SOTA NEWS JULY 2011
EDITORIAL – by Roy G4SSH
Welcome to the July 2011 edition of SOTA News. My thanks go to the following contributors:- Barry GM4TOE, Fred K6DGW, Csaba YO6PIB, Dave G4ASA, Mark G0VOF, Nick G4OOE, Rob & Audrey G4RQJ, Jason HL4ZFA.
SOTA AWARDS FOR JUNE 2011 By Barry GM4TOE - SOTA Awards Manager
June was a very quiet month for awards. Congratulations to Mountain Goat Gordon, G0EWN, and Shack Sloth Mike, MM0ROV. Milan OK2IHH is to be congratulated on his half Goat as well (he did point out that he is 70 years and going strong!). Peter ON4UP continues very strongly in the Chaser tables but special mention must be made to our news editor Roy, G4SSH, who claimed, at the very last minute, the award for Chasing 5000 Uniques – good job my head was full of a cold AND 50MHz was wide open last night or this report would have been filed already!
G0EWN - Gordon Fiander
MM0ROV - Michael Gerrard
G0EWN Gordon Fiander 1000 points
OK2IHH Milan Navratil 500 points
SV2GQO Christoforus Moschos 100 points
ON4UP Peter Preud’homme 2500 points
MM0ROV Michael Gerrard 1000 points
M6MGB Rufus Binks 250 points
SV2GQO Christoforus Moschos 100 points
2E0DHT Jason Berry 100 points
HB9BIN Jurg Regli 100 summits
G4SSH Roy Clayton 5000 summits
G0SLR Roy Lisle - Bronze
After receiving Roy’s claim it set me to wondering about Unique summits and what information I could glean from the database. I knew several amateurs have set themselves a target of just activating Uniques but who are they? Leading the Activator Uniques table is Norby LX1NO but he is rapidly followed by activating duo G4OIG and G4MD; others who have activated 100 or more Uniques include G0EWN, MM0DHY and DK1BN, not far behind them are several more activators who should shortly qualify for the Activator Unique Award. This of course begs the question is there a Chaser out there with a 100% Unique record, to my surprise there is. Chasers with 100% record for Chasing 100 or more Unique summits include G3VXJ, LX1NO, F5JKK, OE8SPK, G4GRG, G4GKE, SM5BTX and M0EAF. Maybe there should be a new Activator Award for Unique Chasers worked! (I can claim three of these Chasers on a total of 6 summits).
Summer is well under way (so people tell me – you wouldn’t believe it here in Scotland – at least midges don’t like rain, wind and the cold) and the number of spots increases daily. Hopefully our awards claims will pick up now.
Can I remind everyone that we do have stocks of car window stickers (and they travel postage free with a certificate) and enamel lapel badges with the SOTA logo (I can usually squeeze these in with a trophy). Stock is also held by Tom M1EYP, so if you live in his neck of the woods it is possible to obtain these from him without paying the horrendous postal charges. Once I have sorted out some small matters with design and hosting then all SOTA awards and merchandise will be available via an online shopping site, hopefully within the next couple of weeks.
Take care on the hills
Barry Horning GM4TOE
Congratulations to Bros HB9AGH who has passed the 40,000 chaser points milestone. A really magnificent achievement.
REPORT FROM ROMANIA - by Csaba YO6PIB
I have written a report of our hike to YO/MC-033 and Adrian has published this
in his magazine: RadioMagazinYO.
This is in Romanian but you can check it out at
I have also made an English translation of it and I put it on my blog
We are hoping, together with Adrian, that maybe we can attract more HAMs
to this activity
PAN PAN PAN by Dave G4ASA
It certainly is surprising what you can be involved with when you are out SOTA’ing
When I have activated Croaghmore EI/IS-104 on Great Blasket Island, I like to wait for the last Ferry of the day. From Dunquin Pier the Ferry is usually taken back across to the Great Blasket Island and moored for the night and I enjoy coming back to the mainland on the RIB, as does Wheeshie, who accompanies me on all my SOTA activations in Ireland.
On this occasion the Ferry, called “Oilean Na n-Og” was being taken across to it’s moorings when Valentia Radio/EJK issued a PAN message (one down from a Mayday) asking vessels in the area to look out for some canoeists who were reported to be in difficulties.
After some searching for sometime, one of them was located with his canoe, washed up on the rocks on Beginish Island, which is just off Great Blasket Island. The Ferry skipper went off in the RIB and after some difficulty among the surf and rocks, managed to extricate him and his canoe from the rocks and bring an extremely frightened and grateful young man and his canoe back to the Ferry.
Meanwhile the Valentia Lifeboat had arrived and after more searching they eventually found three other people, who were in the water, clinging on to their canoes after capsizing and not being able to get back into their canoes again.
The Lifeboat handed these three and their canoes over to the Ferry and they were landed at Dunquin Pier, four cold and extremely frightened people.
Fortunately, the outcome was good on this occasion and they were rescued safe and sound but the foolishness of some people never ceases to amaze me, these people had set off in a Force 5 to 6 with the wind against the tide, even the Ferry was shipping spray over the cabin, they had no radio, no compass and no flares but they did have mobile phones - which they discovered didn’t work in salt water.
If it hadn’t been for the vigilance of a member of the public on the cliff top who saw their problem and rang the Coastguard, it may well have been a different outcome when they were finally reported missing. They did leave a reward behind the bar in Kruger’s for the two man Ferry crew to enjoy a few pints.
Here is a short Video before my Camera batteries ran out, showing what conditions were like on the Ferry, what it must have been like in a canoe with your bum on the water is difficult to imagine.
SOTA ON TOP BAND - Mark G0VOF
Hello everyone & welcome to the second instalment of SOTA on Top Band. With mid-summer in the Northern hemisphere now upon us, despite the weather here in Lancashire suggesting otherwise, propagation on 160m during daytime hours is as expected, somewhat below par. That said, Top Band was used successfully on activations during June, so more on that subject later.
Personally, work & other commitments got in the way of both my Top Band chasing & SOTA activating this month, but as it is now looking likely I will be able to take a whole week off work during July I hope to make up for my lack of activity then. I just hope the weather has improved by then Hi!
As mentioned last month, I use a Yaesu FT817ND on activations & although I have had successful QSO’s on Top Band with only 5 Watts, in order to give chasers in more noisy environments a better chance of hearing me I realised that more power is necessary. Following advice from Barry GM4TOE, I ordered a simple 160m amplifier from a company in Greece, which arrived on Saturday morning. Although pictured on the sellers website, I was still amazed at how physically small the amplifier is, & indeed how light the package was when handed to me by the postman. This is purely a ready populated circuit board about 6cm x 2.5cm & is purely a linear amplifier covering 500Khz to 2MHz which should deliver about 60 Watts PEP from a 28 Volt supply. It is already fitted with a low pass filter so operation between 1.810MHz & 2MHz will not require any additional filtering.
My original intention had been to build a simple class C amplifier purely for CW use, but with this amplifier being class AB, & linear, it will allow me to use SSB as well, or even AM if I fancy calling in to a local net. For use with my FT817 I now need to design & construct some additional circuitry. Despite it being over 17 years since I last dabbled with even basic electronic design, the rest of this project should be very simple. Even so, I intend sketching out my design & sense checking it several times before I even think of switching on my soldering iron. For those used to Home Brewing their own equipment this may well sound over-cautious, but as I don’t have the luxury of a junk box full of odds & ends I will have to pay for any components I use & would rather get it right first time Hi!
That said, designing a circuit to handle a pair of relays for TX/RX switching, (no need for any RF sensing circuitry as the FT817 provides a TX switching on the ACC socket if I remember correctly), an input attenuator to drop the 5 Watts from the rig down to the 50mW input required by the linear & RF Input & Output sockets (SO239 in my case), other things are more or less optional. I will more than likely add a couple of switches for Power on & Amplifier On, & possibly a couple of LED’s to indicate the same.
Providing a 28 Volt 3.3 Amp supply for the linear will be a departure for me as all my portable gear runs from 12V (13.8V) Sealed Lead Acid Batteries (SLAB’s), & while I could simply take two SLAB’s & connect them in series to give me 24V plus, I think I will be looking at going down the LiPO battery route for this project, as most activators who have tried LiPO’s have been very impressed by the considerable weight saving for the same capacity.
Of course, good heat-sinking will be required & to kick start myself into action I have already acquired a nice extruded aluminium project box that with the addition of a suitable finned heat-sink, will not only house all components with room to spare, but should look very nice alongside my FT817. I hope to have the linear up & running some time soon.
I am only aware of one activator using Top Band during June, John G4YSS who gave the Scarborough Special Events Group club call sign another airing during a Lake District trip early in the month. John tried 160m on two of the 6 summits he activated, with quite different results. On the 6th June John achieved 4 contacts on Top Band CW during his activation of G/LD-004 Skiddaw. Conditions were particularly good, with stations as far away as Inverness & Cheltenham being worked using 100 Watts into a loaded 80m dipole at 5m AGL. For the middle of the day in summer, conditions this good are quite unusual but it does show that the band can hold surprises.
John once again used Top Band on his activation of G/LD-011 High Street on 9th June. This time conditions were more typical of the band & only one station was worked, John G0TDM who is practically on the doorstep of the Lakes in Penrith.
It would be interesting to hear what antennas chasers or activators use on 160m as very few of us are fortunate enough to have room for a full size dipole, & even fewer of us will have a tower to support one at a decent height. One very successful design that has been used for many years is the inverted L, which being roughly the same overall length as an 80m dipole can be squeezed into some relatively small spaces, however this antenna does need a good RF earth & / or radials to work well. For those with virtually no space, magnetic loop antennas can be useful, & even for those with space for full size antennas, a loop purely for reception only can be very useful for nulling out any noise you may have at your location. Vertical antennas may well take up very little room, but as with an inverted L you will need a decent ground radial system for the best results. That said I have bee very pleasantly surprised with the results I get using a loaded 50ft vertical working against a single good Earth point.
So what are your experiences? Drop an email to the address at the end of this section.
At the time of writing, Top band activations during June that I am aware of are listed below, if I have missed any please let me know:
On the 7th June, John G4YSS (operating as GX0OOO/P) activated G/LD-004 Skiddaw, & had 4 QSO’s on 160m.
On 9th June, John G4YSS (operating as GX0OOO/P) activated G/LD-011 High Street, & had 1 QSO on 160m.
As always, If you do have any suggestions on things that you think should be included, or if you wish to contribute tips, ideas or anything else that you think may help others on the band please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next month,
G/NP-004 WHERNSIDE - 13 June 2011 - by Nick G4OOE
After a restless night I was up early at around 0500 and away for 0530. A few spots of rain in Scarborough as I left but the wx forecast was good for the Dales. I went via Pickering and Thirsk and eventually on the A1 which is undergoing major road construction, causing much confusion with two sets of two way traffic running parallel with each other with very poor signage! I took the scenic route past Aysgarth and down past the Ribblehead Viaduct stopping for yet another photograph of this iconic landmark. I arrived in Ingleton and managed to get lost trying to find the C road up to Dent. After chatting to some locals I eventually found it, a very narrow road with gates to open and close.
I arrived at the chosen parking spot, recommended by John G4YSS at White Shaw Moss SD 7219 8184 at 0854. I met in with two gents, one asking me if I was the radio man, so I said that I was and asked how he knew that, he replied saying that I just looked like one! Then he went on to say that they were the two marshals. I had no idea what he was talking about. They must have seen my confused expression and explained that it was the day of the BT Three Peaks Challenge. Then their radio man and his family rolled up and all became clear.
It was a slow trudge up to the summit which took me about an hour (I did stop for photographs and the odd rest or three). By the time I reached the summit, the marshals and the radio man were firmly established in two small tents. The visibility was superb and I was greeted with a great view of a train crossing the Ribblehead Viaduct.
It took me about 40 minutes to set up. I moved further down the wall towards Ingleborough so as I would minimise the chance of causing interference with the safety cover radio man. I fixed my SOTA pole onto a fence post that was overhanging the wall from the trig point side, I secured the ends of the dipole to two small metal poles giving me an inverted vee. I also secured my SOTA 2m dipole to the fibre glass pole.
A quick telephone call to Roy G4SSH who kindly spotted me and with the rig set to 40 watts, I was up and running. The pile up was instant and this brought in the following on 7032-cw: DL6UNF, G4SSH, G0NUP, DF5WA, DL2EF, HB9AGH, DL6KVA, DL3KUM, PA0WDG, G3VXJ, HB9BAB, DL3HXX, G4CMQ, G4WSB, G4DDL, OE8SPW, HB9BHW, DL3JPN, DL1DVE, G0TDM, DL4CW, HB9CEX, G0VNJ, DL7VKD, DL9UJF, DJ5AV, PG2AA, PA3CWG, OE6WIG, HB9MKV, DL0SZG and G4BLH. I had no luck on 10118-cw, 14550-fm brought in G4BLH, G6LKB/M, G1OHH, M0LEX, MW3ZXQ, M3CTW, G4UXH, 2E0XYL, G1TAG, M0MOL, G6ODU, GW4ZPL, G4IZL, M3LIU, MM1MPB, G4ZRP, G6SIX/P and GB2HSI.
I saw many bemused walkers on the Three Peaks Challenge passing me with some interesting comments. By the time they had reached me they had already bagged, Pen-y- ghent and Whernside with just the towering Ingleborough ahead of them. The course is about 24 miles and the aim is to complete it within 12 hours.
After almost an hour my battery started to fail, a short lunch break then I packed up and headed back to the car. I then drove up to Dent railway station which is the highest main line station in England on the picturesque Settle to Carlisle line. The station is in immaculate condition, probably because of it being well away from habitation and not being subjected to vandalism. While I was there a train from Settle arrived with loads of hikers disembarking with their dogs and rucksacks. One of them approached me in the car park asking me where Dent was. I had to tell him that it was several miles away from the station, so they had to start hiking a lot sooner than they had planned! I wondered how many others are caught out like that with no taxis or any other facilities on hand.
The drive back to Scarborough was quite tedious, again getting caught up in the A1 traffic mix up, this time in pouring rain. The activation had gone very well and thanks to G4SSH and G4BLH for spotting and to everyone that worked me.
FT-857D - 40 watts
HF LDG Z-100 Plus tuner
40 metres dipole erected as inverted vee
FT-857D - 40 watts
2 metres SOTA dipole vertically polarised
Power source: 7Ah sealed lead acid battery
CANADA-US SOTA NEWS - By Fred K6DGW
It’s been a busy SOTA month here in North America. I’ve had a few
late-in-the-month computer problems ending in a new disk drive, so this
will be a little abbreviated to get it to Roy in time.
Frandy, N1FJ reports an activation of Mt. Norwottuck, unfortunately he
did not include the SOTA designator in the message and I don’t have time
to find it. Incidentally, Frandy seems to be the current contender for
the title of “SOTA Pop,” edging out your’s truly by a couple of years
From Rich, N4EX for the W4 Association:
W2/GA-003: Whiteface Mtn, NY June 7th. Multi-op, single station by
N4EX (Rich) & WA2USA (Dennis). 17 QSO’s.
W2/GA-395: Mt. Jo, NY June 8th. Multi-op, single station by N4EX
(Rich) & WA2USA (Dennis). 12 QSO’s.
W2/GA-467: Split Rock Mtn, NY June 10th. Multi-op, single station by
N4EX (Rich) & WA2USA (Dennis). 34 QSO’s. made using Elecraft K1 with
Inv V at 5.8m [19 ft].
W2/GA-184: Silver Lake Mtns HP, NY June 16th. Single-op, single
station by N4EX (Rich). 7 QSO’s. I persuaded my wife N4ENR (Pam) to
accompany me. It was her first and perhaps last SOTA venture as the
black flies are more than plentiful in the Adirondacks at this time of
All activations were with Elecraft K1 with Inv V at 5.8m [19 ft].
The W4 Association welcomes a new chaser: W9FHA(John). Keep up the
good work John.
On the return trip to NC, N4EX(Rich) had a great 2 hour eyeball QSO
with K1YMI (Andrew) in Gloversville, NY. It was fascinating to hear
about SOTA-North America in ancient times circa 2007.
N4EX(Rich) stumbled across a source for telescoping masts that just
happened to be local to Raleigh, NC. The Mast Company is run as a part
time business by K4TMC (Henry). Go to www.tmastco.com for more info.
Two thumbs up on a field test of my red 5.8m pole in the W2/GA region.
The “usual suspects” were very active from the W5 Association, with
several activations. The fires in Arizona and New Mexico have cut down
on the available activations, unfortunately.
Rich, NU6T, and I activated Leviathan Peak, W6/SN-039, on 26 Jun. In a
“what seemed like a good idea at the time” move, we chose ARRL Field
Day. Together we made 58 QSO’s – the good news – but didn’t do well
with summit chasers. Once we made the summit, I started looking around
for some oxygen and we were a tad late getting on. Once FD started, it
was the only game in town. We don’t think we’ll pick that date the next
I’m sorry this is so short, I’ll publish all the activations next month,
I just got the computer back and got to the files, and Roy needs this by
30 June … which it already is for him.
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude
SOTA REPORT FROM HL - By Jason HL4ZFA (ex HL4/W2VLA)
Greetings fellow amateurs, the last time that I wrote in KARL magazine was at the time when SOTA was first officially opening for mountain activations in Korea. A lot has happened since that time!
Since the beginning of 2011, there has been an ever increasing number of group SOTA activities and activations, and since February we’ve been working on a way to formalize this—so, it is at this point that I’d like to announce the creation of the SOTA Korea Club! (You can visit the website at http://www.6k0fm.net) The main goals of the club are to promote the activation of mountains in Korea and create opportunities for club members to get together at least twice a year (group activations, etc). We’ve finally received our club call sign this week (after working on it for the last four months!) and as you can see it is 6K0FM–not half bad for a randomly assigned call! Listen for it on the air!
Already, we have some group events planned for the near future, firstly “SOTA SOTA” (SOTA Seoul On The Air) where the eleven mountains in the Seoul area will be activated at the same time, from 11 AM to 1 PM on Sunday, July 3, 2011. We will have a “meet the activators” dinner afterwards. (NB. The weather doesn’t look good at all for Sunday, being monsoon season and all, so the event may very well happen on Saturday the 2nd, instead)
On Sunday, July 10 at 1 PM after the Seoul Hamfest/Flea market, we will have an information session and Power Point presentation about SOTA at Yonsei University. If you are new to SOTA, would like to activate a mountain, need advice, or simply want to meet other activators and chasers, feel free to come! Please check the KARL Members Bulletin Board, the SOTA Korea Club website (http://www.6k0fm.net) or contact me for exact location and details. We will have an antenna making workshop, putting together a slim-jim style J-pole antenna made from antenna feeder for portable 2m operations with the scouts. Of course, I will have a SOTA table beforehand in the morning, at the flea market.
Also, available at the market for the first time in Korea will be SOTA antenna flags and hiking trail ribbons (they work better than bread crumbs!). The SOTA flags will be six dollars at the hamfest. (Sales will be open to international customers within the next two weeks, keep posted at www.sotawatch.org)
The following Sunday, July 17, the Cheong-ryong Scout group (club call: 6K0FA) will be activating HL/SL-001 Dobongsan—it will be their first official SOTA activation, and a great way to relax and get some fresh air after their school exams are finished! Listen for their call sign 6K0FA on 145 MHz after 11 AM and help them make many contacts!
In August (exact date to be determined), we will have a “Daegu On The Air” event with activators activating Daegu region SOTA summits. If you’d like to activate and are interested in the event, refer to the club website for more information.
Of course, later on in August or September is the second International SOTA Weekend. The exact date has not yet been announced, but we hope it won’t be a rainy weekend with lots of lightning that ruined our plans for the International weekend last month!
So here’s looking forward to SOTA’s second year in Korea, and many, many more QSO’s! Don’t be surprised when you hear someone calling “CQ SOTA, CQ San-jeongsang-kyo-shin” from a mountain near you—call back and get some points!
73 de HL4ZFA
jason at vlasak dot org
THE VIEW FROM THE NORTH 30 - by Rob and Audrey G4RQJ
Very thin offering this month, our activations having been badly reduced by Audrey’s continuing breathing problems. We have been reduced to just a couple of small hills but are aiming to be almost back to normal for our Isle of Man expedition in July. At the moment cardio exercise is still out so we walk 100yds or so then take a short rest and repeat. This does not best please her but we’re getting there.
Nice to see Gerald and Paul enjoyed their visit to Honister mine en route to Dale Head. The parking there is reasonable, at busy times they prefer it if walkers use their cheaper “Wainwrights Walkers” car park which is to the rear of the building, sharp left immediately inside the entrance. Always a pleasant greeting and warm in winter.
Sunday 5th June Muncaster Fell.
This little hill is our usual bad weather escape hill but needs must and it is a nice gentle walk most of the way on a good wide track. We usually park out of the way on the Muncaster Castle car park. The castle is a very pleasant tourist attraction, house and hawks etc, large wooded grounds, look for spectacular rhododendrons in season and illuminated woodland walks on dark nights, it’s very haunted! Back to the route and there is a pretty wooded tarn just before the summit. Much of the pine forest in the area has been harvested making for a much more open aspect. The hill itself is in open moorland quite different from the approach path. There is no summit shelter and in the event of wind and rain (today) dropping into the lee of the prominent little peak is the best option. For VHF the hill is seriously screened to the south and the main body of chasers, there is a small keen group in Whitehaven/Workington but they are not about today and unusually we fail to qualify the hill on 2m. HF is full of a contest and we are reduced to working four contest stations as it is not a good idea for us to stay long on the hill today. On the way down we meet Richard G1JTD climbing to activate the hill on 4m. We worked him from the car park about half an hour later but don’t think he was having much luck. Wonder if you tried the Corney Fell short cut on the way home Richard?
See Tom has been having trouble with the power socket on his FT817; they really are quite vulnerable being secured to the circuit board only by soldered joints and a flimsy land that can easily tear away. Easy to repair but hard to get at. The best bet is to avoid straight plugs at all costs as they can easily supply the necessary leverage. If you have the standard Yaesu (leather?) case there is room in the back to tuck in a right angled jack with a short lead to an in line fuse holder and a lead emerging from case with your connector of your choice on the end. We had a lot of trouble with a similar problem using a straight jack in the key socket. In this case the key lead is prone to fracture where it emerges from the plug. Once again a right angled jack with a short lead to a forward facing inline socket taped to the case has solved the problem.
Sunday 19th June. Top o’ Selside
This walk is a final conditioner for the Isle of Man trip being a fairly continuous climb from the eastern shore of Coniston Water to the summit. Audrey was as pleased to see the summit cairn as she would normally be to see the summit of Scafell Pike. A super activation renewing acquaintances, we seem to have been off the hills for years. This is a super little summit, no shelter but again it is possible to hide in the lee of the hill from the weather in any direction. The practical approach is from the Dodgsons Wood car park on the eastern side of the lake. Wainwrights suggestion of High Nibthwaite is not practical now a days, there is no car parking. Try bluebell time, the woods are stunning.
All being well, by the time this hits the screen we should be established on the Isle of Man. As usual we will attempt to activate all five sota summits at least twice using as many bands as practical. This year our base is equipped with Wifi so there should be better advanced posting, but keep an ear out as we could be on any time the inclination takes us which includes evenings.
Once again the much sought after GD4RQJ/P certificate will be available to those who manage to work us once from each of the five summits. This started as a bit of a joke about five years ago when just G4USW a member of our home radio club (Furness ARS) achieved it but it has grown steadily with eleven takers last year including for the first time a non UK station (DL). No claim needed, just work us once on each of the five summits and the Certificate will be dropping through your letter box.
Again sorry for the lack of content this time out, hopefully normal service will be restored soon.
Take care out there
73 Rob and Audrey
G/NP-005 INGLEBOROUGH – 25th June 2011 - by Nick G4OOE
Another early start, I left Scarborough at 0440 and this time went via Masham avoiding the A1 debacle. A vivid rainbow greeted me as I arrived in Ribblesdale, although picturesque it meant that there was rain about. Sure enough a few minutes later the windscreen wipers were deployed! After driving 98 miles, I arrived at a parking spot SD 741 745 on B6625, Low Sleights Road between Hawes and Ingleton at 0730. As it was still raining there was time for coffee and a sandwich.
The rain soon cleared and at 0752 I set off. It was only about a hundred yards or so to the start of the footpath by the water treatment plant. Ingleborough looked quite a daunting challenge and 2 3/8 miles according to the signpost. At first the going was quite easy through fields and then past impressive limestone rock formations. Then came the boggy bits which were well boarded. Numerous tadpoles swimming about and I heard the odd splash that I took to be frolicking frogs. I passed some places with great sounding names like Braithwaite Wife Hole and Humphrey Bottom. At the base of the cliffs there was a steep stone staircase to negotiate, this I found quite tiring and I began to regret taking spare coax, aerial and other bits and pieces. I eventually made it up to the ridge and up another, not so steep stone staircase to reach the summit plateau and I arrived at the summit trig point at 0950.
As there weren’t many walkers about, I erected my 40m dipole centre pole by the trig point and attaching the 2m dipole, similar set up to my previous activation at G/NP-004. It took me about 30 minutes to set up. A rather noisy phone call to Roy G4SSH in windy conditions and I was off on 7032-cw bringing in G4CMQ, G4WSX, HB9BIN, G0TDM, G0VOF, G4ELZ, DL1FU, HB9AGH, G3VXJ, G3VQO, HB9DDE, DF1TJ, DL6UNF, G4RQJ, G3WPF, ON7EE, OK1AOV, G4SSH, SM5CNQ, G0NUP, G4OBK, S51ZG, PA3CWG, DL2HWI & F5SQA.
A QSY to 10118-cw brought in G4WSX, G0VOF, SP3GVX & G4DDL. I finished off on 145.550-fm with GW4ZPL, G4OBK, G0VOF, G4YLB, G4MYU, G1OHH, G1KLZ, GW7AAV, 2E0VEK/M, 2E0EDX, S2S with 2E0MIX/P on G/LD-013 & G4OWG.
Once again I had about an hour of activity from the sealed lead acid battery. The descent was almost as tiring as the ascent, it took me 1 hour 40 minutes. The clear wx gave spectacular close views of Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent and the Ribblehead viaduct with more distance views of the West Coast and Lake District Fells. Thanks to G4SSH, G0VOF and G4OBK for the spots and thanks again to all those that worked me especially Mark G0VOF on three bands!
FT-857D - 40 watts
HF LDG Z-100 Plus tuner
40 metres dipole erected as inverted vee
FT-857D - 40 watts
2 metres SOTA dipole vertically polarised
Power source: 7Ah sealed lead acid battery
CW REPORT FOR JUNE 2011 - by Roy G4SSH
SOTA CW activity during the month of June provided some real treats for chasers, with activators going to extreme lengths to provide unique challenges, both as individuals and as part of a group.
Last year, brothers Bob F5HTR and Roger F5LKW created a new French SOTA record by activating 4 French summits over 2500m high in a single day.
On the 21st June this year they managed to beat this by activating 5 French summits over 2500m, again in a single day, in the National Park of Mercantour. A truly magnificent achievement.
Not content with this achievement, Bob F5HTR and Gerald F6HBI then attempted to beat this latest record by attempting to activate 6 or 7 summits over 2800m, on the 26th June, using just 5w output from an FT-817 and a doublet antenna.
Unfortunately this was just not possible and the attempt was abandoned after 4 summits, which may have been a disappointment from the Activators point of view but chasers are well aware that some expeditions have to be abandoned and are particularly grateful to all 3 activators who may not have completed the final challenge, but provided 9 x 10 point summits in a space of just a few days.
Congratulations and thanks to all three participants on an outstanding achievement.
A regular highlight for chasers at weekends is to hear top-gun activator Norby LX1NO on his mini-expeditions of typically 5 to 7 SOTA’s in a single day. Particularly remarkable was his activation of 11 summits in the Rhineland Palatinate (DM/RP) region of Germany on the 18th, when he commenced at 0530 and ended at 1611 after giving out 36 points in the day. A fantastic achievement.
In addition to the above, there were all the individual cross-border expeditions listed below. However, one special feature which is much anticipated by chasers is when activators such as Bernd DL4CW (OE/DL4CW) is active. Bernd regularly “jumps over the fence” after the first 10 point activation and is then active shortly afterwards with a new SOTA Reference from the second country, so providing 2 x 10 points in a very short time to grateful chasers.
Special thanks to Dave EI/G4ASA who was active on a two week expedition to EI-land during the month, giving out excellent signals on 7, 10 and 14 MHz. Also thanks to Reinhard DL1IO who provided plenty of points to chasers whilst on holiday in EA5-land.
There were some low-points for CW chasers during the month. The wide-band multi channel transmission that regularly wipes out 7030-7033 KHz commenced operations on his usual 4 day stint early on the 8th June. At my QTH on the North Yorkshire coast this 599 transmission faded down to 529 at midday, then back to 599 from around 1600. The activity QSY’d away from the CW bands on the 12th, only to return to 7032 KHz from the 24th-28th June. Chasers all across Europe reported great difficulty reading any activators between 7030 and 7033 KHz, with activators having to use either 10118 KHz or moving down to 7028 KHz. The QRM transmission moved to 7140 KHz on the morning of the 28th and is located there as I write this, on the 30th June.
The following information was posted on the reflector on the 30th June
From Tom DL1DVE
“I have asked the IARU-Monitoring guys about the signal on 7.140 and I received a quick answer. The mode is 12 x 120bd BPSK system AT3004D, from a Russian ship near Gdansk. Thanks to DJ9KR and DK2OM for the quick reply and their work…
73 de Tom DL1DVE”
There was the usual great confusion over the CW Field Day contest weekend of the 4th - 5th June, with the bands filled with stations signing /p. Chasers were attempting to locate activators amongst hundreds of /p stations and SOTA activators were being called by contest stations asking for their serial number.
The higher bands began to open for SOTA activity as we entered the mid-summer season. On the 30th June I had a contact with Tom M1EYP on Black Hill G/SP-011 on 24 MHz; a distance of some 122 Km.
Heard active above 40m were:-
28 MHz: GW3NYY. M1EYP,
24 MHz: G3RDQ, M1EYP,
21 MHz: HG4UK, M1EYP, HA2VR,
18 MHz: EA2EA, DK1BN, G3RDQ, GW3RDQ, LA1ENA, HA2PP, HA2VR,
DL2DVE, DK1BN, DL4ABO, DL6CGC, DL/OK1CZ,
EA5/DK1IO, EA2EA , EA1AER, EA1/HB9AFH
HA7UL, HA2VR, HG4UK,
MM0ROV, M1EYP, MC0PQP,
OE/HA2VR, OE6JTD, OE6JTD, OE5EEP, OE5EIN,
OK1IWN, OK1AXB, OK1AU,
KQ4S, KI6J, KK1W, KE5AKL,
WN1E, WA2USA, WS0TA, W2VV
VA3SIE/VE2, VA2SG, VA2EPR, VE2EZD,
DK1IO, DK1HW, DC7CCC, DL8DZL, DL2DVE, DL6DH DL/LX1NO, DF3MC, DK1BN, DJ3CQ, DL8MBS, DL/HB9AGO, DL/GW0DSP,
EA2EA, EA1/HB9AFH, EA4MY,
EI/G4ASA, EI7GY, EI/DF3MC,
F5UKL, F6HBI, F6AVE, F5HTR, F5LKW,
LA1EBA, LA1ENA, LA1KHA, LA8BCA,
MM0FMF, M1EYP, G3RDQ, GW3RDQ, GD4RQJ,
HA2VR, HA7UL, HA2PP, HG4UK,
HB9BAB, HB9BIN, HB9DGV, HB9/SM0HPL, HB9BHW,
LA1KHA, LA1ENA, LA8BCA,
OE/HA2VR, OE/DL4CW, OE5EEP,
OK1FFU, OK2SAM, OK1HAG, OK2VWB, OK1DIG, OK1EQ,
S53X, S57X, S57XX, S51RU
Also thanks to the stalwarts who enthusiastically continue to activate on 80 and 160m:-
3.5 MHz GX0OOO
1.8 MHz GX0OOO
A warm welcome is extended to the following newcomers, heard activating SOTA’s for the first time on CW during the last month:- Alex DF1AX, Richard OK8WW, OK1IWN, HB9AYX, Josef OK1FYM, Harald DL2ZBO, OK1DVM, Pembrokeshire Club Call MCOPQP, Antonio EA4MY, Raul EA2DPA, Thomas DL1ALN, Marcus DL7GEM, John OE7PHI,
Heard active on expeditions outside their own countries were:
OE/HA2VR, OE/DL4CW, EI/G4ASA, OK/DJ3AX, DL/LX1NO, DL/HB9BAB, EA5/DK1IO, EI/DF3MC, DL/OK1TGI, OE/HA2VR, EA/F5UKL, HB9/SM0HPL, DL/HB9AGO, I6/PA0HRM, DL/GW0DSP, DL/OK2QA, DL/OK1CZ, SM4/HB9CMI, DL/OE7PHI,
Finally, I must congratulate David M0TUB, operating as MW0TUB from GW/NW-039 on the 28th June. David had placed an alert on SOTA Watch explaining that he would be active in CW and requested chasers to PSE QRS. I was first back to his CQ call on 7 MHz at 1120 and exchanged overs at his selected CQ speed of about 15 wpm without any problems. In the initial over he gave his name, so taking the cue from the activator I also gave my name and we signed off. Then things went rapidly downhill - with some chasers calling at 25 wpm plus. To his credit Dave did exactly the right action - he just repeated QRS until they realised that they were not getting a contact and slowed down to match his speed. To my amazement hardly anyone then gave their name and Dave had to prompt most of the callers for this information. (The frequency then echoed to the sound of “My Nag is”).
The two most important rules for any chaser is:-
Never reply at a faster speed than the activator.
Take your cue from the activator, listen, listen, and match their procedure. This can vary from the professional slick over of 559 BK by Norby (where exchanging names is not expected) to the double calls, name and reference every over, sent by a newcomer. The bottom line is that if you want the points then read the mail and adjust your procedure accordingly.
Congratulations and Good Luck with the CW David. I hope to meet you again before long.
CONTESTS DURING JULY 2011
The following scheduled contests are expected to cause severe QRM to SOTA activity, especially on the 40m band. Activators should plan accordingly with alternate spots/bands. This is not a complete list of contests.
2nd -3rd 1500-1500 Original QRP contest CW.
2nd- 3rd 1100-1100 DL-DX RTTY contest
9th -10th 1200-1200 IARU World Championship CW and SSB
9th only 0001-2359 SKCC Weekend sprint CW
16th only 1200-1200 DMC RTTY contest
17th only 0900-1200 RSGB QRP Field Day CW
and 1300-1600 RSGB QRP Field Day CW.
30th-31st 1200-1200 RSGB IOTA contest CW & SSB
SOTA News is normally published around noon UTC on the last day of each month and can only be as interesting as the items submitted. If you think your particular field of interest is not being covered then please submit an article by the 25th of the month. Have you a favourite SOTA? favourite mode? favourite rig, antenna, or favourite band? How did you find your first day / month / year as an activator or chaser? Your comments and experiences will be read by SOTA enthusiasts all across Europe and beyond, in a total of 24 different countries. Your input will be most welcome.
SOTA News Editor
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Fred K6DGW [aka “Skip” on the radio]
Canada/US SOTA Reporter Dude