Scotland ES- 001, Ben McDui

Hi, looking for a bit of advice here…

I will hopefully manage to get to the summit of this one in the next few weeks and wondered if it’s worth taking a rig.

Let me explain though, there is absolutely no chance of taking a beam of any sort, no chance of HF antennas and no way I can take a SLAB, so i’m stuck with a 2m handheld and a helical antenna.

Am I likely to make the required 4 contacts from here with this equipment on an un-announced mid week activation?

I am limited to what I can carry as I will be wild camping with a party of friends and will be carrying a tent, sleeping bag, food, etc for a week, so any excess weight is definitely not welcome, and would be frowned upon by the others in the party. Is it worth carrying the handheld or is it just excess baggage ?

Any thoughts from those who have been there ?



I expect you will get your four QSOs on 2m FM from Ben Macdui GM/ES-001. If you don’t get any joy calling on 145.500MHz, try 145.575MHz - this is the Inverness chat channel and is monitored by the locals. From my experience, it is OK to stick around on that frequency as well, as opposed to QSYing, while you make your contacts, and that way you have more chance of attracting others into the log.



In reply to G8HXE:

I can second Tom’s comments but mid week and un-announced will make it harder. You might be on the second highest mountain but you are a long way from population centres.

If you contact me before you head off I can maintain a listening watch for you and then spot you once you appear; I am practically line of sight from here.

email: gm4toe “at” and I will let you have my home phone number


Barry GM4TOE

In reply to G8HXE:

Hi Keith!

I hope you have a great holiday in Scotland.

Good luck with the 2m handheld … but are you sure you MUST use a helical antenna? You could use a loaded telescopic whip and gain up to a couple of S-points advantage with virtually no added weight. They cost less than £10 from Hong Kong. The one I use is illustrated here:

but there are many others available, with a variety of connectors, so there is sure to be one that would fit your handheld.

Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to G8HXE:Hi Keith i have worked this summit and have had many failed attempts. Your equipment is fine but i agree you would need a slightly better antenna than supplied with your handheld i used an ft60e and a moonraker mrw100 antenna.Your best bet is the northern side of Ben Macdui towards Inverness but even midweek and unposted this could prove difficult most amateurs in Inverness are on 145.575 so give a call on that you do get a great coverage from up there but its the lack of callsigns in the area. Best of luck
and you never know who you might get from up there.
Andrew MM0ECU.

In reply to G8HXE:

A week in the Cairngorms, very nice :slight_smile:

In my own experience, an unannounced, mid saturday morning activiation of Ben Macdui with 1.5W into a rubber duck was a resounding failure a couple of months ago. Like you I was carrying overnight kit, although in my case only for the one night.

I did manage later to chase MM0DHY on one of the Loch Trieg munros later on and just missed GM7PKT on his summit as I was on the way down the wrong side of the mountain.

Still to stand on a snow covered summit, with wall to wall blue sky above a cloud inversion and being able to see across Scotland to Ben Nevis(in fact the Ben and the Aonachs were the only summits peaking above the clouds) put the radio firmly into second place.

Whatever you decide, enjoy.

Iain, MM3WJZ