Slow CW Activation


I’m hoping to be attempting an activation of Staple Hill in Somerset today (3rd attempt to do so!), but… I want to do this one as a slow CW activation.

Still in the early stages of learning CW myself, but I’ve had several QSOs now and wanted to try and help others who need / prefer slow CW. I’ll be sending characters at about 12wpm but will leave slightly longer gaps between letters, to help operators.

I hope it helps… please don’t worry if you are not confident about your sending / listening skills. We’ll take it nice and slowly and you can take your time. I’m also happy for a QSO just to be an RST report, if that’s all you would like to do.

So, 7023.6kHz, around 13:00ish, today (28th). Please note this will be dependent on what Storm Gerrit is doing!

73s, David. G7BEH.


Hi David,
12 wpm is an adequate speed for SOTA. It was favoured by EME operators as faster speeds failed due to the rapid QSB. It’s a common speed in VK SOTA.

I hope you were successful this time.



Hello Ron,

That’s interesting… unfortunately I was not able to successfully activate the summit. I made a couple of contacts but with just 800mW or so, and a xtal rig, (Forty-9er) it was always going to be tough!

That was the third visit to G/SC-004 and third time I’ve not been able to activate it… but previous visits have been for attempts using vhf fm, RTTY and now QRPp.

Best contact was to Belgium (429km).

Best wishes,
David. G7BEH


You did activate it as you only need 1 QSO for that. You need 4 to qualify it and get the points.


Log your QSOs in the database, you won’t score points but you will be granted the ‘activations’.

73 es HNY - Don’t give up, with experience you’ll be filling your log even with QRPp!


1 Like

Hi David,
Oh that’s bad luck. You were being heard so it’s just a matter of alerting, spotting and working the like up. I have failed to get four contacts with 10 watts on occasions. In VK spotting makes a huge difference.

I have used 400 mW and worked over 1,000 km using a dipole on 7 MHz but failed to get 4 contacts too You have double the power so I expect to hear you have worked a dozen in your next outing.

Happy New Year.


1 Like

I’m back to try again! This Sunday (14th January '24) I’m hoping to be back up at G/SC-004 in the morning for another attempt at a slow CW activation.

Probably be mid- to late morning and the same ‘rules’ as last time… this one is for those that are working at 10wpm or less. Please, don’t be worried about slow sending or receiving - I’ll keep it slow (at least leaving plenty of spacing between characters to allow thinking time).

Whether you need slow CW because you are just learning, just coming back to it, have difficulty following a stroke, or whatever the reason is… there are no judgements with this.

More details to follow, as we get nearer.

Best wishes,
David. G7BEH.


What antenna are you using? With such low power it needs to be as efficient as possible.

I’ve activated Staple Hill on HF-SSB twice with 5W from my FT-817, I set up on the path to the north of the summit marked on the map with my inverted V dipole aligned along the path.

The first time I went there I did try to find the Trig point but failed, hence just using the path which is easily in the activation zone.


I might go with the uSDX+ rig (sticking with the usual EFHW) instead of the Forty-9er, and go for 20m instead of 40m.

If I can get it activated, then I may try a spot of RTTY with the uSDX+ too…

Looks like I’m still good for the 11:00ish start for the slow CW activation. I’m taking the 1/4-wave vertical for 20m as well as the EFHW, but pretty much settled on using the 1/4-wave.
Also taking the old WinXP notebook to try portable RTTY after the CW.
Looking forward to hearing some of you this morning…?
Best wishes,
David. G7BEH

Thanks to all those who made contact today. I finally activated G/SC-004 and also my first CW activation.
Cold fingers didn’t help, but that was fun. I made 11 CW contacts and 2 RTTY using 3w from my uSDX+.

Worked Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Belgium.

73s from Somerset.
David, G7BEH


I tried from Romania, but no signal here… Maybe on another occasion!

73 de Ady/YO8AZQ

Hello David @G7BEH. Many thanks for the very quiet and cozy CW QSO with you. I was very pleased. See you again soon.

73 Marcel DM3FAM