Island of Hoy, Orkney Islands off the North Caost of Scotalnd 25 -29 May

Hi All

I’m going to Hoy an Island part of the Orkney Island off the North coast of Scotland.

The plan is to try and climb the the 'Old Man of Hoy" the sea stack in the picture above.

Not high enough for a summit, only 137m but will set up a station on the headland.

Longitude : -3.46207 W (-3° 27’ 43’’ W)

Latitude : 58.87981 N (58° 52’ 47’’ N)

QTH locator : IO88GV

Will be there wb 25th- 29th May. Not a SOTA but if your interested in WAB then may be of use.

TX on 40m in and around 7.160.

Aim to be on air at 12:00 (GMT+1) on the 25th May.

and various other times during my stay but will update that a little nearer the time.


Morgan M6LFW

PS you can check transmission times by texting me +44 7782 349 871


Good morning Morgan,
Rather you than me but I envy you. My son & I once stood on the edge of the cliff where you will be operating. It’s a long drop. I remember watching climbers scale the old Man on TV in the 1960’s. Chris Bonnington & Joe Brown were involved.

The WAB square for the OM and at the cliff top is HY10. 800m south of that point is ND19 which means that the WAB chasers will certainly be interested in both of those, as they offer two 100km squares and the 10km ones!

GB20WM was on the go when we were there. We were varied from prefix ‘G’ to Prefix ‘2S.’ Orkney Wireless Museum in Kirkwall is worth a look and the Kirkwall radio club were very welcoming.

Good luck with your climb. Hope the WX behaves. I would think that you especially need low wind speeds!
73, John G4YSS.

Hi John,

Thanks for the info.

My bast mate and I tried this first as our 30th BDay adventure, and as soon as we reached Hoy it rained for 5 days, so now its our 40th and we going back to try once more.

Fingers crossed for the weather. I’m not going to look until we get there, no point.

The televised acent by Chris Brown et al, was the BBC’s first outdoor broadcast, they took 30 tonnes of kit up there to film it.

Here it is again, amzing watching.



PS I think also the Bothy is on ND20.

Hi Morgan,

Although the Old Man of Hoy does not qualify for SOTA, it does qualify for HEMA, here is the summit page for this For further information on HEMA and how to enter activation logs for this, visit

Jimmy M0HGY

Hi Jimmy,

Yeah I know, I did point that out in my origional post.

I was going to take a radio up but I think now its going to be too tricky, best to get up take a few pics and get down. You never know what the weather can do, I’ve had a few epic decents when the weather has changed from sun to lashing rain and the decent can be a difficult as the accent.

I just thought it might of interest to those trying WAB etc.

Thanks for the links,


Sorry to hear that you don’t think you will be able to activate The Old Man. It certainly would be a considerable challenge. Shame, I was looking forward to chasing the HuMP. Still, there are three enjoyable SOTA summits on Hoy, that is if you have the time.

Enjoy your trip up there. Hope the weather is fine.

73, Gerald G4OIG

Hi Gerald,

Yeah I know, but perhaps when I’ve had more experience I’l try hauling gear up sea stacks!

One thing I was wondering about is where I can find the summit list for Hoy and the surronding islands. I’ve look at all the databaes but can’t seem to find it, could you post a link?


73 Morgan.

If you follow the link to ‘mapping’ from sotawatch, select GM then SI expand the map and you will see the 3 SOTA summits on Hoy.


Hi Glyn,

Thanks, don’t know I missed that!!! Pretty Obvious.



Hi Morgan,

The Hoy summits are not a walk in the park, but very enjoyable nonetheless. There are some photos on my Flickr page if you fancy being tempted. :wink:

73, Gerald G4OIG

Hi Gerald

Thanks for the pics, always nice to see what the summits are like.

Did you get any sort of phone signal on the summits?

I’m going to try and activate one of them while i’m there.

I’d love to ask you a question on the protocol for activating. I’ve downloded the rules etc pdf but a bit unclear as the actual procedure.

would i say-


or somthing like that?

Many Thanks,


If you place an alert on SOTAwatch then “CQ SOTA from M6LFW” would normally result in a pileup unless there is a solar storm to spoil the party.

Close enough that Morgan. Best advice is to do some chasing first and listen to the various activating styles.

That sounds pretty good. But no specific format is prescribed. Obviously to make a SOTA contact you need to make the other party aware of your SOTA reference, ideally during the QSO but this is sometimes omitted in a long run of regulars when it is obvious that they know the reference.

There is no requirement to announce SOTA in the CQ, or even to call CQ at all. I’ve sometimes qualified summits without ever calling CQ (typically: answer a CQ for a S2S, then QSY off, and the pile up follows).

There’s a small risk that calling CQ SOTA at the outset will put off people who think that they should only answer if they are dedicated chasers. Sometimes I’ll put out an ordinary CQ first to see who’s there, and then announce SOTA later. It’s entirely the activator’s choice.

Be aware that whilst there are some summits which you are pretty much guaranteed to qualify from a random CQ, there are many where you will, unfortunately, be talking into a void. An alert helps; a self-spot helps more.

As Tom says, try to listen to a few activations if you possibly can. You’ll hear a variety of styles; some activators like to natter, others run contest style; many adapt their style according to circumstances. All are valid. Just have a go - you’ll develop your own style in time.

Martyn M1MAJ

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In general the O2 coverage in the Orkneys was excellent - I put on the alerts for the next day each evening using my Samsung S2 without any problems. I think Paul G4MD had a decent coverage on Orange as well, though he had a steam powered phone and the most difficult thing was to keep the flame alight! :wink:

I hope that you manage at least one of the summits. I will email you a copy of the report that I produced for the Orkney summits which you may find of interest.

As to operating, alerting beforehand is always best if you can and it is virtually guaranteed to produce a decent amount of callers if the conditions are good on HF. The huge pile up when I was on 7MHz SSB from Fitty Hill on Westray will be something that I will never forget.

Have a great time up there.

73, Gerald G4OIG