School boy error on first hf activation

After todays complete disaster activating my first Hf summit I feel I owe an apology and some sort of explantion though there are no excuses to hide behind as I am an experienced operator but it goes to show we can all make a mess of it.

My xyl has her cousin over on holiday fro Canada at the moment and decided that they wanted to go to Edinburgh for a couple of days including an overnight stay and I was nominated the driver to take them from the home qth to Edinburgh, so I though a nice small detour on way back to catch a nice easy sota summit Job done!. Thinking is one thing putting it into practice is another, I have a small rucksack to which I kept all my HF sota gear in for a number of years (and never used it) so today was the day, That was till I came home from my usual morning swim and my wife had emptied the rucksack and gave it to her cousin not a problem I think Cairnpapple must be one of the easiest sota summits in Scotland being only 5 minutes walk from the road I’ll just throw the kit into a shopping bag job done.

After dropping the entrpid tourists at the outskirts of Edinburgh to get a tram and save me fighting in the horrendus traffic job done or so I thought. I arrived at the parking spot and grabbed my gear got to the trig point/Summit got set up in 15mins 6 mt Tactical pole and sotabeams bandhopper and it all went downhill from there I had intended to fix the pole to the trig point I had only brought 1 bungee not only I forgot to lift a notepad but also my reading glasses disater unfolding beneath my very eyes that I could not see anything with. I thought I’ll record the qso’s with my phone but to no avail I could not make out the icons. The trig point had a hole in it so I jammed the pole in that and the antenna was up I decided to carry on and just ask stations to contact me and I would fill in my log retrospectively no point in wasting the day completely.

I started on 7mhz and thought something was wrong with my set up as there was no noise I am used to a constant S5-7 at the home qth luckly I could see stations on the 705’s waterfall and conditions were good I worked aproximately 12 stations on 7mhz all good signals and then it went quiet so I moved to 20 and it was much the same there aswell Countries worked were in no particulars band or order were Norway, Poland,Germany,Spain, England Wales and Scotland I can remember some of the big hitters who I normally compete with for chaser points and I will pick up the contacts from their logs for anyone else who needs the point contact myself. I thank all who contacted me on my first HF activationwith hopefully more to come ( nice easy ones only).

The moral of this story is I had a lot of thoughts and did a lot of thinking but forgot the 6p principle, Proper Preperation Prevents P**s Poor Performance . lesson learned the had way make a list and check it!!!


My favourite is “Failing to plan is planning to fail” :grinning:

Thanks for sharing your story. It’s too easy to understimate the importance of planning a SOTA activation. Many of us have done it in the past…


Or from boxing “Everyone has a plan until they get punched on the nose”



:yum: planning is good, but there is also satisfaction in making it work against the odds!

Any chasers who worked you will get the points whether you log it or not, and as long as you can muster up at least four known QSOs, you’ll get the points too, so all good :+1:


The 6P principle is fine, but it is sometimes doomed to failure. It will happen!

I thought you were doing absolutely fine Brian and I hope that you enjoyed the activation. I certainly enjoyed our 40m contact at 11:00z. If you are planning to submit an activation entry, the way to see who you worked that wants the chase is to put in a temporary activation log (I think you only need one entry) and then check the “who worked me” tab. It could take a while to pick up all the chasers of course (best get mine on :wink:). Thankfully I’ve never had to use this method, but with failing eyesight commensurate with age, I’m sure it will come into play one day.

73, Gerald

(7.180MHz, your report 57, mine 59)


hello dear brian vy thanks for the qso on cairnpapple hill
the qso data 14,280 mhz 11:45 59 ssb with oe6gnd
hope that will help you in your trouble hihi…

hope catch you soon again
73 de gerhard oe6gnd

Doesn’t the IC-705 have a built in voice recorder so you could record the activation and write up the log later? :wink:
I’ve done this several times on my FT-3D in poor weather.
You can also make a note on a mobile phone and sort it out later.

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Good Effort! I’ve forgotten the odd thing on occasion, however you seem to have forgotten everything. :rofl:

At least you made it work. Fingers crossed the Chasers email you :crossed_fingers:

Using the voice recorder in your phone could have made your life easier?


Ive been known to send contacts by text message/whatsapp to the wife if i have forgotten a pen and a bit of paper! :rofl: :rofl:

Anyhow, well done for making it work! hope you get the 4 required and manage a log of some sort…

Cheers - Alan


Strapping masts to trig points, or inserting them into trig points, is not recommended anyway IMO.

It can be seen as somewhat antisocial, certainly on the busier/more popular summits. Much better - and lighter - to make yourself a little guying kit then you can always set up without relying on a support in the AZ, and be away from the parts of the summit popular with other walkers.