My First SOTA Activation - OARC Activity Day

As part of the OARC SOTA Activity Day 2023, I finally got round to doing my first ever activation, on a nice easy summit, G/SC-008 Win Green.

The weather wasn’t looking great for the OARC activity day, as many would have seen, there was numerous weather warnings for thunder across UK. But by keeping a close eye on the weather rain radar, I could see that some breaks in rain, and reports of thunder relaxed around the summit; so thought I’d at least make my way to the summit as the very short walk from car park to summit made it very low risk.

I arrived to very overcast sky and drizzle, but could see sun breaking through, so quickly set up my 6m pole and an inverted-V EFHW. The EFHW with 49:1 balun I purchased from Radio Stuff @M0VUE, and is a great little portable antenna.

My radio of choice was the (tr)uSDX, which I just power from a USB-PD power bank, with a PD trigger device which draws 12V profile from USB-PD spec. More than enough current to power the little (tr)uSDX. I have made a adapter which let me use a standard computer headset.

Not long after getting set up, 3 other hams also on the summit, operating from the car park, came to see what I was up to (and apologies if you’re reading this, that I’ve never been good at remembering call signs) but we quickly had to hide in some trees whilst some light rain started. Had a chat with them to pass time waiting for rain, with my waterproof plastic backed picnic blanket covering my equipment.

And finally, with another break in the clouds, I quickly got going, starting with S2S with 2W0FLW/P on GW/SW-028; before spotting myself on the cluster and calling CQ. In 20mins or so, I got 18QSOs, and 2 S2S with GW/NW-060 with @G4HQB and @M0OVW. I did try, but failed, at working OARC member in Scotland unfortunately (but I’m only on 5W of course). And then the heavens opened and rain came down; back to the trees to hide.

Suspecting I wouldn’t see break in the rain again, I decided to pack up, before the rain got too heavy. But overall the activation was a success, despite challenging weather.

I’d like to thank OARC, and in particular @2M0IIG for organising the event, that finally got me out to do my first activation.


Well Done Steven!
Congratulations for your first activation!
Good luck for the next ones!!

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Well done Steven on your first SOTA activation and thanks for the contact.
Good luck planning your next outing. :+1:

73, Robert

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Bravo Steven. Nice work in sketchy conditions. The hills have plenty more to offer.