GM5WS from Hill of Fare in the sleet. Sunday 4th Dec

WX for this was not great but having booked some slots to activate GM5WS, I didn’t want to waste them. Most of the walk-up was in rain showers, turning to sleet near the top of my local 1 pointer. First thing I set up was my tarp tent, which I managed to get done in a break between showers. Wind wasn’t a problem, but the unpleasant showers kept passing through as I set up my hexbeam, which slowed things down a bit.


Got on the air at 1220, which wasn’t too far off my 1200 alert start time and tried 10m first. First in the log was Mike,MM7MWL then Fraser MM0EFI and thirdly Hibby MM0RFN, all from the local SOTA group. Then…nothing, despite a lot of CQs. The band was open but alas no chasers for either the hill or the GM5WS. Incidentally, I noticed that my spots on Sotawatch automatically added /P even though I just entered GM5WS.
I dropped down to 15m which was more lively and picked up a few SOTA chasers and some looking for the Transatlantic Centenary call. W4JKC was the first across-the-pond QSO and 4Z4DX furthest East for the day. YO5MCM/P called for my only S2S. A good few minutes then followed, with PJ4DX, VE9MM, VE1EV and AA7G amongst the callers.
I tried 10m again but got no replies to my CQs.
I had better luck on 12m, with Fraser MM0EFI calling in again, followed directly by TI2SD, W1FPW, PJ4DX and AA7G again.
Determined to get something more on 10m, some CQs yielded G0FWX and then PJ4DX again after a QSY - nice to get Steve in the log 3 times; I remember working him years ago when he was G4JVG.
The weather was starting to bug me by this time, so I went back to 15m for a final effort, which brought 4 more transatlantic QSOs - VE3XN, VE3IC, W4DID and K8LJG (Mi) who was furthest West for the day. Last QSO was with YO6CFB at 1414, with 40 in total the log.
Packed up with the same mix of showers passing through and squelched back down to the car in the rapidly fading light. Next slot booked is 6th Dec when hopefully the WX will be a bit better.

73 to all.


It was the SMS spotter doing it, should have read the user guide first :slight_smile:

The default is to add /P because the spotter was originally written for UK activators when you had to add /P (or /M) if you were not at your home QTH. And typing on old phone keyboards was a chore. So /P was added for free. Then use spread to where /P wasn’t mandatory so I changed it so you can have a /P for free or not. Again selected with the minimum of typing because even smartphone keyboards can be rubbish if the WX is a bit cold and damp.

! for the registered call with a /P
$ for the registered call unadorned
<call> for the call as entered with a /P
<call>. for call as entered unadorned

It knows not to add /P if one is already there. And it knows all the rules for RSL (regional secondary locators) for UK calls. It even knows how to handle the RSL in a UK club callsign too!

Anyway, hope the WX is better for your next outing.


A fine activation on the special callsign Simon. I got soaked just running out to the shack to work you…… :umbrella: For once I was glad not to be out on a hill. Well done.

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Hi Andy, Indeed :wink: . Thanks for the info on that and for taking the time to post it, cheers, Simon

Well done braving the conditions Simon. It is always more disheartening when you set off in poor weather than when you encounter it on the ascent or at the summit.

Some excellent DXworked, especially pertinent in respect of the contacts made across the pond. :grinning:

73, Gerald


Thanks for the Hill of Fare QSO Simon. Your sigs very good in SC Sunday morning. No sleet here yet, just rain. W4JKC, Tom

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Hello Tom, welcome to the fraternity :grinning: :+1:

Geoff vk3sq

Thanks for calling Tom. Its always nice to be chased from the US.

73, Simon