Activation Report and learnings
Morven is a hill I’ve climbed on many occasions and by many routes. I’m a really experience climber and mountaineer, but a SOTA novice. Today was tough!
Mo (xyl) and I took about 2.5 hours to get to the summit. It usually takes little more than an hour in summer.
Snowshoes were the order of the day, but even they broke through the deep snow down to the springy heather below. We’ve had lots of snow, but no freeze-thaw cycles to consolidate it.
It was too windy at the top to deploy the tape measure yagi (I will build a better one soon!)
Thankfully I had a Diamond rh-77 extendable whip on my Yaesu FT3D. (I’d forgotten to bring the VX-7R and spare battery.)
I called on 145.500Mhz without hoping for much, so was pleasantly surprised to work MM6BWS, MM1BMK and MM0JST in quick succession. Thanks chaps .
By then my fingers were frozen (-4°C and 25mph wind). Mo suggested lunch and then another try. 10 minutes later and my fingers had blood in them, so I called CQ again. MM1DBC came straight back. Thanks Ian.
I’d got my four contact - just. I suspect that all were random luck, as I didn’t get the feeling they knew I was there, despite my SOTA watch alert and APRS tracking throughout. (Apologies if I’m incorrect here. ) The furthest was 76km away near Peterhead and I received great signal reports all round.
Anyway It was time to head down (said Mo) and have fun in the powder.
On return to the house I could barely read my log! I don’t usually suffer from cold hands but today got the better of them.
Oh, we got close to a mountain hare on the way back, so thought I’d share:
So in all a great day out in a familiar peak. It was great to make the four contacts and all operators were first class and very patient while I got my hands to work!
On reflection, next time out I need to:
Remember all the kit
Build a better yagi
Find thin gloves that will allow me to operate the radio
Find a better way of logging (record audio maybe?)
Get my ft547 fixed, find a lifepo battery in the UK… somewhere and get on to HF, as I believe I’m pushing the limits of VHF 2m FM in rural Aberdeenshire.