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Well done everyone!


#1

Well, what can I say ? I was a little bit tentative on the drive up to GW/NW-062 this evening, thinking to myself, I hope I don’t end up with egg on my face after my spur of the moment idea of trying to start regular sota fun evenings throughout the summer months. I had this vision of being the only summit on air and everyone having a laugh at my expense!! “Oh ye of little faith”…

SOTA was the clear winner tonight.

We did it lads, it went perfectly, even the wx was on our side!! what an evening!! It’s purely up to us now, we HAVE to keep this thing going.

Congratulations and thanks to all of the activators who took part and the many chasers who spotted and chased us, it was terrific team work all round.

Staying on 2m-fm and ssb for the first hour was definately the right decision and proved just how valuable 2m can be for summit use.

I apologise to those of you who might have looked for me on 40m cw/ssb and 60m-ssb but the situation was beyond my control.
There were three scrambling bikes whizzing around the radio station complex and I thought it too dangerous to deploy any type of antennas, a swift dash to the other side of the summit didn’t help, normal access through the farm was barred so I was forced to set up in the only remaining spot which would put me in the activation zone and hf antennas were out of the question.

My set up was so simple…7ah slab, FT-817 with 5w and a sotabeam set up on a 7 metre telescopic pole and swapped from vertical to horizontal polarisation when going to singl side band.

Although the most basic of set ups, I managed 25 contacts including a very rare contact with M3HJD, thanks for the natter Lauren and a superb six summit to summits with…
Steve G1INK/P on sp-004, Sam M0SJJ/P on ld-049, John GW4BVE/P on mw-027, Derek G1ZJQ/P on sb-001, Ron GW4EVX/P on nw-051 and Tom M1EYP/P on sp-015 Thanks to all for the s2s contacts.

A quick glance at the evenings spots on returning home says it all, so much activity!!
So, come on, when do we do it again?
Do we do it once weekly?
Do we always do the first Tuesday of each month when we can coincide with the backpackers contest.
Any thoughts on the format, ie 30 mins 2m-fm then 30 mins 2m-ssb, then hf?

Once again, thanks to all concerned.

vy 73 Mike GW0DSP


#2

In reply to GW0DSP:
I was a bit late on CE002 due to a navigational glitch (Me: turn left here, Her: where?) but set up for FM on two and worked a dozen stations including S2S with Tom M1EYP, didn’t hear any others but it was QRM city with every channel occupied two or three deep plus another two hams turned up for an activation, too!

Went down to SSB and retired in a hurry, man, was it overpopulated! Then the XYL decided it was time for a pint (I had bribed her onto Walton Hill with the promise of real ale!) so I was dragged kicking and screaming to the Fountain (and if you believe the reluctance you’d believe anything!)

Whens the next one?

73

Brian G8ADD


#3

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to GW0DSP:
I was a bit late on CE002 due to a navigational glitch (Me: turn left
here, Her: where?)

You didn’t by any chance buy a Tomtom off GW7AAV did you?

Well done on getting out Brian, and yes let’s do it again next week wx allowing.

73 Mike


#4

In reply to GW0DSP:

Nice evening. 2m SSB S2S with GW0DSP, GW4BVE, G1INK and M0COP. Worked a few DKs, PAs, ONs etc but no DX.

73

Richard


#5

In reply to G3CWI:

My apologies Richard, I didn’t realise that you were on a summit. Will that invalidate our qso?

73 Mike


#6

In reply to GW0DSP:

I was on a summit - but not a SOTA one!

73

Richard


#7

In reply to G3CWI:

Ah with you, thanks Richard.

Mike


#8

In reply to GW0DSP:
Well done on the activation night at very short notice Mike. I can’t promise being a regular but will try to get out on the evenings planned when I can.
Sorry I didn’t get on the 2m band. which was down to lack of time and preparation, however I did get a good chance to shake down my kit on HF prior to a holiday in the Isle of Man later this month, when I hope to activate 2 or 3 summits.

I left Pickering at 1700z for Gisborough Moor TW-003 - it’s a round trip of 49 miles via the shortest route past the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge. (One of G1INK’s favourite pubs.)

I used my XYLs little Fiat 4X4 so took the liberty of parking down the track in a gravelled area at NZ 650108. I then walked the path to the east of North Ings Farm, much to the annoyance of a distressed lapwing guarding it’s nest, and the farmers dog. The farmer here is also the gamekeeper on the moor and doesn’t miss a thing up there.

After the 2 mile walk in I was QRV just before 1900z and the signals on the 60m band were stonking in. I deployed from the stone shelter on top of the moor in sea fret - the mist was thick and cold and visibility down to 50m at times, a contrast to the bright sunshine when I left home. TW-003 is only 6 miles from the North Sea.

This is the first time I have humped my FT-857 and 12 AH SLAB up a hill (I normally use and FT-817,) and I will do it again on short walks in. The extra power (I ran 20w) made quite a difference.
On previous activations I ran an inverted vee cut for 40m fed with open wire line and an LDG ATU. This time I tried 2 seperate dipoles cut for 40m and 60m fed independently with RG-179 (VERY thin coax,) and set on the SOTApole at right angles to one another. There wasn’t any interaction and I got out well. 40m SSB was once again disappointing, after calling CQ on 7059 KHz using 50 watts, the clearest spot I could find at that time of night, I only made one QSO with Don G0RQL. On 60m SSB I made 11 QSOs and on 40m CW also 11 QSOs. Time was running out and I had to forget about 2m SSB - the antenna input on the FT-857 is N-type and I only had BNC on my coax to the SOTA yagi - an adaptor is required if I try to activate 2m with the FT-857 next time!
The gamekeeper came from the farm in his landrover to meet me on the walk back. He was curious what I was up to (this happened the last time I was up there, so he knows about SOTA) but was in better mood since our last encounter.

One thing that surprised me was the amount left in the 12 AH SLAB when I got back - more than 50% charge remaining, despite the heavy drain from the FT-857 with the fan running etc, so it would have lasted for another one or two summits, but I’m not sure if I could have carried that amount of gear up them!

Wildlife seen:
One hare
One grouse
Numerous lapwing curlew and rabbits
No Merlin, but there are some up there I was told.

DXCC worked: 9
Best DX: OK1HRA

73 and thank’s to the spotters and all who I contacted.

Phil G4OBK
Total 23 QSOs


#9

In reply to GW0DSP:

Well it turn out well Mike looking at the spots, I did work Steve (G1INK/P SP-004-FM) 1st time I have had a contact from that side here in York he was 53 but made the trip.

I also called Mick on 28.450 I could hear him but just didn’t get through, I also had contacts with some of the 2m contesters in Scotland welsh Wales and some local chaps on the moors but still a good evening.

Sorry to hear M3HJD was not up for the trip to the summit Mick hope she’s better for the next one.

Terry

G0VWP


#10

In reply to G4OBK:

Hi Phil

That explains why I never heard you on 2m, hi, I was looking forward to the contact/s2s with you.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t erect a hf antenna last night due to circumstances out of my control, maybe next time Phil.
I hear you from my home qth on 2m and always get a cracking signal from you on 60m-ssb and 40m-cw.

A great night for sots though and we must try our best to keep it going now.

73 de Mike


#11

Just out of interest… did anyone spin their beams around to the south and hear anything from me on Wendover Woods G/CE-005 between 1845 and 1935 UTC on 2m FM?

I might have missed the odd call with my desense. Just curious…

73 Marc G0AZS


#12

Marc, I was beaming south on 2m FM between 1930 and 2000 UTC. Didn’t hear you though. 2m SSB next week?


#13

Marc, I was beaming south on 2m FM between 1930 and 2000 UTC.
2m SSB next week?

Hi Tom

I might have just missed you.

I’ll try 10W (or whatever I can poke into the Sotabeam) of 2M SSB next time when I have the SLAB charged etc. Bear in mind the gates at Wendover Woods are locked at 2000 UTC so operating after 1945 UTC is a squeeze.

73 Marc G0AZS


#14

In reply to G0AZS:

I spun my beam all over the place, however due to a mini pileup, I was restricted to operating on S22 instead of my prefered M.O. of floating around. Once the FM pile had finished it was 20mins after the published SSB time, so I re-oriented the antenna & went to SSB. Maybe next time.
Steve G1INK.


#15

In reply to G0AZS:

Bear in mind the gates at Wendover Woods are locked at 2000 UTC

The gates at Swunside G/LD-057 are always locked - this doesn`t deter the adventurous activator ;-))


#16

Bear in mind the gates at Wendover Woods are locked at 2000 UTC

Can you still access the trig point on Aston Hill (via PROW) after this time? That is in the AZ and nearly as high, plus it’s well away from any trees. You could then park somewhere along the nearby road.


#17

In reply to GW0DSP:

That was an excellent fun evening. I had a slightly different experience to Marc…I didn’t have enough time to work everyone or use all the planned band/modes without going into “contest mode”

I started at 1814 utc on 2m SSB and worked 18 stations including S2S with GW0DSP/P, G1INK/P, 2E0BYA/P and G1ZJQ/P. When the contest started I moved to 5MHz to work another 13 stations, most of them regular chasers. There is a little bit of steep rock to get down near the summit of Moel y Golfa, which I wanted to do in good light, so I packed up around 1940 without going on 2m FM or 14MHz.

Apologies to those I missed especially those on summits - G0AZS/P and G4OBK/P are the ones I know about.

Don G0RQL pointed out that my self spot for 2m was for NW-027 and not MW-027, which was the correct summit. Thanks for that Don and sorry for the confusion.

Mike. I think the weather is the main thing you need to organise for these evening activations :slight_smile: Seriously it may be better to do them at fairly short notice when there is some stable rain free weather across the country.

73 John GW4BVE


#18

Can you still access the trig point on Aston Hill (via PROW) after
this time? That is in the AZ and nearly as high, plus it’s well away
from any trees. You could then park somewhere along the nearby road.

Hi Tom

Yes you can…BUT… there have been a few of “no parking” signs (and the occasional cone in the road) put up on the road around the PROW route to the trig point and of course the Aston Bikers car park is off limits unless they are there and you can sweet talk them.

I think the house near the path to the trig point may have been getting a bit ticked off with walkers who parked nearby and didn’t want to pay to park in the Woods area.

In any case, I have an annual pass for the Woods so that’s not an issue but I may well scout a safe, suitable spot that can be used for parking after 2000 UTC.

BTW My last couple of activation spots are away from the trig point near one of the lay bys on the access road with a nice view and a comfy bench :slight_smile: It’s still well within “the zone” though.

73 Marc G0AZS

PS If anyone comes to activate G/CE-005, let me know beforehand, my pass may well save you a couple of quid to park in the Woods :slight_smile:


#19

In reply to GW4BVE:

In reply to GW0DSP:
Mike, I think the weather is the main thing you need to organise for
these evening activations :slight_smile: Seriously it may be better to do them
at fairly short notice when there is some stable rain free weather
across the country.

73 John GW4BVE

Hi John, terrific wasn’t it and great for sota promotion. I was pleasantly surprised at the numbers who turned out and the volume of chasers spotting/chasing for us.
We MUST keep this going through the summer months now John, same format, 1st hour(ish) on 2-fm/ssb, then anything goes.

I agree 100% on the short notice because of the UK wx, it can be arranged at short notice due to the nature of it, ie grab your rucksck and dash up your local summit.
It doesn’t matter a hoot if we don’t get any activator points, the real value of the exercise is the pure fun of the event and more importantly, raising the awareness of the sota programme.

I’ll be looking for you again next time.

73 Mike GW0DSP


#20

importantly, raising the awareness of the sota programme.

Well I would say that 75% (3) of my QSO’s did that to non-chasers last night :slight_smile: