My first real SOTA experience
First a little bit of background. I joined the hobby in July of 2009 when I passed the foundation license and got the call sign of MW6CSS. SOTA was one of the many things that interested me about the hobby, but it’s not something I really gave much thought apart from a brief activation of the Great Orme one Wednesday afternoon, and the occasional working of SOTA stations from the comfort of the shack.
With the weather getting nicer, and the fact I’ve wanted to climb Foel Fennli (NW-051)for a long time, it was decided to activate the summit today, with the possibility of doing Moel Famau (NW-044) afterwards if we wanted to. (I say we, my dad is also licensed as MW6SFB.)
So at around five to eleven we set off from the car up the path towards the summit, myself carrying the bag with the rigs in, and the PVC pipe we were going to use as a pole for the beam, and my dad carrying lunch and the beam.
It was quite a walk upto the summit, I didn’t quite expect it to be so steep, but we made it to the trig point around twenty five past eleven. We had a five minute sit down then set about setting up the beam ready for some FM work on 2M. So the beam was up, and the handheld was duly connected up, and I gave the first CQ of the day. As soon as I had dropped the key Steve GW7AAV came straight back to me with a 59, and the promise to spot me. Contacts came thick and fast on FM including a summit to summit with 2E0EDX/P on Robinson (LD/021), and when it finally went quiet we decided to switch to SSB to get another three contacts for the log. So that was nine contacts in the log, and it was time for lunch. Lunch over and we didn’t like the look of the sky so began the decent, twenty minutes later we’re back at the car, and don’t really fancy Moel Famau, so decided to go for Hope mountain (NW-062) instead. (Thanks again Steve for providing me with the SOTA reference.)
We arrived at Hope and headed for the trig, set the beam up and began again on FM, thanks go to Steve for spotting me; and then the contacts rolled in, 15 later; which we didn’t think we’d make after I managed to pull the BNC connector of the coax, and we decided to give SSB another try after Steve promised to spot me, sadly we didn’t get any contacts and decided to head home shortly afterwards.
A big thanks to Steve (GW7AAV) who was a big encourager for me to start SOTA after reading his blog, and all his help today with spotting me on SOTA watch.
So that was my first real experience of SOTA. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I do it again? Defiantly! Am I mad? Yes.
Has anyone got any good recommendations for summits close to Wrexham in North Wales I could go and do sometime.
Hope to catch you all on the air soon.