Spare Antenna

Oh yeah, had a few of those. 40m during the sunspot minimum and that day Ben @GW4BML and I were up in the Cairngorms during an X-Class flare. Needed 20m and 2m to scrape four QSO’s!


Thank you Fraser, a very apt breakdown of activations. and very insightful - why a do you prefer a short random wire over an end fed ? lighter (no coax?), more flex with use (but presumably the KX2 can also tune a broken/short EF no longer a HW), less to go wrong (coax, unun), IDK ?

I’ve avoided random wires because the Xeigu is one giant RF in the shack collector. Without a short piece of coax and a choke it would be 0 contacts, RF back up into the mic = complete havoc.

And thank @MM0FMF for reminding me of weight, another reasons for the kx2.

I would love to give it a try when next up. To start with, probably summits in your category 1.

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Hi @G5OLD Tim,

After having done a lot of remote SOTA activating, which include long days, starting to hike at 04:00am and not arriving back until 10pm in a day. I have tested out quite a lot of equipment trying to get my weight down as best as possible, especially over the past 2 years! I have managed to get my kit down to the bear minimum which weights next to nothing. It includes the following, and with this kit, I can confidently say I’ve worked the world.

Elecraft KX2, internal tuner and external mic
External 11.1v 5.2ah li-ion battery
3m RG74 coax
40/20/15/12/10m EFHW antenna
Palm pico paddle with jack lead
6m carbon SOTAbeams pole with piece of pipe
1 bungee cord and 5 metal pegs
Storm pad and pencil

All the above is my dedicated SOTA kit, I take no more radio equipment with me!

The rest of the weight in my rucksack is safety gear, food & drink, and clothes.

I would for sure carry a spare antenna, you can easily patch yours up on summit if something happened, but considering the extra weight of a 40/20m EFHW by Steve MW0SAW, you would never notice the extra weight!

Hope this helps and you’ll see it all at the weekend :grinning:

73, Ben

PS - just wait until you see the Cairn on top of Moel Eilio in North Wales. That will give your GM Cairn a run for it’s money :rofl:


lighter (no coax?) Yes, lighter and shorter. No coax

more flex with use Yes, quicker to set up, often with no guys, multiband

presumably the KX2 can also tune a broken/short EF? Yes, down to 17’ for 20m and up

less to go wrong (coax, unun) I use a 9:1 with mine. Try a banana plug straight from the radio and see what happens!

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When I arrived there, at first I thought it was an amphitheatre. :smiley:


Thanks @GW4BML i thought my cairn comment would provoke a response. Now I will have to go an see Moel Eilio :slight_smile:

Sadly the GM cairn is not a Sota summit, being outclassed by it neighbour Carn Eighe despite being deemed a “worthy mountain” by Sir Hugh Munro…

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Not necessarily, but typically around 30 minutes per activation with 20 to 30 (or more) QSOs per summit!

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That’s what I meant, not like some of the 2hr activations I’ve done recently. Concentrated setup-activate-takedown and on to the next and no slacking like me.

I see your Moel Eilio (GW/NW-022) and raise you Moel Famau (GW/NW-044)


This is mine for 20m. (100gr) I also have one for 40m. (125gr).


What can go wring with an endfed that can’t be fixed on a summit?

  • wire break - twist to rejoin & tie off join
  • connector break - remove and attach bare wires (far easier with PL259 than BNC)
  • unun component detaching. open & rejoin

I’ve had all of the above happen and completed multiday SOTA trips with simple field repairs.

All it takes is penknife, screwdriver to access unun (or penknife), electricians tape (for temp coonector replacements), foot or 2 of of extra antenna wire. All but the wire are in my overnight tramping/hiking kit anyway.

A gas stove, penknife & a bit of solder can also make some slightly more reliable UNUN repairs, but a twist of wire generally will rejoin a component well enough to last a few days.

Can hear the purusts screaming, but as with field repairs to tramping gear, you use what you have, you do what works.


Yeah, the purists generally scream anyway when they see what we do with our radio gear!


Help - please enlighten me - what are these ‘chocolate box connections’ of which you speak?
A Google search just made me hungry :slight_smile:



If you google that very phrase it brings up pictures of that exact item.


I’ve been using a DAM 4 metre pocket pole with either an EFRW with the KX2 tuner or @K6ARK trapped EFHW for 20/30/40M with the MTR 3B. At 130 grams the pole is nice and light.

I use all the sections and have a piece of silicone tube tie-wrapped near the top of the pole and just use a chord loop and larks head knot to secure the antenna to the top. SOTABEAMs antenna doofah thingies to help attach to the mast and to peg either end. The antenna is deployed as an inverted V, with a piece of chord from the top of the pole to make the third leg. If possible I set up so the chord is into the wind, so it takes most of the strain.

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Except it’s “chocolate block” not “chocolate box”.

AKA a Lego brick connector!

I think in the US, they’re called Terminal Strip or Terminal Block, but I’ve always known them as “Choc-block” connectors.
73 Ed.

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Presumably they were originally made from brown plastic (bakelite?) as even white chocolate isn’t that pale.

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