What a great city Edinburgh is. Every time I visit this place, it always brings back memories of the countless holidays I spent there as a kid, over fifty years ago. The place always seems timeless to me.
Anyhow, having obtained permission from Historic Scotland, to transmit from Arthur’s Seat, with what I can only describe as the minimum of fuss and brilliant service, I made my way to Holyrood Park.
The ascent was short, but fairly steep and as I was carrying the usual collection of antennas, a heavy rucksack and pile of assorted tat, the ascent took just over 30 minutes. On reaching the trig it was fairly evident, there was going to be nowhere to peg an antenna out, it is solid rock!
Running out counterpoise wires up there, would be far too dangerous, giving the Elfin Safety Taliban, cause to have a field day, if someone decided to trip over my long wires, on what I can only describe as the busiest summit I’ve ever visited. Therefore bungeeing an HF antenna to the trig point was not really an option.
I set up about 15 Metres below the trig and opened on the 20m band. As expected from a summit that had seen very little HF activity, I ran into a steady pile of chasers looking for this unique. Switching to 40m brought a steady flow of UK chasers, before I switched back to 20m, to work a lot more of the regular EU crowd.
Time for 2m, I thought to myself… I erected the collinear, spotted myself and called CQ on 500…and called CQ on 500 and called CQ on 500, before eventually GM7ZQH, put me out of my misery and came back to the call. He told me how dead 2m was in Edinburgh and he wasn’t kidding. Barry GM4COX called in next, followed by 2 further callers and that folks, was that! A miserly four contacts for nearly an hours effort
For probably the only time in all the activations I’ve done, I was a bit disappointed that I was 2m beamless
It seems, the 2 Metre FM invasion by the mighty English collinear, despite it towering almost 800ft above the capital of Scotland, had been well and truly repelled by the Scots!
Ah well, I guess it at to happen sooner or later
So, back to 20m it was then, were I was spotted on the DX cluster and suddenly the world and his dog decided they wanted MM6MMM in their log.
When I looked up, I found myself surrounded about 30 tourists of every nationality, who started asking loads of questions, taking snaps and pointing about half a dozen video cameras at me! All this in the middle of a pile-up!
Anyway, after about an hour, I tired of my new found, SOTA celebrity status and decided to go QRT, much to the disappointment of the ever growing throng of sightseers and autograph hunters
In all seriousnes though, this was a really enjoyable activation and one I would most certainly love to repeat someday.
Shame the 2m band was so poor, however, the HF chasers made up for it.
24 contacts on 40m
111 contacts on 20m
1 contact on 15m
And finally, just 4 contacts on VHF.
S2S x 2… Thanks to Andy MM0FMF/P on GM/CS-048 and Iain MM3WJZ/P on GM/SI-010.
Total 140 contacts.
DXCCs were a bit thin on the ground with about 5 contacts Stateside, 3 into Canada 1 into Jordan and what I would dare to suggest, a rare foray for SOTA, into OX Greenland.
Once again, thanks to all the chasers for taking the time to call in, making this a wonderful days radio.