The Cloud 2011

The competition for the 2m UK activity contest series looks good this year, with several stations running each other close in the AL (10 watts) section in January. In order to try and get a bt of an edge, I have borrowed an SB5 to use instead of my normal SB3 for this coming Tuesday night. Many thanks to Richard G3CWI.

I figure it would be wise to practice the new set up in daylight, so that was the basis of my activation of SP-015 on Saturday 29th January 2011. The temperatue was about 1 degree when I ascended the hill, and down to -2 by the time of the descent, but there was hardly any breeze at all, so it was quite comfortable.

I had an activation of exactly one hour, with 21 QSOs - one on 2m CW, 10 on 2m SSB and 8 on 2m FM. There was one summit-to-summit with Geoff 2W0BTR/P on Tor y Foel GW/SW-013. Two stations on FM were overheard bemoaning the attitudes on 2m, with comments like “No wonder VHF is so quiet these days with people like that about”, interspersed with strings of four-letter swearwords from one of them in particular. No wonder indeed! I made a note of the date, time, frequency and the callsigns involved.

The practice run for the SB5 went smoothly, and we will discover what difference it will make on Tuesday night. Thanks to all for the calls today.

73, Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

Hi Tom,

Nice to work you on SSB earlier & very good to hear you work Karen 2E0XYL just after me. After spending what seemed like an age trying to work M0CGH/P on G/LD-003 earlier I fully understand why Karen finds activating easier than chasing. Mike G4BLH kindly let Colin know I had been waiting patiently to work him, so I passed on the favour by letting Colin know that Karen had also been calling for a long time. Yet again I spotted an activator before I worked them myself so I have no-one but myself to blame. HI!

I did listen when you were active on FM & your signal was 57, I was only using my single vertical today but for FM I think that is slightly up on what you would be with the SB3. Certainly it is more directional as when you beamed to wards Karen earlier you disappeared in Blackburn.

Sadly there are those on 2m FM, and indeed on other bands, who do not see anything wrong with their particular style of operation, while seeing fit to criticise everybody else. There have been particular problems recently in the DX portion of 80m.

I only listened briefly on your FM QRG as I was in the process of working another station at the time, so I did not hear the offensive stations you refer to. It is a sad fact that some operators do not engage their brain before opening their mouths. From your post it appears the stations are licensed so should understand that Amateur radio is listened to, & used, by people of all ages. Regardless of how you speak to people off the air, maybe in a pub late at night after several pints of strong lager, your amateur transmissions must be suitable for all, at all times.

For a hobby that is primarily about communication, it never ceases to amaze me that so many find it such difficult thing to do without resorting to “extreme” language. If my leg had just been blown off by a landmine I may well use extreme language, but I would try my best not to use it on the air, although I could forgive anybody for doing so in those circumstances. Having a chat with your mates on the radio is never that “extreme” & certainly not in the middle of a Saturday afternoon when many young people would be listening.

Sadly, the use of foul language is not exclusively limited to recently licensed stations either.

Sorry to dwell on the bad side of the afternoon Tom. The SB5 worked well, I use one at home & on summits, & it is a superb antenna. The new UKAC rules could have been written with you in mind, especially for the 50MHz backpackers contests, which now coincide with the UKAC contests on Tuesday evenings over the summer months.

I have to say that G/SP-015 seems to be a good summit for VHF, despite its lowly height.

Best of luck in the UKAC’s & Backpacker’s this year. I may not be able to operate in the evenings as often as in previous years, but I do hope to give 6 metres a proper go with a single antenna now that my local QRM has diminished on that band, although not vanished completely.

Hope to work you again soon,

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF

In reply to G0VOF:

There have been particular problems recently in the DX portion of 80m.

These particular problems have existed, unchanged and unabated, for over 40 years!

Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to G0VOF:

Sadly, the use of foul language is not exclusively limited to recently
licensed stations either.

Sadly, the use of foul language is not prohibited by the licence and never has been.

For fun here are the all time top 5 144MHz activations based on QSOs:

1 OE9MON/9 OE/VB-473 03/08/2008 168
2 2E0YYY/P G/SP-004 22/01/2011 150
3 S53XX/P S5/KA-003 02/08/2009 148
4 GW0PZO/P GW/NW-044 12/06/2005 142
5 GW0PZO/P GW/NW-044 13/06/2004 135

And 432MHz

1 M1EYP/P G/SP-015 11/01/2011 62
2 M1EYP/P G/SP-015 09/06/2009 56
3 M1EYP/P G/SP-015 09/03/2010 55
4 DL2GWZ/P DL/AL-132 06/02/2005 53
=4 M1EYP/P G/SP-015 08/06/2010 53


In reply to M1EYP:

“interspersed with strings of four-letter swearwords from one of them in particular. No wonder indeed! I made a note of the date, time, frequency and the callsigns involved.”

I bet I could match the same callsign with the one you made a note of Tom??!!

Shame !!! But is has gone on since the early days probably even before my time in 1979-1984 era???


In reply to all:

To Andy:

Are we absolutley certain that foul language is not expressly forbidden?

It may not state it in such “simple” terms in the licence conditions, but surely the transmission of “offensive” material, however it is worded nowadays has always been forbidden, & rightly so.

To Tony:

Yes, it has gone on for a long time & you have to ask why has nothing been done to educate those responsible for it.

To Walt:

Whilst I certainly don’t have your experience, I have listened to, & been active on 80m for the past 18 years, & yes, there have always been problems, althouth they do come & go. I have personal experience of tracking a jamming station from 80m into the transatlantic aeronatical communication part of the spectrum on a night when HF conditions were particularly poor. Needless to say that the jammer had no hesitation continuing their perverse fun on a frequency that could have affected the safety of life. That particular problem was resolved because of co-operation between amateur & European government agencies if I remember rightly.

As amateurs we should not sit idly by, while those that would have the spectrum we enjoy taken from us due to their actions, carry on their stupidity without a care in the world.

Apologies to Tom for going a little off topic on this thread.

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF


Email me with your hunch and I’ll tell you whether you’re right or not. I agree that sitting idly by is not an option. In particular, I have a duty to those I am introducing to the hobby to show it in the best possible light.

I will probably not report the matter to Ofcom, but more likely email the individual directly to share my concerns.

I hear all this talk of “It’s always gone on” - but in the ten years I’ve been licensed - plus the 14 before that where I was actively SWLing, I have found such behaviour to be extremely rare.


In reply to M1EYP:

Email me with your hunch and I’ll tell you whether you’re right or
not. I agree that sitting idly by is not an option. In particular, I
have a duty to those I am introducing to the hobby to show it in the
best possible light.

I have it on good authority that one of the worst offenders in another part of the UK is an RSGB-approved instructor on Foundation courses.

Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to G0VOF:

Are we absolutley certain that foul language is not expressly forbidden?

For any chance of conviction, the language would have to be not just offensive or foul, but beyond anything you are likely to hear on a day to day basis. As you hear the same in gritty dramas on the BBC you are not going to get anywhere with a prosecution. Never mind whether you can actually successfully attribute what you heard to who you believe transmitted it.

There still is a case if the language is grossly offensive. But for a long time OFCOM staff had no concept of what that really meant. Today defining what is grossly offensive and what is just offensive is not easy. You may find that if someone is threatening someone you have a better case but see attribution above.

The final nail against anything happening is the cost. How much would it cost to proescute someone who probably on the loss of their licence would simple pirate and continue? Minimum £250000. It’s not going to happen unless you put up the cash. Especially as swearing is not prohibited in the first place.


In reply to MM0FMF:

It doesn’t have to be prosecution, for all except determined scofflaws the threat of withdrawing the license should be enough.

If you read the notes at the back of BR68 you will find:

“i) It is an offence under the Wireless Telegraphy (Content of Transmission) Regulations 1988 to send a message, communication or other matter in whatever form that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.”

What we need is a properly organised OO network similar to that operating in the USA.


Brian G8ADD

In reply to M1EYP:
“I made a note of the date, time, frequency and the callsigns involved”

You were lucky - had a similar experience on GB3GN on Friday when two stations in Aberdeen were on the repeater for over an hour, with occasional outbursts of “robust” language and never once did they use their callsigns. In this case I have referred the matter to the Licence tutors at the local club suggesting they teach their trainees the basic requirements for station identification as stated in the licence.

Barry GM4TOE

In reply to G3NYY:

I have it on good authority that one of the worst offenders in another
part of the UK is an RSGB-approved instructor on Foundation courses.

For what it’s worth, there seems to be a slight change to the Foundation syllabus in the pipeline, and the main change is to add the following:

8a.5 Understand that the transmission of music and the use of offensive or threatening language whilst on the air are unacceptable in amateur radio.
8a.6 Understand how to respond to music or inappropriate language overheard or received from other stations.

(Ref: )

“The Cloud under new management” was a cheeky tagline to an alert that made me realise that Sean M0GIA was about to start a series of nightshifts. He had threatened that he might be having some after-work activations to coincide with my before-work activations, and this was it.

I arrived at the Cloudside parking spot to find Sean already there in his car, but looking pretty fatigued after his first overnight shift. Nonetheless, he still raced ahead of me on the ascent of The Cloud, as my own fatigue kicked after my big walk on Kinder Scout G/SP-001 the previous day.

We reached the summit by torchlight and began to set up. Set-up involved the mighty effort of pressing a button on a HT for Sean. Mine went pear-shaped when the groundplane radials of my 20m vertical broke away from the coax feeder. Fortunately, I was able to peel off some of the tape and cable coating and twist the radials back onto some braid. This was then secured to the fishing pole with plastic cable ties and held up for the activation, giving me a working antenna. It will need attention before the next outing though!

20m CW then proved to be loads of fun despite the delayed start. A really interesting selection of ten DXCCs - SV, E7, UN, LZ, 4K, HA, EU, YU, RA, UR - was worked in the run of 16 QSOs in 16 minutes. I was particularly pleased with Azerbaijan 4K, and then surprised when another one, with prefix 4J called me just three minutes later.

I am still working towards being QRV on 20m CW by 0700z in the morning. It hasn’t happened for a while, what with sluggish get-ups, sluggish ascents and equipment “situations” - but it remains a serious aspiration for the summer.

Now to get that aerial round to M0GIA’s. I remain delighted at the lifetime service and repair guarantees he provides with all the free aerials he builds me.


I was on The Cloud on the evening of Tuesday 1st February 2011. The new manager of the summit was not. In fact he seems only to have activated it once since bestowing the honour upon himself. Never mind, the recently demoted assistant manager was there to continue the 2011 RSGB UK Activity Contest campaign as part of the regular Top 5 Macclesfield team.

I was a little earlier in getting there this time, allowing a few extra minutes to put up the unfamiliar antenna. As a result, I was parking before the start of Jamie Cullem’s Radio 2 programme, so no pre-activation jazz for me.

On summit I was set up and ready to go a good twenty minutes ahead of the 2000 start time, so a chance to sit back and relax over a cup of coffee from the flask. The first hour of the contest was relatively slow going with 28 QSOs, but this was compensated by a healthy number of multiplier squares in the log. The SB5 was certainly enabling me to get the DX stations like GM, GI, JO01 etc earlier in the contest.

After 2100z, I managed to get a better rhythm going with a run on 144.329MHz SSB, and this included incoming calls from IO86 and IO70, so pleasing. How Don G0RQL heard me while I was beaming to Scotland I’ll never know, but a quick turn of the beam and we had strong clear signals in both directions.

As ever it was nice to be giving out SP-015 to known SOTA chasers, and being requested for it by others. The final tally was 5 DXCCs: G, GW, GI, GD, GM, 69 QSOs and 16 multipliers: IO64, IO70, IO74, IO75, IO80, IO81, IO82, IO83, IO86, IO91, IO92, IO93, IO94, JO01, JO02 and JO03. I did not hear IO84 or IO85, but did hear JO00, which was a ‘miss’. It would be nice to tally twenty multipliers in one of these events, but 16 was a big improvement on the 11 in my winning January entry. Whether or not I will be as successful this time, I do not know. The band was jam packed with lots of splatter from strong local stations, so there is the chance of a broken contact, and I suspect there will prove to be a greater number of competitive entries in the AL (10 watt) section this month.

Despite putting freshly charged cells into my headtorch before leaving home, it had given me a couple of flash warnings and was dimming by pack-up time. Perhaps I am not supposed to be using rechargables with my Petzl headlight, or maybe my cells are getting tired! In any case, I simply donned the spare from my pocket (Jimmy’s Petzl) in order to pack away and descend.

Guy Barker’s late night jazz programme on BBC Radio 2 accompanied me from Cloudside to the Harrington Arms in Gawsworth, which was astonishingly full for 11.30pm on a Tuesday night! Already here were Greg 2E0RXX and Simon M0TGT who had been contesting up near Wildboarclough, and Simon’s daughter Lucy who had been out with them. A Spearings beef pie with English mustard, a bag of hot chilli and lemon flavour Burts chips, a pint of Robinsons Dizzy Blonde and a natter with my fellow contesters rounded off another enjoyable evening.

I had told them I would be chasing the greyline with the 20m MM the next morning, but remembered when I got home that it was at Sean M0GIA’s for a repair! So I entered my logs at home rather than going straight to bed.

Many thanks to all the SOTA chasers that called in and worked me.


In reply to M1EYP:

Congratulations Tom for another contest win from the Cloud. First on 70cm.



In reply to M1EYP:

Congratulations on your 70 cms victory, Tom!


Thank you Richard and Karen. I hope to work you both on Tuesday in this month’s 70cm.

73, Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

Congratulations Tom an excellent start to the year. I was out of action on Tuesday night with very severe toothache but I hope to catch you again in the next 6m UKAC in a few weeks.


Mark G0VOF

In reply to M1EYP:

Well done Tom…


In reply to 2E0YYY:

And congratulations are due again to Tom for winning the 10 Watt section of the 6 Metre contest last month!


Mark G0VOF