The Venus SW-3B’s maiden SOTA activation this morning!

I’ve got my new Venus SW-3B all dressed up and ready for a SOTA activation this morning (February 10, 2022); that is, if all goes well. Haven’t quite decided what summit yet, but it’ll have to be one I can hit fairly easily during my travels today.

I’ll plan to do 20 meters primarily, because I’m taking my PackTenna 20M EFHW. I also have a 30M EFHW–a separate antenna that I might also give a go.  We’ll see how busy things are.

I’m either going to find a summit with a good hike, or do a drive up summit, then hike later at park. Either way: my goal is some radio and hiking today.

I’ll plan to make a video of this activation if all goes well. To record the SW-3B audio, I’ll be using a small Sony digital audio recorder I found at a thrift store for $20 a few months ago. I don’t have time to give it a proper shake-out before I go; in fact, I don’t have AAA batteries to load in it for a test so plan to pick some up en route.

New radio, new pack, new thrift store audio recorder that’s never been powered up…

What could possibly go wrong, right?


The SW-3B fits very comfortably in this Tom Bihn HLT2 I bought for the SW-3B and my KX1 to share. (You might recall I have an HLT2 for my MTR-3B as well.)

It’s really packed out at the moment, though, because I’m using a bulky battery and haven’t optimized any of the components & accessories yet. I’ve a much smaller battery solution in the works.

If you’ve nothing else better to do today, check out the POTA and SOTA spots likely sometime between 1600-1900 UTC. With any luck, I’ll be on the air and you’ll then know what an SW-3B sounds like.

17 thoughts on “The Venus SW-3B’s maiden SOTA activation this morning!”

  1. Good luck Thomas.

    Love the pack. Just got my Saw-3B to fit into the same maxpedition pouch you use for your ax1 antenna.

    73 Steve

  2. FB and good luck on your activations! Looking forward to your review I might be able to get you a SW3B-SW3B QSO if my schedule holds.



  3. Thomas I have had good luck with the Talent Cell packs (18650’s) from Amazon with my SW-3C, for less than $30 with the charger power cable (5.5×2.1mm) to fit the SW-3C! Makes a super compact kit.

    1. Hi, Corry,

      I have one those as well and have used it with my MTR-3B. They are a very affordable battery option! I like the fact it doubles as a USB charger as well.


  4. Couldn’t pull you out here in San Diego (no real surprise) but it sure sounded like you had a big pileup!

    1. It was a little crazy! I posted the results today. A brilliant activation and surprising for a Thursday!

  5. Had a listen from across the pond and picked up a partial callsign in the noise, just “WL” on the POTA spot. 20m was a bit “spikey” this afternoon (UCT)!

    1. It was indeed. I was hitting southern Europe quite well, but nothing much north of the German Swiss line.

      Thank you for trying!

  6. Hopefully it all worked well. I listened for you, here in KS, but only heard the pile up. I did work a POTA activator in Florida. I was my first ever CW QSO. It was as much fun and nerve wracking as I thought it would be. Hi hi!

    1. BRAVO!!! Well done, Dave! It gets much easier with even a few more QSOs under your belt. And thank you for attempting to work me, OM!

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