New Year Fun Day

It has become tradition for me to earn my annual point from Rombalds Moor G/NP-028 during early New Year.

I have been looking back through the SOTA reflector and my memory has now been jogged. Chris 2E0FSR was the organiser of ‘VHF Fun Day’ for a few years running promoting activity from the G/NP summits on VHF on a date around just after New Years day.

I wonder if anybody else has thought about a similar event for 2013?

I am back at work on 2nd January, so I intend to be out on 1st January on G/NP-028 Rombalds Moor for my annual point.

I might give 160m CW a try and possibly 80m plus other HF bands on CW. I will take along the SB270, 2m and 70cm beam, so I can run CW/SSB/FM on these bands with the FT817. I’m open to requests if desired - 2m Vert CW etc.

I guess 60m might be quite popular with the new NOV’s coming into force. I have my 5MHz NOV (old one for now, new one from 01/01/13), but I haven’t adapted my antenna yet! Not sure if I’ll find the time to stick some new wire on the end of my trusty 40m dipole and I don’t fancy chopping up my SOTABeams BHIV just yet :wink:

Merry Christmas everybody.
73 es HNY,

Colin, M0CGH

I might be out NYD morning Colin, we will see. Macc are at home on NYD afternoon, so I’ll be otherwise engaged then, but NYD night is the first 2m UKAC of the year - so maybe some radio then?

MX es HNY,


In reply to M0CGH:

Hi Colin and co

I would be up for another VHF fun day on NYD!!

2m FM or SSB were the order of the day last time, I think we all got up the hills for about 1200? Although not 100% on this.

Anyway always a nice way to get the ball rolling in 2013, now just got to decide on a summit?


Matt G8XYJ

In reply to M1EYP:
Hi All yes I will do my best to make an effort on NYD 144/145 ssb/fm.Geoff G6MZX

Great, looks like there may be a bit of activity.

I’ve just remembered that my some of my SB270 70cm elements have come loose, I need to re-glue them before I venture out on 01/01!

Colin, M0CGH

In reply to M0CGH:

Me too… definitely doing 2m fm/ssb on the first!

That 2E0FSR was a good sort, certainly more interest in radio than me :wink:

I’m up for something NYD if WX is ok.

73 Chris M0RSF

In reply to M0RSF:
Not heard 'FSR for ages - what happened to him ? :slight_smile:
Visitors NYD will try listening if chance arises :wink:

Roger G4OWG

In reply to G4OWG:

I couldn’t get FSR as my suffix as it was taken along with quite a few more I tried. I settled on RSF. Also,I gave up my Foundation & Intermediate call signs when I got the full one. I believe the true number of amateurs in the UK is clouded by people having more than one call sign.

73 Chris M0RSF

In reply to M0RSF:

Both myself and the stunningly beautiful Gwendolyn hope to be on Pendle on Tue if we have recovered from the 'orrible flu bug.

In reply to M0CGH:

I hope to be out on New Years Day with Mrs. FMF. The WX forecast looks quite good right now so I expect the WX to be awful by then. Longest period without an activation for me, nothing in December so far, 2 weeks when I wasn’t too well at the start and 2 weeks of b-awful weather just gone :frowning:

So for a change it’s hailing right now. Instead of wind, rain, wind & rain, sleet, wind & sleet or howling winds & torrential rain.


In reply to MM0FMF:

“So for a change it’s hailing right now. Instead of wind, rain, wind & rain, sleet, wind & sleet or howling winds & torrential rain.”

Just a normal balmy (not barmy) day in God’s Own Country, then! :wink:

I’m working on the XYL for an outing.


Brian G8ADD

In reply to M0CGH:
Thinking we might join the hordes on Moel Famau GW/NW-044 for New Years eve, so I might try and activate shortly after midnight.

Weather dependant of course.


Good to hear that a lot of folks are going to try to be out and about on the 1st.

With some money that I received for Christmas I purchased some new waterproof trousers, so I’m all ready to go now, whatever the weather! My 2m/70cm beam has had it’s elements centred and reglued so I’m good to go on VHF/UHF (providing I remember to pack the feeder cable that is!).

I hope to be on the air earlyish in the morning until just after lunch time - 1.30pm maybe. HF will be first, going on to 2m, and possibly 70cm, late morning.

I could do with boosting my chaser score, so will be looking for S2S, especially on 2FM.


Colin, M0CGH

In reply to MM0FMF:

So for a change it’s hailing right now. Instead of wind, rain, wind & rain, sleet, wind & sleet or howling winds & torrential rain

Just need three witches and you would have the makings of a performance of “The Scottish Play”

Have fun


Barry GM4TOE

I’m planning to be on one of the G NP summets early morning.
Not decided which one yet, probably 010.
Will have 2m FM with me

73 Paul

My own New Year Fun Day - Tuesday 1st January 2013 - began with a morning watching the first DVD from the BBC Olympics box set, a Christmas present from my wife Marianne. Next up was watching Macclesfield Town go 2-0 down with a man sent off before half-time - not fun. The second half was more fun as the ten men outplayed the eleven of Southport and battle back to a 2-2 draw.

Oh yes, then the bit that involves SOTA. It was off up to The Cloud for a UK activity contest night with a difference. It was mainly dry, but horribly windy on the summit, and it was difficult to operate. Turning the antenna was a chore, and the pole was taking a lot of strain in the wind. The bothy bag, when deployed during occasional periods of light rain, made an absolute racket when being battered around by the wind, and listening to signals even in the headphones was hard work.

I was ten minutes late starting in the 144MHz UK activity contest, because it took me so long to get the SB5 antenna up. A further delay hit after 19 contacts when the wind blew my pole and antenna over, pulling a guyed peg clean out of the ground. Spirits were low and I considered abandoning as I was straightening out the bent elements of the SB5.

That’s not like me though (although it has been known), and I got back on with things 15 minutes later. The band was rather busy with good activity. Several, including myself, had anticipated a low turnout with it being New Year’s Day, but the entire two and a half hours was busy with radio traffic.

I finished with 68 QSOs, all on 2m SSB with 11 multipliers - IO81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 90, 91, 92, 93, JO01, 02. I also worked ON5AEN in JO10, which was my ODX at 476km. However, at the time of writing, fellow SOTA activator Carolyn G6WRW is ahead of me, as is Brian 2W0HRO. I have never quite worked out where exactly Brian’s site is in IO72XX, but it certainly works for him. Carolyn, I assume, was somewhere on Titterstone Clee Hill but not within the AZ or with SOTA-qualifying working conditions.

That was not the end of the activation though. I spent a little time enjoying my small flask of coffee, then set about taking down the SB5. In its place went the feedpoint of the 80m dipole, and back up went the pole. I followed the legs of the dipole by torchlight, and used a walking pole to raise each end.

Although it was not raining, I could now make use of the warmer conditions from operating inside the bothy bag, as antenna rotation was not now a concern. I called CQ on 80m CW, and was soon picked up by a skimmer in Germany. However, there was no response from SOTA chasers, so I answered a CQ call from Dix DJ6CB and enjoyed a 15 minute CW ragchew with him.

Persisting on CW, I got spotted by a skimmer in Ireland, and then did manage to get some replies to my CQ SOTA calls - two, to be precise, GM4WZG and PA0SKP. Moving up to SSB and self-spotting then brought in Vic GI4ONL and Damian M0BKV, and we had an enjoyable natter until midnight.

And so 0000 UTC on Wednesday 2nd January 2013 brought an ascent-free second activation of 2013. Vic GI4ONL and Damian M0BKV were straight in for a new point for the new day on 80m SSB. A switch to 80m CW then brought in Roy G4SSH, Vic GI4ONL again, and Peter G4ISJ. No further callers, so I finished my coffee and began the pack-away.

With everything loaded onto my rucksack on my back, I did the usual and made a speculative 2m FM call from the handie before descening. Paul GW0WTT was worked, but nearer to 1am than midnight, it seemed he was the only radio amateur still to go to bed.

After descending and driving home, I felt unusually alert, so I poured a glass of sparkling wine, cut a generous slab of Christmas cake, took my blood pressure tablets and painkillers, and settled down to my Skybox recording of that night’s Match of the Day.

New Year Fun Day? You bet!


In reply to M1EYP:

Thanks for the report Tom - i did notice the spots on SOTAwatch - I thought that it was ME who was crazy getting up at 6am on New Year’s Day!

I have made a pair of G4YSS style loading coils for my BHIV dipole, I was keen to give them a try. As Rombalds Moor G/NP-028 is so close to my QTH I thought it would be easy to get set up and on the air before sunrise to better my chances of having contacts.

The loading coils worked perfectly, in about 5 mins of trimming, the VSWR was within very agreeable limits. Using 5w from the FT817 on 1832kHz, my CQ’s were answered pretty quickly at 0739 by Phil G4OBK. G4FGJ,ON4ARF and G4OWG completed the 160m log, qualifying me for my SOTA activation point for the year! Signals were pretty good, I was pleasantly surprised. I definately hope to try 160m again soon.

After 160m, I hooked up my MKARS80 SSB transceiver to the dipole. I had never given the rig a proper try before, so I didn’t know whether it would work or not. I built the rig over 12 Months ago from a kit supplied by Steve G6ALU.
A self spot via SMS soon netted some contacts, the first being Mark G0VOF whom I’d just missed on 160m CW - sorry Mark! Reports about the rig’s on air performance seem to be good and I’m really impressed by the quality of the receiver. MKARS 80 transceiver. | 80m transceiver used for SOTA activa… | Flickr

I then moved on to 80m CW using the FT817 again, 5 stations were worked although signal reports were lower than I would have expected, maybe I have a problem lurking in the system somewhere.

A move to 10 MHz brought another 5 stations in to the log. I was using my newly re-modified home brew transciever, it now boasts 2 Watts of output! I soon discovered that I had a problem though, it seems as though I’ve tweaked the VXO too far by going up to 10.118MHz, replying stations were mostly outside of my passband. A simple tweak of a variable capacitor should fix things again, although my frequency of operation will be a few kHz lower.

I found 40m CW was quite productive and the recent issues seem to have died down a bit. I ended up getting trampled on by contest traffic, so my operation was cut short.

I QSY’d on to 20m CW where I worked Geoff G4CPA and Roger G4OWG - both very local to the summit, amongst stations further afield.

145MHz FM brought two Summit to Summit contacts, M0BKQ/P on G/NP-005, on his way around the Yorkshire 3 peaks, and G0HRT on G/SP-014.

A heavy rain shower just after 12pm brought a close to my activation. I had had quite a fun morning, it was nice to work with so many bands and modes.

Thanks to all the chasers, 73 and Happy New Year.

Colin, M0CGH

In reply to M0CGH:
I had a “strange” activation day on New Years Day.

Two hills separated by nearly 16 hours…

Moel Famau GW/NW-044 at 00:30 when most of the estimated 200 people had left the summit. All on 2M FM, curtailed by strange QRM and the fact I had been there for over an hour already and was beginning to freeze. By the way, if you are thinking of going up Moel Famau for New Years Eve it is a good night out (well if it stays dry).

Went home, bed, get up, gardening, other jobs… “hmmm, wonder if I can squeeze in another activation?”

Arrived on Foel Fenlli at 16:10 and activated this for 20 mins, again all 2M FM. Quick descent, just needed the head torch.

Thanks to the chasers!


Well it certainly seems that New Years Day was a day for activations and busy hilltops!
My day started listening at 0001 for DL1DVE, but alas nothing heard.
My first Contact of the day was 10 hours later with Colin M0CGH on NP-028 followed shortly after with a contact with Stewart G0LGS who was on CE-001 where I was planing an outing myself!

When I arrived at Cleeve Hill CE-001 about one hour later, what is normally a quiet single track country lane was now a linear carpark and resembled the M25 at rush hour. I’ve never seen so many people out and about on the hill top before.

I was lucky to find somewhere to park and walked towards the trig point.
I could see LGS antenna in the distance which he was setting up or 60 Metres.
After a quick chat, I set up a couple of hundred yards away and was soon on 30 Metres CW with my ATS4 and EFHW at 3 watts OP.
That quickly netted me 10 QSOs but conditions seemed mediocre and the calls quickly dried up.
A move to 20 metres was more successful, with 35 QSOs coming in quick succession, notable contacts being N4EX,W4ZV,W6UB and VE2JFM.
A quick foray onto 17 metres brought no response although RBN did pick up my CQ.
A switch to 40 Metres brought a further 21 contacts. I’d normally expect more but I expect some of the regulars already had there 1 point for the summit from G0LGS!
An interested by stander kept me in conversation for some time and was amazed at how compact my setup was. So as not to disappoint him, I pulled out my Altoids tin MTR from my coat pocket and handed it to him. Of course he didn’t believe it was anything more than a gimmick, so I plugged it into the antenna, put out a call on 20 metres and was immediately rewarded with a 599 from OE3KAB.
Although the sun was still shining there was a definite nip in the air and my thermometer was showing 4.5C.
I therefore decided enough was enough for NYD and packed up.
I was also trialling my new Zippo Handwarmer, which worked extremely well up to the point where I took it out of it’s pouch and held in the cold wind. It extinguished! I was therefore left with cold hands after packing away my gear.
Another trial was using my Youkits FG-01 Antenna analyser. This makes for a really quick tune up and is easier to use that the built in Tayloe bridge on my tuner. Even with it’s diminutive size it is still bulkier and heavier than my transceiver and tuner combined, so it will mostly remain at home in the shack.
So a good day out among the crowds on the hill top but with far to many interruptions by the general public to get into the swing of things!