Undertook my second summit activation last Thursday 21st / March at Rhos Ymryson GW/MW-035 near Gorsgoch (about 8 miles from home). I chose the day as I was hoping for my first S2S with Barry MW0IML and Ricky MW6GWR on 40m but things did not go to plan as they were late in getting to their summit due to the high winds and extreme conditions.
I initially went to the farm to ask permission to go up as there is no public right away to this location. No problems there and the farmer’s mother said ‘carry on’. Easy walk up, then setup up my little pop up tent but had to tie it to the Welsh Water compound fence and weigh it down with my rucksack (bothy bag next time) as it was ‘floating’ due to the ferocity of the wind!
As you know Rhos Ymryson is only 327m and a reasonably ‘safe’ 1 pointer but I had great difficulties on my own in setting up
The Sota pole was secured to the fence with the dipole center on it but as I went to secure one leg to a post the pole bent to horizontal and blew the center off so had to start again with a little insulating tape as a stopper!!. A tangle had appeared on the other leg… Grr… I’m glad nobody was filming this as it was an ideal piece of footage for a TV viewers video clip show. Tx time was fast approaching so decided that the pole was not going to work at full height so it was left considerably lower with a higher than usual vswr due presumably to the proximity to the chain link security fence. Had left my little auto ATU at home as fully erected the 2 band dipole is resonant on required freq. and can be fed straight in to Tx.
Got in the tent and set up giving a call out on 7.124 Mhz dead on my estimated activation time. G6TUH answered immediately as I had emailed him the night before to say that I would be activating. A brief QSO with Mike and the info came back that I had already been spotted by MW0BBU (Steve) which brought a pile up of 45 chaser in about 35 mins.
Loads of thanks ensued for the summit as it was a new one to many on 40m SSB. By now the farmer had joined me and he laid down half in and half out of the tent to listen. He was one of my ex-pupils so he had a pleasant experience listening to ‘Sir On The Air’. By now not only did I have a gale force wind that was getting more intense but rain/sleet started to fall horizontally! I told G6TUH that I was going QRT and he informed me that there was still no sign of Barry and Ricky but he had heard that they were having similar or even worse problems than me with the high winds.
The farmer said he was going to check the stock and that he would be back shortly to help me take my stuff back down to the car. Everything was packed away with difficulty in the now worsening weather - cold hands, fast release knots that will not release, insulating tape that would not unwind etc. - you know the score.
I was disappointed that I failed to get a S2S as Barry and Ricky came on briefly about 30 mins later but delighted with all the contacts, the lessons learnt, and meeting an ex-pupil who said to use the summit as much as I wanted. It’s going to be a great place to experiment, fine tune and test things out.
I can tell you now that there are quite a few more activations in the pipeline within the GW/MW xxx locality. A big thanks to all the chasers and to Mike and Steve.