Cadair Berwyn GW/NW-012 International SOTA 03/05

Activation Report on our best summit to date:

Our Original Plan for the Int SOTA weekend was to do SP-001 but Tom got to alert it before us.

Decided on NW-012 as it was an 8 Pointer,would be very challenging walk in and was close enough to home to limit travel time.

Setting off at 9am planned to arrive at parking space for 10.30 with 2hr walk to Summit from there. Roads were quiet as we headed down A483 to Llynclys then turn left towards Porth-Y-Waan then into some narrow country lanes through some little welsh villages. finally arriving at Pystill Waterfall at 10.15. Decided to park right at end where the Pay & Display park (£2 all day) as there was toilets and a cafe there. We had already decided to follow Joshua’s (MW3EPA) directions from the Summit details on Website.

Headed off from car through the woods and onto path that led to newly constructed bridge over river, reasonable walk upwards not too tasking. Just as we turned right on the path through the valley the wind picked up and we hit some boggy ground that took a bit of navigating. Felt as if we had got on time until we reached the lake at the base of the summit. The boggy ground had slowed us more than I had anticipated,but we needed a good break at the lakeside,especially looking up at the final ascent section. Hill had become busy with the usual ramblers who for their age had put us to shame. After good 20 mins rest at lake, I tried to log on and let Alerts know I was running late,but no signal on my O2 powered Iphone.

Final ascent was difficult and very steep in places and close to sheer drop on right, so it was a case of watch your footing all the way.levelling off as we reached small plateu we could then see summit with Stone Shelter and Trig beyond. Reaching Stone Shelter 35 mins late and still to set up I got on with it, while Elaine set up Catering for a well needed brew before kicking off at 1250 UTC. Too windy and busy with walkers for HF Antenna again so just 2m Beam and 6m dipole up ,started on 2m SSB with Cracker 1st contact M6MOF/P into Lincoln 4-1 both ways. Quiet for few mins then PILE UP with doubling and trebling,making it hard to extract callsigns. Asking the chasers to be patient I managed to get a good few in the log,then G4DPZ Dave who had been patient told me that he had spotted me at 1253 which had caused the pile up thanks for spotting and then waiting 20 mins to get me. Six S2S contacts on 2m SSB including 3 with Tom,Jimmy and Sean on Kinder. 4 of them uniques for me. Furthest contact has to be with Andy MM0FMF/P from Southwest Scotland 5-1 shame he wasnt on a SOTA Summit. Total of 28 contacts on 2m SSB, Smashing!! Break for some food then kick off on 6m next.

After Lovely cold indian buffet on summit,I went to 50.150 ready to call,expecting nothing as wasnt sure about “Magic Band”. G1SWH called before I so decided to QSY with him to 50.160 and promote SOTA as he was unsure about what I was doing. He left me on 160 and Roger MW0IDX came on and spotted me. Then weak but readable signal from GW7AAV first time contact with Steve on 6m. S2S with Mark G0VOF/P on SP-011 Freeholds Top. Total of 9 on 6m ssb, “Magic Band” worked its magic for me today!! Shouted on 4m Wouxun a number of times but no joy so decided, lets get down.

Once again we decided to follow in Joshua’s footsteps and avoid step close to edge descent. We followed fence till it reached the cairn at Moel Sych where the fence then went to the left down quite steeply towards Pystill valley. The weather must have been very wet recently, as we had a good few sections of this descent path with very boggy ground indeed. following fence down and over we eventually hit a problem as the final Ladder Stile had collapsed and was in pieces on the ground. We had to clamber over wire fence instead( We did no damage to the fence Mr Landowner but would appreciate a quick repair to the Stile please??) after this the path becomes very rocky and loose gravel below feet, a word of warning when you meet a path crossing from left to right dont go right as we did , it only leads to the top of the waterfall and we had to return to the crossroads back up quite a steep path back. go left and follow the path down to car park space.

To Summarise: The best summit to date for us ,with its wonderful views,easy first section and well presented pathways. The Activation presenting me with a total of 5 unique S2S with some long distances on 2m into Scotland,Lincoln and Oxford. First time ever since licensed getting contacts on 6m and finally the most contacts on any summit to date.

Thanks to all chasers for your patience during pile up and thanks to other activators for your S2S contacts. A BIG Thank you to Joshua for your very clear and precise instructions, well done on conquering this one also!!

All of you made the Hard work getting up there well worthwhile.

Photo on Flicker and all calls logged in database as usual



In reply to 2E0LAE:

weak but readable signal from GW7AAV first time contact with Steve on 6m.

Thanks for the nice report. Just for the record when I saw the spot for 6m I just grabbed the 817 and shoved in the lead from my 6m antenna. I was on low batteries running 2.5w max. My antenna is a converted CB ‘Silver Rod’ end fed half wave vertical. Normally I would have a 100w from the 706 or 857 at my disposal. I had disconnected the antenna due to a high swr caused by corrosion with the intention of servicing it. So it rubbish signal into poorly antenna but we made it :0)

Thanks for giving me this summit on 6m.

Best regards Steve GW7AAV

In reply to GW7AAV:

Dont panic Steve my report was an honest judgement of the Signal and I was pleased to get you on 6m!!

All the above excuses are not good enough anyway Hi Hi Hi(only Joking) always pleased to get old friends on any summit and especially on unusual bands!!!



In reply to 2E0LAE:

As is says on the front of the book ‘DON’T PANIC’, I know where my towel is.

I just wanted to make the point to some readers who might be sitting there thinking “I only have an 817 and my aerial is rubbish” that if they don’t give it a try they will never know.

I will try to blow your socks off next time.

How many watts? The answer is 42.


In reply to GW7AAV:

Got to agree with you Steve,everything we do is experimental, and having the attitude of “lets try it and see” is one I use all the time.

The halfwave wire dipole was homebrew and only consists of a dipole centre and two lengths of flexweave cut to length for low SWR.

Thats why I was so chuffed to get the contacts on 6m that I did get.

I will be waiting on Kinder Scout on Sunday 17th May for my “socks to be blown off” and will bring a spare pair for the descent. Hi Hi



In reply to 2E0LAE:

A nice report & very nice read :slight_smile:

I was very happy to be your first summit to summit on 6 Metres Tony :slight_smile:

As I have said on the other thread, quite an interesting contact as we were both using less than ideal 6 Metre aerials!!!

You now have the “honour” of being the first station to work G/SP-011 Freeholds Top on 6 Metres for SOTA, as until last Sunday it had not been activated on that band before.

If I’d known you were going to call on 4 Metres I would have listened for you. I didn’t set up the J-Pole until quite late but I’m sure we could have worked handheld to handheld given the strength of your signal on 6 Metres. Ah well, I’m sure there will be other opportunities :wink:

I’m glad the “Magic Band” worked for you, but you should hear it when it does open up, it’s amazing!!!

My activation report for SP-011, with some video footage is posted on the reflector. The video doesn’t include our QSO, but you can see how I had set up my station.

Hope to work you again very soon :slight_smile:


Mark G0VOF

In reply to G0VOF:

Cheers Mark,

I thank you for the “Honour” of 1st to work SP-011 on 6M, you deserve the “Honour” of being the first to activate it!!

As for 4M, I think that band is just as weird as 6M at times, once again my 4M antenna is a shorter version of my 6m dipole,but with the addition of a choke balun. have had some good contacts in the past with it,but not that sunday.

I have now agreed that the day was full of uniques and the most enjoyable to date.

Lets hope there are many more!!