GM/SS-140 - If it could it did

Well what can I say!

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing goes right?

I had planned to activate a couple of hills today maybe even three. I got out of bed on time (for once). While packing the last of the gear in the rucksack my porridge (with salt) boiled over in the microwave, had to clean that up before her indoors seen it.

Left the house at 06:25 for the 114 mile drive, the drive was ok, a few icy patches. Reached the parking spot and was greeted by one of the forestry workers warning me that one of their vans was broken into while parked there a week before. I chanced it.

Reached the summit after wading most of the way through knee deep snow and drifts up to four feet deep. As the few that have been up this hill there ain’t much shelter so I went back to the tree line. Then while climbing over the wall/fence combo which was nearly completely covered in snow I ripped a three inch gash down one of my gaiters. Less than a year old too - is that covered in the guarantee?

Having set up the SOTA shack I noticed that the FT817 was only showing 9.7v, did I connect the battery to the radio? Yes! Unplugged and plugged back in, still the same. Checked the LiPo battery and cell one was reading 3.51v, cell two read 4.47v and cell three only 2.73v - damn. I was only getting 2.5 watts from the radio so I gave it a go anyway. 2m FM was a no show - not a thing. Next I gave 20m a go thinking I would have a better chance here. Self spotted and William W4ZV came back very quickly. I heard a couple of EA stations calling but they couldn’t hear me.

I then broke one of the legs on the 20m inverted vee so quickly through up the 40m vee and then the battery failed completely as soon as I self spotted.

So needless to say I gave up and just felt like walking away and leaving the whole lot where it was for the next activator to find - but I didn’t, I just said a few choice words (enter your own variation in here) and descended back to the car - which was still in one piece.

So one happy and lucky chaser today and one unhappy and not so lucky activator.

Sorry if you were hoping to grab a few points but lives a ditch then you fall in one.

73 Neil 2M0NCM

In reply to 2M0NCM:

Hello Neil, always another day :wink:

“… but lives a ditch then you fall in one…”

Like it!

Hopefully catch up with you soon. Have a nice evening.

Mike G6TUH

In reply to 2M0NCM:

It’s a nice wee hill is Turner Cleuch Law. I’ve done it from the front where there’s a few parking spaces and via Colwyn’s route through the forest and straight up the ride to the summit fence. I think the straight up one is the best but I can imagine there would be lots of places for lots of snow to pretend to be shallower than it is.

Last time I was the WX got worse and worse whilst I was on top. Just misty and drizzly and more so during the activation. But the sky played and I had a hoot on 20m and 17m. I had plans to do The Wiss across the way but the WX was too miserable so I stayed longer on Turner Cleuch and went home to watch Liverpool demonstrate how to lose a football match, something that they have become very good at! I should have stayed on the summit!

Better luck next time.


In reply to 2M0NCM:

…the FT817 was only showing 9.7v, did I connect the battery to the radio? Yes! Unplugged and plugged back in, still the same…

Well Neil, a case for carrying a fully charged internal battery pack in the 817 if ever there was one. Back in 2008 I arrived at the parking spot for the first of three hills only to find I’d left my main batteries in the shack. Ever since then I’ve tried to ensure the internal pack in the 817 is fully charged as it saved me on that occasion. I recently upgraded it to a larger capacity pack when the original died.

Sorry to hear of your difficulties on this activation, but hey think positive. Now you can go back up Turner Cleuch Law in the summer and enjoy the summit in the driving rain! :slight_smile:

73, Gerald G4OIG