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SOTA on tour


according to a 2015 whiskey auction website a bottle identical to yours number 431 was sold for £130.


Pity I missed you Andrew.

After the gig last night, I drove south down the M74 and M6, dropping two band members in Penrith and another in Bolton-le-Sands. I was OK up to that point but then I hit the “wall”.

I only made it to Forton Services where I pulled in and had a sleep in the car. I was now fancying an activation of Winter Hill G/SP-015. I added the waypoint to the route on my satnav and made my way up the access road to the huge transmission site.

It was now around 5am on Friday 22nd December 2017 so I reclined the seat and and another sleep! I awoke at daylight and went for a walk with my handheld. It took nearly an hour to get the four contacts but I’m sure the strong commercial transmissions on the site were desensing my VX7.

Later the same day (today), it was yet more tip runs as part of my mum’s flat move, and a visit to my 102 year old Nanna with Jimmy M0HGY.

We then went up The Cloud G/SP-015 to check out our 2m set-ups which had some issues.

We managed to pin the problems to the feed point of Jimmy’s antenna, and the coax feeder of mine. Next job will be to fix (or replace) them. We both made several contacts each on 2m FM.


I share your regard for fine malts, but Famous Mouse is perfectly adequate to mix with ginger wine or add to a cup of tea on a cold day! On the other hand, the run-off from the windscreen would probably lift the paint…


I have to say, it all tastes much the same to me and I drink it neat or with a little water, same with red wine which is why I never pay more than £4 a bottle for it in Aldi. I think most of my taste buds and much of my sense of smell went south some years ago…

Thank’s to M0VED for the details of the Whisky Auction site. It will likely go on that into the new year. I’m not going to drink it, when I can buy several bottles of Grouse with the winnings! Sorry Andy…


I’m reporting this off-topic nonsense to the moderator.


Come on Tom it’s Christmas!


Bah! Humbug!


Yes, most blends are OK as something to mix to make long drinks or cocktails. I was pleasantly surprised just how good JW’s Black Label was. But it’s more expensive than some single malts in the supermarkets.

You need to do lots of research by drinking as many and as much as you can so you can spot the good stuff. And you have to keep practicing… that is the essential part!

ASDA were selling of Tamnavulin Single Malt Double Cask for £20/bottle. That’s the malt that is used to make Chivas Regal, an expensive blended whisky. Bargain at that price.

To bring this back on topic, La Santa is still being made Tom, I thought they’d stopped it.


Photos for the Lambrigg Fell, Winter Hill and The Cloud activations have been edited into the reports above.


Crikey! Famous Mouse is a luxury brand at my local Asda. Typical Scots, keeping all the good stuff at home…


Certainly we do. We make sure we keep the good stuff back home! Check out the Scottish Malt Whisky Society in Edinburgh. We had our Christmas company meal there and the company picked up the bar bill. 24 glasses of privately bottled whisky cost about £175. Was it worth it? Well someone else paid so of course. Would I have spent over £7 / glass? Having tasted what was on offer, that cost would not deter me. That’s how good it was!


I’m with a different band (Biscuit Brothers - http://www.biscuitbrothers.co.uk ) tonight. Oswaldtwistle is another of those places I learned about as a by-product of SOTA, passing by that area to get to some of the further SP, or nearer NP summits.

Therefore, several summits around Central Lancashire could have been on the agenda, but time has beaten me - so it is a walk up The Cloud G/SP-015 with the VX7 in the next hour if I am going to keep the run of daily activations going.

Hope some chasers are monitoring S20!


…5 QSOs on 2m FM. Some nice chats. Thank you!


I carried the full pack with battery, 817 and 40m dipole to the summit on Christmas Eve, Sunday 24th December 2017. On arriving at the top, and feeling how windy it was, I decided just to do 2m FM handheld anyway!

A mystery was the car parked on Red Lane. It was already there when I got there, and had an aerial on a magmount until on the roof, and a rig inside. It had a sign stating “SOT 2017” in the windscreen. I was therefore expecting to meet another activator at the summit.

I didn’t though, and no other spots for The Cloud G/SP-015 have appeared. The car was still there after I descended.


Fast forward to Sunday 11th February 2018, and the year’s first gig of the 50th Anniversary Joe Longthorne tour. The drive to Blackpool made an early collection of the usually-annual point from Winter Hill G/SP-010 rather convenient.

Not so convenient was the charge capacity of my VX7R playing up. I must admit I’d been somewhat surprised by the speed at which my handheld seemed to be charging back up to full. All was not well.

After only one, albeit ragchew style QSO, it powered down. Drat! Fortunately, the car was only a short walk away, and I had plenty of time to spare. Again, the rig seemed to charge up way too quickly, and the same thing happened, although I had easily qualified by now.

I still had plenty of time though, so again I walked back to the car and did some more charging up. I had the 817 and Tracer battery available but by now I was interested to investigate the VX7’s behaviour a little further.

Five more contacts were made before I descended to the car for a third time and set off for Blackpool, taking the total to twelve for the activation. I put the handie on charge in the car, and this time it seemed to be charging properly. We’ll find out one way or the other tonight!


Hi Tom make up a lead to run it from an external battery.73 Geoff G6MZX


Ooooh, if he’s not careful wiring that cable he’ll let the magic smoke out of the case. Then it wont work at all rather than only working some of the time!

Serious answer. I was going to say your NiCd cells have dendrites. But then I thought no it’s modern, it’ll be NiMHs. But no, the VX7 has an FNB-80 Li-ion battery pack. At this point, I would be concerned. Once Lithium based batteries start playing about, not holding charge, or charging up in moments and behaving all silly then it’s time to buy a new one. Because the cost of a new battery is a hell of a lot less than replacing your car or house after you burned it down trying to squeeze a few more cycles out of the battery.



Time for a new radio. Just bought one.

I’ll give the VX7 one last outing tonight, then it’s going up for sale (with known faults declared!).


OK, Tom, what did you buy as your new radio? Another VX7 ?

73 Ed.