I’ve just called @M6BWA up on top of Allermuir Hill GM/SS-171 for my first ever 70cms chase. 5 Watts, from a HT with a Diamond antenna, from a ground floor tenement flat riight in the centre of Edinburgh, surrounded by other tenement flats but with a little sliver of path up to the Pentlands from the back garden.
By the end of it I had to stand on my living room window sill speaking into the HT high in the air to make sure Viki could copy my entire callsign, and when she gave me a 3/1 report I had to credit both of our patience. I nearly fell off the table coming back down, but it was worth it for my first 70cms activation. Wish I had caught her earlier on 2M.
And it got me thinking, what is the maddest thing you’ve ever done for a QSO?
Edit: It goes without saying that I am an idiot and you should not do what I did, at least not without ladders and three points of contact.
A QSO isn’t worth falling off something, not even on 70cms.
I once made a cross-mode 1296MHz contact with an Alinco HT and a 10el WA5VJB Cheap Yagi. The direct path to the chaser wasn’t working, but I could hear him by reflecting off Mount Rainier - the direction his dish was fixed. He couldn’t copy my 1W of FM, but I keyed the HT QRS like a sad straight key and he could copy my CW for callsign and grid square. That was silly to a degree - not life threatening certainly, but CW from a HT?
Yeah, not big on the danger stakes, but I love the quick-thinking and the effort to make the QSO work.
Climbed a tree whilst dragging a roll-up J-pole using my teeth, and an HT in my pocket. Success. Wondered later if I should have an orthopedist on retainer.
I’m not sure this qualifies as ‘silly’, but certainly qualifies as desperate.
One winter activation on G/LD-001 (Scafell Pike)in the Lakes, I was just about to send CQ on my newly wired ex British Army key, when I accidentally pulled one of the wires out of the key. I had no alum key to remove the cover either.
The only thing I could think of doing to recover the situation was to also pull the remaining wire from the key and then hold one bare wire like a pen in forefinger and press it against the other bare wire held down firmly by my free hand.
My morse wasn’t brilliant, but I managed the activation with a good few QSO’s
I also made sure that when I re-wired the key at home that I used far more robust wire and always kept the alum key fixed to the key!!
Silly, no, but perhaps I cast the net a bit narrow. That’s certainly a good story.
hmm… that’s a tough one. THE one and only most silly thing? Ask me about any non-silly thing I did.
The most stupid thing I did repeatedly (as many ops do, by the way) is worth a dedicated topic - stay tuned.
To determine if something was silly/stupid/negligent or just funny is not that easy. These are fluid boundaries. You can only tell afterwards. At the very moment you may not be aware that you’re going out on a limb…
I love spontaneous activations that will usually end in a chaos. That’s why I prefer to walk alone. I’m responsible for myself only, hence. Pushing myself into danger is stupid. Getting lost after taking supposedly short cut when I’m alone is ok. But, bringing others into dangerous situations is irresponsibly stupid.
Transferring my walking speed to other participants when planning the hike was a huge mistake. Arriving at the hut at 2200 PM, our beds yet offered to other hikers. We had to split because my son was tired. OE1WED was still outside. Hut keeper: OK, right now, that’s an emergency. ME: No, not at all, he is an experienced mountaineer, he has a torch and we have radio contact. OE1WED ran out of batteries, and he stumbled over a sleeping cow, he told me later. I wanted to help searching. The hut keeper got slightly impolite: You stay here, seeking for one idiot it enough… At breakfast I wanted to play a piece of music on the guitar as an appeasement, but he rejected. As I asked for a water source going along our upcoming hike, he wanted to sell me a bottle of water for €€€ not telling me about the well just one hour apart. I guess I should not show up at this hut within the next decades.
My wise counsels (random sequence):
Do not disassemble a fence to set up a dipole made of barbed wire, especially when it’s tensioned across a hiking path (read the rules first).
Thus, take a complete rig with you: TRX, Antenna, random cables, dedicated cables, key/mike, batteries, adapters, headphones, pencil/paper, clock, etc.
You need 4 (four) QSOs for a valid activation not (nooot) 3 (theree)
Always bring enough water with you when you do not have a pencil - piss the log in the snow and take a photo afterwards.
Do not tell your child it will take only ten minutes.
Do not erase an antenna in a thunderstorm.
Do not activate at midnight, even if you go by bike through the woods.
After your hiking boots fell apart continue barefootly if you do not have duck tape with you.
Do not leave GPS, dog leash etc. at the summit.
Do not leave your log (that you wrote lefthanded because adapter was missing and you had to hold the plain wires into the socket during QSO with your right hand) residing on the dining table when your XYL is in cleaning mood.
If you cannot find your way to the summit because of poor advancing online-research collect strawberries or mushrooms and take some photographs.
If you cannot find the summit because of fog use a GPS to figure our where you really were.
Distinguish if your local time zone is + or - UTC!! (well, just 4 hrs difference in middle EU)
Turn off repeater shift when calling simplex.
Make sure, you really are transmitting.
STOP operating when some stranger is asking you what you are doing here.
Do not disturb your XYL’s gynaecologist having intercourse when arriving at the summit.
If your companion has had a motorcycle accident some years ago (e.g. OE4JHW) and he still has some metal implants supporting his leg that will start hurting during the hike, make sure you find the one day within thirty years the fence is being repaired at the chalet and therefore all local farmers are present.
Do not walk through young forest at night with your new collapsible 2m qubical quad protruding your back pack. (right, was never found again)
Do not leave your new collapsible 2m qubical quad in the horse stable when hay delivery is announced. (You got me, nothing to do with sota)
The only place to receive and chase a 2m sota station was the dung heap, yet announcing DHOTA.
When driving several hundreds of kms to a reach a remote summit and you cannot accend because of wx always keep a plan “B” in your pocket, for it was not all useless.
Sorry, that was all truism, but it might happen surprisingly.