GW/NW-062 Hope Mtn Today

This afternoon saw reasonable weather, with the possibility of rain later in the day, so I packed my bag and headed for “The Office”. I couldn’t operate from the usual spot because of the farmer working in that area and two of his sons were active on their Kawasaki trials bikes on the circuit up there. I parked the car at the bottom opposite the gate and walked up the tarmac road, then onto the piece of land to the right which is at the same height as the radio station site. It was very windy but remained dry with the exception of one good shower.

5Mhz seems to have been in great shape all week so I decided to give the FT-817ND a trip out, powered by a new 3ah SLAB. I must say that I am impressed with the performance of the 3ah as opposed to the 7ah SLAB mainly because of the significant weight difference, I’ll use the 7ah with the 857 only in future.

I opened up on 60m on channel FE and was immediately answered by John GW4BVE with fine reports in both directions, this was followed by 9 more of the usual suspects before a QSY to 40m-CW. I thought that my first couple of CQs would go unanswered, because I called on 7.031 due to 7.032 being occupied, but I was greeted with a huge pile up, sweet music. It was very difficult to pull individual call signs out from the pile up, most reports were 599, but eventually after chipping away at it, 23 CW contacts were in the log, I think a collins CW filter for the 817 will be on my Christmas pressie list, hi. A QSY to 2m-fm brought another 10 contacts. All in all, a very productive and enjoyable afternoon. My decision to use the 817 with it’s 5w, 3ah SLAB and linked dipole proved to be a winner today.

Thank you to all stations worked and for the spots.

DXCCs worked = 10… G, GW, GM, F, DL, ON, LY, SM, HB9, PA
60m-ssb 10
40m-cw 23
2m-fm 10

73 Mike GW0DSP

You were 57 here on 60m, Mike.


In reply to ON3WAB:

Thanks Peter, I did see it on the spots when I got home. Your reports via the spots are always appreciated by all activators in the UK.

You were a FB 599 again on cw, HF condx were very good yesterday for NW-062 activation number 69, hi.

73 Mike GW0DSP

In reply to GW0DSP:

I think a collins CW filter for the 817 will be on my Christmas pressie list

Definitely worthwhile, but you’ll probably still not be able to sort out callsigns in the pile up. It may remove a few off frequency, but most SOTA chasers are really good at netting and at times it sounds just like a continuous tone as the dits and dahs overlap. Then someone chips in afterwards and that’s the callsign you grab!

73, Gerald

P.S. note you wkd SM - do we have a regular chaser over there?

I think there are now one or two regular SOTA chasers in SM Gerald. I occasionally get one on my activations, and I know that Marc G0AZS has been ‘spreading the word’ with his contacts in that area.

I found CW SOTA much easier on the 817 with the Collins filter. I have just put another one in my 897 at home as well. Money well spent. I also experience the difficulty that Gerald describes, ie not being able to pull a station out of the initial pile-up, but taking the station that calls again in the clear. It seems a bit unfair to do it this way round, but I’m not good enough yet to recognise bits of callsigns and fists to pull one out of the pile-up. Watching/hearing G3CWI do just this on a summit is pretty awesome!


In reply to G4OIG:

Hi Gerald, I know exactly what you mean re the cw filter. As sota grows, the pile ups are getting bigger and stronger, good isn’t it, hi, and the same tactics have to be employed either with or without a filter, exactly as you said, try and grab the “tail ender”.

The SM stn was SM5CBC, QRP, op Einar and I have heard this station a few times now, so fingers crossed we have some SOTA interest in SM land. Maybe if Einar reads this thread we could get some feedback?

73 Mike

In reply to GW0DSP:
Hi Mike

FWIW, I have a 350hz filter in the 706 (RTTY use too) and it does help although it’s still a job to pull individual calls out when many are netted spot on to me. Also, I found that I have to switch it out from time to time as some callers are often outside the passband.

As for SM… I’m continuing to chip away at some contacts so now you mention Einar, I’ll try and get him to influence a few more. Shame that SM1TDE went abroad as he was keen and quite high profile. Communications to the SSA (Swedish National Society) are not garnering much interest yet but maybe with a few more locals epxressing an interest, they may pick it up as a topic.

73 Marc G0AZS (SM7ZAU)

In reply to G0AZS:

Hi Marc

I will send a QSL card and some sota info direct to Einar, along with the sota website and sotawatch details, you never know it might just be the spark required to ignite a bit of interest in Sweden.

73 Mike GW0DSP

In reply to GW0DSP:

Having had the 350Hz Yaesu/Collins filter in my '817 from day one, when I bought an '857 recently I knew I’d need a filter in that too. Someone suggested in a past thread buying the InRad filter direct from the USA. Total cost $149.00 USD and it sounds just as good as the original. Came in about two weeks if I remember correctly.

  1. Ian.

In reply to GW0DSP: Hello Mike, It seems like I wasn’t the only person ‘up in the elements’ lately! Thanks for your kind comments and congrats to you too, on your activation and concise report. I know what you mean when you mention trying to pull out even one callsign on 40m CW. Puts the fear of God into me but it won’t phase you as an ex UK CW examiner!

Also, we are all grateful that you took-on the SOTA News vacancy. All who had this task in the past did a thoroughly professional job and you too seem to have made an excellent and detailed start. Well done all round!

CU on the radio,
73, John G4YSS.

PS: SM ops who have collected summits from me are:

08-Jun-07 SM1TDE ERIC - Gotlands Tofta
07-Mar-07 SM6BQL
14-May-05 SM7DZD LARS

All QSO’s have been on 40m CW except Lars. I can’t say if they worked me for the summit or for some other reason.
John G4YSS.

I bought my 300Hz filter for the 817 from the States from W4RT. Cost $114 plus shipping. I got caught by customs, so it didn’t turn out any cheaper than buying it in the UK, if indeed I could have sourced the 300Hz filter at the time. I now note that the W4RT website says that the 300Hz filter is out of stock… so CW is a dying mode, is it? Who said that?

As for people not netting spot on, I’ve rarely found that an issue even with the 300Hz filter. Good thought though - maybe I’m missing a few at the end of the pile up. On the subject of merged callsigns, I’d defy anyone to pull callsigns out of some of the pile ups that I’ve had. There’s no way around this problem - I just try to stay on the summit until they’ve all made contact. Apologies if I have missed anyone.

Fine on the SM interest. I’ll keep a listen out when I’m on 40m CW. It would be good to have more countries involved.

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:

Thanks Ian and Gerald I will look at both sources for the filter. The fact that I need to consider a cw filter says it all, CW is dying, Yeah right, hi.

I think there is an increase in excellent cw ops since the RSGB morse test was abolished as a means to and end, with access to the HF bands. Nowadays ops learn and operate cw because they want to and not because they are forced to.

As for the pile ups, I can only say I wished I’d had my camera at the ready when Barry M3PXW and I jointly activated Great Orme. I called CQ once and when the reply came, Barry’s face was a picture of shock horror when he heard his first proper cw pile up and this bloke on the paddle just go straight back to one of the many, then slowly picking them off one by one, hi. Oh fond memories and all good stuff.

73 Mike GW0DSP