Today I did my 3rd Activation, with considerable more success than my first two (which I only just scraped up the QSOs).
Today I activated Staple Hill G/SC-004 after getting away at 10:30aa from my RV camped just down the road at Hollybush Campsite. A gentle 30 minute stroll up the road and along a forrestry commission track, I setup about 50 metres away from the actual summit, just outside the wooded area, here (change to satellite view to see exactly where I setup).
I used my IC-705, Sotabeams Carbon 6 lightweight mast and Band Hopper II 20m/40m dipole. The bandhopper had a perfect 1:1 SWR on 20m and 1.2:1 on 40m. This is the first time I’ve used these and I’m really delighted with how well they worked and easy they are to put up. I also had a foray into 10m with a simple dipole I constructed myself, but needs a little tuning (I forgot my side-cutters ).
Plenty of contacts were made on both SSB and data (FT8) working both NA and Europe, with a couple of S2S contacts too.
I’m planning climbing Scafell Pike this Easter with some friends who I’ve climbed both Snowdon and Ben Nevis with. I’ll obviously activate Scafell Pike, but I need to get some serious hill walking in over the next weekends to get ready for it! I’ll try and activate some more significant peaks over the next 7 weeks and get match fit, after hiberating over the winter .
& well done on venturing into my home patch of G/SC land with the new antenna setup.
Staple Hill is one of my favs and it can be quite eerie up there if alone on a late afternoon in the winter months. That stretch of fence is great for strapping a pole too but it does get quite muddy in places.
Good luck with the next ones.
73, Lea M0XPO
Congratulations! From my limited experience of G/SC HF was a good choice but for Scafell Pike in Easter you might want to consider a 2m HT. There is lots of 2m activity around in the LD and you may struggle to find the space to fly a dipole.
My first ascent of the mountain was around 1969 and the summit was packed even that long ago. I don’t think the crowds have grown less since then.
While that’s true, my second activation was Scafell Pike with a 2m handheld and I only got 1 QSO.
Mud wasn’t the issue, it was the sheep (at least what they had left behind). They all moved away from my as I got to that end of the field, but there presence had been marked and stepped in twice! Nothing a little moonwalk on the grass didn’t solve .
Whilst I’d like to go prepared to Scafell Pike and take everything, it depends on how much I can rely on my friends to carry (or how much I can sneak into their backpacks without them noticing ).
I’m planning to use the KX2 I’ve recently bought on the more substantial climbs, to save weight, but I’ll consider taking the IC705 and tuner up Scafell as it can do HF +2m/70cms. I’ll take the bandhopper II or an end-fed long wire, to give options, as well as an antenna to cover VHF.
If push comes to shove, I can always sweeten the deal for my friends to act as mules with a pub meal afterwards .
I used my 705 on HF, VHF and UHF today on G/DC-001. It really is the Swiss Army knife of radios. I used a Slim Jim for 2m and it is a good antenna although others prefer the Flower Pot. Both work on a vertical mast and you may be able to get away without guying.
Been planning to make one of these slim jims for a while now, and I’ll be passing Martin Lynch & Sons on the way back home tomorrow, so I guess I’m all out of excuses not to pop in and buy the materials I need
Be accurate with your measurements is my experience. Just 5mm can make a big difference at VHF frequencies. Cut it a bit long and nibble small bits off using the SWR meter on the 705 if you don’t have an analyser.
Thanks for the report, and the activation. I did Scafell Pike just under 2 years ago, and took HF as well as VHF. There was no sensible way of putting an antenna on the summit cairn, which was heaving, but as the activation zone allows up to a 25m descent from the summit there was some space to the south, probably about 15m below the summit cairn and about 100m from the summit. I put up a linked dipole with the longest bit being for 60m, out of the way of the crowds and the paths without too much difficulty. (Probably the hardest bit was trying to find some way of anchoring the mast and guys as tent pegs were a bit useless in the rock…)…
Just a thought but Helvellyn from Wythburn at the end of Thirlmere might be a good practice walk. It is still a big hill, but from that side is significantly easier than Scafell Pike. It also has quite a large summit and would be a good way of practicing. I would expect that you would easily qualify on 2m, but I prefer HF and it is possible on both summits by moving off the main paths to the summit.
It is possible to do HF on Scafell Pike, but be prepared for a rocky landscape. You could maybe tie guy lines to the bigger of the rocks.
A 20m dipole isn’t all that big and easily managed on G/LD-001.
With an alert, 2m should work fine too.
This was my plan, there should be enough bags between me and my friends to tie the guy-lines too, or I could bury the cable winders under some rocks
I live in south-east London, so popping up to the lakes isn’t really an option. I’m Yorkshire by birth, growing up on the north york moors, and lived in the welsh valleys till early last year. I’ll probably do a couple of warm-up weekends in south wales, such as Waun Fach etc. etc. as it’s only a 3 to 4 hour drive for me, where as the lakes are 6 hours+ dependent on traffic and breaks. I’ll probably stick the black mountains, as they tend to be quieter than the Brecon Beacons and a little easier to get too!