XYL Judy carrying the pole and yagi to and from Hightown Hill GM/SS-273
We were en route to Fife for a few days to attend daughter’s graduation from university. We pulled off the M74 near Lockerbie to activate Hightown Hill, my first of over 1000 activations. This was the heyday of the Yaesu FT-817 and in the UK 2m SSB and the 3 element SOTAbeam produced by G3CWI were very popular.
A few of the Chasers worked in 2005 are still quite active from time to time in SOTA today.
I activated in guest mode with all the radio equipment being Ignacio’s EA2BD for HF and Santi’s EA2BSB for VHF.
The MTR I used that day is now mine after Ignacio EA2BD kindly gave it to me as a present some time ago.
My 2 SOTA mentors and now dear friends of mine: Ignacio EA2BD and Santi EA2BSB to whom I’ll always be grateful for what they introduced me to that day, the SOTA bug, in the summit of Mt. Adi EA2/NV-017:
The 3 activators of that summit that day have been hardly struck (2 directly and 1 indirectly) by different types of cancer since then. One’s outcome was finally successful after a long and hard fight, another’s is apparently almost successful (me) after a not less long and hard fight and the third one is still fighting. All I wish and hope is that after a final successful outcome for all of us, we’ll soon get together again for a joint activation of this beautiful mountain, which I haven’t activated again since then.
Nothing would make me happier than that.
Date: 02/03/2002 | Summit: GW/NW-001 (Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa) |
First day of SOTA, whiteout/blizzard conditions at the top of Snowdon GW/NW-001 hence the poor photo. you can just make out the feedline to my 20m band dipole, I was using my GQ20 transceiver. Only just made the four QSO’s.
I’m rookie in SOTA, until last year I had not united my two passions, the mountain and the radio. My first sota was ea7/gr-003 during an activity with my mountain club AlFarg. Several days in Sierra Nevada climbing summits.
Spent two hours to get those 10 QSO’s, little did I know about (self)spotting.
Also in my log, some familiar callsigns
I walked all around the summit to get there, but only found out AFTER the activation there was a much shorter track.
I carried a backpack and a coolbox with some food and drink.
To the left you see my antenna.
Equipment was FT857D + two 4.5 Ah Dell Laptop batteries, connected together in a homebrew frame via Schottky diodes.
Carried two extra batteries which I could replace one by one without even switching off the rig, nothing would stop me from operating !
Antenna was a “Fuchs” type endfed, 10m of wire, thrown over some trees, and using a small tuning box, no counterpoise.
Coax only 30 cm of RG-174 from rig to tuning box.
Here the operator looking for some protection from the sun.
i made my first sota activation on 12/12/2008 … over 11 years ago. it was a very cold day with little snow on the ground and it took me nearly half an hour to get the required 4 qso’s into my log! i visited my local hill, a 4-pointer, that i had visited a lot of times before:
Colin G8TMV dragged me along to activate G/SE-005 with him on July 18th 2010. I was using an FT-817 for 2 metres (5 contacts for me, 4 for Colin) and 70 cms (no contacts) and Colin also used his Clansman on HF (7 contacts on 20 metres).
It was almost a year (and two licence upgrades and one NoV) before my second activation (which was reported in Sota news august 2011)…
My very first activation, Ben More (GM/SS-001), was not by design or had any planning.
We were visiting Scotland on a Geocaching trip and had on our list the oldest active cache in the UK, Scotlands First (GCF0), located an hour plus climb up the flanks of Ben More. This was to be our 800th cache. The weather was good so we continued, via an unconventional route, to the summit.
I carried my brand new Yaesu FT817 and with its rubber duck called CQ SOTA not expecting any responses. 6 replies and I had activated my first SOTA summit and climbed my first Munro.
My first SOTA Activation was on 28-DEC-2016, Red Screes G/LD-017.
I followed a group up into the freezing cloud and could not believe the traffic on 2m FM when I turned the radio on, I’d hardly had any QSOs up to this point! I got onset hypothermia towards the end, but had caught the bug. Still lots to learn about antennas mind!
The contacts with Chris and Simon were actually s2s with Fan Nedd, GW/SW-007, and were the first of many over the next few years. (This preceded the introduction of the SOTA s2s table.) This one was immediately followed by an unqualified activation of Fan Fawr, GW/SW-005, the first of many occasions when I have crossed the road at Storey Arms and on the following day by Tor-y-Foel, GW/SW-013.
Number four, which does have photos, was Moel y Golfa, GW/MW-027, when Vicki, in due course to become M6BWA/P, went for a walk and appeared on the summit to record the event.
It really is addictive - the next one will be number 1106, not counting the few zero contact attempts - as we are still going ten years on and have been to many hills we would never have visited otherwise - perhaps wisely in some cases