It looked like it was going to be a usable day from first view out of the window at 0700. The plan was to get somewhere earlyish not very far away to grab some early DX and get away early as there was a large chunk of Lamb that needed attending to. The use of “early” here is about the only place it happened, and we didn’t actually end up qrv until 0830Z some two and a half hours later. The problem was, the day was just too nice to hurry. You have to understand that up here, until 24 hours before it had still been winter, with max temperatures of 5C and snow in town during the week. Saturday had been a bit grey but with just a hint of the unexpected warmth to come, Sunday dawned at 5C, it can only go up from there.
The target was the pimple of Normans Law up the Tay towards Perth at a mere 285M ASL. Dressed in the usual merino base layer, fleece and winter coat, the walk up was very pretty, but starting to get the first hints that I was overdressed despite the good covering of snow on the hills to the north
By the time we were in the woods the first fleece layer ended up round my waist
The view at the top was stunning with Largo Law (GM/SS-259) to the south east an island in the fog
with not much hope of a barbecue afternoon for those in the Forth valley
We were gutted for them… cos it was quite nice in our patch, looking north west to Perth
and north east to Dundee
With all that to look at it was hard to remember that the whole point of being there was to play a bit of radio, not to go to sleep in the sun, eh Ian?
As a SOTA jaunt it was quite productive, I’ll never be one of those slam bam thankyou mam, 5 qsos and then out people. A nice leisurely wander between 40, 20 and 17 brought over 60 qsos, no real DX but some happy chasers (how happy does 1 point make you btw?). Nice to work a 5B4 portable (non SOTA) and to make a record (for me) 8 S2S qsos. Just at the end I thought I’d have a quick look on 50mhz with the whip to see if I could hear anyone from the contest - nothing. Then when I was there I thought I’d pop up to 144mhz to see if I could hear anything, first time I’ve tried the 817 there. I heard a week scratchy signal - then I made a big discovery. The 40m dipole provides a 2.5:1 swr on 144mhz and works very well! I then went on to make my first 144mhz FM qso of the millenium, an S2S with gm0fmf/p.
Not only was this my first out of 17 SOTA activations not wearing gloves and a hat, the jacket never did make it back on. We had a leisurely wander down and made a deliberate navigational error so as to make the walk a bit longer and more interesting (at least thats what I told Ian)
Sadly the heron moved out of the pool of water just before I took the photo, those with great imagination will see it on the grass behind it. Normans Law is the pimple in the middle. A woodpecker was busy making very audible holes in those trees.
On arrival at the car it told us it was 18C, haven’t seen that here since last September or before! On the way back the reading gradually crept up to 20C and by the time I was ensconced in the back garden with a glass the true shade temperature on the patio hit 26C. The lamb was gorgeous.
Best 73 Andy
P.S. I had to scrape ice off the car this morning…
PPS Congratulations to Don g0rql who has made it into my log on every one of my activations! Nice to hear lots of other familiar voices too