Having obtained my Foundation Licence last week I have got straight into my “career” as a SOTA activator. I thought I’d start small and easy, with Foel Fenlli just 15 minutes from my house in Mold. My wife and I popped up to Bwlch Pen Barras SJ161605 for the short walk up the hill, following the Offas Dyke path. The car park here has been recently remodelled with a big grant from the Heritage Lottery fund as part of the “Heather and Hill Forts” conservation initiative.
Foel Fenlli itself is an interesting, if very brief, walk up from the car park. As you near the top you become aware of a couple of ditch and dyke systems that surround the summit. These are the remains of the Iron Age hill fort that occupied this summit from around 2,500 years ago. More details here http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=5973
The small summit cairn yeilded a few good sized stones that allowed me to lodge my newly acquired 2m dipole from Sotabeams. I had it connected up to my Yaesu hand held in no time.
I settled in and sent out a CQ on the 2m FM calling channel, not knowing what to expect. I got several calls back immediately! This is good I thought. Moved up to 145.500 and immediately worked 5 people in quick succession (including one person “portable” in a pub!). When it went quiet for a while I shut down as I was already getting the feeling my wife had had enough!
I’m an International and Winter Mountain Leader, so I have come to Amateur Radio to add a new dimension to my mountaineering, rather than the other way around.
I’m planning to use a Yaesu 817-ND and move on to using SSB on 2m with a beam and hopefully HF on SSB too.
I’ll be in the Scottish Highlands for two weeks around Easter and hopefully I can activate some of the remoter hills up there as I help my wife to finish the last dozen of her Munros (Scottish peaks over 3000 foot high).
Any comments, views, help or anything about the activation of more remote Scottish mountains will be appreciated. It has been suggested that 5Mz would be good, but as a foundation licence holder this won’t be possible. Ah well, just a good excuse to move up through the system to a full licence!