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G Completion #2

Jimmy M0HGY and I have just done a quick weekend trip to G/LD - to complete England for the 2nd time!

The repositioning and new reference for Muncaster Fell necessitated the visit, and of course we’ll have to complete G once again after 1st September!

The new position for Muncaster Fell G/LD-059 is rubbish and requires a bit of bogtrotting. From it, the old summit (G/LD-055) looks higher. From the old summit, the new summit looks lower. Have the surveyors finally got one wrong?

Anyway, with that inconvenience out of the way, we headed up to enjoy a lovely hill - Loughrigg Fell G/LD-047. We did this ad a circular from High Close YHA where we were staying.

Dinner and ale at the nearby Britannia Inn, Elterwater, was superb.

The lovely wx continued and in fact improved further into today, so we had a great walk up Black Combe G/LD-030. Stunning sea views all day on this one.

I enjoyed some success with JT65 and PSK31 on 15m on this one, ahead of my new portable datamodes set up coming soon - watch this space.

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Yes… and we will have the opportunity for G completion #3 soon. I think that will be on 19th November (the next NA<>EU S2S event) for me, that is if I haven’t been invited to lay on a slab at Papworth before then.

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Hello everyone
Tom I wonder if you have tried FT8 digital mode. With FT8 it locks on to the other station and completes the qso for you. Working out some macros for SOTA would be all you need to do. If you had a pile up the activation could be all over in a few minutes . I have been working out my summit lap and it’s going to be 2019 before I make old goat assuming all is still going well for me. I should be able to get through to 2019 by doing 64 more summits with my average running at 3.77 points per activation. Do I hit out next year with the usual 47 odd then come home easy or split it in half, might have to keep working another year to pay for it all.
Well done on the second lap around England for Jimmy and Yourself OM
Regards from
Ian vk5cz …

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Yes FT8 (as well as severe limitations with my current JT65 system) is what has led to a redesign of my approach to activating with datamodes.

Hoping to be up and running with this in the next few weeks.

No.

In fact I shouldn’t have used the word “finally”, as of course many earlier survey results have been found to be wrong and later corrected. Jimmy reminded me of a relatively recent one while driving back in the car today - one in EI/IN where, if acted upon (which it wasn’t) would have resulted in the summit being redesignated - and then the decision reversed following the later survey.

With equipment and methodology improving all the time, I’d say it was highly unlikely this survey result is wrong, but a 100% “No” might be over-confident given the existence of recent incorrect findings.

No!

Just berthing in Lerwick.

Cool Andy. Have a great trip. Something I’d like to do myself someday.

I will interpret your lack of arguments to back up your assertion as tacit concession to mine…

Something I omitted to mention was that the weekend trip to G/LD was made more special. All our car journeys were spent listening to 1368kHz - normally Manx Radio - but this weekend relaying “Radio Caroline North” from the Ross Revenge, as part of the 50 year commemorations of the MOA (Marine etc Offences Act, 14th August 1967).

I’m sat here in the shack now switching between Radio Caroline and Pirate BBC Essex online streams. From 3pm, I won’t have the choice to make as they will be simulcasting. Who’d have ever thought it - Radio Caroline, Manx Radio and the Beeb collaborating and all putting out the same programme?

PSK31 and JT65 were really good fun on 15m from Black Combe G/LD-030 yesterday and I’m keen to nip out up The Cloud G/SP-015 to play a bit more - but can I tear myself away from this radio listening? Well not before 4pm at the earliest I suspect…

Tom, I’ve been here since 7am and I’d say it’s worth coming! It’s not cheap, £410 for the ferry (car, 1 person, sleeping pod) which tends to clarify the mind before hotels, food, beer, whisky, ice cream and diesel. But I’ve wanted to come here since I was 8. Now I have!

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They had a Special Event station on the Ross Revenge this last week and I was amused (as were they) when they were called by G8BBC - I guess you can work out which broadcaster’s club station that is. Made for interesting listening more so that working the SE station

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Well I listened to the Pirate BBC Essex - Manx Radio - Radio Caroline joint broadcast yesterday, then Radio Caroline for much of the rest of the day beyond midnight, when they recreated the sequence of midnight on August 14th, 1967. An hour off was taken to listen to my son Liam’s show on Upload Radio (DAB and online).

This was quite an amusing situation - the family sat in the lounge, around a portable radio (in fact a Pure One Flow - FM / DAB / internet - and for this purpose receiving via my broadband hub as the Liverpool DAB multiplex is inaudible here). Marianne said that she hadn’t sat and listened to the radio like this since John Peel - and that Liam’s programme of eclectic music rather put her in mind of those days too!

This meant that I missed the special programme on BBC Radio 2 - “Johnnie Walker Meets The Pirates” - but thanks to the iPlayer, I can relax and catch it in the next few days at my leisure. This morning I was on the road to do some tutoring down in the North Staffordshire area, and found I was able to listen to Manx Radio 1368kHz MW on my car radio, with (just about) adequate reception. Manx Radio was still relaying Radio Caroline at that time.

After arriving to meet my new student, I was told that the session was off, due to a family circumstance. I was intending returning home via an activation of The Cloud G/SP-015 anyway, so I simply brought that forward.

It was a boring and tedious activation though. I knew it was very late in the season, in fact beyond the season in all reality, for 50MHz. But I wondered if JT65 might eke something out of the ether? Answer - no. A couple of weak and watery JT65 signals were heard, but not decoded, and none of my CQ calls attracted a response. One very flaky SSB CQ call was the only other thing heard on the band, except from a very weak beacon.

Meanwhile, I had been monitoring 2m FM on the handheld, and clocked up 7 QSOs, including 3 S2S - Dave GW8NZN/P on Tal y Fan GW/NW-040, Richard GW4TGJ/P on Snowdon GW/NW-001 and Adrian GW4AZS/P on Cadair Berwyn GW/NW-012.

Upon returning home, I found that the last of my recently ordered items for my new portable datamodes set-up had arrived. So I am now hoping to properly get moving on JT65, but also have access to the other JT modes, FT8 etc, plus use higher grade software for PSK31, RTTY etc.

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…And the Windows 10 tablet that has arrived - is faulty - and therefore will be returned tomorrow. So the new portable datamodes system will have to wait a bit longer. Bother. Botheration dot com.

My Linx 820 has been and continues to be very bothersome.

This is definitely getting off topic, but have you heard that Radio Caroline will be back (legally) on Medium Wave AM (648KHz, the old BBC World Service frequency) before the end of the year (hopefully earlier). Just a 1 KW ERP local radio station but we know that with a good antenna and good evening conditions, it may get a little further than the planned Essex and Suffolk.

73 Ed.

Yes.

That activation this morning (Thursday 17th August 2017) was just a health-check on Jimmy’s set-up (FT-817 + coax feeder extension + MFD) which had been showing the very occasional high VSWR, but that could be rectified with a ‘random nudge’.

The only thing I could think of was possibly the front BNC connector starting to show some wear and tear. Today I attached an adaptor to the SO239 connector at the rear of the set, changed over menu #7 on the 817, and connected the MFD to that. There were no problems whatsoever.

Of course, I haven’t solved or fixed anything. I haven’t even diagnosed anything as I didn’t reproduce the problem. However, I imagine I’m along the right lines, and the system set up this way all behaved perfectly today. I’ll do a few more activations with Jimmy’s set up over the next few days.

Anyway, the summit was The Cloud G/SP-015 (surprise surprise) and six QSOs were made on 2m FM, with 2.5 wats. That’s all I had time for as I had dropped Liam off in Congleton at 10.40am and needed to collect him again at noon.

This early evening’s activation (Tuesday 22nd August 2017) was on 15m using the groundplane antenna I made a few years ago that hasn’t really had much use since I did. When I set up on The Cloud G/SP-015, 21MHz seemed to be very quiet indeed. I made one CW QSO, but then went looking around the data frequencies. The JT65 area seemed to be quite busy - and of course if the band is struggling, then the weak signal modes might be the only chance of some worthwhile QSOs.

I did my normal things of operating on 2m FM with the handheld when waiting the 47 seconds to see if I was going to get a reply - and as such made five QSOs on VHF. On 15m JT65, I managed three QSOs - GW, EA8 and PY (Brazil), so that was satisfying.

The Windows 10 tablet is finally here and WSJT-X is installed on it. I need to do a bit of reading up on using this well-regarded program. I will probably be attempting to conduct an activation with the new set-up in early September. More immediately, I’ve got a heavy schedule of gigs, and then five days in Snowdonia with 'HGY. Seems there’s no end to monstrously big mountains over that way that I haven’t yet activated! #nolightattheendofthetunnel

The webpages for this little Lake District trip are now online at http://tomread.co.uk with the reports and photos. These reports never appeared on SOTAwatch, so this is their premiere!

G/LD-059 Muncaster Fell (new summit) http://tomread.co.uk/muncaster_fell_ld-059.htm
G/LD-047 Loughrigg Fell http://tomread.co.uk/loughrigg_fell_ld-047.htm
G/LD-030 Black Combe http://tomread.co.uk/black_combe_ld-030.htm

Plus another batch of reports on the page of…

G/SP-015 The Cloud http://tomread.co.uk/thecloud.htm

Thanks for the great report and congratulations on your achievement!
I must have been on holiday the week you were up which is a shame. I also missed M6HLR’s final Wainwright activation, but I guess cruising in the med is a nice excuse :slight_smile:

I’ve yet to activate any of these summits so it is great having photos and hints. Data modes are still on the to-do list for me. I also note that on Loughrigg you had a S2S with my fellow M6 & 2E0 exam buddy Nigel 2E0TUE. Good to see him out and about!

Kind regards, Mark. M0NOM