Yet more VHF contesting on G/SP-015

I know, appreciate and respect that many SOTA activators like to take things for every eventuality - spare bootlaces, first aid kits, kitchen sinks etc. I am more from the lightweight “if you’re unlikely to use it, don’t take it” school of thought these days. (Note: I haven’t always been, before anyone digs up any old tales).

Sure I do very occasionally wish I had a tool like that or a knife with me, last night being one such time, but I generally do not carry anything I will not use, or am unlikely to use. And I reckon it’s significantly less than 5% of activations I need something like that.

I remember once losing an activation due to a power supply problem and you suggested that I carry a 2m handy as an emergency rig (which I now do!) so I guess your philosophy has changed!


A small penknife, small screwdriver, a couple of pieces of chocolate-block connector… price pennies.

Ability to fix simple problems on a summit without ending up looking like Terry-Thomas … priceless.


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No Brian, I always carry my handie. It does not fall into the category of “will not use or am unlikely to use” - so it goes on every activation, and usually gets used in some capacity or other - even if it is just listening to the footy on 909kHz on the ascent!.

That was a mighty fine piece of advice I gave you there in actual fact.

I reckon 20-30% of the “stuff” I carry up the hillside, I never use and it’s there “just in case”. I keep trying to reduce down to the “bare essentials” but somehow odd things start creeping back into the pack before long!

Example of this is the QAMP 20/40m linear amplifier (now built into a metal case) and more importantly the batteries (2 x 5Ah LIPOs) and cables etc. That’s got to be about 2 kilos at least. I take it “in case” I need it - but I always start just with the 5w and its very rare that it ever gets unpacked from the rucksack and connected!

Who said Radio Amateurs are hoarders by nature? It’s another level of craziness when one “carts” all this stuff up a cold, wet, windy summit!


P.S. on the realtionship of 2m vs 70cm antennas, I use a 2m 1/4 wavelength mobile whip on 70cms, where I think it works out to be a 5/8th. wave there.

My old SB3 is fine on 70cm too, the beaming direction seems to be a bit skewed, but so are the elements after many years of abuse :wink: I’m sure the low SWR isn’t entirely due to feeder loss…

73 de Paul G4MD

Forgive my slightly warped sense of humour… But I now have an image of ultra lightweight activators leaving their dentures behind unless planning to consume something that needs more than sucking (such as wine gums) :grimacing:


You are thinking of Tom’s addiction to soup? :grinning:



I was implying you keep those at home Tom! Will make your life easier when it comes to stripping the wire and re-soldering! I should have made this clearer.

On the hill, as per Brian’s sentiments. I take a Swiss Army Knife, branded the Cybertool! Victorinox Cyber Tool Lite in red transparent - 1.7925.T

Pliers, Scissors and Screwdriver (with multiple bits)!

Ideal for SOTA and not overly heavy.

Alot of my kit has been ditched over the years. Every repeat activation is different, first time I will take all the guying kit or ground spike. However if I return, and subsequently know what to expect on the summit, then the bungees come out and the ground spike stays in the car.

My future plans involve more uniques, so I dare say the pack will invariably get a little heavier.



Ah, you’ve reminded me Brian - I need some for Saturday. Cheers for the heads up!


Lobster Bisque?

One of my favourites that, although it is expensive to get the 3 cans to fill a litre flask of that variety. Well worth it though.

I’ll be driving in and out of Manchester tonight, and may have chance to visit a cash & carry in Rusholme or Chinatown, so plenty of opportunities for something interesting.

Tuesday night’s 70cm contest map: