Penvalla GM/SS-145

This is a simple hill you can’t fall off or get lost on and it’s only 50mins from home. The WX yesterday was so horrible I knew everywhere would be very wet as the rain water ran off and I couldn’t be bothered to drive for hours and hours to do a new hill when the WX report was not brilliant.

I parked by Stobo Kirk and followed my usual route along mainly good tracks to the foot of the mountain. No snow at low level but slowly as I climbed patches got thicker on the ground. I was surprised that the last 75m of ascent was difficult as there was around 8in / 200mm of slightly consolidate snow. The surprise was the mist cleared at the top and the Sun came out and it was hot. For 20mins I didn’t need a hat or fleece. Amazing. Almost no wind either. Activation was 60m SSB, 30m CW, 40m SSB and 40m CW but nobody was worked on 40m CW. I found out later I wasn’t spotted. 34 QSOs worked.


Many thanks for the s2s, Andy. When I saw your spot I had just sat down after changing the links for 40m; thought “give it a go” and after activating the ATU was surprised at the good contact. Looks like a lovely day; it was good on WB-002 if you could get out of the fierce cold wind.

Thanks for the qso on 2 bands Andy and the great pics. 73 Don.

Hi Andy
Good to catch you yesterday, my 5wtts is doing me proud, excellent photo’s too, thanks for another one.
Cheers Ken.

I’ve just bought a new camera… seems to work :wink:

Yours might, but mine doesn’t and I was unable to take some good pictures yesterday as I was faced with the ‘battery exhausted’ message from my new (last September) Praktica Luxmedia Z212 with 12x optical zoom lens. OK it is a light point and shoot camera (with a somewhat wider angle lens than I had realised) but seems to take some good pictures… when it is warm enough. I had the first intimation of this a week ago when going up the Long Mynd but putting it in my jacket pocket (rather than rucksack) cured the problem. Yesterday it was colder (-5 with windchill) and it allowed me one picture at most and then went into sulk mode. Grrh. Does it want me to take a hand warmer (or hot water bottle??) specially for it? :anguished:
Viki M6BWA

You get stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you keep the camera warm (under jacket) then there is a chance of condensation forming when you take it out to use it. If you don’t keep it warm then you can suffer the “exhausted battery” problems. A possible fix is to remove the battery and keep it warm, inserting it when needed and the removing it and stashing it somewhere warm till needed again. Or you could look at using an external supply. My camera can be powered by the now ubiquitous USB micro-B connector. You can buy a standard USB cable, remove the A connector and make a 5V regulated supply to be run from the main Sota batteries. 5V regulators sourcing 2A+ can be bought from eBay for pence. Just a simple solder the wires job…

Thanks for the tip, Andy.
I will see if this might do the trick without getting tangled up with other things.
My camera appears to be fine when cold but it is bigger & heavier than Vicki wanted.

My old Nikon was very sensitive to cold. You could use a standard USB power pack and a 2m USB lead rather than a 5V regulator. But that’s an extra something to carry and the regulator will be 100gm or so and you are carrying the SOTA batteries anyway. Just an idea.

Cracking photo’s Andy from the old box brownie HI.
Cheers Ken

I made this up from a “cigarette lighter” USB adaptor. Remove the side springs and spring loaded end connector, add wires and PP connectors. A length of heat shrink sleeving holds it together (it has an internal fuse in the supply line).

I have yet to use it in anger, but it seemed a good idea and makes the main SOTA battery a bit more versatile.


Sweet. :+1:

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My old Nikons were supposed to be good down to -40 but I never used them below about -20. Guess they were a bit older than your old Nikon. In fact a bit older than LiPos and USB too…

Brian G4ZRP told me a story a friend of his told him. His friend was off to work for the British Antarctic Survey (1976 or so). He bought a new camera and took it to local camera repair/service shop (well respected) and they changed the oils so it was good for the Antarctic. Off he set a few weeks later and managed to drop and break the camera just a day or so before he was due to sail. Somewhat distraught he was able to buy a second hand Olympus Trip 35mm “snapshot” camera off someone who was about to return the UK (not sure if this was in The Falklands or Chile). The unprepared Olympus Trip worked without fail for the 18month tour he did and captured rolls and rolls of brilliant photos. OK, it’s the photographer not the camera. But still for a relatively cheap camera to work without fail in such conditions is exceptional. That is going to be hard to match now with modern cameras!

Yep done both Andy - camera battery in pocket & USB to 12V adaptor in SOTA Rucksack - for the ‘just-in-case’ - but Raynet ‘T’ Connnector termination. (my standard 12V connector for over 30 years - introduced to Raynet by myself when I was Controller for Strathclyde Raynet and still proving there worth - certainly in my case)



I use the same T connectors but “discovered” them myself. I think they’re Tyton connectors, anyway they work and I have a PowerPole to Tyton adapter so I can use things with PowerPoles. Not a PP user myself though.

Are these the connectors much used by RC people? They were sold to me as Deans connectors and I use them for everything 13Vdc now, with USB for 5V. My original LiPo came with these fitted, so it went on from there.

I think Vicki wants a camera she can just use, without complication. The old Olympus would be just the job - but things have moved on and not always for the better.

Adrian’s solution looks the best for my case where the camera can be powered via a USB cable. Just ordering another cheap USB cigar lighter regulator as I type.

This is the T connector that Jack and myself use. (Barenco supply them). The Deans connector is different.

My first trip to the ice - 1st generation Nikon CoolPix plus Helen’s Vivitar fully manual 35mm. No problem with either. I think the fear, as much as anything, with the film cameras is that the film itself goes brittle in the cold and breaks. It had a battery to run the meter but would work without.

Second trip, first-generation EOS 300D (Rebel). No problem down to -40°C, but the operator wouldn’t hang around long before wimping-out for a warm-up!

Yes, I recognize the one you show. Seems to be on my mobile rigs as standard.