Hi from 2W0IWM

Hello to everyone on the SOTA reflector. I’m a new member as of this afternoon. Originally from South Wales, I’m currently living in the south of Brazil. I’m returning to Wales in the next two months, and looking forward to activating my first SOTA summit (I need the exercise for sure).

Quite a bit to learn before I get home. Just a shame I can’t operate as a 2W0 from here.

Considering starting off with an 817 and adding a Hardrock 50 amp shortly after (looking forward to building it too), though not given out on the possibility of an 857D yet either.

Those first few hills will be killers… It’s blooming flat here! (I’d have to drive for a few hours to reach the mountains).

Cheers, Ian 2W0IWM

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Hello Ian,
Welcome to SOTA and the SOTA Reflector.
I am sure you will soon pick up activating as there are many good summits around Wales. I am interested in the fact that you are Brasil. We have a team putting together a submission to bring Brasil into SOTA soon and I can put you in touch with them if you were willing to offer your assistance at all? Respond via the main website contact list please if interested?

On equipment, the FT817ND is a very popular rig for SOTA activations whether using CW, SSB or FM. You may find that you do not need to use the Hardrock 50.
I have used a FT857D and seldom run at more than about 20 -25 Watts maximum.
Above this battery carry weight can be an issue?

My suggestion is to think about which bands and modes you wish to operate on and obtain or build antennas. You will receive no shortage of ideas here on this reflector.

Finally, when you are back in GW why not ask on the Reflector for an activation partner or two. I am sure many will respond and they can give the benefit of practical knowledge of the summits and operating SOTA.

Good Luck and welcome to SOTA

Associations Manager

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Hi Rob, thanks for the welcome. I’ve sent you a message via the system here. You will find many eager operators out here more than willing to participate. There is a big home brew scene here too, so you’ll hopefully find homebrew QRP operators working SOTA.

Good points regarding the equipment. I’m playing with some battery ideas now. I’m wondering if I can re task a few A123 life flight packs into a decent pack for the 817 / amp. The amplifier would be nice to have on those difficult days where 5W isn’t making it through the noise, though it will only make an S point or so of difference in reality (plus I’m looking forward to the build).

Not sure if I’ll go for the amp and a home brew match, or the internal ATU option with the amp. I quite like the idea of having it all neatly integrated. Of course, the 857 would solve the separate amp issue, as its 100w out, but it has a higher receive current (and needs a much heavier battery… Sigh). the 857 probably has the edge in receiver quality too, but the 817 is a fine little radio :slight_smile:

Antennas… Whew. The big question. I’m going to have to do my homework. I guess I’ll start out with something simple for one or two bands. I’m considering a multi band option, but it will have to be a mountain top experiment once I’m home.

I’d love to find a few companions to operate with. I will be taking your advice and asking on here once home. Counting the days…

Ian 2W0IWM

Good morning Ian

Just a humble chaser this side.
First of all welcome to the dark side once your in here you won’t want leave and don’t forget to bring the cookies too. Once your hooked that,s it. No known cure.

This site may give you ideas


They have some good stuff too for sale also in relation to Sota activations and portable operations in gen.

From a chasers Experience you be surprised on some days on how QRP from Sota activators carry some days. My best one was James in the Canary Islands on a little twig and 1 watt still making the trip to Cornwall on 20m and 10m.

So come on in and ENJOY

73s Karl

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Hi Ian

Welcome to SOTA. Good advice given by both Rob and Karl but can I make a suggestion. I live in West Wales so when you return you are welcome to join me on an activation in either South or West Wales so that I can show you ‘the kit’ and operating procedures before you part with your hard earned money. Rest assured that I will choose a summit in keeping with your fitness :smile:

You can contact me on this Reflector or via my e-mail which is on QRZ.com. Visit my blog http://gw4vpx.blogspot.co.uk to give you some idea of some of the summits available in South and West Wales…some are very easy and a good introduction into SOTA.

73 Allan GW4VPX


Hello Karl and Allan, thanks for the welcome, and a very good morning to you from a sunnyish Tubarao.

I’ve been off the air for a little while, so it’s a fresh start for me (silly lad sold most of his gear to move here didn’t he…). I still have some gear at home, so not a total loss, but equally not anything I would want to cart up a mountain without a horse.

Mmmm cookies, that’s cruel Karl :slight_smile: I need to burn off the “food induced SOTA weight penalty”, though a couple wouldn’t hurt with a nice brew after climbing a mountain?). Good biscuits and tea that actually has flavor are lacking here.

I will head over to the Sotabeams site later on this morning and have a look around. I have to admit though, I enjoy making what I can and antenna building is part of the fun for me. Amazing contact into the Canary Islands there Karl. With the right propagation, anything is possible.

I will gladly take you up on that offer Allan. It will be great to get out in company and get an idea of what is involved. If you pick a summit based on my level of fitness right now, it will be a very flat hike :). Let’s say I need to get back into shape. I will email you ASAP.

Sorry I’m a little late replying this morning gents. My baby daughter decided that 3 am was a good time to be up and about. She finally gave in a 5.30. Add in our time difference right now (I’m 4 hours behind UK time), and I look positively rude.

Can anyone point me to the correct pixel size for the avatars used here? I’ve discovered it has to be square, but I’m not sure on the correct dimensions.

More later, 73, Ian 2W0IWM

Hi Ian,
A view image shows them as 45x45px I can’t remember if I did mine any larger and the ‘software magic’ reduced it to that size or not!

Hi Don, thanks for that. Now I just have to find something suitable to use as an image.

I’ve noticed a test section on here, so I will play later and see if I can beat an image into the correct size.

Cheers, Ian 2W0IWM

I don’t know about that.

But there is site I use to down size pixals of my photos to fit onto web sites
Very easy to use and user friendly and that.s a lot coming from me :hushed:


karl 73s

[quote=“2W0IWM, post:6, topic:10899”]
correct pixel size for the avatars
[/quote]The original of mine appears to be 90x90, which would fit with the 45x45 well enough. I’m sure the details are out there somewhere, but my casual burrowing hasn’t un-earthed them…

It looks like the gremlins are determined to stop me finding a nice avatar at the moment (my external HDD is playing up). I will try again later after this afternoons ‘class’.

Many thanks to all of the contributors for the help and advice offered here. What a wonderful welcome :slight_smile:

Ian 2W0IWM

The image gets rescaled to several different sizes in different places. I uploaded 400x400 which gives plenty of opportunity for the scaling down to work well. If you design it too small it may well have to be scaled up on some pages which will look awful.


I pushed a photo of “who knows how big” size and let the system do its magic.

The largest I’ve seen avatars on this site is about 120x120 or so. No point in uploading anything any much bigger than that. Not much point in fussing overly about the size, either…

Hello all, Problem solved avatar wise. I’ve re scaled a couple of images I like, and will upload one once home later today.

Thanks for the help :smile:

Ian 2W0IWM