My SOTA Station Gear


  • Yaesu FT-857D, MH-598AJ DTMF remote microphone. The remote key pad offers programmable short-cut keys for direct access to the menu e.g. power menu
  • Icom HF IC-703 QRP with inbuilt ATU
  • Batteries:
    • 4S 4.2 Ah LiFePO4 (13.2 volts)
    • 4S 8.4 Ah LiFePO4 (13.2 volts) stored in a PLANO 1450 waterproof case
    • 4S 3.2 Ah LiPo (16 volts) requires regulation to < 15.5 volts
  • Yaesu FT-817ND out of the box no mods
  • External in line microphone voice compression kit.
  • Plano 1460 waterproof carry case
  • Batteries:
    • 3S 2.2 Ah LiPo (12.2 volts)
    • 4S 4.2 Ah LiFePO4 (13.2 volts)
  • Yaesu FT-60R dual band HT
  • SG-Lab 23cm 1296 MHz Transverter
  • SG-Lab 13cm 2.4 GHz Transverter

HF antenna options (homebrewed):

VHF antenna options:

  • ‘Moseley’ 6m 52 MHz Coaxial Dipole homebrew antenna for SOTA. Simple design no mechanical joints, coil-up for easy storage in a backpack.
  • 2m Slim Jim, excellent homebrew antenna for SOTA. Tough, reliable, faultless operation with a low angle of radiation ideal for mountain peaks.
  • 2m 4el yagi homebrew can be mounted on a squid pole using a short length of plastic pipe and a mast clamp.
  • 2m 3el yagi, mounted on a camera tripod.
  • 2m 144 MHz 1/2 wave dipole, mounts at 5 metres on the squid pole. Has a low VSWR on third harmonic 432 MHz.

UHF antenna options:

Antenna supports:

  • 6 metre, 7 metre and 10 metre squid poles from Harverford in Sydney.
  • 6 metre pole found on eBay, I often use this pole to support the 52 MHz 1/2 wave vertical.
  • 10 metre squid pole purchased at Maruya Markets for $20, a bargain!
  • 10 metre Travel Pole from DX-Wire Germany. This pole fits in a suitcase.
  • 12 metre Spiderbeam telescopic pole

Coax cable options:

  • 10 metre length of RG-58AU, I keep a second 10m length in the car boot. 🙂
  • 10 metre length of RG58AU terminated with BNC connectors
  • 3 metre length of RG58AU, BNC connectors.
  • 6 metre length of LMR-400 for 70cm 432 MHz activations

Other essential bits and pieces:

  • Various RF socket and plug adapters
  • Roll of electrical tape
  • Releasable Cable Ties
  • Tie Down Straps: 4 * 0.5 and 4 * 1 metre
  • Aluminium tent pegs to stake out the dipole end ropes, in lieu of other supports
  • Sister Clips in various sizes
  • 16 oz throwing weight and a 15 m length of 3mm blind cord
  • Paper log book
  • Lenovo Tab3 7 inch tablet running VK Porta Log
  • First Aid Kit
  • Clothing appropriate to the conditions
  • Summit Bothy Bag (when Wx is a concern)
  • Signal Mirror (polished stainless steel)
  • Head Lamp
  • Matches
  • Insect Repellent
  • Food and water for the human pack-horse 🙂

Clothing and winter extras:

  • Hiking boots Scarpa Delta GTX. Best fitting boots I have found in 30 years. 😉
  • Gaiters
  • Rain jacket
  • Thermals
  • Gloves and beanie for winter


  • 1:25,000 topo maps and compass
  • GPS Garmin 64S with optional OzTopo (10 metre contour) V6 software. Note, the Garmin base map supplied with the unit does not include topographic detail.


  • Kathmandu Katun day pack
  • BlackWolf pack for overnight activations

Battery charger:

  • Balanced Charger suitable for LiPo and LiFePO4 batteries

First published: 14 February 2014
Last update: 28 October 2021


6 thoughts on “My SOTA Station Gear

  1. Hi Andrew, Do you know whether anyone has activated a summit using a computer and software defined radio before? I am thinking of something like a Flex-1500 QRP rig.

    • No idea Grant and don’t won’t plan to take my Icom 7300 near a summit. 🙂

      A note to the UK SOTA reflector may flush out details of SDR SOTA Ops.

  2. I just stumble on your sight and couldn’t be happier. Very well done. I enjoy reading about all your expeditions and have been inspired to get into SOTA. I was just wondering how you manage to go about all this without an antenna tuner?

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