Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

SP funday report

Just back from activating Fair Snape Fell with Mick 2E0HJD. I started on 2m FM whilst Mick played on HF. Once the 2M stuff was over I had a go on HF as well, it was nice to see a bit of sporadic E on 10m. Wx wasn`t the best, with showers becoming heavier as the day wore on. Mick was in his fishing shelter, however with all the leaks it was probably drier outside. I managed to work all the other active summits, so personally it was a success. Between us we logged 95 contacts on 80m, 60m, 40m, 20m, 17m, 10m, & 2m. Post activation real ale was taken in the Lowe Buck Inn, Waddington. Thanks to James M0ZZO for the organisation.
73s Steve G1INK.

Yes been back from Winter Hill (SP-010) for a couple of hours. Nearly 5 1/2 hours of activation (first at 09:40 last at 15:00 UTC) led to 58 contacts on 2SSB/FM and 70SSB/FM (yes there was someone on 70 ssb). Also managed to work all the other activated SP summits plus a couple of others although TW-004 did get away after hearing him very briefly. Beach shelter held up well considering I was neither on a beach or having beach type weather.

Ian
G7ADF

In reply to G1INK:
Pleased that you both enjoyed it Steve despite the weather.
You were the only one I worked today on G/SP.
Hope the ale went down well.
David G6LKB

In reply to G1INK:
Glad to see you had a good day despite the wx. Only managed QSO’s with Mick 2E0HJD on 80m and John M0JDK on 40m - 2m and 70cm doesnt quite make it to Stirling!!! Was going to call you on 10m but when I heard the Europeans coming back to you I left you alone. Hope the wind and rain didnt spoil it too much for you - the shack here was very cosy and the 51 points in the bag made me a happy chaser!

Thanks again for the summits

73 Glyn…GM4CFS

In reply to 2E0HJD:

You were a cracking signal on 18 megs Mick, but I left you to it having already had the contact on 80.
Well done on an excellent activation.

73

Mike

In reply to G1INK:
Hi Steve thought it was very poor as not every one was on the Southern Pennines Summits, Me for one i was with G4KKI/P on Hailstorm Hill SP-009, We had some nice reports coming back, We used a 144/430MHZ co-linear with a FT290 and 30 watt linear, We did manage to use the 12 element zl special with nice qso in GI4SNA again :slight_smile: Bill had only one contact on 144-050 CW, So where are all the cw operators when you need them playing cw on 7mhz,
I was playing 5mhz 7mhz and 14 mhz all in all we had a great time,
TNX to James for the fun,
Just a quickie i thought it was supposed to have been for all activators to activate first, then the chashers to call us but no still had chasers calling like mad and making nothing but QRM ;-(

Just my ywo pennth worth.
Steve m0sgb

In reply to G1INK:

Thanks to everyone who took part. I had a great day out and as far as I can tell, everyone who went out managed to work everyone else. There were 6 summits uncovered but it doesn’t seem to have spoiled anyone’s enjoyment.

I would appreciate everyone else’s thoughts for the next newsletter which is due out in about a week.

I will be starting the list off for next year very soon :o)

73,

James M0ZZO

OK, some thoughts then. First of all, I couldn’t participate this year due to other commitments, but intend to do so next year. I did get opportunity to listen in and ‘chase’ the summit stations.

It was noticeable that all stations were QRV well ahead of the S2S schedule start time. This gave chasers lots of opportunity to work the summits without having to wait for the completion of the schedule. I myself managed to work all eleven participating summits in the twenty or so minutes before 1100z, on either 2m SSB or 2m FM. When the schedule did commence, it was clearly a lot of fun for the activators, and seemed to run smoothly. There were plenty gaps in the schedule because of the vacant summits, and chasers sensibly used these gaps to make their contacts as well. Most stations remained QRV after the S2S sked as well.

With plenty of S2S contacts taking place before the schedule, I wondered if a schedule was necessary. However, with a full compliment of 17 summits, it probably is, and it’s a little bit different and a bit of fun in itself anyway.

I am undecided on the merit of using 12.5kc channels. The principle is a considerate one of course, but in practice I’m not so sure as on 2m FM you need to operate 25kc away from another station to avoid receiving/causing QRM. That in mind, why are there 12.5kc channels on 2m FM?

Anyway, I enjoyed listening in this year, and hope to be back involved in 2008.

In reply to anyone:
After 2 years in the G/SP region - how about switching to another region next year, for example G/SE has a convenient number of summits. SE-015 to SE-001 should be possible on 2m ssb.(if not FM) It would also inject some SOTA activity into the relative SOTA desert of the South East - just a thought.

In reply to G1INK:

Steve

I seem to recall that even last year there was a panic at the end to get all the SPs on the air - and G/SP is something of a SOTA hotspot. It would appear that such events really only appeal to a small number of people. The SE region has nearly as many summits as SP and far fewer activators so some serious travel would probably be needed requiring a much higher commitment.

Perhaps the CE region would guarantee success? - pleasant hills and all easily within 2m FM range.

73

Richard

I doubt that this would work as an alternative to the SP Fun Day. The SP region has the advantage of the number of regular activators local to the area, and even with that, the summits weren’t filled this year. As part of a weekend Youth Hostel / camping event it could be possible.

A weekend camp centred in the SC region with a whole-region-simultaneous-activation attempt would be more likely than the SE region (less widespread - and no island!), but even this has a potential spanner in the works (as does the SE region). For many of the likely participants, many of these would be new uniques to be collected. Therefore, if time, effort and funds have been spent getting there, activators would be more likely to be wanting to hop around doing multi-sumit days, rather than linger on a summit and conform to a schedule.

On many levels, the G/SP region is the best suited to this sort of event.

In reply to M1EYP:

I am undecided on the merit of using 12.5kc channels. The principle
is a considerate one of course, but in practice I’m not so sure as on
2m FM you need to operate 25kc away from another station to avoid
receiving/causing QRM. That in mind, why are there 12.5kc channels on
2m FM?

12.5kHz spacing works fine if you have a radio with a filter designed for 12.5kHz spacing. A huge number of the 2m sets in use today will have filters designed for older 25kHz spacing. If you use the “in between” 12.5kHz channels with such a radio you will suffer from adjacent channel problems. Of course with 12.5kHz spacing you need to use lower deviation than with 25kHz and when you set the deviation for 12.5kHz spacing it will sound quiet on a 25kHz set.
This is all part of the problem of changing the channel spacing and allowing legacy equipment to still be used. IIRC when the PMR boys change things like spacing, the legacy equipment gets forcibly replaced within a few years to stop problems like this.

I’m not sure if modern FM sets sold in the UK have 12.5 or 25 filters and deviations. There may well be some which are switchable. This shouldn’t be confused with sets that have adjustable tuning step sizes. The newest set I have is a 4 year old FT817 and I have no idea if this has a 12.5 kHz filter or not.

As to why we have introduced 12.5kHz spacing on 2m… well it was to solve the problems that there weren’t enough channels for FM operation. I’m not a big 2m FM operator and anyway, 2m is quiet up here so I have no idea if 2m is busy enough to warrant using 12.5kHz spacing or not. But 10 years ago with packet being immensly popular and demanding more and more space on 2m there was a real problem finding a slot. Packet use has declined dramatically so perhaps 25kHz gives plenty of space.

I didn’t see any info which stated which frequencies were to be used on which hills but I assume that it was designed on a cellular basis so that adjacent hills used frequencies as far apart as possible to minimise adjacent channel problems. Or did neighbouring hills use channels 12.5kHz apart?

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to G3CWI:

Richard

I seem to recall that even last year there was a panic at the end to
get all the SPs on the air - and G/SP is something of a SOTA hotspot.
It would appear that such events really only appeal to a small number
of people. The SE region has nearly as many summits as SP and far
fewer activators so some serious travel would probably be needed
requiring a much higher commitment.

Perhaps the CE region would guarantee success? - pleasant hills and
all easily within 2m FM range.

The suggestion was to activate the SC group. Fewer summits, relatively rare and within reasonable distance of enough operators. The concept was to activate two summits in the day and have two activity periods. They work out quite well as pairs and no travel to the IOW as would be required for the SE group.

It has yet to come to fruition…

IMHO too few hills in the CE’s.

73, Gerald G4OIG

In reply to G4OIG:

Hi Gerry

Your approach reveals a philosophical difference between us. For me driving across the country to keep appointments and rigorous time management are part of the world of work. I prefer to leave such things behind when on the hills.

For me, the opportunity to pause to listen to the song of a skylark, watch a butterfly or chat to a fellow hillwalker without feeling that I am in some way “letting the side down” are part and parcel of the attraction of SOTA. Maybe I’m in a minority here but I hope not!

73

Richard

In reply to G3CWI:
"For me, the opportunity to pause to listen to the song of a skylark, watch a butterfly or chat to a fellow hillwalker without feeling that I am in some way “letting the side down” are part and parcel of the attraction of SOTA. Maybe I’m in a minority here but I hope not! "

Exactly my way of thinking Richard, I know I have only done The Great Orme and Hope Mountain X4 activations. Hope is my local summit and access is easy for me. The Orme has it’s own points of interest, but is too commercialised, with tourists everywhere, but Hope is a different kettle of fish…
The sound of the skylark, the pheasant, plus a few curlew calls does it for me, rabbits running everywhere, pure bliss, oh, and you get to work sota as well, hi.

73

Mike

In reply to G3CWI:

Hi Richard,

Don’t imagine that I miss what nature has to offer while keeping to a reasonable schedule. For a start my schedules are fairly loose time-wise and I’m slow enough up the hills to see plenty of things… ask Richard ERP, Hi!

I also spend a fair amount of time on a summit and while I’m sitting still and using headphones, the wildlife will often come in to see me… the Long-tailed tits on Shobden WB-017 were louder than the receiver audio! Descending from that summit I more or less collided with a female Red Deer. Recently you will have noted my brush with one of the “locals” on the way up and down The Cheviot.

Last Saturday Richard and I saw a new born lamb while descending from Moel Llyfnant NW-018 - nothing special in that, but this one was NEW. Let’s just say the ewe hadn’t quite finished the process…

Of course the wildlife was there from the start of my SOTA activations - 8 Red Kites circling me at about 6m on Walbury SE-001.

I certainly don’t close my eyes (and ears) while operating!

73, Gerald G4OIG

P.S. - Just remembered - I had a Buzzard almost land on the car… I think after Foel Goch.