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VHF/UHF is alive and well


Hello Tom. Good to hear you today. Many thanks for being out there in such bad weather.
Thanks also for the 2Mtr. and 70cm. QSO’s. Sorry there was no 6Mtr. contacts for you. As you know I do not have equipment to operate that band and so could not help.
Great that you are, “Flying The Flag” for 70cm. I wish there were more Activators who would do the same.
Best Wishes, Paul, M0CQE.


Last weekend I activated Robinson (lakes) on 2m FM. But also tried 2m SSb and 70cm FM. Without phone signal couldn’t self spot but got no response on anything other than 2m FM. I try to use the other bands but no one seems to listen in the north on them. I activated little mell fell on Sunday and shouted again on 70cm FM but only barely got 4 contacts on 2m FM, and I heard gb2rs news that was being broadcast from Redcar on the east coast and I was in the lakes!
It’s activations like this that make me think twice about using less popular bands like 4m.


You need to publicise you will be on 2m SSB. You need to publicise it a lot. You need to develop a reputation to be where you say you will be when you say you will be there. Then when chasers know you will be QRV 2m SSB and will be QRV for say, 30-45mins around the time given, then you will get more chasers. But you need to stick at and make a fuss in the publicity stakes. And, you need to be spotted. If you cannot guarantee a self spot, then start on HF where you will be heard and get someone to spot your VHF activation. Or get a mate to go out portable (not necessarily a SOTA summit) to work you on VHF and spot you.

You need to work at it. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a few places which happen to have a huge catchment area. And you need to accept you cannot do every band or you will only be on any one band for a short period.

4m is a fine band and Summer SpE is wonderful. But even with cheap Chinese handhelds (that work!) it’s a niche band. So you need to arrange with others to all try 4m FM the same time and day from your SOTA summits. That’s the way we’ll be doing our 13cms stuff, get a group to get out the same time with the gear and try to work each other and maybe, just maybe, the odd random QSO.

To start with, stick with the popular stuff, 2m SSB and FM.


2M SSB from high ground is still one of my favourite pastimes. This weekend is the first Backpackers contest so weather permitting there should be increased activity. This contests runs alongside a major 2M SSB contest too.

I cant remember if it’s against the rules to alert if anyone is taking part and will be active from a SOTA summit? I seem to recall it’s ok to state 144-SSB but not a specific frequency.

73 Chris M0RSF


Exactly that Chris.


Yes Chris.

I, for one, will be doing backpacker’s this weekend from GW/NW.

It’s handy if chasers know their Maidenhead squares for the exchange please!



It is probably as effective as the FT-817’s helical on 6m and the Wouxun KG-699E’s on 4m. It makes you wonder why they actually manufacture them, but they do make a reasonable dummy load for test purposes. :wink:


Weather permitting I will be out. Yes, grid square AND post code!

73 Chris M0RSF


My very first activation (HB/NE-007) i tried on 2 Meters SSB, 2.5 Watt on a HB9CV - 45 Minutes - not one Station :frowning:

Now - mostly on 20 Meter - no Problems at all - but i will try again on 2m :slight_smile:

Have Fun, Peter


VHF was a breeze again this morning - Thursday 18th May 2017. And a good job too, because the portion of the HF spectrum for which I brought an antenna - 60m - was far from “alive and well”. In total contrast to the other day, it was a struggle to get the three QSOs in 20 minutes of operating.

The other stations were reporting severe noise and QSB, although at my end I was not experiencing such difficulties. A fourth station - MI0RTY - was heard really well by me, and the contact was entirely complete, with the exception of him receiving his report from me - so not complete then!

Don G0RQL (my first contact) came back on frequency to advise that John MW0XOT was struggling for QSOs on his HEMA (HuMPs Excluding Marilyns Award) activation, and could I provide him with a contact? Of course, I would be happy to help was my reply, although I think John must have got his contacts on 80m as he never did call me on 60m.

There was then a further delay as I chased up that night’s gig for which I had been booked, but not heard anything about. The phone call provided me with the information that the gig had been cancelled and they had forgotten to tell me. Pity, I was looking forward to playing at Old Trafford again (not many people can say that hi hi!), but at least it meant I had a night off and didn’t have to rush home (my glass is always half-full).

I then switched to my VX7R VHF/UHF handheld, and the famine instantly became a feast. Two QSOs on 70cm, preceded by six in as many minutes on 2m FM, including S2S with Dave G3TQQ/P on Calf Top G/NP-022, and Dave GW8NZN/P on Penycloddiau GW/NW-054.

So eleven contacts for this activation, and the almost-daily activations of The Cloud are starting to make me feel slightly less pleb-like, so I must keep them up. Back home, and sorted myself some maths teaching work for the Friday to cover for the lost gig on Thursday. Getting bored with my job is now something from the dim and distant past!

I shall not be on for the Backpackers on Sunday. I would absolutely love to do another full series of the Backpackers Contest, which fits so well with summer SOTA activations, but it won’t be this year. I’ve got gig work most weekends for the rest of the year. Ironically, this weekend I am gigging Saturday night (Hull), but, unusually, no gig on Sunday. However, Macclesfield Town are playing in the F.A. Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium Sunday afternoon, so that’s where I’ll be. You might even see me on the telly!


I’ll be in Jersey this weekend. Wasn’t planning on taking radio gear due to lack of summits/trigs etc. May have a rethink.


There’s a HEMA summit on Jersey Steve. Presume there’s several trigs too. Where I used to work there is all returned to nature now (Plemont); I will revisit some day.


Saturday 20th May 2017.

Gig in Skidby, near Hull. Slight detour to approach via the A166. And that means a SOTA activation of the ever delightful Bishop Wilton Wold G/TW-004.

Parked in layby beside water board compound containing trig point. Walked 30 yards onto grass verge with VX7R handheld and called on 2m FM. Managed to get four contacts within quarter of an hour or so.

Onwards to the Millhouse at Skidby for the gig with Motown Gold. That is all. Photos to follow.


No problem today (Friday 2nd June 2017) on The Cloud G/SP-015. Just using the handheld and rubber duck, but a steady rate of 1.5 QSOs per minute throughout the activation.

I was going to do 10m or 15m, but the heavens opened upon my arrival on summit, and I couldn’t be bothered. Maybe tomorrow morning.


Some nice signals on 50MHz at the moment Tom & 28MHz is open too, hope it stays like that this weekend :slight_smile:

73, Mark G0VOF


This morning it didn’t rain and I could be bothered. However the two days of Sp.E did not extend to a third day.

Nonetheless, I did 6m and 10m with my trap vertical with GP anyway. Well I did 6m - 3 QSOs - one each into G, GW and TF - but nothing doing on 10m.

Then I remembered that this antenna works well on 2m - and it did again, returning many contacts in a short space of time.


Tuesday 7th May 2019 - The Cloud G/SP-015

QRV 1806 to 2202z.

2m FT8 - 13 QSOs
2m SSB - 83 QSOs
2m FM - 7 QSOs

Activation total - 103 QSOs, all on 2m.

QRAs: IO63, 70, 72, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, JO00, 01, 02.

I did use KST on my phone a bit more which was handy for adding new bonus squares. But it also caused distraction as I increasingly kept an eye on the Liverpool-Barcelona score around 9.45pm BST.


Condx were not that good, but many stations on the band. Is this the IC-9700 effect?

22 squares
6 DXCCs: DL, G, OZ, PA, SM, SP
2 s2s: DB7MM/P DM/TH-012, DD3WY/P DA/NW-343



Wednesday 8th May 2019 - The Cloud G/SP-015

Today’s work was the “old work” - teaching maths in the Potteries. So Bosley Cloud on the way home (the hill, not the beer).

2m FM handheld - 5 QSOs.



VHF is too easy.

I have completed 43 contacts on 1296 MHz since March 1st here in Arizona, most from summits I was activating, and at least 10 of them were summit-to-summit contacts.

All on one watt of FM and a small Yagi. One contact was 173 KM distant.

Made 12 contacts from one summit back in January, all on 1296…one contact 193 KM distant (120 miles).

Conclusion: VHF/UHF is easy…people just need to give it a shot!