Cloud & Gun 2018

As it is now no longer either Christmas or New Year, all seasonal aspects of my activations, and activation reporting, are suspended for eleven months.

Or so I thought. When I worked Dwayne 2E0DIJ today, it was the first contact between us since New Year’s Eve, and so the customary greeting was exchanged. I briefly considered extending Jimmy’s New Year 2018 thread by just one more post…

Also worked were 2E0DIJ and Jordan MW3TMX/P S2S from Cyrn-y-Brain GW/NW-043.

I had intended to take the rucksack and resume some HF activating on 40m, or maybe 15m. However, it was very cold and windy at the parking spot and I soon changed my mind. The wind was northerly, which would have rendered my favoured sheltered spot, well, unsheltered.

So VX7, 2m FM handheld again. I’ll be getting a reputation…

4 by 1 here Tom.

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You already have one.


Oof, I felt that. The pain soon eased off though, only to be amplified by a stream of “likes”. Mind you, I was one of those. I guess I’ve always been a bit masochistic.

So for my activation of The Cloud G/SP-015 on Sunday 7th January 2018, I resolved to get back on HF and dispel all these rumours once and for all. 10MHz was the spectrum area of choice, and the 30m dipole was packed.

Only thing was, I’d forgotten that it was broken, and that I hadn’t got round to diagnosing it, let alone fixing it. Ah well, back to the 2m handie then - which I’d left in the car - aargh! I sat on the summit for a good hour, just admiring the stunning views on this crisp, cold and bright January morning.

Eventually, I descended to dump the rucksack and collect the VX7. The reascent was very quick, and I was soon QRV on 2m FM. Four contacts, and back down I went.

I’ll be getting a reputation…

Hi Tom,
You selfspotted this morning on 30m.

We made QSO at 9h08 utc. You gave me 559, I gave you 429 and we exchanged HNY greetings, and 73.

Are you feeling ok?
Aren’t you suffering from frozen brain or something like that?



No. I don’t know who you worked Guru, but it wasn’t me. I was able to RX a bit on the antenna, and the VSWR indication was not unusable, albeit far from optimum. So I did try to put out some CQ SOTA calls, albeit in vain. I didn’t make any contacts.

OK, Tom. Thanks for the response.
I fear it was my brain the one suffering from something weird this morning :laughing:
I probably had QSO with Colin @M1BUU, as he was spotted on about the same frequency at about the same time:

For some reason I got mistaken and I even called Tom to the activator I chased this morning. He didn’t say "I’m not Tom, I’m Colin or something like that, so I didn’t realize of my mistake and logged a QSO with M1EYP.
I’ll wait and see if Colin can confirm his QSO with me this morning or I can find me on his activator log. Then I’ll correct my local (not yet uploaded to the DB) chaser log.

Sorry for my mistake.



Thanks Guru.

Surely whether Colin has logged it or not, the “QSO” with M1BUU cannot be valid anyway, from what you have described?

Ha! Yes, it was me! I thought you called me ‘DR OM’, which I thought was out of the ordinary, but I went along with it!

As far as I’m concerned, I had a good QSO, I’ll log it as normal. I worked more than my needed 4 QSOs, so it makes no difference.

Vy 73,

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Interesting Colin! Now that Guru has publicly stated above that he believed he was working M1EYP (me) when you thought he was working you, do you still believe it was a good QSO?

I was hoping to catch you S2S myself this morning, but no chance of that with my 30m antenna fail :frowning:

HNY to you and the family.

Yes, I had my signal report and I had Guru’s call sign correctly, my side of things is complete - it wasn’t an error on my part. If it was my one of my only four QSOs and the chaser didn’t log it, would that mean I’d not qualify the summit? What more can the activator reasonably do?

I’m logging the QSO, Guru is free to do as he so sees fit.

I did check try to keep an eye on the spots for you Tom but you had moved to 2FM and I only had my MTR with me.

Happy New Year.


I hope you got your points today Colin. I just missed you by 5 minutes on 40m, then you were just too weak on 30 and 20. It’s a bit hit and miss chasing from my QTH, the activators are either there or they’re not.

It’s good that it doesn’t matter in this instance Colin, that’s the main thing.

Continuing to play “Devil’s Advocate” though, you may well indeed have heard your report, but that is not sufficient for a complete QSO either under the SOTA General Rules, or indeed general amateur radio convention.

SOTA General Rules
“QSOs must comprise an exchange of callsigns and signal reports”.

There clearly hasn’t been a correct exchange of callsigns in this instance.

Dear all,

From a purist point of view it could be argued that my QSO with Colin M1BUU activating G/NP-028 this morning was not valid because I didn’t log his callsign correctly due to mistaken information seen and later copied from SOTAwatch / pasted on my SAISIE SOTA log.

As you all know, nowadays, most of the times, chasers actually chase after looking to the spots on SOTAwatch and the callsign + summit reference information on the spot is what we get logged.

Personally, I many times pay attention on the activator’s frequency until I hear the activator’s callsign and the summit reference, if I have the time for that and so propagation conditions permit.
I even I often remain on the frequency listening to the complete activation until the activator goes QRT or QSY, but I admit it’s not always possible like that due to time constrains, i.e. having to take my headphones off to hear what some family member wants to tell me, having to leave the shack right away for work or other duties, willing to QSY quickly to chase another spotted activator, etc…

We should, whenever possible, remain on the frequency until we get the activator callsign and summit reference by ourselves, but given this is not always possible in our 21st century everyday life, it’s fair that we rely on what tecnology and the great SOTA team put at our beck and call, like SOTAwatch.

Let me finish off saying that, as far as I understand it, this QSO was 100% valid. We copied 100% OK each other but I didn’t hear Colin sending his callsign and I wrongly assumed he was Tom M1EYP when he was indeed Colin M1BUU.

When I told GM DR TOM and Colin didn’t correct me because he assumed I said GM DR OM, which is a very typical expression in a CW QSO, is something totally understandable and I won’t blame Colin for that at all.

Thanks to this great Reflector we’ve been able to talk and spot this mistake during the day, well before my usual log update at the end of the day, so I’ll correct my wrong entry in my SAISIE SOTA local log and I’ll upload a 100% correct chaser log That’s all I can say about it.

Feel free to write your point of view about the matter.

Best 73,


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It was quite nice today activating G/LD-050 Gummer’s How because there were clearly a couple of chasers who had found me on the bands by chance.

Having said that there was -5 degC of wind chill so if I hadn’t self-spotted I’d maybe have worked one band at most in the hour I was on the air.

We need to keep this hobby going with any means possible. I’m all for the self spot if it makes the difference between radio contact or not.

Regards, Mark. M0NOM.

Hi Mark, I too favour the self-spot massively in SOTA. It is the ‘completing the QSO online a few hours later’ that I am not so sure about HI HI!

Monday 8th January 2018

I was asked back to do another day on maths supply at a lovely school in Leek, Staffordshire, so it was another (these days not-so-familiar) 7am get-up and leaving the house in a suit and tie. I chucked my walking scruff in the car as well though. Might have to be the norm this week, for they asked me to do Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as well - all maths as well - hurray!

After the “day-job”, I had some private maths tutoring to do in Biddulph, but this finished earlier than scheduled, so I was able to head off for The Cloud G/SP-015 shortly after 5.30pm.

The mud was frozen solid, but not icy or slippery, so the walk up was quick, easy and relaxed. On the summit I called and called on the handheld, but couldn’t seem to get any response. Then like buses, two came at once, and I QSYd down to 145.450MHz FM. Four contacts in two minutes, then no more callers despite a couple of QRZs and once more CQ call on S20.

So job done, down I went, and home for tea. That’s now 45 consecutive days of SOTA activating, 72 activations in the last 68 days. This is set to continue for a while yet…


With a day’s supply teaching in Leek, followed by an evening fully booked with private tuition sessions, the only option to continue the consecutive daily activation nonsense was to do an early morning one on the way to school. Just like the old days.

While driving to Gun G/SP-013, I called CQ on 2m FM from the mobile rig, the idea being to line one or more QSO partners up to guarantee the activation! Arthur G0OHY kept me company for the journey, and promised he would be listening for my call from the summit.

However, when I did call after my customarily soggy walk-in, Arthur was nowhere to be found - and neither was anyone else. I started to worry about having to leave the summit with an empty logbook in order not to be late for work, but thankfully Steve MW0ISC called in for a contact.

So just a single QSO activation today! Tomorrow’s should have plenty more.

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Friday 12th January 2018 - Gun G/SP-013

Did some work in Leek. Played football (and scored a goal) in Leek. Went up the nearest SOTA summit to Leek on the way home.

Walked halfway to the summit from the parking area (well into the AZ). Called CQ SOTA on the 2m handheld. Got two QSOs.

Went home. Had me tea.

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Saturday 13th January 2018 - Billinge Hill G/SP-017.

A gig in Liverpool led me to this appalling summit just 13 days after my last activation of it. It was surprisingly close to my satnav route to the venue anyway.

I walked up through Beacon Farm from Crank Lane hoping for a quick and easy 2m FM handheld activation. Seven QSOs in five minutes and no local transmitter QRM was all most welcome, and allowed me to be on time for the soundcheck!

Thanks to the chasers.