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GM/SS on 2m/70cm fm and HF in mid September

We (M6BWA and M0JLA) are travelling up to Southern Scotland on Friday/Saturday 11/12th with a sheaf of maps for fairly small summits in the Perth (12 - 19th) and Peebles (19 - 26th) areas. We have high hope for lots of SOTA contacts but I am wondering how successful I shall be with my 5w from the trusty Yaesu VX7R on 2m fm (let alone 70cm!) when I am only on a 1 pointer. Is anyone listening in the area which seems to stretch from about Dundee to Stirling and perhaps down to Edinburgh for the first week? Now that some people are back to travelling to work and are no longer sitting beside their radios then mid week will be even more challenging. Are there any favourite frequencies I should listen on or repeaters I should visit, please? During the second week we shall be trying to tick off those hills we haven’t yet done so will aim to be revisiting the Ettrick/Tushie Law Inn area again for a day trip or two as well as closer summits. I have a feeling that this area is even more difficult from the lower summits although I have had some luck there before (including a contact bounced off a plane!)

Rod is relying on HF but 60m hasn’t worked so well recently ‘tho’ he has had some success on 80m. He also works 40m or 20m if these seem to be working but… we will be limiting the time spent calling on the summits as even little hills seem to have more contours and longer walks in lowland Scotland than in the Welsh Borders and we are concious that the evenings are drawing in.

We look forward to reading your advice - and even more to talking to you!! Thanks for your help.

Viki M6BWA

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As Perth is 250+ miles further North than Hereford, you’ll suddenly find an awful lot more stations are now far enough away that they will be workable on 60m.

Plenty of info about the summits in this area and around Peebles on my blog so no need for me to provide further info Catterblog. My GPX tracks are always shared in the SMP so help yourself, no need to ask!

Good luck - I hope you get better weather in Scotland than we have this week… If you go into the Tushielaw Inn please give 73 from Phil & Judy to Rab and Gail.

Phil G(M)4OBK

Viki

I live on the Fife side of Perth and if you are planning to sample the delights of some of the 1 pointers over this way drop me a line with your thoughts and I will help if I can.

2m activity in the region is ‘light’ and making the 4 can be a challange. Spots are essential, this will give us regular chasers a chance to fire up the 2m gear.

Look forward to making contact with you and perhaps co-ordinate a S2S while you are in this area.

73’s
Andy
GM6ZAK

The same goes for Paul and Gerald. An excellent place to stay. Unfortunately I am not sure what will be happening this year between Christmas and New Year.

As for the hills, self-spotting will help. There are locals around and you may find one or two. Steve MM0XPZ, Robert GM4GUF and Jack GM4COX often pop up. Unfortunately I can’t say how well you’ll do with a handheld as I use 25 watts of SSB and a 5 element on 2m. I’ve only made a few contacts on 70cm.

I will keep an ear open for you during the first week if an opportunity arises to take the kit out to a Northumbrian high spot, then there may be a chance of a contact. Hopefully I will get out myself one day during the week.

73 and have a good time both,

Gerald

Hi Viki

I will look out for your alerts with the aim of less sofa and more sota during your second week. I am towards the east coast in the borders but will attempt to get in a s2s if possible by getting myself up a hill (or 2…).

For that second week, I think that GB3DU and GB3SB are the most likely to be reached on the east or south of Peebles, although some of those pesky hills get in the way. GB3BT is out of action at the present.

Alan MM0VPM

Thank you all for your replies and helpful comments. The weather (and legs) will define what we try to do but we will try to alert the night before and then spot if possible if phone signals permit. Hope to hear from you - especially if it is a s2s but I think ANY response will be very gratefully received. by me as it won’t be easy.
73 Viki

Viki,

I live near Perth and normally have 2m listening to .500 when in the shack. There are a few people around Perth on 2m, but few monitor .500. They mostly monitor and work GB3PR (FM + Fusion) and sometimes qsy simplex. So if your stuck a call on GB3PR and qsy simplex might be your answer.

Enjoy your trip and hope to work you. Dont think I will be out this weekend, wx not the best.

73 Gavin
GM0GAV

WX looking good for Monday and better for Tuesday. I feel a day off to go SOTAing coming up.

EDIT checking latest forecast now shows Monday better than Tuesday. Maybe 2 days off?

Rest day today - this morning, at least - after a busy couple of days and hoping for the right conditions on Monday for the most ambitious walk planned - SS-104 & SS-105. Thanks for various tips - not tried the repeaters yet but the new car radio does C4FM and I noticed that there are several suitable repeaters nearby. 2m has worked OK for Vicki, as MM6BWA/P, so thanks for all those mostly local responders. Alternating 60m and 80m seems to be working if time and weather permit - and people are coming back strongly on one band after a pretty poor contact on the other - I have given up with 40m at weekends but might be trying it shortly. As I do not seem to be being heard too well perhaps I should turn on the Compression - any comments? We were lucky to squeeze SS-276 in between the heavy showers having reached Bridge of Earn somewhat earlier than expected. Time should be less of a problem now we have a fixed base near Perth until Saturday when we move to near Peebles but I doubt we shall spend longer than necessary on any of the cluster SS-262, 265 & 267 if we try to get them all done on one day.
Thanks for all the calls so far and hope for more to come.
73,
Rod

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Hi Rod
Thanks for the S2S today I was on GM/SS- 238 when I seen the spots from yourself and G4ZAO on sotawatch appear.
Managed to get a good a match on the 20m dipole and the kx3 ATU to work you both, great signal from you both.

Hope the weather was a kinder for you both today.

73
Graeme

I must apologize, Graeme, for being so slow on the s2s today. I seem to be having a lot of trouble with numbers and there is no easy alternative as there is with the alphabet. I was surprised to hear you as I know you activate CW normally and rather assumed you used one of the very neat CW only rigs. Many thanks for the s2s. The KX3 ATU really is amazing - the trouble is it makes me lazy and I sometimes don’t bother to change the links or add the coils which must impair the effectiveness of the aerial (20,40,60m linked dipole with coils for 80m) a lot. I did try for several other s2s but heard nothing at the other end so moved on. We were very lucky with the rain again today; hope you did not get too wet. I did have fears for the aerials, especially Vicki’s water-pipe 2m dipole, as the wind became increasingly vicious as time passed - the trees were more-or-less silent when we walked up and hissing loudly in the wind as we began the descent.
Thanks again, 73,
Rod