GW/NW-042 Moel y Gamelin & GW/NW-043 Cyrn-y-Brain activations

Moel y Gamelin and Cyrn-y-Brain summits are an excellent reason for driving into the beautiful countryside of North Wales. I left at 0530 from Scarborough and picked up Dave and Pete in Pickering at around 0600. The drive over was pretty good for the most part with the usual traffic hold up on the M62/M60 near Manchester. The satnav took us directly to the Ponderosa, the ideal starting point for these two summits. The lure of a bacon butty and hot drink was just too much to resist and we all enjoyed this before the walk. Conditions under foot were pretty good with just a few snow patches on the path and visibility was excellent. We set up just below the summit and the wind speed increased somewhat with the unforecasted snow shower. Dave decided to test out his brolly … it failed! We all soldiered on and managed ten contacts on 145-fm with Pete’s homebrew antenna and Dave’s VX-7R handheld running at 5 watts. Back down to the car and we cut across from Ponderosa car park and joined the service road to Cyrn-y-Brain. This walk went well and we set up in the summit shelter. We had some difficulties with the microwave signals but we did manage five contacts on 145-fm. Some of difficulties are described elswhere on the reflector. We were back at the car park opposite the Ponderosa at 1545 just in time to see the Ponderosa close up for the day!

Dave GW3TQQ/P testing his brolly!

Moel y Gamelin summit cairn

Dave GW3TQQ/P (on left) and Pete MW0HQO/P on Moel y Gamelin

Cyrn-y-Brain summit with Ponderosa in foreground from Moel y Gamelin track

Cyrn-y-Brain’s infamous summit mast

After a long drive home time to reflect on another great day out.

73 and thanks to all the chasers
Nick GW4OOE/P with Pete MW0HQO/P and Dave GW3TQQ/P


Looking at your pic of the broadcast mast and mine from 2010 shows nothing obviously VHF has been added. There are some more microwave dishes and fewer mobile phone antennas but nothing jumps out. The culprit is probably on the PMR mast which is the next one along. If you have a photo, compare it with how it looked in September 2010.

Many thanks again for the chaser points & hope to catch you guys again soon.


Hi Andy

This is my only pic that I took of the second mast.

I reckon that these microwave dishes are the main problem.

Looking at the 2010 photo, I am wondering if there were three masts then whereas now there are two?


On 2m? Nope. They’re typically 4 or 7GHz and not going to cause issues. They’ve been there since 1990 as I remember anyway and I think they maybe wired back to back. i.e. passive repeater. I may be mistaken though.

The far tower (square one) is the old BT tower and all the low-microwave stuff has gone from that for years now. There’s just 23GHz and higher stuff on it by the looks of the dishes.

I can signs of new fencing where the PMR tower was on your picture. New fencing suggests someone has been doing things by the PMR tower. Unless that has been removed now.

I bow to your superior knowledge on this subject. At the summit apart from the stations we actually worked we heard nothing while others were calling us (I experienced the same on Great Orme last year). When we set up lower down towards the Ponderosa, on all 2m channels we could hear what sounded like an extremely distorted broadcast station that we weren’t able to identify, so maybe this was just a commercial vhf channel being broadcasted from the tower. I am wondering if this has anything to do with the new DAB radio stations. According to my Radio Listeners Guide there is a 5 kW DAB radio transmitter on that tower (listed as Llangollen SJ 209488) using the standard BBC muliplex frequency 225.648 MHz.

Hi Nick, Pete & Dave,

Well done on these two in windy weather and some snow too. I don’t envy you having just come down from attending to a broken TV aerial.

Like the photos. At least it was clear. Fortunately Dave’s brolly isn’t the high spec one, just a pound shop retractable which I have often found fail on the first cycle of a fatigue test. Pity about the QRM. I too suffered on Gt. Orme but I think there are 2m and 70cm repeaters on NW70.

What next I wonder? You are certainly are getting stuck into the WB points but what’s this about bacon butties and not even waiting until the work is done! Impending decadence? Come to think of it, I might just adopt that mode too.

See you on the SOTA table. We can easily pull up another chair Nick,
73, John.

Hi John

Pete’s home brew aerial isn’t that bad - hi hi! Dave’s brolly lasted a good few seconds so I reckon he got good value for money! I couldn’t get Pete and Dave motivated without the bacon butties and I just had to join them to be sociable! :grinning:

Dave and I are heading off to Shillhope Law tomorrow.

I hope to turn up one day and sample some of Janet’s choccies and join you all on the SOTA table.


Hi John,

The brolly did not fail completely and it works really well with no rain or wind to annoy it !

Actually, it did a great job protecting Nick’s " Pocket Rocket " on Shillhope Law, G/SB006 today