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G/LD-041 Binsey Activation Report

It’s been nearly 10 years since I last did a SOTA activation (Other than a brief activation of Snowdon in 2016 – More because I had other reasons to be on the summit)

Last week I decided it was time to get back into SOTA, and the world of amateur radio in general. After a couple of days hard research and budgeting, I settled on ordering an FT-818, a Sotabeam mast and bandhopper dipole. I’ve still got a BaoFeng UV8 handheld, and a diamond 770 antenna.

On Sunday morning (15/03/20), bag packed with everything I thought I needed, I drove the short distance from home in Carlisle, to the parking at the base of Binsey, and set off on the walk up to the summit.

About 40 minutes later; and I must admit rather out of breath, I was at the top, in rather windy conditions, refuge was taken in the summit shelter, and a brief CQ on 145.500 resulted in two contacts, one with GM4WHA, and the other with G4IIY.

Keen to try out HF, out came the tactical mast, and bandhopper, despite a few attempts to get everything raised in the wind, I couldn’t manage it, and packed away and returned to 145.500 and was answered almost immediately by M6LPH, not far from home in Carlisle. GM3VMB “Put me out of my misery” when he heard I only needed one more contact to qualify.

The wind really had picked up, so I packed away and began the decent, and was back in the car rather more quickly than I reached the summit.

Thank you to everyone I made contact with, I’ve bitten the bug again, and am hoping to make many more activations around the Lake District in 2020, lockdown permitting.

2 Likes

Hi Karl

Welcome back! Glad you qualified despite HF being a no-go due to the wind.

Tips for setting up in windy conditions - a lot easier if you can bungee your pole to a convenient post/fencepost/trig, and extend fewer sections of the pole - not ideal but it’s surprising how well a low antenna will work! Sometimes the topography of the summit will create a spot more sheltered than the rest too.

Good luck with future activations and hope to catch you soon :slight_smile:

73 de Paul G4MD

1 Like

Welcome back Karl!

Binsey is a bit of a stretch for me on VHF to Windermere, although I did notice your alert.
We are encouraging the use of 2m vertical SSB in the Lake District, so it might be another mode to try that may reach further than FM.

Best of luck for future activations.

Regards, Mark.

Well done Karl,

I’m sure you were as keen as mustard to get on HF with that new kit and it’s disappointing when the weather spoils our plans.

I know how you feel coz I really wanted to do some HF CW on G/NP-004 a few days ago [not least because I know they are many keen SOTA activators all over Europe who are now house bound but would appreciate a bit of chasing] but the wind was too strong to put up my long-wire antenna. I knew it might be bad when on the walk up the wind was cutting through four layers of clothing. At the top it was buffering me around. Even in the wind shelter my log book, pencil, etc wanted to blow away.

But there’s always the next time. I’m active in G/LD so hope to work you S2S soon.

73 Andy