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.