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Working the 40m band...or not!

For my activation of G/SP-004 yesterday, I posted that I would be working the 40m band… Ha! Finding a clear 40m frequency on a weekend, can be extremely difficult and in my case, the two occasions I tried yesterday, impossible.

Admittedly, it’s easier on a weekday (although not that much), but weekends, 40m can be a real PITA for the SOTA activator, especially when you drag a fishing pole antenna up there for nowt :frowning:

Apologies to the chasers that missed me…

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I nearly went up SP-004 yesterday to play 10m, however the thick fog (>30m visibility) put me off & it stayed around all day. Apparently 5 miles away in any direction it was sunny :frowning:

In reply to G1INK:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I nearly went up SP-004 yesterday to play 10m, however the thick fog
(>30m visibility) put me off & it stayed around all day.
Apparently 5 miles away in any direction it was sunny :frowning:

Done yourself a right favour by giving it a miss on both WX and HF propagation counts, Steve. Managed just one contact across the pond on 10m and only Europe on 15m :frowning:

Mike 2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I found that 10m was wide open to the States and Europe yesterday afternoon from SE-008. I managed 31 contacts on 10m and another 43 on 20m.

73

Robert
G0PEB

In reply to G0PEB:

No problem on 20m for me from WS-083: 2x US and 1x VE all with good signals. 14 other DXCC worked from there on 20mas well.

The number of QSOs was limited by the time available and my poor pileup handling skills.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to G0PEB:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I found that 10m was wide open to the States and Europe yesterday
afternoon from SE-008. I managed 31 contacts on 10m and another 43 on
20m.

Typical innit, Robert! I did my final contact at 1206 with NQ2F on the 10m band. Seems like I qsy’d back to VHF just a bit too early :frowning:

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Hi Mike;

Missed you on 2m as well, guess you didn’t drag the Diamond Colinear up the hill.

73 Ken
G3XQE

In reply to G3XQE:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Hi Mike;

Missed you on 2m as well, guess you didn’t drag the Diamond Colinear
up the hill.

Hi Ken,

Because I had the A-99 and fishing pole to carry, I took an ancient, small colinear that I’d picked up at a rally. It’s about about 5’ 6" long, possibly a Watson. I couldn’t self spot as there was no Internet signal on my mobile yesterday and I hadn’t bothered to find out how to self spot using a text :frowning:

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

40m can be a real PITA for the SOTA activator, especially
when you drag a fishing pole antenna up there for nowt :frowning:

Nothing wrong with the band. You tried the wrong mode, that’s all.

73

Richard
G3CWI

I used to have similar problems with 40m SSB, but none since the band above 7.1MHz became available. I can usually find a clear spot somewhere around 7.118, 7.145 or 7.160 for SSB work. Never a problem to find a spot on CW, except on CQWW / WPX weekends.

Tom M1EYP

In reply to G3CWI:

Nowt wrong with the mode - as my 30,000+ sota qso`s prove.

As for band conditions yesterday, I found 40m quite good, favouring short skip up to about 3 - 400km. 10m was pretty good all day with plenty of JA`s in the morning, the usual million Russians & N America starting about 1130 right through until the West Coast faded out just after dark. Maybe STQ has sabotaged that Antron.

In reply to G1INK:

Nothing wrong with the band
Nothing wrong with the mode
Nothing wrong with an Antron

…there’s only the operator left :slight_smile:

73

Richard
G3CWI

In reply to G3CWI:

In reply to G1INK:

Nothing wrong with the band
Nothing wrong with the mode
Nothing wrong with an Antron

…there’s only the operator left :slight_smile:

There has been 417 activations from G/SP-004, 23 by me. There has been 7992 QSO’s from G/SP-004, 2279 of them by me, many on HF. So, I’m reasonably comfortable with my opertaing ability.

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I’m reasonably comfortable with my opertaing ability.

Yes, but what’s your operating like? :wink:

Seriously, I’ve always found 40m SSB to be a chore from the summits. Running just 5W against the wall of monkey babble and splatter that exists when the skip is slightly long is too much like hard work. Having found somewhere reasonably clear and got few people to call me the next guaranteed event is some galoot will come and set up 1kHz down and call CQ using the “full legal” (for all definitions of legal!). If that doesn’t top it all then there is the lack of discipline in quite a few chasers. To be honest I can’t be bothered with the effort needed to whip any pileup into shape.

The only times I’ve had any modicum of success was when I used MA0FMF and the prefix hunters were out in force. I am impressed by those who regularly work 40m SSB by their patience and fortitude. I know Steve uses an 857 and about 25-30W (sometimes more power no doubt) and I think a bit more welly might help. But I only have about 5W so I can carry more batteries and amp, buy an 857 and carry more batteries or use CW. Given that learning some rudimentary CW skills cost me only some time in the evenings it’s been the most cost effective way to work the busier bands.

CW is not for everyone. I know many were forced to do it to get on HF and they abandoned it ASAP because of that. In my case it was the desire to be free of the worry of working 4 contacts on 60m/40m SSB at midday in the summer with a sleepy sun that caused me to get going. Nobody forced me to learn it. There’s nothing like the thought of spending all that money on petrol and walking for a few hours only to fail to qualify the hill. It concentrates the mind most effectively. You’ve got the benefit of mainly activating in part of the country where 2m FM is good fallback for you should HF fail to play. In my case I test the chaser’s patience in my woeful struggle to get their callsigns correct!

Andy, MM0FMF

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I’ve not had any recent problems with 40m, the trick I use if there is loads of activity is find a clear-ish frequency, call and self spot and then wait for the chasers to make the gap :o)

To be fair I do use a small amplifier providing about 25W and efficent antennas, more often than not a full 1/4 wave vertial. I used to be only QRP when I first started activating on HF so I know it can be a difficult band sometimes.

But I thought you were able to run between 10 and 50W SOTA, depending on your call, you carry big enough batteries :o)

Carolyn

BTW Val (G6MML) seemed to be doing OK today with 5W :o)

In reply to G6WRW:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I’ve not had any recent problems with 40m, the trick I use if there is
loads of activity is find a clear-ish frequency, call and self spot
and then wait for the chasers to make the gap :o)

It’s a shame 40m is such a narrow band and Sunday just happened to be pretty busy. However, I’m often amazed at just how many European and indeed, Stateside chasers will find activators on the 15m band. Unfortunately, this band is a compromise and normally rules out most of the UK stations.

To be fair I do use a small amplifier providing about 25W and efficent
antennas, more often than not a full 1/4 wave vertial. I used to be
only QRP when I first started activating on HF so I know it can be a
difficult band sometimes.

But I thought you were able to run between 10 and 50W SOTA, depending
on your call, you carry big enough batteries :o)

As you’re no doubt aware, I tend to do marathon activations and although I can use 50W using 2E0YYY, even a 20Ah SLAB won’t tolerate that sort of current draw for too long. The FT-857 is a greedy rig and I actually spoilt an almost new 20Ah SLAB on one 2m fm activation, by dragging the voltage down to below 10 Volts when it was under a tx load :frowning:

I now use the more expensive deep cycle SLABS which are a lot more tolerent of my abuse :wink:

BTW Val (G6MML) seemed to be doing OK today with 5W :o)

I’ve done some good dx with 5W, but I guess Sunday just wasn’t my day.

Good luck with your W5 holiday Carolyn, I reckon you’ll be fielding some massive pile-ups.

73 Mike
2E0YYY