Home > HF, SOTA > Preparing for My First SOTA Expedition

Preparing for My First SOTA Expedition

Back in 2008, when I got my foundation call- VK4FOLO- I purchased an Icom IC703 because, even then I had ideas about working backpack mobile and QRP.   The 703 came with a backpack, as a special offer. I wanted to purchase the ICOM backpack antenna then as well, but figured I could do that some time down the track. Now many years later, I am finally going to use the backpack, but the antenna designed for it is no longer available. So today, I set about rigging up something that would work for both pedestrian mobile and SOTA (Summits on the Air). I began by dusting off the IC703’s backpack, which had remained under a bed in the spare room. I then charged up a gell-cell that I had set aside for this purpose some years ago, then tried to come up with a workable antenna. I knew I could fashion a wire antenna, and that it would probably be far superior to a small vertical on the backpack, but I really liked the idea of being quite mobile. I had a Terlin Outbacker Stealth Ultra Antenna for which I had some time ago lost the wander lead. I began by fashioning a wander lead, then removed the heavy spring base to lighten the antenna,  I fashioned an aluminium square section to hold the antenna just at the top of the backpack. Unfortunately, the antenna was not happy to tune with the length of the spring base removed, and the spring base provided an SO230 so I went back to using the spring base, which due to its weight actually serves to hold the antenna in the backpack quite well.

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Above is the backpack dusted off.

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My first attempt at using the Terlin Stealth Ultra

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The finished backpack setup

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Categories: HF, SOTA
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