From what I’ve read recently, GMA is the scheme to be doing as SOTA is old hat and not a serious activity for radio amateurs.
Tut, now I’ve got to clean up the coffee from the keyboard! You’ve been looking at hypocrite’s corner on Facebook again?
Well done Phil. Many congratulations on the double achievement! Welcome to the G Complete Activators Club… you can welcome me when I qualify for the G Complete Chasers Club. Still a few to go there, not for lack of trying!
73, Gerald G4OIG
You must be fairly close by now though Gerald?
Well done Phil, takes some doing.
Unfortunately not near enough. Being held back by a lack of HF from the Lakes and Scottish Borders. I have a 2m beam pointing that way, but that’s no use when most activations are using a few watts of FM to a whip.
…or even a rubber ducky! Same problem here, Gerald, I have just LD-019 and SE-010 to complete chasing G, just the same as two years ago, I’m either elsewhere when my numbers come up, or its an FM job! Frustrating, but it makes me all the more appreciative of Phil’s achievement!
Brilliant achievement Phil, congratulations.
Do you use a vertical beam? I wonder if the problem is the mode, or cross polarisation, or lack of antenna gain at the summit? All of the above, I guess!
Congratulations Phil, what a superb achievement.
Simply excellent Phil. I have not even chased all G yet. Lots of G/LD to chase - the usual 2M FM doesn’t reach this QTH.
73 Andrew G4AFI
Well done. Super achievement.
Thanks to all on the reflector for recognition of this milestone - yes I was the first to Complete all England as a Chaser and now about the seventh as an Activator. Thanks to Nick G4OOE for kicking this thread off…
To complete my tour this week I drove 965 miles and activated 14 of the easiest Marilyn Summits in England over four days on 20m, 30m and 40m. On 13 of the activations I used an FT-817 at 5 watts:
Keying on Cliffe Hill SE-014:
and on the final activation of SC-009 Lewesdon Hill I used an FT-857 running 50 watts.
A wet day on my last English Marilyn SC-009:
The QSO total for the four days was 528, averaging 38 QSOs per summit. I made 441 CW QSOs and 87 SSB QSOs.
When the MT consulted on the Complete Award in Summer 2012 me and others provided input to the consultation. As a Chaser who was then lying in second place in the UK (as I still am) and not too far from being a Mountain Goat then, I thought I would be top of the table once a formula was worked out. I was wrong… I found that using the formula which was decided that I had a terrific amount of work to do just to reach the 250 level, so I set about reaching that goal which eventually came. From then on I looked at what I could go for next and England Complete looked an attractive target, so having visited all summits north of Birmingham I went to all the CE and WB summits, often in a joint enterprise using 2m FM with my fell walking pal Geoff (2E0NON) who lives in the WB area. I then visited the DC and SC area in 2013 on several visits with either Geoff or my XYL Judy who is a keen country walker as I am, and who has suffered many times waiting for me to qualify the summits visited… By the end of 2014 I came to realise my target was close so that was why I took myself off on this solo expedition this week to finish off the job.
A new experience for me this week was staying in a YHA Dormitory in the South Downs and at Littlehampton. Something I am sure I will repeat, purely on cost grounds - as a solo traveller you can get a bed, warmth, cooking facilities and a drying room for between £10 and £18 per night, even in the expensive south of England…needs must.
Here is an amusing plaque which was displayed in both Youth Hostels I stayed in:
To answer a few questions raised in this thread by the congratulators:
Rob G7LAS: What next?
Belgium will be my next target for total Completion. I would also like to Complete the other small Benulux countries too - Luxembourg and Netherlands, but I’m not sure when those will be done. Luxembourg being the easiest of the two to reach from Belgium. Two of the Netherlands summits are some considerable distance from Belgium. I have already activated two out of the four LX summits.
Yes, its been a crazy month, with activations spread over 3 weeks in Wales, Scotland and Southern England. I’m feeling shattered at present, having had a heavy cough and cold during the whole of my week in the south and a rattly chest, so you won’t see me out again until at least the winter bonus period has expired in mid March!
I’m look forward to meeting you again when I come to Belgium. I know that you have already issued the first ON Complete Award, but #2 will be quite acceptable thanks, if I can qualify for it!
Glad to join the small club of about 7. Activating is the hard bit for sure. Chasing is easy if you’ve been doing it as I have for 10 years next month. Although I did start SOTA on day one by working SOTA Founder Richard G3CWI on Long Mynd in CW. I didn’t log that QSO and the small number of SOTA QSOs made in the following years in the database. When I left my full time job in March 2005 I had some free time and that was when I created a SOTA database account and started to log my contacts. A few months later I became and activator when I went on holiday to Scotland.
As a Chaser just being there ready to call the activator when he/she fires up is the most important bit, but to fill them all in having good antennae on VHF and HF is of next importance to my mind, and of course as you know, being able to operate on all modes makes a big difference to filling the home station logbook with SOTA callsigns.
No plans at present to do any more than the small number of experimental 160m outings already done Mark. With me visiting uniques as I have been doing for sometime now, I’ll likely stick to the mainstream 20-30-40m bands for the foreseeable…
Thanks for the backup you continue to provide in passing on advance information of my imminent arrival on summits Roy!
Great to meet you and Emyr last month when I was activating in South Wales. I plan to carry on activating and travelling to new places whilst the enthusiasm for SOTA remains in my mind and we stay healthy. Chasing also continues to enthuse me, The main transceiver is on and in a state of readiness during waking hours when I am around the home and the computer is always on 24/7 whether I am here or not. I try to maintain a watching brief on incoming SOTA spots (thanks especially to the MM0FMF SOTA Cluster run by the amazing Andy).
Good to catch you on a couple of summits when I used the microphone this week. There are currently 176 Marilyn Summits in England. It’s taken me just short of 10 years to Complete all G.
HEMA doesn’t float my boat (HuMPs - 100m prominence hills). There isn’t the infrastructure or the support of what we have in SOTA. I did visit a few summits in the first year of the scheme but decided it wasn’t for me. I can imagine it is an attractive scheme for some outdoor types though who live some distance away from our more prominent summits.
Good to also work you this week Ed. GD Complete - done it twice over. The Isle of Man summits are very easy to Chase if you live in the UK, and as I have attended the annual walking festival there for 3 years since I took up SOTA I have activated all five summits several times, but not as often as Rob G4RQJ, who goes there every year without fail! GW Complete will have to wait, but would be a great (but expensive) challenge for me. North Wales is harder for me to get to from North Yorkshire than the Scottish Borders is, due to having to get across Manchester during the early morning rush hour. So I’ll maybe concentrate on South Wales and Scottish Borders later this year. We have a family member living north of Bristol, so I think this year I will make my first trip over the Severn Bridge to bag some of the GW/SW summits around Cardiff. Next year I would like to be able to fund a holiday visit to Northern Ireland to include SOTA, I’d really like to activate there… we’ll see.
I chase the occasional GMA (German Mountain Award) station I hear, usually on 40m CW but I don’t enter them into any database. What a parochial comment to make, whoever it was that said “GMA is the scheme to be doing” - GMA remains a localised scheme, whereas SOTA is international with what must now have 1000s of participants!
You’ll probably be the next one to Complete all G. Sorry I couldn’t help out much with the LD area when I virtually lived there for two years doing the Wainwrights as a low power VHF FMer…
Sorry to hear you still need SE-010 Firle Beacon as I was there this week. As a hard working member of the MT Brian I would have happily made a sked with you on 40m SSB as a small payback for the work you put in. As it was, I only used CW there making 31 QSOs on 30m and 20m…
I think that’s about it from me for now, I’ll shut up and finish with a couple of photos from my tour. I had three grey, dry fairly windless days and a wet and windy last day.
All 528 activator contacts are now entered into the database. I still need to enter the S2S contacts though…
73 Phil G4OBK
SE-007 Crowborough - not a bad operating spot in the woods at the back of the golf club car park:
SE-011 Wilmington Hill - a summit you could have easily ridden up on a bike:
SC-013 Nine Barrow Down which overlooks Swanage and where few people could understand my northern accent:
At the parking place for SE-010 Firle Beacon - A New Age Traveller from the Liverpool area?:
I’m not sure what is sadder… the fact I typed in the reg of that bus to see where it was 1st registered or the fact someone has compiled a web page about the bus’s history!
Good luck with whichever part of the UK you target to complete next. I know what you mean about getting to North Wales - I was born and bred in Hull and when I came in from continental Europe, it’s usually into Manchester airport. Many years ago I worked for a company with locations in Hull and Middlewich Cheshire - so I know the issues of crossing that part of Northern England in rush hour traffic.
By the way, not that I take part in it, GMA has expanded out of Germany into other countries (but not as many as SOTA). I am interested more in finding out if anyone is doing RADAR around here. It’s a portable activity that started in South Africa and basically (from what I understand), you walk 1 or 2 kilometres, set up station, work a minimum of 5 contacts, pack-up, walk another 1-2 kilometres, set up again and so on. RADAR stands for Rapid Deployment of Amateur Radio and means you’re going to get pretty good at setting up and tearing down a station quickly. Equipment is going to be similar to SOTA and indeed there’s nothing stopping one of the operating points being a SOTA summit or a WWFF park or whatever. Check out Eddie ZS6BNE’s qrz.com site for full details.
Or the fact that 6 people have already clicked on the above link
Completes G WHOW!
Nice to work you from EA1/CT-049 today, but even for one from Bilbao there were too much snow and too few degrees!
Perhaps you must start now with Basque Mountains, ok?
For Andy and Pete - Train spotting always had more appeal to me than bus spotting, although I admit to being one of those who clicked the link to obtain more information… I can admit to being a bit of an old bus fan though when I was travelling with my XYL Judy and Geoff 2E0NON in June 2010. We were travelling from Blackburn to Windermere with The Wainwright Society to celebrate the 80th anniversary of A Wainwrights Lake District awakening in June 1930 when AW walked up Orrest Head, the most famous and outstanding of fells to be later termed, The Outlying Fells. We took this immaculate Ribble double decker to Preston from Blackburn:
Then we alighted and got on this single decker North Western Bus which took us from Preston to Windermere Station, calling at the classic Midland Hotel in Morecambe en route for refreshments:
We were all dressed in 1930s style period gear, I had my Harris Tweed jacket on of course, the sort which AW used to wear when walking in the Lake District.
For Sake - Netherlands via the Hull - Zeebrugge Ferry is on my list!
Mikel - You send lovely CW and get out with big signals to the UK always. Yes - a visit to the Basque Country is on the list. I like seeing the lovely flag being waved when I am watching the Tour de France every year on TV. I have worked you on 33 summits in your region. You are a VERY active participant in SOTA for sure. Maybe we will meet up one day, that would be fine business!
Looks like a Leyland Titan and Leyland Tiger Cub.
Oh dear that’s very sad, I’ll get my coat.
Coming from Leyland itself, and spending my formulative years living with mum and dad in a terraced house behind the machine shop I ought to know that Andy!
That machine shop was very handy for me - climbable via drain pipes on to the 60 feet high apex roof which was ideal for supporting my 100+ foot long stealthy long wire which I used to listen in to radio hams and pirate radio stations on my CR100 in the late 60s / early 70s. Happy days…