Testing 6m Tonna Yagi in UKAC Contest 4

Some people have requested the 6m Tonna manual – I have uploaded scans of what I have (page 1, page 2, assembly diagram) – sorry about the quality but the print I have is a photocopy already!

Last night I tested my new 5 element Tonna Yagi for the 6m band. I entered the RSGB UKAC 6m contest at the same time to put it through its paces. This is my standard routine of trying out new equipment in the heat of contests (see my RSGB 2m Backpackers Contest post)!

This was a daring move as I set off on quite a long walk loaded down with heavy kit to then put together the Yagi for the first time. I also took my SOTABeams Moxon in case of failure which thankfully I didn’t have to use.

My chosen spot was a high exposed hill with a great VHF takeoff to the North and reasonable in all other directions. The trouble with high hills is that they are inevitably windy, this is something that is quickly making me an expert in setting up mast guying ropes in situ! The main problem with a 6m Yagi is that it’s quite heavy and big enough to catch the wind. To mitigate this and keep everything in the right place I made up an additional set of 3 guys to support the mast higher up than the usual set of 4 near the base.

After this I began putting the Tonna together, here’s the sequence from boom through to the finished article:

1. Basic Boom Assembled

1. Basic Boom Assembled


2. Yagi Ready to Raise

2. Yagi Built & Ready to Raise

3. Yagi ready to rock and roll!

3. Yagi ready to rock and roll!

Once the yagi was hoisted up it raised some eyebrows from passing members of the public at this popular spot and I explained to a number of people what amateur radio was. This is in my experience the only touch point some people will have with our hobby in their lives so I try and make a positive impression.

As the contest got started I was happy to work GD8EXI as my first contact on this antenna, he responded straight away to my call using 10w! He’s on the Isle of Man in IO74 at 371km! So the Tonna works!

The evening wound on and I got some really nice sunset photos with the Tonna in the foreground:

Tonna at Sunset 2

Tonna at Sunset 1

Tonna at Sunset

Tonna at Sunset 2 – Possibly my favourite amateur radio related photo so far 🙂

Tonna at Dusk

Tonna at Dusk

Tonna and the Moon

Tonna and the Moon

I finished up working 58 stations in the 2.5 hour contest which I was really happy about using QRP of 10w from the Elecraft KX3.

My furthest DX was with GI4SNA in IO64 at 467km.

Here’s my final QSO map, I worked more stations and squares than my usual attempts with the Moxon:


I’m very happy with the Tonna on its first outing and look forward to using it again in the next RSGB UKAC.

4 thoughts on “Testing 6m Tonna Yagi in UKAC Contest

  1. Reply 9H5G May 27,2015 16:35

    Nice write-up. I’d never considered a yagi for portable – which mast do you have?

    • Reply James Stevens Jun 1,2015 08:30

      Thanks! I use a 26ft aluminium mast from Moonraker.eu. For this setup I just used the top 3 sections to keep it lightweight and manageable 🙂

      73 James M0JCQ

  2. Reply Tony Jul 11,2015 05:01

    Hi James,
    Do you have a copy of the assy/tunning info and for this tonna 6m antenna? I appear to have lost mine that came with the antenna originally, trying to get it going agin as have been qrt on 6m for a while and now and its refusing to play corectly from what I can tell.
    73 Tony

    • Reply James Stevens Jul 15,2015 11:06

      Hi Tony,

      I’ve uploaded the “manual” I have for the Tonna. I’ve added links to the scans at the top of the page. This should help, especially the exploded assembly diagram!

      73 James M0JCQ

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