Multi Band Operating - is it the future?

I tend to favour single band SOTA activations but today I tried a six bander with a new antenna. All bands from 12m - 40m got used and I made contacts on all six. Several US/VE chasers on 18MHz and 14MHz. Best DX Washington State. 24MHz was harder going with a few locals and a DL. Overall I felt that conditions were poor.

It was surprisingly cold and very windy on Shining Tor and the Bothy Bag provided welcome respite. Gloves and furry hat were needed on the way down. Has the summer finished?

73 Richard G3CWI

In reply to G3CWI:

I was looking at SOTAwatch earlier and noticed a large number of spots for G3CWI. Nice to hear what the story was! Out of interest, which transceiver were you using? FT817?


In reply to G3CWI:

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the QSO on 24MHz earlier. I did listen on 40m but didn’t hear anything, on 24MHz you were 559 on my 10m vertical. I was at work when you were on the other bands so can’t offer a report.

Thanks & 73,

Mark G0VOF

In reply to M1BUU:

Hi Colin

Yes FT-817.

73 Richard

In reply to G3CWI:

I suppose band-hopping is the answer if you are only getting a few contacts on each band, but few of us would abandon a pile-up to change bands. Were you using your new link dipole?

I use a W3EDP antenna, and with the parallel tuner that I carry it will cover 80, 60, 40, (30) and 20, 30 is in brackets as I don’t do CW so I don’t make use of it. I like to start on 60 and then move as conditions dictate. I hope that now autumn is upon us the 80 metre band will be useful again, I’ve always liked that one!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
I think that band hopping is the best option if you are using low power, 5 watts or less on HF. Certainly in EU anyway, you’re guaranteed to be heard, on one band or another by at least 4 chasers even if condx are poor. If you restrict yoruself just to one band though that may not be the case. I favour 20m 30m and 40m myself to be sure these days. A thin wire link dipole fed with RG-174 for those bands is very light and there is no need to carry an ATU.

73 Phil G4OBK

I guess antenna choice has a lot to do with it. If it’s easy to switch from one band to another then band-hopping can make a fair bit of sense, but if it takes several minutes to change band then sticking to one band for a while…

Yesterday on Detling Hill I was using vertical ground plane antennas. I’ve got one for 12 metres and one for 18 metres, and swapping antennas took a quarter of an hour (though with practice I guess I might halve that), so hopping between bands wasn’t particularly practical. On Wednesday last I was on Botley Hill for a couple of hours with a superstick antenna, which is slightly easier to change band on (just a few minutes), and I worked up though 40, 20 and 12 (and could have worked others if I’d had time). Even then, hopping back and forth is a little tedious, so working through the bands (spending a quarter of an hour or more on each) was the easy approach.

The catch with a rapid band-hopping style of activation from a chaser’s point of view, especially if you’re spot-following, is that you find an activator’s frequency just after they’ve hopped on to the next one. :wink:

73, Rick M0LEP

In reply to G4OBK:
A thin wire link dipole fed with RG-174 for those

bands is very light and there is no need to carry an ATU.

The disadvantage of a link dipole is that you have to leave the operating position to lower the antenna and change links with each change of band. You can change bands in literally just a few seconds with any ATU based antenna system, without leaving whatever shelter you have been able to find, and at the cost of a power loss so small that it won’t show on the S-meter. My tuner weighs about the same as a cup of tea, hardly a great burden to carry! Still, each to his own.


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
I find if the link dipole is not tensioned that much for those 3 bands 20/30/40m you can reach the links without taking the pole down, just use the dipole itself to bend the antenna links towards you to connect or disconnect. I reckon I can QSY in around a minute, admitted you have to face the elements to do the band swap, which you would not have to do if you were using an ATU and some kind of shelter.

Another drawback of the LDG auto ATUs which many use (I have one myself but don’t use it these days), is they need to be powered and it is more to go wrong. If my dipole breaks I can repair it with a choc block, small pair of snips and a small screwdriver.

Yes, I am a big fan of the link dipole.

73 Phil

Easy band change possibility measures in additional 760g (manual MFJ-971) for me - and they are worth it to give as many chasers a chance as possible. Condx are so changing that I were sorry for those being out of skip. The range on 20/17m will not allow i.e. YO, LZ, most of EA or the still few brave chasers from VE/W a qso on 30/40m. I have the tuning settings for the different bands on a little lable on the box (two different sets of values for the two different lenghts of symmetric feeder line depending on operation site).