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Spotting from Ben Nevis with 4g or APRS?

I’m planning to activate GW/WS-001 (Ben Nevis) in a couple of weeks time & just wondered how other people had spotted themselves from there?

I’m guessing that mobile signal will be limited, so not sure that spotting via 4g will be an option. That said, my provider (Three) apparently has good coverage around Fort William, so from the summit I guess there’s a chance?

Looking on APRS.fi there doesn’t appear to be much APRS activity around that part of Scotland, which doesn’t fill me with confidence that APRS spotting will work!

Anyone been up there recently able to comment on whether they were able to get a mobile signal on the summit, or if you they were able send an APRS spot?

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I’ve never use Three but I guess the problem will be the same for all service providers.

4G reception is likely to be a bit hit and miss. The summit are is relatively flat so you don’t have line of sight down to the local masts around Fort William. Best bet is probably over towards the edge of the north face where there is some visibility down to some of the masts.

My APRS gateway should be working. I only have a 2m vertical dipole at attached at the moment but that should be OK to allow you to use it from the summit.

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Awesome, exactly what I wanted to know!

At least I now know that there’s a gateway in the area & I should be able to get an APRS spot out if 4g doesn’t work.

Thanks.

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My QTH is just below Ben Nevis straight line of sight to the summit so 2M (or any band) is no problem.
Look me up on the qrz.com map.
Lets know nearer the time and I can spot you or arrange a S2S from one of the lower summits in the area.

I use “3” but only 2G/3G coverage is good but not sure about 4G.
73
Dave
GM4NFI

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Thanks Dave.

Planning to activate on 14th September. Aiming for somewhere between 10am & midday.

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Hi James @M0GQC,

We’re on Three and activated Ben Nevis in June this year. The weather was miserable, so we set up beside the remains of the old hotel (or maybe it was the old weather station) - anyway, we were behind remains of some buildings just over from the Trig. We struggled to get spots on using 3G/4G. I think we ended up sending them via SMS, as Andy MM0FMF had kindly set up my access to use his SMS gateway.

This did work, but if you can have a plan-B, you’d be better prepared than us :wink: I may look at APRS at some point, but having a friendly local to call on 2m who can then spot you will be great.

Good luck. We activated at 05:20UTC and the summit was fairly quiet. Be prepared for a few visitors if you are there around midday ha ha!

73, Simon

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FB I should be about on the 14th September at least until midday.
On what bands do you plan to be QRV?

73
Dave
GM4NFI

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Ideally I would like to be earlier but don’t have the appetite to be climbing the highest mountain in the UK in the dark by torch light!

I intend to start the ascent at around 6am, or as soon as it gets light so hopefully we will get there before midday.

I’m reckoning on about 4 hours ascent at my “extremely leisurely pace”. I have a minor but ongoing knee issue in my left leg, so I won’t be rushing up at any great pace as I have to be a little careful.

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There are two of us making the trip (from a safety perspective we wanted to do it as a joint attempt in case anything goes wrong).

Based on our previous joint SOTA trips, Harley (2E1DOG) tends to run 2m FM on & around 145.500.

I usually run HF SSB on 20m & sometimes 40m. I normally sit myself on 14.305 & 7.185 (or as close to those frequencies as I can dependant upon band occupancy).

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Its an old observatory. When I visited a week or two ago, it wasn’t even in a fit state to be anywhere inside it if you need the shelter. Litter, piles of human shit. Toilet paper, bottles, discarded litter and so on.

When it was occupied on a permanent basis toilet waste was thrown down ‘Gardyloo’ gully. So named as “Gardyloo” was shouted as a warning to anyone below.

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:angry:

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Absolute disgrace! Why would anybody do that? Are people really that stupid?

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Yes

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To be honest, reading thus I am rapidly going off the idea of activating this summit. There are plenty of summits more worthy of attention. :frowning_face:

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Yes

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That’s the thought running through my head right now! On the other hand I do want to do it just once, if only to be able to say that I climbed & operated radio on the highest mountain in the UK & get the obligatory snap shot on the summit.

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Indeed. I might wear blinkers and still give it a go, but as for staying up there for any length of time… 2m FM beckons.

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Ben Nevis is an an amazing mountain. Climb Carn Mor Dearg GM/WS-003 first to get a true appreciation of its scale and the amazing north east face.

Then work on a plan that will allow you to activate Britain’s highest peak and make it work for you. Choice of season, time of day, route and activation point are all up to you. If you’ve scrambled at all in the Lakes, Peak or Snowdonia then it opens up more variety of routes to the top. The CMD arete scramble is simple with a bypass path along the left hand side, although the path still needs care.

Next year when everyone else has resumed holidaying in the Mediterranean, I’m sure things will improve!

Cheers,
Fraser

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Unfortunately some people are that stupid!

The summit of Ben Nevis usually ends up smelling like a poorly maintained toilet at this time of year. I’m told that it is particularly bad this year because of the number of people that have been up there and the relatively low rainfall this summer.

It’s not just the excrement and toilet paper. If you move any rocks to secure guy ropes, you will no doubt find plastic bottles or sandwich wrappers hidden below them.

If you intend guying a mast, my advice would be to take some disposable gloves. (And obviously a bag to bring the used gloves back down for proper disposal. :wink:)

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To be fair to the Ben, other major summits get a fair distribution of human detritus in proportion to their popularity. I have seen deposits of litter on top of the Buachaille, which is a honeypot summit for the ropes and crampons brigade but less so for Grockles. The same for Sgur Dearg on Skye, where the summit of the mountain proper is the viewing circle for the antics on the In Pin! With regard to the Ben, it may suffer from its popularity, but that is in your mind. The mountain itself is grand with unrivalled rock scenery, and is fascinating to the geologist as a perfect example of an volcanic infilled collapse caldera. Pick a day outside the Grockle season and enjoy it!

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