Returning to SOTA

Caroline M3ZCB and Martyn M1MAJ have been absent from the SOTA activating scene since March 2020. At that time we had to stop for the COVID lockdown, and had to cancel 3 holidays that were booked at the time. Unfortunately family circumstances prevented us from getting away again when travel was once more permitted, until now.

In the meantime, we have both retired, me in September in 2020 and Caroline in September 2022. In principle this gives us lots of free time but somehow we seem busier than ever! We have been doing our best to keep fit by walking and cycling locally, but I fear that we are rather out of practice at climbing hills with a load.

We have booked a week in the Lake District from tomorrow, 8th Sep, followed by a long weekend near Lytham St Annes, so we hope to activate as many G/LD and G/SP summits as we can manage. There won’t be any that we haven’t activated before.

Martyn M1MAJ

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Well done.
All I can say about the fitness thing is its probably guna hurt.
If you are both hiking together maybe split up the kit among 2 back packs and share on the hill. Enjoy the comeback to SOTA and the better propagation on the higher bands.
Regards
Ian vk5cz …

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Great to have you back. Take your time and enjoy!

73, DIZ

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You obviously have not taken note of the comments made by all the other retirees on here - retire and you will never work harder :rofl:

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Totally agree Barry. It was far easier to organise an outing when I ran my own business and was working 60 hours a week. Now time just seems to evaporate!

Hopefully catch you sometime during the week… hopefully! :grinning:

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Oh it didn’t come as a surprise!

I forgot to say that we should be trackable as M1MAJ on APRS. The track points are sent from my inReach every 10 mins or so, and gatewayed into APRS on a Raspberry Pi at home.

Martyn

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Now exhausted after a successful activation of G/LD-023, an about 10 mile round trip up over Carrock Fell from “Apronfull of Stones” and back via Mosedale.
We used our normal technique of Martyn starting on HF and me on 2m FM and also trying to get 70cms contacts. Martyn only got 2 contacts on 5Mhz, but did better on 7Mhz including 2 S2S which I grabbed too. I ended up with 10 on 2m and 4 on 70cms.
Future activations depend on weather and legs!

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As the Cumberland Building Soc says Little by Little !

BTW the photo is reversed so you will not see this view of Carrock Fell in real life.

Many thanks for the two trigpoint QSOs.

73 de

Andrew G4VFL.

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Sorry I missed you Caroline. I hadn’t seen an Alert in the morning so I presumed you were having a day off. Enjoy revisiting those LD summits.

73 Allan

Ooooh. Please send details on how you have done that. Maybe a separate thread.

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Garmin (formerly DeLorme) provide an API to read the time and position of the latest trackpoint.

aprs.fi provides an API to upload a packet which can incude a position report.

I just wrote a little PERL script to glue those two APIs together. It’s mainly format conversion.

Initially I ran it on a server VM at work, but now it runs on a Raspberry Pi back at home.

Martyn

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Sorry we don’t tend to alert as our timings are usually off and sometimes we don’t decide which summit to do until on the road. As it was we were much later on the summit than I had hoped.
Today was a washout due to thunderstorms and tomorrow isn’t looking promising. Depending on forecast we may try a Mell Fell.

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Glad you’re both back; just hang in there, and do what you can!
Ready here, when you’re ready for some DX.
Best, Ken & Kay, KE7BGM

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Good to get you both from Goat Fell yesterday :+1:t3:

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Thanks for the new “complete” for both of us!

Martyn & Caroline

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Great to see you are back in business - we have missed you and hoped that you would soon be able to return and join in the ‘fun’! We too are struggling to get back fitness after only a 3+ month layoff (caused probably by overdoing it on little Scottish hills in May -and some of my problems remain) so we were only attempting small summits near Dolgellau last weekend but even those were a challenge - especially in the heat. The last hill I did on our Scottish trip was Great Mell Fell and it may have been a mistake as it is steep… and goes on a bit! I recommend the smaller one!!

Hope to get some s2s in due course but do take it gently.
73 Viki

I hadn’t noticed that you and Rod had been absent Viki - probably due to how busy I’ve been myself with work and family life. But welcome back, and great to have the S2S with you at the weekend.

Mind you, I’d not even properly spotted that Martyn and Caroline had been absent for 3.5 years - but that’s probably because I’ve been following their Cambridgeshire hikes on social media, and therefore my brain still had them as “active”.

Where does the time go? I’ve been doing SOTA for 40% of my lifetime now. Jimmy for two thirds of his! There’s a Foundation tier GCSE maths question in there somewhere… :wink:

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Indeed. I have just realised that tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of my first SOTA activation (just me, Caroline wasn’t licenced then).

Today I was finally able to do what my MG activation should have been. It was nearly 12 years ago when we got to the end of a holiday in LD with me on 990 points. We’d already done the other 2 10-pointers, so it had to be Helvellyn on our journey home. Well we did it, and I’d optimistically taken the HF gear up, but the conditions at the top were atrocious. No views at all - could barely see the trig point from the shelter (which was nevertheless occupied). It had to be a hit and run on 2m. It got me my MG, but it was otherwise a very disappointing activation.

Today’s activation of Helvellyn was much better, and we were able to stay a reasonable time and do 5 bands between us.

Martyn M1MAJ

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Just heard Caroline @M3ZCB on 70cms on G/SP-007, right in the noise, from my home QTH south of Shrewsbury - I was quite surprised to be able to hear her from 144km away (according to Google maps!), but alas she faded out and it was not enough to able to attempt a QSO. Incidentally I couldn’t hear her at all on 2m when she switched frequencies. 70cms does some wonderful things sometimes…

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Hi Caroline and Martyn
Thanks for the S2Ses today to Fair Snape Fell G/SP-007. It got me my Craig award for another 007 summit chased!
73 Richard

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