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How Long Does It Take You to Set Up?

That’s what I’m at with the KX2, a EFHW, and a pole. I have everything staged in my pack for a quick setup. I usually take a little longer to put it all away, but several times when I’ve gotten rushed due to incoming weather, I’ve got it all back in my pack in less than a minute. I just have to untangle stuff when I get back to the trailhead or at home.


Please do and post it in here. I’d love to see that.


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I’d expect nothing less from the master. That is really radio on the run Fred. It explains how you have been able to do so much.

Cheers, Eric

Great video Eric -

I pretty minimal - so about 10 minutes. Most of it is getting my line thrown in a tree the way I like it. But IMHO 30 min isn’t too long at all if you enjoy the process!

73 - Chris

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Thanks Chris,

Best advice I was ever given about SOTA was to activate in a manner that best suits you. I like to see how far I can be heard and to make as many contacts as I can, so I like to set up more than a minimal antenna and bring along come comfort items like a table and chair. That’s usually my thing.

I usually activate solo because with most people, I can feel the meter running. Most people don’t like to get started as early in the morning as I do or stay as long.

73 Eric KG6MZS


lol Eric! I took my wife and kids with me on a SOTA summit on a Joshua Tree Vacation in February. After 20 minutes on top my wifey was a little unnerved by the hike and height and started down. I couldn’t get a spot out, so took me nearly an hour to get 4 in the log. I RAN down the mountain lol. Made it down in 20 minutes and ended up only being 10 minutes behind them. But likely not bring them on a SOTA again.

I do enjoy long activations. Living in Ohio, I’m surrounded by 2 pointers. So I travel to areas with 8 and 10 pointers. I feel like I have to get in as many sites as possible on those long trips. Being rushed makes it a little less fun… but I can’t take forever to make MG either!


I’m usuall right at 15 minutes. I usually use one of two aerials – either the 1/4 wave vertical for 20m, or the 30m dipole. I force each onto other bands, with the help of the KX2 tuner. I don’t like to go below 7MHz on the vertical, and once in awhile I’ll push the dipole to 3.5 MHz. Either aerial has snagged SOTA DX, so they each work well.

30m dipole is a little quicker to set up, but not so much that I prefer one over the other for set up time.

73, Jim KK0U

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Fun video, I average 10-15 minutes.

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My 40m thru 6M all band link dipole goes up in a few minutes…never more than 5 minutes, 12 ft off the ground (highest point).

No guy ropes needed as the shorter mast slides over the handle of a 12 inch screwdriver pushed into the ground, and the mast is then tied to a short bush/log/rock or something it is next to. Have used my backpack a few times for this also.

If I’m on a bare summit, and it’s not windy, I don’t even need the base bush/rock/log.

The dipole has 20 ft of poly rope permanently attached to each end of the dipole used to tied off to a rock, tree, bush etc.

Easy Peasy and very fast to put up. I have worked over 40 DXCC countries form summits with it, so the 12 ft apex apparently isn’t much of a problem.

Tears down just as fast…and off to that 5th summit of the day…




I now use small clips to allow guys to be unclipped when (not if) they become tangled.

My normal set-up for HF is a SOTAbeams linked dipole which makes for a very quick set-up. The winders, whilst simple, are a real time saver significantly reducing the number of tangles. I have used two colours of wire for each element to speed up untangling should it happen. I will use different colurs for each linked element next time.

None of the above set-up times have included tea and cake.



Oh no, those guys are waaaaay too clean to have actually ever been used:

Can you tell I have been activating in the recently reopened Bobcat Fire burn area?

Seriously though, very trick kit you have there. …and the guy ring in okay too. :wink:

73 Eric KG6MZS