M0CGH/P G/NP-004 today

Sorry guys, I’m running very late, I managed to damage my car wheel and tyre last night.

I think I’ve located a new wheel and tyre at my local scrapyard, just waiting for confirmation. My lovely wife has agreed to go and pick it up, allowing me to use her car, while she sorts mine out.

I do still intend to activate today, but I think it will be nearer to 1330UTC when I’m on summit.

Hope to work many on QRPp CW.


In reply to M0CGH:

I have been wanting to do an activation for quite a while. I had my first taste of CW activation in August this year from Great Whernside G/NP-008 and I although I struggled a bit with the CW, I really enjoyed myself.

Thoughts of Kjell LA1KHA’s PP3 Challenge arose again after meeting Kjell and his friends at this year’s Rishworth Convention. I have built quite a lot of gear this year including some home brew stuff, so I thought I was now capable of building myself a rig to take part in Kjell’s challenge.

I have had a pretty busy calendar since August, so I haven’t been able to get out the hills as I would have liked. I have always been enticed by the Winter bonus points, so I set my sights on activating over the Christmas holidays. It was agreed that my first activation would be on Friday 30th December.

Yesterday I spent the day getting my stuff together and making sure that my batteries were charged etc. My wife, Fiona, and I decided that it would be nice to have a chinese takeaway as a treat yesterday evening, so I went to pick it up. I was about 0.5 Miles away from my QTH when I hit a large pothole on the main road. My wheel took quite a dislike to this and it became a funny shape! The tyre just completely gave up! The spare wheel was one of those temporary ones (space saver), so I put it on, but obviously I didn’t want to drive far with this fitted.

I thought that my SOTA activation would have to be cancelled, but my wife said that I could borrow her car and she would sort out a new wheel for my car whilst I was out. My car now has a new wheel :slight_smile: (I wouldn’t swap my wife for anyone). I spent a bit of spent ringing scrap yards this morning, so I ended up setting off quite late.

I decided to take the short-cut route to the summit, parking the car at SD721818. It was lovely to drive a car with power steering and comfortable seats! (my car is an ancient POLO without power steering).

It was just starting to rain when I parked the car and I was half thinking about cancelling the activation. I plucked up the courage to set off, It was only rain after all. The temperature was showing at 2C on the car’s display.

I reached the summit quite quickly, the route was very easy to follow, just before gaining the summit, the rain turned to snow. The ground was frozen, but only just, I managed to insert the pegs for my fishing pole mast quite easily. It took me about 30 mins to get my gear sorted and on the air.

The rig I used was a RockMite 30, with some modifications to reduce power consumption, it had never been connected to an antenna before, so I wasn’t entirely sure it would work! (The rig has been tested on various machines at my work though).

I was amazed to work 7 stations. It was quite hard work, as the band sounded very busy and the RM likes to receive all the band at the same time! I did struggle a bit with the CW, I do need to improve my operation some what. I used a straight key too, which isn’t the best. My Palm mini paddle arrived in today’s post, so hopefully my CW will be better next time.

After 20 mins of operating, I started to feel very cold so I decided to go QRT.
Sorry to those callers who didn’t manage to work me. I hope to activate quite a few summits until the end of Winter bonus, so hopefully I’ll give out lots more points to make up for today’s lack of operating.

I hope to improve my operating technique, so I can get more calls in the log.

73 and Happy New Year to all.


Great stuff Colin. I’ve only done that short way up Whernside the once, as I just love the walking from the Station Inn, Ribblehead Viaduct, along and above the Settle-Carlisle railway. Perhaps again sometime though for an easy bag of, possibly, 9 points.

I look forward to joining you in the LA1KHA PP3 challenge in 2012. It will be very interesting. You have certainly done something today that I have never done - used a straight key for a SOTA activation! Sounds like your CW is making rapid progress.

73, Tom M1EYP

In reply to M0CGH:

Well done on several counts Colin. First I would say that the short route up Whernside is not to be sniffed at. Having experienced this quite a few times pre-SOTA, not everyone I’ve been walking with has managed the ascent. In the face of rain and wind it can be quite challenging, let alone snow.

Pleased to hear you are mastering the morse - and going further than me as I have never been able to send using a “side-swiper” since I first used the mode in 1982. I am (and probably will be for the remainder of my life) a straight key operator, so well done in having a level of proficiency in both methods. Seven contacts in 20 minutes using QRPP under arduous conditions is good going.

73 and HNY. Bet you are now keen to get back out there!

Gerald G4OIG

P.S. Well done Mrs CGH. The value of a good SOTAwife is beyond all measure. :slight_smile:

In reply to M0CGH:

Hi Colin

Well done for starting off your PP3 campaign successfully. It should keep you busy all next year!



In reply to G3CWI:

Yes, I sholud have bought the cheapest, nastiest PP3 I could find to prevent me from having to activate so many times!

Actually, I do have doubts about my battery. I bought it from a certain online auction site and when it arrived I discovered the battery is quite elderly with a ‘best before date’ of April 2012! I guess I’ll have to try and use it all up before then :wink:

The battery is a Philips ExtremeLife made in Belgium.

73 and HNY