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RSGB Christmas Cumulatives

For any activators in the UK, (or further afield if we get some good sporadic E) the annual series of RSGB Christmas cumulative contests take place over the 26th, 27th, 28th & 29th December. These are short 2 hour sessions between 14:00 & 16:00utc each day.

This may be of interest to SOTA activators as the bands used are 6m, 4m, 2m, & 70cms, some of which can be very quiet at other times. Many of the stations taking part will be operating on more than one band, or even all four bands at once, & as the scoring is on a per QSO basis, stations will be more than happy to work you any of the other bands after you have made contact with them. For example, if you had a QSO with a contest station on 144MHz SSB, a second QSO with the same station on 432MHz SSB would count as a separate QSO for them & hence an extra point.

For the activator of course, it would not count as a separate QSO for SOTA purposes, but it would give them the opportunity to try other bands that they not normally use, or have tried & found to be very quiet.

Most activity seems to be on 144MHz SSB, although all modes are permitted & FM has been used quite successfully on the 4m band.

Of course, at this time of year you may not wish to carry extra equipment up a summit, but your chances of making contact on the normally quiet bands is drastically improved if you do make the effort.

And of course, you could always use the opportunity to give your VHF gear a good test before the VHF fun day on 3rd January :wink:

In any case I hope you all have a Merry Christmas & a very Happy & healthy 2010.


Mark G0VOF

Having a go at these this year Mark. Didn’t manage the first one yesterday, due to going to the Boxing Day football match, but hope to be QRV from G/SP-015 this afternoon, tomorrow, and Tuesday.

Jimmy M0HGY did the first one from home yesterday but found activity quite low. Hopefully, the addition of a SOTA activation to chase on 3 bands will drum up a bit more interest!

The contests run simultaneously on 4 bands - 6m, 4m, 2m, 70cm. I don’t have 4m, but will be QRV on the other three. In a 2 hour contest, I’m not sure how many band changes I’ll get through or how it will go. My prediction is that I will start on 6m, then go to 2m, then to 70cm. After that I expect I will focus on whichever is the more fruitful out of 6m and 2m. But I don’t really know, having never done this contest before.

I won’t be doing any self-spotting, obviously, with it being a contest, but hope that the chasers are all able to find me on all three bands. Exchange is report, serial number & locator.

I found activity very low yesterday too, conditions to the East from IO81 were not good, but to the North / North West were ok at times. I worked only 7 stations on 2m SSB with 2 x GM, GD, three locals and one other to the east. 6m was no better with only 6 stations worked and I only worked 3 on 70cm.


It was quite good fun. Conditions were average, activity reasonable, albeit only half what I’m used to on a Tuesday night, and the rain held off.

I walked up to the summit, erected the mast and guyed it and opened up the red SOTAbeams bag to pull out the SB6. However, what I pulled out was Jimmy’s MFD, which is in an identical bag. Epic fail.

So I packed everything back up again, descended, swapped bags, climbed the hill for a second time and set up again. Quite remarkably, I still managed to make the event start time of 1400 UTC. Several times I was asked to QSY to another band to work a station again, which appears to be the norm in this 4 band (6m-4m-2m-70cm) event, but I had to explain that I was a portable station and would have to physically change antennas to do this.

As it was, I did 1400-1425 on 6m, 1425 to 1525 on 2m, 1525 to 1540 on 70cm and the remainder back on 6m again. I shall probably switch that around for this afternoon, going in the order 2m - 70cm - 6m - 2m.

My results were:
6m: 10 QSOs, 7 mults (G + IO81, 82, 83, 91, 93, JO02) = 70 points
2m: 24 QSOs, 16 mults (G, GW, GM, F + IN99, IO73, 75, 80, 82, 83, 85, 86, 91, 92, 93, JO01) = 384 points
70cm: 4 QSOs, 3 mults (G + IO81, 83) = 12 points

So 466 points to take into the 3rd session of this 4 session series today. An entrant’s best 3 of the 4 events is what constitutes their final score, but as I missed the Boxing Day session to go to the footy, all mine will have to count.

I think the only known SOTA chaser I worked was my son Jimmy M0HGY. It would be nice to get a few more in the log today. I may venture onto FM to try to boost the 2m score with it being 1 point per QSO as opposed to distance points. However, the danger then of course is getting the uniques disqualified from the submitted log if those stations only appear in my log and no others. I may have a gamble on it if I have time.

Hi Tom,

I’ve been a bit tied up the past few days but managed to get on for the last thirty minutes of today’s session, but only on 70MHz. With new LED streetlights my noise level after dark on 50MHz has dropped significantly & I wanted to see if the same was true on 70MHz. I also have new neighbours so I need to keep an ear out for any new noise sources, of which I have found one, although I believe that is coming from my neighbour in the other direction who has been there for many years.

I did listen on 50MHz but found nobody apart from one station who I heard on 70MHz asking another station to QSY to that band.You will find that if you are any easy copy or good distance contact you will be asked what other bands you have. In previous years I have operated on 3 bands simultaneously from home but as you will gather from my entry today being my first this year, today I was only active on 4m.

If I have time tomorrow I may set up for 6m & 4m but as the new noise source is discrete & quite clean carriers every 30KHz or so from 2MHz to 440MHz (probably beyond) I do need a radio with a notch filter to operate properly on SSB, which my FT897 (for 50MHz) has but my FT817 (driving my 70MHz Transverter) does not.

Incidentally, I made three contacts on 70MHz today (15 points), all SSB although one station did answer one of my CW calls on phone so I worked him on phone.

73 es HNY,

Mark G0VOF

Today I kicked off with 7 quickfire 2m FM contacts in the 5 minutes before the contest start time. In the contest, my order today was 2m - 70cm - 6m - 2m. I still had several contesters requesting QSYs to other bands. I had to explain (again) that I was a portable station that needed to take an antenna down and put another up in order to do that.

The results today were:
6m: 5 QSOs, 5 mults (G, GW + IO81, 83, 91) = 25 points
2m: 37 QSOs, 21 mults (G, GD, GI, GW, GM, F + IN99, IO64, 73, 74, 75, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 91, 92, 93, JO01) = 777 points
70cm: 4 QSOs, 5 mults (G, GD, GW + IO74, 83) = 20 points

Strategy for the fourth and final session tomorrow is as yet undecided.

Even some ‘fixed’ stations I heard were doing one band at a time or even only 1 band a day.

Well done so far - it’s hard work doing /P on 3 or 4 bands even when you can operate by the car and get all the Antenna’s up at once (as I did almost entirely on my own in 2006, 2007 and 2008).