Ed's Birthday

Edward M6NSR celebrated his 19th birthday recently, and suggested it would be appropriate for amateur radio friends and family to join him for an activation and a curry to mark the occasion. Who were we to refuse?

Shining Tor G/SP-004 was the chosen summit, for its local proximity, and winter bonus points. It was Sunday 8th January 2012, and a bracing morning walk was in order to “detox” from the previous day’s alcohol intake that accompanied the Macclesfield Town v Bolton Wanderers FA Cup tie. The usual walk up was followed, from just short of the Cat & Fiddle pub between Macclesfield and Buxton.

It was breezy and cold on the summit, and I went for the bench in the wall corner. Jimmy and Edward went to the trig point, but decided to operate using 2m handhelds only, with no beam, as they didn’t feel like setting it up. They both qualified comfortably nonetheless.

On 10m CW, it was 17 QSOs for me, but all into just 3 DXCCs - RA, UR and G. On 10m SSB I worked another 8 - comprising G, GW and RA, while on 10m FM it was just another two G stations. Finishing on 2m FM, also handheld style, I worked two GWs, including Keith GW8HXE/P on Foel Fenlli GW/NW-051, completing a rather fun set of 29 QSOs for my activation.

Jimmy M3EYP and Ed M6NSR had long since departed the summit by the time I had finished, and sensibly so, as the weather had deteriorated sharply later on. They were waiting warm and dry in my car, but I had taken a bit of a soaking during packing up that had only partially dried out during the descent.

We drove up Charity Lane in Walker Barn to good old “Chaser Central” to do some chasing, but it seemed that the weather had beaten all the other activations off the UK summits as well. There was certainly a void of action on 2m FM.

After dropping Ed off home, we returned to our home QTH for a freshen up and a watch of the City-United FA Cup game on the box. Later, we reconvened at the Weston Balti Raj for Ed’s birthday meal, where it was one of those excellent occasions where the radio amateurs outnumber the rest! As well as Ed, Jimmy and myself, there was Ed’s mum and dad, Emily 2E1AEQ, Ray G0DMV, plus Richard G3CWI. We were joined by Marianne and Liam, plus Jimmy and Ed’s mates Craig and Hunter, and enjoyed the superb cuisine (and lager) on offer.


In reply to M1EYP:

but it seemed that the weather had beaten all the other activations off the UK >summits as well

I did just over 1hr on SS-167 on 20m CW only activation and worked 25 QSOs and 12DXCC with ODX being UX1IM. (OK, OE, OM, DL, HB9, Z3, IK, UX, LY, OK, LZ, LA)

Anyway, Many Happy Returns to Ed who I’ve had the pleasure of working a few times now.


In reply to M1EYP:

Although, for once, we were early activating Corndon we were not early enough; sorry to miss Edward’s Birthday activation. However, I was very grateful for the few words from Ed and Jimmy at the Cat & Fiddle, giving me contacts three and four as the rain began and so enabling a brisk retreat. The best part of 100km, so not bad for HH to HH on 70cm. I still got a soaking as the overtrousers managed to hide near the bottom of the sack but at least the radio kit remained dry enough to emerge unscathed for Stiperstones and Pole Bank.


Edward’s birthday again. Blimey, it only seems a year since the last one.

Nonetheless, Ed 2E0NSR requested the same birthday activities from Jimmy M0HGY and myself M1EYP as last year - join him on an activation of Shining Tor G/SP-004 and later join him and his family for a curry at the Weston Balti Raj. We were delighted to cooperate.

A not-too-early start on Sunday 6th January 2013 meant that we picked up Edward at around 1045, then drove up the lanes to the parking spot close to the Cat & Fiddle on the A537. Edward, Jimmy, Liam and myself all set off on the familiar walk to the summit in very low visibility - but at least it stayed dry.

The wind direction across the summit was in the same direction as the main wall, so I directed the lads into the next summit north, where finding shelter would be so much easier. I set up the 80m dipole, Ed set up his 20/15/10m trap dipole while Jimmy did the SOTA Beam.

Ed 2E0NSR/P had a good time on 20m SSB, and got stateside a couple of times. Jimmy M0HGY/P made plenty on 2m FM as usual, and included two S2S QSOs. On 80m CW, I worked using the YouKits HB-1B transceiver, which was enjoyable. However, I made more QSOs when I reverted to the FT-817 and did 80m SSB!

We then all participated in a little rotation. Jimmy M0HGY took over on the FT-817 + 80m SSB station, Ed 2E0NSR took his own FT-817 and connected it to the SOTA Beam for some 2m FM, while I coupled the HB-1B to Ed’s 20m dipole. This brought me a steady run of contacts, including two into the USA, all with decent incoming reports, and all on the HB-1B’s internal lithium batteries.

The only minor irritation was the apparent lack of full break-in, with a long delay time. I can set the FT-817 to near-full break-in, but the switching makes such a racket that a longer delay is preferable overall! I have found one other report on the internet of the HB-1B not appearing to have the full break-in anticipated, but otherwise I cannot find many discussions about this aspect.

I finished with 30 QSOs from Shining Tor, which is exactly the same number as Jimmy made. Liam and I descended once I had finished packing up, and sometime later Jimmy and Edward followed. From my car, we all worked Karen 2W0XYL/P on Penycloddiau GW/NW-054. BBC Radio 5 Live reported that Macclesfield Town had been drawn at home in the 4th round of the FA Cup, facing either Wigan Athletic or AFC Bournemouth.

We dropped Ed off and went home for a wash and change, before meeting back up again at the Weston Balti Raj for a birthday nosh. Also in attendance were more of Ed and Jimmy’s old school mates, and Ed’s mum and dad, Emily 2E1AEQ and Ray G0DMV. Happy 20th birthday Edward!


In reply to M1EYP:

A not-too-early start on Sunday 6th September 2013

Got a Tardis for Christmas Tom?

Colin G8TMV