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ACTIVATION REPORTS- YouTubers SOTA Party - Wed 30th March

On Wednesday 30th March a small group of YouTubers (all amateur radio orientated channels which regularly feature SOTA activations in their content) will be activating several summits simultaneously in a coordinated effort.

The intention is for all of us to be on air at 10:00am UTC. Bearing in mind that here in the UK the clocks change for summer on Sunday, that will be 11:00am local time.

The intention is to generate some S2S contacts for ourselves, generate some on-air activity, cross-promote each others channels & (most importantly of all) have some fun on SOTA summits!

We have very deliberately involved smaller YouTube channels in an attempt to help give their subscriber numbers a little a boost.

Hopefully we will also generate a bit of positive publicity for the SOTA program in the process.

The exact format of the day is yet to be decided. We are thinking that 40m is our best hope for S2S & a couple of us are also keen to try 2m FM.

Fraser will be activating in Scotland, Chris will be in the North of England, Dave will be in Republic Of Ireland & I plan to nip over the border into Wales. Basically we will be activating 4 countries simultaneously.

We will probably try to get a little net going specifically for S2S attempts initially before we open it up to non S2S chasers. We may have to split off onto different frequencies because 20 chasers trying to talk to several summits in one net could take a while & get a little chaotic!

We welcome as many people as possible (both chasers & activators) to join in.

Here are links to all the channels which are currently participating:-

If you have a YouTube channel, I’m sure that we will all be happy to include you in the line-up & give you a mention.

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We will be hunting you. I notice better EU-SA options on 21Mhz CW.

73 PY2VM

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Please note that we have pushed back the start time by 30 minutes (now 10am UTC / 11am local).

I have edited my original post to reflect this change.

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Last week the weather was quite good, this week the temperature dropped. I woke up Wednesday morning to heavy rain and I almost bailed out of taking part in this event. So close in fact that at the time that I was due to set off I was boiling the kettle while looking out of the window rather disappointed as I was looking forward to this. Of course humans are waterproof but my concern has always been an expensive transceiver suffering damage resulting in an expensive repair. Sitting down watching television and about 10 minutes later it suddenly brightened up. I decided to load the car and drive to the parking spot for the closest Summit to where I live G/NP-028 Rombalds Moor and make a decision from there. I could either turn around and drive home or sit in the car for half hour having a brew waiting to see if the WX improved.
Arriving at the parking spot my car said it 1C and there was light wind with fine rain mixed with sleet. My other half Natalie was with me and we decided to head for the Summit and I would do a quick 40m SSB activation. To be fair Natalie did a fine job of holding an umbrella sheltering me and my Yaesu FT817 from the elements.

The umbrella can be seen top right of this photo…

My antenna used was a Band Hooper II and running 5W of SSB after finding the other participants on 7.097 I logged James MW0GQC/P on GW/SW-007 Fan Nedd with 58 reports both ways, Fraser MM0EFI/P on GM/ES-019 Conachcraig who was 57 and gave me 55 and David EI5IMB/P on EI/IN-022 Arroo Mountain the strongest with 59 both ways. Regular Chaser Kevin M0XLT was next in my log so that was G/NP-028 qualified.

Sheltering my 817 and myself as best I can with the help of Natalie

After exchanging best wishes with the other activators I found 7.118 to be clear so self spotted and called CQ finding 40m SSB to be good Inter-G. Stations in Devon, Cornwall, Twickenham, Leicester, Swansea, Scarborough, Whitehaven amongst others were logged with 59 reports. A total of 17 stations were logged before there was no response to my qrz so it was time to quickly pack up and head home. I thought of doing 20m SSB but by now Natalie and I were quite cold so I considered it mission accomplished. Apologies to the 20m Chasers but there will be other times.

40m SSB QSO map

Many thanks to the other Activators, to those that worked me yesterday and a big shout out to James M0GQC for the idea and arranging this event.

73 Chris M0RSF & Natalie M7NTD

PS: Unfortunately no video of this activation as it was too cold.

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Well done Chris and thanks for the S2S…at last!

Challenge accepted. Watch this space!

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Conachcraig GM/ES-019

My plan was to escape the Shire for some high mountain in central Scotland, such as Schiehallion GM/CS-005 and to try and reach these lads on 2m for a bit of sport. Unfortunately the heavy snow forecast curtailed these plans. I didn’t want to take the risk of a snow gate closure stopping me leaving, or even worse, returning to Aberdeenshire after an expedition.

That left me with a short list of local summits which would provide protection from the forecasted 30kph north wind. Summit temperatures were forecast to be -6°C with -10 to -12°C windchill. Snow showers were forecast, but it looked like there was a window of decent weather around the planned activation time of 1000z (11am BST). I settled on Conachcraig GM/ES-019, 865m high.

I set off from home at 0730BST, arriving at the Glen Muick car park around 40 mins later, having driven on a couple of cm of new snow most of the way. Parking is now £5 for a car here and they have fancy new machines that take contactless payment and don’t freeze up in winter like the old ones did, so no more free winter parking! TBH, I don’t mind as there’s a Ranger station as well as a picnic area and decent toilets.

It took me an hour to hike up the Land Rover track that first crossed the glen floor before ascending up to a col, bealach or saddle (depending on where you’re from).


across Glen Muick to Conachcraig

Here the main track continues down to Balmoral castle. (The approach from Balmoral is far nicer and on a better track that can be cycled, however is longer.) A left turn takes you towards Lochnager. However today I was going right up a narrow path through the heather, easy at first but steeper and more bouldery towards the top. Fifteen minutes later I popped out on top.


the junction and path leading up to Conachcraig


Conachcraig summit tors, looking over to Lochnagar GM/ES-008

I was worried that I would be late. I had planned on being there an hour early. This was my first “summer” activation and the GMT/BST thing was confusing me. I had memories of always getting the time wrong on activations last summer, but couldn’t remember why. I really should have reset my watch to UTC at the car park.

I found a great spot to set up behind a granite tor. South facing and plenty of protection from the wind. The reason I chose Conachcraig.

As soon as I arrived, I took out the FT-3d and had a quick QSO with Simon @GM4JXP, who now has incentive to activate this hill for a Complete!


Summit radio station

The station consisted of an Elecraft kx-2, with a W3EDP antenna connected directly to the radio. The antenna was arranged as inverted V over a 7m Spiderbeams pole. The antenna was arranged west to east. It would be the first real test of my home-made 3S Li-Po internal battery. I’d brought a spare too.

Turns out I was an hour early, so I spun up 15m SSB and called CQ. @SV3IEG Dinos came straight back with 5/7. I worked another three and then went to 17m.

17m produced seven QSO’s with Eric @F5JKK finding me (5/7). I took a break for a wander around and to get some blood flowing into my extremities, then settled down for a 20m session.

Eric found me again on 20m. We both agreed 17m was better. Sixteen QSO’s on 20m, nothing special distance-wise, but lots of new callsigns.

After that spell I had another jump around in the snow to warm up and as the time was now approaching 1100BST, I settled down for the summit to summit session.

James M(W)0GQC was on GM/SW-007 and had found space on 40m. No Spot, but a WhatsApp to the group. James gave me 5/5. Then David @EI5IMB came on from EI/IN-022. After exchanging reports I had to drop off. The SWR had rocketed and the KX-2’s protection circuits were kicking in. No amount of tuning would fix it. I was able to get a decent SWR and get back in the game by inserting my 9:1 un-un.

Davids signal had been so strong that I’d turned off the pre-amp. Of course when Chris @M0RSF came on from G/NP-028, I forgot to turn it back on and struggled to do much more than exchange signal reports with him! My Bad. Sorry Chris.

Pleasantries and weather conditions exchanged, we all went our separate ways and probably gave some Chasers a seizure by all spotting a different 40m SSB frequency within seconds of one another!

I worked a further 23 stations on 40m, the highlight for me being @LA5WNA, as I hardly ever work Norwegian stations from NE Scotland.

By now, I’d been on top for two hours and was just about frozen to the ground. Once I prised myself free of the snow, I quickly packed up and headed down by the same route of ascent, taking around an hour to do so.


much of the lower lying snow had shifted by afternoon. Lochnagar summit now in the clear in the distance

So, by the time I got back I’d realised why all the clock changing nonsense confused me. It wasn’t being late for summits that caught me out. It was when I’d finished activating and then messaged Mo with what time I’d be home. Most of the time I would give her a UTC time and then turn up an hour later than planned, my brain still working in radio time. Oops!

Anyway, a great idea from James. Hugely enjoyable and with 2+ hours on a summit and 56 QSO’s (my PB) my biggest fear is that I’m turning into Simon. :wink:


from sotamaps

So Chris, never too cold for a video, although the GoPro did eat batteries at sub-zero temperatures. Oh, and the Li-Po performed brilliantly, keeping the 10 watt output throughout, despite the cold. I don’t see what all the fuss is about kx-2’s dropping to 5 watts after a short while…

73, Fraser

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Hi Fraser, great video. Thanks for your report. :+1:t2:

Cheers, Geoff vk3sq

PS: you can have the cold weather :grinning:

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Just as soon as it warms up a bit… :wink: Great report and video Fraser.

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I sometimes think we should go out together, however we are more productive as a Tag Team.

Thanks for the report and video Fraser. I must get my act sorted and try and make a video sometime soon.

PS. I don’t think these are expensive. :slight_smile:

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:rofl::rofl:

Honestly, I’m terrible. I spent the whole of last summer not knowing what time it was, especially when I was doing two or three activations a week.

I was mainly getting to summits on time, but always came home to " your dinner is in the dog".

Our dog is a little unconventional.


Humphrey. I think we were sold a pup

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It took me a while to get round to editing the footage & uploading the video but I finally got my backside in gear!

My video of the event is now available to view on my YouTube channel:-

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