Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Nearly there!

Yesterday was my first set of activations of the year and a try out on the hills of my toe I damaged just before Christmas whilst failing to negotiate my bottom stair.

The group of 5 hills; Cordon (GW/MW-013), Stiperstones (G/WB-003), Long Mynd-Pole Bank (G/WB-005), Brown Clee Hill (G/WB-002) and Titterstone Clee Hill (G/WB-004) are well know as an easy set to do for quick points in winter.

The intention was to have a gentle day and activate (and qualify) at least two of the hills on 70cm ssb only starting with Brown Clee.

The morning started bright cold and clear without the forecast fog and mist but plenty of frost. The roads across the lanes towards my favoured start point at the bottom of the transmitter road were clear of any ice. At the parking spot I had a quick listen around the bands to get a feel for the propagation on the HF bands because Helen intended on activating on 20m and as I switched back to 2m I heard Mike (2E0YYY/P) who we chased for the points. From the parking spot I use its a steep sharp climb up the transmitter road till you reach the tree-less open space of the Brown Clee then its a gentle walk to the summit. We hoped for a s2s when we reached the top but unfortunately we missed him. We were however able to get our first summits of the day with Edward (M6NSR/P) and Jimmy (M3EYP/P) both on the Cloud (G/SP-015).

I set up my 18el Yagi as close to the toposcope as possible without obstructing any paths and started the activation. First in my log was Matt (GW8XYJ/P) on Rhailgwm (GW/NW-046) and I finished 25 minuets later with Ken (G3XQE) in Coventry who was 12th. Helen worked 18 stations spread across Europe during her activation on 20m using about 20W using the ¼ wave ground plane antenna which was built for our US trip. Once calls dried up we packed things away and returned to the camper pleased with the summit to summits and me with a toe that wasn’t complaining.

Arriving at the busy parking at the foot of the Stiperstones we decided to have a bit of lunch and a cup of tea in the camper before the short bumpy walk to the summit, the rocky outcrop with the trig point on top. While eating we worked Tom (M1EYP) on Gun (G/SP-013) on his way to 100 contacts for the day. Helen didn’t want to activate the hill again so another quick-ish activation for me as I wanted to try to get another hill in before dark. Just as we reached the activation zone we heard Rod (MW0JLA/P) on Waun Rydd (GW/SW-004) calling on 70cm FM on our Alinco handheld and made another easy s2s. Another ½ hour activation saw 13 contacts in my log on ssb including summits to summits with Alun (2W0CYM/P) on Gyrn Ddu (GW/NW-050) and Matt (GW8XYJ/P) on Carnedd Wen (GW/MW-012).

The final activation of the day was Long Mynd-Pole Bank chosen because its the easiest of the five. I set up my equipment on the trig point at the summit and after a slow start finished with 8 contacts in the log on 70cm ssb ending a successful day out on the WB hills.

Frank (G3RMD), Don (G0RQL), Rodger (G0TRB) and John (G3WFK) chased me on all three summits.

Best DX with Michael (G0BPU) from Stipersones to Ipswich (288km, 179mi), 432.220 MHz ssb.

Equipment used:

Yaesu FT-817
Microwave Modules amplifier which produces 25W
18el yagi @ 4m agl (which is quite sharp)

Thank you to all the chasers and sorry if I missed anyone


Oh, “nearly there”… 999 activator points :o)

In reply to G6WRW:

Well done, Carolyn - you didn’t say how well the toe stood up to the effort (though it must have done well if you danced 25 minuets! :wink: )


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G6WRW:
Thanks for the S2S yesterday Carolyn, especially on a much underused band and mode!

Where is the MG activation going to be?

Matt G8XYJ

In reply to G8XYJ:
Hi Carolyn,it was nice to have a S2S contact with you yesterday, It was the first time i used my Sandpiper Dual Band clip on 2/70cm for a 70cm SSB contact. Diolch, a hwyl a fflag : )

In reply to G6WRW:

Hi Carolyn,

Well done Mountain Goat elect. An excellent achievement on my favourite band. It seems that there is a little more interest in 70cms SSB of late with you making a dozen or so contacts per activation. Your contact with Alun was particularly interesting - worth a look at that on Terrain.

Perhaps I will be carrying my MM linear up the GM/SS summits next month. :slight_smile:

73, Gerald G4OIG

In reply to G4OIG:

Perhaps I will be carrying my MM linear up the GM/SS summits next month. :slight_smile:

Why, are you looking for some extra exercise! :slight_smile: Actually, UHF fun day was fun up here as we had 4 or 5 people in QSO at the same time on 433.500. I’ve never heard it so busy.

I think I’ll need to stand at the border and hand out activator permits, you’re coming up, INKy will be here and so will Kjell LA1KHA. What am I saying, hand out permits, sell permits is what I meant.

In reply to G6WRW:

It’s quite interesting when you get close to achieving an award, especially a big one, you get quite excited as the score gets nearer, so much you can almost taste it! Having bimbled my way to this current score with no urgency the fact I can see I can hit 1000 pts in about 6 or 7 typical (for me) winter activations makes it tempting to bag for bagging’s sake. It must be even more tantalising to stop 1 pt short. So I hope you have a suitable hill to goat-out upon organised and that the WX is such that you can have an activation-fest and put 80m/60m/40m/20m/10m/2m/70cms on the air.


In reply to MM0FMF:

Don’t neglect the WARC bands!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G6WRW:
as I switched back to 2m I heard

Mike (2E0YYY/P) who we chased for the points. From the parking spot I
use its a steep sharp climb up the transmitter road till you reach the
tree-less open space of the Brown Clee then its a gentle walk to the
summit. We hoped for a s2s when we reached the top but unfortunately
we missed him.

Apologies for not making the S2S Carolyn. However, I rather foolishly decided to waste a couple of hours chasing DX on the higher HF frequencies. With a couple of exceptions, not even the mighty Antron 99 could perform its sorcery yesterday :frowning:

73 Mike

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Hi Carolyn,

Can I ask you what you use to power the Microwaves Modules Amp…and how long your power source lasts?

Congratulations on your 999 points by the way. One to be added this week?


Hi Brian

There wasn’t really much effort required as they were all “easy” hills compared with the ones I have tackled in the past.

I knew Brown Clee’s transmitter road would give my toe a good try-out and all is fine. I just need to get my fitness back to where it was before going out on the biggies again; I over-indulged during the Christmas break!

Hi Matt

I noticed that your alert for 70cm coincided with mine so guessed the first s2s was possibly on, the second was pure chance.

Only having one point to go means I have such a wide choice; any peak will do! ……
but I feel that because I started on a 10 pointer (Ben More, GM/SS-001) I should finish on one.

Hi Alun

I was a nice surprise to have the s2s with you as I didn’t expect 70cm contacts from your direction knowing the terrain the signals have to cover, definitely not line of sight.

Diolch yn fawr.

Hi Gerald

Yes, nearly there and almost enjoyed every hill, even the very wet Welsh ones :o)

Using 70cm takes me back to when I was first licenced; locally 70 was the band of choice. I have been having fun using different bands on hills I’ve activated before so it was 70cm turn this time; it has a different set of challanges to using HF especially when using a large Yagi.

Looking at a terrain map the path to Alun the path was definatly not LOS with the signals having to go over Aran Fawddywy northern ridge which was almost equidistant from both of us. We possibly have had an almost perfect example of knife edge defraction at UHF.

Hi Andy

I’m quite a patient person and have seen goatdom as a milestone and not as the finish :o) I have a good summit in mind for goat day that will be appropriate… more details will be alerted.

Hi Mike

NP :o)

Hi John

I use my usual 4000mAh Li-Pos, one for the radio and one for the amp (I could’ve easily run both from one battery) I tend not to have my FT-817 at full power when using amplifiers so the amps are not being driven at their full rated input; the amps seem to cope ok with the lower voltage than usual (11V ish) and the current drawn is well within the batterys capacity making the batteries last a long time. In all my activations I’ve not had to close down because of battery capacity, if I’m going to be out all day with either multipul or long activations I carry 4 batteries; they are not heavy.

What I’m trying to say is… I’m not sure how long they last :o) but easly a couple of hours minimum (with two batteries) with my set-ups.