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Gaulfest - Friday 28th December 2018


Enjoy Mr. Bun!

I gave up around 1420 after 1hr40 on the summit. There’s no place to shelter and it was windy and cold. The found HB9CV didn’t work… the solder joint to the capacitor had cracked. I’ll fix that later. The 2m J-pole worked and I bagged 4x 2m SSB contacts which was nice as well as plenty on 60m & 30m. I also found the missing CX600N relays.


What a brilliant day out.

With the exceptionally mild December weather, and two activator uniques on offer, even Jimmy M0HGY was prised out of his bed. To be honest, we were both flabbergasted that after 16 years of SOTAing, there remained feasible daytrippable outings that involved ATNOs.

We kicked off with Pegwn Mawr GW/MW-006, which was a very tame summit. An easy 20 minute stroll up a windfarm access track to the trig. The turbines were really noisy though!

This was where we had the most fun. We both made plenty of S2S, on 2m FM, 20m SSB and 20m CW, and several that were different to each other!

Jimmy made a total of 18 QSOs - 12 on 2m FM and 6 on 20m SSB. This included 6 S2S:

GW4VPX/P on GW/MW-001
M3TMX/P on G/WB-001
GW4TQE/P pm GW/NW-021
MW6OVW/P on GW/SW-041
SQ9MDF/P on SP/BZ-030
SQ9NOT/P on SP/BZ-030

I made 23 contacts - 9 on 20 CW, 5 on 20m SSB and 9 on 2m FM. This included 4 S2S:

MW0PLA/P on GW/NW-012
EA3HP/P on EA3/BC-020
GW4VPX/P on GW/MW-001
M3TMX/P on G/WB-010

The sheep were very tame and kept homing in on Jimmy. One in particular would not leave him alone!

We then moved across to Beacon Hill GW/MW-009. This was a very satisfying walk. About 40 minutes, so more of a stretch of the legs, but easy along a clear and very gentle path. A little boggy in places.

This time I just went straight on the handheld and had qualified before Jimmy had got the MFD up! He too qualified easily.

I made six contacts - 5 on 2m FM and one on 70cm C4FM. Jimmy made five QSOs - 4 on 2m FM and one on 70cm C4FM. We both worked Jordan M3TMX/P, who was still on The Wrekin G/WB-010.

Finally we drove for an hour over to Church Stretton and Mr Bun the Baker, for coffee and bread pudding in the company of Jordan M3TMX, Paul M0PLA and Jamie M6SZF.

This was very enjoyable, and a brilliant end to a brilliant day. Well, not quite the end. Jimmy and I grabbed a pint at the Three Fishes at Bayston Hill, and a ruby at Zest, Arclid near Sandbach.

Gaulfest is back!


Hi everyone.

Only just got around to updating my blog with my contribution to ‘Gaulfest’. https://gw4vpx.blogspot.com/

Enjoyable day despite the weather and a bit disappointed that I couldn’t get to Mr Bun the Baker for the ‘get together’…will be better organised next year. Anyway, activation of GW/MW-001 brought me 6+3 bonus points. Thanks to all the Chasers and Activators for the s2s.

73 and a Happy New Year de Allan GW4VPX

Wet and misty…heading for the summit

Chasing s2s

Untidy antenna system behind but s2s contact in progress…thank goodness for the cairn today…part of the plan :grinning:

Slight antenna lean in the wind

I don’t know what his thoughts are? Slightly wet Rhodri



I had wanted to take part in the activity on Friday but it turns out that I was travelling down the M6 and M5, on that day, to my XYL’s father’s house near Newton Abbot in Devon.

Today I negotiated swapping a trip to Trago to a trip up High Willhays G/DC-001 instead. The journey to the Okehampton Camp takes about 45 mins. The traffic was fairly quiet today, I set the car cruise control going and gently wafted along the A38 and A30. I drove as far as permissible by turning right at the hut, and following the tarmac road until it ran out and changed to gravel.

The path is a maintained gravel road leading to Yes Tor, which I’ve seen used by military Land Rivers. Just before Yes Tor, an obvious path branches off the road, leading across to High Willhays G/DC-001. The walk was a little longer than I thought it was (it’s been a couple of years since I was there last), and I didn’t arrive at the summit until my alerted on air time of 1300.

I used my SOTAbeams 3 band linked dipole and KD1JV first edition Mountain Topper. I like the Altoids tin rig as it’s very easy to pack ‘just in case’. I usually use a 4m pole and lightweight dipole but they weren’t easy to grab as I’ve recently moved house, so a standard 7m pole was found and put into the Picasso boot.

I had looked at the propagation information and it was saying that all bands were ‘poor’. Oh well, it was worth a shot. I started off on 20m, I fully expected a dead band but on the default power on frequency of 14.060, there was a lot of strong activity. I used ‘DFE’ (direct frequency entry) to put the rig on 14.061 and the frequency was lovely and quiet. There were no responses to my QRLs so I set the CQ memory going. After a few rounds of CQ, Frank DL6UNF answered, unfortunately mid QSO my 7m pole decided to collapse. Thankfully Frank had stayed on frequency whilst I fixed the antenna!

The antenna behaved for the rest of the activation. I was amazed to be called by Bob AC1Z, I really wasn’t expecting to work across the pond today. Rich N4EX, Gary K3TCU and Ariel NY4G followed Bob into the log book on 20m. I’ve said it so many times, but isn’t it amazing communicating with people a quarter of the way around the world using a tiny circuit board housed in an old mint tin?

I switched to 40m and worked a few stations. I was horrified to hear ‘dah, dit, di-di-dit, dah’ (test) upon initial band switching to 7.030, so I remembered an old tip from Ken G3XQE, I worked him a few times on 40m during the day and he had suggested using the DX window at the bottom of the band- there’s not much DX traffic during daylight hours. I found the band blissfully quiet at 7.011MHz.

The WX was misty throughout my activation, it’s a good job that I knew the way!

73 and HNY