Well, this was my second time ever doing SOTA, and my very first time on the HF bands … ever!
I had a last minute day to myself, so decided to get in the car and drive half and hour to the area befor walking in. The site itself is nice and open, easy to access and has beauiful views.
I set up my carbon pole with a Slim Jim antena to work some 70cm and 2m activations, then grabbed some lunch before starting.
In quick time I achieved 4 x activations on 2m… thanks to all that worked me.
I then took downthe Slim Jim, and popped up my new Wimdcamp Gipsy diapole. This ia a multi-band antenna. I measured it out for the 20m band… and started to explore! Very different to the VHF and UHF bands for sure…
I managed to contact a gentleman near Oslow in Norway, another in Munich (who was on fir and making conact after contact back-toback) followed by an on and off contact with a mobile callsign in the south of France!
I must say… it was great to work a HF band for the first time and cannot wait to do so again.
When I did my first SOTA HF activation a couple of years back, I’d not been on HF for ten years and I’d never worked a pile up. I learned a lot that morning!
Good job Rich! The bands were poor this morning, so glad to see you got some contacts.
On my first HF activation I was called by a US station. I couldn’t believe it and had to get him to repeat his call to be sure!
Good show Richard!
Welcome to the world of just a few Megacycles per second.
Great stuff but for those like me who are poor sailers can you include one of these in your equipment list.
Haha. Very good. My attempt at arty shots has failed.
Yes, it had me by surprise… that it actually ‘worked’
Thanks! Yes, was very lucky indeed. I jumped on 40m …. But it was bonkers. Too much noise. I do need to improve my set up though. It was more a first run. 73
Nice one Rich, and well done for getting on hf for the first time. I wonder what you made of the Windcamp Gypsy dipole? I’ve seen it advertised a few times and wondered whether it would be something that would be useful for SOTA. Realise you’ve probably only used it once!
73, Matthew M0JSB
Well done Richard. You will love HF. Look forward for new reports of your activation’s.
I saw it reviewed in Radcomm. I was looking for a multiband option and it looked good all round at a decent price! It was very easy to deploy.
I am looking at making some band specific dipoles in the next 2/3 weeks also to try.
Well done Rich… my first SOTA activation was also on this summit. Are you local to Wendover? I’m in Aylesbury
Chris - G1PCR
Well done Rich, until I moved up north four years ago, G/CE-005 was my local SOTA summit (5 minutes drive from home to parking) and I activated it many times. I often struggled to qualify it just with 2m FM (albeit on weekdays). Curious given it’s in reach of Greater London with a decent antenna.
Good you did HF - plenty of room there in the trig point field for HF antennas, eg my 80m dipole.
Thank Andy. Yes, I need a bigger carbon pole I think also. I have a 6 metre one… but it still worked despite not getting the antenna up a 1/4 wavelegnth.
Well done on your first HF activation, Rich. It took me a year or so to move on from 2m ssb (which is hardly used for SOTA now). You don’t really need even a 6m pole for a horizontal (or, more practically, an inverted V) long wire dipole. As long as you keep the wire clear of the ground (not even then if the ground is dry rock) a 3m pole will be fine. Some activators use walking poles to raise the ends - I use very long (3m+) string extensions instead but add the walking pole if the ground is too lumpy for the strings to work OK. Also, some activators stick to verticals, even for 40m so tall poles are necessary.
Poles for VHF/UHF are a different matter altogether.
Hope to catch you sometime,
Thanks for the top tips! I had it up about 3 metres and it was working grand on 20 metres. I look forward to playing through more of the bands next time.
Looks like a good start with HF on a SOTA summit. I prefer the HF bands on my SOTA activations too, and I only do SSB; it’s really fun to be on the receiving end of a pile up. This hardly happens on 2m. I always have my 2m handheld with me though for the occasional S2S QSO. I have several versions of antennae for HF activations. I choose the one best suited for the particular summit. My simplest configuration consists of a light weight tripod on which I have mounted an adapter with a douple female BNC plug to hold an MFJ18xxT telescopic antenna and on the other side an RG174 connection to my KX2. Sometimes we have very little space and nothing to fasten a pole on our summits; in this case my toothpick antenna (as one of my HAM buddies calls it) is never a problem to set up.
Enjoy your SOTA activations and I look forward to our first S2S.
73, Fritz HB9CYX
Just googled the antennas. Looks like a great idea! Thank you for the advice!