Craiglich GM/ES-068

I wasn’t even going to report this one…
However, if you’ve got a spare couple of hours and are in the area, this is a cracker. My new favourite wee hill.

I drive past it twice a day, but have never climbed it. Now, thanks to SOTA, I can. :wink:

I drove past it at 0410 this morning, heading to work, but with all the gear in the car this time. 1350 saw me back at the start of the route and 25 minutes later I was on top.

It took me longer to erect the and disassemble the mast than it did to work eight stations on 40m SSB, with Spain, Slovenia, Germany (summit to summit with DL1GKC - thank you Chris😊), England, and Wales making it into my log in a ten minute spell.

I really wanted to get a 2m ssb contact in the log, so I broke down the hf kit and erected the short mast and 2m beam.

Spotting myself on the 2m ssb calling channel yielded no joy and then a walker appeared and started yapping to me. “Doing CB mate?”

Twenty minutes later and I called CQ again on 2m ssb. To my surprise, GM4PKJ, just 28 miles S.E. in Inverbervie came straight back, and then promptly put his wife (GM8ZEQ) on! Nice ragchew, and first 2m ssb contacts from a SOTA summit in the log.

The views were stunning on the short walk down.

Radio kit carried today was:
Yaesu FT-857d
W3EDP long wire/counterpoise and 9:1 un-u
LDG Z-100plus tuner for the W3EDP
6m mast
2m mast containing “100g” 4 element yagi
LiFePo4 battery
Waterproof paper/pencil for logging
Power was 50 watts on 2m, 25 Watts on 40m.

So, new favourite wee hill? The sun was out, I walked up in a T-shirt and didn’t need to wear gloves at the top. That all helped! A nice, memorable activation and out and back in less than three hours. Perfect.


Hi Fraser

Thank you for the report and photos. More importantly thank you for the contact. Although perfectly readable here in Wales there was a roughness on your audio so something to check before your next outing.

Looking forward to an s2s with you one day.

73 Allan GW4VPX


Thanks for the contact Allan and also the feedback on the mic. I’m going to check that out. I may take a spare mic. on the next outing and do an A /B comparison.

Great to work you. My W3EDP 40m signals seems to land in Wales quite often from Aberdeenshire summits.

73, Fraser


Thank you for the report and our QSO, Fraser. It was great to work you S2S. I always realize how free from trees your summits are in Scotland. For me, it is always an adventure to come to the summit and test new equipment. I have also an FT-857D, but never took it on a summit due to its weight. So far, I lived with the 10 watts from my KX2 - only sometimes supported by the P50M amp if I need more SSB power (30 W).

Most of our summits in my area are fully covered with trees / forest. I have attached a photo that shows you my activation / QSO zone at that day from DM/RP-459 (Felsentisch = rock table). You were my farthest northwest contact. :smile:

Vy 73 de Chris


Great wee hill - was up it last year!

I’ll keep an eye out for 2m SSB spots in future, there’s not a huge amount of activity on that part of the band up here and I’d love to get some more activity on it!

I’ll maybe take my trusty old FT-100 up and put a call out. What’s your 2m Mast & yagi configuration? I started a 5 element last year, but it got too heavy to be practical rather quickly!

I use the 2nd top section of a fishing POLE and some 4mm alumnium welding rods for the yagi. If you Google 100 gramme yagi you’ll find the design. It works tremendously well and I’ve worked into Wales with 5 Watts on 2m FM.
The next two sections of the fishing pole are the mast. I have a SOTAbeams rotating guy ring fitted to this. The yagi fits to the mast using some plastic conduit fittings and is easily moved from vert. to horz. polarisation. The yagi fits inside the mast for transport.

My QTH is near Tarland, so drop me a line if you’re doing any 2m ssb and I’ll try and get out.

73, Fraser

It was great to work you too, particularly as I had audio quality problems. (Now resolved thanks to a 9:1 un-un.)
Most of the hills in Aberdeenshire would have had trees hundreds of years ago. Clearing has taken place for grazing as well as grouse shooting, as many of these hills are on large estates. The lack of trees makes access easier and improves signal take off, but I’ll always need a mast and guy ropes!
Your maps is cool, however my location was maybe 120 miles NE of indicated. {IO87OD}

73, Fraser