Just a quick report of a holiday activation, which is my first in a few weeks and was in really nice weather with views across the North Sea.
Ros castle is only a short walk off the minor road nearby, but the biggest challenge when activating it is the state of the access road which if more like a forestry track or much of its length. We were in a pickup so just bounced nicely over the potholes, but in anything low slung I would expect would stand a good chance of expensive bits being left behind in the road. (This is the road between North Charlton and the summit)
Anyway having bounced along the road we (Daughter, Dogs and myself) set off up the short path to the summit. This is my third activation, but this is the only one when we had the summit to ourselves. Given that there was no sign of anyone else I unusually just stuck the mast in the hole on the top of the trig point. Not only that but there was a bench to sit on!
2m didn’t result in a single response (Do i need to check the antenna?) so I moved to 40m. After a couple of minutes when I thought I was going to struggle qualifying the summit a pile-up appeared. I must apologize to the WAB chasers for not knowing the square, and then for mixing up the trig point number. I read out the one stamped on the OS badge on the side of the trig.
At this point I should explain that I had already walked the dogs miles this morning along the beach and I was hoping this would result in silence, instead of which Woody managed what felt like an additional 10dB. I’m not sure if it is DQRM, but it does have the effect of slowing my thinking down quite a lot so apologies the WAB chasers for any confusion.
After working everyone I could hear on 40m ( all good signals with a bit of QSB) I was going to move to 20m, but as trying 15m with a linked dipole dos not involve changing the antenna I tried 15 working a few stations in Europe. Out of curiosity I switched to 10 to immediately hear an American QRO station calling CQ DX, so I changed the links on the dipole and jumped into 10m where I worked half a dozen stations in the Midwest running 10w SSB from a linked dipole. Unfortunately I’m not available for the transatlantic S2S session this weekend, but if the conditions are as good on Saturday it will be a good weekend.
Thanks again to all the chasers and apologies or the (Dog) DQRM. 73. Paul. ( Picture of trig point below for WAB chasers)
Shame I missed you for a complete We were out doing the bi-weekly shop…
We activated the summit on holiday earlier in the year, whereupon I discovered that I had the FT-817/pole/antenna but no microphone. So I had to resort to the handy on 2M with telescopic antenna. It was hard work to get 5 contacts !
At the end of August I activated The Cheviot G/SB-001 and on my way back to the holiday home stopped at Ros Castle. Unfortunately my EFHW transformer had broken on The Cheviot so I had to resort to 2m FM. I only managed 3 contacts so didn’t get the point. So I’m not surprised you struggled.
This was my favourite summit when I was fit enough, making 6 activations first in 2005 and last in 2011. In 2005 I was using a Sotabeams 2m 3 ele beam and netted 12 contacts rotating it to make QSOs so 2m is possible. I will try and give a contact from home to anyone I know activating it but I am not good at tracking Sotawatch.
Thanks for all the responses, it is indeed a lovely summit which I believe was also a favorite of Earl Grey so we are in good company….
Rick/Richard - I’ve not yet forgotten the mast but I did leave the antenna at home when I last did Ingleborough which seemed to work with a handheld and a whip… 2m FM from Ros Castle probably isn’t going to be easy mid week…but I’m still going to check the antenna… I’ll be back next year…
Tom - really pleased to work across the pond running 10w SSB from a dipole - conditions were very good (both weather and propagation) It is now blowing a gale and raining so pleased I got out yesterday!
Jim - Thanks for the comments and the SB website which encouraged me to activate all the SB summits
Andy - absolutely agree a fine gem of a summit
Robert - Thanks for the activations and I’m sure you have added to my complete score…
Finally just entered the log. My current method is a rite in the rain paper log, then when somewhere drier I use HAMRS (IOS) to enter the log and upload to the database which is fairly easy on the iPhone. When at home I’ll add it to the main log (MacloggerDX on a Mac)
As a Ham living some 20 miles south of Ross Castle I have to say that use of the 2m band in the county of Northumberland has collapsed in recent years. It does not surprise me that it is difficult to qualify some G/SB summits on 2m. I can only suggests that if 2m activation is your desire, up your RF power to 40 or 50 Watts and use a beam or an aerial at perhaps 20 ft agl.
I have been activating trig points in Northumberland over the summer with 40Watts and and an end fed 2 m dipole in the rucksack. This has provided the desired contacts, however most of those contacts have been outwith Northumberland.
Ros Castle is a super little hill with an excellent take off to the States. I used it a few years ago for the Teans-Atlantic S2S event when the weather was rough up in Scotland and was not disappointed. The short ascent / descent was particularly helpful as it was November and I was carrying loads of kit in the dark. Around 10 minutes to the car if I recall correctly.