SOTA Activity – F/PA3ANG/P @ JN35DT

My short SOTA activity on Col Forclaz.


During our holiday at Lac Annecy, PA3ANG went up the mountain to start some HAM Radio activity as F/PA3ANG/P.  Going on a mountain top and activate your transmitter is called a SOTA (Summit On The Air) activity. You can find more by clicking on the logo.

SOTA_Logo_r_duit_2After driving with the car to Col de la Forclaz-Montmin at 1150 meter ASL, a short climb into the mountain brought me at 1450 meter. Unfortunantely surrounded by some trees but for me high enough, I upacked my stuff and went for some QSO’s.

First I tried D-Star again and ‘phoned’ to PA0ETE using the D-Star routing via HB9IAC C to PI1DSA B. He was not able to be QRV on HF so I had to alarm PA3ABH (my father happens to be radio amatuer as well) to monitor my signal.

After erecting the Buddistick portable HF antenna and  connecting my Elecraft KX1, the first CW signals were heard.

Not so many QSO’s were made on HF as I was held up on the D-Star network and on the GSM!  Well this is radio activity as well.


Here you can find some pictures made during my short SOTA activity.

After making a couple of QSO’s (connections) on 30 and 20 meter I decided to go downhill again. Herunder a google map with the exact location.

Grotere kaart weergeven

vy 73 de Johan, F/PA3ANG/P


Elecraft KX1 – extreme portable qrv on Curacao Island.


The Elecraft KX1 is an extreme versatile, ultra-light and powerfull HAM Radio transceiver. I took it with me during a short holiday to the Netherlands Antilles in March 2008. The KX1 has an onboard antenna tuner and with the transceiver you can transmit CW with the bulid in keyer. My KX1 is configured to work on the 40, 30 and 20 meter amateur bands. Apart from transmitting, you can also listen to phone amateur radio station and even broadcast station on frequency bands close the configured HAM bands. For more information surf to Elecrafts website.

Carrying the rig around

For transportation of the rig and the additional equipment and accessories such as antennas, spare batteries and earphones, I bought a photo camara case at my local photography shop. This bag can easily carry all stuff needed to take the KX1 with you while hicking, bicking or riding and you can even take it has hand luggage on the plane! Included in the case are:

  • KX1.
  • Paddle.
  • Earphones.
  • 8 Lithium cells AA, 1.5Volt. (spare)
  • 2 Antennas (7m = 23ft of wire on reel).
  • BNC to banana adapter.
  • BNC 50 ohm terminator.
  • KX1 reference card.
  • The 2 wire antennas can be used in a dipole configuration connected to the KX1 using the BNC-banana adapter. The 50 ohm terminator is usefull to adjust the KX1 internal tuner before tuning the Buddistick.

    In the pictures below you can see how everything fits in the bag. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

    Accessories in the front.

    KX1 in main compartment.

    Including a VX2 porto.

    And the paddle in a bag.

    It is even possible to store my Yaesu VX2 handy in the same bag. In that case I will also put some small V/UHF antennas in the pouch.


    The intention to go to Curacao was not to activite this Island or to start a big DX pile-up. I was only QRV for some limited periods of time and used not the wire antennas but a Buddistick in stead. Here you can see the setup and even the OM while being on the air.

    facing the ocean .

    Setup with KX1.

    Logging using a Palm T|X
    and pen + paper.


    The log

    I made in total 12 QSO´s in CW and mostly on 20 meters. In the log are:
    W1AEC, VC3E, TI8/DL4MO, 8R1AD, KA3ARF, V25OP, K8CW, K0RU/M, EA5/UT2X, HK4CZE, OM4MF and VP5/W5SL.
    The last two are on 40 Meters.

    In fact I should have used the callsign PJ2/PA3ANG/P/qrp as I was running only 2 watt RF on battery power.