Sorry if I missed you from Brown Clee Hill, G/WB-002, this afternoon. I was operating on 2m FM and so I got the usual interference from the commercial radio masts. I had no problem making 7 contacts even though it was necessary to repeat a few overs because of the interference.
I was then trying to make a contact with G6CZD who was both a weak signal and kept disappearing into the QRM from the radio towers. However, we were making progress until an M6 station kept talking over both of us and trying to relay information between activator and chaser (even though he couldn’t correctly copy the chaser’s callsign). This is not helpful at all as SOTA rules prohibit exchange of information by relay or repeater - it must be via an amateur radio frequency alone. Second, chaser and activator cannot listen to each other if another station is talking over them. I am sure that I would have made this contact if I had been able to listen.
The result of the M6 station’s interference was that I switched my radio off and packed up before I started using rude words on air! I am always happy to clear a pile-up after making the necessary 4 contacts and it’s always good to get new chasers in the log. Things got to me on this occasion and I decided that I couldn’t be bothered with fighting poor operator practice on top of commercial QRM. My thoughts instead turned to driving home to beef stew & dumplings and a glass of beer!
Remember: listen, listen, listen and listen again and that SOTA contacts assisted by relay are not permitted.
Thank you for listening.
73’s, Alastair, M0TYM
Did you ask the M6 to stop? Or were conditions with the QRM just too hard?
Four contacts is perfectly sufficient when beef stew, dumplings and beer are waiting for you! Good call!
Be generous, Alastair, don’t hunt him down with a cleaver! The guy may well be new and thought he was being helpful in the ham spirit. At least he got you to your beer early!
I activated WB-002 for the first time last Friday & had problems with the radio station interference, but I got 5 contacts over 25 mins with one or two lost. If I ever activate it again (it’s a 200 mile round trip for me-Snowdonia is nearer) I’ll get a Sotabeams filter in advance. No problems for my old Kenwood handie on WB-004, but noticed solid noise on 145.400 only.
Intermod on G/WB-002 is much worse now than it was earlier in the year. My TM-281 is normally fairly immune but last time even it was struggling.
I’m thinking a notch filter may be a winter project
Why would you be so upset? just point out the rules. Somebody will have learnt a valuable lesson. The M6 in their ignorance was trying to be helpful. How often does that happen!
I had it happen to me. I realised the call sign i recorded was so different to the one being relayed, I deleted the whole QSO.
A notch won’t help much. the nearby frequencies that cause the problem are both above and below the 2m band. You need a 2m band-pass filter like the SotaBeams one.
Needs to handle at least 25W and preferably 65W…
Also the TM-281 already has a track-tuning front-end so the intermod performance is significantly better than most handhelds. So low-Q notches offering say 12dB attenuation at the main frequencies might do the job. I will experiment !
Sorry to hear of your problems Alastair on G/WB-002 with the mast and ‘helpful’ chasers. It is one of my nearest summits so I am used to the interference from the masts - but this does vary from a bit of a nuisance to almost swamped. I use a Yaesu VX-7R handy which is notorious for accepting interference (barn doors are often mentioned!) so I now carry a little Sotabeam filter which usually solves the problem, albeit with a small lost of power. However I only use this as a last resort as I wander along the ramparts on the Western side and have a favourite ‘slit trench’ which offers some protection (but it wasn’t usable on that day as it was straight into the wind) and I use just a long stick aerial as the interference only really comes in when the dipole is attached.
My other defence is to get my 4 on 2m, plug in the dipole and get working on 70cm! On the same day as you but a bit earlier, I was operating for nearly an hour (only that long as I was gaining s2s) and gained 28 contacts - 14 on each band. My real problems was that I got much too cold as the wind veered slightly after I set up and I didn’t want to move once I’d got going. Doh! Bring a filter, warm clothing and better luck next time.
Incidentally we investigated the old mine workings on our way down (this time from the NE near Cleobury North) can anyone tell us what had been happening there? Photo to follow in due course.
73 Viki M6BWA