As many will be aware, I make a habit of inserting a SOTA activation into my morning drive to work. I have been doing this for many years as a maths teacher, and even had more scope for it during those times as a touring musician (hopefully to return later this year).
It’s nice to know that I am “doing my environmental bit” by combining my SOTA outings and work commutes into single journeys. Knowing that I am saving the planet AND minimising journeys as per our polite Government’s Covid advice is enough for me; I don’t need a green bonus point in the Database.
However, what I would like is more QSOs and more DX.
I tried out 17m the other day. That netted me one FT8 contact, but I “backed the wrong horse” mode-wise as the CW portion of the band was very busy at that time. This morning, I tried 15m. The CW segment was silent, but there was traffic on the FT8 frequency. My result was the same - one single contact - a G station at that (well M7 actually).
I think I might be over eager at wanting the excitement of the higher HF bands before 0700 UTC, and perhaps I should “tone it down” a little and revert to 30m. I will give 15m another go on the way home from work though, from another summit, as I was working Brazil on it via a 40m dipole a couple of weekends ago, so there is definitely some goodies to be had with a vertical + groundplane antenna (best for DX in my experience).
I’ll report back later…
I attempted a green (with envy) chase this morning, but the sky gods were not favourable today.
Quick question on the verticals you are using - Are they 4 radial on the ground, direct coax feed, and tune on the radiating element?
I have built three monobanders, 17, 20 and 30m, each with 4 radials, I use a choke made with an FT140-43 ferrite and 8 turns of RG316 at the base of the antenna, no issue with 20 and 30m, but the 17m version upsets or shuts the radio down, and re boots the surface book at anything over 4 watts. I have tried clip on ferrites on the USB cable, and added them to the power lead too, no difference.
It is only with this vertical, a dipole is fine, or a 17m moxon on occasion. I have tried the IC705, KX2 and the 817, same issue on all.
Have you experienced any problems on 17m?
Hopefully not working this weekend so multimode Saturday may be an option.
No issues at all on 17m. All my 30m / 20m / 17m / 15m / 6m groundplane antennas are monobanders. 4 radials on the 30m and 20m, rest have 3. My 12m-10m groundplane is one antenna resonant on or around the CB frequencies! It works well enough with acceptable VSWR on both 12m and 10m while (obviously) not being resonant as such. All have 8 turn chokes in the RG58* feeder close to the feedpoint. (30m GP has RG174 feeder).
Multimode Saturday - yeah, why not? (Well, the wx maybe…)
I may just re make it, they are easy enough to put together.
Will keep an eye on the wx and see what happens.
I can see the fells from the lounge window, mostly shrouded in cloud and rain for the last few days.
Hopefully catch up on Saturday.