Last week I decided that I had earned a day off from work to have a SOTA day. The necessary permissions were sought and granted (XYL plus my Boss!).
As my planning progressed, I set the goal of qualifying a summit using only CW. I’ve been trying to improve my CW over the last year or so, to such a level to be able to have live QSO’s.
I’d just like to say thanks to the chasers I worked today, I appreciated all the patience shown to me as I asked for a repeat of call sign etc.
I followed John, G4YSS’s route to the summit, this route being much more favourable to my usual route from Kettlewell, thanks for sharing your grid refs in your reports John. My only mistake was that I picked the wrong footwear - my feet were wet through in minutes!
I arrived at the summit pretty much at my alerted time, but yet again my dipole put up a fight and did not want to be deployed without becoming a tangled mess! I eventually got on air some 40 minutes after my alerted time.
Using my elderly FT817 and a donated 7AH SLAB, I put out my first CQ on 40M and GM0OGN responded almost straight away with a 559 report. Things were off to a good start.
I tried to follow Roy, G4SSH’s suggestions as much as I could, although maybe I ended up giving out the summit ref too many times! (well it’s better than not giving it enough!) Thanks for your recent articles for CW beginners, Roy.
A QSY to 20M brought a small pile up. I’ve never experienced a pile up from that end before and it was so difficult to pick out a single call. Sorry to those chasers who I didn’t manage to work. I then suffered some heavy QRM, so I decided to QSY to 30m, there were no takers, neither were there any takers on 17m or 15m, although stations from ‘over the pond’ were booming in on SSB.
I managed 20 QSO’s in all, over a period of about 1 1/2 hours. My microphone stayed, unconnected, in it’s box, for the entire activation! The weather at the summit was quite pleasant, with some sunshine thrown in for good measure.
I found my little car where I’d left it and managed to get in just before a heavy downpour set in! Brilliant timing!
I really enjoyed myself today, what a great way to spend a day off work.
Again, thanks to all the chasers, sorry if my CW was a bit wobbly at times, I’m sure that I’ll get better the more I do it. Thanks to Tom, M1EYP, for the inspiration and encouraging words.
73 de Colin M0CGH