20th Anniversary Activation

I was hooked by SOTA pretty quickly once I’d found out about the program and I did my very first activation literally days after my first chase.

I chose Pendle Hill, G/SP-005 for my first activation as it was quite near to where I lived at that time and carried bonus points. That was on 28th February 2004, and I activated using 2m FM. I made 13 QSOs, I immediately knew that SOTA was something that I would enjoy doing.

20 years later, to the day, I activated Pendle Hill once again. My SOTA journey has seen me take to hill walking in a big way and also developed my interest in CW and building small, portable rigs.

I completed a Radio Kits Explorer a couple of days before and I was eager to test it out on air. First I fired up my LA1KHA Challenge RockMites, my self imposed target is to gain at least the first 4 QSOs using my 15m PP3 powered rig. I made a total of 7 PP3 powered contacts on my 15 and 10m RockMites before connecting up the new Explorer rig.

The Explorer rig seemed to work well and it was great to get Gene, NT2A on 20m SSB. Using CW I added Bob, AC1Z and Art, WK2S into my transatlantic log.

Map of Explorer QSOs

Before long it was time to pack up but I did want to try and get some QSOs on 2m FM using the handheld that I started my activations with 20 years ago. Amazingly the original battery still holds charge and I was able to work three stations before I ran out of time.

I’m still as keen as ever after 20 years and I’m working hard to gain my second goat.

73 and see you down the log!



Thanks for a great report, Colin, and many congratulations on 20 years of SOTA!

73, Matthew

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Congrats on twenty years Colin! What a great report and cool story. Only being in my second year of SOTA, I am looking forward to many more adventures to come and my first goat award. Hopefully I can be one of those east coast US contacts on a future QSO map for you and many others.

73 - Chris

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