Ingleborough -M1BUU/P 10/Feb/24

The weather forecast looked reasonable for today and I’m eager to bank bonus points. Ingleborough and Whernside are very close to where I live and looking at the alerts yesterday, I noticed that Richard @G4TGJ had alerted for Whernside G/NP-004 for 1200. I decided to go up Ingleborough G/NP-005 as I know Richard likes to collect S2S and there will be plenty of opportunities to grab the winter bonus from Whernside in the coming weeks, I’m sure.

My son wanted to come with me, so it took a bit of effort to get out of the house but we managed it on a reasonable time scale. Richard seems to be on air earlier than his alert so I wanted to be on air before 1200. I’ve set myself a challenge to qualify each of my hills during winter bonus with the same 9v alkaline battery (non-rechargeable). My plan was to qualify Ingleborough with my 9v RockMite and then work Richard on the QCX-30 I’d packed specifically for the S2S.

My son is 11 and is still fascinated by snow, so the ascent took a little bit longer than anticipated but we were still at the summit by around 1130. I set up my dipole for 15m and was about to get the rig out when my phone chirped with a spot for Richard on Whernside! I struggled with the dilemma for a while but then decided that I just had to accept that Richard would have to be my first QSO. I reconfigured my antenna for 30m and powered up the QCX. I’d not tried the QCX since acquiring it several month’s ago. I just accepted the settings as they were but changed the keying type to Iambic B and upped the speed a bit. Tuning to the spot frequency, Richard was loud, as expected, and I worked him straight away, 599 both ways. I was amazed to see the rig decoding Richard’s CW!

I needed 3 more QSOs to earn the activation points, so I connected up my 15m PP3 RockMite. I told myself that if I got 4 QSOs, I’d effectively qualified the hill using my RockMite so my continuing my theme of qualifying with that rig for every hill so far in 2024. It was slow going and I was almost ready to give up and break out the emergency 20m RockMite but thankfully I managed a 1dB Reverse Beacon Network hit and then I was called by I/OE7PHI. S57S and OH3GZ were added into the log in fairly short time. I was then stuck on 3 PP3 QSOs, sure, I’d earned the points when including the S2S on 30m, but it kind of felt hollow. I called and called and then W2WC came through my earphones! I couldn’t really believe it, but sure enough, it was a perfect QSO to NY! My fourth PP3 QSO was transatlantic!! I’d dreamed of crossing the atlantic once more with a PP3 battery powered rig, I’d managed it a couple of times before with Barry, @N1EU about a decade ago. I think my son was quite embarrassed by my air punches and the noise I was making! :laughing:

Not sure of the power output of my rig but I measured it at 140mW a few weeks ago with the same 9v battery at home.

Using a figure of 3200 miles (via, I worked out the QSO at around 23,000 miles per watt. (That’s a whole bunch of smiles per watt! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: )

I built the rig from scratch, drawing the PCB in KiCad and then having boards made in China. The rig is modified for 9v operation using a low current op amp for audio and a single voltage regulator instead of zener shunts. The PA stage has been tuned for lower output to promote better battery life. The case was made from sheet aluminium.

I know I go on about this a lot, but the feeling you get when you score a good QSO with a home built rig is really awesome. I really do find radio magical, it never gets boring!

73, Colin

G4TGJ/P is over there somewhere in the gloom of G/NP-004!


Don’t worry Colin, you’re amongst friends here! :smile:

I really enjoyed reading your report, and congratulations on a fantastic miles to watt ratio! :clap::clap:

73, Matthew M0JSB


Extraordinary achievement! I was pleased to chase a SOTA activator in VE today on 20m CW - using 100W!

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Hi Colin

I didn’t see your Whatsapp message until I was on the summit of Whernside G/NP-004. The mobile coverage wasn’t good enough to let you know I was early so I’m glad you found me ok. While I was there it varied from E to 4G to Emergency Calls only. I managed to get Sotawatch to load once and use it to get an S2S but mostly, even though my phone said 4G, it didn’t want to work.

I try to put accurate times on my alerts but I always try to be generous in my estimates as it’s better to be early than late. Although an alert isn’t a promise it definitely feels more relaxing to be early. On Thursday I went up my local summit Rombalds Moor G/NP-028 in the snow and I was a bit late starting. I think my walk up was a bit slower than normal due to the snow and I didn’t know what Whernside would be like under foot. I was expecting most of the snow to have gone and it had so I was fairly quick going up.

Your transatlantic QSO with QRPpp is very impressive. On 10m I was running QRO (3W) and managed 16 QSOs including 10 W/N/K, 1 PY, 2 LZ (one S2S) and EA8. Four continents in 20 minutes!

I had similar views from Whernside. The cloud lifted when I arrived but it did drop and lift a few times while I was there. When I descended I could see Ingleborough was in the cloud so I suspect the weather was similar on both summits.

73 Richard


Hi Richard,

Thanks for the QSO, you came back instantly! No worries on the timings, I used to be pretty accurate but in recent years I tend to think that I’m getting older and slower and I tend to overestimate the time needed to reach a summit. I remember advice from Roy G4SSH (sk), he said that to be a successful chaser, you have to learn MO of the activator - we all fall into our comfortable patterns and tend to do the same things over and over.

Working W2WC was awesome, but as always, it’s the chaser who needs congratulating, pulling my tiny squeaks out of the air.

Ingleborough was in and out of the clouds but the clouds mainly drifted away later on. It was an enjoyable activation and all of my boxes were ticked.

Rombalds Moor is on my to do list, I’ll probably combine it with Sharp Haw to save on fuel.

73, Colin

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