Around the time I started to look for a club where I could study for my foundation ticket in late 2012 I was loaned the July 2011 RadCom and on page 50 there was an article about something called Summits On The Air. My attention was grabbed. As a few months turned into a couple of years and I started to gather a small collection of licences that SOTA thing kept nagging at me, questions were asked of folk and plans were discussed many times but never came of anything.
At the end of 2014 I passed the advanced exam and three weeks later stepped off a pavement onto black ice and destroyed the cartilage in my right knee. After that SOTA stood for stairs on tha’ a**e for a good many months until I got the required op that was supposed to fix everything, it didn’t.
However, it’s hard to keep a good idiot down and by the time July 2015 came round I’d put together everything I figured I’d need and as we were heading for the Isle of Man and the most southerly SOTA summit (Mull Hill) is just 2 miles from my in-laws front gate it had to be done. (Bradda is less than a mile away as it happens but Lou (2E0LCZ) refused to give me a piggyback up there).
One of the many things I hadn’t factored into the whole experience was the wind coming off the Irish Sea and adding to the fun I hadn’t actually tried setting up my gear prior to this first activation attempt. I also learned the value of self-spotting as I called into the ether in vain; the only consolation was making my first summit to summit contact as I spun the dial up and down before finally packing up.
The second attempted activation didn’t go any better due to an unplanned trip back to the little island because of a family illness. I didn’t get home until the evening of the 27th about 36 hours before I’d planned to go up to G/TW-005 so as a result of pitifully poor preparation we got painfully poor performance. The weather wasn’t good on the 29th October last year as a number of folk will remember so once again I failed to get that first point but again came away with a summit to summit contact. Sodden but not disheartened.
Today it all fell into place, the weather was kind, I knew how the kit worked and I had a cell phone signal and SOTAWatch2 bookmarked on the phone. Seven cracking contacts on 40 metres (one of them being another summit to summit contact) and I walked away with that first gloriously magnificent point, finally. Then to round the whole experience off I met Gerald M0WML who had come over to activate the hill as he was in the vicinity.
Now it’s time to reassess and have another look at the gear and how it’s carried as I’d like to do more, otherwise it’ll be late 2117 before I get that first 100 points.
Now does anyone know anything about knees?