Return to SOTA activations on Monte Autore I/LZ-301 [15th May 2022]

Hi everyone,

last saturday (14/05/2022) my friend Andrea (IZ0QYI) and I decided to resume SOTA activity, as well as radio activity (:rofl:), with a first test activation.
After various reasoning we decided to go to Mount Autore (I/LZ-301) at 1855 m a.s.l., when we reached the top we had some antenna to try.

We started by mounting a HB9 for VHF/UHF, then we mounted an inverted V dipole for 20m, connected the radios and started making some calls.
In 2m SSB Andrea did not hear anything and received no answers, in 20m very good signals came, but nobody listened to us and with the dipole I was able to make only a QSO with GB0WAO which gave me a signal ratio of 44.

After eating something, we tried to mount a Ribakov, almost vertical :smiley:, using an external tuner ATU-100, but not much changed, we always heard good signals, but they didn’t listen to us, in the end I only connected the station EC1DJ always in 20m, this time with a 53 ratio. We tried on different frequencies, testing the functioning of the tuner, which behaved very well, but in this phase I discovered that my FT-817 has a problem in transmission on 7 Mhz, the message “TX Error” appears on the display when I try to transmit, while Andrea’s radio (still an FT-817) was working correctly.
Suddenly G5HWB replied to me, but unfortunately he could not copy my callsign despite the efforts, a stalemate.

In the end, both us and the batteries were tired and we decided to take everything apart, to go home. Even if at the QSO level it was not a good activation, it was still a beautiful day, which allowed us to enjoy a beautiful view and think about how to organize ourselves for the next time, and maybe remember the password to be able to put the spot on Sotawatch :sob:

A question for all of you, having not reached the minimum number of QSOs, do I still have to register the 2 QSOs on the SOTA website? Maybe it is useful for the two stations if they are chasers?

73 de IU0PHY & IZ0QYI


yes you can upload the 2 qso: you will not get the points, but you have activated the summit.
Ok for chasers also.


Thanks for the information, I just submitted the “log” to SOTA DB.


1 Like

Ciao Roberto,

What frequency were you trying on 7MHz? Was it higher than 7.1MHz?

73, Leandro M0XPO

Ciao Leandro,

I don’t remeber well, but I think so.
I turned on the radio now, and the last frequency set in 40m is 7.120 MHz.

73, Roberto IU0PHY

Very sorry you did not qualify your activation, for the amount of effort you put in that was not deserved! Better luck next time, and may the propagation gods be with you.

73 Paul G4MD

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Hi @M0XPO ,

this weekend I had the time to do some tests, the radio trasmit well from 7000.00 kHz to 7100.00 kHz, out of this range (lower or higher) I see the TX ERR message.

Is the same situation on every band when I go out of our frequencies, so “it’s not a bug it’s a feature”, there is a way to change this setting?


Ciao Roberto,

There is and I will email you.

Saluti da Leandro.

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Did it work?

If this is a very old 817, you can enable out-of-band TX with software. This setting is remembered across power cycles and battery removal until you do a full reset of the radio. If the 817 is an FT-817ND then you can still enable out-of-band TX with software but it will loose the facility after a power cycle. To make it stay, you have to solder the option links.

If you 817 did TX out of band in the past it is unlikely to need solder links changing. So if it is an old one, try re–enabling out-of-band TX again with software.

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I haven’t tried it yet, I haven’t had time to do it yet, when it happened that I had the chance to do it, I had a SOTA activation planned and so I gave up.

I planned an activation for this weekend, so i think i’ll try to do it later. I will let you know.

@MM0FMF which software? To understand if it is the same one that @M0XPO advised me.

I think Widebander-v3.exe is what you can use.

Please note: it’s up to you if you want to download software from the internet and run it on your computer and against your 817.

Yes is the same, I think to try next week, maybe.

It’s not quite that simple. Early versions of the ND can be widebanded in software and it will stick (I have one). The change to block software widebanding came later; I’m afraid I don’t know the actual lot number at which it changed. I think it probably happened at the same time as the change from 2 to 3 colour display, but I am not certain of that. Certainly my early ND which I have widebanded in software only supports 2 colours.

Martyn M1MAJ

If swims like a duck, sounds like a duck and looks like a duck then it’s probably a duck. Yours doesn’t have 3 colour display and software range expansion sticks, sounds like an N. Yaesu themselves say the the ND comes with a 3 colour display and other changes to menus.

I had a look at my ND (3 colour display) and it says FT-817 on the base and my N says exactly the same. I’d suggest you look and see which PA devices are fitted. But it’s a pain to get to them and if you looked at my N you’d say it was as ND because it has the new PA devices. That’s because it has a new PA board fitted. Only got a 2 colour display and software range expansion works and it’s from 2001 from the date code.

But maybe the number of colours is enough to identify which can be software modified only?

There is no doubt that that was true when written. It doesn’t necessarily imply that it was always so.

I don’t care enough to do that!

Caroline and I have 3 817s between us, 1 each for activations and an emergency spare that normally stays in the car. They all say FT-817 on the front panel and on the label underneath, so there is nothing to go on there.

The oldest, serial 1M46xxxx, is undoubtedly an original FT-817. 2 display colours and widebanded in software. It pre-dates the introduction of the ND.

The newest, serial 9E52xxxx, is undoubtedly an ND - I bought it as such from new and had it widebanded in hardware.

We’re talking here about the middle one, serial 4D79xxxx. It says FT-817ND on the box that it came in, but it only supports 2 display colours and it can be widebanded in software. But if Yaesu sold it as an ND, surely that is what it must be! Maybe it is a rare collector’s item…

It is quite possible that they changed the hardware first, changing the model number for regulatory reasons, and then did some firmware tweaks later.

I think that probably is true.

Having got these three examples of the evolution of this radio the completist in me is telling me that I have to buy an FT-818 to make up the set…

Martyn M1MAJ


Go for it Martin :innocent: