DM/BW-664 – Wasserberg – 751m


April 20, 2017  09:50 – 10:15 UTC
Overcast, approx. 0°C
Walking time 20 min. up, 10 min. down

Rig: KX3 / 5W, 2200mAh LiPo, Palm Pico Paddle
Ant: End Fed Half Wave Dipole with Traps (40m – 30m – 20m) on a tree (8m)

1 CW QSO on 20m, 7 CW QSOs on 30m, 8 CW QSOs on 40m.



DM/BW-156 – Lindenberg – 949m


April 14, 2017  14:10 – 15:15 UTC
Overcast, approx. 12°C
Walking time: Zero – Lindenberg is a drive- on location

Rig: KX3 / 10W, 2200mAh LiPo, Palm Pico Paddle
Ant: End Fed Half Wave Dipole with Traps (40m – 30m – 20m) on a GRP Pole (6m)

7 CW QSOs on 30m, 55 CW QSOs on 40m


SOTA Equipment – updated

This is what my equipment looks like after I started a programme to reduce the weight (s. the 2 kg Challenge). I’m going to use it on long hikes and trips to high summits where weight comes into play.


From left to right: EFHW- Dipole with traps (40m, 30m, 20 m), 10m Nylon rope (red), tent peg, antenna bag, Unun 1:64, 1m RG58, bag for MTR 3B and Palm Pico Paddle, earplugs,  1250mAh LiPo battery 2S, power cable with fuse, 3 velcro straps, lashing belt, tape, writing board with log sheets, pencil, spare fuse, headlight, 3 x 10m guy rope with tent pegs, support plate 8mm (for guy wires), army knife,  6m fiberglass telescopic pole (57cm long).

The equipment as shown in the picture weighs 2067 grams. However, it is possible to leave the guy ropes out and attach the GRF pole to the summit cross using the lashing belt. Additionally, if a 1000mAh LiPo will be used instead of the 1250mAh LiPo, the total weight of my equipment is slightly above 1700 grams. This is 3 kg less than what I’m usually carrying around and definitely a big improvement.

The 2 kg Challenge

On the trip to DL/AL-093 my rucksack was pretty heavy. Carrying all the things for an overnight stay in the alpine hut plus food & water plus radio & antennae added up to a total weight of more than 13 kg.

Back home I put everything from the KX3 to the pencil on the scales. The result was alarming: my SOTA- gear was weighing about 4700 grams! This is acceptable for trips to the low mountains but is definitely too much for higher summits and long hikes.

The top three contributors were:

  1. Fiberglass pole (10m)
  2. KX3 in Go- Box
  3. Multiband Dipole with coax

A search for alternatives unfolded:

  1. A lightweight 6m fiberglass pole is available but has a slight drawback: The usable height is only about 5 metres.
  2. The MTR3B would significantly reduce the weight of a KX3 while only slightly reducing the operating comfort. It is possible to work on three bands. My signal would drop about 1 S- unit due to 6dB lower output power. This seems acceptable considering the reports I usually get.
  3. An End Fed Half Wave Dipole (possibly with traps) appears to be a good alternative to the Multiband Dipole. Only a short piece of coax is required instead of 10 metres and – if mounted as inverted L – it has a lower footprint. A big bonus on a summit with restricted space. If built with traps, changing bands can be done in no time.

With these three measures the total weight of my SOTA- gear can be reduced by about 2.5kg without losing much performance.

Next steps:

  1. The fiberglass- pole is already available and will replace the 10m Mast in the future.
  2. A MTR3B Kit has been purchased. Assembly report is available here.
  3. Antenna design hints for a Three Band EFHW Dipole can be found here.