SOTA – S2S with the 817 and a ‘cute’ antenna

22 November 2014.  Checked SOTAWatch this morning and found alerts for fellow VK1 activators, so I decided to take a short drive to Mt Stromlo for a chance to pick up valuable S2S points.  Activator alerts:

  • Simon VK1FAAS – VK2/ST/001 Mt Cowangerong (Captains Flat Wx Radar) 8 points
  • Andrew VK1DA – VK1/AC-008 Mt Ginini 8 points, Namadgi National Park
  • Mark VK1EM and Andrew VK2MWP joint activation of VK2/SM-049 Mt Tumanang 8 points, Tallaganda National Park

Gerard VK2IO mentioned last evening he would be in the VK2/NT region and Ian VK5CZ in South Australia is planning to activate VK5/SE-016 (unnamed).

My aim is a quick activation, I didn’t fancy messing around with the squid pole and 1/2 wave dipole on 30 degree day.  I decided to try the ‘cute’ antenna, as named by Glenn VK3YY, actually a Diamond RHM8B telescopic whip antenna designed for QRP rigs such as the FT-817.  The antenna mounts on the FT-817 front BNC connector, making the radio top-heavy.  In the slightest of breeze it’s important to hold on to the radio case. The antenna requires a good return path to ground, unfortunately I was sitting on a wooden bench, I suspect my body was assisting.  Will the FT-817 combined with the loaded whip make the grade?

Here are the results for an improvised activation using a whip antenna.  Note the Band and Distance all at 5 watts into the antenna, much less being radiated. 😉

Time UTC Callsign Summit Ref Summit Name My Summit Band Mode Distance km Comments
22:59 VK2IO/P VK2/NT-025 VK2/NT-025 Mt Stromlo 7MHz SSB 746 Gerard S2S VK2/NT-025 S51 R45
23:09 VK1EM/2 VK2/SM-049 Mt Tumanang Mt Stromlo 14MHz SSB 64 Mark S2S VK2/SM-049 S58 R51
23:09 VK2MWP/P VK2/SM-049 Mt Tumanang Mt Stromlo 14MHz SSB 64 Andrew S2S VK2/SM-049 S58 R51
23:30 VK5CZ/P VK5/SE-016 VK5/SE-016 Mt Stromlo 14MHz SSB 979 Ian S2S VK5/SE-016 S51 R51
VK1NAM SOTA shack on Mt Stromlo

VK1NAM SOTA shack on Mt Stromlo VK1/AC-043

working S2S QRP

working VK1, VK2 and VK5 S2S QRP with the cute antenna

3 thoughts on “SOTA – S2S with the 817 and a ‘cute’ antenna

  1. Pingback: SOTA – VK1AD portable 70cm update #24 – Mt Domain | Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

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