Interesting read... Nearly SOTA

As it’s quiet on the reflector, some of you might find this interesting today:

73 Marc GØAZS

In reply to G0AZS:

An interesting article indeed Marc! Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Now to get the USA active in SOTA …

73 de Les, G3VQO

Worth a try Les?

The MT has made email contact with several potential collaborators in the USA over the years, but mostly to no avail. Maybe NM7N is worth a try, to get something going on the West coast.

Thanks for the article Marc.

Here’s another that will be of interest on this reflector:


In reply to M1EYP:

I found that story interesting Tom until I came to the part that encouraged the use of handhelds on the summits, doh, not the way to do it.

I ask myself why they would find that interesting when they have been approached by SOTA and are supposedly on board. I do have my view on why they don’t seem to interested in SOTA.

73 Mike

Nothing wrong with using handhelds! In fact, for an event like that one, contacting each other within a “local” group of mountains, they are absolutely ideal.

Now if we can get them interested and active in SOTA, then they will maybe be encouraged to take equipment to achieve longer range.

Feel free to email me your thoughts about getting new associations on board.

Cheers, Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:
Another interesting one Tom, thanks.

I think one of the best approaches might be to get the ARRL to run something so it goes on and in QST… (or even CQ magazine too)

I would imagine that with the right incentive and with a bit of momentum it could take hold. After all, there are plenty of QRP portable operations in the US. Look at how many folks get out onto the Appalachian Trail to operate!

Anyway, something to look forward to now the sunspot cycle is turning. 5w across the pond should be easy :slight_smile:

73 Marc GØAZS (K1UG)

In reply to M1EYP:

But they quote, see how far your signal gets, so why handhelds?

I notice a growing number using handhelds on uk sota summits, summits which I normally hear 59 when the activator uses even a basic antenna, such as a dipole or half wave end fed, but not even a whisper is heard from the handhelds on those same summits. The USA is slightly bigger than the UK so in theory they will struggle with handhelds, mind you the summits in question are all over 14,000ft, which helps a tad at VHF.

Sounds like you had a good time on your GI trip Tom, I did put a spot on sotawatch saying I was monitoring 144.060 just in case you checked the spots on your mobile when you were struggling for contacts. I hope yourself and Jimmy managed to qualify the summit in the end. Out of curiosity, what was your working conditions? I have a reasonable take off to GI but heard nil from you on 2-fm but I only have the colinear for vertical use on 2m.

73 and HNY to yourself, Marianne, Jimmy and Liam.


In reply to 2E0HJD:
Not sure what you mean Mick. UK SOTA is in very good order IMO.

In reply to GW0DSP:
Variety is the spice of life. I enjoy the rich variety of rigs, powers, modes, antennas, operating styles etc that can be found now in SOTA activating, both as a chaser trying to work the summits, and with the variety I can use as an activator. I am sure that if SOTA can get a hold in the USA, then for the reasons you state, there will be a movement towards HF, CW, better antennas and in some cases QRO, as indeed there has been here. IIRC, it was 2 or 3 years before that really started to happen here. Interesting stuff. In fact the handhelds were only mentioned in the Colorado event. In the piece forwarded by Marc, a more typical and effective portable HF station is described.

I didn’t see the spot that you were monitoring 144.060, but Marc G0AZS relayed it to me via text message. We were packed up and back at the car though by the time we read it! Yes, we did qualify the summit, all on 2m FM with stations in the Belfast area. Working conditions were FT-817, SLAB, 5 watts and SOTA Beams MFD (same as I used on The Cloud, Christmas Day). We initially spotted and called on 2m SSB (horizontally polarised), but did not manage any contacts. After refitting the MFD to vertical polarisation, we worked on 2m FM. It was horrendous though with dreadful QRM and desensing from the transmitter mast on Cairngaver summit, as well as the unpleasant wx condx, so it was quite hard actually getting the four contacts each. Daylight had virtually run out by the time we did.

Thanks for trying. HNY to you as well.


In reply to G0AZS:

“Anyway, something to look forward to now the sunspot cycle is turning. 5w across the pond should be easy :-)”

I’ve done that on quite a few occasions with an FT817 and a G5RV in the last few years, on phone (its probably a lot easier on CW and PSK), but I have found that VK and ZL is a bit more of a challenge!

I make a point of mentioning SOTA on whenever possible, my words seem to fall on stoney ground but you never know…


Brian G8ADD

In reply to M1EYP:

Great stuff Tom and congrats to you and Jimmy on qualifying the summit. I must have read your spot wrong, sorry, I thought you had spotted 145.5 fm, I’ll check back out of curiosity, it’s irrelevant now because you both got the 4th contact. That would have been a belter on 2-cw, maybe next time eh.

73 Mike

Save you the bother Mike. I did indeed spot for 145.5 FM - after I’d given up on 2m SSB, which I had originally spotted for some time earlier! CW tends to come out for a ‘want’ rather than a ‘need’. If I ‘need’ to use CW to qualify, then that means that Jimmy hasn’t qualified. Hopefully some CW when we return to GI later in the year.

In reply to M1EYP:

No problem Tom, you did the right thing making sure you used a mode that would give both of you the 4 contacts. I’ll look forward to trying a 2m-cw contact with you next time you are in GI, or even a s2s 2m-cw contact.

73 Mike