Pike of Blisco with S2S surprise

Following on from RAYNET support of the Great Lakes Fell Race in which competitors tackle 17 miles of Lakeland terrain including Scafell and Scafell Pike I decided to do a little SOTA. I’d forgotten the 12V battery for the MiniPA50 amp so it was to be a 5w activation on 2m and HF, 2m with the FT1XD and Arrow Alasakan antenna, and HF with the FT-817 with underslung Palm Pico Paddles.

RAYNET support

Conditions were nice on Pike of Blisco, folk on higher summits were fairing less well. Helvellyn, Fairfield, Bowfell and Scafell Pike were all consistently in cloud. Visibility out of the cloud, however, was excellent.

The arrow antenna worked well for the 2M activation FM vertical, and included C4FM contacts with Geoff @GM4WHA and Andy @G8CPZ.

Arrow Alaskan Antenna, 2m elements only vertical

Views from Pike of Blisco were excellent. The unusual Easterly winds were rolling cloud consistently over the Helvellyn range, but it was burning off.

The Langdales with Helvellyn in the background in the clouds

In between radio I took some panoramas.

HF was OK, nothing spectacular a few contacts on 20m but I was unable to raise a contact on 40m with my 5 watts.

I noticed AC1Z/P was on 17m and tuned the Super Antenna MP1 manually with the SWR indication on the FT-817 as I’d forgotten the chart. I could just hear him calling CQ, then lost him during his activation. As 17m was clearly working I spotted myself, and amazingly after calling CQ a few times and getting nothing @AC1Z Bob moved to my frequency and with headphones in I was able to work him, copying signal report and summit reference W1/NL-022 correctly. It’s been a while since I’ve had a transatlantic S2S, so this was a special contact for me.

M0NOM/P G/LD-024 Summit to Summit AC1Z/P W1/NL-022 17 metres CW

My last contact was on the handheld, responding to G4BEE/P in his car 2 miles North of Chorley. Had a very nice chat with Ray, it was good to hear someone calling CQ /P.

Thanks to all the chasers. All photos here


Hi Mark, thanks for your great report and photos. What was the temperature at the site, noting that individuals were rugged up at top half and wearing shorts! Was interested your kit details too. Clearly you had a good activation!

73 de Geoff vk3sq

Hi Geoff, temperature was fairly warm for the Lake District given that we had some wind on the summit, probably about 15 degC. However, it could have been very different being in cloud for four hours! I always take a few layers, a waterproof jacket, puffer jacket and hat and gloves, but fortunately although I wore the puffer for a while it wasn’t needed in the end to stay warm.

Radio kit included a Manfrotto Tripod for the Arrow Alaskan 4 element 2m (and 10 element 70cm) antenna with a guying kit, FT1XD handheld with RH7700 telescopic whip, Super Antenna MP1 with 20/30/40m counterpoise and no loading coils and FT-817 with 3 cell LifePo4 battery. For RAYNET I also take a LifeSystems thermal blanket and Bothy Bag, I also had a waterproof tarpaulin which I didn’t use.

The weather conditions improved throughout the afternoon, it was a very pleasant evening as I descended at around 7:30pm - anyone with a camera around 9pm would have had some wonderful photos of the sunset.

Regards, Mark


Hi Mark, thanks for that, cheers

73 de Geoff vk3sq

That’s an impressive result for the MP1. I’ve been tempted to get one but initially I was looking for something I could use from our campervan on sites, where stringing a wire risks garroting a few children, which isn’t universally popular. But clearly it works very well on a summit. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the DX S2S! They are rare! Bob AC1Z


Garotting children or the MP1?


I forgot to mention, I was using a KX2 with 10 watts to a trail friendly End Fed antenna. Thanks again for the S2S DX! Bob AC1Z


Good to hear you on yesterday evening Mark, cheers for info on Pike of Blisco. going to activate it next time im in LD. Ended up doing High Street G/LD-011 from Mardale Head on Haweswater. was hoping to get ‘PoB’ in after but i was broken from the scrambling back down to the carpark.

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Hello again Mark

I always thought orally in the spoken word that Pike o’Blisco sounds so much better than Pike of Blisco as written on OS maps. As a Cumbrian resident what do you think?

73 Phil

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