Only been chasing on VHF for just over a year & there must be a lift on 2m today as I managed to have a QSO with Rob G4RQJ/P who was on Andale Knott G/LD-058, my QTH is in South Staffordshire.
Not a particularly high summit but we made the contact & to my reckoning the distance was 105.3 miles which is my longest 2m FM contact to date by a good margin, I was running a Yaesu 857 at just 10w into a new X300 collinear that replaced the previous X50 that was starting to play up.
Rob & I have worked previously when he has been activating summits in the G/WB area, so thanks Rob for the contact today & hope to catch you again before to long.
That´s a nice 2m contact, Neil!
What antenna and output power did Rob use?
I find it quite interesting, what is sometimes possible on 2m if the conditions are good and enough stations are QRV. My most exciting 2m SOTA QSO was a summit-to-summit with Hans OE7PHI over 482km (almost 300 miles) in October 2015. In FM, me just using a 4W handheld
30/Oct/2015 12:05z OE7PHI/P 144MHz FM 5/6 Hans S2S OE/TI-559 JN67bn 482km
Enjoy SOTA and 2m!
Thanks for the reply, I’m afraid I didn’t record Rob’s working conditions, I’ll have to ask him next time we have a QSO.
Your S2S at almost 300 miles is amazing, congratulations on that one.
So far I’ve only activated & chased on 2M & 70cm, I would like to make shack sloth having only used 2m if I can, currently only on 370 points so a long way to go yet.
Thanks again for the reply, hope to catch you on air one of the days.
Well sitting here with an even bigger smile on my face this morning having just made contact with Mark M6VMS on G/LD-017 Red Screes, which is 125 miles from me, thanks for the contact Mark, & if you read this have a happy new year.
I like to experiment with Aircraft Enhancement mode. If your home QTH is close to a commercial flight path you may be able to extend your range on 2m. Of course with AE timing is the key, you need an aircraft to be midway between your station and the SOTA activator. Ask the activator to try SSB mode instead of FM.
My 2m SSB AE record is 560 km using a 90 watt amplifier feeding a 4el yagi.
Happy New Year and good luck with your pursuits on 2m. Good to know someone else has an interest in 2m propagation.
Neil, it’s always great when you have “good” QSOs.
As you have an FT 857 then you have SSB available to you. You should try using it for 2m and 70cms contacts. Don’t worry about not having a beam, activators (not too many using SSB on 2m) will happily twiddle their aerials to vertical to improve the signal should they hear you.
Thanks for the responses guys, food for thought right there, I have not given any consideration to AE mode & it may be a possibility as I live under a regular flight path of incoming aircraft from the USA but nearly all the summits in that direction are within my normal 2m range but it would be an interesting experiment, ill look into it.
I’ve not used 2m ssb properly as yet, & I’ve noted there are a couple of activators who do use it regularly to the north of me from The Cloud & Gun, again these are within easy reach for me on 2m FM, but it is something ill look into, all of my own activations so far have been on 2m FM because it is what most newcomers to radio have access too, & I like to support the grass roots as it were, but the great thing about the hobby is that we have so many options & new avenues to explore, I look forward to trying as much as I can with the time I have available to me.
Thanks again for the replies & a Happy New Year to you.
Aircraft scatter should get you out to the 200km plus region. If you are interested have a look at Airscout (www.airscout.eu/faq.html) which will take you to the relevant download page