As I explained in a recent post, I’ve recently acquired a set of 5 monoband vertical ECO antennas for mobile with the aim of using them when on holidays, but also when activating SOTA as a fastly deployable antenna.
As many of you know by now, every Saturday morning I hike Mount San Cristóbal (EA2/NV-119), near Pamplona, while my 2 daughters are taking their weekly rockclimbing training at a close place.
I have always activated this SOTA on 2m FM on those Saturday morning ocasions because of the lack of time to deploy the whole set-up I used to have for HF activations.
The rock climbing training lasts 90 minutes and the hike takes me 35 minutes up and about 30 minutes down. Plus about 5 minutes drive from the training place to the hiking start point and another 5 minutes for the drive back, lets me just 15 minutes to be in the Summit, so the set-up has to be really fast if I want to have some QSOs in the log.
During Christmas holidays I designed and built a wooden rack as to have my FT-817ND, the ATU, and all cables (microphone, paddle, headphones, 12V) connected inside this wooden rack.
This has been tested successfuly in previous activations and definitely spared a valuable amount of time for not having to do all the connecting work at the beginning and the disconnecting at the end plus putting it back tidily to the handbag I had for that.
With that improvement, plus the new fastly deployable ECO antenna I brought with me this morning, I managed to activate Mt. SanCristobal on 20m CW for the first time on one of my Saturday morning ascents.
My new ECO mobile antenna was elevated about 2.5 m above the ground and one single radial about 5m long sloping gently down with its end tied to a extension cord which was tied to a wooden pole so the radial end remained about 1m above the ground. The radial was sloping down towards the North.
With this simple set-up, I managed to collect 16 QSOs in just 12 minutes operation. One of which, the very last one, was a S2S with HB9BIN/P from HB/NW-022.
I felt very satisfied with this morning experience but, given that the operation time was so short, I felt like giving it a new try this afternoon. So I did and activated Mt. Erreniega (EA2/NV-092)
This time I brought with me the 10, 15 and 20m band antennas. I installed the set-up as you will see in the following picture with 2 radials of nearly 5m long each this time, both sloping down gently but keeping their ends above the ground with the help of extensión cords trapped by stones on the ground.
With this very simple set-up I was delighted with the following QSOs logged.
On 10m: 8 QSOs in 9 minutes, 7 of which were DX with USA East Coast stations.
On 15m: 11 QSOs in 9 minutes, 1 of which was DX with a W7 station from Arizona.
On 20m: 19 QSOs in 22 minutes, 2 of which were DX, one was N7UN and the other JA4FKX.
After this last 2xQRP QSO with Nan JA4FKX I was starting to feel cold as the sun was very low and it was getting a bit dark, so I decided to call it a day and proceeded quickly to pack everything up for descent.
You can see how a small mobile antenna and 5 watts can do great DX!
Thank you very much and best 73 de Guru.