Well, after viewing Diana Eng's inspiring video (below) I was prompted
to look into what's required and so I started compiling a list of ideas
which I noted down and have now presented on this page in case it
may help others.
Portable operations could simply be a few hours on any hill with lightweight
and minimalist equipment such as a hand held with a separate lightweight
antenna, or a weekend away camping in a bivouac or tent with a
more comprehensive set of equipment.
Additionally a portable operator may take part in an award scheme such
as SOTA or HuMPs ('HOTA') where by a hill is 'activated' by operating
from it with the aim of 'qualifying' it by obtaining a minimum of four
valid contacts (QSO's) so that points can be awarded to an overall
Setting up an HF rig for Portable SOTA operating by
Diana Eng, KC2UHB
Here is a superb video
article made by Diana Eng KC2UHB. Diana's video
shows how to set up an Amateur Radio station for Summits On The Air
(SOTA) activating Summit W2/NJ008. Diana was accompanied by W2VV in the making of this excellent video.
Her video is also featured in the October issue of the online
publication Make Magazine in an article titled 'How-To: Set up an HF
portable radio while hiking'
Watch Diana's excellent video:
MAKE Magazine describes itself as the first magazine devoted entirely
to DIY technology projects, it unites, inspires and informs a growing
community of resourceful people who undertake amazing projects in their
backyards, basements, and garages, see http://makezine.com/
Diana Eng, KC2UHB's
excellent video prompted me to find out more about what's required for
/P. So here is a list of information that I compiled and have presented
here in case it can help others too.
EQUIPMENT Important considerations for survival: Suitable warm & protective clothing - waterproofs, boots, jumpers, hat, scarf etc. Map
and Compass; GPS / Satellite
Navigation; Torch; Matches; Water & Food; First Aid Kit; Whistle; Mobile Telephone.
Suitably capacious Back Pack, Ruck Sack, Carrying Bag or Case. Ruck
sack liner and / or rain cover. Protective case or box for the
suitable Transceiver: From as small and basic as an FM Hand Held, to a more versatile Multi-Band Multi-Mode with SSB.
Antennas etc: Appropriate aerials (h.f. / v.h.f. / u.h.f.);
Support poles, Masting, Telescopic fibreglass fishing pole etc; Guy
ropes and Pegs;
(Para Cord/ Nylon Cord), Cleats (e.g. Clam Cleats Line-Loks guy runners), Ground spike; Counterpoise wire(s), Balun or UnUn; fishing swivels (American Snap Swivels Size 2) can be useful.
cables; ATU; VSWR meter; Patch Leads; Adapters - e.g. BNC to SMA, BNC
to PL259, PL259 to N type or PL259 to SMA etc.
Power: Often in the
form of a (SLAB) sealed lead acid battery or Batteries or NiMH Battery Pack;
Suitable and safe Power Cables with PowerPole connectors.
Tools: Tools needed for
erecting aerials and adjusting aerial wires, for example: Mallet, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutter, pen knife etc.
Other things: Camera with mini tripod; Foam Seat Pad or very lightweight chair & picnic table to rest on; Perhaps
some kind of shelter - tarp or basha / bivvy or bivouac / tent / spiked fishing umbrella
with spike (?) /car / van /
caravan / motor home
etc. (N.B. Motor vehicles cannot be used to operate from duringSOTAorSummitsbaseaward schemes and the use of tents is discouraged. More about SOTA here).
Perhaps the obvious first choice for simple lightweight portable
operation might be a handheld transceiver. There are a great many to choose from such as a Yaesu FT-60, VX-6,
VX-7, Icom IC-E90 or IC-T70E, Kenwood TH-F7E, Alinco DJ-C7E or,
indeed, any other 'handie'. A handheld is inexpensive, small,
lightweight and obviously easily transportable.
Handies can be single band, either 2 metres or 70cms but will often be
dual band giving access to 2m and 70cm from one transceiver. A
dual band model is probably a better choice as it give more flexibility.
models provide the bonus of additional bands such as 6metres or 23cms
while others offer the 4 metre band.
The limitation of handheld transceivers is that they can only provide
access to a limited number of VHF and UHF bands, have low transmitter power,
typically only 5 watts, and generally
FM as the mode of transmission and so can consume batteries quite
quickly. A spare battery or batteries will almost certainly be needed for
lengthy periods of use.
For handheld transceivers a separate full size antenna will almost
certainly be required for reasonable results as the supplied helical
'rubber duck' antennas supplied with most hand held radios are electrically
very short and inefficient. The Sotabeams MFD or SB270 are good examples
of lightweight designs that are easy to carry.
SSB is far more efficient, especially for DX, and will also consume
considerably less power
than when operating using FM which is a very important consideration
when operating /P in a
remote location with a limited power supply. SSB can therefore enable
the battery to last much
longer. To work SSB a multi-mode transceiver will be required. The
transceiver will also need to be small and light enough to be carried
around. Many small multi-mode portable and mobile transceivers will
give access to the HF bands - escaping the QRM of a populated area!
multi-mode, multi-band amateur radio transceiver
The most popular transceiver for portable operations is possibly the
FT-817, a QRP rig by Yaesu. The FT-817 provides 5 watts on HF, 6m, 2m
70cms and has a built in battery pack. Other
mobile radios such as the Yaesu FT-857D, FT-897D and Icom
IC-706mkIIg, IC-7000 and IC-7200 are a little larger and heavier, but
are also attractive transceivers for portable operations, bearing in
mind that they all need a separate external power supply. All these
rigs offer the HF bands plus 6m, 2m and 70cm (except the IC-7200 which misses 2m and
70cm) and with much higher
power capabilities than the FT-817. Other H.F. rigs to consider are the
popular Elecraft K2 or KX3 or the compact Alinco DX-SR8.
be supplied from the car or van battery if working in close
proximity to the vehicle, but this might not be the best solution since
there is always the possibility of flattening the battery and getting
stranded! It's not a good idea to flatten a car battery anyway as this
can cause damage so it's best to use a separate dedicated battery.
S.L.A.B:For QRP operation many operators use a compact sealed lead acid battery
known as a SLAB. Typically a SLAB will need to have a capacity of
around 7 Amp hours to 12 AH to provide enough power for several hours
battery is charged at home using a mains charger.
Yuasa produce good quality batteries while Ansmann produce suitable sealed lead acid battery chargers.
Prolific SOTA and HEMA operator Mike, 2E0YYY, made a very important point to me: "Never,
ever, ever run a SLAB flat. If you get down to about 11 Volts, stop
transmitting. NEVER store the battery uncharged. As soon as you finish
an activation, charge it. Even if you only use the battery for an
hour... Charge it. Slow charging is best, anything from 300mW to
1.5Amp. The SLAB will give you years of service, if you follow these
NiMH Battery Pack: Power could
also be derived from a pack of high capacity rechargeable NiMH cells,
as is demonstrated
in the excellent video by Diana Eng, KC2UHB that is featured near the top of this page.
For longer or
higher power use a battery with higher capacity is needed. A
standard car battery is unsuitable for this type of use as it is not
designed to be fully discharged and re-charged repeatedly as this type
of treatment will damage the plates of an ordinary lead acid car
battery, a 'leisure battery' should be used.
Leisure Battery:Leisure Batteries
are also known as Marine or Motorhome Batteries and are designed with
thicker plates that are more able to
withstand being regularly discharged and recharged. Such a battery may have a capacity of
around 75 to 110 AH.
other rechargeable batteries a leisure battery would
generally be recharged using a mains recharging system.
Deep Cycle Battery:A true Deep Cycle Battery is more substantial than a leisure battery
and are even more able to withstand regular discharge and charge
cycles. POLARITY:Always take car
with the polarity
of power leads and connectors when using batteries -
simple rushed mistake can be very VERY costly indeed! 30 Amp Anderson
PowerPole connections are excellent for use in amateur radio. G0HWC has
some good information here: http://www.g0hwc.com/anderson-powerpole.html The UK Supplier is Torberry Connectors: http://www.torberry.co.uk
operating /P a
good lightweight pole or mast may be required to support the aerial.
The simplest tall support might be a tree, as suggested in Diana's
video (above). A lightweight and handy alternative is a telescopic
fibreglass fishing pole of somewhere between 7 and 10 metres in length.
two or three sections of a fishing will be too thin and flexible to
support a substantial aerial such as a Sotabeam or the centre of a wire
dipole so, for example, a 7m
long telescopic fishing pole will support a Sotabeam vhf/uhf aerial at
about 4m a.g.l., while a 10
metre long fishing pole will support a
Sotabeam vhf/uhf aerial at about 7m a.g.l.
The full vertical length of a 7m or 10m pole
could be used to
support a single vertical wire of a 1/4 wave ground plane antenna or an end fed half wave antenna for
Other options would include sturdier, but heavier, aluminium or
fibreglass telescopic poles or, alternatively sectional swaged poles of
either aluminium or fibreglass that may be bought from suppliers such
as Sandpiper, Moonraker and
other well known amateur radio
suppliers. These will be strong enough to support standard type vhf and
aerials, but will be heavy to carry.
Spiders or guy rings will also be required together with guy ropes, cleats and pegs that are suitable for the
supports being used.
VHF and UHF
the accepted convention for VHF and UHF is
that vertical polarisation is generally used for FM while horizontal
polarization is adopted for SSB working.
When working portable and 'QRP' it's especially important to ensure that
both stations are using the same polarisation otherwise the resulting
signal losses will be very significant indeed - typically 20dB - i.e.
1/100th of the e.r.p. compared to using the correct polarisation. I have
seen cases where a signal that is almost undetectable and inaudible
using the incorrect polarisation has become an easily readable S4 or S5
when both stations have matching polarisation.
Accepted Convention for VHF and UHF
FM = Vertical Polarisation
SSB = Horizontal Polarisation
Pretty much any
typical 2m or 70cm aerial such as a
dipole, yagi, ZL Special or
'slim jim' or other vertical etc could be used for portable operations
as long as the size and weight can be accommodated. If walking, rather
than driving, to a remote location such as a hill top, then a compact, easily dismantled and very
lightweight aerial will be appreciated - there are some
aerials that are specially designed for this purpose:
aerial system is from Sotabeams - http://www.sotabeams.co.uk - the current version is the SB270 which
is a 3 element beam for 2m with 6dBd gain and 6 element beam for 70cm
with about 8dBd gain. The SB270 is designed to be mounted on a
7m telescopic fibreglass fishing pole at a height of 4m above ground level. The SB270 is a superb design that
well engineered and produced. The SB270 is shown below.
Sotabeams also produce a simple lightweight dipole for 2 metres called
Function Dipole MFD for when very light weight portable working is
without the need for a directional yagi. It can easily fixed to a gate
post with ties, stood upright in a back pack, or used standing in a
vertical psition on the ground guyed in place with lightweight line and
guy pegs. The MFD is also shown below.
range of aerials, some of which are
especially suitable for portable work. Shown below is the Sandpiper 145
/ 435 Dual Band Yagi with 7.3 dBd gain on 2m and 8.9 dBd on 70cm.
Also shown are the Sandpiper Dual Band Portable and the Dual Band Open
to erect, portable HF antenna might be a doublet aerial, as described
by the NORCAL QRP Club. This is a simple aerial fed from an ATU and
balun via twin feeder for low loss. As described, the Norcal Doublet is
44 feet long i.e. 22 feet per leg. The Norcal Doublet is made from a
length of 4 conductor computer cable, but other methods could be used.
The ends could be supported by nearby trees, and/or the centrepiece
could be supported by a lightweight fibreglass telescopic pole.
If using a telescopic
fibreglass fishing pole to support the centre of the aetial, fix the
centre of the doublet at the bottom of
the top section, or the bottom of the next section down for more
stability and guy the pole using light tension so that the pole
sections do not collapse.
Norcal Doublet by Doug
and Dennis Foster KK5PY
Norcal HF Doublet -
Fishing swivels (American Snap Swivels) are used on this antenna as a fixing method.
Link or Fan Dipole:A lightweight Link Dipole or Fan Dipole could also be suspended with
help of a nice telescopic fibreglass pole, or other support, at its
centre. If using a telescopic fibreglass fishing pole fix
the centre of the dipole at the bottom of the top section, or the
bottom of the next section down for more stability and guy the pole
using light tension so that the pole sections do not collapse.
With a link dipole the bands are selected by connecting, or
disconnecting the jumpers to lengthen or shorten the dipole to make it
resonant on a particular band. A fan dipole has a number of dipoles
arranged in a 'fan' each cut to be resonant on a different band.
Using fibreglass fishing
Poles)again. Two 7 metre long poles can be
erected in an inverted V shape and used to support a 20 metre delta
loop which will be useable on 20m to 10m and also adaptable for use on
the 40 metre band.
The two aerial wires used are connected directly to a 4:1 balun which
is, in turn, connected to an ATU such as the Z-11 Pro or Z-100 via
coaxial cable. See this
page which shows the W6ZO delta loop to get
for the general idea of what will be achieved. The finished aerial will
be very much like the commercially available DMV-Pro.
simpler would be to use one single post or pole as a support. A loop
consisting of a 17 metre length of thin antenna wire, for example, will
work well from 17 metres to 10 metres. My own loop is made from an 18
metre length of wire and can work from 30 metres to 6 metres with the
lowest VSWR of 1.9 being in the 20 metre band. Performance will depend
on height and orientation.
Feeding the loop at the top or bottom will give horizontal polarisation,
while placing the feed point on the side will give vertical
polarisation. Ideally a loop should be fed with balanced line back to
the transceiver, connected to a balanced line ATU or other ATU using a
4:1 balun. Alternatively use a 4:1 balun at the antenna end and run 50
ohm coax back to the ATU / txvr - though losses will be greater doing it
by this method if the coaxial cable is quite long.
A loop should be really very easy to install using a single support pole
and very cheap too! All that's needed is the supporting pole, some
cheap wire, a 4:1 balun which can be 'home brewed' and some thin cord
Wire:A fibreglass telescopic fishing pole (Sota
Pole) can be used to support a long wire, end
fed, aerial. A wire that is a 3/8th wavelength for the lowest frequency
of operation can be used as the radiator, fed against a counterpoise
wire of the same length run out along the ground.
The aerial wire is suspended in an inverted V shape, attached to the pole at
the bottom of the top section, or the bottom of the next section down
for more stability and guy the pole using light tension so that the
pole sections do not collapse.
) suggest that a wire of 42 feet (approx 12.8 -14 meters) will be ideal
for efficient portable use on 40 metres and up when using most types of
A.T.U. as it presents a moderate impedance on most bands. Sota Beams pdf Leaflet
The complete Bandspringer antenna is available to but at a modest price from SOTAbeams:
very helpfully comments: "....There are many choices
and permutations, but in general, dipoles are centre fed at a point of
current maximum (and minimum voltage). A normal dipole is current fed
but of course can be voltage fed instead. This is what’s done in the
End Fed Half Wave Antenna, or Fuchs aerial, where a resonant half wave
wire is fed at one end (max voltage / min current) from an L/C tank,
against a very short counterpoise wire.
The End Fed Half Wave Antenna (EFHWA) is fed at a voltage node via a
parallel resonant circuit against a ‘short counterpoise’, it is a
favourite of backpackers and outdoor types. It can be considered
as a half wave dipole that’s end-fed at a voltage node rather than the
current node, as is more usual. This is a very handy arrangement for
portable QRP work."
Frank, G3YCC comments on his website:
The W3EDP needs a simple matching unit is needed to couple the wire to
the rig and a counterpoise is required for some bands, however there is
room for experimentation. It has been shown that different lengths or
removal of the counterpoise altogether, can improve performance, as
described in RadCom, August 1996 by G3LCK.
The Tuning capacitor in the AMU can be a 365 - 500pF broadcast type or
a miniature version is OK for QRP use.
Tuning Unit: Values for coils in the unit, based on a 2 inch former and
16 swg wire:
3.5Mhz 21 turns ; 7.0Mhz 7 turns ; 14.0Mhz - 5 turns.
K3HRN Notes: "Some
folks have told me the modifications below make the antenna something
other than a W3EDP. I can tell you that it works very well with 5
watts. Create a "bundle" of counterpoise wires, 1/4 wave length for
each band you will use. Attach the bundle to the tuner in place of the
counterpoise pictured above. Be cautious, 1/4 wave length elements can
have high RF voltages present, even at QRP power levels. I've been able
to work 160-10, including WARC bands with this type of antenna".
Antenna" was described by Loren
G. Windom W8GZ. It could be an ideal wire aerial for use in restricted
spaces for multi-band operation. It may also be an good candidate for portable
It is a wire antenna, similar to a dipole, but unlike a dipole or
doublet which is fed at the exact centre, a Windom or Off Centre Fed
Dipole, as the name suggests, has the feed point off center. Current
versions of the Windom have a balun at the feed point which is fed with
coaxial cable. As with all aerials the aerial should be as high as
possible. With the feed point at between 20 and 40 feet above ground
the typical claimed impedance will be somewhere in the region of 200
Ohms so a 4:1 balun will typically be required. At greater heights, and
depending upon the exact position of the feed point, the impedance may
be higher and a 5:1 or 6:1 balun might be a better choice although
balun losses will be greater.
The point at which a Windom is fed in the original design, which used
an open wire to feed the aerial, was 15 percent off-centre. The current
designs, which are fed with coaxial cable, are typically fed about 33
percent off centre, so one leg is 67 percent of the total length and
the other leg is 33 percent of the overall length of the aerial.
The bands that are covered depends upon the overall length of the
11 metres long (approx) should cover 20m, 15m and 10m and the WARC
bands with a tuner.
21 metres long (approx) should cover 40m, 20m, 15m and the 10m bands
and WARC with a tuner.
41 metres long
(approx) should cover 80m, 40m, 20m, 15m and 10m and WARC with a tuner.
80 metres long (approx) should cover 160m, 80m, 40m, 20m, 15m and 10m
and WARC with a tuner.
Cut the aerial for the lowest band to be used. In imperial measurements
using a familiar formula:
The longer leg will be 468 divided by the frequency and multiplied by
.67 = length in feet
The shorter leg
will be 468 divided by the frequency and multiplied by .36 = length in
Given the fairly simple formula it should be quite easy to make an OCFD
Windom - however a Windom can be purchased at very reasonable cost
commercially, for example from M0CVO at http://m0cvoantennas.webs.com
H.F. Vertical:A telescopic fibreglass (not carbon fibre) fishing
pole makes a great support for a lightweight VHF or UHF aerial or a
doublet or dipole, but it can also be used to make a very effective
vertical for HF. e.g. a 10m long fishing pole could support a vertical
wire of 10 metres in length, approximately the correct length for a
resonant antenna for the 7 MHz band. The aerial feeder would be
connected to a connection point at the base of the pole along with a 10
metre long counterpoise run
out along the ground away from the base.
Similarly a vertical aerial for the 14 MHz band would have a vertical
radiator approximately 5.5 metres long and for the 18 MHz band the wire
for the vertical radiator would be about 3.9 metres long etc.
Maybe more ground radial wires could be used for a more effective
antenna - "Untenna" ?Alternatively a non-resonant design could be
employed using a 10 metre
radiator and 10 metre counterpoise fed to the ATU by a 9:1 unun at the
aerial's base - commercial examples are available from GWhip Antenna Products and ProAntennas - similar to the non resonant
Comet CHA250B design. This arrangement may not be as efficient as a
resonant aerial due to quite considerable power losses on
most bands, but at least it could get one on the air from 80m to 10m.
Martin G8JNJ, suggests that a slightly
better way to home-brew a broadband HF aerial might be to cut a vertical aerial for about
8.5 MHz, i.e. not a resonant 1/4 wave on
any amateur band, but optimised to present a moderate impedance on as
many bands as possible. In which case the vertical wire would be about
8.8 metres long, working against the counterpoise, and fed to the
a.t.u. via an unun - perhaps 6:1 or 9:1 - this is all open to further research
and experimentation! See http://g8jnj.webs.com/currentprojects.htm.
G0KYA has also
written a couple of
interesting pieces about using a 9:1 unun and a length of wire. He
found that a wire length of 19.8 metres offered a good compromise for a
multi band aerial. Read G0KYA's blog here: http://g0kya.blogspot.com/search/label/antennas
Interestingly 2W0SAK of Snowdonia
Radio Company recommended an antenna wire length of 7.13 metres
their 9:1 unun - or for better efficiency a wire that is 19.8 metres
long which would
be run out as a horizontal wire. Both the 7.12 m and 19.8 metre
lengths should cover the 80m to 10m bands.
G-Whip supply the excellent WideBander antenna that uses a very high
quality 9:1 UnUn for best efficiency together with a 17 metre long
radiator wire, see below.
Commercially Available Portable
Half Wave End Fed Zepp Antennas:
G-Whip single band End Fed Zepps are resonant, mono band antennas
available for 4 6 10 12 15 17 20 and 40 metres and employ top quality
Technology offer a huge range of aerials at a very reasonable cost such
the Sandpiper Buttie Pole or Walkabout MkII and others. Sandpiper products are usually good value. http://www.sandpiperaerials.co.uk
Moonraker have a wide range of antennas available that may be worth investigating. http://www.moonrakerukltd.com
Some commercially made aerials can be very expensive indeed, but other
might include the TW2010 from Transworld
Antennas, The Sigma 5 from Force12 and aerials from SuperAntennas. ProAntennas
offer the interesting DMV-Pro and the I-Pro (similar to the Sigma5 and
or well known GWhip products for example. Many other portable antenna
products are available - just check out your local ham radio emporium.
More Links: I have put some links further down this page here.
Depending on the type of
HF aerial being used an ATU may be required. LDG make some excellent
automatic ATUs that are very compact and lightweight an that have
extremely low power consumption making them ideal for battery operated
Examples of compact lightweight ATU's include the LDG Z-11 ProII and LDG Z-100 Pro.
the very compact T1 autotuner which measures only 5 x 3 x 1 inches.
The T1’s 7-inductor, 7-capacitor L-network provides a wide matching
range, and its re-tune time from memory is just 1 to 2 seconds and can
be used with any 0.5-W to 20-W transceiver covering bands in the 160-6
m range. This includes kits, home-built rigs, and commercial
transceivers such as the FT-817, IC703, Ten-Tec Argonaut, SG2020, etc.
More information from http://www.elecraft.com
MFJ also produce some very small manual ATUs that are ideal for /P.
Examples are the MFJ-901B, MFJ-902B, MFJ-902H, MFJ-904, MFJ-904H, MFJ-941E, MFJ-945E. http://www.mfjenterprises.com
MFJ 945E Mobile Antenna Tuning Unit
BALUNS or UNUNS
Small compact antenna tuning units
such as the LDG Z11 Pro or MFJ 945E, for example, do not have a built in
4:1 balun. Depending on the type of aerial being used a balun (or unun)
may well be needed and so should be added to the equipment list.
A resonant dipole or doublet fed with twin lead for lightness will need a
4:1 balun at the ATU. Alternatively a simple vertical (random length)
wire up the 7 metre tall fishing pole with a counterpoise run along the
ground could be used. Such an aerial would then an Unun as a more
appropriate matching device.
To save having to carry both a 4:1 balun and
a 4:1 unun, I decided to make a combined Balun / UnUn unit housed in a
small plastics case measuring a mere 76mm x 50mm x 28mm. Since an Unun is merely a balun with the PL259
socket wired in reverse it seemed logical to make an impedance
transformer with two SO239 sockets, one wired as a Balun for doublet
antennas and the other wired as an UnUn configuration for unbalanced
As a quick test I fixed a 7.2 metre
length of wire to my fishing pole, supported vertically, and ran out a
similar length of counterpoise wire. Connected to the Baln/Unun unit
with the coaxial feeder connected to the UnUn socket, I could obtain an
easy match using my MFJ-945E on 40m; 17m; 15m; 12m and 10 metres.
Surprisingly 20 metres was a more tricky band, the best SWR that could
be obtained using the ATU was about 1.5 on this band. No doubt with a
bit more experimentation I will find a more suitable length for the
radiator wire for the, admittedly compromised, but easy to erect
If using a twin lead fed doublet antenna then the coaxial cable is
plugged in to the other socket so that the Balun configuration is used.
The top socket is used when using the unit as a
4:1 Balun while the second socket, mounted on the side of the case, and
for use as a 4:1 Unun. Swap the coaxial cable that connects to the ATU
between these two SO239 sockets depending on the type of antenna being
used. When used with a balanced antenna the
twin feeder connects to the two binding posts (red and green) either way
around; When used with an unbalanced antenna, such as described above,
the radiating wire connects to the red terminal post while the counterpoise or
earth wire connects to the green terminal.
The materials used suggest that
the unit should handle >100 watts which should be ample for portable
low power use of perhaps around 10
watts to 50 watts. Read more constructional details here >
CONNECTORS - FEEDER - CABLE
Ensure that the necessary feeders and
cables are available along with any adapters that will be needed such as BNC to SMA, BNC
to PL259, PL250 to N type or PL259 to SMA etc. The
necessary power cables and PowerPole connectors or adapters.
Small 'home brew' A5 Clip Board for portable log book using lightweight plastic board
Clip Board. I
made my 'home brew' clip board from an off cut of thin but strong
plastic modellers board - it's slightly larger than A5 size to make
writing at the bottom of the page easier. The log sheets are A4 folded
in half to make them A5 size, with the (blue) headings repeated half way
down the sheet. The transparent plastic cover is simply a standard A4
plastic wallet which helps protect the paper from the elements and is
held in place by a couple of small 'Bulldog' clips. Pencils are better
when its damp.
Clock or Watch - preferably digital set to UTC / GMT.
A suitably capacious Backpack, Daypack, Rucksack.
Rucksack liner for water protection. This can also be used to store
things in while the backpack is used to hold the transceiver to protect
it from the elements - or vise versa.
Rain cover for backpack / rucksack.
Protective (lightweight) case for transceiver - lightweight aluminium or
small strong plastic storage box that can be lined with protective foam
for padding. Headphones - use headphones so as to not disturb nearby people who want to enjoy peace & quiet.
Morse Key for CW.
Velcro Straps; Hook & Loop Tape; Nylon Cord / Para Cord; Cleats such as Clam Cleats Line-Lok guy runners; Small Bungees.
Ground Spike, Counterpoise wires as necessary. Perhaps a VSWR / Power
Meter if the a.t.u. does not have one. Balun or UnUn as necessary; Fishing swivels (American Snap Swivels Size 2) can be useful.
Foam Seat Pad for comfort.
Small ground sheet.
needed for erecting aerials and adjusting aerial wires making or
repairing cables for example: Mallet, Pliers, Screwdrivers, wire cutter,
pen knife etc.
Other things: Camera with mini tripod; Very lightweight camping chair & picnic table to
rest on; Perhaps some kind of shelter - tarp or basha / bivvy or
bivouac / tent / spiked fishing umbrella (?) /car / van / caravan / motor home etc. (N.B. Vehicles cannot be used to operate from during SOTA or Summitsbase award schemes and the use of tents is discouraged. More about SOTA here). Don't Forget:Suitable warm & protective clothing - waterproofs, boots, jumpers, hat, scarf etc. Map
and Compass; GPS / Satellite
Navigation; Torch; Matches; Water & Food; First Aid Kit; Whistle; Mobile Telephone.
Humps Excluding Marilyns Awards (HEMA) - Summitsbase Awards. HuMPS = Hundred Metre Prominence. Therefore qualifying hills must have at least a 100 metre prominence but must not be SOTA Summits (i.e. not Marilyns): http://www.summits.org.uk ("HOTA, Humps On The Air")