SOTA Equipment demo at Suffolk RED

I was invited to Suffolk RED last evening for the opportunity to demonstrate the sort of equipment I take up hills for SOTA purposes.

For those who don’t know, Suffolk RED (Radio and Electronics Development) is a monthly supra-club event, now into its fourth year, which has proved very popular in East Anglia. The premise is simple: rather than a boring talk in a local radio club, once a month people with something to show can take a table, lay out their goods, and people just mill around, talking, and looking at what is on the tables. Visitors come from a range of local radio clubs. It’s a great opportunity to talk and discover new aspects of our fascinating hobby.

And that’s where my table fitted in. I was next to Rob M0VFC, who was showing off the lightweight kit he had taken to Norfolk Island a couple months ago, while my set of gear was slightly different (no Juma amp and more navigation aids!). It should be noted that my equipment list isn’t particularly special, nor is it perfectly weight optimised (I still use RG-8 Mini coax instead of RG-174, for example). The event was a great starting place for introducing some people to SOTA, however.

So here’s what I took:

SOTA equipment on a table

SOTA gear on the table at Suffolk RED

From left-to-right:

The radio equipment:

  • 10m DX-Wire fibreglass pole
  • FT-60 handheld
  • Bungee (useful for attaching the fibreglass pole to trig points, fences, etc.)
  • 30m dipole on kite winder
  • SOTA Beams guying kit with high visibility cord on kite winder
  • RG-8 Mini coax
  • Tent pegs
  • IC-706Mk2G with sports headphones (which don’t fall out in the wind) in a waterproof bag
  • Palm Paddle CW key
  • 4.2Ah 4 cell LiFePo4 battery (14.4V fully charged)
  • Waterproof notebook with pencils for logging
  • Insulating tape
  • SOTABeams 3 element 2m yagi

The walking equipment (because we always need suitable equipment in the hills, and that isn’t just radio gear):

  • 3l water bladder
  • Hiking pole
  • Mars bar (emergency sugar)
  • Garmin InReach Iridium satellite beacon
  • Garmin eTrex e10 GPS
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Map
  • Compass

The whole set packs down to 6.3kg (excluding any water) and fits in the rucksack in the middle of the table.