Craiglich GM/ES-068 11th May 2021

This was my second visit to this local hill, planned to coincide with a “break” in the current lousy Spring weather and also to test a new multi-band vertical. Since I have been using DX Commander masts on all my recent activations, I used the weather downtime to order a kit from Callum and constructed a 6-band vertical which took me about a day and a half, dodging heavy showers in my garden. I also optimistically decided on a early start to see if there was a chance of working some DX on 40m. Answer - no.
Craiglich is only 15 minutes drive from my home and I chose a different route up from the one I used last year from the North, going up a longer but less steep 2 mile forestry track from the East. Parking is very easy at the track start, which I reached at 0615 local. The track winds through mostly now deforested areas which are in the process of being replanted. Wildlife spotted/heard en route included red kites and a fox barking. Weather was cloudy and a bit windy and rain threatened but forecast was for sun later in the morning. I reached the summit after 1 hour ( I see Fraser MM0EFI took 25 minutes for his recent activation, but I’m older and carry a heavier pack :crazy_face:).
For a first field set-up, putting the DX Commander together went smoothly but took a bit of time - things are always different on a hill with real weather versus a sunny afternoon in your garden! My tent followed as light rain had started with a fairly constant wind of about 20mph.
Turned on the 857 at 0830 local and found 40 quite busy but I didn’t hear any DX. First in the log was F4WBN, followed by 7 more at which point my antenna blew down; apologies to anyone who was waiting. No damage done and I repegged the upwind guy with additional stakes and had no more problems during the day, even though the wind got stronger later on. I had another run on 40 and then moved to 20m which seemd pretty quiet but got a short run of EU chasers. Switched to 17m which was open and had a non-SOTA contact with 5B4AIX/P who was doing a FF activation, followed by 5 SOTAs after a self-spot, including Eric F5JKK for our third QSO of the day on different bands. Went back to 40 for a short run and the first S2S of the day with DM3FAM/P. I then took a break to put up my 2m and 6m beams, more in hope than anything but heard nothing on either band all day. Went back to HF and found 15m open to EU and had my first S2S on that band with OE5REO/P. 12 and 10m were not open at all, so the DX Commander remained untested on those bands. I saw a 40m spot from Fraser MM0EFI/P who was up in the snow on GM/ES-007 south-west of me and we had our first S2S. After that the promised sun finally appeared and I alternated between 40 and 20, the latter providing best DX of the day with W1OW in Mass. Last contact of the day was IK2LEY on 17m after we failed to complete on 20m earlier due to QSB.

After a leisurely pack up in the sun and even stronger southerly wind I made my way down back to the car. En route I had a chat with some forestry guys doing some re-planting, one of whom told me his neighbour was a ham with “aerials all over the place”. Further down I met a young lady jogging up and she passed me again on her way down, just before I got to my car. Oh to be young again!

Overall I was pretty happy with the new antenna. Laying the radials on top of heather didn’t seem to cause problems and the only issue I had was a bit of de-tuning on 40m which may have been due to the bend in the mast caused by the wind - see pic. I will sort out some upper guying for next time. In terms of performance, signal reports were variable but for the first time I had several 59+10 reports from EU on both 40 and 20m and W1OW gave me a 57, so I’ll take that as a success.
Thanks to all, particularly those who found me on several bands.

Route up from the East

Operating position - I corrected the tilt on the 2m beam after the pic was taken. Couldn’t do much about the tilt on the vertical :laughing:

DX Commander radials

Summit cairn/shelter, trig point, fire basher and scenic tree


Hi Simon,
Thanks for the report, the activation and the QSO on 20m SSB.
I would say your new antenna worked well for me, as your signal was good on my receiver and you picked me up right upon my first call. I could copy you on my 3 elements yagi beaming West and also on my broadband inverted vee dipole, but your signal was better on my yagi, so that’s what I used during our QSO.
You’ve given me 6 Scottish summits so far (3 in 2020 + 3 in 2021) and I’ll be looking forward to chase you on many more.


Hi Simon,

Thanks for this report, now I can see why you putting nice signal on every band was listening for your spots :crazy_face:

In fact in less than an hour we had done 3 QSO :+1: On 20m just after Guru @EA2IF

For quite some time i have been reading good reports and find this … and i am sure this is what you are using :+1:

Merci de confirmer cela ! :yum:

73 QRO Éric

Hello Simon @GM4JXP.

Thank you for the report and pictures. See you in the next s2s :+1:


73 Marcel DM3FAM

Hi Eric,

Your link is for the complete system. I bought the conversion kit and DX10 wire as I already had the mast. The kit just has the basic key parts and I had to source nuts, bolts, shock cord, carabiners, hose clamps, fork connectors, heat shrink and guy rope paracord separately, mainly from Amazon.

Thanks again for the 3 contacts, Simon

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Thanks Marcel. Always nice to see what the other end of a S2S looks like,

73, Simon

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Hi Guru, glad to get you in the log again, along with the other regular chasers from EA land,

  1. Simon
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Great work Simon. Thanks again for the S2S. Our first of many I’m sure.

I optimistically called CQ on 145.500fm with my handheld and whip around noon BST in case you were listening!