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Food, beer, work & SOTA

These combine periodically, in theory once per year, for a face-to-face meeting of the SOTA Management Team. Making a prompt start on the M6 after work on Friday 6th July 2012 necessitated missing the usual staff football session. However, this meant I avoid the worst of the traffic, and was passing into Cumbria in good time.

Now, I begrudge visiting that county without collecting 2 or 3 SOTA activations, so I pulled off at J37 and parked near the quarry, the usual starting point for Lambrigg Fell G/LD-046. Thankfully, this coincided with a rare respite from the day’s heavy rain. I followed the same route as used with Liam last year, along the track nearly to the windmills, and then make a beeline for the wall across the summit.

A quick 2m FM handheld activation was attempted. But nobody answered. So, reluctantly, as time was now pressing on, I put up the 30m dipole and connected the Rockmite 30 174mW rig. And got no QSOs on that either!

6-Jul-12
Battery: #1. Activation: #14
Summit: G/LD-046. Band: 30m
Radio: Rockmite 30
Antenna: Inverted V Dipole @ 6m agl
Battery: Duracell Pro-Life
Finish Voltage at room temp: Not a clue
New DXCCs: 0
Cumulative DXCCs: 19 (9A, DL, G, GM, HA, HB, I, LA, LZ, OE, OK, OM, OZ, PA, RA, S5, SM, SP, SV)
QSOs: 0. Cumulative QSOs: 57

I put the Rockmite away and replaced it with the relative QRO of the FT-817. This time, the contacts came easily. However, they did suddenly dry up after four QSOs! This was not a problem, as I needed to complete my jounrey north in time for food. I descended to the car and drove up into the Eden Valley and the Strickland Arms in Great Strickland.

Here I met up with Barry GM4TOE, Andy MM0FMF, John G3WGV and Rob G0HRT, as well as enjoyed a superb Thai fish curry and Jennings ales. Enjoyable.

Tom M1EYP

On Saturday 7th July 2012, we held a day-long meeting at G3WGV’s QTH, before returning to the Strickland Arms for another excellent meal and beverages. But after breakfast on Sunday 8th July 2012, it was playtime again!

Rob G0HRT didn’t fancy Cross Fell G/NP-001, but the conveniently placed tiddlers of Hutton Roof Crags G/LD-052 and Arnside Knott G/LD-058 were both new uniques for him, so that’s where we headed.

From the Roan Quary car park, we ambled up the gently sloping route to the summit. Rob set up for 2m FM, whereas I set for 30m CW on the Rockmite. This time, I managed 3 QSOs, before swapping to the 40m dipole and the FT-817.

8-Jul-12
Battery: #1. Activation: #15
Summit: G/LD-052. Band: 30m
Radio: Rockmite 30
Antenna: Inverted V Dipole @ 6m agl
Battery: Duracell Pro-Life
Finish Voltage at room temp: Not a clue
New DXCCs: 0
Cumulative DXCCs: 19 (9A, DL, G, GM, HA, HB, I, LA, LZ, OE, OK, OM, OZ, PA, RA, S5, SM, SP, SV)
QSOs: 3. Cumulative QSOs: 60

On 40m CW, I made 9 contacts, followed by 4 on 40m SSB, including S2S with John GX0OOO/P on Great Whernside G/NP-008. In between, Rob and I swapped stations, thus affording Rob the opportunity to conduct his debut HF SOTA activation. While Rob enjoyed his pile-up, I helped myself to Rob’s station and added five 2m FM QSOs to my log.

We used different paths on the descent and in doing so completed a figure-of-8 trail back to the car. We drove across to the village of Arnside while listening to BBC Radio 5 Live and the start of the Federer-Murray Wimbledon final. Arnside Knott G/LD-058 would be the next hill.

Tom M1EYP

The second summit on Sunday 8th July 2012 was Arnside Knott G/LD-058. From the National Trust car park, we climbed the steeper and more direct path to the summit. I kept my VX7-R monitoring 693kHz and listened to Andy Murray winning the first set in the Wimbledon final on the ascent.

We set up in the vicinity of the trig point, Rob G0HRT on 2m FM, and me on 40m. I made 9 QSOs on CW and 3 on SSB. Prior to descent, I worked S2S with John M0UKD/P on Grisdeale Pike G/LD-015. We returned via the slightly longer and more graded path, then said our goodbyes in the car park.

I now listened again to the Wimbledon final in the car as I returned south down the M6. I hoped that Murray would press on to a famous victory, or at least take it to a fifth set enabling me to watch the conclusion of the match on TV at home. In the event, neither wish was realised, and Roger Federer won in four sets.

This was an enjoyable and productive weekend, and I managed to squeeze 3 SOTA activations into it. It was good to see Rob G0HRT add two new uniques, as well as make his first SOTA activator HF contacts.

Tom M1EYP

Photos for these activations of M1EYP & G0HRT are now online at http://tomread.co.uk

Tom M1EYP

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