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 (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.