VHF FM Long distance trial - 27 July 2019


as previously announced, a large group of activators are preparing a multiple summit activation focusing on VHF FM mode, planned for next Saturday, July 27th.

Our objectives in this trial are:

  • Enhance the chance to get S2S and long distance contacts using VHF,
  • promote the use of the 2 meter amateur band, and
  • take the chance to create publicity of SOTA scheme; a simple handheld is enough to have fun in the mountains!

We worked hard to identify target summits so that they are spread over EA plus a guest bonus station in France. This is the listing of agreed activators and summits:

This map shows their location:

Every activator will call on a simplex FM frequency (avoiding relay input channels):

This way, every activator will control his own activation pace, and will QSY to search for a S2S contact in an adjacent channel, enhancing S2S DX qso!

They will use modest equipment (handhelds, or mobile rigs at medium power abt. 15w) vertical antennas and small yagi beams.

After this massive trial we will publish a report to summarize the event and provide some results.
We will be glad to count with foreign chasers in our logs. There are plenty of chances to get some exciting DX contact.

Thanks to all participants for making long trips to reach distant summits. We hope a lot of fun in this activity.

Please, distribute this info within your friends and clubs so that we maximize the chances for chasers.

VY 73 de Ignacio and all the crew.


The VHF FM long distance trial sounds like a lot of fun! I developed an Excel spreadsheet to calculate distance and bearing between any two SOTA summits simply by entering the SOTA reference for each summit or alternatively by entering the latitude and longitude of two locations. I find the spreadsheet useful for making VHF and UHF S2S contacts here in the US. I have the Microsoft Excel app loaded on my iPhone so I can use the spreadsheet when I am on a summit.

There are two worksheets in the Excel file.

The “SUMMITS” worksheet contains SOTA summit data for France, Portugal and Spain. This data can be updated by the user by downloading the latest summit list at http://www.sotadata.org.uk/summitslist.csv and pasting the latest data into the worksheet.

The “CALCS” worksheet enables the user to enter the summit references or location latitudes and logitudes in the green cells.

Those operators using directional antennas should find this file useful.

Paul K9PM



I take part of your event and try to reach someone … maybe in the Pyrenees. Distance to the Pyrenees is about 700 km.
My location at FL / VO-005 (Width: 47.8223, length: 6.8451) QTH Locator: JN37KT -
I made a LOS - Test and if you are up to 2000m, there is nothing between.

Yaesu FT 290RII and 6 Elt: 6-El.-2m-Yagi … (I wanted one … and you gave me the reason to build one):grinning: I will have it vertical…

I will be there in the morning and spot myself

73 Armin

Hi Paul,
Unable to open the spreadsheet online as it exceeds the 5MB limit. Are you able to provide a download link please?
Thanks and 73
Geoff ZL3GA

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Hi Geoff,

Sorry about the issue. I reduced the size of the “SUMMITS” worksheet to include only the summits in France, Portugal and Spain. Doing so reduced the size of the Excel file. However, you will need to:

  1. Save the Excel file to your computer
  2. Download the latest summit list csv file
  3. Filter the summit list for the associations and regions needed
  4. Paste the data into the “SUMMITS” worksheet

I hope that helps.

Paul K9PM

Hello Armin,

it is very good to have some more people around us to try!
Hopefully you will get some qso with us, thanks for your interest.

Thanks a lot Paul, a useful tool !

73 de Ignacio

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Thanks Paul. Got the spreasheet but the csv file seems to be unavailable at the moment, I get a 404 error :frowning:
Could be due to the upgrade?
Geoff ZL3GA

Geoff, that is certainly possible. I have created a post stating that the link to the summit csv file appears to be broken.


I’ve only just got a chance to check my personal emails and there was a summitslist failed message from the background jobs. Server given a prod and the process completed fine. It will be there for download now.

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I am looking forward to the 27th day, Ignacio EA2BD makes a great job as a leader of the test.
I hope averything will works well and a lot of chasers join us.

Thanks, got it now :slight_smile:

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this is the updated list of participants, a few summits added.

About myself, I will finally travel to EA6 and will participate from EA6/MA-040.
I’m afraid I will carry a handheld and a small yagi that fits in my suitcase; just want to avoid any trouble in the plane with batteries and antennas.

Stay tuned and 73

The weather gods are against us

Because of the weather forecast in the Vosges I will not participate tomorrow …

Ballon d’Alsace:


And the forecast for the Pyrenees do not look good too…



La Munia:


…too bad - I would like a new appointment!

73 Armin

I was planning to try from a nearby summit but things are not looking good WX-wise.
It rained this morning in Pamplona and I can hear now thunders of a new storm approaching in the afternoon…
However, after so many days with hammering sunshine and extremely high temps :cold_sweat:, I admit the cloudy grey sky we have here today is highly welcome :smiley:


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same here - we need every drop!

73 Armin

It’s 6h26 utc and it rains quite a lot in Pamplona…
Good luck all.


Well, I finally made it!
Bueno, al final lo hice!

A bit too late due to rain and having to take care of my 9 years old son until my daughters came back home after they had finished their English language exams, but I managed to get to the summit of my closest SOTA Mt. San CristĂłbal EA2/NV-119 and log 4 QSOs, including 1 S2S, under light rain. I decided to QRT when the light rain started to turn into rain, before my rigs were damaged.
Un poco demasiado tarde debido a la lluvia y a haber tenido que ocuparme de mi hijo de 9 años hasta que mis hijas regresaron a casa tras finalizar sus exámenes de inglés, pero conseguí llegar a la cima de mi SOTA más cercana Mt. San Cristóbal EA2/NV-119 y anotar 4 QSOs, incluyendo 1 SaS, bajo una ligera lluvia. Decidí hacer QRT cuando la ligera lluvia emezó a volverse lluvia, antes de que mis equipos se dañaran.

In such an urgency, I forgot taking a picture of my setup.
My antenna was a dual band 2m/70cm colinear for mobile use but I had it installed on a home made base with 2 wire radials at 45Âş.
My transceiver was a HH Yaesu FT-470.
My amplifier was a Daiwa LA-2035R.
At all time, my HH was running 500mW, so I guess the amp was putting out about 10W.
En semejante urgencia olvidé tomar fotos de mi instalación.
Mi antena fue una colineal bibanda 2m/70cm para mĂłvil, pero la tuve instalada en una base casera con 2 radiales de cable a 45Âş.
My transceptor fue un walky Yaesu FT-470.
Mi amplificador fue un Daiwa LA-2035R.
Todo el tiempo, mi walky estuvo trabajando a 500mW, asĂ­ que estimo que el amplificador estuvo sacando alrededor de 10W.

This is the full log:
Éste es el log completo:

And this is the S2S log:
Y Ă©ste es el log SaS:

You can see it on the map:
Pueden verlo en el mapa:

The weather wasn’t cooperative at all today and I guess we’ll have to try again sometime soon.
Thanks dear chasers for your calls and QSOs.
El tiempo no estuvo en absoluto colaborador hoy y supongo que tendremos que intentarlo de nuevo en algĂşn momento pronto.



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Same for me in F/AM-396

When i looked at the meteo forecast, i knew it will be not good wx after 11:00 Utc
So i had to be there early, before the bad wx;
i arrived on summit about 08:00, and i had some time to setup the 9 el yagi (first time).
After few minutes i heard many many stations all around the band 144 to 146.
I made some qso also on DMR TG2142 to tell i was QRV for S2S on 144.350, but it was too early.
Later on i had a S2S with EA2BD/P on EA6/MA-040
but i had to close and go QRT quickly because of the flashes and the rain falling down.
I have never seen such water, wind and ice comming from the sky!
Hope next time the wx is better. Here is the antenna:
9 element and FT817 4w

73 from Gerald


Yesterday was a amazing day, even through the storms and rains were presents and some teams and activators didn’t arrive to summits.

I was running on HF CW at 05:00 utc until 09:00 with results of 101 QSO on 40 and 20 cw mode.

Then I deployed the 4 elements yagi homemade and switch on the ICOM 2200H 65w, powered by 5000mA Lipo battery and began the VHF activity.

The longest QSO was 425 kms with EA2DPA.
Here you are the results on VHF Mode, HF doesn’t show It.


I’m still on EA6 on holidays. Yesterday it was a great day!

We worked very hard to set up a lot of teams activating simultaneously from different points, well spaced between them.
Unfortunately we faced the only thing we couldn’t plan or arrange to our desire: as we were approaching the target date weather was degrading and forecast announced difficult conditions in many places for this test.
In the end, it was very rainy at some of the planned summits, and therefore some teams who have travelled to very distant places couldn’t do their activation as expected.

Nevertheless I can’t but congratulate all involved team for their huge effort to keep the plan and do their best!! You are excellent operators and friends, and make this hobby a great and incredible experience.

Although I will write a full report once I get back home, I just want to mention I could climb to EA6/MA-04 (my first activation in EA6 association, a really nice area to explore) after leaving my family in a beautiful beach that morning.

I’m pleased to have worked EA3HP/P in EA3/BC-075, EA3BV/P in EA3/TA-003, EC6PG/P in EA6/MA-032, EA6KB/P on EA6/MA-033, EA6LU activating from a Geodetic Vertex, and to my surprise, to have also a S2S with F6HBI/P in F/AM-396, the best DX in my log at 515 Km far away, thanks Gerald! You sounded great on my end.

Quite glad to have logged them all with my handheld Kenwood TH-F7 (5w) and my homebrewed Baby Yagi (50 cm long boom, a short beam that fits in my luggage :wink: )

After the activation in 145 MHz, just when I had settled up my HF aerial to continue a bit more, a huge and sudden storm started falling there. I had to pack everything in a hurry and leave the summit running under the rain.

I arrived in the park place completely wet, all my clothes soaking. I couldn’t even use my mobile to warn my family I was fine, because the touch screen became temporarily irresponsable. I felt worried for my equipment. Hopefully weather changed in the afternoon and everything is okay today, except my shoes which are still on the drying process…

Again, thanks to all the activators for agreeing on your long trips. Soon you’ll read the whole story and details. I’m afraid we want to repeat it in the futre, with an excellent weather that time!!

73 de Ignacio