Following my first SOTA activation a few weeks ago of G/SE-001, and finding myself with a couple of days free at the end of this week, I’m intending attempting to activate G/SE-002, G/SE-003 and G/SE-004 on Friday. Note the OCD tendencies in doing them in order
I’ll at least be operating 2m FM/SSB. I’ll attempt something on HF, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to carry anything better than an ATX walkabout - I’m going to be cycling, and I don’t think I can secure the fishing pole I used on G/SE-001 to the bike in such a way that it won’t foul the bike or my legs.
The cycling bit also means that I can’t guarantee times that I’ll be on air, but I’ll self-spot. I’d anticipate G/SE-002 early morning, G/SE-003 late morning-lunchtime-ish, G/SE-004 mid-late afternoon. The real unknown (other than how quickly I can get contacts in) is how awkward it’ll be to get the bike up the last bit of the hills once I run out of tarmac. I think they’ll all be reasonably accessible pushing it.
In reply to G7GCR:
When I cycle I tie the fishing pole to the cross bar.
73’s David, G3RDQ.
In reply to G3RDQ:
Thanks for the suggestion David. Unfortunately on my bike there doesn’t seem to be a way of doing that where I wouldn’t have to ride bow-legged to avoid it rubbing on my thigh - which is fine for a couple of miles, but a sure way to pick up a strain doing a 100 mile loop.
It might be possible to sort out some way of holding it vertically on my rack, I’ll have to have a fiddle with it tomorrow when I also look at the best luggage options to carry the radio gear.
In reply to G7GCR:
I agree with you on poles and tying to the crossbar. They just get in the way. They were even a pain when tied to the stoker position of my tandem on the day I rode to Ditchling Beacon G/SE-006 [see summit notes].
I took some radio gear across town to M6ALR’s house and found that fastening the fishing pole and SOTA Beam vertical to the stays of the carrier rack was very convenient and effective. I even remembered to step over the frame and not swing and kick the poles! The pole did slip a bit in 5 miles and became closer to the ground. I’ve smashed up the bottom plug on my pole and replaced it with a bolt across. On reflection I could have added a loop around this bolt and strapped through it to prevent the poles dropping towards the road surface.
All this means you’ve lost a pannier. The remaining one is stuffed with coat, overtrousers, tools, lock, lunch, radios feeder etc. I do wonder if there’s a use for a Dutch pushchair carrier like the marvellously named ‘Buggy-Mee’ by Stecco to carry pole and beam?
Not on sale in British cycle trade far too practical], it enabled my wife Ann-Charlotte to carry two panniers or tow the cycle trailer.
Have a good tour
In reply to G7GCR:
Yes you need to be comfortable with your riding position.
The pole on cross-bar only just works for me. The cross-bar is quite thin on my bike and I am quite slim too which probably helps.
To carry the pole on my scooter I attach it to a piece of wood that fixes on the pillion foot rest at the bottom and to a bracket behind the pillion seat at the top . You could probably do something similar on the bike with one fixing off the rear wheel nut and the other off the saddle pillar.
I am sure that with a little bit of trial and error you will find something that will work.
73’s , David ,G3RDQ
Thanks David & David.
I’ll be on my mile-munching Audax bike, which is based upon a traditional hand built steel road frame (yes, you can still get them - and even built in Britain!), so it is straight narrow tubing rather than oversized odd profile aluminium - but it’s still not got comfortable clearance for strapping things to the side of the top tube.
My pannier rack is also a minimal affair ( http://www.tubus.com/en/rear-carriers/fly ), so is very limited for strapping unusual loads to it. I’d really need to fabricate a bracket to attach to the bottom of the rack to hold the bottom of the pole, which I won’t have time to do.
For tomorrow I’ll just skip taking the fishing pole and take a simple home built dipole (a bit like the MFD) for 2m FM/SSB, and see how I get on with the ATX on HF.
A very brief report, I’ll do a proper write up tomorrow.
I left home later than intended and got caught up in bad traffic around Guildford (caused by roadworks) on my way to G/SE-002. I had to be back by 8pm, so ended up being a bit rushed on the first summit to get back onto my planned schedule.
Having said that, I managed to qualify all three (all VHF, mainly FM), managed to upset people by somehow messing up doing a self spot (sorry again!), and had a good day out. I covered 108.3 miles, climbed 1807m, burnt 7828 calories (according to my Garmin 705), and was out for 11 hours 50 minutes with 4 hours 28 minutes stopped.
In reply to G4OIG:
Here is a report of the day:-