BML family SOTA trip to 'Tryfan' GW/NW-006

Activation Report from the SOTA summit of Tryfan GW/NW-006:

GW4BML/p Ben

Winter wx is upon us in GW land but a gap was noticed last Sunday 25th September where the BML family decided to tackle the SOTA summit of Tryfan - it had forecasted sunny spells before the rain was to hit later in the week. The route taken follows:

We parked up in a free (don’t find many of them these days) carpark on the south side of Lake Ogwen, gathered our gear together and made for our ascent. The hike began on a nice newly laid stone path, but a very steep one!

You soon gained height and the views of Lake Ogwen were increasing every step you took:

After approximately 1/2 a mile, we had completed the main slog and hit the col of Tryfan. The well known Welsh mountain was standing rather tall in front of our eyes looking very evil with mist covering the peak:

A few hundred yards of pacing through nice grassy ground led us to a group of Mountain Goats grazing in the valley:

Before we took at the boulder field, we decided to stop for a snack. The wind was rather calm in the hollow, so this was a good idea!

After a few sarnies and piece of cake :slight_smile: we plodded on. Now came the part where full concentration was needed as we carefully climbed across the boulder field.

The mist slowly started to clear, so now was the chance to get an image of the Ogwen valley and the Glyders:

Not forgetting the family selfie :slight_smile:

After taking our time over all the pointy rocks and sticking out stones, the summit (Adam & Eve) was suddenly in view of us:

Martha and little Lyra both found a nice shaded rock to shelter by as I set up my office. The equipment used was my Elecraft KX2, 12w into an EFHW antenna propped up using the fantastic SOTAbeams 6m tactical mini telescopic pole:

I had a nice run on 60/40/20m SSB and managed two contacts on 2m FM just before the mist came down and gave us no choice but to begin our descent - logs below:

Through-out my activation, I had many people enquiring what I was doing … talking to planes?? … monitoring the wx?? … I was even asked if I was anything to do with satellites??

Now this is where my SOTA QR badge came into great use - I explained briefly what I was doing, but for a more detailed description I told people to scan my badge using there phone, which they did. Who ever came up with this good idea - it certainly works :ok_hand: I sewed mine on the rear of my cap:

It was now getting cold, so we had another BML family selfie between Adam and Eve and made for our descent:

I’d like to thank everyone from the SOTA community who called into me on this activation - great support was given as per normal. I look forward to our next outing!

73, GW4BML & family :+1:


Great write up and pics of the family and area, sorry I missed the log that day Ben. See you next time. 73 Don.

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Good write up Ben. Cracking views. What antenna have you got on the FT3D?

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Hi Ben, that first family photo is a great photo, all of you smiling. :smile:,
tell me, what is the gps you uare using?

cheers, Geoff vk3sq

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Thanks Don :+1: it was a nice day out, bloomin cold though, winter is here! I heard you on 20m before with Colwyn, you were 5/5 to me! Funny conditions again.

Take care and 73, GW4BML. Ben

. . . nice idea to name it that way!

73, DIZ

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Thanks John - I was using the following antenna on the FT5D:

I find this to be great and a big improvement to the standard rubber duck. It’s obviously not as good as the slim-g, but when your high up and the wx isn’t the best - this is the next best option :slight_smile:

I ordered it from USA, it took 10 days to arrive and no further charges or duty was needed.

73, GW4BML. Ben

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Hi Geoff,

Many thanks for the kind words - I’m very lucky both M & L enjoy hiking and the outdoors :slight_smile:

The GPS I use is the ‘Garmin gpsmap 66i pro’ recommended by Fraser @MM0EFI, its a great tool and gotten me out of trouble a few times when the mist sets in. The software I use is ‘osmaps’, and I download this information onto the Garmin.

I hope this helps, take care and 73, GW4BML. Ben

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I’d like to use this office more than my standard work one :slight_smile: hi

73, BML

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Nice job Ben, great photo’s!

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Thanks Ben

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thanks qso 73 jon m0hem

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I’m sure it’s an improvement over the stock antenna especially as many 2m stock rubber ducks work best between 146-148MHz rather than the region1 2m band. But the gain claims in the advert are completely bogus and meaningless. There again, who would be surprised to find an advert for antennas aimed at amateurs making nonsense claims!

I have Joystick VFA and matching Joymatch unit for sale if anyone is interested :wink:


Thanks Fred - was a great day out :slight_smile:

73, GW4BML. Ben

Many thanks John - great to give you the WAB square too!

73, GW4BML. Ben

I really don’t know how they can advertise the gain as they do on some rubber ducks :rofl: the ones I take in the bath with me work better! hi

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Very nice that you can bring your family. :+1:

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I’m lucky they enjoy the hiking :slight_smile:

Photos required …

No, sorry … please no


The gain quoted is over the stock antenna and is probably quite reasonable, but of course if you read it as something like gain over a dipole then it is ridiculous!