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SOTA on Tour part 2 - The Sequel


#61

IIRC Ken Dodd was a remarkably successful singer having one of the best selling singles of all times in the UK in the 1960s. He outsold The Beatles at one point in his career. I think he still holds the world records for the greatest number of jokes told in a stand-up session.

I saw his act once. Some of his jokes were painfully funny especially the delivery. But one of the funniest parts of the act was that they locked the doors to the theatre bar when he was singing despite the fact he had a good singing voice. But if you didn’t like his songs you really needed a beer when that part of the show came on.

And… when he was up for tax evasion he got off with only paying the back tax. Jockey Lester Piggot was in court for tax evasion at the same time… and had to go to prison. It’s the way Ken made the court laugh that saved him.


#62

It isn’t what you say that counts, its the way you say it. Nobody can fault you for not liking something that some other people like, its a free country and within acceptable limits a free reflector. Just follow the AUP and all is well.


#63

Anyway, back to some Totally on-Topic Tolstoy-esque Turgid Tales from Tom:

Tuesday 16th October 2018 - The Cloud G/SP-015 & Gun G/SP-013

Work: supply maths teaching at a secondary school
Venue: somewhere in South Stockport

So no gig, no tour date. With the next gig not until Friday, I kind of felt obliged to accept when the supply agency phoned up. And for the first time this academic year, I was out to work at 0715 BST, dressed in a shirt and tie (RSGB of course), trousers and shoes, with non-matching jacket complete with leather elbow patches. For the first time since early July, I was a maths teacher again.

Why mention that? Hardly any reason at all really - I just wanted keep the format of the reports in this thread broadly similar, have the opportunity to explore a second stab at alliteration, and generally maintain the turgidity factor. Hmm, I’ve just had an idea for a new TV game show…

Two hours was the window between dropping Liam off at his evening event and picking him up again. Probably just enough time to bag two SOTA activations!

Due to a “kind of” one way street between The Cloud and Gun, I figured it would be slightly more efficient to do The Cloud first. It was a mild night with only a slight breeze - very pleasant October walking by headlamp. I didn’t really have time to test with a possible new SOTAbeams product I’ve been trying out, nor even venture onto Fusion mode, so it was just plain old 2m FM.

Four QSOs were made courtesy of 2E0LKC, M6PKF, M6AIF and 2E0LMD. I descended and drove over to Gun.

Underfoot was almost copmpletely dry again this time, with only the very occasional soggy bit. I enjoyed the walk again - there’s something kinda lovely about night walking in October - I’ve always loved it!

2m FM was used again on the Yaesu FT70D handheld, and again four QSOs resulted - 2E0SHK, 2E0LKC, 2E0LMD and M0MTJ. I arrived back in Macclesfield to collect Liam bang on 2130 BST - exactly two hours after dropping him off!

Stay tuned for more turgid Tolstoy-esque tales from Tom tomorrow…


#64

As promised:

Wednesday 17th October 2018 - The Cloud G/SP-015

Gig: Liam Read
Venue: Swan With Two Necks, Macclesfield

I was inspired to investigate the challenge that a (forty) eight year old with an 817 could work 100 DXCCs in a week, courtesy of the embarrassment that is FT8. I had a short window of opportunity on the Wednesday morning, so headed up to Cloud summit with the 20m GP.

So here’s the results:

QSOs: 7
Cumulative QSOs: 7
DXCCs: 7
Cumulative DXCCs: 7

DXCCs so far (just 1st contact with each DXCC will be recorded here):

  1. Brazil - PY2ZZ
  2. France - F8BVP
  3. Slovakia - OM8KT
  4. Poland - SQ5KGS
  5. Portugal - CT1END
  6. Lithuania - LY1CZ
  7. England - M6JEP

This will be my focus now for the next few SOTA activations. Anyone else care to join in with the “100 DXCC in a Week Embarrassment That Is FT8 QRP SOTA Challenge”?

I actually don’t expect to achieve this myself, but it’s perfectly feasible that it could be done, so who’s going to have a go?

Anyway, not really a tour gig, but as I often do on a Wednesday night, I tagged along with Liam to our local Open Mic Night, and joined him with some other musicians on stage to belt out a few classics from Bowie, Radiohead, Chicago etc. All good fun.


#65

Thursday 18th October 2018 - Shining Tor G/SP-004

Gig: Liam Read
Venue: Swan With Two Necks, Macclesfield

OK, this isn’t even a gig really. It’s karaoke on a Thursday night, Liam wants to go, and I said I’d go with him. I’m not singing myself though, and the world will be a much better place for that!

It was an absolute beauty of a day here in East Cheshire. Marianne and I both fancied going out for a decent walk, and I suggested a circular taking in Shining Tor, which Marianne liked the sound of too.

Our first port of call was the Peak View Tea Rooms on the A537, just before the usual parking spot for Shining Tor. We both enjoyed the “Special Cream Tea” - thick cut ham sandwiches with side salad, two homemade fruited scones each with butter, jam and clotted cream, and a big cup of coffee.

We noticed the usual parking spot was pretty much taken up by an HGV with long container-trailer, so we continued up the road and parked opposite the still-closed Cat & Fiddle pub. From there we walked East down the road to Derbyshire Bridge at the northern end of the Goyt Valley road. We now walked down through the beautiful Goyt Valley, even spotting several deer on the hillside to our right.

When we got to the main car parking area, we had the option to turn left and walk up Stakeside, but I’ve always found that to be a bit of a demoralising slog, so we continued the long way round the roads, all the way round to Pym Chair. From here, we walked along the ridge to Shining Tor summit, we naturally we paused for a SOTA activation.

I worked several stations on 2m FM with the FT70D handheld while Marianne rested on the bench and took some photographs. As we completed the circuit to the Cat & Fiddle I pointed out to my wife the spot where I’d wild-camped a few weeks earlier on my 71km pedestrian circuit of my three local summits. “You must be mad” she exclaimed, “You could have been stabbed by a madman”. I respectfully suggested that there was statistically more chance of that happening shopping in a town centre on a Saturday afternoon. Oh the delightful conversations I enjoy with my XYL…

We completed the circuit just as the sun was setting over the Cheshire Plain. Marianne videoed this on her smartphone. My Fitbit watch recorded that I had done 20,000 steps and 16km of walking. A cracking circuit and a lovely day’s walking.

Now for the unrivalled joy that is karaoke…


#66

Friday 19th October 2018 - The Cloud G/SP-015 & Gun G/SP-013

Gig: Joe Longthorne (not the “woefully talentless” one, whoever that is, but the other one that sells out theatres)
Venue: Brookside Theatre, Romford

Hmm, Joe’s enthusiastic fanbase in Essex is starting to become a bit of a problem for my SOTA aspirations. We keep getting shows down there - and there’s no summits. I had to think creatively to keep SOTA activating into my weekend schedule. Or for “creatively”, you could substitute the word “boringly” or “predictably”.

So first to The Cloud G/SP-015. I should have just done a quickfire handheld-only 2m FM activation, but I wanted to further my quest in the “Embarrassment that is FT8 (4)8 year old with an FT-817 DXCC Challenge”.

Anyway, here’s the outcome of that:

QSOs: 10
Cumulative QSOs: 17
DXCCs: 9
Cumulative DXCCs: 15

DXCCs so far (just 1st contact with each DXCC will be recorded here):

  1. Brazil - PY2ZZ
  2. France - F8BVP
  3. Slovakia - OM8KT
  4. Poland - SQ5KGS
  5. Portugal - CT1END
  6. Lithuania - LY1CZ
  7. England - M6JEP
  8. Oman - A45XR
  9. Sardinia - IS0MAM
  10. Greece - SV2HZT
  11. Russia - R3TJI
  12. Asiatic Russia - R0AHN
  13. Spain - EA5XC
  14. Hungary - HA0HH
  15. Ukraine - UW5KW

Next over to Gun G/SP-013 where first I enjoyed a cup of coffee with Richard G3CWI in his motorhome. He was up there conducting his site comparison test as documented on the reflector and elsewhere: https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/blog/comparing-a-suburban-site-with-a-hilltop-location-on-20m-using-wsprlite/

This time I did just do a quick handheld-only activation, making two QSOs - one of whom was Richard in his motorhome!

I was going to bag a pointless activation of Wendover Woods G/CE-005 further on in the “commute”, but as time pressed on and Friday afternoon traffic became denser towards London, I decided it would be wise to skip that out. It wouldn’t be my last “miss” of Wendover Woods on this trip!

The gig at the Brookside Theatre was a very enjoyable one, the first of two sell-outs there, with a fantastic audience. As we were stopping over locally in-between the two shows, needless to say the boys in the band went out for a pint or three after the gig!

Saturday 20th October 2018 - Detling Hill G/SE-013

Gig: Joe Longthorne
Venue: Brookside Theatre, Romford

The other guys in the band wanted (a) a lie-in and (b) trips to the local music shop and pub in Romford to kill time on the Saturday. Not for me. I was up at 7am and off out!

It was probably a 60 mile round trip for me to visit Detling Hill, and included a £2.50 each way charge for the Dartford Crossing, and another pound for the parking at White Horse Woods, but overall, this was decent VFM for a day out doing what I enjoy. I parked in the large pay-and-display car park right on the summit of Detling Hill and set up a few yards across the grass at a large wooden picnic table.

Overall, I made 61 QSOs, all 5w from the FT-817 + homemade 20m GP. Modes used were CW, SSB, FT8 and JT65.

29 DXCCs: 9A, E7, EA, EA9, ER, EU, F, HA, HB, I, JA, LY, LZ, OE, OK, OH, RA, S5, SM, SP, SV, SV5, TF, UA2, UA9, VE, W, YO, YU.

DX: Just one (like many others it seems!) - JA2ATE.

4 S2S: IK2LEY/P on I/LO-220, SV1RVZ/P on SV/PL-022, HA2PP/P on HA/KD-047, EA1AER/P on EA1/LE-105.

Part of this activation was on FT8 mode, so furthering my progress in the Challenge:

QSOs: 19
Cumulative QSOs: 36
DXCCs: 18
Cumulative DXCCs: 29

DXCCs so far (just 1st contact with each DXCC will be recorded here):

  1. Brazil - PY2ZZ
  2. France - F8BVP
  3. Slovakia - OM8KT
  4. Poland - SQ5KGS
  5. Portugal - CT1END
  6. Lithuania - LY1CZ
  7. England - M6JEP
  8. Oman - A45XR
  9. Sardinia - IS0MAM
  10. Greece - SV2HZT
  11. Russia - R3TJI
  12. Asiatic Russia - R0AHN
  13. Spain - EA5XC
  14. Hungary - HA0HH
  15. Ukraine - UW5KW
  16. Italy - IK8NSR
  17. Ceuta & Melilla - EA9ACD
  18. Finland - OH2FQV
  19. Austria - OE6HFF
  20. Iceland - TF3IG
  21. Japan - JA2ATE
  22. Dodecanese Islands - SV5BYP
  23. Romania - YO2UH
  24. Bosnia & Hercegovina - E76C
  25. Slovenia - S51CN
  26. Croatia - 9A7DA
  27. USA - K1SND
  28. Sweden - SM7D
  29. Bulgaria - LZ2INP

After another great show, I packed up quickly and got on the road, aiming to do a before-and-after-midnight-UTC “double” activation of Wendover Woods G/CE-005 on the way home. Problem was, when I did get there and set up, despite there being activity on both 20m FT8 and 2m FM, I couldn’t get any of it back to me. So when the “deadline” of 1am BST came and went, I packed up the radio stuff and carried the rucksack back to the car which was parked at the highest point of the road on Aston Hill - so very close by. I left the 20m GP antenna set up and placed the BNC connector end of the feeder in a drybag, so I could just go again in the morning. It was my first time ever to have set up on a summit and not recorded some form of activation!

I keep two pillows in my car as layby sleeps are virtuality an inevitability in my current work pattern. I reclined the seat in my motor and got about four hours sleep.

Sunday 21st October 2018 - Wendover Woods G/CE-005

After waking up, I carried my stuff back over to the antenna and plugged in again. Activity had picked up with dawn just around the corner, but still slow going. I made three QSOs on 20m FT8, one of which was a new DXCC for the Challenge.

QSOs: 3
Cumulative QSOs: 39
DXCCs: 2
Cumulative DXCCs: 30

DXCCs so far (just 1st contact with each DXCC will be recorded here):

  1. Brazil - PY2ZZ
  2. France - F8BVP
  3. Slovakia - OM8KT
  4. Poland - SQ5KGS
  5. Portugal - CT1END
  6. Lithuania - LY1CZ
  7. England - M6JEP
  8. Oman - A45XR
  9. Sardinia - IS0MAM
  10. Greece - SV2HZT
  11. Russia - R3TJI
  12. Asiatic Russia - R0AHN
  13. Spain - EA5XC
  14. Hungary - HA0HH
  15. Ukraine - UW5KW
  16. Italy - IK8NSR
  17. Ceuta & Melilla - EA9ACD
  18. Finland - OH2FQV
  19. Austria - OE6HFF
  20. Iceland - TF3IG
  21. Japan - JA2ATE
  22. Dodecanese Islands - SV5BYP
  23. Romania - YO2UH
  24. Bosnia & Hercegovina - E76C
  25. Slovenia - S51CN
  26. Croatia - 9A7DA
  27. USA - K1SND
  28. Sweden - SM7D
  29. Bulgaria - LZ2INP
  30. Republic of Macedonia - Z33F

I completed the journey home, aided by a few good natters on 2m FM along the way. Now, back on the road again for tonight’s show in Blackpool. Possibility of a late SOTA activation afterwards.


#67

Sunday 21st October 2018 - Winter Hill G/SP-010

Gig: Joe Longthorne
Venue: Viva Blackpool

So after the show I quickly packed up my gear and headed home - via Winter Hill!

Two contacts made on 2m FM with the handheld.

Monday 22nd October 2018 - Winter Hill G/SP-010

Also two contacts made on 2m FM with the handheld. The same two stations I’d worked from this hill “the previous day”.

On the drive back to Macclesfield, I joined a late night net on 2m FM with Dave G7RYN and Ron G7GQF - who were the same two stations yet again!


#68

I think I’m going to fail the Challenge. Can’t see me bagging a further 70 DXCCs on FT8 with my FT-817 in the next 39 hours! Never mind - it was fun!


#69

Yep. Challenge failed. I know I am 40 years too old for it anyway - but I’ll try again sometime!

Thursday 25th October 2018 - Billinge Hill G/SP-017

Gig: Joe Longthorne
Venue: Viva Blackpool

Early start from Macclesfield with a soundcheck called for 1130 BST - 71 miles away from home! I set off at 0900 in order to allow a SOTA en route - but only time for a VHF handheld effort from a very trivial summit!

Thanks to Helen M0TMD and Greg M0NZO who were the only stations worked.

Later that afternoon there was an amusing moment on stage in the middle of the show. In between songs, Joe surprised me by turning to me and asking “Have you been up a hill this morning?”. I told him, and he turned to the audience and asked “Any of you heard of Billinge Hill?”. To my further surprise, there was quite a loud and numerous response of “Yes”!


#70

Friday 26th October 2018 - Gun G/SP-013

Gig: Motown Gold
Venue: Forever Green, Mansfield

Just 8 QSOs on this one - three on 2m FM, testing a possible new SOTABEAMS product, and five on 20m FT8.

No new DXCCs added on FT8. It’s going to take me a bit longer than a week to clock up 100 I think.

No mention of Gun during tonight’s wedding gig!


#71

Saturday 27th October 2018 - The Cloud G/SP-015 & Gun G/SP-013

Gig: Furious Styles
Venue: The Firepit, Rawtenstall

The obvious summit to tag in with a gig in Rossendale, Lancashire, would be Hail Storm Hill G/SP-009, with a couple of its most frequented approach routes originating in the Rossendale Valley. I’d already done that one, and its neighbour Freeholds Top G/SP-011 though in 2018 - so i just did my local pair during the afternoon before setting off.

On The Cloud, I made three contacts, two on 2m C4FM, one on 2m analogue FM.

On Gun, I also made three contacts, all 2m FM, including S2S with Jordan on Y Garn GW/NW-004 - his last of three on a day on the Glyders.


#72

Sunday 28th October 2018 - The Cloud G/SP-015

Gig: Joe Longthorne
Venue: Viva Blackpool

I woke up around 9am. First job was to catch up on the previous evening’s Match of the Day, recorded on the Tivo box. Second job was to get a wiper blade replaced. Third was to walk up The Cloud, do some FT8 and a little bit of the CQWW SSB.

It’s the peace and solitude I go to Cloud summit for. It was about as peaceful and uncrowded as 14.100 to 14.350MHz was at that very time.

A total of 48 QSOs made, utlising 2 bands and 5 modes:

20m FT8: 8
20m SSB: 28
20m CW: 7
2m FM: 3
2m C4FM (Fusion): 2


#73

Tuesday 30th October 2018 - Hoove G/NP-024

Gig: Joe Longthorne
Venue: Billingham Forum

A substantial leg of the tour kicked off first thing. I finalised a musical arrangement of “That’s Life” into “My Way” - for Joe’s Frank Sinatra impression - then hit the roads north - A34, M60, M61, M6 and A66 being the main ones.

I’d been to the parking spot by the County Durham / Teesdale / Richmondshire border signs in late 2017 - but I didn’t have map and compass with me, and I wisely decided I wasn’t venturing onto that featureless moor in low visibility without them, even though it was a relatively short walk.

On that occasion, I did Little Mell Fell G/LD-037 instead en route to the next gig in Scotland, but this time - I had my map and compass!

The approach was a boring and tedious slog, 30 minutes to cover about a mile, carefully placing each footstep, and even a little faith the feet didn’t disappear into unseen deep puddles - which they did - twice.

Several shooters’ hides were passed before the final ascent up steeper and former ground. Eventually I could see the trig point and the depression in the ground beside it.

I set up the 20m GP in the big hole in the ground, and set in there myself affording complete shelter. I started on FT8 and made 5 QSOs. The plan was then to chase some of the exotic DX CQing on FT8 - VP6D, HC, EA9 etc, then move onto CW for the chasers. However, some heavy drizzle kicked in and threatened to seriously dampen everything.

I started packing away, reluctantly completing the activation early. The rain stopped, but I was almost packed up, so I finished and commenced the return walk to the car. Before leaving the summit I did try calling on 2m FM, but no takers.

It was then an hour’s drive to Billingham on Teesside and set up/soundcheck. I then accompanied the bandleader and road crew to the local Chinese restaurant for some food before doing the show. Finally onto the digs in Darlington before tomorrow’s drive to Scotland.


#74

Wednesday 31st October 2018 - Little Mell Fell G/LD-037 & Great Mell Fell G/LD-035

Gig: Joe Longthorne
Venue: Gaiety Theatre, Ayr

Setting out from the digs in Darlington, the first stop was a butty van on the A66 for breakfast. It was a glorious sunny morning, but sadly that would not last. Once I was in Cumbria and up at the first parking spot, it was cold and wet. Nonetheless, I was on my own so I decided to go for it anyway.

It was blowing a gale and a fishing pole wouldn’t have lasted two minutests. I decided to leave the rucksack in the car and gamble on just the 2m handheld in my coat pocket.

Well actually I placed the HT along with logbook and smartphone in an Exped dry bag and then into my coat pocket, thus giving suitable protection against the wet weather.

The ascent of LD-037 is steep, but short, and only takes around 20 minutes. At the summit I made my four QSOs quickly with ease, so I soon turned round and descended.

A short drive took me next to the start point for Great Mell Fell G/LD-035. This walk was more like 40 minutes each way and care was needed on several steep muddy treacherous sections.

Seven QSOs were made from the summit - one on 2m C4FM, the rest on analogue FM.

Next was the two hour drive to Ayr and the Gaiety Theatre for the gig. After soundcheck we adjourned to the local Wetherspoons for haggis, neeps and tatties.

Finally up to Glasgow for the night’s digs. Heading further north tomorrow.


#75

Thursday 1st November 2018 - Arthur’s Seat GM/SS-272

Gig: Joe Longthorne
Venue: Rothes Hall, Glenrothes

Waking up in my digs in Glasgow, and checking online stuff, I was heartened to note the increasing interest in this thread in “the other place”.

My landlady was about to embark on a two hour public transport commute to work - but suggested that she could cook me a breakfast if I could give her a lift. That sounded like a deal to me.

It was on my way over to Edinburgh anyway, so that was fine. My satnav led me to somewhere unanticipated, so I had to follow my nose around to the main road access into Holyrood Park.


Earlier I had phoned up the estate office and secured permission to erect an antenna and operate for a couple of hours.

The summit was busy as usual, but I found a clear and sheltered spot on the west side where I could just about get my 20m GP up without getting I anyone’s way.

It was a pleasant session on the radio. 38 QSOs were made as follows:

2m FM: 4
2m C4FM: 2
20m FT8: 5
20m CW: 27

I was particularly gruntled to work SOTA friends Christine GM4YMM, Ken GM0AXY and Robert GM4GUF during the activation. Afterwards I suffered the tedium of escaping the Edinburgh traffic as I made my way to the gig in Glenrothes.
That went well, then I drove back down to the capital for the night’s digs.

Day off tomorrow - so heading towards Berwick and a cluster of border summits.


#76

Friday 2nd November 2018 - Sell Moor Hill GM/SS-211 & Black Hill GM/SS-253

Today was a day off in this Scottish leg of the tour. I had hoped to also activate Linton Hill GM/SS-263 and thus repeat the trio done the day after we completed the Pennine Way back in 2006. Not having a similar amount of daylight at my disposal put paid to that.

Now I know I do lots of night-time activating, but identifying unfamiliar parking spots and start points is taxing after dark.

I had stayed in some lovely theatrical digs in Edinburgh, with a lady called Jane, a retired headteacher. She was very kind and made me supper and gave me a beer when I arrived at 11pm last night, and gave me breakfast in the morning - even though none of this was part of the deal!

I then headed south past lots and lots of SOTA-looking hills - I do really hope M0HGY joins me the next time we tour GM!

The satnav took me up an unfamiliar farm track, so I needed to stop, consult different maps, and turn back. I did then find the long lay-by opposite a small wood, and the start of the route up the very gentle grassy slope of Sell Moor Hill GM/SS-211.

It was a stunning day for November. Mild temperature, bright sunshine, not a cloud in the sky and just the slightest breeze - lovely.

There were no replies on 2m FM/C4FM, but plenty on 20m. Ten QSOs each were made on FT8 and CW.

Next was Black Hill GM/SS-253. This time the satnav delivered the goods and deposited me exactly in the anticipated parking spot on country lanes beyond Earlston.

I walked up the track to Whitefield farm, then turned right to follow the PROW, which took the obvious ridge line right up to the summit. A rarity these days - the trig point was uncapped, and the cavity deep enough to take nearly the whole bottom section of the SOTA pole. Thus setting up the 20m GP and getting the radials nicely spaced was especially easy.

Just two calls were completed on 20m FT8. Switching to CW brought a further 8 QSOs, five of which were stateside - including Alaska! Again, there were no takers on 2m FM.

I drove past Linton Hill, but didn’t really fancy it in the dark, plus I’d pre-booked a two course evening meal at Berwick YHA. The hostel was superb, housed with a bistro, conference rooms and an art gallery in the old granary buildings - which lean more than the famous tower in Pisa as a result of a great fire in 1815. The food and beer were superb, the WiFi strong and fast, dormitory clean and comfortable with en-suite bathroom with excellent power shower. Highly recommended.

Now to start planning the SOTAs for Saturday, ahead of the big gig at Glasgow Pavilion - in my opinion, always the best night of the year on the Joe Longthorne tour.


#77

Saturday 3rd November 2018 - Housedon Hill G/SB-010 & Linton Hill GM/SS-263

Gig: Joe Longthorne
Venue: Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow

This was a strange SOTA day where I activated a summit in England, then drove south to activate a summit in Scotland!

For Housedon Hill I headed to the hamlet of Reedsford and parked on some space beside the road close to the footbridge. I then walked up the walled track ascending gently and continuing along the right edge of fields.

At the highest point, I turned right through a gate then followed a gently rising and curving quad bike track to the summit. I’m sure this was different to the route I did with Jimmy M0HGY some years ago - it seemed much easier and more enjoyable.


The wind was incredibly strong at the summit but I couldn’t get any response to VHF calls on the handheld. I had to drop a few metres to find a relatively sheltered spot and set up the 20m GP as best I could.

It wasn’t a day for “playing radio”, so I decided upon CW and stuck to that. 17 contacts were made including S2S with HB9BIN/P on HB/FR-049.

The descent was quick and easy on this route and took barely 20 minutes.

From Housedon Hill G/SB-010, I set the satnav to direct me to Linton Hill GM/SS-263.

The route began along a muddy farm track, becoming a walled track as it ascended. It then opened out into large fields and it was just a matter of continuing straight ahead.

I’m glad I didn’t attempt this in the dark the previous night - it was much further to walk then I’d recalled!

The summit was extremely windy, but I set up using one of the transmitter complex buildings as shelter. I made 13 QSOs on 20m CW, then one on 70cm FM.

I now had a 100 mile journey to Glasgow for work. The journey was accompanied by BBC Radio 5 Live on DAB, and the England-South Africa rugby commentary and news of all the goals in the football.

Work was a particular pleasure on this evening. A capacity audience of 1400+ was in the theatre to see Joe, and they made it a great night. Joe asked me in the show what hills I’d been up again!

The other band and crew were heading back to Blackpool after the show, the location of Sunday’s gig, and where several of them live. I booked some digs in Glasgow though, and planned a couple of G/LD activations on the way down.


#78

Must have been good, Glasgow Pavilion audiences have a reputation for not tolerating any sub-standard performance and tend to make their opinions known - usually vocally and with vegetables :wink:


#79

I think the chance of getting a VHF handheld contact on SB-010 must be about a billion to one. I struggled with 50 watts VHF SSB into a 3 ele SOTAbeam to get contacts from there. Your activation location looks very familiar in so far as I recognised it even before I read which summit you activated.


#80

Sunday 4th November 2018 - Hallin Fell G/LD-043 & Lambrigg Fell G/LD-046

Gig: Joe Longthorne
Venue: Viva Blackpool

My day started watching some of the Sunday morning repeat of Match of the Day at my digs in Glasgow. I then got on the road on a beautiful bright sunny Sunday morning, taking in a nice cooked breakfast at Cairn Lodge services on the A74(M).

I exited the M6 onto the A66 as I had done four days earlier when heading for the Mells. But upon reaching Ullswater, this time I turned left and headed through Pooley Bridge around to the south of the lake, through Howtown and up to the parking area by St Peter’s church.

The gradient up Hallin Fell from here is unrelenting, but the walk is very short, and it’s barely a quarter of an hour to the summit.

Using just my FT70D handheld, I made QSOs, four on 2m FM and one on 2m C4FM.

The descent was, as might be expected, even quicker than the ascent, and I headed back to the M6 motorway.

After Hallin Fell G/LD-043, I drove down to J37 for Lambrigg Fell G/LD-046, which is almost adjacent to the junction!

I parked in the wide road entrance to Roan Quarry, kitted up with waterproofs and set off along the footpath opposite. Sometimes I walk along the access road to the first wind turbine then head up the rough grass to the wall at the summit. On this road occasion I followed the footpath almost to the gate in the wall corner, then picked up the quadbike track to the summit.

I was hoping for a quick handheld VHF activation, and the first two QSOs came easily. There was then a nervy 15 minute silence until I added two more 2m FM contacts, and one on C4FM for good measure.

Down the M6 and M55 to Blackpool, I ran into a very slow moving promenade for the Illumination nations at the end of half-term week. We did the last show of Joe’s Sunday residency, then I headed home to Macclesfield.

After a short sleep, it was time to hit the road to Scotland once again - but this time not for work, but for a short family holiday. This post comes to you from the Cairnryan-Belfast ferry.