A grand day out. Not a big walk, about 8.5km and 260m of ascent but it’s a unique and part of trying to regain some mountain fitness.
Very simple this, plenty of parking on the A81 at the start of the track to the transmitter station on Ben Gullipen. Follow your nose to the towers, down the (steep) other side. Across the damper bits, up the slope the other side and onto the top of Beinn Dearg. Simples. My legs hurt now!
I managed QSOs on 60m, 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m and 13cms. Many boxes ticked. It was really good to have a nice long natter to Jack as I haven’t heard his voice for about 5months. A surprisingly easy non-LOS FM contact on 13cms, it was easier to listen to on FM than SSB. Funny, 5W into the rubber duck on 2m ouldn’t break the squelch at Jack’s but 13cms (with less power more antenna gain) we were 53 on FM each way.
White common spotted Orchid (can’t be common, never seen them before !)
Pink common spotted Orchid.
Very common Thistle, plenty of these everywhere you look.
Final ascent from the damp area, location of the orchids.
Summit panorama from West to North. (Many SOTA summits)
Summit panorama from North to East
. (Many SOTA summits)
This summit has only been activated 4 times and last in 2015. Don’t know why, it’s a cracking wee thing.
Looks good - Your spot appeared just after I had taken the mast down
It’s debatable if 40m would have worked Paul, bit of a short hop. 60m would have been more likely. You should add it to your 80/40 dipole. There was a contest on 40m CW which severely bugged me, lost my frequency twice to goons with no RX capability. I almost worked one for a report to confirm he could actually hear my CQ SOTA calls. A fellow GM too, callsign noted.
Conditions odd later, on 18MHz SSB I could hear a GM8 QRV from Orkney giving EU-009 so some IOTA operation. He was loud and had the mother of all pileups. The furthest Orkney island is North Ronaldsay at best that’s only 370km. Very weird.
At the moment my “Standard” dipole is 80/60/40 _ I’ve just got out of the habit of using 60. I did make a set of lightweight traps so it was easier to change band, but despite being lightweight they were still too heavy to work with the standard mast. 20m seems to also have some very short skip at the moment too. I probably ought to add 20 to the dipole. 73 Paul
I splt my SOTA dipoles into 3 so I can pick what maybe of use. I have 80m stand alone, massive big brute and it’s for special occasions only. So much wire it is noticeably heavy. Then 60/40/30. That is the workhorse dipole for SOTA and a 30/20/17 dipole. The reason for 2 is that if I am journeying to foreign parts (remember when you could do that?) such as EA8 or CT3 then 60/40 is limited use compared to 20/17 so no point adding to the luggage. 30m is on both as it’s a bit of a Sidney Bottocks (*) band and can be super DX-y or just a bit longer than 40m.
I had 60/40/30 and 30/20/17 and the 13cms gear and 2 batteries yesterday… adds to the weight but as I was only doing one summit I thought I may as well stay and cover a good number of bands. I was on the air for 2h30 yesterday. Well it was quite sunny after 1pm and pleasantly warm.
(*)Sidney Bottocks: The character from Benny Hill’s Mastermind parody whose name was described as “It is neither one thing nor the other, is it?” and that nicely describes 30m to me.
30m means plucking up courage to do Morse, unfortunatly work got in the way of lockdown Morse… I would have happily spent longer on the summit but my daughter had other ideas.
PS Yesterdays forgotten item - My Lunch. Yesterday’s free bonus item - small packet of dog treats (No dogs allowed on Mickle Fell) ( Not a subsitute for the forgotten item ). 73 Paul
You did a “real” Morse test at the PO or Coastal Station not like the ham invigilated one I did where there was no pressure. Get on and flaunt your skills! Doesn’t matter how bad you are, the sensible chasers will work with you because they don’t care how bad you are either, they just want the points. As for those who call you at machine gun speeds, well I think there is a very rude expression about what to do them “and the horse they rode in” on that is perfectly apt, but unsuitable for here
… yes made my “O” levels seem easy as i was sending a combination of I, S and H when just trying to stop the key shaking! It goes down as one of the three most memorable exam experiences…
1 - Morse Test
2 - MLC assessment when I fell to sleep before the night nav amd then managed to not find one of the very small “puddles” on the top between Tryfan and Y - Foel - Goch. Rewalked it in the light and the mapping wasn;'t great and…
3 - When the Cathedral Bell started ringing in the last 15 minitues of a Physics Final which just added to the general gloom and feeling that as I didn’t understand the question it was unlikely that I had provided the appropriate answer.
PS depite this I did pass all three…so a CW QSO can’t be that hard…