My first SOTA summit - Hafod Ithel GW/MW-029

(I couldn’t figure out how to change my pre-planning post to an activation report, hence the new thread.)

It had been raining heavily overnight, so it was quite a relief when it stopped just as we were packing up the van to head up to Hafod Ithel. The parking space by the monument was quite firm despite all the rain, so we grabbed my gear and headed up the short path up to the summit.

The sun made an appearance as we set up the pole and my newly constructed ladder-line slim jim antenna. The wind was pretty relentless though! I didn’t want to drop too far down from the summit area, in order to get the antenna up as high as I could manage.

As usual in the Welsh hills, the weather changed quickly. But between the nervous excitement and wearing most of my layers, I remained toasty hot despite the changes in the weather.

After about an hour and six successful QSOs with six different chasers, including one summit-to-summit, as well as a long chat with a fellow ham out walking his handheld, I handed over the radio to the Bonbons and decided to call it a day.

I’m thrilled that with my little 5W handheld and my first homemade antenna, I could chat to people from Tywyn and Machynlleth in the north to Kidwelly in the south.

Between making improvements to my current setup (e.g. headphones!) and me getting better at picking out callsigns (I always knew this would be my week point!), I’m hoping to make future activations slicker and more productive, while I’m figuring out what equipment would suit me best going forward.

Before settling down for lunch back at the van, we went up to check out the monument to four Welsh poets and I got a chance to soak in the views now that the radio bit had been taken care of.

Thank you to all the chasers, who made my first activation possible, and to all those of you who tried to catch me but didn’t. A special thanks to Allan, @GW4VPX, who gave me lots of advice before hand, had recruited a bunch of chasers and kept checking in on me during the activation.

73 de Sara, MW7SRA


Congrats, Sara, on your very first and very successful SOTA activation.
I enjoyed reading your report and the nice pics.
Regarding the changing your preplanning thread into an activation report, you should be able to clic on the pencil at the end of the thread title to enter the editting mode:

Then you just go to the top box if you want to modify the title:

Then go to the bottom line to select “Activation report” or whatever you want, instead of the previously chosen “Preplanning”

Once you are done, just clic on edit and that’s it.
Good luck and I hope to QSO with you some day soon.


Da iawn Sara

Well done on that first activation. I was really pleased to get you s2s. Great report and photos. As you know a few things to sort out before your next activation and I have sent you mail via this system. I hope your OM enjoyed his time on the summit…will we see another radio amateur in Ceredigion?

Llongyfarchiadau a hwyl am nawr

Allan GW4VPX

Thanks, Guru, that’s good to know. However, there is no editing pencil on my pre-planning post. Is this something that’s happened because I’m a new forum user, perhaps?

No pencil


Yes Sara, that will be it. The Reflector software treats you as “Basic” for now. Guru is a “Regular” (click on his avatar to see this) and gets more rights. Eventually, as you’ve gained more “badges” the software will bump you up to a higher trust level.

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Yes it is. You need to be active on the reflector for a bit, reading, replying, creating threads and that builds up, to use a slashdot expression. “karma”. Then when the system sees you’re a nice person who is active in the community it will increase your status / permissions to allow you to edit stuff.

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Congratulations, Sara! It’s a fine addiction.

Andy, N4LAG

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Hi Sara,

Welcome to SOTA! Glad to hear you had a lovely first trip out - I particularly approve of the mascots :wink: Great to see the weather holding during your activation too. I climbed Hafod Ithel last weekend and it’s a cracking little summit - just a shame you didn’t get the views this time round (I saw Snowdon from there… :astonished:)

Look forward to working you S2S in the future!


Jordan M3TMX

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Thanks, Jordan! Yes it’s a lovely little hill. Typically for that part of Ceredigion, the drive there was harder work than the walk :grin:

ETA: Mascots are essential! :smiley:

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Congratulations Sara!
Interesting work ahead.
And thanks for the good feedback.

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Congrats Sara, welcome to the fold!

Decided which summit you wish to do next?

Thanks! I’ve scouted some local summits for when I get a chance to go out again.