Visiting Hawaii - any hope of 2m FM SOTA?

I am going to KH6 for 10 days, 6 on Kaua’i 15-20 Oct and then Oahu for 4 days.

What chance is there of activating a SOTA summit or two, using 2m FM only? Will there be any available chasers? Especially from Kaua’i?

I am wondering if it is even worth taking the handheld.

Andrew ZL3CC

Oh very nice.

its only a hand held, Just go for it unless you try, you will never know bound be a few people about on the bands. If that was me in your place i would just go up there give it a try for the sheer hell of it. Take the camera and snap few photos while there just to say been there, done that. stick it up on the sota watch etc. Get ya four chasers in and clock a rare summit you have activated.

Go for it :slight_smile:


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Hi Andrew,
Hopefully you’ll get some US answers to this request, but can I suggest you make sure you re-program your HT to the US frequencies/tones and check-out what repeaters you might get into. Of course contacts via the repeater are not valid for SOTA but it is valid to set up a simplex contact via the repeater.
I’d also suggest some kind of external antenna for the HT to increase its range - perahps a coax based slim jim (when such an animal exists) - needs of course to be something small to be carried easily through the airports etc.

good luck. Kauai is a beautiful Island, I only managed a one day trip there from Oahu, the one time I was in Hawaii many, many, many years ago but I have memories of striking colours and great views (despite the rain at the time).

73 Ed DD5LP.

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On Kauai, your peak choice, realistically, is down to one, Andrew. KU-011 is easy and everything else on that island begs for a professional guide and a whole lot of trouble. Go to the town of Wailua and travel near the end of Halelilo Road, where you see a sweeping left curve. In the middle of the curve, there is a parking area and trailhead on the right side of the road. Climb 1,000 vertical feet in 1.7 miles. The peak is known locally as the Sleeping Giant. Great view, and not too muddy after the very frequent rains, unlike all the other Sota peaks there. To line up four contacts on 146.52, go to the Kauai ARC on their repeater, 146.920 minus 600, no PL tone needed (last I knew), and do that well in advance of your climb day. Active local hams are Randy at, Ted at, and AH6TA at They monitor the repeater.

On Oahu, there are four easy Sota peaks in a row on the southeast of the island. However, only one, Diamond Head, is in easy line of sight with Honolulu, where many VHFers are located. This peak is in a State park, on the rim of a crater. The park is open 6 am to 4:30 pm going in by car, with a 6 pm deadline to leave by car. There is a small entry fee, even if you walk in. The car and pedestrian entrance is close to the corner of 18th Avenue and Diamond Head Road. There is no other way to get in…If you do HF on Diamond Head, a very crowded place, you have to duck under the rail at the top and go to the right over to the cement bunker. Ignore the signs - everyone else does. There is an iron strap sticking out of the bunker, which I bungeed to my pole and operated in the shade (44 foot doublet) on the edge of an east facing downslope. I saw no park rangers on trail or on peak, but one went up for a medical emergency while K1JD was on top. They told him where to set up but discouraged going to the more ideal bunker… For VHF only operations, it’s OK to blend in with the big crowd inside the rails. I used 146.52 FM simplex on a weekend, after announcing my intention on the local repeater on 146.880 minus 600 (no PL tone needed). The repeater antenna is also on the rim of Diamond Head crater. That frequency is used by a busy net at 7:30 pm, 5 nights a week. I checked in with them the night before activating, stated my intentions, and I got lots of takers whose calls I recognized from the net…47 minutes going up and 18 minutes to descend…Plenty hot, with no water or facilities on trail or on peak

Virtually all activations in KH6 are by visitors like you, which I predicted when that association went live.

Have fun in paradise.

Elliott, K6EL
Sota MT

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Thanks very much Elliott. Great information, I will give it a go.

Andrew ZL3CC

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I have finally done an activation report for our walk up Nonou Mountain: Nounou – the Sleeping Giant – Andrew White ZL3CC

Thanks again Elliott, your information and contacts made this easy. I highly recommend a visit to Kaua’i.

Andrew ZL3CC

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