More American Fun on GM/SS-064

I haven’t been up Tinto GM/SS-024 for a year and today the WX was good, frosty but blue sky and no wind. When I dragged myself out of the shack it was getting near lunchtime. But by slobbing around and going out later there should be more American DX… check DXheat and 10m is buzzing.

Massive thick fog on the way made the journey take twice as long but there was no fog at the car park and only 10-15 cars… a quiet day. Boots on and we’re off. I pushed myself and set a new personal best to get to the summit in 1hr10mins. Lots of ice on the way up but at the top there was no wind. I could see Ben Lawers GM/CS-001 clearly to the North, 110kms away as it was covered in snow as were the rest of the Lawers group. But Ben Vorlich GM/SS-008 and Stuc a’Chroin GM/SS-010 were clear. Yes, I forgot to take any photos. :frowning:

Equipment was the 40/30/20m trap EFHW and my AA%TB match box. This will tune for 40/30/20/17/15/12/10m though 17m needs a link opening. Anyway I used that, rated at 15W max and the KX2 @ 10W. I wasn’t sure if I’d be heard by RBN so I self spotted but was picked up many times. And then the fun started.

10m CW: SV, EA, LW, DJ, OE, VE, KP4, GM, PY, K9, N0, VE1, K8

10m SSB: EA7, N4, LZ,
12 CW: W1, S5
15m CW: OK, HB9, EA2, S5, K8, OE, EA1, DL, I,

Nice to be called by KP4/HB9BHU, LW2DO and PY2VM on 10m

I stopped after 1hr30 on the summit, the wind was building and the clouds were gathering. It was just above freezing but the wind chill was making it unpleasant. But that was a fab haul for a Friday afternoon.

It’s the GM uWave Round Table tomorrow so that means I cannot go and do more 10m CW SOTA till Sunday at the earliest… I’m not sure I can last. :slight_smile:

@ND0C And I worked Randy ND0C again! It’s getting boring with us succeeding in Edinburgh<>Minnesota QRP-QRP QSOs (5W+4ele beam to 10W+vertical) every time I go out. Actually no it’s not. It’s absolutely brilliant having QRP to QRP QSOs across the pond. I’ll keep calling, you keep chasing please Randy!

16 Likes

Hi Andy

I was out this afternoon on my local summit Rombald’s Moor G/NP-028 and had a similar haul to you. I started on 15m with two continents (Europe plus Canary Islands for Africa). I was going to move to 12m but saw your 10m spot and thought I’d have a listen on the off chance there was amazing propagation and we could have an S2S but I couldn’t hear you. I could hear LW2DO booming in and calling you repeatedly. I thought perhaps you couldn’t hear him so I’m glad you worked him. But this made me call CQ on 10m and he was the first caller on that band. I also got the same KP4 and PY on 10m. 12m brought me a few more and then I went back to 15m where I was later called by PY2VM again. Amongst this on the 3 bands were 11 US plus 2 Canadian. I’d been out on Sharp Haw G/NP-029 yesterday earlier in the day and had worked LW2DO but was probably too early for the US so couldn’t resist coming out to play with such good weather today. I’d been unable to take part in the S2S day last weekend so it was good to have a good afternoon.

73 Richard

PS. Why does the best DX only happen when it’s cold?

4 Likes

What was interesting Richard was just how loud some European chasers were on 10 and more so on 15m. on 10m I though EA7GV was so loud he would damage the KX2 front end :slight_smile: On 15m Jan OK2PDT and Iggy EA2BD were amazingly strong signals, the LCD bargraph was full scale on the KX2.

This is what I like about SOTA… as a GM station I’m just one of the many and nobody is interested in my CQs. Till I go on a summit and then I’m the DX and people want to work me. It’s get better when what you consider is DX like PY, LU etc. start calling you.

When we did the 12m challenge in 2013/14 we were at the top of the cycle and it was a hoot. But whilst there were US SOTA people in the last 10 years things have grown massively. So now if you repeated it, there’d be Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Honduras, Costa Rica, Domincan Republic and Mexico to take part. Never mind teh growth in EU plus all the YB, VK, ZL & JA stations. There’d be people in the DX locations who now know what SOTA is. I’m tempted to suggest we run it again on 10&12m. No positions, just a certificate with your score.

7 Likes

Hi Andy, sure it would be a good time for that! We all are enjoying current solar conditions.

You sounded great on 15m, at times you were peaking 599.

I also heard LW2DO chasing on 10m, and even if I didn’t work him today I had a big smile hearing him chasing some Sota, guessing the big satisfaction of the activators…

Well done on your transatlantic day, tnx qso.
Cheers 73 Iggy

3 Likes

Delighted to work LW2DO on 28 MHz SSB from West Lomond yesterday (GM/SS-154) with just 10w and a short end-fed and heard but didn’t work PYs etc today from a very frosty East Lomond (GM/SS-198). BUT your CW experience on Tinto today is ample incentive, and a good reason, for me to get my beginner’s CW up to activation standard asap. Good work. 73 Mike

3 Likes

Excellent activation. Congratulations.
I was listening with Horacio LW2DO and we are very happy that you listened to us.
Almost every day we are on the hunt for SOTA activations.
LOOK AT SOUTH AMERICA.

Thank you very much Andy
73
Carlos

3 Likes

Excellent activation. Congratulations.
Thank you very much Richard.
I was listening with Horacio LW2DO and we are very happy that you listened to us.
Excellent conditions at 10 and 15 meters

Thank you very much
73
Carlos

2 Likes

Thanks again for another one Andy! I always appreciate you pulling me out for a 2 x QRP contact!

73,
Randy, ND0C

1 Like

Yesterday it was the GM uWave Round Table and very good it was too. Today I was up and could see the WX OK, it was down to -3C in the night so frost everywhere but it would be sunny, dry and warmer by lunchtime. I missed the wind! It was strong and damn cold :frowning:

35mins drive to Scald Law GM/SS-125 parking, 10mins faffing at the car. 45mins gate to trig. 20mins faffing setting up. Same as before, 40/30/20m EFHW with a link at the 17m HW spot, KX2 and Eremit 4Ahr battery. (It was charged before Tinto on Friday).

10m was open and it wasn’t. Well there’d be a pileup of stations then 5+ mins of calling and nothing. Anyway call CQ on 10m and two W4 and then Horatio LW2DO. Right that’s a good start :slight_smile: A few more US stations and then Jukka OH3GZ and UT4PZ. It went quiet so 12m was tried. Just SP9AMH. 15 was good for Europe but no fab DX, K8LJG, SV2OXS and US2LX being the longer contacts. OK, keep going down and I tried 17m (if I want the other bands I’d have to get up and put the link in). Lots of very strong Europeans along with US3LX and across the pond to KK2B. After it went quiet, back to 10m for just 10mins and I managed UA2AAR, ND0C, K0LAF, AK5SD, SV3IEG & NE4TN. That will do nicely :slight_smile: It was cold and going dark, pack up time. To warm up I set a good pace down, 32mins trig to gate.

A few observations. I worked Eric F5JKK who I have not heard for a few activations, that was good. Then there he was again… Randy ND0C (@NDOC). This cross-pond QRP-QRP is just so much fun. I’ll keep calling, you keep chasing Randy!

Strange during 17m operations there was a clunk and the KX2 went off. It powered up but the battery voltage was low. It looks like the Eremit BMS triggered. Was this because it was cold? Anyway the other battery enabled me to continue. The Eremit is on a very low C charge now but on plugging it in it said 12.65V. Very peculiar. I always have a small 3x18650 backup pack with me for these eventualities.

So another good day on the higher bands, another QRP-QRP transpondian QSO. Too much fun. WX not so good tomorrow so it’s dogging and getting a QCX onto 15m.

The nice map of QSOs…

3 Likes

It’s great to know he is QRP. I always imagine the Americans are running 1kW with a huge tower!

I’ve harvested some more 18650 cells from non-working laptop batteries. I run a discharge test down to 3V but when I check the voltage later it is up to 3.4V. This is normal behaviour for batteries where the voltage will rebound when the load is removed. As you say, the cold will have magnified this effect. I shall make sure I have two fully charged packs with me when the weather gets very cold here.

1 Like

I looked on Randy’s QRZ. He’s got 4 elements on 10 on a 40ft tower driven by an FTdx3000 at 5W. I logged him today at 559, so 20W he’d 569 and 80-100W he’d be 579. A kW and he’d be 589/599. Yes, his beam is doing the hard work but it’s always good to see that you can work the world QRP. You just wont bust the pileups. And we now how to solve that problem… climb a summit and be the DX and have the world call you! :slight_smile:

3 Likes

The main reason for the self-protection switch off by the BMS was because someone hadn’t actually charged the battery :blush:

Yes, I’d connected it up to the charger last out of 3 different packs that needed charging up for the Transatlantic S2S day but obviously had never started the charger having charged the other packs. It must have been up to about 6 or 7 activations with the KX2 before the BMS protected me.

1 Like

I’ve had some cracking hauls from recent activations, in every respect - QSO numbers, DX contacts, S2S contacts, activity on higher bands (10, 12, 15).

So I keeping reading these reports and feel inspired to get out and do an activation.

Then I keep checking the Met Office rain radar and feel inspired to stay at home…

2 Likes