In reply to M1EYP:
There’s no problem with a fixed activation date as long as prospective participants don’t attempt to do more than their experience and fitness allows them to do. That’s why I thought it may be too late in the season, by the time we have agreed a theme and bands and schedules etc. a few more weeks will go by and the nights will be drawing in. I understand that arranging something that might encourage people to attempt something they shouldn’t is concerning you Tom. Of course I did Craignaw last October and it was like a Summer’s day with me in just a T-shirt on the summit as you can see: http://moosedata.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=1408 Of course there’s bound to be someone who takes the hump at others thinking they may not be upto an Autumn romp up Ben Nevis! Such is life.
But here are some ideas…
Let’s consider this for next April when the weather is improving. Easter is a possibilty as it is late next year April 10th-13th but that will make Snowdown, Scafell and Ben Nevis unbelievably busy so perhaps the weekend either side. If people are prepared to flexible we can suggest April 5th/April 11th/April 18th and pick the actual weekend once the weather forecast is available, just 5 or so days in advance. I know that makes it impossible to publish info in magazines but we should accept that paper is dead and websites are the way forward! We have a website that is used anyway, so let’s use it.
Bands. Well I’d like to think that all 6 summits are inter-workable on 2m SSB using QRPish power and a small beam. If there are at least 2 participants for each summit then adding in a small amp and additional battery to what is carried shouldn’t be taxing between them. Of course I would imagine that there would be lots of interest in S2S contacts on other VHF bands such as 4m/70cm/23cm and 3cm. HF would be 80m/60m/40m. I’ve not seen any detailed reports on the 2 mass activations the other weekend but the idea there was that there would be 1 HF and 1 VHF antenna setup and people would attach their own radios. Seems sensible to me.
Scheds. Well this reminds me of the intro to The Mule from Deep Purple’s Made In Japan were Ian Gillan says to the soundman “We’d like everything louder than everything else.” Everyone on every hill is going to want to work every one else on every other summit and every chaser too at the same time. So here is a plan. Each summit has one 2m SSB and one 2m FM frequency and they only call CQ on those. That means that we can have some idea of who’ll be where. Of course local QRM&QRN will affect that but once each summit finds a QRG they stick to it for the whole operation no matter who is on the mike. Once spotted on SOTAWATCH, chasers will know where to listen for each summit. Summits work other summits by only allowing the called summit to use its frequency. e.g. WS001 on 144.250, GD001 on 144.275 and NW001 on 144.325. Now WS001 calls CQ on 144.250 and works chasers then someone on GD001 wants an S2S with them and calls them. WS001 can answer GD001 because they are being called on their own frequency of 144.250. If someone on NW001 hears GD001 on 144.250 and calls GD001 then GD001 tells them to QSY to their frequency, 144.275, and only answers calls when they QSY there. It sounds complicated but it looks like a reasonable way of making sure chasers, especially those at their home QTH know where to listen for each summit. Something similar can be used for 80m and 40m. 60m is a little more problematic with the lack of frequencies, we can’t commandeer all the channels for our own fun and games!
Summit Tsar. Don’t you just hate those modern management terms! OK, someone needs to be the boss on each summit to make sure everything at their location goes smoothly and there’s no frequency mismanagement. This can be sorted out near the time.
Equipment. Everyone should bring their normal radio gear with them. It may have been agreed that I’ll provide the HF antenna and fishing pole for WS001 for example. But if you then climb all 1300+m of it only to find I’m not there or my gear is broken, you’ll feel proper foolish if you have a perfectly good antenna sat in the car park!
That should be enough for now.