole, put my address in the middle. At the airport it was taken with my other luggage and i had to give it in as unusual sized luggage at a different check in. No problem at both airports and no charge.
73 mike


Update: (again… yesterdays was zapped somehow!!!)

Travelling with the 10M Sotapole was a breeze. I wrapped it in bubble wrap and BA were fine with it as “sporting goods” to avoid their extra baggage charge.

No time for SOTA chasing during the day and I only did evening rag chewing and a couple of hours in the IOTA contest as SM7ZAU (on EU-037) where the double length (88ft) Norcal doublet as an inverted vee at 9M worked a treat.

I also did some listening on 5 Mhz in the early evenings. Some of you are 59+20db in SE Sweden at around 1700-1800 utc!

I carried all gear in my hand luggage (rucksack) and Heathrow security did not bat an eyelid (they normally ask for laptops to be scanned separately). However the security folks in Copenhagen wanted every item scanned individually on the return (radio, tuner, balun, key, power supply, etc)

73 Marc GØAZS


In reply to G0AZS:

hi marc

i use a architechs plans tube or artist tube this is great for putting the sota pole into and also the coax and there is enough room for my beam to fit in also it has a shoulder strap these i bought from stationery box but any good stationery store should have them

the size of the tube can be extended from 40inches to 80 inches (sorry still a feet and inches man hi hi)and is 2.5 inch diam and comes with locking top and very strong plastic and is weatherproof they cost about £5.99 when i bought mines and i have used it out in the feild and traveled with it on a national express coach from edinburgh to london and it survived. So maybe worth having a look at them or even for future travels

hope this helps
Gordon MM3XGP