My SOTA Station Gear

Equipment:

  • Yaesu FT-857D, MH-598AJ DTMF remote microphone for SSB punch.  The remote key pad offers programmable short-cut keys for direct access to the menu e.g. power menu
  • 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
  • AnyTone DMR AT-D858 70cm

HF antenna options (homebrewed):

VHF antenna options:

  • 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 9 metre squid poles from Harverford in Sydney.
  •  5 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 bargain!
  • 10 metre Travel Pole from DX-Wire Germany.  This pole fits in a suitcase.

Coax cable options:

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

Other essential bits and pieces:

    • Roll of electrical tape
    • Releasable Cable Ties
    • Tie Down Straps:  4 * 0.5 and 4 * 1 metre
    • Aluminum 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
    • PL259 to BNC female adapter
    • N male to PL259 adapter
    • N female to SO239 adapter
    • N male to BNC female adapter
    • N female to BNC male adapter
    • SO239 to BNC male adapter
    • SO239 to SMA male pigtail
    • SO239 to BNC male pigtail
    • 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

Navigation:

  • 1:25,000 topo maps and compass
  • GPS Garmin 64S with optional Oz Topo software.  Note, the Garmin base map does not include topographic detail.

Backpacks:

  • 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: 30 December 2016

4 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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