Another year just about done and dusted.
55 S2S contacts
8 bands used (60m, 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 15m, 2m & 13cms)
Only 49 activations this year. I remember there being plenty of weekends with rubbish WX that has lowered my tally coupled with me becoming a more “soft” activator only going out when the WX is nice.
It did bite into my plan to have actiavted all the GM/SS summits South of the Clyde and Forth. I had 32 to do at the start of the year and only managed 23 of them leaving 9 to do. That group include some good walks, some hills with fearsome reputations, one on an abandonned open-cast coal mine and the mythical Mullwharcher. All apart from one, Benbeoch, all are awkward drives on awkward roads and suggest it to be worthwhile to spend a night in the area to save on driving there and back a few times. However, a wee expedition after the Blackpool Rally saw 10 summits worked 4.5 days which made this biggest dent into the total and was thoroughly enjoyable.
I managed a total of 35 uniques and activated in 5 regions, GM/CS, GM/ES, GM/SI, GM/SS and EA8/GC.
I bought a new mountain bike with paniers etc. to enable some distant access summits to be done. But a broken tailgate on the pickup scotched those plans. Tailgate just about sorted so they will help with at least 3 of the remaining SS summits.
I finally visited Shetland, home of my ancestors and made my furthest North landfall on Saxa Vord. You realise just how far North you are when you can work people easily on the South coast of England on 20m as it’s 1000km away! I also had two very calm crossings on the ferry which helped massively. I only managed 6 activations leaving plenty more summits to do and lots more to see. I particularly want to activate Foula and Fair Isle but they are difficult to guarantee access as transport to them is so WX dependent. A return trip is on the cards.
I normally tag some European activations on to my trip to the rally at Friedrichshafen and visit to the Embedded Linux Conference. No Friedrichshafen this year and whilst I did visit ELC in Prague (fantastic city) I didn’t have the time to activate, pressures at work meant a prompt return. Boo! Next year’s ELC is Edinburgh which is no use in tagging activations onto flights my employers have paid for. It does mean I’m carrying a lot of this year’s vacation time into next year.
The main fun this year has been the regular Summer / Autumn activities on 13cms. We bought a job lot of transverters and have 4 with SOTA activators and others in the Edinburgh area. I’ve had S2S and simplex contacts with both SOTA regulars and my many microwave friends. It’s been hugely entertaining and educating. Best £185 of radio fun since I bought my 1st FT817. 13cms activity has dropped off recently due to a prolonged cold spell up here, SMA connectors are no fun when it’s below zero. We have a 13cms group on groups.io which is good to stir up activity amongst non-SOTA people. And the model of bring your own chasers with you on an obscure band has prompted Pom DG7ACF to start a similar group in Germany but on 23cms. Similarly there’s some regular 23cms SOTA activity in VK driven by Andrew VK1AD.
DB worked has continued in the background, no big changes but significant changes “under the hood”. More to do here.
Plans for 2018?
Finish the SS summits.
More 13cms activations and maybe build a PA for 13cms.
Build my 30m QCX transceiver.
Activate a summit North of the Arctic Circle. This started as a daft idea but seems to have been a popular goal with chasers and activators and having costed it up, it’s not that pricey. There are plenty of simple OH summits that don’t need serious walking gear. So a fly/drive expedition is quite achievable. And in memory of an uncle who served on 7 convoys to Murmansk in WWII, I think I’ll have to drive to the Finnish / Russian border and photograph the road sign that says Murmansk 140km in both Roman and Cyrillic scripts!
Easter time French expedition. I get to stay at my sister’s QTH in the South of France, so I’ll eat and drink like a king for the cost of a few bottles of Malt. That means I can bag plenty of F/PE and F/CR summits in the area. Mont Ventoux an easy but worthy target.
Feel free to add your own personal reviews of the year onto this thread and I’ll change the title to something more apt.
All the best to everyone for 2018.