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GM/CS-113 Activation

Hi All, im not long back from todays activation of Tom Bailgeann GM/CS-113 464m ASL. This was my second attempt at activating this summit, i tried a few weeks ago with VHF only but came away with 3 contacts. So with a day off and somewhat decent weather it was time to try again with my new shiny Elecraft KX2. The summit car park is 10miles or so from Inverness city centre on the south side of Loch Ness, a nice and short drive for me. The summit is sandwiched between Loch Ness and Loch Duntelchaig, both looking rather choppy in the wind. Fairly easy climb, short and steep in sections, 40 minutes at my sloth like pace got me to the trig point. Just below the top it flattens out for a little and you follow under some power lines for the comms tower up there, i can imagine in the summer it would be rather boggy, but fine in the cold conditions today. Met a gentleman working up at the summit doing some maintenance work to a generator in one of the cabinets. Radio wise, started off on 2m FM, with only the one contact, Derek GM0HLV in Helmsdale, 60 something miles as the crow flies. Nothing into inverness surprisingly for a weekend. Then set up for HF, KX2, sotabeams travel mini mast and linked dipole. First time using the kx2 outwith the shack, Performed amazing, thanks to Don G0RQL for the first sota contact with the new radio. Mixed signal reports but working into England and Mainland Europe fine on 7Mhz, before switching to 20. SV2OXS being the furthest contact. All HF stations worked on 10w and the internal battery. Initially i thought the clock add on for the KX2 was a bit of a gimmick, however proved wrong today, very handy for logging purposes with it being on the display in the VFO B slot, still overpriced mod in my opinion though. See photos below (once i correct the upside down ones :slight_smile: )
Thanks to all the chasers today.






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Lovely weather there, Adrian and nice to see the pics of a so recently chased activation.
It’s been raining here most of the time yesterday and this morning and we even see the montains around the town covered of a bit of snow,
See this picture taken from the balcony of my QTH with the antenna wire in the foreground and the snowed mountain tops seen just over the Courts building across the street.
imagen
So no chance for me to activate today.
Thanks for the QSO on 20m SSB. It was me who asked you for your name. I like having the operator names in my log.
73,

Guru

It was quite windy on the summit today but otherwise fine, the sun is shining now in Inverness but cold temperatures. The higher summits still have a lot of snow here in GM and many places around the uk have snow on the ground. I wonder if I’m the only UK station out portable today for SOTA? I did hear someone call my name, i hope you did catch it, i think i did give it the next call which was eu2mm. Thanks again for the call today Guru, catch you on the air again sometime soon.

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It sure is Adrian. I seem to recall that Andy FMF was the first to give the heads up on that in his report on the hill. It was August when Paul G4MD activated the hill, so it wasn’t too bad for us. I see that I only made one QSO on 2m FM from there… but we were activating early in the day - well that’s my excuse! Surprised 145.575MHz didn’t work for you today.

73, Gerald G4OIG

Thanks for the QSO Adrian. Nice meeting you and I think first time ever. Congrats with your KX2. Your sigs getting stronger and stronger even S7 at the end. I Think you KX2 need to get use to hill activation. Also nice reading with the pictures! Bcnu 73, Frans

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Nothing heard on .575 whatsoever, i got derek from .500 and moved to .525. Quite surprised it was so quiet on 2m today, my excuse for not activating it last time was it was mid week and VHF only, but activated today fine, 24qsos between the 3 bands.

It’s not quite 4 years since I did. I’m still drying out my feet! :slight_smile:

Thanks for calling me today Frans, hope to work you again sometime soon

It was damp a few weeks ago up there, especially on that flat section, but fine today. The guy working up there had a quad, he said he normally has to take an argocat with him up there, and he quoted it as his least favourite hill to work on, I can see why,

There is a huge amount of important radio stuff up there and the hardcore track goes about 1/3rd of the route. I can’t believe they haven’t done something to improve that boggy bit as maintenance must be a real pain.

Some good views from there for a little hill. I must go back and snaffle the other 3 summits next to it.

Yeah theres a lot on the tower. There is a bad bit on the hardcore track just near the transmission lines where its badly eroded, must just be wide enough for the quad to pass and no more. I was very pleasantly surprised with the views up there, especially slightly north at the cairns, great view over loch ness and back to Inverness. Likewise andy, hope to catch them soon too.

The large concrete blocks supporting the tower were a welcome relief from the wind, the mast was fairly bent over with the wind but performed great. Next time ill take a few extra velcro ties to keep the coax from blowing around, just had one with me today.

Thought id check the power consumed with todays activation. It was zeroed before leaving the house this morning. Happy with that for an hour or more activating, with 23 completed exchanges and a bit of chatting.

Was having difficulty recalling this summit, but it’s all coming back now… I think not too bad is somewhat relative :wink:

Was listening for you Adrian in the hope of getting the complete but you were barely distinguishable above the now S9+ permanent local noise at the home QTH :frowning:

Glad you had better Wx than us down here - woke up to 6" of snow this morning!

73 de Paul G4MD

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I had a chuckle at the comments about this hill, the radio site is referred to as Achnabat. Many stuck Argocats over the years, most visits by the guys working on the Mobile Networks are on foot unless you need to take a lot of gear like climbing for example.
There are many sites with access like this in the Highlands, building a good track that won’t get washed away is hugely expensive.

The engineers up there need to like the outdoors and not mind wet feet! If that appeals as a job contact GM0GAV. I have vacancies for 2 x Trainee Engineers based in Inverness :slight_smile: You read it correctly, a job advert!

73 Gavin
GM0GAV

I’m in the engineering jobs market :raised_hands:t2:

I was told by a few operators today that there was qrm around where I was working (7.195) but never heard it myself. Catch you on the next one perhaps. Maybe gm/ns-150 tomorrow weather depending.

It’s a wee belter of a summit that one. I really enjoyed it.

Yeah it’s a great wee one. My grandparents lived in Strathpeffer so I know the area well. It’s been a few years since I last activated it, but there was plenty of trees hacked down, maybe they’ve grown back a bit since?

Mar 2013.

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