Scotland fm activation


Pedantry warning… good point but not necessarily… The “activator” could be below the actual summit, but still within the AZ, resulting in a lesser difference in altitude. So long as the “chaser” is outside the AZ so that he is actually a chaser :wink:

Indeed Paul. But the case where 26m most likely would be used is an activator at the summit itself and the chase outside the AZ. :sunny: Otherwise a few centimetres would do if you could be sure of the AZ-25m limit. :sunny:

Absolutely Andy, no argument with that :slight_smile:

Interesting thought, if two of you went to, for instance, Muncaster Fell, G/LD-059 you could theoretically walk out of the AZ and chase your companion left back on LD-059 from a point above him :wink:

Don’t worry guys we thought of that :slight_smile:

He originally was about 5 metres down before I pointed out the mistake, at which point I think he ran, basically, a third of the way back down.

It was quite something to behold.

Mark did catch my faux pas. I thought the summit was higher. I chased Mark first and at the end he went down and chased me.

Thanks for contacts today on Ben Lawers. It was icy up there and quite windy but it was everything I hoped it would be. I contacted four portable stations out of seven contacts if my memory is correct and heard another. You have a good thing going here. I’ve never contacted more than maybe three or four portable stations on HF and that includes running pile ups. I enjoyed learning where operators were and brief talks. I didn’t expand beyond Ben Lawers to do some small hikes with my wife and drove to different towns. She did get to the summit to my surprise after she told me to go ahead.

I’m tempted to still try Scheihallion tomorrow but probably won’t go avoid wet gear for the trip home. Thanks all. It has been great.

Mark I saw the photo and it isn’t any good. That was taken when she descended the mountain and all you can see is people on the summit and it’s grainy. Sorry.

Sad face :frowning:

Schiehallion is lovely.

Hi Brent

Thanks for the chase of Ben Lawers yesterday. I was on the side of a wee hill called Ballageich Hill 57 miles south of you, about 10 south of Glasgow city centre. Chilly where I was but didn’t have a jacket with me, so just tee-shirt and jumper! But I was only 1 minute from car.

A tad different to Texas wx I presume!! :sunglasses:

Anyhoo, you did well for the short time on the summit, in these parts we try our hardest to get the chase of the summit - not so the activator can get it qualified but just so we get our chaser points!!! You understand of course :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Hope you have enjoyed your trip to the best country in the world, Scotland. Safe trip home.

73 Neil

I aborted the Scheihallion due to the incoming storm and more significantly I think my wife really wouldn’t have enjoyed it. She thought Ben Lawers was desolate. She had heard about Ben Veackie from her tour guide as a great hike and it was right by where we stayed.

Ben Vrackie was a unique hike. The strong winds came in as we approached the summit and the rain started after setting up the vertical ground plane antenna. My wife appreciated the trees and hills around so it was the correct call. Thanks to the chasers and Ken and Gavin for the second summit contacts. I hastily packed up. I’m sure I sounded unusual with the runny nose and shivers but I’m really happy to activate the third summit. The weather is a real challenge with the very strong cold winds. I learned some new things that are going home with me about different operating conditions.

We mixed in hikes to waterfalls which my wife loved and it has been quite a nice trip.

Neil that was a nice contact on the handheld. I didn’t stay long in any of the summits. Frankly I didn’t bring enough clothing for it. I didn’t realize temps would be 30s on the summits with regular gusts of 30-40 mph but I also didn’t have space in the luggage. We made do.

Thanks all.


Hello Brent,

Just confirming our contact from myself at Edinburgh Castle to you on Ben Vrackie, near Pitlochry. I was using 2.5 watts on a small handie radio. I heard you very clear and you were 5 and 9 Brent.

Reading the posts people have put here about Historic Scotland and access to Arthurs Seat. I spent 3 hours in the company of Historic Scotland with Matt and Ben this Sunday. Matt is based in the Park as a conservationist. I spoke to Matt about amateur radio and the value it has as a hobby and how little damage it would do to the park. He was very positive about the hobby. I don`t see any problem with licenced radio hams getting access to the Crown Property location of Arthurs seat. Handies on VHF/UHF are probably a lot safer for health and safety reasons than a full blown portable HF setup.

Historic Scotland membership gives you free entry to all of our staffed attractions and over 400 spectacular daytime events. they are always looking for volunteers to cut back the broom so it has windbrakes on arthurs seat and it would be a good way of Hams giving something back if you ever fancy a wee hour or two of that? :grinning:

Charles Kennedy, succeeded his dad Lord David as Marquess of Ailsa 23 years ago. He took over a £25million, 10,000-acre estate including the famous island of Ailsa Craig. However he recently passed away a few years ago in 2015 I think so the title now resides with his brother David His brother, farmer David Kennedy, 56, becomes the ninth marquess.
Possible access might be googled under Cassillis Estate, Maybole if it was not sold on or even quicker Market Inn ,ayr manager Billy Thomson might be easier to get quick access to his brother David Kennedy.

I have been over to Paddys milestone two years ago and never had any issues with the boat staff and I let them know I had radio equipment as personal cargo.
He leaves two daughters, Lady Rosemary, 35, and Lady Alicia-Jane, 33, and his two grandsons, Angus and Fraser.

His brother, farmer David Kennedy becomes the ninth marquess…

David Thomas Kennedy was born on 3 July 1958, the younger son of Archibald Kennedy, 7th Marquess of Ailsa. Lord Ailsa is the younger brother of Archibald Kennedy, 8th Marquess of Ailsa, whom he succeeded after his death in January 2015 He hit the news in 2015 after applying for planning permission to build eight large wind turbines within sight of Culzean Castle, a scheme which was opposed by Donald Trump, owner of the nearby Ailsa golf course. At the end of April, Ailsa withdrew his application.

Before inheriting the title and estates, David had a farm near Maybole in Ayrshire.

Thanks for the info Vic, I knew most of it already just the last few years as I haven’t bothered keeping up with “my local” news.
The boat men have permission but you don’t need permission to land only for certain parts and even that is getting lost in mist as the years go by. The RSPB also have a say on what happens on the island.
I’ve been many times, even paddled over in a sea canoe about 40 years ago. I organised a SOTA/family trip a few years ago and I can honestly say that was the first time I had ever paid to get there. Usually a mate with his fishing vessel took us over for the price of a pint and a burger but sadly he passed away several years ago so the trips stopped. We went most years for a long time.
Ailsa Craig, we don’t call it Paddy’s Milestone here, is the first thing I see out my bedroom window every morning - unless it’s raining, like today!!

I’m planning a trip to Scotland myself, going to visit family in Dundee in November. I’m used to activating in winter conditions in Central Europe. I am thinking of taking my QRP HF rig and activate everal hills around Dundee: Craigowl Hill, King’s seat…how do I find out whether I need a permission? (permission to walk there and set up a temporary radio station of the fishing pole kind)

Scotland has very free laws regarding land access. You can go almost anywhere as long as it is not someone’s garden or business premises.

Craigowl is easy. There is a car park and lots of tracks through the woods and over the hills. A nice walk and some nice coastal views. There are 3 or 4 towers at the summit with plenty of microwave dishes and what look like ATC radio antennas. I did it on HF and there was no noise / interference problems from all the transmitters. You can also walk up the radio station access road but that is boring compared with the walk through the woods.

©Crown copyright 2018 Ordnance Survey. Media 032/18

Kings Seat is easy but is harder to find somewhere to park. I happened to meet the farmer who let me park in his farmyard. I followed the track from his farm and went straight up the steep bank. Easy, once parking was sorted.

©Crown copyright 2018 Ordnance Survey. Media 032/18

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Thanks a bunch! That’s much more valuable info that I originally expected! Originally I thought I could do with public transport, but I think I’ll try and rent a car.

I recommend renting a car. It really opened up the country and was a delight to explore. Many places we were the only people there. I did not travel to the area you are visiting but sounds great.

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Caroline and I used the parking for Dunsinane Hill at NO 306382 and took the route over Dunsinane and Black Hills. Obviously a lot longer than your direct route but arguably more interesting. In fact we made an 8km circular walk of it and still had time to do Craigowl afterwards.

GPS track for the day (which will include the driving) available on request.

Martyn M1MAJ

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It makes no difference when you can see no more than 50 metres at most! Paul and I used the road for simplicity.

With regards to King’s Seat, we ascended from the west-north-west. Parked on a wide verge close to the intersection of the minor roads. Thankfully by then, the weather had improved significantly. A very pleasant summit.

©Crown copyright 2018 Ordnance Survey. Media 032/18

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Thanks everybody, I’ve successfuly activated King’s Seat and Craigowl Hill. For Craigowl Hill I used the Balkello Woodland parking place and took a pretty much direct route from there. For King’s Seat I parked at a road bend near Collace (place for 2-3 cars) and walked up to Dunsinane. Then I followed the ridge to King’s Seat. The website was also very helpful - lots of funny reports of grumpy farmers. Driving on the left was ok once I got used to it. I just kept banging my right hand against the door whenever I was going to shift for the first couple of hours. No contacts on VHF/UHF, but lots of contacts on HF. The repeaters in Dundee (2m+70cm) were totally deserted for the whole 4 days I was there. Thanks for the heads up, I loved the trip!

Parking at Dunsinane Hill:

From Balkello Woods to Craigowl Hill

Craigowl Hill summit

The view of Black Hill from Dunsinane

King’s Seat

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Ha ha, memories of days driving rental cars in Greece. - my left hand of course. Bizarrely it never happened when I got back home and drove my own vehicle. Obviously the switch back to normality was easier than the departure from it. :wink:

It looks like the trig on King’s Seat needs another coat of white paint. I almost needed sunglasses when I activated it. Funny how such things stick in one’s mind…

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