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GW/NW-009 HF Tips Please


#1

The XYL and I are on hols in GW/NW 8-15th Sept. Amongst other holiday activities I hope to have some SOTA fun (WX permitting!) by activating GW/NW-009 and hopefully also the GW/NW-017 / 041 pair. I am looking for tips at the summit for a HF activation.

I will take my 10M pole so that I can either use my 60/40/30 inverted V with the apex at 7M or my 20/17/15/12 EFHW vertical for hopefully transatlantic QSOs. No VHF antennas although I will take my Alinco 2M/70CM HH.

Any tips on where to set up to take 60M dipole length and any known setup issues gratefully received :slight_smile:

Also anyone know what 3G is like on top of GW-NW-009 ?

73s Andrew G4AFI


#2

In reply to G4AFI:

I think you mean the NW-017 / 041 pair Andrew. Both fairly large grassy summits with cairns. They both have dry stone walls which may provide shelter unless the wind is blowing din line with them. Lots of space for big antennae. Best thing is you`ll be unlucky to see anybody else up there - I never have.
Cadair Idris is a much more popular summit (my favorite in North Wales). It is also more “pointy” than the other 2 although if you stretch the 25m rule to the max, there should be enough room for HF antennae. No idea of 3G coverage in the area, maybe John GW4BVE can elaborate.


#3

In reply to G1INK:
Thanks Steve for the info on NW-071 / 041 (corrected my mistake ;-).

So do you think I will have difficulty for 60M on Cadair Idris ? If so maybe I will stick with the EFHW.

Andrew


#4

In reply to G4AFI:

It’s about 35 years since I was last up Cadair Idris so my memory fades as to the shape and space! I’d be suprised if you can’t find somewhere to string a 60m dipole especially with the apex at 7m… they’re not that big.

The only summit where I’ve found a 60m dipole a bit tight for space is on North Berwick Law. That was more a case of it being impossible to not stretch the legs across paths on a very, very busy summit. With 2 of us activating we were able to keep everyone else out of harm’s way and the explanations of SOTA whilst the other activated kept the GUMs happy with the minor inconvenience.

3g coverage is of course variable. If you can see moderate sized town or length of A road you’ll probably find some coverage. It surprises me that even in the Highlands my phone gets 3g connections more than it gets a fallback GSM connection.

Andy
MM0FMF


#5

In reply to G4AFI:

I often find on high summits where I appear to have no phone coverage, losing 10m height or so normally results in full scale signal returning. A word of warning in the Cadair Idris area - check you are not roving as it will cost significantly more. My phone locks on to EI networks no problem in Snowdonia - same happens in the lake district with Manx or GI networks.


#6

In reply to G4AFI:

If my memory isn’t at fault the summit shelter on Cadair Idris is within the AZ. Its usually in a pretty foul condition (there’s always a few barbarians about!) but it may be possible to use it as an anchor for the pole or an end of the wire out of the way of the tourists. As you can see parts of Barmouth and Dolgellau from the summit I would guess that mobile coverage will be available.

73

Brian G8ADD


#7

In reply to G1INK:

check you are
not roving as it will cost significantly more. My phone locks on to EI
networks no problem in Snowdonia - same happens in the lake district
with Manx or GI networks.

I’d hardly call GI roaming unless maybe you’re using an EI sim!


#8

In reply to G4ISJ:
Thanks for all the replies guys. Looking at the Cadair Idris stats interstingly there have been 85 activations on 80M so there must be enough room for 60M.

Thanks for the tip re data roaming. This happened to me recently in Dover whilst I was walking above the town. Fortunately I noticed my phone had switched to Calais and I quickly turned data roaming off. I did incur a small charge in the intervening period.

Hopefully there is 3G coverage in Dolgellau that I can access from the summit.

Andrew G4AFI


#9

In reply to G4AFI:

On Cadair Idris Paul G4MD operated HF from a fairly level area down from the summit which is definitely within the AZ. I operated from near the summit on VHF and had to endure the grockles. The summit shelter was crawling with folk. Can’t say it is my favourite summit in Wales, far from it. Give me a remote summit any day with only a small chance of interruption - now Drygarn Fawr, that’s more like it!!!

73, Gerald G4OIG


#10

In reply to G1INK:

My phone locks on to EI networks no problem in Snowdonia - same happens in the lake district with Manx or GI networks.

Do you not think your service provider is trying to tell you something Steve? :wink:

73, Gerald G4OIG


#11

I see where you’re coming from Gerald, but I always feel it is worthwhile taking the opportunity to explain a little about amateur radio and promote it a bit. It does eat into operating time, which can be annoying, but got to be worth it if it results in somebody emailing or knocking on the door of their local radio club.

I had a family with two youngish (about 10?) lads who were really interested while I was setting up the 6m delta loop on The Cloud last night. One of the lads in particular was still firing questions at his dad after they had finished chatting to me and started walking away. It was 7.58pm (I’m always last minute setting up for contests), so I said that if they hung on a couple of minutes, they could see/hear amateur radio in action.

It meant operating without the headphones on for 5 minutes or so, but it answered all the lad’s questions, and surprised yet another family to learn that amateur radio was still going strong. It seems Joe Public believes that it all finished when Tony Hancock got disillusioned with it!

So come on Gerald, you be nice to those grockles, and recruit some into the hobby! If they’re on a Marilyn summit, then they’re already halfway to being SOTA activators!

Tom MO1EYP

[not done GW/NW-009 yet - continuing to watch for tips]


#12

In reply to G4OIG:
I operated from

near the summit on VHF and had to endure the grockles.

I didn’t know you were a pogle,Gerald!

73

Brian G8ADD


#13

In reply to M1EYP:

[not done GW/NW-009 yet - continuing to watch for tips]

I know you don’t like too much exposure, Tom, so when the time comes avoid the Minffordd Path on the south side which has a couple of - interesting - bits, and the path on the north side which passes Llyn y Gadair and toils up a horrible worn out scree slope almost direct to the summit. The least exciting route goes up from the car park at Ty-nant on the north side to a grassy gap in the cliffs and then heads east to the summit along a broad shoulder. I think they used to run a stagecoach that way for Victorian grockles!

73

Brian G8ADD


#14

Cheers Brian, good stuff. Anything that could come under the banner of steep/slippery will be given a very wide berth for a good while after the attempted ‘express’ descent of Pillar!

Tom MO1EYP


#15

In reply to M1EYP:

Anything that could come under the banner of steep/slippery

You wouldn’t have liked where I was “cragfast” for a while on Sunday Tom. As I started to descend, against my wishes I must add, I had this image of you sliding past Jimmy in my mind. “I’m not doing a Tom” I thought and managed to get off the scree/rocks elevator that was gaining speed. I spent 15mins sat on a boulder both stunned at the views around and scared at the 150+m descent to river below.

I was actually considering bailing out and quitting as I’d scared myself that much. But after 15mins I thought I’d better get on with it and just did.

Andy
MM0FMF


#16

In reply to M1EYP:

It meant operating without the headphones on for 5 minutes or so…

As per my operation on Great Gable when a very polite chap came and sat near to see and hear what was going on. It’s the inane “going fishing” or “can’t you get TV at home” type comments that bug me. Anyway, what’s wrong with wanting a bit of peace and quiet while operating and on a remote summit it is a win-win situation - I don’t get the daft questions and Joe Public (being absent) doesn’t get that rather well known repetitive phrase “CQ SOTA”…

In reply to MM0FMF:

“Doing a Tom” - thanks for the phrase Andy. Paul and I will make sure we use that when we are out next. :slight_smile:

73, Gerald G4OIG


#17

In reply to MM0FMF:

I have a lovely mental picture of you scree running uphill! You would hate Foinaven!

In contrast, my favourite way up Cader Idris is up the Cyfrwy Arete, the right hand cliff skyline as seen from the north. Technically its an old-fashioned rock climb but really its just a scramble with some good rock scenery and very airy positions, but it really beats slogging up scree!

73

Brian G8ADD


#18

In reply to M1EYP:

Tom,

I second the suggestions of avoiding the southern route and the Foxes route (above Llyn-y-Gadair) on the north side. The apparently easy route down southwards from Mynydd Moel (1.5km E of Cadair) is nothing of the sort, being loose, steep in parts and slippery .

The pony path is good, has a car park and is also handy for Kings YH.

Enjoy one of my favourite hills.

73
Rod


#19

In reply to G4OIG:

  • I don’t

get the daft questions and Joe Public (being absent) doesn’t get that
rather well known repetitive phrase “CQ SOTA”…

About four weeks ago while I was calling “CQ SOTA” up on G/SP-004, a mobile station called in. He’d beem listening for about an hour and came back to me laughing. His 6 year old daughter had asked him “why does that man keep shouting Yankee Yankee Yankee dad?”

73 Mike
2E0YYY


#20

In reply to G4AFI:

As the most recent acitivator of GW-NW-009 I suppose I should put my two pennith in. As far as I can remember G3 phone reception was a bit iffy I could get a signal at the odd spot that was with Orange. I used VHF (2M FM) and had a pleasant afternoon working 16 contacts but I was using a beam.

The summit is very rocky but once you get off it there is lots a flatish space. I too am not sure if the shelter is in the AZ but there is plenty of space there.

I assended from the north using the NP car park - there is a charge £4 I think but there are clean toilets there. It’s a bit of a trek to the top via the pony path but on a good day well worth it.

Peter G1FOA