GD-001 Snaefell on Weds 27th June 1540z-1653z 12aH SLAB FT-857
Dipoles for 40m and 60m (no ATU required)
To give me more time for this activation in between our daily walking programme and evening social events I drove on my own to the bungalow on the mountain road just in time, to catch the last electric train up to the top of the mountain. This was after we had been walking in the south of the Island. I was so lucky though to complete this activation. When I drove out of Douglas at 15.20 local time and got to Creg-ny-Baa I discovered that the mountain road was closed for resurfacing work until 16.30L. I needed to get to the station by 16.00L to get the mountain railway up to the top. With a meal booked for 1930L and a social event to follow it in the Douglas entertainment complex I almost cancelled…Then I saw a road sweeper come off the mountain road finishing for the day, (this is part of the famous motorcycle TT course - no speed limit on that road,) so I decided to take a risk and make my way to the electric railway station at “The Bungalow” SC395867. I had a clear run - the tarmac men had just finished and I caught the last train of the day. This meant an easy 20 minute walk down from the top to my car after the activation. This was a most memorable and my favourite activation from the 32 I have done - it was also my first and a very easy 8 pointer! I had fantastic clear views in the sun to England Ireland Scotland and Wales. There was more time too so I activated on 40m SSB this time - the HF conditions were good.
79 QSOs were completed in 73 minutes and I made a SOTA DXCC record personal best for me of 13 DXCC Countries from a summit. The best DX was 9A2GF Croatia on 40m CW. The final QSO tally was:
60m SSB = 18 in 21 minutes (inc first QSO - S2S with Mike GW0DSP on NW-062)
40m SSB = 26 in 23 minutes (G0RQL first QSO on 40m SSB)
40m CW = 35 in 29 minutes (G4SSH first QSO on 40m CW)
Thank you to Frank G3RMD/P for finding me a good frequency to QSY to on 40m SSB 7085 KHz - very successful. So it was back to Douglas to collect my XYL Judy and enjoy a few shandys and a meal where we celebrated finishing off a wonderful day…
GD-002 Slieau Freoaghane on Thurs 28th June 1104z-1109z Smash & Grab
FT-817 (internal battery and super rod antenna)
This one was very short notice and it had to be quick. We were walking with a group of 10 and it was uncertain whether anyone would wish to walk to the top of GD-002 or walk across the saddle below the hill. When we reached the saddle there were two other volunteers, so GD4OBK, XYL Judy and the two others decided to ascend to the top whilst the six others waited for us. A quick mobile call to G4SSH made sure I was spotted on 145 FM and thank’s to Mick 2E0HJD in Clitheroe (1st QSO,) Rob GD4RQJ (who was now in Douglas Town having just arrived,) GM7DYQ/M near Stranraer and G1OAE in Workington I just managed to complete the 4 QSOs and claim the 4 points. I should have worked more - Mick 2E0HJD is a long way inland and was a good signal - yet no others in the North West seemed to be able to hear me on 2m FM. I don’t rate the super-rod much over a rubber duck but “needs must” in the circumstances… We couldn’t wait any longer and we had to reunite quickly with the group, however the next time we visit we will be on our own and make sure the activation is on HF - there is a good strong pole from a wartime beacon mast still on top - ideal for strapping a SOTA Pole to with tywraps or bungees…
So this was the last one we had time for in the Isle of Man but we will be returning next June for the Walking Festival once again - it was great social event and good walking, I recommend it for anyone who is into walking as well as SOTA. The SOTA element that was crammed in made it even better for me of course. The contacts are all now in the database - if anyone thinks that thay had a contact and it is unconfirmed please get back to me at email@example.com and I will investigate the logbook. Thank you to Roy G4SSH for the support with SOTAwatch liasion via mobile phone and spotting.
Thank you To Frank G3RMD for finding me a good QRG on 40m SSB when on GD-001 and for help from SOTAwatch spotters GM4FAM, GW0DSP, ON3WAB, GW7AAV, F5AKL also (G3VQO-M0SGB-2E0HJD-DL2DXA-DL2HS DX Cluster Spotting - thanks guys - this built up my log and the pile up very nicely indeed), GW0VMZ, M3RHJ, DL4FDM, G0RQL.
I will work radio again from GD next year at the Walking Festival…
73 and Good DX