Excuse a bone question from a new boy. Is there much mid-week activity? I have a weeks leave at the end of the month and am planning some activations but unsure if there’ll be anyone to chase me.
There’s always mid-week HF CW chasers. There are always mid-week HF SSB chasers, but in my experience not so many as on CW. I don’t do enough mid-week VHF activations to comment. There are always more chasers at the weekend but also contests and other activities that can make it harder.
Make sure you publish alerts early enough on SOTAwatch so people know you will be about.
Hi, typically there are fewer VHF chasers mid-week, but close to the Scottish central belt you should pick up enough QSOs for an activation.
On HF there are always SSB contacts to be made mid-week but it helps if you can spot yourself.
Andy’s suggestion of posting alerts is also a good idea.
I made 19 QSOs last Wednesday all on HF (20m & 40m). None on VHF, but then I had forgotten to pack my VHF antenna!
For me, a workday activation is more often the case, than a weekend one because of all the contest QRM that we get every weekend. I run HF SSB, no CW and no VHF FM.
What mode and bands are you planning to activate using Paul?
73 Ed DD5LP(G8GLM).
I have been doing mid week activations in the Southern Upland on 2m / 4m and 13cm. There is enough activity to qualify the summits. Put an Alert up on SOTA Watch and you should be good for some QSOs into the Forth - Clyde valley. For VHF, I use a mobile (20-50W) and a vertical dipole at 4m AGL, I think if you use a handi and rubber duck then you might not make many, if any QSOs.
I hope to be on
Corse Hill GM/SS-236
Hill of StakeGM/SS-155
before the end of the year.
Maybe the new White Hill once it is released onto the database. (1st Dec 2021 ?)
I often take the opportunity to take a ‘healthy’ lunch ‘hour’ and setup on a tiny hill 5 mins away from home and do some SOTA chasing. I’ve had some wonderful contacts in the years I’ve been doing that, so the answer is yes, and if you alert the day before chances are if the WX is OK here in the Lake District I will try and work you if the activation is between 1220 and 1330 UTC.
Hi Paul, you don’t say where you will be activating or on which bands. With rare exceptions (like SOTA events) I activate only during the week, usually mid mornings to early afternoons (being retired and wishing to avoid busy summits at weekends).
As Andy @MM0FMF said, you should have little trouble mid-week on bands like 40m, 30m and 20m finding enough contacts to qualify a summit. If you activate on 2m FM, geography will be a factor. I’ve successfully qualified many GM/SS summits on 2m FM alone although, on a few occasions, have had to break in (politely) to a ragchew QSO or a net to ask those stations to have a brief exchange of reports with me.
It’s worth having a decent antenna to improve your coverage. I always take a Diamond RH-770 ½-wave telescopic whip and usually a fold-up J-pole on a 4m or 6m pole.
Also, it’s worth programming your 2m FM HT with the frequencies and access tone of any repeaters in your target area. Although you can’t log a repeater QSO as a valid contact for SOTA, you can ask anyone who can hear you on ‘input’, to have a simplex QSO with you.
I’ve got a free pass 24 & 25th Paul. Happy to travel within range of where you’ll be if that ties in with your programme. Maybe even have a beer on the Thursday!
I don’t think you’ll have any problem if you are using HF. I did a summit near Fort William in September mid-week and had no problem qualifying it. This was on SSB but I tried CW briefly and gained another QSO. I can’t speak for VHF as I didn’t try it up there but as with HF posting an alert will help.
Cheers guys I only really do HF great news. Andy C that might be cool.
Almost all my activations are on a Thursday or Friday and I have no trouble getting 4 contacts on 20m or 40m CW or 2m FM. The latter does depend on where you are though. I mostly activate in the Yorkshire Dales and there are plenty of regular 2m chasers in Leeds and surrounding areas. I activated G/SP-008 in Lancashire on Friday and it took a bit longer than usual to get 4 on 2m but I ended up with 6 QSOs. I’d already qualified the summit on 40m CW within the first 10 minutes.
Not sure what it’s like in the UK but here in the Pacific Northwest and Vancouver Island I sometimes have a hard time making 4 VHF contacts weekday, but usually OK. If I use my FTM-100, 20W and my 4 ele portable yagi usually no problems if I alert and spot. With a handheld and a SlimJim I sometimes have to work at it! On weekends here there are dozens of VHF to be had.
But I prefer weekdays HF CW. There is never a problem in that regard and I usually make about 15-40 CW contacts in about 1-1.5 hours of operating.
Weekdays are so much more preferable. Fewer hikers, less people (usually none) on the summits, and so much more room for the 40-10m doublet.
Morning, Most of my activations are mid-week. HF is always fine, as you’re reaching a much wider audience.
2m FM will usually get you the four you need if you can reach the Central belt. Eg higher hills from Loch Tay area southwards. If you’re near the west coast, eg Arrocher Alps, then expect a long 2m pileup!
I have done spontaneous activations in the afternoon on shortwave at all times of the year. - It is a way for me not to let the overtime become too much.
The important thing is to spot! Then it works.
It is sometimes also pleasant, if the pile up is not so large as on weekends. I even had many interesting S2S.
Do it - Armin
If you are using CW and have alerted then when the RBN spots you there will be an automatic SOTA spot through RBNHole. Then the pile up starts…
All true, and [usually] no contests to crowd out you and or your chaser’s low power signal. Having said that, that’s never a problem on my favourite band, 30m - propagation always good for me and never had a problem getting at least four contacts.
No shortage of chasers on hf, whatever the day of the week. If you do not want to be overwhelmed by chasers, choose outside weekend, outside holiday/vacation periods, many more at home many more on the bands.
Weekends: do not forget the never ending stream of contests.
Midweek is a very good time to activate.
Guys thank you so much. I just didn’t want to drag my a?? up a hill and find no-one listening. I’m cracking off the easy one pointers to get a routine established and then I’ll go for the longer/higher point scores.