An evening out

The vicissitudes of employment and the lack of it have conspired to stop me getting out since our trip to Mull in May, so finding myself in Wigan for the foreseeable future and with no sign of a “proper” expedition on the horizon to stave off shack fever I’ve resolved to take G6GGP/P out for an airing on my “local” summit Billinge Hill G/SP-017 tomorrow night.

I enjoy a challenge so I’m going to give 2m ssb a go and see what I can raise… 60m and 40m in reserve in case! Exact time depending on work commitments but targetting 6pm local time.

Hope to catch at least a few of you!

73 de Paul G4MD/G6GGP

Hope you enjoy pies Paul :grin::grin::grin::grin:


Let me know if you fancy a joint activation / curry / pint in the Macc area Paul. It was a great evening when you called by last time you were in the North West.

From the RSGB web site:

" Please note that Ofcom will only permit a licensee to hold one Full
Licence. If you wish to renew a Full Licence that has previously lapsed
you will be required to surrender a current Full Licence if you hold

Source: Amateur Radio FAQ : Radio Society of Great Britain – Main Site

Walt (G3NYY)

But if you have already renewed/validated it then you can have as many as you already persuaded Ofcom to validate!

I can clearly predict the following will happen. You ring up Ofcom and ask for an old lapsed license to be reinstated, depending who you speak to they will check if you have a full already and say no, or will just reinstate it anyway. That will depend on whether the person you speak to is aware of the latest fad/idea/concept in the implementation of the rules.

The only way this will get caught is if the new licensing software they have just rolled out will not allow them to reinstate a second license and will not allow you to revalidate your own multiple licenses.

Multiple license holder.

Well, of course the Ofcom Amateur Radio Licensing system is in such a mess that it’s unlikely that they would be able to identify whether a person holds a valid licence anyway, let alone multiple ones. Since the introduction of the new “Licensing Portal” a couple of months ago the system has been in total disarray. There is a legal requirement to revalidate your licence every five years (minimum), but at present neither the licensees nor Ofcom staff themselves can perform the revalidation! The new Portal does not offer any facility to revalidate. If you call them on the phone, they say they will make a note of it but they can’t do any revalidations at the moment.

I predict that the RSGB will be invited to take over the entire licensing operation in the near future. You mark my words.

Walt (G3NYY)

I really should make a business proposal to design & implement a license portal for them. I reckon a Raspberry Pi with a 128GB SDcard would be massively over-specced for what is needed. Seriously, what they need is something you could knock up in a few evenings.

It’s interesting to relate that the Australian ACMA organisation recently upgraded their licencing system and had several issues with it, stopping new Amateur (and other) licences from being issued. The problems are now fixed and the backlog is being taken care of but it’s interesting that both the UK and Australian licensing authorities upgrade their systems around the same time and both hit issues.

… I wonder if the same software salesman visited both organisations??


Hi Steve

Sadly I’m very fond of pies… but if I eat them all I’ll never get up another hill :-s

Thanks Tom any/all would be most excellent :smiley:

Will PM you when things settle down a bit and we’ll set something up!

73 de Paul

1 Like

Hi Walt

Well when I re-activated G6GGP a few years ago Ofcom were extremely helpful, and when I re-validated both my calls simultaneously some 8 months ago it was done without comment. Similarly my 60m NoV for G6GGP was issued without query. In the absence of any further communication from Ofcom themselves to the contrary, I feel perfectly entitled to use the callsigns they have issued to me as I see fit and will continue to do so until I am officially informed that I must surrender one of them.

I do hope it will never happen, but if it does it won’t be a difficult decision which to relinquish.

73 de Paul G4MD/G6GGP

Form a club with yourself as one of the main officers of the club and transfer license you have to retire to the club. You can have G4MD and the club can have G6GGP. You’ll need some other amateurs to list on the form for the club call. The club call doesn’t have to use the club RSLs, so you don’t have to be GX6GGP, just G6GGP.

Simples. But it will cost you £20 for the transfer.

EDIT: and for SOTA, you can use the club call but enter the activation under your G4MD account.

Well I had an excellent evening out!

Given the forecast for heavy thundery showers this evening I debated whether to cancel, but though the sky was somewhat glowering when the time came to leave work it was still dry so off I set, the Satnav piloting me very efficiently the short distance across Wigan and to the chosen parking spot at the end of Beacon Lane. Plenty of room for two cars here, but watch out for the wall to wall dog poo :-s

Kitting up was surprisingly instinctive, and I hesitated only to text my wife (so that she knew all was going to plan) and Gerald 'OIG (who was planning to head for some local high ground the better to listen for me). The route up was obvious and easy, which was fortunate as (a) I had neglected to bring a map and (b) having not been out for some time my lack of fitness is supreme :(. Once at the summit I quickly assembled the trusty SB3 (such a shame they’re not still available) and mounted it on a short pole cable tied to the fence, the trig forming a very convenient table for the rig.

Pointing the beam to the South East, I was delighted when my first call was immediately answered by Frank G3RMD, who had been listening for me having noted my alert. He kindly spotted me, and within ten minutes the summit was qualified, thanks to “local” Colin G8JSM, Rod M0JLA; and Don G0RQL providing as he so often has for me that crucial fourth contact :slight_smile: Further calling to all points of the compass however failed to produce any further responses, Gerald having texted me to let me know he had hit technical issues at his /P location and was thus listening from home without success.

Frank eventually called me back, and very helpfully checked 60m for me. QSB on 2m was heavy, and he fancied he noticed a slight auroral quality to my signal which may not have augured well for HF but we decided to give it a go anyway. As it happened we immediately made contact on 5.3985, and thanks to a further spot from Frank in short order G0RQL, MI1AIB, MM0GGI, GI0AZA and G0LGS joined him in the log to well qualify on that band too.

Gerald let me know by text that I was not getting over his local noise, so we gave it a final try on 2m again but though I could copy Gerald at 2x2 he was not hearing me - unsurprising as he was running 400W erp compared to my 30!

As I changed to 60m it had started spitting with rain, and by now it was beginning to intensify so I rapidly packed up and headed down the hill, and was glad to reach the car just before the heavens opened properly.

So all in all an excellent evening, made more so by the camaraderie from my fellow SOTA-ists. Special thanks to Frank for all his assistance, and to Gerald for going to great lengths to try and work me even though on this occasion he was the one that got away!

I expect to be working in this area for a while, so hopefully will get a chance to do a few more evening activations over the coming weeks and I look forward to repeats on some of the other local summits :relaxed:

73 de Paul (G6GGP/P this time!)

Maybe I should have used my “other” call to try to guarantee success. It is not the first time that I have rushed out the door with the SB5 and forgotten the BNC to croc clip (with integral choke) lead. I won’t write what I said when I realised my error otherwise Brian will erase my post. Maybe it is time to build this into the boom of the antenna so I have a BNC mounted on the boom ready to connect to. One less thing to forget. Apologies for the failure to produce the desired result.

73, Gerald G4OIG

If I can hit the delete button when laughing so much!


Hi Gerald

No need at all to apologise, I’m just well chuffed that you made the effort, even if the desired outcome was frustrated by circumstance! Here’s to us making it one day soon :))

73 de Paul G6GGP

Oh heck Brian… I was hoping you’d have just taken a swig of tea![quote=“G4MD, post:16, topic:13781”]

You can say that again! I am not used to operating from the car. It would have been better to go out with the prepacked SOTA kit which was where the errant lead (and the spare) happened to be. Grrrr! :rage:

73, Gerald G4OIG

GM Paul,
Pleased to work you on 2m ssb. Your signal was quite good initially, but became difficult as my local noise level increased. There was a pronounced auroral rasp on your ssb audio as the evening progressed. I had a couple of aurora alerts from Lancaster uni, which were later withdrawn (unusual) over the last few days, so probably a propagation anomaly.
I was reluctant to recommend 5 MHz even though the uk volmet was reasonably strong. The only other signals I could hear on the band were long skip eastern Europeans. Anyway, you were kindly treated by the sky and qualified easlily.
Thanks for your efforts ,
73, Frank

Morning Frank,

Yes, when Gerald called me with his 400W erp on 2m from home there was a definite rasp on his signal - almost dalek-like so something was going on. Interestingly didn’t notice it on your signal or any of the others on 2m.

Extremely glad I did try 60m (and I very nearly didn’t when it started raining!) - got a very eclectic bunch of contacts :slight_smile:

Thanks again for your assistance “on the night” - it multiplied my enjoyment of the activation many fold. Hope you’re around for my next evening expedition :smiley:

73 de Paul