It's time for.... the 2024 10m Challenge. (Part 3)

Continuing the discussion from It's time for.... the 2024 10m Challenge. (Part 2) - #102 by MM7MOX.

Previous discussions:

Also, time to give the new mininmalist antenna another airing. Selected the 10m coil but, not counting any chickens, added the 40m, 20m coils and in case of contest congestion the 18m one as well.
Absolutely nothing on 10m - no surprise there after the recent propagation reports and some difficulty adjusting for a low SWR. 20m had worked well in NE Wales so back to that coil to bring in half a dozen contacts before it went quiet. Tried for s2s on 40m - a packed pile-up was not going to give room for 10W on a seriously poor aerial and the cold was seeping in so time to go.
Main advantage of the new setup - almost instant readiness to descend. It would take a bit longer if going on to another hill and needing to leave everything in good order :slightly_smiling_face:
Saturday looks possible for another go - IF we can get to a hill with a 5m flood predicted.


Barry, it was Simon @GM4JXP who was on Hill of Fare. I was over at Granton on Spey on Beinn Mhòr GM/CS-112

Shouldn’t rely on my memory! :grimacing:
That was my “Goat” hill many years ago - another complete though

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Been meaning to add a top insulator to my 10m/12m quarterwave vertical - for a few months. Kept slipping my mind. On my first 2024 Challenge activation, I threaded the top end of the driven element through the eye on the end of the fishing pole. This is normally OK, albeit a bit slower setting up. But it does add strain to that flimsy top section of the pole. Which is usually OK ….

…until it SNAPS!

Which it did on New Year’s Day! That’ll teach me not to put off simple tasks! I managed to cobble something together to finish the activation, and since then, opportunities for activating have been virtually nil for meteorological reasons, although the ancient trade of ark building is seeing something of a resurgence.

This afternoon it dawned on me to fix things. I swapped a thinnest section out from another pole (one that is always used for VHF and never uses that section anyway), and rummaged through my toolbox to see if I had any top insulators before ordering.



Well my 10m challenge is up and running. I activated Conic Hill today GM/SS-239 on 2,10 & 40m. MM3IBM, MM1HMZ & a S2S in Greece SV/TL-087 on 28.400MHz.
I was a bit rusty as I left my 2m flowerpot in the car & never took my counterpoise for my new Super Antenna. I activated the summit anyway so all was not lost to forgetfulness.
I plan to get out this weekend again.


I can report that the sotabeams top insulator on my 1/4 wave vertical works well, secured via a loop with glue heatshrink.

Certainly did well on Dartmoor in the build up to storm Henk, allthough I was more worried about the mast. Antenna was clearly more of a V than the intended L !

This is a @MM0EFI inspired 1/4w DX vertical, from his video on 20m, except 10m here. Allthough I’ve been wondering if this is really just a verticle dipole in disguise ? I do intend to add more radials and see how it does. Probally 3 to act as guys is what I am thinking.

Certianly works well, I have been very impressed so thanks to Fraser for the video.


I have a similar problem with my EFHWs configured as inverted-L on my 6m (Life’s A Breeze) pole. After trying several approaches I found that the best (i.e. fast, cheap, simple) is to [PVC] tape a large strong brightly-coloured rubber band to the antenna wire just a bit less than the pole length up from the rig end.

The (unused) green rubber band is only for show.

Once the pole is telescoped and laying on the ground I twist the rubber band 4 or 5 times over the top of the highest section of the pole (see photo). Once the antenna is taut it pulls the rubber band about 1cm away from the pole providing electrical insulation in case the pole is damp or wet.

The rubber band is the point where the inverted-L goes from (near) vertical up/near the pole to horizontal (or usually sloping since I rarely find a convenient tree, etc for the antenna far end).

LNR Precision EFT-40/20/10 EFHW on winder

The rubber band, far from being a nuisance, fits neatly over most of the antenna when on its winder.


Another variant for hooking to the top of the pole -

I prefer to push the mast up vertically section by section rather than opening it flat first, so I use this arrangement with a wall plug - if you select the right size it will fit snugly over the tip of your top section


Rick, always willing to try new methods [yes, you can teach old dogs new tricks] especially for solo activations in high winds, I’ll try your variant (rawplug, pole up section by section), but in the back garden first!

I’m surprised people try extending the pole on the ground then rotating it to vertical as that has to put the maximum strain on the top sections. Is this why people write about the top sections snapping? I’ve always guyed the pole with 2 or 3 sections at the bottom extended, then fit the antenna then push it up to full height section by section.


At least not in my case. How heavy is your antenna wire? Those fiberglass poles must undergo much heavier loads whilst horizontal in non-radio applications. As I recall the only time I had a top section snap [on my 10m SOTAbeams pole] was in very high winds presumably with insufficient slack in the antenna wire.

I have antennas (e.g. a 6m flowerpot) that require strapping to the pole at several places [to avoid the rapid rattling noise that lanyards make banging against boat masts in high winds]. It’s much easier to do that single-handedly [well, using both hands actually] with the fully-extended pole on the ground.

This is my simple solution that has been used for years (marks are made on the antenna wire at certain lengths using a waterproof marker).

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I have always had the guying quite a long way up the mast (probably 8 ft up) so have always extended the mast before raising it. Probably famous last words but I haven’t snapped a section yet… It is probably just a different way of doing it, more strain on the mast when raising it, but probably less strain when upright as there is more support further up the mast! I usually have the antenna wire attached with a piece of thin rope line wrapped around the mast. Although this is a bit of an ad-hoc arrangement it allows the position of the antenna to be adjusted up and down the mast and spreads the load a bit.

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Back to talking about the challenge Andy @MM0FMF It appears from the chaser and activator scoring that if I work the same operator on several modes on the same summit on the same day on 10 metres then I get several points for that. Is my understanding correct?

73 Phil (G4OBK)

Are the QSOs logged Phil? The display page has some things that need fixing, probably will be done at the weekend. I’ll look at your logs and see.

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Yes Andy, checking on my mobile phone as I am in hospital. On 1/1/24 I worked @G4OOE Nick on 10m on CW and SSB. Looks like I got 2 points.

73 Phil

Doesn’t look to be 100% correct Phil. Don’t worry… it will be wrong for everyone :slight_smile:

We’ll get it fixed shortly.

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Going back to the very top of this thread and looking ONLY at the Activator text, I see:

Scoring for activators:
For every unique summit you activate on 10m you get a multiplier.
For every unique chaser you work you get 1 activator challenge point.
Your final score is activator challenge points * multipliers."

Is this score applied separately on each summit or only over the complete year (i.e. multiple summits). If the latter that means if I work chaser 1 on summit A and then work him/her again on Summit B, that means the second and later times that I contact “Chaser 1” throughout the year, from different summits - I do not get another multiplier point.

Am I reading this correctly?

This will mean that (if I were only going out for the challenge), It is an advantage to work other chasers (or other operators on the band) than the regular chaser. - so once a chaser is worked, he/she effectively goes into a DUP list and (for the best scoring rate) should be ignored if he/she calls.

OK on the mode question from Phil - I believe that has already been answered, by operating more modes gets you more points as you will come across different (not previously worked) hams. Not that modes affect the scoring directly. So working the same chaser on different modes - to my understanding - does not bring more points.

73 Ed.

Hi Paul

I only guy the bottom section of my 7m pole … I have permanently attached guy strings at the top of the section using a Jubilee clip. I also replaced the bottom cap with a ground spike made from a long bolt (about 80mm) so the bottom of the pole locates well in the ground.

Has worked OK so far with EFHW and verticals, it only struggles in rocky terrain like any guy system.


Not in my case. I’ve had pole sections snap in two circumstances. Once, the pole fell over (because the base was not sufficiently well anchoured, and slipped), and one section hit a rock. The other times have all been connected with a mast self-lowering section by section in an uncontrolled manner, and the top section has broken because it couldn’t get itself straight enough and was still slightly extended, so took the full shock of decellerating the antenna. Only happens with poles that are a bit flimsy for antenna use. Each time it happens you end up with a shorter pole, until the point where the remaining section can take the shock (or you remove the flimsy sections, or you get a better pole).