RF power and antenna used in activation

Sometimes I look at how successful were other activators and I wonder what equipment was used during an activation. It would be possible to write information regarding the rf power and antenna to the column “Notes” in the log.

Maybe it could be a little annoying, because it is the extra “paperwork”, but I find it quite interesting.

What is your opinion?


In reply to OK2BWB:
All my hf activations in the last 3 years (using G(W)6DTN/P) have used :
a) FT857 at 20 watts
b) 7 metre vertical multi-core wire suspended from a telescopic fishing pole. The pole is rotated 4 or 5 times as it is pushed up to keep the wire under control in strong winds
c) 5 metres multi-core wire laid on the ground as a counterpoise.
d) A Z-11 Pro auto antenna tuner.
e) SSB

Have a look at my logs (they show all the QSOs) to judge how effective it is.

Good luck and regards

Dave, G6DTN

In reply to OK2BWB:

It is interesting Karel. Since we started the 12m challenge I’ve been interested in the equipment/power used. What I’ve noticed is that 5W is maybe a little marginal. Many times there has been propagation and 5W has been a struggle but stations using at least 25W had had significantly more success. Not surprising really. 5W CW seems fine on bands like 20/17/15m however. When the band is open then 5W is plenty to create a pileup of chasers but still maybe not enough to crack some of the pileups that a lot of the real DX gets.

5W + 1/4wave GP has been enough to work VK on SSB and CW several times on 12m.


In reply to OK2BWB:
I had a delta loop in a triangle on my 8m squid pole and run 10w on cw to make some EU qso’s on 12m, that was my most successful activation on 12m.
I think as the technology and power to weight ratio of batteries is getting much better it is possible to run more power on summits. From my home to work Tom M1EYP and Andy MM0FMF on summits I have used my ic 7400 @ 100watts and a 7 element log periodic antenna. Summit to summit qso’s would be a rare thing on 12m unless band noise was really low, but it may be possible .
I must note what my kit was in my log for my activations from now on.
Doing 2 summits next Saturday watch for my spot.
73 de Ian vk5cz …

In reply to VK5CZ:

Ian I think you are my all time ODX on SOTA at 16200km/10062miles. With my 817 giveing 4.5W I make our QSO at 2236 miles/W. I should I apply for the certificate!


In reply to OK2BWB:
Generally speaking I’m always using the same gear.
ATS4 or MTR and EFHW with 3-4 watts OP depending on state of battery.

I normally work about an average of 50 stations with that, (sometimes triple, sometimes half) but as I prefer nowadays to attempt multi-summit activations, I can’t spare the time for anymore anyway!

In reply to OK2BWB:

Hi Karel,
some time ago I started adding always in my log, on the first comment line the description of Rig & Antenna. Most of the time they were FT-817 @5w + homebrew Vert antenna.

I think it’s a good idea to add such description even for myself, so that I can compare results between antennas… It’s costless and useful, as you proposed.

VY 73
Ignacio EA2BD

In reply to OK2BWB:
Hello Karel
My Gear:
TRX: KX3 with between 5 and 10 watts out
Ant: Linked dipol suspended from 10m DX-Wire pole
HF-P1 sometimes

It´s no problem to made 50+ QSO in cw, but in ssb it´s not so easy to hold the QRG without chaser. Thats why 90% CW.

73 de Tom

In reply to OK2BWB:
Hi Karel,

I use an HB1B CW 3-4Watts, multiband EFHW antenna for 17-20-30-40m, Mountain tuner, 7m and 10m poles. STation weights about 2Kg.

I have also a 20m doublet with 8-9m of ladder line and a T1 atu.

Plenty to work all EU, DX has been rare for me so far.

73s de Angel M0HDF

Good idea in principle. As I do not want to change all my past activations in the database, I give the quite constant setup used for the majority of the activations here:
FT-817, 5W SSB, quarterwave vertical for 40m with four radials, usable as 3/4 lambda on 15m directly.
Or tuned for 20/(17)/15/(12)/(10)m.

Not enough to hold a frequency for a prolonged time, but enough to get 20-50 QSOs into the log after a spot.

Only a small fraction and done during contests: 2m FT-817, 5W SSB, HB9CV

73 de Michael, DB7MM

In reply to OK2BWB:
Hi Karel, for me it depends on the access to the summit. I run the same antenna (OCF cut for 40m) but for the difficult access hills I use my 817 with a T1 tuner for all bands 40m to 10m - so only 5W at best. For the easy access hills I use my FT-897 with the LDG AT-897 tuner running between 40W and 90W. I have found that for longer haul contacts, running the higher power makes for many more contacts and reduces the chances of getting some of the “big dxers” taking over your frequency.

I have five S2S contacts on 12m into Europe and whilst some were extremely difficult copy, having the extra power at both ends definitely made for easier contacts. For local ground wave S2S contacts of up to a couple of hundred km, having the extra power was also useful, although when working 5W stations, the headphones certainly got a workout!

On local (i.e. East coast VK) I generally run around 20W from the 897 although realistically 5W is usually all that is needed. However a better signal makes life easier for those chasers who have noise problems when living in more populated areas. Note that all contacts mentioned above were SSB.


In reply to OK2BWB:
Hello Karel,
For my activations (all CW):
-FT-817 at 2.5 watts(with 500kc CW filter)
-HB Fuchs Tuner
-EFHW cut for 40 meters
-No ground radials
-I try for Inv L at about 6 meters height. On dense summits it has been as low as 2 meters in spots,resembling a W.
Very impressed with results.
73 Bob W2CKL

In reply to W2CKL:

Emtech tuner
40m HB yoyovee with marks for 30 and 20m (I retract for 30 and 20)

Very light and effective.