Belly Dancing on The Moors GM/SS-133

The WX for May is poor, it’s very cold, 8C when it should be nearer 14-6C and it was predicted to be showery, some heavy. I didn’t want to drive for miles as it was Mrs. FMF’s birthday earlier in the week and we were having a nice meal with my son coming for the first time since Christmas so i had to be back not too late. I picked an easy summit, Minch Moor GM/SS-133, one of my favourites, which is about 1hr drive and 1hr30 to the summit.

Putting my boots on and getting ready I checked I had the correct gear with me after playing with antennas etc. in the garden. 2x 10m antenna: check, batteries: check, leads: check, antenna guy ring: check. All present apart from the camera. I remembered putting in its case and had a horrible thought I had left it on the roof of the car or in the drive when loading. A quick call home and it was on the table. As it cost £600, I didn’t want to lose it.

That’s when I heard the chinking noise. Much like someone shaking coins in a tin, but very small coins. I looked around and saw a very unexpected sight… two women in bedlah walking across the car park at Traquir Village Hall.

One was older than me and the other, ooh, 10 years younger and was a bit of a looker.

My face must have been interesting! The younger one had a fine example of a “borders posh” accent and it appeared they’d got out of a nice Mercedes, obviously well off and pretty and in a bedlah, my mind was doing somersaults.

“Would you like to come and do some belly dancing with us?” asked the younger lady wiggling. Well I was sorely tempted because it’s a long time since a younger, good looking woman with a few bob in the bank made any kind of initial approach to me. The only time most woman speak first is to say something like “Do you have to stare like that?” :slight_smile:

I replied I had plenty of belly but wasn’t sure I could do the moves in walking boots. It got a laugh and they chinked and wiggled off to the village hall. Having passed up the chance of being probably the only man in a room 20-30 women belly dancing I was hoping there was going to be some good propagation!

The computer says 1hr 25min to the top and I did it in 1hr 10min which after the lockdown lack of hill walking was very pleasing. Especially as I sheltered in the trees during a heavy shower. In fact there only three things wrong with the weather, it was really windy, it felt like it was November not May it was so cold and there were lots and lots of showers on the ascent. :frowning:

Set up of the new delta loop was straightforward despite the almost gale like winds. I’ve been deploying a pole and dipoles for 14+ years and after that much time and experience, shall we say I have the measure of setting up with minimal issues. A new antenna normal is OK to deploy in good weather but it’s less brilliant weather that shows the deployment issues. None noted but it started to rain hard with hailstones so it was on with the Goretex :frowning: After layering up, there was a nice increase in noise on connecting the feeder and quick tune showed lots of EU stations on 10m. A bit of a faff and I got a 4g connection and spotted myself.

I was able to generate a pile up of 12 stations straight away with that spot. No stunning DX but it was a joy to have so many calling with such good strengths. I worked CT2GSN/P and HB9CDH/P for S2S contacts which was nice. After the pileup was worked I called on my spotted frequency and alternated tuning for QSOs. In the end the best results were to sit on my frequency and call CQ but I stopped calling CQ SOTA and just CQ 10m. I worked another 12 who were just tuning for contacts, not SOTA chasers per se.

There were some more showers then the sun came out. I was able to dry my Goretex jacket in the sun and the guy cords also dried in the sun and wind. I could have kept calling and calling as the LiFePO would be good for about another 3hrs but I could see the skies darkening and I did need to be home sharp. So I pulled everything down and started the descent. At the most exposed point on the wide open summit I got another soaking in the showers but I was essentially dry by the time I got back to the car. No belly dancers about this time.

Countries worked: I, CT, OE, EA1, EA2, 2E0, DL, OK, HB9. ODX CT2gsn/p at 1536km.

A quick photo from my phone during a dry and sunny spell. Must be late spring in Scotland as I need a buff (double layered), Goretex jacket, fleece and gloves :frowning: Delta loop in background taking a beating from the wind. The feeder ending up in apparently free space is the 75ohm transformer that is connected to the loop itself!

Good fun and 10m SpE was doing a good show.


Just the perfect atmosphere to starting up with your 1st belly dancing lesson :wink:

Better than calling a Spotted Crake I suppose, or a little Spotted Kiwi, which would be a total waste of time, unless you were on ZL1/WL-093 , being the only Sota summit in the world with nearby residents.

Time was when you would have been looking to that hall for your propagation needs. Ah, as my uncle used to say, “When a man grows old, and his balls grow cold…”

Is the delta loop fed at one of the lower corners? And does it have a horizontal section as the base of the triangle? The details aren’t quite visible in your photo (of the antenna). Lots of details are visible in the earlier photo, I’m surprised you decided to walk up a hill and be drenched rather than the other offer!

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

All the gory details start here Andrew

A chance to play on 10m Andrew after ignoring it for so many years, I’d checked before I left and it showed the band open.

ok thanks. I reverse engineered that antenna length - it seems like the length of the loop would be the free space wavelength of 27.7 mhz so no wonder the swr was rising at 28.6.

As closed loops don’t have an end effect, the free space length works out pretty well for the 1 wavelength loop. That’s what I found on my diamond quad element for 28.5 mhz. it worked well, too.

73 Andrew VK1DA

Interesting, I used 1005/f which is prevalent across loop design websites. Mine does show best SWR at the design frequency. But that is the whole system including the 1/4λ transformer.

If he wan’t on his way to a SOTA but just out for a walk Guru, he would have ventured into the village hall I reckon!

73 Phil

So I would have, even on my hiking boots :slight_smile:


We only have his word for it that he didn’t. Does Mrs FMF read this reflector? :innocent:


She’s far too sensible to have anything to do with amateur radio.

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She sounds like Mrs PJZ (“10 4 Good Buddy” as she describes it :man_facepalming:)