SOTA 12 metre challenge

Quietly announced on the SOTA reflector a couple of weeks ago is the year long 12 metre challenge. The aim of the challenge is to boost activity on an underutilised band by encouraging SOTA QSOs on 24 MHz and creating special awards for those who do it well.

I’ve been thinking about what I need to do in preparation for the challenge which starts on Saturday.
For my field station I need an antenna as my current linked dipole does not offer 12 metres as an option.

To address this I will be building a new linked dipole for the 12, 20 and 40 metre bands. This new antenna will use the same construction methods as my current antenna and will be a little bit lighter as it will have only half as much cable.

For my home station there are two things needed, an antenna and a radio repair. The antenna problem is easy to solve. I have a length of aluminium tube that works as a 1/4 wave vertical for 15 metres using the steel roof as a ground plane that I can shorten a little for 12 metres.

The radio repair is to the FT757 that doesn’t output much power on 10 or 12 metres due, I hope, to a bad solder joint on the low pass filter board. I’ll pull the radio apart on the weekend and fix this. While I have the covers of I’ll also tweak one of the oscillators as it has drifted a little off frequency again.

73

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