First time out for a while GM/SS-125

Things have been very hectic the last few weeks. I’ve been on my own for most of October as Sarah, Mrs FMF and my daughter have been down looking after Sarah’s mum. She was a fine old lady who was suffering from getting old and frail. We have a time-share dog that lives here and with my son. We look after the dog when he works and with Sarah away, I had to look after the dog. This has stopped me getting out to play SOTA on my days off now I work part time. Sadly Sarah’s mum passed away at the end of October so there will be a bit more disruption as we have the funeral then sorting out the house and estate. Sarah’s mum had a good life getting to 87 despite being badly affected by Asthma and she got her wish to die in her own house not in a hospital or home with her family with her.

Today I had no dog, no wife and no reason to not get out and play. The WX is very mild for mid November and it was very sunny today. I did have somethings I had to do this morning but there was enough time to nip up Scald Law and play on 10m. I took the headtorch as it would be dusk when I was coming back. My plan of doing Scald Law if I don’t do something else is working well. I’m not yet bored of repeating the same summit and the exercise is good.

Up in about 45mins and I started with the 10m delta loop. 10m was busy when I was setup but tuning about there was nothing exotic, just lots of strong Italians working strong W4 stations… all beams and kW amps. I spotted and called “CQ 10m CQ SOTA” and worked a local on groundwave and Fred,WX1S in New Hampshire for ODX on SSB. Onto CW and I worked K1, K8, K9 stations along with a few EA5 stations. All good stuff, ODX on CW was VA2YZX and having spent 30mins explaining radio, 10m and SOTA to a really nice chap out walking, I called once more to chased by EC8ADS. So I worked Europe, America and Africa.

Looking at SOTAwatch, RBN spots came from LZ and several from 3V8SS. Just shame there were no 3V or 7X stations active as being called by “DX” is the mutz :slight_smile:

10m delta loop looking into the setting sun.

Looking out towards Carnethy Hill with lovely warm colours of an Autumn sunset.

Out across the Firth of Forth looking at an inversion over Fife with West Lomond GM/SS-154 in the distance.

Back down in the dark and I needed my headtorch for the last half of the walk out. Damn it was good to get out after a month and with the upset of what is happening, nice to play on 10m.


Sorry to hear about the family issues. I’ve just completed a 10m delta loop to your design over the weekend. I cut it a bit short and had to add about 20cm to make it resonant around the bottom of the band. Not used on a summit yet but I will soon.

I’m thinking about adding a couple of links which could be used to shorten it to make it resonant around the SSB section. The problem is the crocodile clips will be under tension so I need to work out the best way to handle that. The other alternative is to see if I can electrically shorten it by just folding part of the antenna back on itself. I will try this first and see what happens.

The other problem, which I first came across with the 6m loop I made, is they are very good at getting tangled up! What seems to work for me is to start winding from the end of one guy rope onto a SB winder then wind on the loop keeping the coax off to one side then winding on the second guy rope and finally wrap the coax.


I used a slightly thicker cable than I would normally use and it was coiled up quite tightly for many years before I used it. So it has a “set” to the PVC, it will coil up back to the same ~ 8cm diameter coil when wound up. This keeps it well organised when it’s in its bag. I have a loop of wire about 4cm diameter fixed in the centre of the bottom section, this slips over the mast so when you pull out the corner to guy it in position, you cannot pull the corner too far. The corner guys have quick release connectors so they easily detach / attach to the loop element.

Even so mine has got tangled, I think I am going to introduce a break in the bottom element so I can wind it as one length of wire and then reconnect during deployment. It does need more work to make deployment simpler and easier especially when it’s windy. I spent a long time with dipoles working on how to store them and deploy them so I can do it without much brain work when it’s cold and windy and I have gloves on.