Show us how you make your activation videos

Thanks so much Bob; we have been working hard on our camera skills and I have been focusing a lot on my editing to tell a good story.

Thanks for your feedback Andy, especially with regards to the music. I think I used to overdo it at first and I seem to be using less and less. Also, I agree with the other Andy, this is the quote of the day.

Thanks Jesse - I forgot to list the software that I use. For editing I use a product from Wondershare called Filmora. It is not as nice as Premiere Pro, but I haven’t found anything it won’t do yet; plus it is a one time fee equivalent to about one month of most Adobe products. For my thumbnails and map inlays, I use the GIMP, which is an open source tool similar to Photoshop that I have been using for years; the learning curve is kind of steep but the price is right - free!


Some of my friends have said the same thing with background music and I have since decided to stop with music in the body of my videos, only for intro and outro now as the sound of hiking is much better.

The constructive criticism has helped me immensely in making my videos better and I encourage anyone that watches to give me feedback.

1 Like

Thanks Jesse, great video. Thanks for the equipment list too. :+1:

cheers, Geoff vk3sq

1 Like

Anytime, I will update the list if anything changes. I’m curious what others are using so I can upgrade and make my life easier as well, this thread is perfect.

1 Like

You make some amazing videos :blush:

1 Like

They are very good Chris. I’ve watched several of them now. I think my favorite is “Three Falls, Two Lakes and One Amazing Dog”. I really like how you start them off with a scene from later on in the video. The dog carrying the stick back in its mouth was really good. Looking forward to seeing more of them!

1 Like

Thanks for the kind words Bob! Obviously I am biased, but my Favorite is “Back Where it All Began” which is a pure hiking video. Probably my favorite episode with lots of radio content is “Ham Radio on the Rock” which features a trail-side POTA activation.

Thanks again - 73

I use CANON PowerShot V10. for activation video shooting. Superb video quality and high-quality stereo microphone. It has a built-in stand so that I can take selfies without tripods. When I want to take videos while I am walking, the stand is very useful. For the product information:

I feel the battery capacity is relatively small, but it is still big enough for one day activation.
Please take a look at my recent YOUTUBE video of an activation with English narration.
I am always trying to include something new when making a video such as technical findings, cooking and eating after QSOs, antenna construction, and so on. Video taking is an important part of my SOTA activation, hi.

I hope you enjoy.
Thanks. JG1GPY Takeshi


Great video Takeshi! It is really cool to see SOTA activations from the other side of the globe. The animated map was a nice touch and I enjoyed the part about throwing the bag; I too am working on this skill. You had a great mixture of the journey, the activation, and the technical details. I really like your logo as well. I liked and subscribed; if you get a chance, check out my channel - Two Old Men in the Woods

73 - Chris

1 Like

I only started making activation videos a few months ago, so I’m still playing with gear. My goals for video kit are (1) very lightweight, (2) affordable, and (3) high-quality audio. What I found hits those marks is a selfie-stick with an old iPhone SE for recording the activation. Audio is piped in directly from the radio to the phone - I do that by using a y-splitter that lets me use both earphones & a Rode Wireless Go unit. Trail video is done with my iPhone 15 Pro to have options for closeup and wide angle shots. Editing is in Premiere, with Photoshop for the cover graphic.

The reason I make videos is to help my partner learn CW - most of the video is just the CW part of the activation, with closed captioning enabled so that she can practice listening either with or without translations on the screen. Chapters on the video help her skip the hiking portion and go directly to the CW.

Example of what this looks like for a quick activation: Hiking with SOTA Cat:


Thank you for your reply, Chris. The logo I am using in the video was made by my son using an AI. It generated the logo by his describing the call sign and what I do in mountains.
I watched your video and I also subscribed to the channel. I liked the detailed description of the summit at the first part of the video. Also, I want to make professional opening as you do! It is very nice!

JG1GPY Takeshi


A year ago, March 2023, I found myself with a day off, a fresh dump of snow and blue skies. I decided to go up a local hill for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I took the GoPro with me, mainly because of the nice weather, not sure what the subject of the video would be.

I got home, downloaded the footage to my PC and then forgot about it. By the time I came to edit it, I felt it was too late in the year for a winter video, so I abandoned it.

I had a look at it again at the end of February and it made more sense to me. I edited it, stuck it on YouTube at the back of the queue of a number of videos I had sitting pre-release.

So, here it is, one year after filming. It has been my most popular video in the first week of release.


That’s a very good video Takeshi! I really like how you explained your antenna’s performance with the diagram showing it on and off of the slope. I’m looking forward to watching more of them! 73, Bob


That’s a great video Fraser! I really like how you used the velcro strips to secure your mast. I’ve been using bungie cords with my mast, but the vercro looks like it may be a better option. Also, I just found your “Radio Rover” Youtube channel and looking forward to watching more. Many Thanks! Bob


I can see why - great job Fraser! I used to think your “Pikes Peak” video was my favorite, I have changed my mind. By the way, I am early on in my portable radio addiction but don’t plan on stopping or slowing down. I tell people all the time - I like POTA, but I love SOTA!


Wait until you see my Aiguille du Midi video. That’s my new all time favourite activation. Of course, not everyone may ageee!


You are doing a great job for someone who only started a few months ago Mark! I didn’t know you could do CW subtitles and of course Ormoo is definitely the first SOTA cat I have ever seen. Liked and subscibed; check out our channel if you get a chance.

I’m waiting for this one since I saw your spot on sotawatch !

Just my 2 cents about videos:

What I like watching: videos about something unusual and/or informative. Like a personal opinion on something, rare / DX contacts on SSB , advices on technical topics, high mountain summits, unexpected happenings, harsh weather conditions, hardware comparisons / diy, …

What I cannot watch: shaky footage of hikes on random trails, more than 3 min of someone CW activating on a random hill.

1 Like

Add wind noise to that!

Your videos are phenomenal fraser, pikes peak was my favorite as well

1 Like