Cairn William GM/ES-072 Thursday Dec 17th

First decent weather for some time and the last day before Aberdeenshire moved into Tier 3. Depending on how things go with Covid restrictions, this may be my last activation of 2020.
The walk up took a tad longer than anticipated - should have started before sunrise, so had to post a quick update to my likely start time. The final part of the path up to the summit is actually a downhill bike run, so on a busier day you would have to keep a good look-out for whizzing bikers. The hill was pretty quiet all day though, with just a couple of bikers and 3 walkers. As can be seen from the pic of the trig point, parts of the Cairn William summit are bald granite, so I was wondering about guy rope pegging problems. However, away from the bald bits there was plenty of deep heather with enough grip to keep the masts up despite a fairly stiff breeze. I set up on the north side to get a bit of shelter from the southerly wind and was ready to roll at 1130. There was a bit of a delay setting up the delta loop - a learning point: complete the loop connections to the feed point while the antenna is on the ground before raising the mast, otherwise the wind twists the wires together, causing much operator swearing.
A quick band check showed nothing on 10m and a few weak sigs on 15m, so I started on 20m with the delta loop with a quick S2S with IV3NGF/P, followed by a good run of usual customers. First DX of the day was EA8/HB9FIH on El Hierro, swiftly followed by WP4ROQ for a new country and then SV8QDJ on Ikaria for a second new one. Then after a S2S with OE7RDI/P things went quiet, so I switched to 40m. I started with a S2S with Bill G4WSB/P and then had a short burst of activity which provided a further 10 QSOs. I then checked 15m again and tried calling A71QND who was the only station I could hear, but unfortunately he couldn’t hear me. Moving back to 20m, after a few regulars in OK2PDT, SV2OXS and SV2RUJ, I completed a difficult S2S with G0EVV/P with 33 both ways. W1OW was the first US contact of the day at 1250, followed by AK8A Michegan, W1OKO VT and WD8KDB Michegan. Then after quite a few fruitless CQs on 20m, I logged a S2S with DB4LL/P on 40m. With the wind starting to pick up, I went back to 20m for the final session of the day. 9H4CT Colin on Gozo gave me my third new country and I gave him a signal report on the FT707 he was testing for the Gozo ARS. Then 3 more US contacts with N2LT in New York state, N4EX NC and finally W6KH Rick in San Diego, who gave me a 58 report which was amazing. However, a few more minutes of CQing brought no further contacts so I called it a day at 1515, giving me time to pack up in rapidly disappearing daylight.
Summit trig point:

Happy Christmas to all chasers and fellow activators.


Good morning Simon,
Just seen your post.
Yes it was a difficult 20m path on Thursday, we cannot have been much over 150miles apart. I was running 100 W to a link dipole at 6 m.
I was out looking for S2S and managed 13 in 3 1/2 chilly hrs from my perch on G/SB-008, Long Crag.

As you can see I have been befriended by a baby Christmas tree, so I added a bit of tinsel for Christmas cheer.

David G0EVV


Hi Dave,

Yes, the path might have been better for us on 40m. 13 S2S - good stuff. I see you were using CW as well as SSB; that’s a New Year’s resolution for me, to get going on CW again. Looks like we both use the 857d and even the same all-weather notebook :slight_smile:

Cheers, Simon

Thanks for the report and photo Simon.

I’m glad you had a good activation with some nice DX. Thank you for the summit and brief qso.

73 stay safe

Allan GW4VPX

Thanks Allan, hope to meet you on the bands again next year. After the announcements today, definitely no more activations possible this year.

73 Simon

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You’ve been so lucky with lesser restrictions and better WX than here in the near of Edinburgh that I’ve been very envious. Welcome to my world now!

However, if the worst position we are in is we can’t go and play radio on the hills when there are people sick, dying or without jobs then I’ll take being stuck at home every time. It’ll give you a chance to get your Morse skills back. I’m looking forward to getting out soonest and just hearing some of the usual voices and fists again and working “new to me” calls like yourself.

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Amen to that Andy.

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