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GM/NS-143 Report

GM/NS-143 Beinn Domhnaill 349M

I went to this one the night before to see if the access road was drivable. Turned off the A9 at The Mound along a single track road that was fine for about the 1st mile but there on it was like a sheet of ice. About 5 miles in there is a signpost saying “No gritting or snow clearing after this point, DANGER use alternative route”. But i plodded along passing my intended parking place at Loch Buidhe, just enough room for one car. This road is about 10 miles and took nearly an hour to get to the other end at Bonar Bridge.

On the activation day, i opted to come from the Bonar Bridge end as its closer in terms of mileage to my QTH. Reasonable weather for this time of year now that it was +8 Celsius and most of the snow had disappeard. I fully expected the ground to be slippy as… underfoot but it was pretty good. Once out of the forest it was up and over the heather like many of the lesser explored hills seem to be, in a quick 40 minutes from car to summit.

I only set up the 2M beam as time was running short, made 8 qso’s but had some bother half way through with the wind picking up and taking the beam and pole down mid qso with Garry 2M1DHG. I also need to come up with a way to stop the beam rotating in the wind, it always seems to turn away from the wanted direction. HI HI. A quick bite to eat, pack up and off down the heather again. I filmed my decent and it was 12 minutes back to the forest track. On the way back i took the HD cam out again and filmed a quick review of my JetBoil stove - to be posted later this week on the youtubes.

A decent hill to do if your in the area and fancy a quick activation. Stunning views all round!!

On a side note that activation is likely to be the last using 2M0ETR/p as i received my PASS paper on the Advanced License from the RSGB last week. Just trying to sort out the new callsign this week, so look out for that VERY soon.

Adrian

In reply to 2M0ETR:

had some bother half way through with the wind picking up and taking
the beam and pole down mid qso with Garry 2M1DHG. I also need to come
up with a way to stop the beam rotating in the wind

Both somewhat inconvenient. :wink: I had my tripod blow over on top of Detling Hill as I was hunting for a quiet frequency. Suddenly it got very quiet…

as i received my PASS paper on the Advanced License from the RSGB last
week. Just trying to sort out the new callsign this week, so look out
for that VERY soon.

Congratulations!

Congratulations Adrian on passing the full licence exam.

Jimmy M3EYP

In reply to M3EYP:
Thanks guys!!

Adrian

In reply to 2M0ETR:

Well done, Adrian, now you can activate with 400 watts!:wink:

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
That’s an option Brian but i im going to try and learn the dit’s and dah’s next and keep the linear at home :slight_smile:

73

Adrian
(Still not chose the MM0 call yet!!!)

In reply to M6LEP:

Both somewhat inconvenient. :wink: I had my tripod blow over on top of
Detling Hill as I was hunting for a quiet frequency. Suddenly it got
very quiet…

What the photographic community (amongst which I count myself as a temporarily lapsed member) do to stop this is to hang a heavy weight from the apex of the tripod. The easiest thing to use in that context is the camera bag containing all the kit you are not actually using to take the photo.

An alternative, if there is somewhere suitable on the tripod legs to attach to, would be a cord running from about half-way up each leg to a single ground peg under the centre of the tripod (or to separate pegs).

Ian
G6ENU

In reply to G6ENU:
Yeah, the pole was too high for the tripod’s base spread and the wind resistance the antenna offered. Given the strength of the gusts than day, I’m not sure even a car battery under the apex would have held it. I borrowed some guy ropes from Colin G8TMV to get it back up, but by that time the damage was done and the antenna wasn’t playing any more. A well-guyed pole would have been a better (and lighter, and less cumbersome) alternative.

In reply to M6LEP:
I had my SOTA pole guyed and the wind took one of the four pegs out of the ground and it came down, luckily no damage to anything. Perhaps the ground was a bit too soft for guying. I think i will look into a handheld yagi for such occasions, as has been mentioned in another post the sandpiper 3 ele could be one such option. In in the proccess of trying to extend the sotabeam slightly using some 25mm plastic pvc conduit, it fits over just nice, its a going to be a trial for doing some satellite comms.

Do extra-terrestrial repeaters count for sota contacts? Im sure i read somewhere that they do…

Adrian

EDIT:- General Rules 3.7.1 Line 10
QSOs via terrestrial repeaters do not count towards the QSO total…

In reply to 2M0ETR:
The beast on top of the pole in my case was a 14MHz loaded dipole contraption made of pipe fittings and cheap telescopic whips. A good tall pole and a dipole in inverted-V would probably have made more sense… :wink: