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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
Back home now - a summary shortly and more details later (sooner on request if anyone would like some summit route info for an imminent visit). Sorry, but there will not be any tracks; I just don’t keep them.
Many thanks for the contacts and apologies to all who tried but were not heard at my end. My log upload is complete but needs corrections - do let me know if you are missing or incorrectly logged.
I’m afraid you will have to wait a bit (?) longer for my log as my computer remained at home. I have 13 sheets (300 + contacts) to type in and a garden to tame!! All contacts 2m/70cm, I got the splitter ready (so I could share HF contacts) on the first hill as I didn’t expect o hear anyone … but that didn’t last long!! Lots of very helpful people but we were on small summits near centres of population (Perth and Peebles/Edinburgh). On the second week Glasgow found me and they delighted in telling me how much better their weather was when we shivered on small summits towards the end of the week. On returning I saw they weren’t entirely joking as Glasgow recorded 5.8 hrs of sunshine on Friday but Edinburgh only 0.8 hrs!! GM/SS-211 and 212 were the only hills without any 70cm contacts and I think I only failed to get 4 70cms on one other summit. However I got a lot of ‘First ever contact on 70cm’ etc and also a ‘must put my 70cm aerial up some time’ so I suggested he got a move on and… we had a long run of contacts from then on! I even left some of the locals talking to each other on the band.
Thanks for your help everyone and to FMF and others for help with routes and also all the patient activators who waited for me to unscramble their callsign! There was a super lift on one day and I heard Belgium clearly - but had to be content with contacts in Grimsby (2), Cromer, Norfolk and Aberporth all on 5w!
Excerpt from my log - the most recent 24 summits; all Uniques and quite a few Completes too. Mixed bands - 80m,60m, 40m, 2m and 70cm (these last two shared with Vicki, MM6BWA).
I am aware of a mistake and an omission in the log for SS-087, Windelstraw Law, and will correct those once I find out how to deal with the s2s contacts when deleting the old log. I am not yet aware of any other errors; please let me know.
The trip was arranged as a substitute for the twice cancelled booking for Mull with the intention of taking on summits which we hoped we were fit enough to manage having done so few longer/higher walks recently. Summit selection was made harder by the fact that we had visited both areas before and had several of the best walks already in the log. The SOTL.AS filter was extremely helpful in excluding summits when planning the individual days to limit driving time. Even though the summits were all one or two points each we had no expectation of anything like this number of summits (although I had prepared notes and maps for over 30 to suit varying conditions). However, the weather was remarkably kind - at least one summit every day except the last Friday; a REST DAY at last, which did at least mean I was fresh for the drive home. Even the wet day (13th) brightened enough to encourage us up Dumglow for the afternoon - best not do that one on a race or practice day as the noise from the nearby circuit makes it a far from peaceful walk. On some days the views were superb - on others we had some difficulty even finding the main road
Further analysis/comment may have to wait for a rainy day - there’s a lot still to do in the garden.
Edit - note that the summits on any one day are in SS-### order , not by time.
Did Viki get my message regarding my signal report for SS-171?
Edit: Woops Viki I had scrolled past your post, hello
I do hope some other folk locally activate those hills around Edinburgh as I’ve found a few places around the city where I can hit a good number of surrounding peaks with 5W. There’s a good number of us chasing around there it seems.
I logged 273 contacts. No-one worked me on all 24 summits - hardly surprising as I abandoned HF for the last three. I am very grateful to ALL who worked me but especially the following who made 12 or more contacts - Bill, G4WSB, 16; Allan, GW4VPX and Steve, MM0XPZ, 14 each; Esther, GI0AZA and Don, G0RQL, 12 each. Also James, M0JCQ/P for several s2s along with Christina, M7CID/P
who gave me the first contact on Windelstraw Law, SS-087, activating my 500th unique summit. My choice of bands concentrated the contacts on the British Isles but there were 6 each from DM, ON & EA and 4 each F & PA.
The 500 uniques is about the last significant activator target realistically available Reaching 5000 s2s points will involve a few more activations but they will be nearer home
I hope to come up with some concise route descriptions (unless they are already available on the summit pages) and, possibly, even some photos. Vicki’s log will appear in due course.
Congratulations on the 500 AU Rod - that’s a significant achievement, one I hope to emulate in the next 2-3 years. We will no doubt progress towards that aim by doing some activating in GM. We only have one summit left to have activated all of G-GW-GD-GI-GU-GJ (+PA+LX) - but in total contrast, we have only activated 23 references in GM! So GM calls - as well as EI, and ON (probably the only other association we have a realistic chance of “activating all summits” in the foreseeable)!
In good conditions on Sunday 20th September, we heard strong signals from Viki when we were on Gun G/SP-013. We only had handhelds with us though and couldn’t manage to reciprocate, although we gave it a good try. Still, at least we participate also in the SWL section of SOTA, so we logged it in there instead.
2m conditions have been a bit up a bit for a while… On Sunday I managed a 305km QSO from Glas Tulaichean GM/CS-011 to Neil 2E0TDX/P and Karen 2E0XYL/P on Whernside G/NP-004. I think they had more power than me, I was using the handy and rubber duck and got a 31 report but they were able to get all the info and reference so it wasn’t that bad a signal. They were 53 and with me.