Hi all :wink:
Following this thread BYOTA in ZL by ZL3AB & ZL2AJ I’m thinking of another possible activities in the lockdown !

Home garden OTA and Home balcony OTA

What is it about ?
Activate from your garden or your balcony with a TRX QRP (5 watts max) powered by batteries using if possible an antenna other than that of your usual station, that’s the first idea !
I am a CW operator but we can imagine using all the available modes as long as it remains portable (no mains power).But you can have a beer from your fridge :yum:

Using Peanut for schedule, but the problem is how can I spot my activity ?

I’ll write a bit more later, with frequencies and some other thing that will make it possible.

Your opinions interest me and are welcome :+1:

73 Éric


Nice idea Eric. Its nice weather at the moment here on the NE coast.

But QRL today and tomorrow with The Webmaster Page – Radio Officers :slight_smile: However I think they’ll be plenty of time for HbOTA and/or HgOTA later on.

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Hi Eric,
Nice idea.
I can introduce also one more: SHOTA - Stay Home OTA

73, Jarek


I put up a 20m dipole in my small garden a few weeks ago specifically for this kind of activity. I have a variety of QRP transmitters and transceivers, I put out CQs every day apart from Wednesdays when I’m out all day delivering food boxes for the local organic farm shop.

I had quite a bit of success at first, managing at least one QSO a day, but in recent days I’ve really struggled. Some sun spots would be lovely :slight_smile:

I don’t quite meet SOTA rules as I’m working from my shed. My shed is solar powered and I also charge my SLABs from a dedicated 10w solar panel.

The skip on 20m has been long, I seem to hit Hungary and Eastern US / Canada on the RBN and not much else. The trouble is that my signal is very weak when it gets there! (A friend suggested that QRQ would score more RBN hits but I’m not convinced)

73, Colin


Hi all
I found a location in my garden, I will be able to install my station which will be composed of a QCX 4watts and a vertical Blue Star P1 antenna.
Or an EFHW antenna.

More later, after the contest week-end :wink:
73 Éric

I don’t think so either.
Propagation on 20m gets long at the time you were CQing. You can see how your signals were better copied in distant locations like HA, OH and even Northamerica (20dB in VE2).
However, RBN reports are always dependant on the receiving station setup, so it’s something difficult to compare.
Keep working on your daily CQing and daily QSOs, as that’s a great way to improve your CW skills and a very good and relaxing activity to your brain (and your soul too).


Hi Éric,
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to take part on this HbOTA activity because I had to dismantle my endfed wire in the appartment balcony due to building façade renovation works being currently in progress. Neither on HgOTA because I can’t drive the 18Km to my rural QTH with a nice garden, as this is not essential and wouldn’t be allowed within the strict conditions of our lockdown.
I’ll keep operating my remote station having the control with me at the rental appartment in the city of Pamplona but having my RX/TX + antennas at the rural QTH 18Km South-West of the city.
Good luck with your initiative and most importantly, have fun.


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Hi Guys,
It was fun. No need to rename it. Just set up on your garden (yard) or on your balcony. That qualifies as a back yard. I know there may be translation difficulties of the term as used in ZL and VK so just take it more generally. So long as you do not break your isolation rules it could be a park across the street for example.

Note it has to be set up just prior to operating as if it were SOTA. Instead of 0000 UTC start, in deference to EU lagging behind, just go for a 10:00 am Berlin time start next Saturday. Two hours. Work everyone you can on as many bands as you can.

Report results back here.

BYOTA participant.

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Hi mates,

I have a beautiful garden down my 8th floor apartment but nowadays I’m not allowed to go down there and put my aerial.

Instead I shall try putting an EF antenna hanging from my tiny balcony and see what happens.
I just wait to have a good weather to be out in the balcony and try CQing or scanning the bands to chase some activity. Operation strictly running on batteries as for the regular SOTA…

I’ll report if I succeed.

73 de Ignacio


Still raining :roll_eyes:
Now I can understand when Goat’s are outside in bad weather !
73 Éric

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Hi all
Third rainy day … :anguished: but my project does not fall apart. This leaves me time to improve the future installation.
This time that the goat do not have on the ground !
If other stations are ready let us know that we can contact you :+1:
73 Éric

Hi Eric,

Here’s hoping your weather is improving. Here we have had sunsshine for the last week and it is forecast for the next week as well. That’s sounds great, but over the last few days we have had icy-cold winds, but thankfully they are now gone and the temperatures are rising again.

Rather than have lots of rulkes and restrictions, I suggest we do as the lads “down-under” did and keep the Hg/HbOTA (or EUROPEAN BYOTA as I call it) as simple as possible - chose a 2-hour window and as many people as possible take the gear out that they would normally use for a SOTA activation into the garden (or onto the balcony), get on whatever band(s) they think is best on whichever their favorite mode is and just enjoy themselves - post a report afterwards to the off-topic section of this reflector.

I would avoid a day/time when a large contest is on.

73 Ed.
P.S. Assistance (spotting) using whatever tool the people wish - a text chat room would probably be best but otherwise simply use the DXClusters, like special event stations do.


Today midday I saw a good weather in my window. I jumped and grabbed my portable gear.
Once in the balcony I decided my 40-15m EFHW was too long to deploy hanging in front of my neighbour’s windows, and I decided to cut a new 10m wire to try 20m only.

I trimmed it quickly to get a perfect 1:1 match (I was a bit afraid of my thick metal rail near the antenna but I used a fishpole to bend the wire outwards 2 meters apart.

The rig was happy and I hanged the wire using a clothes peg near the feed point transformer:

All ready!

I started the rig and CQ on 14.060 CW a bit. No replies…
I scanned the band and soon found 3 stations that I logged in a row:
LY300GAON, OH5STAYHOME and AM8WARD (hey, Canary Isl is just opposite direction hidden by my apartment!!)

Okay, I stayed a bit more calling CQ: see what I got with 5w:

Not bad for a silly wire strung out the balcony.

After lunch I got back to the balcony and worked a few more stations:
DM30RSV, OL1ADZ, GM4ZUK, HA5JI, and last W1UE (running on RSGB HQP test), wow!!!

Things are not perfect, I have a constant noise S5-6 but anyway, who said being portable at home is not fun?

Okay it’s not the mountain, but at least the air is blowing around and I got the feeling…
73 de Ignacio


Nice HbOTA activation dear Ignacio @EA2BD :wink: :+1:
I’ll be QRV for an HgOTA this afternoon, please look at the cluster !
I’ll self spot F5JKK/P CQ HbOTA, arround 7.038 if free.
Also QRV DMR TG-973.
73 Éric

Hi Eric,.
If you are operating from home why /P? I think you should use your normal home callsign from a “Home Garden”, no?

73 Ed.

If you want Ed, but not very important, except for you … :crazy_face:

I’m at 11m of my shack in JN23MX41mp

OK, I realise the implementation of some rules varies from country to country. I’m just old fashioned HI. :grinning:

I’m hoping to get set up to get on from my garden tomorrow around 11 am local CEST (0900 UTC).

73 Ed.

Today started on 40m at 14:30 Z after one spot on DXSummit and one call on DMR TG-973.
I was using the Blue Pacific P1 vertical at 3m up with 3 elevated radial.
Was Called by Christophe @ON6ZQ, he give me 339 he was 579/599 !
No many takers, find on the band S50EARTH and DL4TO/P (GMA), here the RBN report.

Not too bad :wink:
The shack :

Antenna :

Operator :

Tomorrow I’ll try an EFHW antenna and perhaps 30 & 20 m bands.

73 Éric

Good morning all
I don’t know which TX from my QRP collection I’m going to use today…


Poor interest, please close this thread ! I can’t
73 Éric