Saturday 25th November 2023
Yesterday I took advantage of the sunny weather to activate four summits in South Wales. GW/SW-039, GW/SW-036, GW/SW-031 & GW/SW-028.
The weather was exceptional for the time of year. Almost unbroken sunshine and virtually no wind. I managed to follow my planned itinerary fairly successfully and only started to feel cold on the last summit, GW/SW-028 when the sun started setting.
All QSOs were on 2m FM using my ICOM 7100. I decided to use some extra power for a change as none of the summits require any long or difficult walks to ascend them. I had also alerted for the possibility of 2m SSB, but after having no joy on GW/SW-039, I decided to stick with FM for the rest of the day to try and keep things moving with the shorter daylight hours.
Many thanks as always to the chasers for all the QSOs which kept me going! Particular thanks to Bryan @MW6IUT for working me on all 4 summits. I would also like to say thank you to Sara @MW7SRA for very kindly hanging around in her car in the Pen y Fan car park until I got to the last summit of the day, GW/SW-028. I’m sure it must have been getting cold! It was much appreciated!
It was almost a perfect day of SOTA. Unfortunately though I managed to lose my beloved and all-time favourite handheld, my Yaesu FT-60. I only brought it along to use as a backup and work any activators in range whilst I was in between summits. I noticed it was missing once I got back to my car after activating Mynydd Uchaf, GW/SW-031. I was sure I had it with me when I was on the summit, so I retraced my steps back up to my operating position and had a good look around, but no sign of it.
I have owned a few handhelds, but nothing has come close to the FT-60 for me. Ruggedly built, excellent audio from the built in speaker, and seemingly good TX audio as well. It also seemed to handle interference much better than other handhelds that I have used. I also used it to rescue my first SOTA activation a couple of years ago, where I was unable to operate hf as planned due to me forgetting a vital antenna adapter.
I know I am among friends here, so you will understand how I felt when I gave it up as lost. I can at least take some comfort in knowing that these words will be read by a sympathetic audience.
I don’t want to finish on a downer though. Despite losing the radio, I thoroughly enjoyed my day out in the sunshine, and I will finish by posting a few photos below.
73 and until next time,
Mynydd Llangyndeyrn - GW/SW-039
Mynydd Sylen - GW/SW-036
Mynydd Uchaf - GW/SW-031 (Please do let me know if you can see my radio!)
Mynydd y Betws - GW/SW-028