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Recent (and not so recent) grumbles

Hi All,

On several occasions over the past few months there have been grumbles from certain quarters about a lack of 2m voice activations. Well, from an activators point of view, I must say that I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of stations to work on 2m SSB on Saturday, despite 5 fairly rare MW summits being on offer. Had it not been for stalwarts such as G4JZF, G0NES, G3RMD, G4MD and G0RQL, I could have failed to qualify the first couple of summits on 2m. It is not as though I run 5 watts to a quarter wave and those I did work were at a good strength. Paul G4MD was also out portable on 3 summitsat the same time as I was, so there was a reasonable amount going on. So no more grumbles please - and when the opportunity is offered, take advantage of it.

On a similar subject, if anyone is wondering what happened to my HF operations, I worked just 5 stations on 10.116MHz CW on the first summit and then had no response to my CQ calls on the next two. I did not have time on my fourth summit to activate the band and by the time I was on my fifth summit I decided to extend my operation time and test out my 432MHz SOTA equipment instead. Apologies if anyone was looking for me on those two. Looking at the spots record, I see that most of the action was on 7MHz CW anyway.

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:

Morning Gerald,

Firstly thanks for the two s2s’s on Saturday, and apologies for missing you from Caeliber Isaf - looking at the spots and my log we must only have missed each other by 10 minutes! I did try calling on 144.333 “on the off chance” before I left the summit, but family commitments were calling and I couldn’t afford to wait.

I’d second your comments, virtually all my contacts were with those I think of as the “patron saints” of activators, I got a maximum of six QSO’s per summit despite operating for around 40 minutes from each, including making a point of calling to the North!

Not daunted, I hope to be out next Saturday to finish off the four WB’s I still have to activate, I’ll be using 2m ssb but will take 60m along just in case…

Hope to catch you again soon

73 de Paul G4MD

In reply to G4MD:

Hi Paul,

Thanks to you also for the S2S contacts. I had a slight problem getting to Carneddau which I will report on in due course, but I was only 5 minutes late activating the summit. I could copy you and I called you on 144.310 on the way up using the FM handie to say I was almost there, but couldn’t raise you. Pity, but that’s how it is. The 817 was in the middle of the sack, so it would have been wasteful timewise to stop and get it out to call you on SSB.

I was told you’d had a bit of a struggle on Heath Mynd. I only had 5 2m SSB QSOs on my first summit, 4 on the second, 11 on the third, 9 on the fourth and 9 on the fifth, the last two including a couple of contest stations that called me. Time was when I used to make 12 to 15 as a typical tally. Even 5MHz was down, averaging 7 per summit. Not merely a case of “where are the activators?”, it was a case of “where are the chasers?”…

All the best for next Saturday. Not sure what I’ll be doing as family commitments loom large.

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:

Re problem.

I found the TomTom was rather odd in that area. I recall drivng round in ever decreasing circles getting to the The Begwyns…



In reply to G3CWI:

No problem Richard - Sally took me straight there. It was Carneddau I had problems with… and not with Sally, but with the near-GOML farmer. A first for me, I must say.

The Satnav did announce arrival early at Carneddau and The Begwns, but just looking at the display showed there was still a distance to go, so maybe that’s what happened when I had that problem at Garreg-hir. A case of “Do what I’m showing you, not do as I say!”

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:

Hi Gerald, it was great to work you on all 5 summits on Saturday, but the fact that it was all on 5mHz pretty much says it all. Basically if I can hear you I will try to work you and the same goes for most serious chasers. There were quite a lot of stations out who might have provided S2S contacts and it is a pity you missed each other. I think the problem in mid-Wales is that in general the locals don’t use 2m because they cannot get a signal out of the valleys and mobile rigs these days tend to be FM only. The vast majority of SOTA activity seems to emanate from the North West UK and the North Wales terrain blocks the signals to most of the Mid and South Wales summits on 2m.
Under flat conditions it is quite easy to work into EU on 2m ssb from some of our 2 point local hills simply because there is not much higher in the way, I do not think that is the case for most Mid-Wales summits.

Regards Steve GW7AAV

In reply to GW7AAV:

I take your point Steve and it is very much true for you in the shadow of the hills down in Connah’s Quay. However, it doesn’t explain why I was able to hear the Angus beacon on all 5 summits, yet not raise anyone further afield, with the exception of Mick HJD from one hill - 58 both ways!. From the Begwyns I worked a GM in IO74 at 59 both ways on 70cms and another in IO84 at 57 both ways. It can be done.

The basis of my post really was to say, don’t blame the activators… chasers are thin on the ground as well!

73 es thanks for the QSOs, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:

I can only echo Steve, GW7AAVs posting 100% Gerald. If I can hear them, I want them, irrespective of band/mode, hi.

Thanks for the MW summits, Gerald.

There is no doubt about it, that unfortunately, 2m is on the decline for sota use, I have noticed the decline even in the short time that I have been involved with sota.
This decline was one of the reasons which gave me the idea of the Fun Evenings, to try and show people the benefits of 2m sota activity, hence the first hour on Fun Evenings being purely 2m activity.

I activated NW-062 again last night and although I had alerted with plenty of notice, I still only managed approx eight QSOs and this from a summit with line of sight to 90% of the North of England and even as far as South West GM.

Is it any surprise that there is a increasing trend towards 60-ssb and 40-cw only activations?

Anyway, I for one will be there looking for you on your next round of activations on all bands.

73 Mike GW0DSP

In reply to GW0DSP:

Hi Mike,

Yes it is a pity that 2m operation is in decline. I will continue to champion the band on my SOTA activations and we’ll see how it goes. If needs be I’ll have to take the big linear and 12AH battery - I do intend to qualify summits on 2m, as indeed do Richard G4ERP and others.

As for 60-ssb and 40-cw, I agree that this appears to be how it is going. I have come to the conclusion that it is 100% essential to post oneself for 30m cw since everyone’s receiver is tuned to 7.032. Similarly, I would expect to have no response to a call on 5.3665 since everyone is monitoring 5.3985.

73 and thanks also for the QSOs on Saturday, Gerald

I personally think that your analysis of the trend is a week out of date. What you describe about increasing 40m CW activity and decreasing 2m FM/SSB activity WAS true, but over the past few days, I have found 40m CW response to be well down, and 2m FM/SSB response to be well up.

So I can only conclude that 2m is back for good and 40m is in terminal decline.

In reply to M1EYP:

I personally think that your analysis of the trend is a week out of
date. What you describe about increasing 40m CW activity and
decreasing 2m FM/SSB activity WAS true, but over the past few days, I
have found 40m CW response to be well down, and 2m FM/SSB response to
be well up.

So I can only conclude that 2m is back for good and 40m is in terminal

What? hi, I think I need a crate of that " Bosley Cloud" that you must have been on, hi.

73 Mike

In reply to G4OIG:

I’ve also noticed a decline in the use of 2m SSB of late. I know it’s been reported elswhere on the reflector that “2M SSB is quiet in the North East”, but I had difficulties making any contacts on SSB, on Sunday gone (8th July, from SB007)…and there was a fair bit of SSB activity due to the contests. There haven’t been anything like the usual number of 2m SSB ‘spots’ either.

I suspect Sunday last was a power issue. I was initially running 2 1/2 then 5 watts from my FT817. In future I will take a small linear - I had much more success last year using 20 - 25 watts, from my FT897. Either way I’ll just have to carry more batteries.

I prefer to try and get the longer range contacts, as I realise that SB summits are somewhat rare, compared to many others.

Come to think of it, I forgot to post an alert as well, so that wouldn’t help!

Interestingly enough though, using the same antenna, and 2 1/2 watts FM, I had plenty of contacts… This may be just a ‘North East’ thing, but I have to admit that I’ve had more success with 2M FM, from SBs than anything else

Having said that, I’ve never tried working/activating HF, so I suppose I’m loosing out.

73s All

Rob (G1TPO)

In reply to G1TPO:

Hi Rob,

Yes, I would always use a small linear from Tosson. A good distance can be worked from there and several of the other SB’s, but an alert and / or spot from the summit is essential. I failed to self-spot on Long Crag and only worked a few locals on FM as a result. My mobile phone service provider wasn’t interested in my claim for damages, Hi!

73, Gerald