Chasing SOTA with a magentic loop antenna

Sunday 5 October 2014.  With the promise of a sunny day in Canberra, I dragged out the Magnetic Loop for a spot of SOTA chasing from the deck.  In keeping with the spirit of SOTA, I opted for battery power combined with a small solar panel to keep the batteries charged between QSOs.

Chaser gear:

  • Antenna: homebrew 1 metre dia magnetic loop (copper)
  • Rig: FT857D operating @ 20 watts
  • Power 2 x 7 Ah SLAs charged by a 5 watt 0.3 amp solar panel & regulator
Chaser gear

chaser gear portable operation

FT857D and a QRP SWR meter

FT857D and a QRP SWR meter

SOTA stations chased Sunday 5 Oct 14:

Date Time UTC Band Mode Callsign Summit Notes
4/10/14 21:57 7MHz SSB VK1RX/2 VK2/ST-008 Baldy Range Al S59 R59 27 km
4/10/14 22:17 14MHz SSB VK1RX/2 VK2/ST-008 Baldy Range Al S57 R58 27 km
5/10/14 0:23 7MHz SSB VK1/RX/2 VK2/ST-004 Dingi Dingi Ridge Al S56 R55 26 km
5/10/14 1:32 7MHz SSB VK2TWR/P VK2/SM-045 Kalkite Mountain Rod S57 R59 114 km
5/10/14 1:59 7MHz SSB VK3BHR/P VK3/VE-126 Mt Stanley Phil S57 R52 240 km
5/10/14 3:50 7MHz SSB VK1/DI/2 VK2/CT-011 Mt Macquarie Ian S57 R57 189 km
5/10/14 5:51 7MHz SSB VK2TWR/P VK2/SM-043 Round Mountain 2 Rod S59 R58 111 km
5/10/14 6:30 7MHz SSB VK1/DI/2 VK2/CT-001 Mt Canobolas Ian S58 R58 222 km

Pictures of the magnetic loop:

Magentic loop antenna

Magnetic Loop orientation south-west chasing Phil VK3BHR on Mt Stanley

Magnetic loop antenna

Magnetic Loop antenna

Solar Panel details:
PowerTran Crystalline Silicon PV
Power: 5 watts
Open voltage: 21 volts
Short current: 0.33A
Made in China distributed by Altronics, part No N0005C
Purchased at Truscott’s Electronics World, South Croydon, Melbourne

Regulator: Homebrew LM317T circuit, 14.2 volts.

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