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Five in five days

I was down in Liverpool continuing the clear out of my old childhood home. If you have ever had to do this you’ll know it’s easier to put it off than get on with the job. However, with the sale proceeding it’s time to get the job done. In between sorting and clearing I had a few jollies to brighten the days.

With a hurricane remant forecast for Sunday/Monday, the bext WX looked set for Friday. Brian G4ZRP came over and we polished off The Cloud SP-015, Gun SP-013 and Shining Tor SP-004. I’ve already written about these on Mike’s (2E0YYY) thread. We did a simple equipment activation. On Gun and The Cloud it was an FT-817 and ribbon feeder J-pole at either 1W or 2.5W and on Shining Tor the threat of imminent rain meant we used a VX-170 on its duck and also on the ribbon feeder J-pole at 5W ISTR.

These were intended as brief activations… we were happy to stay and work everyone who called but as soon as the immediate pile up dried up and nobody came back after a few calls then we packed up and moved on. Normally I’d pack up the antenna/pole/logs whilst Brian wandered of. This gave him time to drop out of the AZ and then call me for chaser points. We did this on 23cms using a pair of Alinco DJ-G7 handhelds. We spent longer on the summit of Shining Tor talking to Mike 2E0YYY than we did operating! Again we’d have stayed longer and kept calling but a brief shower had whizzed through and that seemed a good reminder it was time to stop.

Saturday was a clearing house day. My car has a luggage capacity of 2 m^3. I packed it to the roof and took 5 loads to the refuse/recylcing centre. I did find a kite I made in 1979 that was in really good condition still. As a teenager there were some essentials in my life. Girls, beer, telescopes, kites and interesting technology. The success-o-meter for those subjects reads: none, some, 60mm refractor, many, Texas TI59 programmable calculator! The kite was an Ed Grauel Sled, made from a black bin bag and 2 lengths of 4mm dowel. The sellotape used to attach the dowels had decayed but the plastic was perfect… no sunlight for 32 years! I’ll be flying it this weekend having repaired the non-sticky sticky tape. In the intevening 32 years, the plastic used in binbags must have been thinned out by a factor of 10 at least. Serious plastic in old bin bags and I doubt a new bin bag would be suitable.

Sunday I was playing Hide and Seek with my old radio club in Clocaenog Forest. This 2m DF hunt is spread over an area of about 400sq km and has been happening every Spetember for the last 15 years. This year most of my usual team were not playing so I helped out one of the foxes and acted as MC for the afternoon hunt. The WX wasn’t as bad as I expected, a bit blustery with the odd shower. As we finished early and I’d driven past Moel Fammau and Foel Fenli on the way I decided to snaffle at least one of them on the way back. I parked at the top car park. As usual there were lots of cheap skates blocking the road rather than paying. I think this is the 5th SOTA visit to this car park and the first time I’ve found the meter accepting money. 20p/visit is a OK with me :slight_smile:

It was really quite windy now. 21mins later at the top of Foel Fenli it was proper windy. Enough to lift all 95kgs of me off the ground on one occasion. I used the bottom 2 sections of fishing pole to support the ribbon feeder J-pole and this time I had charged the Icom IC80 up and ran that at 2.5W for 3/4 of the time finishing of at 5W. The wind howled something wicked but it was surprisingly warm. After the calls dried up on 2m I switched to 23cms. I could have used the DJ-G7 for the 2m part of this but I didn’t have a charger with me unlike the IC-80. So it was easier to take both, work the bulk on the IC80 and keep the DJ-G7 for just 23cms.

Brian G4ZRP told me he’d worked Karen 2E0XYL from here when she was using the DJ-G7’s duck alone. So he was workable at about 51/41 on 23cms and a non LOS path. Then to see how much better my double quad is, I connected that up and Brian was 54. 3S-points / 18dB? Doubtful, I’d expect 10dB for a double quad but he went from noisy but workable to fully quietening. I’d worked Steve GW7AAV earlier on 2m and he was off locating 23cms gear but couldn’t be raised. At this point Bob G6ODU appeared on 23cms. A peak of the quad and he was 55/56, an excellent signal. Whilst working him I had Brian try to raise Steve. But it wasn’t to be. Next time then Steve. Back down double quick to the car park and back home via the Ruby Murray shop, Lamb Dopiaza, Peshwari Nan. Gawd knows how many carbs in that delight so I avoided a blood sugar test then and the next morning!

Monday was a big clearout day. Another 4 trips to the tip. 18m^3 of stuff disposed off in total. I’m back in 8 days to do more. :frowning:

I was off home on Tuesday. Morning checking on what was left to clear, ringing charities to see what furniture they’ll take etc. More cleaning up. Taking out all the empty beer bottles. When you’ve been associated with a house for 47 years it’s hard work disposing of it and I needed to drown a sorrow or three! The drive back is tedious… M62/M6/M74/A73/A70. My car is very thirsty above 70mph, at 60mph the journey is 15% longer but I use 18% less fuel. 60mph it is. Well I have at least 2 more trips to do and at £85 a round trip, every penny saved is worthwhile.

Anyway, off the M6 at J35 for Hutton Roof Crags. Except I got lost and came in the back way rather than through Burton-in-Kendal. Rather than take the bag with the proper SOTA gear in it, I decanted the IC80, DJ-G7, double-quad, 2m J-pole into a small bag. This time I took the GPS, not in case I got lost but I wanted to see actually where the path is on the map. Into the walking gear and off. Then back to the car for some log paper. And then back again for a pencil.

From the car park it’s easy, out the back through the gate, up the steep path for 15m, turn right when you meet a track, follow this to a big track, left to the limestone crags on your right, right on the next path, follow this under the crags into the trees proper, follow the obvious path as twists through the trees, out onto an obvious worn path and up. Up, up, up till the gate in the drystone wall appears, through that, up 5 rocky steps, along the flat path to the trig. Job done in 21mins.

I’d have put the fishing pole into the trig but it’s filled up with rubbish now. Grrr! I held the pole, J-pole on it and called on 2m. B-awful! I must have used my VX-170 last time here because I was badly affected by pager QRM. I couldn’t see any nearby towers. I was operating 145.425 at first but 145.525 was better for less QRM. I managed to work 10 in the end. Nobody on 23cms despite Bob G6ODU being endstop. I couldn’t raise him on 2m when I was ready to QSY. I had a good chat with Sue G1OHH and we swapped junky’s syringe anecdotes (she’s a diabetic like me). The mother of all showers ran through and I had to hide behind the trig but stayed dry. I did lose the pencil at this time but found a broken, but just usable pen in the bag.

Time-gentlemen-please was signalled by the battery expiring in mid QSO. Sorry to Graham GW0HUS, but it died whilst I was waffling. I did call on the DJ-G7 but you had gone. The IC80 did about 1hr40mins in 2 activations on 2.5W/5W with me probably transmitting for 65+% of the time. It doesn’t have anything like the endurance of the VX-170. And it’s bladdered by a sniff of RF out of band. I feel the IC80’s days may be numbered!

Back down to the car park double quick as a long drive remained. Hutton Roof Crags is a wonderful wee 1 pt hill. I always feel chuffed having been for walk here. It’s simply very pretty and my spirits are always lifted by this place. Back in the car park there was a Jaguar XF. Now I do think these are immensly beautiful saloon cars. This one sported a mid-20s blonde in the passenger seat and a mid-50s grey man in the driving seat. Well there were sort of together in the middle when I burst out of the undergrowth. Blonde then struggled to cover her modesty, well both of them as they were hanging out of the front of her blouse. :slight_smile: If you fancy a bit of afternoon delight with your boss don’t go to a car park with a slack handful of cars there and lots of dog walkers out on the hill! Well not unless you want to get caught.

So that’s 3 uniques, 5 summits, 7 points and quite an eyeful!

In order of climbing effort:

SP-013, 14 QSOs, 14mins car park to summit
SP-015, 10 QSOs, 7mins car park to summit
SP-004, 10 QSOs, 22mins tea-room to summit
LD-052, 10 QSOs, 21mins car park to summit
NW-051, 25 QSOs, 21mins car park to summit

I can’t promiss a semi-undressed blonde in the car park for Hutton Roof Crags every visit, but it’s well worth a visit if you’re passing. The hill not the blonde. Or possibly a longer walk in the very lovely countryside around there. It is a little gem. The others aren’t bad either, just Hutton is the nicest of the 5.


In reply to MM0FMF:

A very interesting report Andy, one that sparked a mental visualisation for each summit. No blonde in the car park at HRC when Paul and I were there, but plenty of dog walkers around. I agree that it is a pleasant little hill.

I am with you 100% on the house clearance. My mother passed away last year and it took many visits to the tip to clear the hundreds of items that she had squirreled away, but were of no use whatsoever… and I know that she’d had a clear out! Thinking on, I must go up our loft and relieve it of all that old computer gear that was cutting edge at some past date. There’s a pile of analogue TV’s and other “might use” bits of kit that really need to go out. I’m sure the house foundations will give a sigh of relief when it’s done.

73, Gerald G4OIG

Hi Andy,

I was looking at your latest activations logs on the database and noticed that your first QSO on Shining Tor G/SP-004 was at 16:01z and your last QSO this summit was at 16:20z. I also noticed that you worked Brian G4ZRP from Gun G/SP-013 at 16:07z on 23cms on the same date your activated Shining Tor G/SP-004. Brian G4ZRP chased you on Gun G/SP-013 at 16:10z on 23cms. Have both of you made mistake with the summit Andy MM0FMF was activating at the time?

When you are in the area next time I wonder if I could join for an activating, a beer or both.

Kind regards,

Jimmy M3EYP

In reply to M3EYP:

Transcription error now fixed.


Always double-check your logs are free of contradictions and anomalies. Or the Log Inspector will get you!


In reply to M1EYP:


It looks like the Log Inspector might be seeking a back-hander by way of a free pint - probably to turn a blind eye in the future to duff logs emanating from the FMF stable… haven’t you told him that Andy is a fully fledged GM now? :wink:

Gerald G4OIG

In reply to MM0FMF:

Thanks for the interesting write up of your trip south of the border Andy.

I thought I was almost in with a chance of working you one lunchtime, but it was not to be. Curently where I work they have introduced a “walk 10,000 steps per day” scheme, & as part of that I have been taking the opportunity to get out of the office for a walk each lunchtime. This only involves just over a mile between our two sites on the industrial estate but it’s a nice break. I heard Mike G4BLH answering a CQ from one summit, & out of habit tried to position myself between buildings to get a clear path North. As it happenned you were on G/SP-015, which on a handheld is impossibile from where I work.

I’m glad you had a good trip & finally met up with Mike 2E0YYY, I’m sure choice antenna’s for SOTA was a hot topic for discussion Hi!

Thanks & best 73,

Mark G0VOF

In reply to M1EYP:

Always double-check your logs are free …

Seems a waste of time. It’s easier to let the log inspector do his job and fix the typos afterwards. It’s like a job interview I had some years back. One of the questions consisted of fragments of source code and I was asked to point out the syntax errors. I refused saying that was what a compiler was good at. I pointed out a more meaningful question to ask potential recruits would be to give them source and the compiler error messages and ask for explanations of what they meant and likely causes. I got the job :wink: I have found being bolshi in interviews is a good tactic!

In reply to G4OIG:

seeking a back-hander by way of a free pint

He’ll be seeking for some considerable time then! Causing mild grief to the database manager is not reccomended… you might find that all your ‘First activated by…’ records get a gentle nudge such that you drop to second or third place :wink:

I see you’re out Saturday in LD-land. Any plans for Sunday? Normally the larger LDs are LOS to many SS hills including a few SS hills I’ve yet to activate. Some more UHF/SHF QSOs would be nice.

In reply to G0VOF:

Shame we didn’t work Mark. You’re not the only person who nips out for a quick chase at work. I’ve had a contact or 3 with Geoff G4WHA when he’s worked me from his car in the company carpark. I’d already met Mike at Blackpool but just as we started to talk a punter turned up. I wasn’t working so I let Mike relieve the punter of some money. But it was good to say hello and have a longer chat. I did show Mike my ribbon J-pole for 2m which he was interested in. It’s ideal for quick and simple activations.

I’ll be down again later on next week so I need to find some more summits to do.


you might find that all your ‘First activated by…’ records get a gentle nudge such that you drop to second or third place :wink:

…except that you haven’t worked out how to order them correctly anyway yet!



In reply to MM0FMF:

I see you’re out Saturday in LD-land. Any plans for Sunday? Normally the larger LDs are LOS to many SS hills including a few SS hills I’ve yet to activate. Some more UHF/SHF QSOs would be nice.

Activations moved to Sunday on account of the wet stuff. Must be getting old as I am starting to adopt avoidance tactics now rather than meeting it head on!

73, Gerald G4OIG