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Gun SP-013 2010

Noting that Gerry 'OIG was alerted for a summit on 2m and 70cm, and feeling in need of some fresh air after a stressful few days, I headed out to Gun. Drizzle and rain all the way to my parking spot together with poor visibility did not bode well.

The path up the hill was awash. In fact I have never seen so much water coming down it. My last-minute choice of Wellington Boots seemed a good one. At the top I soon had the 2m beam in the air and another last-minute choice, an umbrella, also proved a good one as I huddled under it to activate. It was pouring by now.

I was a bit early so I started on 2m SSB. I had intended to run high power but a “lead mistake” meant I was limited to 5 Watts. Contacts came in a trickle but never the less I was qualified in a little over 20 minutes.

Brian G8ADD alerted me to Paul’s ('4MD) appearance on 2m FM where I easily caught him for an S2S. Paul was in sunshine in contrast to my damp location. Afterwards I returned to 2m SSB to wait for Gerry. However, Gerry, tipped off by Paul, thought I was going straight to 70cm and it was not until Mike G4BLH/m told me that Gerry was QRV on 70cm that I realised I might miss him if I was not quick.

Thus I rapidly reconfigured the beam for 70cm and immediately heard Gerry (strong) working Reg G3WPF (weak). We soon completed on SSB with a nice chat. Gerry said that 70cm S2S contacts were rare so he was especially pleased. I slid down to the 70cm centre of activity (432.200) and made another four contacts before the rain made me decide to pack up. I was sorry to miss Reg G3WPF.

The soupe du jour was Moroccan Fusion with Cous Cous.

73

Richard
G3CWI

I’ve had that one on an activation before, a Tesco ‘own brand’ IIRC, but I’m sure it was called “Spicy Moroccan lamb with cous cous” then. Perhaps it’s been rebranded since Ainsley Harriet put his name to it.

Nice report; I’m jealous of your activating (although not the heavy rain). I’m still waiting to get out, but Sunday looks dry and Shining Tor is waiting for me. Tomorrow is occupied by Port Vale vs Macclesfield, and beer. Thankfully, it seems I am back to fighting fitness again, evidenced by a squash victory on Wednesday, over a science teacher ten years my junior!

Anyway, it will either be New England Fish Chowder or Leek, Potato & Thyme soup on Sunday. FYI. Hope the ‘stress’ went well.

73, Tom

In reply to G3CWI:

Interesting report Richard. You should have noted that my alert was for 432.222-ssb/cw, 144.333-ssb, so indicating the band running order for the day. On the vast expanse of summit on the west peak of Y Lliwedd (not), Paul was inevitably going to be close by and we were going to cause one another serious desense problems had I operated on 2m SSB. I therefore elected to operate 70cms first and was QRV some minutes after you worked Paul. It took some time to bungie the mast and in the end I used my backpack as a guying point!

The level of interest on 70cms was most pleasing and in all I made 7 contacts using SSB and CW. I assume you didn’t have a morse key with you to work Reg. Many thanks for the S2S which was only the 8th that I have made on the band - that is in comparsion to 175 on 2m. I just wish more would take a lead from the Slovenian chaps and give the band a try - anyone with kit for the band should read my Summitsbase report each month to see how good they are at using 70cms to good effect.

73, Gerald

P.S. My soup was Knorr Stilton with Broccoli as it was all we had in - must visit Mr Baxter’s shop this week in readiness for the next outing.

In reply to G4OIG:

Gerry

Thanks for the tip-off about your running order! Incidentally, I have always found your choice of frequency on 70cm to be a curious one. As far as I’m aware the centre of activity is 432.200. This is a different concept to a calling channel and contacts can made there without the need to QSY. I know that some “normal” band users do monitor 432.200; indeed one called me yesterday and bemoaned the lack of activity - having missed hearing your pile up by 22kHz. By using an odd-ball frequency rather than the centre of activity frequency, don’t you tend to reduce your chances of contacts and also miss the opportunity of engaging the non-SOTA types and recruiting them to your merry band of chasers?

Re Reg - he has been heard on phone at least once I think!

73

Richard
G3CWI

In reply to G3CWI:

Ah, so you missed my call on 432.200 as well did you Richard? … and so did at least one other person! Calling on a calling frequency does not guarantee a contact, particularly when you are geographically remote.

432.222MHz and 144.333MHz are my usual working frequencies, adopted to help those without the benefit of spots (e.g. other portables), late comers and those who I may work on one band and want to try to work me on the other, but miss when I change band. Most rigs have memory channels nowadays, so it is easy to put the frequencies into memory and keep checking for me. Why an odd-ball choice - firstly the numbers are easy to remember, secondly not being a 10kHz multiple off the calling frequencies I rarely get “landed on” and thirdly if someone looking for me hears something in the noise on those frequencies, it is likely to be me!

Looking at it from another angle - I was called by Mel G8EOP in Dewsbury when I was on 432.222MHz on SC-012 Swyre Head, so non-SOTA users do actually tune the band!

73, Gerald

Re Reg - he has been heard on phone at least once I think!

Often calls me in the VHF activity contests on SSB, but only after he has listened for me, and failed to hear me on CW!

Peculiarly individual operating frequencies can work to your advantage. If I am doing 2m CW, I can first call on 144.050MHz and fail to solicit a response, but then call on 144.060MHz and have several stations call in that were waiting for me! Same sort of thing with 3.557MHz, and need I mention a certain 7.032MHz?

Tom M1EYP

In need of a walk, I decided on a circular route around (and across) Gun. Having already activated Cloud and Shining Tor on 70cm it was time to do Gun on that band. On the walk in, a few flakes of snow fell and by the time I was set up and inside the bothy bag it was snowing heavily. Starting on 2m, 5 stations were in the log over a period of 20 minutes - kicked off by John M0JDK with a spot - thanks. Phil 'OBK was especially welcome as I knew he had 70cm. He promised to leave his receiver on 432.200 so while he was talking, I carefully peaked the 2m beam and peeped out of the bothy bag to note the bearing. Graham G3OHC seemed pleased to catch me on 2m with his indoor aerial. Lots of regulars were absent from the log today.

Braving the (weather) elements I nipped out to put the 70cm (antenna) elements into the beam. This took all of 2 minutes and I was back into the relative warmth of the bothy bag. I decided to call Phil on CW after aligning the aerial accurately. He came back first time (146km). A QSO with Reg 'WPF followed and a near miss with 2E0UOG who called CQ but did not respond when called. By this stage I was getting cold and so I packed up. I very nearly abandoned the circular walk idea due to cold feet (Wellingtons again) and heavy snow but in the end I pushed on and completed the walk.

The comedy moment was on the way home where the road took a 90 degree left turn. Even at 20MPH the car continued going straight on, sliding on the new snow. Eventually I gained control but with one wheel over a ditch. No harm done but my heart rate was elevated rather more than it was on the walk.

Suppe des tages was Moroccan Fusion with Cous Cous.

73

Richard
G3CWI

In reply to G3CWI:

Ric.

Are you sure it wasn’t the after effects of that soup that caused the car to go straight on? Glad to catch you on cw - had to hastily rebuild the paddle and had to hold one lead against the post to be able to send dots so sorry about the QSD!

Glad you got back OK.

73

Reg G3WPF

In reply to G3WPF:

Rumour has it Reg that you do possess a microphone. Flip side of the coin is that I should really try to use the key more often to get you to come out and play!

Well done Richard - I was going to manhandle the 46 element multibeam in the loft to try to work you when I saw the spot, but the work phone rang and that was that! C’est la vie

73, Gerald

Soupe du jour - poivron rouge, fait a la maison!

In reply to G4OIG:

That’s a very malicious rumour Gerald! I notice you don’t pick on Roy SSH like that! Actually I think the microphone is buried somewhere under the dust and snow but I will brush it off if I’m around and someone is struggling to make the contacts. It’s hard to break the cw habit after 40+ years!

See you on the bands … on cw (but not today - regular visit to my mother’s - must take the handie one day and do SP-017 as it’s only 0.5m away).

73

Reg G3WPF

In reply to G3WPF:

No mal-intent intended Reg, I assure you. However, I’m certain Roy doesn’t own a microphone, Hi! I think that I have only ever worked him on 30m CW.

I really do need to remind myself to put a call out on the key after working the run on SSB on each band. I’m more likely to be inclined to do that on 70cms, but 2m is worth a try as well. Must do better, 4/10.

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:

I’ve seen Roy using a micrphone on a SOTA contact. Mind you, it wasn’t his microphone! :wink:

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to G4OIG:

Ah, no mal-intent taken Gerald! I see another rumour has started now that Roy does (did?) have a microphone and has been worked on SSB. Better stop now or there may be solicitors’ letters arriving in the post.

Off to Billinge now. See you on 2m cw - I might just call you on that mode to encourage you!

73

Reg

In reply to G3WPF:

Well you are most welcome to call me on the key Reg - you send the lovely rhythmical type of morse that is easy to read in the head - much appreciated on a summit when I don’t have a wad of paper in front of me.

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:

I bet you say that to all the girls Gerald. Billinge was shrouded in mist on the way there - couldn’t even see the top from the B5206 to the East of it. However, on the return journey it had cleared - moved down to lower elevation.

73

Reg

In reply to G3WPF:

Oh Reg, you are such a wag! Good job I’d put my cup of tea down before I read that comment.

Okay on the mist around Billinge… well you see, it is to be expected with such an elevated lump. I assume it was coming in from the sea :wink:

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:

I almost called you on 2m CW last Sunday Gerald. As I mentioned when I worked you on Red Screes in the morning I had to go into work & may not be back for your later summit. I had not put my 2m beam up so was only using my vertical but you were still a lovely signal from Red Screes.

As things went quite well at work I was home in time for the late afternoon summit & what a difference in signal strength here. With only the vertical I knew you were there & could occasionally hear other’s working you, but apart from the odd couple of seconds when you briefly lifted out of the noise it was too much to expect to be able to complete an ssb qso.

As most of the time I could tell you were there on voice, I thought working you on cw should be possible, so I listened intently to see if I could spot an unanswered voice cq call. I heard Mike G4BLH work you & was tempted to ask him if he could ask you to have a listen for me on cw, but I chickened out.

I’m sure you wouldn’t have minded if he had :slight_smile:

Of course, if I’d had my beam up, I could have worked you on ssb relatively easily :wink:

Some LD summits have an excellent path to my qth in Blackburn, but others, not too far away may as well not exist as far as the VHF/UHF path goes, & even beaming directly at them I can sometimes here nothing when other stations only a few miles away are getting lovely signals.

As 60m had gone long by late afternoon time I couldn’t hear Paul above the noise here & even Steve G1INK who appeared on 60m around that time was very difficult copy, although on 80m he was 59+!

I really must do more cw, I’ve even thought of starting my next activation with it, whenever that is. But that will defititely be on a band far less hectic than 40m!

73 for now,

Mark G0VOF

In reply to G0VOF:

"… was tempted to ask him if he could ask you to have a listen for me on cw, but I chickened out. I’m sure you wouldn’t have minded if he had :slight_smile: "

So right Mark, I never mind calls on the key. There’s normally a reason for people calling me on CW and it is no problem to extract the key from my backpack and plug it in. QRS is not an issue or FMF style CW either! :wink: Pity you didn’t give me a shout… and don’t forget, it is relatively easy to get me to change the beam to vertical if necessary. I aim to please. Chaser goodwill is a high priority for me!

73 and hopefully work you from some of those elusive LD summits.

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:
I am with you Mark on avoiding 40m for my first CW solo activation, I have thought of 2m or even 70cm that will not attract a huge pile up from European chasers. That would make me panic to say the least!

It is HF CW that I ultimitaley want to be using during activations mainly for its superiority over phone modes at QRP levels.

Mark if you want to try a 2m CW contact or any other band for a bit of practice ie exchange calls and RST let me know. Sean M0GIA

It’s nothing to be worried about Sean. I did my first CW activation - in the Lions’ Den on 7.032MHz - at 10 w.p.m. - and it was absolutely fine.

You still need practice? You’ll get practice on 7.032 alright. And it will all be patient, considerate and at your speed.

Tom M1EYP