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

Are you getting more done because of the lock-down?

I find it rather strange but despite the fact that I no longer work in any case, I find that I am getting more chores around the house executed and Amateur Radio Projects finished during the lock-down than I was managing previously.

Perhaps there’s a psychological drive to keep busy?

I hope this lock-down finishes soon though as I’m already working on a project that was left 5 years ago and after that, I’ll be searching for extra tasks (don’t worry I’m sure the wife will find me something!). I’m also missing the summits of course.

Are any of you finding you are completing jobs that you forget you had to do? If so why not tell the group about them?

73 Ed DD5LP.


To tell the truth, coronavirus and the lockdown has really had very little impact on my life. I have been retired for a long time, and being somewhat of an introvert I don’t feel the reduced social interaction, making it easier to stay safe. The only real impact is that a holiday booked for the end of this month won’t happen, so planned activations are on hold.

My favorite Beer Keller ( The Wilde Rose in Bamberg) re-opens this week. As it’s technically in Bavaria, maybe the Munich ones are as well. Please don’t tell the good people of Bamberg I called them Bavarian :wink:.

No, because I have worked throughout like quite a lot of folks.

Good luck with the semi-retirement (or at least the move into a less stressful position) Richard, you’ve earned it. I’m sure you’ll still have a lot of input in your creation that is SOTABeams.

73 Ed.

1 Like

There has been no general lifting of closure restrictions on Hotels, cafes or restaurants. Perhaps that Bierkeller is actually doing take-away now ?? That’s been allowed all through the lock-down - just people are not allowed to sit down inside (even with 2m ddistancing and masks).
Their webpage still says theey are closed: https://www.hotel-wilde-rose.de/

Aha, yes it’s take-away - this is what the Bierkeller page on the website says after the menu:

Abholzeiten am Samstag, 25.04.2020 von 17:30 bis 19:30 Uhr und am Sonntag, 26.04.2020 von 11.30 bis 14:00 Uhr. Bitte denkt daran, Speisen immer bis 19 Uhr am Vortag telefonisch oder per E-Mail vorzubestellen.

So roughly translated order either by phone or email up to 7pm and collect from 5:30pm onwards until 7:30pm.

73 Ed.

1 Like

Hi Ed
Short respone: No

I’m in the homeoffice since 11.03. and i do the exact same things that i usually do in the office. Since most people i work with are working in other countries it is the same skype sessions with the same people. Just that everyone works from home now and the calls are now not only work related but also Cats are presented and you hear children playing with Lego Hi.

I feel like i’m doing more cleaning but only because it feels like the rooms are getting untiedy faster. (Most likely due to the fact that my partner and I are home everyday)

Honestly i really like to work like this, for me as an introverted person this is paradise. No social obligations, no face to face meetings, no events where i have to participate. (But the caneled HamRadio is bugging me) Just activating summits, going on my regular walks once or twice during the week or to the supermarket if i really must go.
Besides the homeoffice my life did not change at all.

Last week i was on vacation but still i did not get all the plannet tasks done. Due to the rain i have only activated one summit, and the to do list of prepared summits is getting longer.

I still need to build my Morserino Kit and i still need to build my antenna holder.

Currently I save 2x 40min of traveling time but it doesn’t really feel like i have more time.

73 Sabrina HB3XTZ

Hi Sabrina,
I know what you mean about the skype and other teleconference meetings with colleagues in other countries, up to 5 years ago, that was my work life as well.

It’s nice to see your comment about activating summits - I have seen more Swiss activators on SOTAWatch over the last 6 weeks than I have ever before. Here in Germany the restrictions are harder as regards driving into the Alps and climbing summits unfortunately!

73 Ed.

1 Like

If you run out of jobs, let me know and I’ll send a few your way. My list never shortens!

Hi Ed

Yes I also noticed that more activations take place.
Or at least it feels like that.

It could be relatet to the the lockdown situation in HB. Besides that markets, shops, bars, hairdressers etc. Are closed, it is not forbidden to go out for a walk. So the only thing you can do is hiking. I also saw more persons during the hiking then i saw last year. (Not a lot of persons but you see others now)

Goverment has acctually closed down some of the streets for summits that are reachable by car. Thats why i had to improvise last week. Some streets are closed, some are open it feels a bit like the lottery. I wanted to activate https://sotl.as/summits/HB/ZH-018 on a rainy day. But even before the closed streets all parking options had signs that forbid parking, so it was also not possible to walk up there. (You would need to start down in the small town and i didn’t feel like going on a longer hike during the bad weather) however the street to the parking option of https://sotl.as/summits/HB/ZH-003 was open and i managed to activate there.

I will try to activate some of the summits near my home QTH after QRL, and check if the streets are open.
Also the street to https://sotl.as/summits/HB/ZH-004 is open again.
It would be nice if there was a website or list of which streets are opened now or which are still closed. Now you just need to go and check it yourself.

73 Sabrina HB3XTZ

Antenna projects: Built a HF box so I can use a mobile whip for when I go out portable again.
Made a flowerpot/Coax shielded dipole for 6 Meters.
Replaced RG58 coax for RG8 in a Moxon.

Took part into two contests - 432Mhz Trophy and UKFMAC on 2 Meters.
Started to (or attempting) to learn CW.

Non Amatuer things:
Threw out three bags of rubbish (Old Uni stuf Im never goig to need)
Started to grow some Parnsips and Carrots.
Finished watching Star Trek Voyager,

Not getting bored here, just trying to keep busy!

73, stay safe, M6KIO - Dom

1 Like

Discovered lots of lovely walks and paths in the vicinity of my home - walking from the front door.

Spent a lot more time rag-chewing on 2m FM - either from the shack, or with the handheld while out on daily exercise walk. This has resulted in “reconnections” with lots of local amateurs in Macclesfield.

Three regular nets - all with added Zoom / Jitsi video - SOTA Peanut, Macclesfield & DRS, Tall Trees CG.

Finally got around to editing together my video clips on my phone to make that very popular automated FT8 SOTA video…

Two family meals (all round the dinner table) every day at home.

A family game of Scrabble every day and/or a “tournament style” head-to-head game against Marianne.

Catching up on a massive backlog of updates to my website http://sotasummits.co.uk

Two years ago we had a recording session for my son Liam in Blackpool. The audio tracks from this have appeared on various radio broadcasts and “slideshow” type videos since. But we did have a batch of video footage from that session, that I never did anything with. So the biggest thing for me to “get done during lockdown” was to painstakingly match up these video clips to the music.

This was non-trivial. My elderly PC couldn’t really cope with the memory and speed demands of even a basic freeware video-editing software package. So the finished products are nowhere near perfect, but at least I now, at last, have something to show from the day.

Feel free to ignore these videos - but you may find them marginally more enjoyable that my automated FT8 video!

Health warning - Alan Wormald’s guitar solo at the end of Let’s Dance might just melt your face…

Still to go:

More weight loss - a week ago I reached my lowest weight for about 25 years, with 5 stones (>30kg) lost. Unfortunately, just over a week ago I hurt my back - trapped nerve or a slipped disc - so have been housebound, unable to go for my daily walk or even exercise in the home. As such, a few pounds have crept back on again, that I want to reverse ASAP - but I’m still in too much pain to do anything.

I’ve got a big pile of QSL cards to sort through and file away, and then I need to get my logging software to generate and print out all the labels for my next batch of outgoing cards. At some point I’ll need to order the printing of a new batch of QSL cards too.

And then there’s the big shack tidy. Long overdue and desperately needed. I order to get to this, I’m steadily dealing with the piles of “things” (QSL cards, memorabilia/images to go on website, radio magazines to keep/donate/recycle, tools to put back in toolbox etc etc) on bench, shelves and floor. Progress has been quite good on this - though you wouldn’t think it to look at my shack.

In addition to this, I’ve actually mainly continued working full-time too, providing remote online teaching / marking / assessment / feedback for maths students in a South Manchester school. And thank goodness for that, because I can’t see me doing a gig much before December, and possibly well into 2021.

It’s a very weird situation, and I’m just trying to seize the opportunity to get stuff done.

So in answer to your question Ed - yes.


I appear to be saving a lot of money…not spending much at all.

73 de Geoff vk3sq.


Hi Tom and Liam, great videos, well done.

73 de Geoff vk3sq

1 Like

In some ways I’m doing a lot more, but also a lot less on the other hand.
In summary, I’d say I’m doing many different things. Being off work due to my health issues and ongoing treatments, while my xyl keeps going out for work everyday, with schools closed and our 3 kids being home all day, the lockdown has given me the chance to enjoy being all day with my kids. I do a lot of domestic chores like cleanning, dishing, hanging the laundry to dry out, coupling dozens of single lost socks, buying food, cooking meals, helping my son with his daily homework from school, watching TV series like Breaking Bad, which I liked and enjoyed very much…
I have also made a 1/4 wave 2m GP for the balcony and I now call CQ everydays on 2m FM with not a single response. 2m FM is totally dead in Pamplona and the area covered by the local repeater R2, where I also call CQ almost daily and nobody replies. Depressing…
I own a MTR-2 (20 and 40m) which had an issue and didn’t work on 40m and in these lockdown days and not considering myself capable to do a good and reliable repair, I have decided to send it to one of the most expert hams in MTR rigs for repair, who, according to the last updates he’s given me, is doing such a great work on it that it’s probably going to bring it back to an even better than brand new condition.
I also keep chasing SOTA everyday, having some HB9 in my log most of the days and also some North American activators.
As I do every month, I’ve also prepared and sent my SOTA news bulletin in Spanish.
Now that the lockdown restrictions have easen a bit and individual physical exercise is allowed in EA, I had a very nice walk yesterday in Pamplona with a very nice warm temp.
This was my walk, in which I spent over 2 hours including some stops to take pictures and a bit of washing the dog after he did one of those nasty things dogs love doing to get rid of the apparently nasty smell of the shower gels we humans apply to them and they seem to hate so much:

Let me share some of the pics I took during the walk:

Old bridge over the river Arga.

Mini-dam in the river Arga with a lower section (not the summit) of the SOTA San Cristóbal EA2/NV-119 visible at the far end.

The river Arga.

Old defensive walls protected the ancient Pamplona from invaders.

Old defensive walls protected the ancient Pamplona from invaders.

Old defensive walls protected the ancient Pamplona from invaders.

In these days, there are nice tracks along the moats, where people can walk.

Drawbridge at the Portal de Zumalakarregi or Portal de Francia entrance to the ancient city of Pamplona.

The drawbridge from inside.

This is the SOTA Mt. San Cristóbal EA2/NV-119.

The defensive walls from above with a dimming light and some other SOTA peaks visible.

Other SOTAs under the moon.
It was a very nice walk after the long lockdown.

I’ve also participated in several of the nets held on Peanut.
One other thing I keep doing is writing posts in this Reflector… :slight_smile:
As you can see, many different things. Difficult to say whether they are more or less things done…




I’m not really getting done more than usual, just other things. Since I got a full time job from the home office, I don’t really have more spare time, which I prefer to spend with my family.
In the beginning, I did a couple of activations of hills around, but since the hiking trails around got more and more crowded, I rather stayed at home and spend my radio play time with something else, mostly things I had in mind for bad weather.

What did I manage in my radio time?

  • Started to chase with my handheld from the balcony (new ODX 75 km, achieved my shack sloth status, while I was at it)
  • Found an old 2m PA in the cellar, fixed it and and had a couple of QSOs via SO-50 with it
  • Set up a dish to receive QO-100 on the balcony and since it works, now waiting desperately for the postman to deliver the missing TX components I ordered all across Europe…
  • Planning to meet friends and do SOTA activations in DM/BW and FL/VO and other regions in HB when times are changing again…

73 Jens, HB9EKO

1 Like

Following the announcements yesterday - each state in Germany is likely to have different rules and schedules for removing lock-down restrictions, however here is a link to the situation in Bavaria:

(this webpage appears in English if your browser language is set to English, otherwise German)
The most important line is

Restrictions of free movement

With effect from 6 May 2020, the general movement restriction shall cease to apply.

Time for me to plan some summit activations !!!

73 Ed.
image image

1 Like

I thought I would get more done at home but it hasn’t turned out that way.

I put up a dipole antenna so I could try to get on air but my noise level is just too high. I think it may be VDSL but I haven’t been able to confirm that.

I operated the GQRP call sign, G5LOW, during the Hope QSO Party last week, I only made 7 QSOs, and two of them were disallowed :cry: I felt a bit down about it to be honest.

Every year for my birthday I do a SOTA activation with a RockMite 20. The RockMite is used only on my actual birthday. The SOTA activation could not happen this year, but I was determined that I would achieve at least one QSO with the birthday RockMite. I didn’t rate my chances very highly so I connected up my 10dB tuna amp, giving me about 3 watts to play with, instead of 300mW.

I’m not keen on the upgraded keyer chips, but this particular RockMite has a N0XAS (picokeyer) keyer chip fitted. The upgraded chip meant that I could just set the rig CQing without having to send manually, this was definitely a benefit to allow 2 or more hours of calling CQ. Eventually I had a very scrappy QSO with DL7SX, receiving 319 report. To be honest, the signal from DL7SX was about the same, although I think I have him a better report initially. The QSB made the QSO extremely difficult, but it was still a valid QSO.

The DPD man arrived with my birthday present on Tuesday, I took a bit of a gamble with the size but they fit very well - phew!

I’m now in employment, I deliver organic veg boxes for a local business. I started in February, just enough time to pick up the needed skills before things got really busy. I was out delivering yesterday around Lancaster, Ingleborough G/NP-005 dominates the sky line and it looked very inviting. What a glorious day!

I lined up a few projects, I would like to build a Nanokeyer, a new genuine Arduino Nano Every arrived last week. The Every has 48k of program space, so slightly larger than a standard Nano, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to squeeze more features in. I’m told that a Mega is the way to go, but they seem to be in short supply and expensive. I do have an offer on the table if I find my Nano Every is not up to the task though. I have a dxpedition / summit activation trip in mind for some point in the future but I will gave to work hard to get my ducks in a row. I think I will need a computer keyer for my trip.

So much stuff to do, but so frustrating that I don’t seem to find the time to tinker in the shed.

73, Colin


This is a face melting guitar.

Hi Guru, what wonderfull photos you took on your walk. Hope you are keeping well.

73 de Geoff vk3sq

1 Like