Failed activation of GD/GD-001

I attempted GD/GD-001 yesterday. I had 60 mins before I needed to be back down on the tram in order to be at the ferry terminal at 14:00 to catch a ferry at 15:00.

I got the tram up from Douglas, stopping at Laxey for a brew and then up to Snaefell. (£16 return)

Got setup just away from the Trig point. 2m ladder line antenna, telescopic fishing pole and a hand held.I was going to guy the mast but in the end just kept hold of it.(in the wind)

I did spot but I didn’t see the spot appear - maybe my duff phone signal.

Calling CQ for what felt like a while and ended up with 2 x S2S. I was hoping this would help generate traffic but nope.

Getting towards the end of the time slot I had, I packed up and kept calling CQ on the way back down. I managed my 3rd contact with GW4ZPL but he reported that my audio kept dropping out - maybe the masts on the hill?

By now I could hear the tram approaching and had to pack in.

Another 30mins might have seen the summit qualified but no :frowning:

But on the plus side when we sailed out, from Heysham to the Isle of Man on the Thursday, I did get permission off the captain to operate /mm and I made two contacts from the top deck.

Douglas horse drawn tram (Harry the shire horse)

Tram upto Laxey

Tram to Snaefell

Better luck next time


Lovely photos and nice to hear you from Knocklayd in the Antrim Hills. 73

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Cheers. Good to get you ITL as well. I will upload later.

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My XYL is keen to have a holiday on the island and it has been agreed that activating all the summits will be included… after all 5 new summits, 5 Completes and a new DXCC activated, well that would be something to miss. I will have to make sure that I am not time-limited by trams if we choose that method of transport for Snaefell, so I will endeavour to make sure that I separate radio from the other aspects of the holiday… :grinning:

It certainly looks lovely and I know that there is plenty to see.

73, Gerald


The first tram for me was 09:40 from Douglas, around 60-65 mins travel time. Distance to the trig point about 3 mins walk once at the top.

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I looked at GD as a simple and quick way of doing just what you pointed out, new DXCC, uniques and completes. When I lived in Liverpool it was a 40min bus ride from home to the Ferry Terminal. When I lived on the Wirral it was a 50minute bus ride. Now it’s a long car journey. I did look at hiring a car but from the prices offered they suggest the only cars available are gold plated Bentleys :slight_smile: Taking my car works out about £20 more.

It looks to be significantly better value for money to fly to EA6, stay for a week and hire a car there which is a shame because you can work plenty of people with not much more than a handy from IOM and it’s another “home” country added to the tally.


G4ZRP(Brian) mentioned you used to live over this way - Might see him tomorrow at the radio club.

I moved to GM in Sep 2000. I was down on the Wirral the weekend the Queen died. I’d not been down to Liverpool since I had sold my mum’s house in 2011 after she died. I’d not been to The Wirral since 2009-ish. After that I used to meet Brian at Blackpool Rally but he’d been unwell a few times then Covid stopped all fun and games and I hadn’t seen him for something like 7 years till last month. I didn’t realise how long it was as we chat on the phone still and I give him notice of SOTA activations etc.

Say hello to him for me and give his sideburns a pull if he’s there :wink:


Not sure he will like his sideburns being tugged :slight_smile:

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I called you several times but obviously you didn’t hear me. I am curious which handheld you were using as I experienced similar problems on that summit a few years ago when I was using a Yaesu VX5R, apparently lots of people were hearing me but I wasn’t hearing them, however I managed to get it activated on 2 metres by working the strongest callers.

73 Victor GI4ONL

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Sorry, I didn’t hear you :frowning: I was on a Yaesu FT3D, into RG174 to a home made 2m ladder line antenna approx 5m high. If I had got you it would be a success !

When I worked GW4ZPL I was on a HH atenna but over towards the side of the hill towards the tramline

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I could hear you calling…I was on a handheld at Ravenglass. You couldn’t hear me unfortunately.

I usually manage that summit using a handheld, so it did seem a bit unusual that you could not hear me.

Another FT3 with an external antenna appearing deaf. Are there any other reports of FT3’s appearing to suffer from apparent deafness when using an external antenna?

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Last week I tried the FT3D > RG174 while on another summit on 2m and calling CQ and no replies. I did move back to RG58 but again no change - I assumed no one was around on 2m.

But given the issues from GD-001 I am wondering if I have a duff connector?

Frustrating that people could hear me, but I couldn’t hear them i.e M0MZB & GI4ONL

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People can hear you but you cannot hear them on external antenna. This suggests the cable/connections are OK.

People can hear you and you can hear them on rubber duck. This suggests the receiver is OK (to some extent).

There could be other causes but one that springs to my mind is the receiver is being overloaded by other in-band or out-of-band signals. That’s typical of many modern handhelds. You’ll need to do more experiments with some other local-ish hams to confirm this. If you have more issues using the external antenna and then turn on the attenuator and things improve thenit is very suggestive of overloading/de-sense etc.

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Cheers Andy. Certain some experimenting to do. Given the two towers up on the summit, I did wonder if something was wiping out the signals.

Time for some checking.

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I was activating G/SP-015 at the time and monitoring the calling channel. You were getting loads of replies from NW England - but you weren’t hearing them. Looks very much like desense to me.


Cheers Tom. :frowning: at least I was getting out.
I will have to revisit IoM sometime with another radio

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Your problem might be solved using the SOTAbeams filter


As I walked off the mountain I was thinking a filter might worth investing in. Oh well :frowning: Can’t win them all.