Think I'm Losing My Touch!

Friday the 13th, I really should have known better than to activate a summit. Nevertheless, I took a drive up to G/SP-004 Shining Tor, my first activation of this summit for ages. Shining Tor is a gold mine for the DX’er and along with GW/NW-076 Great Orme, it should be on every SOTA Activators bucket list.

When I arrived at the parking spot, it was very windy, and so I opted to take the shorter 9m fishing pole. On reaching the trig point, it was blowing a hooligan. I messaged Ed DD5LP to let him know what conditions were like and then I attempted to put the antenna up. To be honest I was having an utter nighmare bungeeing the fishing pole to the finger post. It blew over twice and I was within an inch of chucking the towel in. By now, I’d got to the point where I didn’t even care if the fishing pole snapped.
After about 20 minutes, I finally had the inverted Vee dipole secured. I’d alerted for both 20m and 40m, but I had no intention of pulling the antenna down again, so I opted for a 20m only activation.

As ever, Ed DD5LP was first in the log and after a chat about band and WX conditions, he kindly spotted me on SOTAwatch and the DX cluster. My third call was from Mario PY2ZZ in Brazil and then I was picked up by N1MDX, in Massachusetts, followed by Jim VE9WH.
I was made up, that the very next call from Brian @N2BTD. Brian and I go back a long way, when we made loads of contacts on the 10m band. This was not long after he got started in the hobby. Many thanks Brian!
There were loads of EU and Norh American Chasers, including a Summit to Summit with Mindy @KM1NDY, who was activating W2/GC-002. Nice to get Guru EA2IF from Pamplona in the log.

All the time this was happening the temperature was dropping and it turned very cold. I’d arranged a sked with Ernie VK3DET and knew this was going to be a challenge. Ernie must have spent 90 minutes going back and forth to his rig, trying both long and short path. Sadly, there were to be no Pacific calls logged for this activation and I didn’t hear any on the frequency all evening.

With Africa, Asia, Europe as well as North and South America logged, I came up one continent short of my last SOTA activation, but that’s radio for you. The disappointment was eased somewhat, when I worked Ron V44RR on St Kitts and Nevis, just before pulling the plug.

At just after 23:00utc, I called time out. There were 103 contacts logged for the activation all 20m ssb.
Of the 35 contacts into North America. 27 were USA and 8 Canada, the most memorable being a long chat with Colin VA3FP who is 93 years young. Just 2 contacts into South America.

IMHO, this log flatters to decieve, I thought the 20m band was hard work, with no Pacific and the best of the DX only as far as Texas…
So there you have it, the solar numbers are still in the doldrums and the solar WX experts still appear to be predicting jam tomorrow.

Thanks to all the callers. A nice, but very cold and windy activation.

Mike 2E0YYY


Have faith, Mike! The new sunspot cycle is still getting going, better times are definately ahead - not that I would turn my nose up at your little haul!

There are no numbered sunspots today, but a closer look shows three little groups of pores, so its not like the spotless days of a year ago!


So many DX contacts - unbelievable.

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Awesome work Mike. The QSB across the band was deep and signals were going from S9 to S0 and back again every five minutes when I was listening, and most stations you were talking to I couldn’t hear.


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Well done Mike, it was difficult enough with the high winds activating with a handie on the great Orme yesterday evening, let alone putting up a HF antenna!


What touch do you think you are losing, Mike?
Your amazing performance was once again outstanding!

It was very nice for me to make the QSO with you just a few minutes before my programmable mains socket put my remote station OFF at our midnight local (22h00 utc)

Very well done!



Crikey Mike, what a bag full. Well done !!


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Hi Mike

It is good to see that you are still pulling them in from Shining Tor. I still have happy memories of our joint activation there from a few years ago.

Nick G4OOE

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Hi Guru,
Because of the high wind, I should have taken a different antenna. The Antron-99 and 10 feet of aluminium poles, would have been far easier to put up. Also, I had nowhere near enough warm clothing with me. It wasn’t band conditions which made me go QRT, it was the very cold WX.

73 Mike

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Hi Roger,

Thanks. It’s rare to get a calm day on Great Orme, that’s for sure. Wonderful summit, which is full of surprises.

73 Mike

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Probably, there was not way for you to have an idea of the very high winds you were going to encounter at the summit.

I guess it’s highly unexpected having such cold weather in mid August, even for England.
With the 35ºC we have now in Pamplona, I know I should take some warm clothing, with some fleece and a windstopper should I wanted to go activate some of the nearby SOTAs, because the city is 450m a.s.l. but the SOTAs around are all around 900 to 1200 a.s.l. and that makes a substantial difference, particularly after sunset.
Well, I’m sure you will have taken your learnt lessons for the future. We are always learning.





When I tuned to your spot on 14.290 it was simply amazing to actually hear you! There was QSB and some QRM from below, but I clearly heard you in QSO and copied your callsign. I called several times but was probably lost in your wind noise, hi. An SWL report (53) went into my log at 1935Z. A CW QSO would have been a strong possibility.
I was on Snow Benchmark, W6/CT-121 at the time; 5 watts from a KX3 feeding a 59’ EFRW at 15’ with a good down slope to the NE. F4WBN was worked on 17 and ZL2IFB on 20.
One of these days our S2S will happen.

David N6AN


Thanks for trying, David. No doubt about it, we will make the s2s trip!

73 Mike