The OMs on QRZ said this won't work

The OMs on QRZ said this won’t work

“How’s the 10-ft Mast going to do as much good for a wire antennas, the ground losses would be terrible?”

“You can find telescoping carbon fiber fishing poles over 60 ft long on ebay”

I guess they don’t SOTA :wink:

73 de Tim N7KOM


Better than a wire draped over the rocks, which actually works surprising well.

I use my 10ft mast and a K6ARK EFHW with the KX-2 down on the beach near the salt water and its amazing, but I get a lot of passers by asking how the fishing is. A wire tied to a piece of driftwood.

I guess we’re doing it all wrong!



They work great when there are no tree’s!


I have accidentally made around 20,000 contacts from summits with my link dipole at 12 feet off the ground…and that’s the highest point…30, 40, 80 meters are almost on the ground.

I have used it 2 ft off the ground laying on bushes in high winds…yep…still works.

Higher is better…but…

WA7JTM :grinning:


Coincidentally, today during an activation (during a really windy day) I had my doublet come off the top of the mast and land in my lap. Right in the middle of a contact with WU7H. I froze for a moment and then just finished sending, keeping an eye on the SWR. I got a 329 from WU7H, which I felt was pretty good for a lap-mounted antennna!


Hi Tim,
Those guys are right. Your antenna won’t work (very well) at 10 ft. It is indisputable that it’s better at 40 ft. But “not as good as” and “not very well” can be “good enough”. If you set up along a sharp ridge the height is effectively higher than 10 ft anyway.

A tiny whip or a low wire is a compromise. And any antenna, even one that is more than 10 or 20 dB down relative to a high one is much better than none at all.



Many oms still believe that it is pointless to come into contact with 5W and without a large station antenna. Because they only do random qso or maybe contest. And didn’t get to know the enormous advantage of Sota, Pota and so on.

Hand on heart. How much of our qso would take place if we called at the summit without a spot and on random frequencies and there would be none of the dedicated chasers?

73 Chris


I took my kx2 sota set-up in Morocco, early this year. I thought that a CN callsign and CW would at least be worth a 10dB amplifier. Guess what, I never had a pile-up, while on a sota summit, the pile-up is a common place. Even a spot on a DX cluster didn’t do it.

The conclusion is simple. Height of a sota summit makes the difference, hi hi

PS. How to start the work to make CN a sota country ?

73 de Pierre


I’d guess they lack technical knowledge. :wink:
When you’re on a summit, you’re usually not on a plain. Ground is always sloping, ideally to every direction. Imagine you walked just one or two wavelengths down that slope. How high would your antenna be from this perspective? This is the point why antennas 4 ft above the summit do have a relatively low take-off and work well.



Indeed… when you’ve left your pole in the car (how did I do that?). At least there was a trig point to raise the feed point and a slope to the rock face over which I cast the dipole legs. Thankfully I’ve only ever done it the once.


To most of those guys, “portable” is schlepping the 100w rig and 30ah battery from the car to the picnic table. They can’t fathom hiking miles in steep terrain with a radio, so aren’t willing to consider compromises.



I have only been doing SOTA for just over a year and have been amazed at what 5w and some wire can do from a summit.
I can’t operate from the house due to lack of space and lots of noise, so SOTA it is.
When I tried to activate Stac Pollaidh in the “Summer” and was chased off by hail in a gale, I had run into trouble trying to deploy the HF dipole due to lack of space on the narrow promontory at the summit. I realised afterwards that I should have just jammed the pole in the summit cairn and draped the legs of the dipole over the edge of the promontory.
As it was I tried to activate on 2m but only got a couple of QSO’s out to the western isles using the flowerpot hoisted on half the pole jammed in the rocks.
You learn something every time.


I’ve done exactly the same - mast left in car and wondered why the bag was light :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

This worked fine, though


I can answer this. Very few.

When I first started doing SOTA I thought that self-spotting was somehow cheating, so I would get to a summit and just start calling CQ. In my first three summits I got 1, 2 and 3 contacts in, respectively.


Chris, when I started SOTA 6 years ago I wasn’t able to self spot on a number of occasions using CW only I had to rely on the beacons to pick me up and/or regular SOTA chasers. ( I qualified every summit I activated.

Eventually I inherited a better phone & no doubt the phone network has improved since 2018. So far I’ve been able to self spot on all the summits I’ve visited. But now I would hate not being able to self spot - it would worry me!


I found by accident (mast fell over in high winds) that signal dropped by 1 S unit going from about 17’ to about 1’.
Still got many contacts that day.




Ice Axe as a mast, brilliant! This just went on my bucket list! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Very nice!

Minus the snow, that is rather similar to a setup that I used on top of Ayers Rock in October 2004. I took my 817 and a 7Ah SLA battery (no Lithium lightweights back then). From memory the antenna (dipole for 15m) was a thrown together effort consisting of a bit of speaker wire soldered onto the end of a short length of coax put together in the carpark below. I found a short stick up there and propped one end up, tied the other end up to a short shrub with the feedpoint maybe 50cm off the rock. Did it work - yes (I had two SSB contacts, 1 to Bowen in northern VK4 (1850km) and a second to the Philippines at about 3800km. This was way before SOTA in VK, so no spotting, just luck jagging two contacts. Unfortunately no chance to replicate it or for others to have the experience as the rock is no longer permitted to be climbed.


And a couple of gratuitous photos from the top (yes I found a “fish” in a rock pool up there and I didn’t even take a squid pole).

And the view