M0MMU - New Full License - Keen to get into SOTA

OK, New to reflector - Have MTR 5B, - Battery and linked dipole 20/40 - nearly ready for the 2018 start. Best intentions is 2017 haven’t materialised yet. So now have full licence (exam a week ago !!) will treat as a stimulant to get out there in 2018. CW is the mode of choice and 12-15 WPM is a reasonable expectation for me… Is that too slow??? be great to get out there with someone who has been there and done that - I am east sussex based… OR / AND keen to get some “words from the wise” if you have anything to share.

73 and TU in advance

Merry xmass !!!



Congratulations, Adrian.

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Welcome Adrian. I’d recommend searching on this site - most topics have been covered at some point. Likewise don’t get disheartened if something goes wrong. I suspect most of us have experienced one or more of the following:
Forgot something critical
Something critical breaks or doesn’t work
Can’t get enough contacts

It’s still worth the effort!

Good Luck Adrian 12-15 wpm is a good cw speed to make contacts on SOTA. Alert your intentions when and what summit you intend to activate and work at keeping to your alert times. That way the chasers will have a better idea of when to look for you. Have your phone with you then you can put a spot to let the chasers know you are ready to call cq once you are set up on a clear frequency. It can be a bit tricky if you have not been to a particular summit before and the hike time takes longer than you thought, if you can find another activator who a been there before they will know that stuff.
cheers from Ian vk5cz …

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Well done on the Full licence, Adrian. Seems that 2017 was not entirely lacking progress :wink:

The first question I ask is - are you already an experienced hill-walker?

If not, you need to start by considering your own well-being and getting together the kit you would need for a long winter walk.
If you are fully OK with all that then load up the car with spare parts and bits that might come in handy (leave all that in the car!) and just get yourself up one of the easy access summits in your area (not too easy or you will be tempted to go back for things) find a sheltered spot not too close to a path and get going.
I am voice only so we will not chat on air so very best wishes and enjoy the addiction.

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Congratulations Adrian!

You have a great rig, perfect for SOTA! CW speed isn’t an issue, you’ve put the effort in to climb the hill, it’s up to the chasers to put the effort in to work you using whichever band/mode/speed YOU choose. I started activating with CW using a RockMite at 10 - 11 wpm and I had a great time!

20m and 40m are good band choices, but you may find it very advantageous to add 30m to your arsenal too, sometimes the other bands are just rammed with contest traffic.

Good luck with your activations.

73, Colin

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Thanks Ian… great advice ! Adrian M0MMU

Thanks Andy, will do some searching … Best 73 Adrian M0MMU

Cheers Colin, WOW a Rockmite !!! Impressive - did you build it? 30m is ok for the MTR5B but will need another antenna. I avoided the 3band option from Sotabeams but will consider once i get some activation sunder my belt. Best 73 Adrian M0MMU

Hey Rod, thanks ! Not an experienced hill walker at all but pretty ok health wise. @ 46 i still feel invincible… Have a motorbike that i would expect to get me to the area… will try and keep backpack simple and have seen youtube of a few activators and what they keep in their “bag of trips”. Lots to learn… Appreciate the message - Best 73 Adrian M0MMU

Hi Adrian,

Welcome aboard,and congrats on getting the full licence.

I’m an occasional cw activator, and agree with all comments above. One thing I’d add - once you have alerted on SOTAWatch, there is an automatic spotter linked to the RBN system. So, make sure you send “cq cq sota de m0mmu” or something very similar at least once at the start of your activation, and there is a good chance that your call will be recognised and a spot generated.

There is a lot of detailed info on how this works already on the Reflector, so I won’t repeat it all, but the search facility is very good, as others have mentioned.

Have fun, and keep safe,

(another) Adrian

A good check on your equipment is to pack your bag for an activation. Then walk to a local park or sports field (remember your bag!) and then set up your station and make a couple of QSOs. It will confirm you haven’t forgotten anything important and that everything works. It will also tell you if your bag/pack is too heavy :wink:


Yes, I built the RockMite myself. Propagation was much better back in the old days :smile:

It’s easy (and cheaper) to build your own linked dipole. You have your existing dipole as a pattern and you should also check out the excellent dipole design features on the SOTA mapping page. https://www.sotamaps.org/extras.php

73, Colin


Mine is still packed up as it arrived from the States. Maybe it will see the light of day in time for the next maximum…

73, Gerald

Is it a green PCB ‘Small Wonder Labs’ or red PCB ‘QRPme’?

I’d love to build another ‘green’ RockMite.

Yeah, I wasn’t very active around my first solar cycle, I didn’t really experience the ‘low’. This time, even already, I’m thinking we’ve had poor conditions for too long!

73, Colin

The Quartzmite board is green :wink:

Now you’ve done it - I had to open the packet. It’s a green one. The receipt from Small Wonder Labs is dated 18th March 2013. It will be an antique by the time the good conditions come around. :grinning:

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Ooh, I’m jealous! A K1SWL original :slight_smile:
I only have a handful of originals.


(Sorry for thread hi jack!)

73, Colin