Happy Christmas to all. This is my first post on Sotawatch. Im not actually a hill-walker, in the SOTA sense of the term (not yet anyway) but I am interested in backpacking with a radio and field deployment. I am new to the amateur radio hobby, having only just acquired the UK M3 license. I’m now studying for the Intermediate license. I am putting together a ligtweight back-packing kit, ready for next Spring, and wondered if someone could help me decide between two transceivers: the IC-703 and the FT-817. I initially decided on the FT817, but then realised the IC-703 has a built-in ATU and twice the output power. However, it lacks the 2m band. So I’m currenly undecided. I’m not sure if I’d miss the 2m band. I have a small lightweight handheld that covers 2m, should I ever realise a need for it. So perhaps I’d be better off with the IC-703. But perhaps some of you know of other deciding factors I should consider. If so, could you point them out?
Is the 2527m band used much in this branch of the hobby? How about 160m? (I’m thinking low-power to reduce battery drain).