Using 2M FM for Activations

Technician licenses are 50.5% of all FCC amateur radio licenses. It has been pretty close to 50% for 20 years. Latest figures show 377,902 Technician licenses, with 398 new ones in December.


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I have to admit that I am disappointed when I see a spot for an activation that I can’t work, especially if it is one that I have never chased before.That is true on 2M FM or any other band.

I always try to make as many contacts as my allotted time will allow me on each summit. When the weather conditions permit I try to get on 20/40 and 2M FM as a minimum. I can usually work every chaser that wants to work me with those three bands.

So I encourage everyone to simply do as much as u can to make as many QSO’s as u can…on whatever bands you have, even if it’s only on a single band HT.

We want to work you as bad as u want to be worked.

c u from the hills, band TBD



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Part of the success of SOTA!

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It really depends on where you are. If there is a lively VHF community in the area (such as in NW England), then the above applies to 100%. Without much activity on VHF simplex, sometimes you might ask yourself why on Earth you carried the radio with you at all. It can be much harder to get answers to calls on VHF than on HF, simply because of the different propagation, so one might just as well want to argue that a VHF QSO should count more than a HF one.

But I believe the whole VHF vs. HF dispute is just rubbish. Do what y’all like best and enjoy any of your QSOs no matter on which band or mode!

73, Jan-Martin


With so many activators on HF, why even worry about it?

Roland K7FOP


Since 2011, I have a total of 3017 points, of which 2945 FM.
The basis is the antenna.

I could say exactly the same about cw .I have just about given up to chasing because I am not prepared to sit and wait for a ssb /FM or similar all you see these are reems of cw spots .In my opinion cw is anti social


You will see lots more CW spots because they get placed automatically. It skews the view.

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I like the idea that VHF/UHF (especially the latter!) should get more points as it can be harder to qualify the summit as the chasers have to be relatively local but I have managed 2500 points on VHF alone. I have also got a UHF Mountain Goat but this has only been possible with the help of fellow activators who have been willing to QSY for a 70cm S2S or chasers at home who have run upstairs to put the fishing pole out the window or other such antics for which I am very grateful. It just shows what a helpful bunch of people we all are - but this would not work if not enough people were listening within the viable range of my VX-7R. We are a crowded island and, on the whole, I am operating in areas with a fairly high population density. In most of Scotland I would (and probably will) find it impossible to get the necessary 4 contacts.

I have to carry only light equipment, want the radio to be waterproof as it sometimes rains and I prefer to concentrate on keeping myself dry (!) and I also enjoy that I talk to a different group of people depending on where I operate - rather than the same people almost very time which, I understand can (or used to) happen on, say, 40m. I feel I have a group of friends in S Wales, N Wales, Lake District, Midlands (I have talked to over 2,500 different people) and the only problem is that some of them expect me to recognise their call sign eventhough we haven’t been in contact for anything from 3 months to a couple of years. Those that have talked to me often know that I have difficulty remembering my own call sign - let alone theirs!

Oh I must say a special thank you to Simon for the: 'Each to his or her own - ’ there are a few of us around!!

Viki M6BWA.


Have a look at Robin’s, GM7PKT, record; I think he now exclusively activates on VHF.
You have to be wiling to sit on a hill for a long time though :persevere:

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Regarding the rules:
"If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it."


I have a nice ‘portable’ set up with my all singing all dancing FT857D and linked di-pole etc. and I’m not afraid of the weight either - when I’m walking - BUT… I want to combine SOTA with fell running.

So I’ve just bought a HT for this very purpose. A VX-7r in fact. Anyone for 6 metres FM?

Robin GM7PKT will be up for that.

So the really nice thing about SOTA is that its designed that anyone who likes ham radio and has a license can participate. 2 meters is my goto activation. It simple its fast and I know how to use it through constant practice. I do have HF and I do like to use it. Its going to take more time for me to learn how to SSB. The problem with HF, for me, is that it takes longer to set up, and you rely so much on propogation. Often, when I am with a group, my time at the summit is limited, especially in the winter. I am now starting to learn CW. and hope to use that in the future. When it comes to SOTA - to each his own. There’s something for everyone.


I’d be all over that but I think you’re a little far away from Oregon. I’ve tried both 6m and 10m FM on activations and have gotten nary a reply even with posting a self spot. I don’t think that a lot of people outside of VHF contests ever go there unless it is a local region thing.

Yes, I’ve thought about 6m but I don’t think I have actually tried to use it. We’ll have to try it out some time when there is time and suitable weather!! I hope you like the VX-7r. It was certainly useful today that it is waterproof. The main snag is that it is very open to interference from stray transmissions such as masts on both 2m and 70cm but you can sometimes find somewhere to hide out of the way. Best of luck.
73 Viki

Surely whatever band or more you use is your choice as an activator. Personally my preference is HF. Rarely have I used 2m although I have taken a handy or ft817 on several occasions. This is simply my choice. So long as there are enough stations working HF S2S or chasing that’ll do me.

SOTA is fine as it is. Why people continue to change it particularly in point allocation is beyond me. Although I do know many comments are tongue in cheek. I wonder what request will come next bonus point for driving into a summit AZ.

Neil G0WPO

Oh, the MT get a lot of requests for changing point allocations and bonuses, not to mention changing the prominence requirements and making special provisions for hard to reach summits. Nearly all of them finish up in the round filing cabinet! SOTA is, take it or leave it!


My old VX-5 also covers 6m, but I have never heard anything on 6m FM on the few times that I’ve tried it.
I suspect that the short rubber antenna - even with the supplied extension piece - will be fairly inefficient on 6m.

It would be nice to try for an S2S some time, though…


You’ll need a couple of things. A better antenna and a plan to get people to try and listen for 6m FM.

The rubber ducks for 6m are far too small to be any real use unless you have the benefit of almost perfect paths. Comensurate with fell running, you should be able to make a simple antenna that massively outperforms the rubber duck yet it and its support weigh little. A selection of tent poles would support a simple vertical and could be handheld whilst you operate before packing it away into little space.

You need to organise yourself a chasing posse. A handful of people who have 6m and are interested in chasing you. Spots plus activation/chase success stories is what tends to motivate many people to have a go at something a little less ordinary.

One last thing… it’s hard enough for old fatties like me to walk up the hills never mind run up them. You must be mad! :grin: