SOTA – 2016 on 70cm 430 MHz

Everyone needs a new challenge for 2016.  My ambitious plan for 2016 is to qualify each SOTA peak on 430 MHz (70cm) either on 432 MHz SSB or 439.00 MHz FM simplex.  To qualify each summit I will need 4 unique amateur radio contacts on either frequency or a mix of unique contacts on SSB or FM.  Terrestrial repeater contacts are forbidden.  The 430 MHz band is accessible to all Australian (VK) licence classes Foundation, Standard and Advanced using SSB and FM voice modes.

My target of qualifying each peak on 70cm means carrying additional UHF antennas beyond my normal range of VHF and HF antennas.  My 70cm antenna options include a portable handheld 7el yagi (Arrow) and a homebrew 70cm Slim-Jim constructed from 450 ohm ladder line.  I don’t plan to abandon VK chasers on HF, once the SOTA 6 & 10m challenge concludes on 13 February 2016 I may revert to my old favourite antenna a HF Linked EFHW. 😉

Around Canberra (VK1) we have 10 peaks out of 48 in the suburban area which doesn’t guarantee four easy unique contacts. Further afield in VK1 and VK2 there are a range of peaks where 70cm will be on the fringe of reliable reception for chasers in Canberra and even for myself at lofty heights. Both scenarios have their own challenges which may be mitigated with ample notice of each activation.  I suspect my success on 70cm will be determined by antenna gain and the scope of SOTA chasers available to operate on 70cm?

I’m looking forward to achieving at least four 70cm contacts on all peaks activated in 2016.  I will revisit Mt Ginini VK1/AC-008 on 70cm.   I plan to report my success or failure for each SOTA activation in 2016.  🙂

73, Andrew VK1AD

Homebrew 70cm SlimJim antenna for SOTA – construction project

430 MHz 70cm Slim-Jim

433 MHz 70cm SlimJim Antenna

70cm SlimJim antenna

70cm SlimJim antenna constructed from 450 ohm ladder line

70cm SlimJim Feedpoint

70cm SlimJim antenna feedpoint.  Coax copper core is soldered to the radiating element while the copper shield is soldered to the stub element.

IMG_0340

5mm gap

5mm gap between the stub

70cm SlimJim top

70cm SlimJim Antenna – top section soldered

7 element 430 MHz Yagi (Arrow)

7el 70cm Arrow Yagi

handheld 7el 70cm Yagi (Arrow)

A description of the Yagi Tripod mount is at: 70 cm Yagi Tripod Mount

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33 thoughts on “SOTA – 2016 on 70cm 430 MHz

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    • Hi John thanks for the encouragement. Yes I suspect I have set myself a tough challenge for 2016. It’s a tough gig getting the attention of non-SOTA folk in VK1. Previously in 2015 I have resorted to 48 hour notice emails and SMS messages to get amateur radio operators (not the core VK1 SOTA group) interested in giving me a signal report. We are getting there slowly, I am encouraged with having more VK1 chasers on 50 and 28 MHz than we did 12 months ago. Cheers Andrew VK1AD

  26. Hi Andrew, I have been trying to get more people interested in activating summits on
    the higher bands 144,432,.23cm, this is achievable with small yagis take a look here
    http://dk7zb.darc.de/PVC-Yagis/PVC-details.htm.
    There are several different designs they pack down to a small light weight size.
    VK3PF and myself worked from Mt Blackjack VK2SW-010 on 144.150 SSB and 432.150 SSB into Canberra 5×9. We worked Ian VK1BG we were running 20 watts had we have been using a yagi we would have had better results. I was using a 1/4 wave vertical held horizontal. We had a 2 -70 yagi of Peter’s with us and had storms closing in on us so we didn’t assemble the yagi. Considering the lofty locations we are in contacts of up to 400 km are not unusual, plus squid poles can be used as masts.
    Considering the unreliable conditions on HF bands in the past 6 months these higher bands don’t suffer the same and are always there.
    73, happy building if you are considering this approach?
    Rod
    long time Weak Signal enthusiast

    • Thanks Rod, I have read that site previously. Last month I purchased 3.2 mm aluminium rod from Alucom in Fyshwick, Canberra. I now have the parts to make a lightweight 4el 2m yagi and a 6el 70cm yagi, both suitable for SOTA activations. 🙂

      • well we are getting more of the crew interested and good to help you complete your tally with me
        73 Rod

    • Hi Rod, I have been activating SOTA peaks on 70cm and 2m since early January 2016. What are your plans to activate summits on 70cm and 2m? I thought you may have had 2m capability on Saturday 19/03/16 from VK2/SM-040? I am looking forward to a 70cm S2S contact with you soon!

      73, Andrew (VK1AD)

      • Hi Andrew unfortunately I didn’t have my Antenna with me to do those bands I was disappointed too, I wont forget next time.
        73 Rod VK2TWR

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