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Worldwide HF MINIMALIST / QRP SOTA event

Colin,

Thanks for quick reply. Thanks for reassurance regarding the rig, but I knew I was taking a chance on it, because my left ear is 100dB down on ‘normal’ for some frequencies, and the right ear is not too far behind it, I really am deaf…

Realise I also owe you one, as I still have that Kent paddle here…
Les

Hello,

I’m glad to confirm I could succesfully complete my activation of EA5/VL-014 this morning.
All went fine although conditions were a bit poor with frequent QSB.

I will write a detailed activation report, but let me sum up the relevant info for the Mini Event:

Activators worked S2S:

  • HB9BCB/P: thanks Heinz for the call!! 14 CW
  • LA8BCA/P: thanks Terje. 14 CW & SSB

Chasers working QRP:

  • M3FEH on 14 SSB: Yes Karl, you were the first MINI in my log.
  • G0BPU on 14 CW
  • ON6UU on 14 CW
  • EA2LU on 14 CW

Hopefully the weekend will bring more MINI activators and chasers.

My MINI equipment… About 1,7 Kg all the radio gear.

Thanks Simon G4TJC and Colin M1BUU for giving it a try tomorrow. Good luck!
73 de Ignacio

1 Like

Congrats Ignacio!
I have already chased as a MINI my first MINI activator on 40m CW.
Tried it still as a MINI on 20m CW with a USA activator but couldn’t make it so far.
I’ll keep trying…
Cheers,

Guru

Did also try my luck today in the afternoon. All the route up to the summit I had splendid hiking weather with blue sky and sunshine. Unfortunately at the time I reached the summit the sky quickly changed to something like that:

As the sky quickly became darker and darker and as I noticed the first lightning strokes on the nearby summits I was happy that I only carried less than 1kg of SOTA equipment up to this summit. I didn’t even think about unpacking my radio equipment and soon descended down to the car park.

My own fault, taking the cable car up to the summit would have saved me at least an hour of ascent. But wouldn’t that be contra the idea of MINI, reducing the weight of the SOTA equipment and then not enjoying the lighter rucksack :wink:

Nevertheless I had a nice hillwalking afternoon and if weather allows I will try again at the upcoming weekend.

73 Stephan, DM1LE

Ok, all is ready for tomorrow’s activation of G/LD-013.
My car has been to the garage for a service and test today and I now have it back in full health.

I charged my battery earlier on - it’s so small it takes about 15 - 20mins to fully charge!

I will be using my mk1 MTR sn#131 and dedicated 20m dipole.

The weigh in -

73, Colin

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Report from G4GIY activation of G/TW-004 with Minimalist Station.

The 1kg challenge is turning out to be a steeper learning curve than I had expected. I prepared my station: KX1, 500mAh LiPo battery, home brew paddle (leg mounted), lightweight dipole and about a 3m section of fishing pole, ear buds and pencil and paper. The station set up went well enough but it quickly became apparent that my paddle contacts were not good. I could not send a ‘/’ character and mostly my sending was terrible. I fiddled with the paddle but had no tools (under 1kg remember!) but with little effect. I ended up sending G4GIY PORTABLE to avoiding sending a ‘/’.

With the patience of several great Chasers I managed to get 7 QSOs in the log. Thank you all!

By then it was raining and with the temperature only 13C I was very cold.

Next time I will check out my paddle more carefully before leaving and will search for a summit with a tree - my dipole was only about 2.5m high in the centre.

A great idea - I’ve had a lot of fun putting a station together to meet the criteria and clearly there is plenty or room for improvement.

Let’s do it again!

Rob, G4GIY

Hello,

Thanks Stephan for giving a try and good decision on leaving the summit. Better luck next time.

Thanks Rob for your effortts. It is not a mere challenge but a real exercise to optimise the gear, more deeply for a CW-only station.
I’m sure you’ll be able to improve your paddle but well done on your activation!

Sure that after all this effort we will be usign more often our light equipment.
This event has been held on a fixed date but we can use it more and more in the future… A new event could be repeated next year if you like the idea.
The only pity is that few chasers took the chance to work us QRP…

72/73 de Ignacio

These are my yesterday and today’s MINI chaser logs:

5 watts can do much more than many might initially guess.

I encourage everyone to run QRP.

Best 73,

Guru

3 Likes

Here are some pictures regarding my efforts for the challenge.

I managed about 9 QSO’s from G/LD-013 this morning using the gear shown. You may spot that I used blue earphones for my activation, whilst I used orange ones on the scale, the blue earphones are a little more sensitive and as a bonus, they actually weigh 1g less!

I used rocks to anchor my 2.7m pole, this saved the weight of three pegs. I chose a rocky summit with this in mind. :smile:

I saw two ways of meeting the challenge, either use the entire 1kg budget and pack in as much performance as possible, or go as light as you dare, balancing the risk of non-qualification of the summit. I went as lightweight as I could reasonably manage. The 300mAh lipo I used has plenty of capacity for my usual style of operating, indeed, I was operating for over an hour today!

My submitted weight for the challenge is therefore 331 grams - (possibly even less due to earphone swap, but I’m done with squabbling over the odd gram!).

Job done, challenge met! Next!

73, Colin










4 Likes

My first day of the mini challenge went very well, I enjoyed a 5-kg reduction in my pack weight (down to about 8kg plus lunch) which enabled quite a long hike. I did a double - GW/NW-033 and GW/NW-036 - coming to 15km in all. I selected these two because I hadn’t done them yet and they both have fences at the summit. I thought that with my 5-m long lambda/4 on the 5-m pole it would be good to have something to add a little extra height.

I had lots of QSOs on Tarren y Gesail including S2S with OM3CUG and OK2PDT. On Tarrenhendre it was a bit tricky because of lots of contest activity, but I still qualified on 20m with QSOs to spare, again with S2S to Jan.

I had my VX7 along too, and added a few 2-m QSOs with my Slim JIM on the short travel pole.

Tarrenhendre

Convenient fence post for extra height, Tarren y Gesail in the distance

Banana for scale! Mini straight key. Not a nice feel, so sorry about the poor fist today.

I am planning for one more summit tomorrow.

4 Likes

Here are some pics from my Mini challenge activation at Walton Hill G/CE-002 this morning.
Everything worked ok. Thanks for the QSOs.
Weight ~950grs
battery is a Lipo 3S 1000mAh

25QSOs across 30-20-17m & 2 S2Ss in 1hr.




73 Angel
M0HDF

5 Likes

I made a pretty poor job of activating GW/NW-024 Trum y Ddysgl. And yes, it was 024 not 026, despite sending that on air.

Apologies for asking for repeats so much. The problem was that I had nothing to write on! Now I have to play back the commentary I recorded to my phone to work out who should be in the log.

Oh, and the weather was disgusting!

More later.

Simon

1 Like

18/06/16
HB9/IW2OBX/P activation of HB/TI-101 SotaMini SSB
Setup:
kx3: 839Gr.
Mic + supply cable: 195Gr.
Endfed 20-10mt (transformer 9:1 + 10mt litzwire + nylon twine + coax rg174): 320Gr.
Battery Lipo 2800mAh: 228Gr.
Block notes and pen: 140Gr.
TOTAL WEIGHT: 1722Gr.

This weekend I had decided to climb up mt Generoso with my YL and partecipate in sotaday Minimalist station.
I gave up fishing pole, because it exceeded with the allowed maximum weight.
When we arrived on the top, it was really cloudy.
I tried laying a 10 meter wire litz + 5 meter nylon Ø 2mm at about 1mt above the ground and blocking its ends with two stone between two points.

The SWR was not too bad, anyway the kx3 tuned for better ros.
I started to calling “cq sota mini” on 14.325 at 09:05UTC. I self spotted on sotawatch.
I could work about an hour, after that Wx got worse, some dark clouds in the distance and gusts of wind forcing me to QRT and climb down at quick pace.
Despite the fair propagation and suboptimal antenna installation, I maneged to log 10 chasers EA,G,I,ON,R3 stations.

Tnx at all
73!

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Trum y Ddygl GW/NW-024
When I looked out this morning it was raining gently. I looked at the rain radar and saw a huge amount of rain was on its way. So, I had to be quick or abandon my plan to active Trum y Ddygl. I rushed out as quickly as I could and made the ascent of Y Garn still in gentle drizzle. By the time I got to Mynydd Drws y Coed the rain and wind had picked up significantly. By the half-way point up the scramble on this mountain I was starting to regret it. The rain was so bad I could see better with my glasses off. And it was too dicey to go back the way I came, but I had an escape plan. So I pressed on and set up my 5-m pole plus lambda/4 for 20m on GW/NW-024, just back from the ridge to escape the horizontal rain the best I could.

I was pleased with how the antenna went up, guyed by light-weight strings and two of the radials lifted up by my walking poles. For the first time ever I deployed my storm shelter, climbed in and started to get the radio ready. This is when I remembered my log book sat next to my computer back in the village! Did I have anything to write on? Nothing, not even an instruction sheet in the first aid kit.

I’m no top-flight CW op - I rely on writing most things down as I read them. All I could do was record a commentary on my phone. But with only about a two-character buffer between hearing and saying I had often to ask for repeats. On top of that I gave out the wrong reference because I couldn’t read the phone very well. Usually I have this prepared in my log book! I have since gone through the recording and have the log mostly in order. If I have made a mistake with your QSO please let me know. I’m sorry about the station at the end. I lost you under QRM.

This time I didn’t manage any S2S. I heard one summit station but too quiet under the noise of the weather. When I finished on 20m I wasn’t going to put up the VHF antenna; I had a chat with John, GW4ZPL/P from my hand-held, but there were no more takers. So I pulled down the station in quick order and executed the escape plan. This was to descend via Bwlch-y-Ddwy-elor into Beddgelert Forest. The extra 2km were worth it, as it meant not getting blown off!

I finished wet through. But since then my weather station has recorded another 65mm of rain, compared with 10mm during my hike. So it’s good I didn’t leave it till later!

Thanks everybody for the QSOs. The event has been a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to trying it again after some upgrades to kit.

Simon

4 Likes

My plan this weekend was to go to the Lakes for a few summits, instead I had a bit of busy weekend with work which seen me travelling to Yeovil then on to Brecon it wouldn’t have been so bad if I had the time to activate a few summits along the way but work came first. I did have a choice on the Saturday of staying overnight in Brecon for the night and activate a summit nearby, but decided to shorten my journey home next day an stop over at Worcester and activate G/CE-004.
Followed the activation reports on the summit info and arrived by the trig point within 20mins, nice summit area which opens up to great view of the quarry and surrounding area, the weather conditions during the activation were sunny with the odd cloud.


I used two radio setups for the activation and worked 37 stations during 2 hour period. The first being the MTR 3b approx 4watts with a link dipole for CW only total weight 960g after a few mods. I have had this radio for approx 8 months only used it twice now mainly due to building my confidence up with my CW. Started with a 12vlt battery and used .4vlts during a 1 hour period of operation logged 16 qsos on 20/30/40m bands best dx was KA1R. My main problem I was having was that the pico kept sliding out from homebrew deck board. Eqpt breakdown

Second radio used was the KX3 to work some SSB chasers total weight using the antenna setup from before 2.382kg, I used this with a headset and tracer battery running 10watts to the dipole managing 21 qso’s on 20/30/40m bands best DX was N1GB along with a S2S with HB9BIN/P on H/BE102.

A fun day was had thanks to the chasers and for Ignacio in planning this event, one thing I need to improve on is a better log book/keeping.

73
Graeme

2 Likes

Hmm, I wondered why GW/NW-020 didn’t follow… now I see why!

73, Gerald G4OIG

Hello,I just rode the last posts here.

Thanks Guru for chasing QRP!
Thanks Colin, Simon (well done on your CW despite the missing notebook!), Angel, Roberto (well done on your emergency antenna setup close to ground) and Graeme (carrying two separate MINI setups!).

There are a few more activators who didn’t send pictures but I appreciate their interest and participation in the event.

Although there weren’t many QRP chasers involved, we had a lot of fun with this event, didn’t we?
Promise more next year and maybe when I’m back in my hometown (with a proper PC not crashing so often) I’ll prepare a certicate to remember the event for you…

72/73 de Ignacio

Ps: I have uploaded a separate full report of my activation here:

1 Like

I continued chasing as a MINI on Sunday and this is the chaser log of the day.

Note that the the last 3 chases were not done as a MINI (5 watts)
I tried to chase the USA activators on 5 watts but they didn’t copy me, so I finally switched to QRO.
After having chased the USA activators on QRO, when 2 hours later I chased Joaquim CT7AGT/P on 40m CW, I forgot turning back fully counterclockwise the PWR knob of my TS-940S rig, so I chased him QRO, although signals were very good both sides and I’m sure we could have comfortably made it on QRP.
Thanks Ignacio for your initiative. It’s been very interesting reading this thread and I look forward to the next event.
Maybe, I’ll activate MINI next time.
BTW, congrats for your new KX3 toy. Enjoy it!

73,

Guru

I wrote up my blog of the weekend:

Simon

Hi Les

I purchased some sennheiser OMX185 earphones with volume control, I have used them twice now with the MTR and has greatly improved/ increased the sound quality when receiving.
I managed to get them from tescos for £6 reduced in the clearance area.

73
Graeme