Pentlands, Scotland Mini Expedition 5th Sept 18

Hi guys,

After a failed call of CQ for around 60 minutes from the top of Arthur’s Seat during the last weekend of the Edinburgh Fringe I’ve decided to be a bit more overt with the trip I’m planning tomorrow (5th September).

I’ll be heading to the Pentland Hills with hopefully good coverage towards Edinburgh itself and also outward to Central Scotland. Sadly I’m restricted to 2M/70cm.

Would anyone be available to help with activation tomorrow? Primarily Allermuir Hill, but depending on how I feel after I reach the top I may do more summits. It will be around lunchtime, 12-2pm ish.

My kit isn’t great. I have a rubber duck antenna, a counterpoise wire to attach to see how it affects things, and an incredibly shonky 2m vertical dipole which I’m sure I won’t be able to put anywhere useful. Haven’t got a pole or anything like that.

Wish me luck for my first point…

I’ll put an alert out and then apparently I should spot myself too?

I will be around and will listen for you; I am just about 4 km north of Allermuir, hi!
As to you activation from Arthur’s Seat; I did note your Alert and had the 2 mtrs running here in the background, but I heard now’t from you… sorry!
Better luck with Allermuir

It can be helpful to Spot yourself when actually on summit and the radio is working. It depends on whether locals monitor the calling freq.

It is also sometimes useful to use a local repeater to attract attention, then switch back to the simplex freq to make SOTA contacts.

good luck.

Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

Yes, I’ve read that hint somewhere else, and it’s a good one. I can hit several repeaters in the Central Scotlamd FM group from there.

Some hts have a way of readily checking the signal level on the input frequency of the repeater. Its helpful when working someone on the repeater to know that you can hear them direct as that means you’ll hear them on the simplex freq.

On my icv85 the squelch button just below the ptt acts as a quick “reverse” checker.

Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

I have an R button! Kenwood F7E

No worries pal! Guess the old 2m duck wasn’t having any of it!

We’ll see tomorrow and I’ll swap a few antennas on to test things out. I could hit many of the repeaters from Arthur’s Seat and Craiglockhart Hill with the duck the week before that so I just need to hope simplex works for me.

The counterpoise wire may help.

It wont help you for these activations but you should consider getting something like the RH-770 rather than trying to use the rubber-duck antenna - it does give a far better signal out. You need to make sure you order one with the correct connector as they come with SMA, reverse SMA or BNC connectors. You might find a local UK supplier but the cheapest option is to order out of the far east. Here’s a link to a list of them on eBay UK:

73 Ed.

There are plenty of fence posts on the summit to attach your antenna to on the summit. If you use walking poles you can attach that to a post for a bit of extra height.
Martin 2M0KAU

Walking poles! Brilliant! I’ll take mine.

I have a telescopic! It’s coming with me today

Also the 2m duck and a diamond 810 which is advertised as 2m/70cm but the performance is way better on 70.

I think I have a good shout here at a few QSOs today. Now I just have to get out of bed…

Ok SOTAwatch appears to be down so I’ll manually update here. This is more likely to be about 1-1:30PM BST now due to my laziness.

Yes Jon is trying to sort out the Sotawatch site issues.

73 Ed.

I’ve had the best afternoon, guys. Managed to get the guys on Helvellyn LD-003 today (which is, coincidentally, my favourite mountain).

One QSO halfway up to Jim on top of CS-001 and then ten from the summit of Allermuir including the S2S to the lakes.

I got the dipole up and it was better than I thought considering the build quality. 1/2 wave whip was very good as well, and that’s what I did the S2S on.

On my way down now, thank you everyone. Now to make sure I log it all correctly…

For the S2S Scotland to England I was on just under 5 watts after losses and the station on Helvellyn was on 4.5 watts.

That is outrageously cool. What’s the distance there? Edit: 94.4 miles on 2m 5W. So cool.

Edit: actually I got TWO S2S today, one down to the Borders, Derek on SB-005. I need to know how to log these properly. I’ve put all 10 of my contacts into the database and gotten the 1 point, but I assume the S2Ses need to go in in a special way? They count as a chase, right?

Does it matter if I already entered them for the activation points?

Waaaait, I put them in the activator log, then I put them in the chaser log. That way they count for activating the summit I’m on, and then I’ve chased the summit the other station is on.

Here’s a few pictures from today, including some shots of my shonky zip-tied-to-a-fence-post home made dipole.


Put them in your activator log then enter them in the chaser log. At the bottom of the chaser entry tick the box for S2S and complete the extra section. You will score points as an activator (your hill), chaser (their hill) and S2S (sum of the 2 hills’ value for the first S2S, then only the chased hill value for subsequent S2S).

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Mark, you may find your vertical dipole works even better if you can make sure the feeder runs from the elements at 90deg for at least 1/4wave.

 <   1/4w    >|

You know, I did think of that, but didn’t really have time or materials to make something to brace it at 90 deg.

The T piece in the middle - no joke - is the packaging from a pair of snips from Wickes. It’s a great bracket to attach things to.

If I do something else soon I’ll fix this. Can you also advise me: will attaching some wooden rods to the wires for bracing affect the signal?

In a perfect world they’d be coat hangers/rods…