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It's So Good to be back!


Activation Report

GW/NW-044 Moel Famau 23/02/2013

Just returned home and had to write this report before getting showered and settled

As some of you are aware I have been away from Summit activities for quite some time, in fact the last main one was Pen Y Ghent last March!!

This being due to a small brain injury and my leg joints having a couple of minor operations done to them???!!!

Anyway, medication is working well for both gliches at the moment, so I was keen to get back out and about albeit up smaller summits. I decided I would go up Black Hill G/SP-002 earlier this month as I knew it would be a easy walk for me on my 1st time back, all I came down off that one with was a Chest infection !!!

Planned to do Moel Famau today, packed my bag with my trusty FT897, 7ah SLAB and assorted antennas, planned QRG’s was to be my usual 2m ssb along with 40m and 60m. Set off early as I knew I would need plenty of walking time, arriving at car park paid the £1 to get through barrier and was keen to get going. first mistake of the day, me being “Mr I know which way it is through the forest” took the wrong path from the car park and found myself heading across to the"Tourist route". I had to divert and ended up higher up the Offa’s Dyke path which I did not want to do but at least I could now see the Tower at the summit.

Arriving later than planned but still in time for my alert noted time, I set up right hand side of the gate where I should have come through if I had taken the right path up through the forest. (at least I knew I could go back that way now.)
Decided as I had planned to stay up here for a while to just put up the 3 ele beam for 2m ssb calling first. I had called out but no one around on .300, so used an sms spot via Andy’s excellent system with my QRG at .310. Then out of the ether came a bunch of call-signs all at the same time ( a small pile up on 2m ssb, wow), the operating practise I thought I had forgot came back to me and I was greatly cheered to hear all the Call-signs I had worked from SOTA hills in the past coming flooding in. a total of 17 qso’s including stalwart chasers , G2BOF,G6ODU,G0TRB,G0VOF,G0RQL and one of the “Cheltenham Boys” G0LGS. Also my old welsh buddy David M0YDH and also a summit to summit with Mike 2E0YYY/P from SP-004.

Switched over to my HF home-brew long-wire as 2m ssb had gone quiet, hoping to get my first ever qso on 5Mhz from a portable station. There were 2 guys chatting on 5.3985 and I tried unsuccessfully to break in for a radio report. Once they had cleared I gave a couple of calls on here and nothing. I found the MFJ ATU tuned up the wire on 60m within a couple of seconds, but had great difficulty on 40m and 17m which was unusual, so I suspected that the wire fence could have caused problems for the higher frequencies?? I sent a 2nd sms spot with my QRG being 5.389.5 (finding out when I got home that it had not appeared on SOTAWATCH, I think I had not sent the sms properly) and continued calling on here for a good 10 mins,but no joy today? by now because the Tuner was struggling on tuning up and it uses the power from the radio my 7ah SLAB had become below 11 volts, so decided to have some lunch and make my way down.

I have to say it was a struggle getting up today, I had forgotten how steep and how far it was from the car to the top.

I was overjoyed to get all the old call signs, friends and chasers who I had worked so often when I was more active, they made me feel that it was SO GOOD TO BE BACK !!

Thanks to all who patiently waited to work me and make my return so enjoyable I have missed you all and the hills

Best 73



In reply to G1JPV:
Welcome back Tony. I was delighted to hear you on the radio again and hope for a continual improvement in your health. Is there anything to be done about your huge pack weight? The 897 is a fixture as you love it so much but LiPo batteries are wonderful things.




In reply to G1JPV:

I think I had not sent the sms properly

I’d forgotten I had this running till I read your comment Tony.

If you visit this webpage it will show all the inbound SMS messages received and processed by the system for your callsign in the last 2 days.


As you can see the second line for you has “bad” for the frequency, mode and comment. This means that the parser gave up processing at the part of your message around the frequency. I guessed you sent 5.398.5 instead of 5.3985 and looking in the log that’s what happened.

If you want to see the entire last 2 days activity then go to:




In reply to M0YDH:

Yes David always good to get you in my log, and yes the 897 is my preferred choice of a heavy friend Hi

I think I actually walk straight as the pack at the front balances out the pack on the back

Well done again to the boys getting their ticket, shame they were snoozing while I was up there

and also it is Llanrhaeadr-Ym-Mochnant in July for NW-012




In reply to MM0FMF:

Hi Andy, yes I spotted that I had 2 full stops in the SMS in the frequency, so my fault, I will remember for next time

Thanks again for this very helpful service, when we are up the hill and not enough in the log to qualify its a godsend




In reply to G1JPV:

Hi Tony,

Good to work you S2S on the 2m ssb band, a frequency I use once in a blue moon!

Took me 10 minutes to work out where it was, on the 857 :wink: My vertical antenna didn’t help, however, you were a wonderful signal and excellent audio.

Sorry to hear about your problems getting to the summmit, I hope the few extra S2S points help make up for it.

Catch you on the next one…

73 Mike


Good to see you’re back on the block Tony. Hope the brain injury has been sorted out (from someone else who is dealing with one ATM).

73, Tom M1EYP


In reply to 2E0YYY:

Hi Mike,

thanks for the S2S, you will have to now include SSB as part of your ops to make sure you get the stalwart chasers in your log Hi

always good to get you in the log,either from a summit or at home




In reply to M1EYP:

Hi Tom,

it really is good to get out and about again after a long long time away!

The worst with the brain injury (which is now being sorted with medication) is I have had to retire early from GB2RS News-reading (which I really miss) and also teaching newcomers to the hobby on foundation and intermediate courses.

hope you get sorted soon




That sounds worse than mine Tony, but glad it is being sorted. The treatment for mine is yet to be finally decided or advised, but I am told it will be “straightforward”.

I am advised to get fitter and try to lose some weight though, so SOTA is quite handy!



In reply to M1EYP:

Blimey! You single-handedly wear a track up a well-known viewpoint and they advise you to get fitter?


Brian G8ADD


Popular hill Brian. For everyone of my visits, there are hundreds of others, even on a daily basis. NT might need to do some erosion control soon if it is to remain a Marilyn and hence a SOTA summit!



In reply to M1EYP:

I am advised to get fitter and try to lose some weight though, so SOTA
is quite handy!

You are going to let somebody who said that mess around with your brain? Every single member of every Six Nations Rugby Team is outside the acceptable limits of BMI - so they all need to get fitter and lose some weight?

I think not.

Barry GM4TOE


In reply to GM4TOE:

Well said!

Mind you, we live in strange times. In those now distant days when I did lots of rock climbing, we used to do our training in the pub. The current batch in the club spend their evenings in the gym or on a climbing wall, and only drink fruit juice in the pub, but they don’t really climb at a much higher grade than my lot did. I think we had more fun!


Brian G8ADD


In reply to G8ADD:

That’s because they seek the image of rock climbing, not climbing for the sake of teamwork, the challenge and pure enjoyment of nature. Why do they wear woolly hats, it can’t be cold because they only have a tee-shirt on? Sorry for off-topic.

Anybody can climb these days with all the active protection, cams etc. Exhibit A: me.



In reply to GM4TOE:

Every single member of every Six Nations Rugby Team is outside
the acceptable limits of BMI - so they all need to get fitter and lose
some weight?

I think not.

Regrettably the only people to take solace from such observations are usually out of breath by the time they reach the bar in the stadium. They are not on the pitch.

BMI is one of a number of indicators (and only a rather crude one) but needs to be interpreted intelligently and used with other data such as the ratio of waist to hip size to get a better picture.


G3CWI (BMI 26.5)


In reply to M0YDH:

I have finally succumb to the idea that Carrying an FT897 with a 7ah Slab is not the best idea anymore for me

I have part-exed some radio stuff for a new FT817nd and will be testing it up SP-004 next Saturday

It has the FNB-85 NiMh battery, and because of its light weight I can still fetch a slab for emergency use

I am also in the process of building a 5 element Yagi for 2m (lightweight obviously) to boost the 5 watt output from the 817, but this won’t be ready for Shining Tor

Thanks to David for nagging me into what looks like a better option for me

The 897 will still be used but mainly on easy walk up summits




In reply to G1JPV:

Same here, Tony, but its an FT857 and 12 Ah slab that I have retired to the main shack in favour of an 817. It makes walking up hill a lot more pleasurable, when I stop now, it really is to admire the view and exercise the camera!


Brian G8ADD


In reply to G1JPV:


I love the 817 for its flexibility (but still prefer a handy for a long walk). The great thing for me is being able to do 2m ssb at weekends (when 40m is effectively full up) and switch to 40m on weekdays. I use a battery pack of 11 AA NiMH 2900 mAh (which I have only flattened once) and would now recommend a 3300 (or larger) LiPo as they are so much lighter than a slab; I have a pair of 7 Ah slabs which have never been on the hills.
The snag with the internal battery is the interminable recharge time.

I have been known to carry an 857 but it has to be for a short walk on a low-rise summit :slight_smile:

Hope to speak again soon,