Hello friends of SOTA;
Following an activation Report about my first trip to GM (01.09.2012 to 10.09.2012).
First I want to send special thanks to Andy, MM0FMF and Adrian, MM0DHY for their very useful comments on my planned route, to Mike, 2E0YYY for his detailed information for Arthur’s Seat and to my XYL Lilo, her brother Josef and his XYL Eveline for supporting my hamradio-activities during this vacation.
Our trip lead us from Edinburgh to Benderloch (near Oban), Skye, Dulnain Bridge (near Inverness), Aberfeldy and back to Edinburgh and I planned some points to go QRV with my QRP rig – HB-1B, linked-dipole or wire-vertical.
The first IOTA-activation was planned for the Isle of Iona, but as we arrived there it starts raining “cats and dogs”, so I only did some first QSOs from the Isle of Mull during a dry phase of the day. There I had the first and luckily last contact with the nice little midges, which started to attack us just after the setup of the antenna and rig was finished – hi.
At the Isle of Skye we had a great sunny day and I curiously looked on the wonderful summits of the Cuillins, but they will be part of another trip to GM. I made a short IOTA and LH activation at Neist Point Lighthouse, where I also had a nice eyeball-qso with John, G3VPW.
Creag Bheag, GM/CS-111:
After a very rainy day between Skye and Inverness (the only day I cancelled the planned route) we started from Dulnain Bridge in a wonderful day. Besides all the touristic attractions I had the summit Creag Bheag, GM/CS-111 near Kingussie in my bag. As the weather was sunny with view clouds we all decided to try the first walk on a GM-summit. Well prepared with the information and map from www.walkhighlands.com we started the assent to the summit on Friday, Sept. 7th.
After a nice 1 hour walk we reached the summit with an impressive view to the Graincorms and down to Kingussie. With a strong wind from south-east I setup my portable mast with the linked dipole, and thankful had the support from my XYL and her brother in securing the mast against the wind. Started at 40m and had luckily the first QSO with Roy, G4SSH – thanks for QSO and the post.
I worked then G0NUP, GI4ONL, G4VXV, PA0B, G4ISJ, GW4ZPL, DL8UVG and DJ5AV on 40m and OM1AX, OE3KAB and SM1CXE on 20m. So I was very lucky and we enjoyed all the way down to Kingussie.
East Lomond, GM/SS-198:
The last day before coming back to Edinburgh – Saturday Sept. 8th, we wanted to visit the nice coastline opposite to Edinburgh called the East Neuk. On the way I found the easily reachable summit East Lomond, GM/CS-198 near Falkland. From the car-park near a commercial radio-station it’s just a 30 minute walk up to the summit with a nice 360deg view down to the plains of Fife. As there was again strong wind on the summit I only setup 7m of my mast and made the linked dipole ready for 20m. As first QSO I worked OE/DL1AX/P, s2s at OE/TI-119 then OK1GT, OE8SPW (Paul tnx fer post), DL3JPN, my friend Gert, OE3ZK at home, S52ON and finally Barry, N1EU, who made this activation perfect!
Arthur’s Seat, GM/SS-272:
Arthur’s Seat was planned for our stay at Edinburgh. But as I have done 2 summits at this point, at breakfast I proposed to cancel it for a detailed walk through Edinburgh. Whow – my family said - No – are you crazy – you have the permission and we want to walk on this summit” - what should I say- hi. With a taxi we went to an entrance of Holyrood Park near St. Margaret’s Loch and walked the Queen’s Drive (which is closed for car traffic on Sundays!) to Dunsapie Loch and then up to the summit. As Mike, 2E0YYY described many people were on the way to the summit. There was not a square meter without someone. I first tried to call on 2 Meters with my TH-D72, but as expected no response. So I managed to setup a wire-vertical for 20m some meters down the summit. After some CQ-calls Jan, OM1AX came back with 599/599 so I was happy that this setup works. After QSOs with HA8TG and EA5YI no more contacts on 20m. So I tried to match the vertical with my ZM4 to 30m and DL7VKD and DL8MBS made my activation valid. As there was no more response and the crowd around got larger I decided to stop the activation after 30 minutes.
That’s the story, thanks to all the Chasers, who made the activations successful.
Overall we all are very impressed on the wonderful and different landscapes of Scotland, the very friendly and helpful people there and finally I liked to drive the small single-track roads, the most scenic and friendliest roads I’ve ever seen - every time you have oncoming car’s at a passing place it’s a nice procedure to greet and thank each other. I am sure this was not my last trip there!
You will find some pictures about all the SOTA-Activations at
Have fun – comments are welcome!
Vy 73 de Chris, OE3CHC