Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

A Night on the Tor

Just a quick thanks to all the loyal and dedicated SOTA chasers who took the time to call in so late on Tuesday evening/early Wednesday morning. Many of you have jobs, so to call in so late in the evening, deserves a very special thanks. The activation was a last minute brainstorm, I just chucked a couple of SLABs into the rucksack and drove to G/SP-004 to work some VHF and look for a bit of DX on HF.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do my homework before leaving on Tuesday evening. Sadly, there was no moon and on reaching the trig point the temperature had dropped and there was a very stiff breeze.

Starting on the 2m fm band at 2330 local time found an amazing 25 chasers!

QSYing to 20m at 0045 local time found Tom MO1EYP and Mark GO0VOF ready with the spots. Indeed, I even managed to work Mark on the 20m band.

After Mark, Barry N1EU and Rich N4EX as well as AJ1F from Alabama all paid a visit.

At 2359z, I drew a line and started another activation. Calls from Argentina, USA, (Barry N1EU for 2 more points, cheers Barry) and Canada rattled in. A nice contact with FG5 Guadalupe was in the bag and a little later 9Y4 Trinidad as well as an unusual United Nations call, 4U1VIC.

After a couple of hours up there, the wind really whipped up and I was close to chucking the towel in, especially when the seven metre fishing pole blew over for the third time. By then my interest in radio had wained somewhat and with my virtual inability to spot myself on the DX cluster (intermittent signal on the mobile) I was becoming very frustrated.

All in all, good fun but hard work. As for the rest of Wednesday, this was a write off. The 22Ah Lucas AGM battery performed magnificently, so much so, that I didn’t even need the 10Ah SLAB which I’d lugged up there for nothing :frowning:

Just 126 contacts for the evening. However, with some nice DX in the log, no VHF after 0100 local time, and no phone signal for most of the night, not too bad.

Many thanks to all the chasers, both sides of the pond.

73 Mike
2O0YYY

Having worked you at such a late hour, and seeing you spotted before 0600z the following morning did make me wonder if you had stayed up there all night. A peek at your activator log reveals that indeed you did!

I am intrigued as to what you did between 0308 and 0443. Was it (a) fruitlessly call CQ, (b) eat and drink, © read a book, (d) listen to BBC World Service merging back into Radio 4 with the patriotic songs or (e) sleep?

There’s definitely some overnight fun to be had on 20m, and I might try and have some of it before too long.

73, Tom MO1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

Having worked you at such a late hour, and seeing you spotted before
0600z the following morning did make me wonder if you had stayed up
there all night. A peek at your activator log reveals that indeed you
did!

I am intrigued as to what you did between 0308 and 0443. Was it (a)
fruitlessly call CQ, (b) eat and drink, © read a book, (d) listen to
BBC World Service merging back into Radio 4 with the patriotic songs
or (e) sleep?

I would have slept, but for the half million spiders that had crept out of the dry stone wall, only to walk all over my hands feet and anywhere else they felt like exploring. Never seen so many different species and different coloured spiders. They were harmless enough …unless you’re an arachnophobia sufferer, of course.

At 0308z, Don KC9KBB, returned to my call. He was really surprised to hear M6MMM and was absolutely made up, to have it in his log. Turned out he was a retired university professor. We had a very long rag chew. Extremely interesting man, must remember to send him a QSL card. Then I finished off the last of the chicken and smoked bacon sandwiches. Can’t remember what I did after that, may have listened to a USA/Kuwait net for a while. Couldn’t be asked to join in.

There’s definitely some overnight fun to be had on 20m, and I might
try and have some of it before too long.

Make sure you find some decent WX.

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Mike, what power and antenna have you used on 20m band?

73

Karel OK2BWB

In reply to OK2BWB:

Hi Karel.

I was using FT-857 and fishing pole antenna.

Power was limited to 10 Watts due to the 1 Amp current draw on receive of the FT-857. Much more power would soon flatten even a 22Ah SLAB. The SLAB was still in surprisingly good shape, even after 10 hours use.

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

What was the actual antenna: dipole, 1/2wave end-fed, 1/4wave GP, random vertical wire+atu, random wire sloper etc.?

If was something that needed an earth/counterpoise then what was that arrangement?

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I don’t know why your 857 is drawing so much power on receive, Mike, mine draws just under 600 mA lit up like a Christmas tree and just over 500 mA with the display set to AUTO 1 (3 seconds of light when any control is touched to save power!) If I run mine with the audio flat out into a large speaker it doesn’t reach 1 amp on peaks, but I prefer headphones, which saves power, keeps your ears warm and stops the noise of the wind from drowning out the DX!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

Hi Brian,

I’ve got nearly everything shut down and use the AUTO 1 setting too.

It’s a funy thing, when I work from my home QTH (almost never recently) I always wear a superb pair of very light Sennheiser HiFi headphones. However, when I’m /p I use the internal speaker.

I often put my hand on the rig and notice that it gets warm, certainly not hot, but then again, every time I key up, the fan kicks in whether I’m QRP or 50 Watts. On todays activation, the rig was working very hard and for the first time ever, I actually clobbered the 22Ah AGM SLAB.

Good fun though, Brian :wink:

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:
You have always been very generous in sharing the volume of your Rx with others on the same hill - especially if they are trying to operate on a different band :frowning:

Think headphones should be a must as not only do they reduce current, they make for a much more peacefull summit for ‘others’ to also enjoy. They also have the help of reducing wind noise and as I have hearing difficulties anyway (too many years on a motorbike) help to distinguish odd callsigns etc.

All I use is a 1 pound pair of jobbies designed for a walkman - as my nice Yaesu ones stay in the shack where Micky cannot walk on them!

Glad you had a good night time adventure. Sorry could not help/hinder you in any way but have been riding around Spain in 45 degree heat! Beer so cold…

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Mickey

That MMF feller wants your DX trade secrets hi hi

:wink:

In reply to M0TUB:
LOL

In reply to G1STQ:

In reply to 2E0YYY:
You have always been very generous in sharing the volume of your Rx
with others on the same hill - especially if they are trying to
operate on a different band :frowning:

On the summit of Shining Tor, at 3am last Wednesday morning, there weren’t too many ‘others’ to share my Rx volume with…

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Good to see you today Mike… sorry I didn’t pop back when I said I would (that’s kids for ya!).

You’ve got me thinking about doing an “all nighter” now… Might be a tough call though only having 2m and all!

Rob