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St Kilda.. BBC last night


I wonder how many of you watched part 1 of “Britain’s Lost World” about St Kilda last night? Very interesting


I have often had a hankering to go there and dive or climb having seen it from the air… but after watching the programme, I can now see why they are possibly the most “interesting” set of 1 pointers in the British Isles.

I wonder who will be first to activate any of them, especially Stac Lee and Stac an Armin off Boreray? :slight_smile:

73 Marc G0AZS


Aargh! Was looking forward to that programme, and forgot all about it. I will keep an eye out for any repeats on the BBC network. Over to you Peter ON3WAB!



In reply to G0AZS:
Hi Marc
Yes - I watched it, quite fascinating !
I think access is rather difficult, I know several activation attempts have failed because they were unable to land by boat - best option I reckon is to get somebody with a helicopter to get hooked on SOTA !

Stac Lee & Stac Armin must be on a par with Rockall for difficulty as well

73 Graham G3OHC


In reply to G0AZS:
Went there a couple of times in my army days but never took any radio gear - in fact I probably didn`t have my license back then. Saw a sheep fly past the first floor window when it was “blowing up” a bit.


In reply to G0AZS:

Some guys I know were going there this summer with HF and VHF gear. SOTA activation on 2m,40,60m was on the schedule, at least for St. Kilda but not the sea stacks. Unfortunately, that expedition is not going ahead now.



In reply to MM0FMF:
If you follow the link for the company that the BBC were obviously using… this lot do day trips with a 3 hour stopover… probably enough for a quickie activation on Hirta.


73 Marc G0AZS


In reply to G0AZS:

Hi Marc et al,

The program is featured on BBC iPlayer - http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/ - so those of us that missed it can watch it. I just hope the sheep Steve referred to isn’t shown - his comment alone got me into fits of laughter! Fortunately I wasn’t drinking at the time.

73, Gerald


Anyone know If you need XP / Vista for BBC IPlayer ?

I can download the .exe, but Windows 2000 refuses to run it saying it is not a Win32 Application.

I’ve looked around the site and cannot see where it tells you what the Operating System Requirements are (just that you need a P4 system with 512MB RAM)



In reply to G0LGS:

From http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/help/about_iplayer/systemreq

“If you want to download a programme, at present, BBC iPlayer is only available to Windows XP or Vista users with Internet Explorer 6 or later and Windows Media Player 9 or later. Further details on system requirements are here.”

So it says XP and Vista only.



In reply to MM0FMF:
That may be out of date info Andy as it now works fine with Firefox. Which at first it didn’t.

Roger G4OWG

ps to view Andy’s link delete the %3E after systemreq in your browsers url box :slight_smile:


In reply to MM0FMF:

I use Windows 2000 Pro and so watch iPlayer while connected online. You don’t have to download the files - they are rather large anyway and can take quite a time to download. Okay downloads are better quality, but so what… it serves me right for missing it first time around!

73, Gerald


In reply to G4OWG:

I think you’ll find it didn’t work in Firefox if Firefox said it was Firefox. If you got the user agent to report Firefox was some version of IE then it worked. Just the BBC being billg’s lackeys and they dropped it on receipt of numerous complaints.

Whilst I have several valid Win2k licences I don’t have it installed anymore, only XP, W98 and plethora of Linuxes (or should that be Linuces ?)


EDIT: No it appears it was more than user agent stuff but the BBC are still billg’s lackeys!

EDIT2: Looks like the forum can’t cope with a < > delimited URL. You can normally wrap a URL in <> to stop it getting wrapped around lines. Not sure if that’s a bug to be fixed or feature to be implemented. Let’s make a feature to be implemented :wink:


Unfortunately we cannot see the programme on BBCi while we are outside the UK :o(

Having been lucky enough to have been there this time last year (to the day tomorrow) with a group of geocaching friends (and Helen) I can say it is well worth the trouble of getting there!

A couple of websites:


The first of these is the official website, the second the boat (Orca) we used run by a very friendly skipper called Angus. We had nearly 6 hours on the island exploring the village and the surrounding area and a further hour cruising around the stacs looking at all the gannets, puffins, dolphins and seals.

Unfortunately I did not have the SOTAing bug although I did think about it. Having said that the cloud level was very low and we were advised by the National Trust for Scotland warden not to go beyond the village. Having several fell walkers and all of us with GPSr and mapping, a group of us still went off to the trig point; she only “advised” us not to go. Even though there was no view it was amazing and atmospheric; we would have felt cheated had it been fine weather! These were the conditions that the locals had to live with.

While it is possible to activate the main hill Conachair with permission from NTS (and also maybe the MoD) it is unlikely that permission would be granted for any of the other stacs and hills due to the wildlife and National Heritage status. Permission had to be sought from NTS to leave a geocache on the main island. They wanted to make sure it was on one of the new buildings so as not to disturb the main historical site.

I would still recommend to anyone to go there though, radio or not, just for the experience.



In reply to MM0FMF:

EDIT2: Looks like the forum can’t cope with a < > delimited URL. You can normally wrap a URL in <> to stop it getting wrapped around lines. Not sure if that’s a bug to be fixed or feature to be implemented. Let’s make a feature to be implemented :wink:

It doesn’t occur with IE6 Andy. Take a look at my post in the thread. Maybe Firefox isn’t as good as IE6… in one respect only of course.

73, Gerald


In reply to MM0FMF:

Andy, I did eventually find the information that tells you the Downloads are only available for XP/Vista, but it did take some searching.

I’ve watched the program now - must try to remember the next one.



In reply to G0AZS:
I heard GM4SIV on St Kilda (on 2m…couldn’t get back to him though), in July 2006…

Rob (G1TPO)


In reply to G6WRW:

Due to many conflicting time pressures this summer it looks like we wont be having a family holiday which means I’ve been looking at doing some SI summits.
Ignoring all the sea stacks because I’m not a climber, the “big one” of SI summits is SI-098 Conachair on St. Kilda. simply due to its remoteness. There are bigger summits of course, but there is something about St. Kilda.

Kilda Cruises looks to give the longest time window on the island. £160 to get there from Leverburgh, Harris and about 6hrs on the island. Next obstable to activating Conachair SI-098 is NTS permission. Mention antennas etc. and you can see the answer being no. Of course the warden will assume you want to setup something like the missile tracking station antennas and not a fishing rod and some bits of wire! And then there’s the MOD. I can quite imagine a visit from the boy’s in green from the tracking station…

The summit is about 1hr10 walk from the pier. Allowing 3hrs total for SOTA gives you about 50mins operating. I’d certainly want to have a look at few other things before getting back on the boat. So far, apart from the cost of the boat out it’s not that unreasonable. The only problem is getting to Leverborough. The St. Kilda trip leaves 8am so that means getting to Harris the day before and staying in a B&B. There’s some nice looking places advertising and around £25/night sees you comfortable. The ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway is just under 4hrs and Ullapool is a 6hr drive from here. 2.5hrs for the bus from Stornoway to Leverborough. You’d need to stay another night before getting the ferry back. So thats £85 petrol to Ullapool, £50 B&B, £160 for St. Kilda, £30 for the ferry, £20 bus fares, £20 food comes to £365 and the best part of 3days, most moving just to get one point.

Yikes! That’s a lot of moulah for a single point. OK it’s a pretty spectacular point (the cliffs on the North end of Conachair drop straight down 1400ft into the sea) but there’s a lot to organise for everything to flow smoothly. And the one thing you cannot organise is the weather in this part of the Atlantic.

Food for thought.



Part 2 AT 21:00 on BBC1 tonight.


In reply to G0AZS:
At the end of part 2, unless I misheard (there’s a good chance of that!) they said that Part 3 would be tonight at 19:30 - is that right?

Graham G4FUJ

(hehe, check the official website before asking silly questions ;o) Part 3 19:30 Friday 27th)


In reply to G4FUJ:
Yes that’s right - according to Radio Times as well at 1930 BST on BBC1

73 Graham G3OHC