Possibly 70+ points up for grabs next weekend for the really keen chasers!
I’ve teamed up with @MM0EFI and @M0RSF for our second YouTube SOTA party.
Apparently there is a contest on that weekend so we are gearing this towards the non-contest bands (60m & 17m).
Realising that 60m can be problematic for foundation & intermediate licence holders (& also for other countries which don’t have the same allocations as us here in the UK) I’m sure that there will be other bands too.
Fraser is doing most of the leg-work for us (very literally) as he has quite a big weekend planned starting Friday & running through to Sunday!
I plan to be active from two summits in GW/SW on Saturday & one summit in England on Sunday (TBC but probably G/DC-001)
Chris will be active in North Wales on Sunday.
We reckon that (assuming that you work us on every summit) it should be possible for chasers to get over 70 points from our activations alone. That’s not factoring in any other activators who may be out & about on the hills.
Re the 60m band, a lot of UK activators tend to stick to the old “experimental” F channels, particularly FE and FM (5.3985 and 5.4035). A diversion down to the WRC15 band and a CQ on 5.354/355 or 5.363 could suit EU chasers.
I was looking at the band plan yesterday (it’s not a band that I am particularly familiar with as I’ve only used it a couple of times). I think that’s going to be my strategy. Obviously that relies on those channels being clear on the day…I don’t know how busy 60m usually gets.
Its very variable but 5.363 is in use right now for SSB and the warblers are in full cry on 5.357!
I’m considering walking to Glen Feshie (near Aviemore). From home and over the tops. WX dependant. There are nine summits enroute that I haven’t activated this year. It’s aroumd 60 miles.
Below is a copy of the 60m frequencies that I use…I carry this as an aide-memoire on UK SOTA activations. Most of us use 5.3715 but the other ones in BOLD are also used frequently when other frequencies are in use.
60m - USB for SSB
5.355 SSB-WARC 15
5.363 SSB-WARC 15
73 Allan GW4VPX
Probably a silly question but looking on the RSGB website, they have a list of suggested frequencies (which is what I have programmed into the memory of my radio to prevent any “out of band errors” on my part).
The RSGB suggest using 5354kHz but in your list you suggest 5355kHz. I guess it makes little difference as your signal will still fall within the band allocation but is it more common for people to use 5355 as opposed to 5354?
I’ve always used the extra 5 to comply…5.3545 for cw. It’s some time since I put the list together and can’t remember where the band edge is but at that time I think it was important…I’ll have to look it up again. I think you have more than enough frequencies (Bold) to use for ssb…I’ve never failed to find a free frequency. As always the important point is to make sure that you alert and spot. As with all the bands lately 60m has been iffy but it is my first port of call after 2m followed by 40/20m. I tend to follow that routine.
Good luck and I will try and chase you or I might be out for an s2s.
73 Allan GW4VPX
I tend to stick with 5354 if its clear enough and work both modes to get some UK and EU stations in the log. This is what 15 minutes produced this morning with an inverted vee dipole at 5m AGL, before it dried up and I moved bands:
I was using a special call but I don’t think that made much difference on 60m.
73 de Phil G4OBK
I used to be a very heavy user on 60m but less so now.
When it was 1st released you needed a NoV and the 5MHz Experiment was under way, the band wasn’t really to be used for just nattering to people. In my case I’d done little other than a few listening sessions before SOTA. SOTA seemed ideal to use 60m in the spirit of 5MHz experiment, I’d be setting up a low dipole and experimenting with such from various locations around the UK.
It was brilliant when there were many UK only stations on the band. Some SOTA chaser was always listening on 5.3985 and you could call and get spotted. This was before self spotting etc. If the channel was in use you could call “break” and when invited in, ask to call CQ and give an alternate working frequency, QSY and the SOTA chasers listening knew where you were moving and would spot accordingly.
Making the band general available to all Full licence holders changed the nature and there are now lots more long QSOs and nets running especially when 40m wont play nice for inter UK operation. That can make it harder to find somewhere but we also got even more spectrum.
The old NoV channels, 3kHz wide, USB dial frequency
|Frequency range (MHz)
|5.2585 - 5.2615
|5.2785 - 5.2815
|5.2885 - 5.2915
|5.3665 - 5.3695
|5.3715 - 5.3745
|5.3985 - 5.4015
|5.4035 - 5.4065
Most SOTA activity was FE then FM then FL. Sometimes you may find activity on FK during busy times.
Once the band was general available more was added and what was FE (3kHz 5.3985MHz - 5.4015MHz) is now 6.5kHz wide 5.395MHz - 5.4015MHz i.e. 2 SSB channels wide. You still find curmudgeonly old-timers like me using FE and the old designations/frequencies. But I do carry a list of all the UK allocation and note the bit of our allocation that overlaps the WRC-15 allocation where non-UK stations are allowed.
As you can self spot, I’d pick one of the old NoV channels if free and self spot there. You have much more freedom than when I started SOTA and you needed to call CQ where someone may be listening!
Be prepared for rubbish propagation during the Summer daytime as the D-layer will be very absorptive. Or maybe not. But it’s why I taught myself Morse… it was sometimes very hard work to get 4 SSB QSOs when I only had 5W or so during the Summer. Beginning of October to end of March is usually the better time daylight time.
The UK 60m bandlets are difficult to remember so what I have done is put UK frequencies in the rig memory in 1 kHz steps plus additional 0.5 kHz interpolations (today’s 50p word!) to correspond to the still popular F channels. When on 60m I can rotate the select knob to tune through the band on just the UK frequencies or tune off one in the WRC15 band to see whats happening in the non-UK parts of the band.
I did similar, I have the old F-channels and then programmed some new memories with the top and bottom of the wider bandlets. But the best thing was printing them all out and getting Mrs. FMF to laminate it at work. Now I have a reasonably indestructible listing. So that’s 2 things I need to buy as we both move from full time employment… a laminating machine and a colour laser printer. You don’t realise how much you miss them till you no longer have access the next day.
In digging out those F-channels I went looking at my old NoVs and licence docs when they were printed and sent to you by Ofcom. It surprised me to find that I obtained M0FMF on 2nd March 2002 not in 2003 so I’ve had this call for just over 20 years now and been licenced since 29th July 1990. Gorden Bennett… 32 years! Well still a newbie really
What a coincidence, this is the very exact same day that SOTA started.
I am setting off on a three day hike to Glen Feshie near Aviemore. Across nine mountains, all SOTA summits. See my alerts for details.
The main prize for me will be success on 2m FM from the very top of Ben Avon GM/ES-006. 2M will allow me to activate from the tor, which has no room for HF. That should be Friday afternoon sometime. Good take off in all directions.
As 60m seems to be gaining popularity amongst SOTA activators, I wondered, for continued interest, if it is possible for me to log on as a SWL in order to record a reception report.
Best regards, Derek.
Yes. Log in to your account, update it to have an SWL ID, save changes then you should have the SWL logging options appear in the database.
Thankyou, Andy, done that.
With the distance between my two summits today, I’m probably goung to miss the other chaps. However, I’ll be on 2m from GM/ES-002 in a wee while. Cracking day.
Well I completed my three day walk to Glen Feshie but due to the various challenges of the final days hike, I missed the party by about 90 mins.
I will do a report, however it’s likely to be from a sun lounger in Madeira in a weeks time.
I have a rest day tomorrow, and then off on a 38 mile walk to Knoydart with some work colleagues. It’s for charity. Thanks to those on here who saw my post on Facebook and have donated.