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The Cloud 2012


Well, what a poor night. After an hour of getting battered by wind and rain on the summit of The Cloud, I had had enough and went home. I had made 20 QSOs into five multipliers. Jimmy did better from the shack. I should have dropped down to the sheltered spot 5m below the trig point. That was a mistake. Hopefully more comfortable conditions in the 70cm next week.



Oops, I see the the reflector thread “Cloud 2012” had slipped off the main SOTAwatch page. This cannot be allowed to happen! Good job therefore that I was on G/SP-015 again on Tuesday night for the 70cm UKAC.

My mood hit rock bottom when I got out of the car at Cloudside and heard the wind blowing through the woods on the side of the hill. I had been beaten off the summit by gales early in the session seven days earlier, resulting in an uncharacteristic pasting in the 2m UKAC. It was a sense of relief when I arrived on summit to find it was just a stiff breeze and no more.

So up went the 70cm SOTA Beam (SB6) and I got off to a decent start in the contest. Things tailed off somewhat later on, and I frustratingly failed to be heard by G4FZN/P (IO94) and GM4JTJ/P (IO86). Also known to be active on the night, but not heard by me (although I would normally expect to in usual conditions) were GI4SNA (IO64) and G0RQL (IO70). Those four contacts made, and I would have won the session. In reality, they were not made, and I can expect no more than a 3rd place. By 10.30pm, I had made 55 QSOs (50 SSB, 4 FM and 1 CW), into 10 multiplier squares.

At this stage last year, I was still unbeaten after two events. This year, I am still waiting for my first victory. How the mighty have fallen.

I didn’t go for a pint at the Harrington Arms - because I was sulking.

73, Tom M1EYP


In reply to M1EYP:

At this stage last year, I was still unbeaten after two events. This
year, I am still waiting for my first victory. How the mighty have

So far this year, I’ve done four activations and managed just 105 QSOs. It seems both the WX and propagation can be cruel mistresses :frowning:

73 mike


In reply to M1EYP:

I did point your way from G/SE-006 (IO90) but only got one contact in IO83.

73, Andrew G4VFL


I was looking for you as well Andrew, for the S2S, and the multiplier. But conditions were rubbish, didn’t you think?



Tuesday 7th February 2012, and forecast to be the coldest night of the year, possibly down to -10 Celcius. As it turned out, the worst it got was -6, but that was plenty cold enough for this SOTA & contest station on the summit of The Cloud G/SP-015.

My bothy bag was essential for periods of respite from the cold, although in terms of rotating the beam, and the fabric flapping about in the wind it was unconvenient. Ultimately, this restricted my performance on a disappointing night. Many stations were heard but not worked, and the multiplier count was well down. I just never got a decent rhythm going to my operating.

In the end it was 66 QSOs, all on 2m SSB. Still one or two stations persist in coming back to me saying “We’ve already worked”. I insist that we haven’t and give them a report, serial number and locator. “No, we’ve definitely already worked, but I had your locator as IO83WG, not IO83WE” they continue. I suggest that they must have worked my son Jimmy M3EYP earlier in the contest, to which they reply that this QSO therefore won’t count as a separate one. I point out that the station of M3EYP is located seven miles away in a comfortably heated shack, in contrast to the station of M1EYP/P on an exposed summit at six degrees below freezing, and hence I should imagine that the adjudicators would regard us as distinct, as I lightly bang my head against the brick topograph.

After packing up, I paused to enjoy the rest of my coffee under a very bright moon, before heading downhill. My fingers were swollen and aching from the cold as I reached the car. While driving, my left hand soon recovered, but the discomfort remained in my right hand. I reasoned that some theraputic lifting up and down of a pint pot might cure the ailment. Sure enough, 15 minutes at the Harrington Arms in Gawsworth did the trick. I couldn’t resist asking the barmaid for a Long Kiss Goodnight (guest ale), a Black Bush and a beef pie. I was pain-free in no time.

Well, that’s four contests into 2012 now, and still no win. It was four wins out of four this time last year. The bigger they come, the harder they fall.



In reply to M1EYP:

The weather was not much better in the “Sunny South” on G/SE-010 but I was with the UKAC shelter to get out of the wind. I pointed in your direction but worked nothing in IO83. Here is my spread.


BTW the GPS shows the summit trig point as JO00bu but the SOTA database shows it as JO00bt.

Andrew G4VFL


In reply to G4VFL:

but the SOTA database shows it as JO00bt.

Now you know your GPS is not as accurate as you thought!



In reply to G4VFL:

BTW the GPS shows the summit trig point as JO00bu but the SOTA database shows it as JO00bt.

It’s one of those summits right on the line, where part of the activation zone’s in one and the rest is in the other. The Google maps aerial photo also shows the trig point inside JO00bu, but it looks like more than half the activation zone is probably in JO00bt…

73, Rick M0LEP


In reply to M0LEP:

Converting between NGR and Maidenhead locators is imprecise.

The summit is at TQ485059. By definition. That is simply because that is the RHB definition of the summit’s top.

All other position references are subject to varying degrees of uncertainty coming from differing datums, mathematical precision errors, GPS errors etc. The summit may be recorded wrong as well. But until the RHB say otherwise TQ485059 it is.

The NGR is referenced to the OSGB-36 datum. GPS coordinates use WGS-84. OSGB-36 datum fits the UK and is less optimal for worldwide references unlike WGS-84. So you have to convert from NGR to lat,long OSGB-36 then convert to WGS-84 then you can convert lat & long to Maidenhead then you can use the GPS reading.

Without looking I don’t know if JO00bt is using the OSGB-36 datum or WGS-84 datum. So it may be right or wrong or both. All at the same time!

This is why maps, mapping and GIS are so much fun as everything is wobbly to some greater or lesser degree.



In reply to MM0FMF:

This is why maps, mapping and GIS are so much fun as everything is wobbly to some greater or lesser degree.

Indeed! Datums and co-ordinate system conversions are great for muddling things. There’s a whole lot of explanation at the Greenwich Observatory museum about “Why doesn’t my GPS show zero on the Meridian?” :wink:

In reply to M1EYP:

I couldn’t resist asking the barmaid for a Long Kiss Goodnight (guest ale),

Heh! One of the beers at the hotel at which I was staying last weekend was called “Heavenly Blonde”…

73, Rick M0LEP


In reply to M0LEP:

This thread could be considered to be verging on the offensive in some quarters.




In reply to G3CWI:
Knew I’d seen a story of that ilk somewhere recently… Really should have remembered that the Houses were involved… :wink:

73, Rick M0LEP


In reply to G3CWI:

This thread could be considered to be verging on the offensive in
some quarters.


Dorothy Goodbody “goes down beautifully every time”!


Walt (G3NYY)


In reply to G3NYY:
Please post the co-ordinates of the offensive quarters. Sounds constructive, suitable and friendly. I’ll hie me there post haste when next I’m on your side of the pond.



In reply to K6ILM:

LOL! Dorothy Goodbody’s ales are the preferred local tipple in and around the city of Hereford!

Walt (G3NYY)


Apologies for the thread hijack guys, but I want to mention my activation of The Cloud G/SP-015 in the 6m UKAC on Tuesday 28th February 2012. It was my mum’s 67th birthday, but fortunately she had gone with mates for a few days in Scotland that morning, so there was no expectation upon me to join her for the evening!

However, there were other appointments to deal with, so I was a bit last minute, eventually leaving the house at 7pm. I must have made good time and feeling in good shape, for I was on the summit in good time at 1940z. The 6m delta loop was erected, and I made my first contact at 2001z.

By 2230z, the end of the contest session, I had made 60 QSOs into 13 multiplier squares. Unfortunately, I was pipped, again, by G4HGI who recorded four less contacts than me, but one more multiplier (and lots more kms).

Still, it was nice to do a contest from The Cloud in “reasonably” comfortable weather for the first time in months! Thanks to all callers.



I cringed as I ascended The Cloud G/SP-015 on the evening of Tuesday 6th March 2012. The wind was up again, and I also knew that rain was on its way later. When was I ever going to get a calm evening to allow me to become challenging again in the UKACs? Perhaps I just got lucky with my campaigns in 2011!

As I arrived at the trig point and topograph, it was not as wild as I had anticipated during the ascent, so I decided to set up right on the summit. The topograph gives good shelter for the operator anyway. I was set up with plenty of time to spare, so had a quick natter with Macclesfield regulars Dennis G8RDO and Peter G4FPJ on 2m FM as part of the equipment testing procedure.

After 2000z, I got going into a decent rhythm, and worked plenty of stations, both running on 144.315MHz SSB and S & P around the band. My only difficulty was the noise from 400 watt station Chris G8APB about 1km to my south! The multiplier count was good, with IO64, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 91, 92, 93, 94 and JO01, 02, 03 all worked. Brian MW6OXO/P was missed for IO72 square, as was the DX from ON, PA, DL and F. JO00 was briefly heard, but not worked.

After 2130z, the temperature dropped, the wind picked up and the rain came in from the west. Things became much more difficult with me having to hang onto things for dear life, re-tighten the guys for the mast and huddle in a bothy bag that was trying to leave the summit, and making an even worse racket than G8APB around my head! This all conspired to dramatically reduce my QSO rate, which became dismal between 2130 and 2200z, and then pathetic for the last half hour.

I finished with 75 contacts in 17 multipliers, and a good spread of distant stations, but nothing outside the UK. I expect to finish in the top few, but no better than 3rd or 4th. The total for the activation, was 77 contacts, all 2m, with 74 on SSB, 1 on CW and 2 on FM. Good to work John GW4BVE, Jimmy M3EYP, Dave M0MYA, Matt G8XYJ, Pete M0COP, Brian G0JCQ, Mark G0VOF, Ivan G3IZD, Rob G0HRT, Roger G0TRB, Ron GW4EVX, Keith G8HXE, Paul M0PNN and Roger 2E0BMO from SOTA circles. I also heard Dave G6LKB and Carolyn G6WRW on the band but didn’t get to work them. Many thanks to all callers.



In reply to M1EYP:
Hi Tom,
Congrats on your 75 contacts on Tuesday, 144mhz contest.
I ventured up to the Mendips, near Beacon Batch SC-003, quite a good site and managed 31 contacts with the 3 el SOTA beam but didn’t hear you !

One question: Was hoping for some CW contacts during the contest but nil heard.
Called CQ on 144.050 with no results - do people monitor this freq for contest qso’s or use same SSB freqs if struggling?

73 Peter TJE+


Hi Peter,

Would have loved a QSO in your direction. Next time maybe.

Yes, the CW in the 2m and 70cm UKACs tends to be on the same SSB frequencies. The most common is when entrants are struggling to complete and one of them starts sending in CW to improve his chances of getting through. One of the GM stations started calling CQ in CW on Tuesday, on the same QRG as he was calling in SSB, and that was my one CW contact.

In the 6m UKAC, one station G3ZOD calls all through the night on 50.092MHz CW and makes around 6 or 7 QSOs!