VHF SOTA – June Plans in the Works

For the June VHF Contest this year, assuming we have a decent weekend weather wise, I’m planning on operating /P and activating an Adirondack High Peak for the contest. The trick is deciding how much portable power is going to be needed, what bands to activate, and what antennas are going to be run for each band. I would like to run straight through 1296, or even 2304 – assuming I have a transverter that isn’t a loaner by then, however this leads to questions as to how easy it is to be able to pack some of this equipment up.

The FT-818 is a very light weight radio, so this, and any transverters that I would like to pack along will be fairly easy, it’s the power that becomes the issue. Logging will likely be done on paper for most of this, however I’m looking into CAT interfacing with a small netbook to allow digital modes as well. With operating restrictions of 10w PEP, I believe that this will be key to a decent score. If this works out, I very well may digitally log.

As much as I would like to build up a nice, collapsible 3 element beam for 6 meters to give the most gain and directionality possible (and have even drawn up designs), I am very seriously considering investing the time and effort for that type of antenna in 2 m and 70 cm as a 6 m dipole can perform very well in most cases, and weighs next to nothing. The other route I’m considering is a Moxon, and building a collapsible frame for it. The main contender at the moment is purchasing the Arrow backpacking dipole.

Has anybody done a SOTA before? And if so, what is your advice in any of these categories?

I’m looking to have a plan fully in place by mid-April, so a list of odds and ends can be made and hopefully purchased at Dayton in May, leaving three weeks of test time before the contest.

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