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GW/NW-062 Joint Activation Today

After a telephone conversation with Ron GW4EVX, Ron explained that he was looking for an alternative contest site to his usual spot on Halkyn Mountain and asked if I could show him around the possible sites around Hope Mountain. We agreed a day and time and thought it would be a good idea to follow the contest site tour with a joint activation OF GW/NW-062.

Although Ron and I live only 3 or 4 miles apart as the RF flies we had never met, not only that, Ron is only approx 7 miles from Hope Mountain, but to date it remained unactivated by Ron. A plan was hatched and today’s activation was planned. We had a superb day out up there with plenty of stations logged by the pair of us.

I won’t go into detail now, because I will do a full report and add some interesting photos of Ron’s military tranceivers in the next Summits News.

Many thanks to all who called us and to all of you for the many spots.

73
Mike GW0DSP & Ron GW4EVX

In reply to GW0DSP:

some interesting photos of Ron’s military tranceivers

I’ve always been intrigued by green radios probably as a result of using WWII vintage gear when first introduced to SWLing as a child. There are a number of more modern radios which are desirable simply for what they are such as the venerable PRC-320, PRM4031, PRC-104 etc. I’m not sure whether I’d lug one about for SOTA so I have to admire Ron and his PRC-351. Modern ham sets like the FT-817 and FT-857 are so convenient. But they’re not a green radio which seem to have a completely different aura to them. Different sets for different needs.

Nice pictures of Ron’s radios at:

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

I’m not sure whether I’d lug one about for SOTA so I have to admire Ron and his PRC-351.

What you probably don’t realise Andy is that Ron climbs Foel Fenlli NW-051 straight up - the steep way. Not sure what his kit weighs, but I certainly wouldn’t be following in his footsteps!

73, Gerald

In reply to MM0FMF:

Was that an attempt to urinate on my bonfire Andy?

Mike GW0DSP

In reply to G4OIG:

Is there another way? :wink: I’ve only ever been up from the Moel Fammau car park which seemed rather steep at the time. There again that was 2 years back and I’m a bit fitter now. It would probably only be steep now instead of rather steep.

Andy
MM0FMF

Yes Andy, you can bear right and contour around the west of the hill further along the Offa’s Dyke Path. Then you cut back in, ascending along the iron age ramparts. This is a more graded route, and is particularly useful for descent if the ground is wet or icy.

Tom M1EYP

In reply to MM0FMF:

… that was 2 years back and I’m a bit fitter now.

No more the “lardy bucket” eh Andy? Or is it all relative and you were super lardy to start off with :wink:

For what it’s worth, John BVE and myself used the “whimps” route when we did our joint activation - but it was raining quite heavily at the time.

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:

Super lardy to start with and now only very lardy! I haven’t lost any weight but I’m a different shape. Trying to shed a few kg. of lard now would be nice so that I end the year just lardy.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

Yes, at the moment I’m carrying an extra 12AH SLAB with me on each activation courtesy of Christmas and the New Year… must stop eating that scrummy Stollen Cake! Think I will have to get out for more walks in the week like I used to do before the lunchtime hike was curtailed by work. Maybe with the downturn I’ll end up looking like a Whippet by the end of the year. Even so, that ascent up Foel Fenlli would still present a dilemma… knowing that there is a more gentle route.

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:

You ought to watch the sight of Barry 2E0PXW ascending Foel Fenlli by the direct route. I think his record is just under 6 minutes and that was in the dark, hi, hence his nickname, the whippet. When conditions allow, his descent is a sight to behold, as he slides very rapidly down the same route, on his backside. I have cringed many a time as he approaches a solitary fence post near the bottom at high speed and the image of him coming to a sudden stop with one leg either side of the post enters my mind!

73, Mike

In reply to GW0DSP:

I’ve heard a few people mention the speed Barry can get up that path. It’s completely outrageous! Perhaps lead boots would slow him down? Or a stomach the size of mine?

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

It’s embarrassing Andy, I set off up the circular route, five minutes before Barry started the direct route and arrived on the summit 25 minutes after him. Next time we do it I’ll try and video him ascending, trust me it’s worth watching.

Mike, GW0DSP

In reply to G4OIG:

‘What you probably don’t realise Andy is that Ron climbs Foel Fenlli NW-051 straight up - the steep way. Not sure what his kit weighs, but I certainly wouldn’t be following in his footsteps!’

Hi Gerald,

I am fortunate in that I do not carry any excess body weight (6ft tall, 12st) so I can afford to carry fairly heavy kit with the added bonus that it helps to keep me fit!
The PRC-351 that Andy refers to becomes a PRC-352 when a 20W PA is added to it and I used this on Cyrn-y-Brain last year, see photo at:

The complete package weighs around 12kg, so not too bad.

Mike 'DSP suggests that I should buy a mule for my treks up Foel Fenlli!
If for example I am doing a 4m contest then I will carry the following:
Dismantled full-size Yagi i.e. boom,3 elements, mast clamp
15ft aluminium mast (2 x 6ft lenghths and one 3ft)
Guy ropes, pegs, mallet, ground sheet, basic tool kit
FT-817, 4m Transverter, co-ax, 12Ah SLAB
Food & drink etc.

Not sure what it all weighs but perhaps a mule is a good idea!
This is a photo of it in use during a contest last February:

I’ve got some HF military gear that I want to try out over the coming months so watch this space!

Best wishes,
Ron,GW4EVX

In reply to GW4EVX:

As I said I’ve always been interested by ex-mil radios but I’m too tight to invest the necessary folding material in any. Considering how much Clansman stuff is washing about nowadays you’d think a PRC-320 would be a lot cheaper than prices being asked. I could have had a garage full of Command sets when I was a kid for next to nothing but in those days I was looking forwards and saw valved WWII equipment as backward and solid state digital computers as the way forward. 30 years later it’s the other way round with even QST running articles of Command set refurbishment. Pah!

I’m looking forward to reading more about your experiences using this gear along with more photos in the next news article. I’ll be following the HF exploits too just in case an excess of folding material is located!

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to GW4EVX:

Hi Ron,

That’s some kit list. Must admit to having been tempted to carry my 6m 4 element beam up a summit on an appropriate Tuesday in summer to do the ACC contest after qualifying the summit in my usual MO - i.e. on 2m or above. If SE-003 is still unticked in a few months time, I might try that, especially as that doesn’t have a lot of climb. I still have my original ally SOTA mast - 5 sections of 1m, so it is a possibility.

The most insane activation I have done was Great Rhos when I carried 29kg up with me - almost finished me off. It was when I was changing over from the FT-290R to the FT-817 and I took the two stations including a heavyweight HF dipole. Never again - the 20kg load up Craig y Castell is the nearest I have come to it since.

While we are the same height, weight-wise you can add another stone and a quarter to your weight plus a further addition for the post-Christmas fat storage. It takes a lot to get it off once it’s on and stiff climbs don’t always help… it’s the rushing around 5 summits in a day that seems to get the weight off for me and I won’t be doing that until April at the earliest.

As for having a mule… for mule read quad bike. Paul G4MD and I often talk about having one on a trailer on the back of the car!

73, Gerald