Couldn't do it without you…

As 2023 slips away to a snowy end here in Scotland, I just wanted to record appreciation to the volunteers of the SOTA MT and associated supporters across the globe who do such an amazing job every year with keeping our superb website, database and reflector running so well, and especially the SOTAwatch live site which makes chasing and activating summits so interesting, not to mention somewhat easier!
Naturally, most of their technical work goes unseen but our gratitude should be widely recognised.
Obviously there was no formal SOTA when I started as an SWL 55 years ago with this…


…And I was an equally enthusiastic SWL when I bought this some 35 years ago…

But as a keen hillwalker, SOTA was instrumental in motivating me to obtain my licence in 2020 so that I could do more than just listen, so I moved up to this…

…and then to this…

…and then to my first attempts chasing and activating on CW…

…all seemingly unbelievable for me years ago. I could never have imagined as a young teenager fiddling with my wartime R1155 that amateur radio would still be so enjoyable decades later.
I’m sure I’m not alone in offering thanks to the MT who run this aspect of our hobby so well, and, of course, to the activators and chasers whose advice, guidance, humour and information is invaluable.
Here’s to a very Happy New Year to all, and for a successful SOTA 2024 - starting immediately with the 10m challenge, of course!
Slainte mhath :tumbler_glass:
Vy 73 Mike :grinning:

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That’s what it’s all about Mike. I’d choose that shack over any others.

All the Best for 2024!

Oh, and if anyone wants to support SOTA financially, there’s a paypal link in the SOTA shop. Worth every penny.

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What an enjoyable read - I certainly second what you mention above Mike @MM7MWL about the SOTA MT - it really is an amazing hobby and they do a fantastic job behind the scenes!

Here’s to another great year had on the hills activating… from the home shack chasing… and not to mention it, meeting some lovely fellow amateurs and SOTA activators throughout the year - one being yourself Mike :grinning: thank you for the support too!

Happy New Year all - bring on the mountains for 2024 :ok_hand:

73, Ben
Currently GI4BML

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Great reflection piece, it really conveyed the joy you feel and we share. I’m glad to be able to rejoin the scene after a break. For me, SOTA adds an extra & fascinating reason for stomping about in the mountains. It’s got me planning trips to mountains that wouldn’t register as places for a walk. The garden is now interesting, a test bed for an antenna or rig set-up. Whilst I have the luxury of choice, I’d rather have a rough time activating than fretting in the warmth of the shack, hoping I’m in range for the chase.

Happy New Year & long may your batteries hold charge

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Somebody else using the head mounted antenna system for SOTA. :slight_smile:

c.f. MM Holiday - #68 by MM0FMF

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:joy::joy: Simply utilising a capacity hat to mask my thinly stranded end-fed which over time has gradually changed from a continuous wave system to my current highly polished reflector……! :joy::joy:

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Greetings Mike, I too had a similar radio journey as you, and I suspect all of us have, my first radio for SWL was a R1155 that I bought after saving for up from my pocket money back 60 years ago. Loved it.

Geoff vk3sq
HNY

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Can’t disagree with that, Fraser, in the wonderful mountainous country we inhabit :grinning:

Yes indeed, Ben. Your efforts always impress and inspire. Thank you. :grinning:

That’s great, Iolo, and so true. Hope you continue to have a happy return to the hills :grinning:

We were fortunate to have fascinating and varied government surplus equipment around at that time, Geoff, without which the hobby might have passed many of us by. Modern equipment is amazing but the warm glow, the sound and usually the smell of those rigs was a heady mix that captivated us and never let go. :grinning:

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:grinning:

(Added on New Year’s Day…. ) So my 2024 10m Challenge is off to a flying start with four hours of generally unsuccessful listening finally generating a real DX contact of 25.4 miles between the garden of where I’m spending New Year and Andy @MM7MOX/P on Black Hill GM/SS-167….! Oh well, onwards and upwards …… 73 Mike :grinning:

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Hi Mike, good to catch you today from Black Hill GM/SS-167. Our second QSO got my 10m challenge started as well, I managed another 10m QSO at about the same distance to the West. I did worry that it was going to be a 2m only activation today since I kept getting high SWR on HF. It turned out to be operator error, I hadn’t spotted that one of the links for 6m on the dipole was open until I looked straight up above me !
I had a scheduled QSO on a noisy 40m band, then a spot on 15m brought in a run of 9 chasers. I reset the dipole links for 10m and saw a spot from M7TSU but couldn’t hear him unfortunately.
As you say onwards and upwards.
Andy
MM7MOX

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I heard you mention that, Andy, but really pleased that it wasn’t something to prevent your activation on HF going ahead. Was great to work you on 10m which meant that for a fleeting heady moment I was leading the 10m Challenge chasers list in GM-land with a grand total of 1…! That didn’t last long, needless to say, but I did screenshot it for posterity…:joy:
Great work you getting out on the hills today with some good contacts. Looking forward to our next QSOs soon. Vy 73 Mike :grinning:

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