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My first CW qualification of a summit G/NP-008

Last week I decided that I had earned a day off from work to have a SOTA day. The necessary permissions were sought and granted (XYL plus my Boss!).

As my planning progressed, I set the goal of qualifying a summit using only CW. I’ve been trying to improve my CW over the last year or so, to such a level to be able to have live QSO’s.

I’d just like to say thanks to the chasers I worked today, I appreciated all the patience shown to me as I asked for a repeat of call sign etc.

I followed John, G4YSS’s route to the summit, this route being much more favourable to my usual route from Kettlewell, thanks for sharing your grid refs in your reports John. My only mistake was that I picked the wrong footwear - my feet were wet through in minutes!

I arrived at the summit pretty much at my alerted time, but yet again my dipole put up a fight and did not want to be deployed without becoming a tangled mess! I eventually got on air some 40 minutes after my alerted time.

Using my elderly FT817 and a donated 7AH SLAB, I put out my first CQ on 40M and GM0OGN responded almost straight away with a 559 report. Things were off to a good start.

I tried to follow Roy, G4SSH’s suggestions as much as I could, although maybe I ended up giving out the summit ref too many times! (well it’s better than not giving it enough!) Thanks for your recent articles for CW beginners, Roy.

A QSY to 20M brought a small pile up. I’ve never experienced a pile up from that end before and it was so difficult to pick out a single call. Sorry to those chasers who I didn’t manage to work. I then suffered some heavy QRM, so I decided to QSY to 30m, there were no takers, neither were there any takers on 17m or 15m, although stations from ‘over the pond’ were booming in on SSB.

I managed 20 QSO’s in all, over a period of about 1 1/2 hours. My microphone stayed, unconnected, in it’s box, for the entire activation! The weather at the summit was quite pleasant, with some sunshine thrown in for good measure.

I found my little car where I’d left it and managed to get in just before a heavy downpour set in! Brilliant timing!

I really enjoyed myself today, what a great way to spend a day off work.

Again, thanks to all the chasers, sorry if my CW was a bit wobbly at times, I’m sure that I’ll get better the more I do it. Thanks to Tom, M1EYP, for the inspiration and encouraging words.

73 de Colin M0CGH

In reply to M0CGH:

Congratulations Colin. I can remember my first time on 40m CW and the elation at the end having worked 5 contacts. I’d already qualified the hill but to work enough to qualify it on CW alone made me feel so good. Next time out I actually qualified the summit on 40m CW before working anyone on SSB.

I look forward to a CW S2S with you soon.


In reply to M0CGH:

Well done! I have used mostly CW on my activations. Although I’ve made eight trips already, the pileup can still be a bit overwhelming at times. But I must say that most chasers are quite patient in nature, and if I just manage to get the prefix or a few letters from the prefix, I usually manage to dig up the full call. It’s just a matter of keeping cool, once the biggest choir starts after the spot.

Also getting on the air at the alerted time seems to be hard… It seems that every time something unexpected happens. But that’s how it is out there in the nature.

Jaakko, OH6FQI

In reply to M0CGH:
Congrats Colin - yes, I remember on my first session I was a little over zaelous with the SOTA Ref, but eventually you slide into a comfortable routine that works for you. You may find your QSO rate increases rapidly on CW, but it certainly gives you some good practice! Well done.

73 de Keith GW4OKT

In reply to M0CGH:

Congratulations Colin, I think I still have to qualify a summit purely using CW though I have had several CW QSO’s from summits.

I suppose I only have myself to blame really, in choosing 160m as the band to use CW on. HI!

I look forward to working you on CW soon :slight_smile:

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF

Andy - Thanks. Yes, a S2S would be great. Do you wear your Fez whilst activating on CW? :wink: I did hear GM3CWI/P slightly HF of my 40m frequency, I was just plucking up the courage to give Richard a call when he went QRT. The skip seemed to be long on 40m, much longer than I expected, so contacts to GM land would have had a good chance of succeeding. My dipole was supported at about 6m at the centre, and the ends were at about 2m above ground. Was expecting more of an NVIS effect. Totally opposite to this was a contact to Phil, G4OBK in Pickering, who was 9+ on 20m!

Jaakko - yes, I managed to pull calls out of the pile-up by requesting for repeats of a partucular call. It worked well with chasers being very courteous.

Mark - yes, a CW QSO would be nice, I’m petty much addicted to CW, I don’t listen to SSB on HF much now! I just decided the day before I went on my activation that I would try to qualify the summit on CW. I took some 2m handies as a back-up, but I didn’t need them. The antenna size puts me off using 160m! My dipole was actually a multilink type (GW4BVE) cut for 17,20,30,40 and 80m. I didn’t try 80m, I tend to use the extra length just to keep the 40m part higher off the ground!