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Doh Moments


#1

My first posting on here as a relative newcomer to SOTA and a complete beginner as an activator. I did my first activation last week up on my local hill (CE-001) and got most things right. The main problems were;
a. leaving my mobile at home so I couldn’t self spot.
b. leaving my gloves at home because I thought it was a warm day (frozen hands).
c. Not having long enough velcro straps to go round the convenient fence posts.
d. Not taking any food or drink.

Well today, with my fully laden rucksack, I thought I’d have a second practice attempt (need to get it right before we venture too far!).

Set up went as planned until I went to connect the rig to the ATU. Yes you guessed, I’d left the vital BNC to RCA adaptor at home :frowning:
What’s more, I’d left my tool kit in the car a mile down the road.
I managed to cut the BNC plug off one end of the patch lead and strip the insulation with a combination of keys and teeth. I then bodged the connection to the ATU with a couple of convenient twigs. The operating was a bit erratic as the twigs parted company a few times when I moved. I hope I don’t end up with a big dentist bill soon!
Oh well we learn form our mistakes.
Thanks to everyone for their patience today.
I’ll be back for more.
Pete


#2

In reply to G4ISJ:

Hi Pete

Nice to work you today.

We have all done it!!!

I call it ‘preserving my amateur status’

Regards

Dave


#3

In reply to G4ISJ:

My first posting on here as a relative newcomer to SOTA and a complete
beginner as an activator. I did my first activation last week up on my
local hill (CE-001) and got most things right. The main problems were;
a. leaving my mobile at home so I couldn’t self spot.
b. leaving my gloves at home because I thought it was a warm day
(frozen hands).
c. Not having long enough velcro straps to go round the convenient
fence posts.
d. Not taking any food or drink.

Hi Pete,
Been there, done that, got the Tee shirt…

Leaving gloves behind is really bad news. Done that once.

Left the mic to my 857 once,

Left the power lead to it on another occasion.

And worst of all arriving at Walbury Hill without the rucksack :-0

One of the biggest PITA is leaving the log book and trying to scribble an activation on any scrap of paper you can lay your hands on :frowning:

I think Richard G3CWI, drew up a check list and posted it here a while back.

73 Mike
2E0YYY (just leaving for G/SP-004 hoping I’ve forgotten nothing)


#4

In reply to 2E0YYY:

GL Mike!

Just about to set off for Helvellyn, I THINK I have everything in the car -
I’m worried now :frowning:

And well done Pete! Operating in challenging circumstances is what SOTA is all about. You’ll soon get a slick process in place to make sure you have all you need with you. At first you’ll probably take loads of stuff you don’t use and this will be reduced with experience. Some stuff you may not even thought of taking, but it would be useful on the hill.

Good luck with your SOTA activites.

73
Colin
M0CGH


#5

In reply to G4ISJ:
Pete,
Good luck next time and many congratulations on the field improvisation. With my teeth it would have been back to the car for the tool kit.

My worst was leaving the 817 mike in the car and, not feeling confident enough in the safety of the kit to leave it set up on the hill, packing it all away again to go and collect the mike several hundred feet below. I was really quite reluctant to go back up; should have listened to my inner self - not a whisper of a contact, absolutely NOTHING. That was before M6BWA was licensed so I couldn’t even get a contact from her.

I find that load lightening is the worst pitfall. On Thursday I had a long walk so left out the 817. Where do I keep the notebook? In the 817 case, of course. A twice used flimsy bridge scorecard does not make a good logbook, especially in drizzle. Also, missing out the pegs for the mast guys wastes a lot of time, especially on hills with no loose rocks. Leaving out the cable for the beam doesn’t help, either. BUT that is dangerous territory and leaves the thread open to hijack by refugees from the existing thread on the subject of beams v dipoles and H v V polarization.

Good luck with your next one,
73,
Rod


#6

In reply to G4ISJ:
Yes Pete - we have all done it.

And some of us keep on doing too.

:frowning:

You’ll find that you will forget the most obvious things…radio, mic, battery , leads, pencil, log book, gloves, forgot my coat 2 weeks ago on a venture to SP-004 in the snow!

What you do remember to take with you will end up getting sat on, stood on, squashed, broken, bent, soaked, snapped or generally disappeared in all the heather. Then if like me you’ll end up having a paddy and throw something - only for it to be taken by the wind and never seen again!

You can even make a friend carry a 20Ahr slab battery for you only to remember you never charged it the night before…

And the first time you get it all right, all the kit, weather great, on time etc etc you’ll find the bands in such an awfull shape you’ll never get more than 1 contact…

Try and keep a smile on your face as we do this for fun!

Good luck with your next activation.


#7

Even if you think you have taken everything (including the Kitchen Sink) there will always be something else you forgot or didn’t think you could possibly need !!

I managed to leave just the driven Element for the 6m beam in the garage once despite taking everything else for a 6 hour+ contest.


#8

In reply to G4ISJ:
Hi Pete - welcome on board! And congrats on your second attempt. And nice to work you S2S (SS-178). Thanks

Looking forward to the next one.

73

Jack (;>)
GM4COX


#9

In reply to M0CGH:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

GL Mike!

Just about to set off for Helvellyn, I THINK I have everything in the
car -
I’m worried now :frowning:

Thanks for the S2S Colin, I could’t hear you until you moved the beam towards me. I whacked the power up to 40 Watts and once you moved the beam you were a great signal.

At first you’ll probably take
loads of stuff you don’t use and this will be reduced with experience.
Some stuff you may not even thought of taking, but it would be useful
on the hill.

Dunno about that Colin, I took a 20 Ah SLAB and slipped a spare 9Ah into my pocket today. As I get older, I seem to get dafter ;-))))

Best 73
Mike 2E0YYY


#10

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Maybe you are carrying the extra weight to compensate for the marbles you must have lost along the way :wink: Hi!

Thanks for the contact earlier.

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF


#11

In reply to GM4COX:
Thanks Jack.
Good to hear you in there yesterday.
Do we get extra points for S2S?
Can’t see anything obvious.

Pete


#12

In reply to G4ISJ:

Nothing extra for S2S but the Summitsbase site runs an S2S award scheme that the MT decided not to compete with. For information go to: http://www.summits.org.uk/tiki-index.php?page=S2S+Awards

73

Brian G8ADD


#13

In reply to G0VOF:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Maybe you are carrying the extra weight to compensate for the marbles
you must have lost along the way :wink: Hi!

ROTFL, managed to flatten both of them Mark, made a lot of contacts today. Hope the 20Ah SLAB is fully charged for tomorrow.

Thanks for the contact earlier.

You’re most welcome.

73 Mike
2E0YYY


#14

I’m low on the learning curve too. I did a hasty activation today on Corndon to coincide with a 4m contest. SSB, so I made a dipole to use horizontally (sorry, didn’t mean to mention the H word ;o)

As I drove there I realised that I had nothing to fix the dipole to the roach pole with. I didn’t want to miss the contest so I pressed on. Walking up the hill, I was thinking maybe a boot lace… But when I arrived at the summit, I found some PVC tape wrapped around the seat there. It had been there a while, I’d say, but it was just long, flexible and sticky enough to do the job. So, thank you to whoever left it there!

Thanks also to G8XYJ/P - my only 4m ssb S2S - for pointing out that I was in GW land, and should be signing GW4AZS/p. Disaster avoided!

Adrian
G4AZS


#15

In reply to G4AZS:
Congratulations for thinking about anything else apart from ‘where is the oxygen’ when walking up Corndon :slight_smile:


#16

In reply to G4AZS:
Hi Adrian

Well done on bodging the antenna up into the air! I find that despite any silly moments we all have, we normally have a eureka moment to cure it all!

I think you were my first ever S2S on 4m SSB which is really nice for a change! I must admit that today the WX was perfect for hilltop contesting, I hope like me you had a great time. My best DX was PA0WMX but was pleasantly surprised with QSOs in GU and GM!

My station can be seen here


and

The map of QSOs is here

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=http://www.rsgbcc.org/vhf/kml_files/2012/ijyth6Wb0ckIo45Wug2cqwA81uhb42A

Back to the subject - My biggest Homer Simpson moment comes on the Isle of Man, travel all the way there and experience high winds, the top part of the mast breaks on Snaefell and I don’t have a spare pole!!! Luckily PVC insulation tape saved me and I managed to activate the remaining 4 hills.

As I said earlier, moments of madness are often followed by moments of innovation!

73

Matt G8XYJ


#17

In reply to G4AZS:

I’m low on the learning curve too. I did a hasty activation today on
Corndon to coincide with a 4m contest. SSB, so I made a dipole to use
horizontally (sorry, didn’t mean to mention the H word ;o)

Thanks for the S2S Adrian, nice to work you on Corndon Hill GW/MW-013, I think that’s a new one for me. BTW, Robert 2E0DDD, heard you at his home QTH in Stoke-on-Trent. He asked if he could work you but you had QSY’d. I think you said you were on a H/H. He was amazed you were such a big signal.

Best 73
Mike 2E0YYY


#18

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Thanks for the S2S Adrian, nice to work you on Corndon Hill GW/MW-013,
I think that’s a new one for me. BTW, Robert 2E0DDD, heard you at his
home QTH in Stoke-on-Trent. He asked if he could work you but you had
QSY’d. I think you said you were on a H/H. He was amazed you were such
a big signal.

Best 73
Mike 2E0YYY

Sorry I missed Robert, you were my only contact on 2m in the end, Mike, for which thank you :o)
I took the VX5handy as a backup, so that I could qualify the activation if my ageing 4m gear failed! From past experience the range using the original rubber duck antenna and 5W can be surprising, but it is less easy to operate, because moving it around changes everything. Today, the band was busy, and as I moved the handy around (eg to stop the logbook blowing away) different stations would capture the receiver. I should have taken a better antenna, so apologies again to 2E0DDD.

I am almost exactly 2m tall, and I have wondered whether that helps - am I acting as the resonant element, and the rubber duck just a stub coupler??

Best 73
Adrian


#19

In reply to G8XYJ:

I think you were my first ever S2S on 4m SSB which is really nice for
a change! I must admit that today the WX was perfect for hilltop
contesting, I hope like me you had a great time. My best DX was PA0WMX
but was pleasantly surprised with QSOs in GU and GM!

Hi Matt, yes it was a perfect day. I didn’t work as much as you - 20 stations. I was called by a couple of GMs, but couldn’t complete the QSOo in either case. I worked GI4SNA, but nothing else DXy. Couldn’t hear any PA0s. Thats a dipole and 2.5 watts for you - it encourages me to build a beam like yours, and crank up the power a bit!

Back to the thread - I could have used the draw string from the bottom of my fleece, but I used that to mend a chair on a RAYNET exercise years ago :o)

73
Adrian
G4AZS


#20

In reply to G4ISJ:
Don’t worry Pete carried a 9el 2m Tonna up Manod Mawr NW 35 only to forget the N type to PL 259 adaptor .
Also went up Moel ysgyfarnogod and forgot to bring a simple PL - PL connector . If it wasn’t for Barry (2W0 LYD) I would have had to resort to the teeth and keys myself.
By the way , these are the only ones i’m owning up to HI
Good luck with your SOTA
73
Aled
2W0 UPH