UK S2S Day/Special Event Stations?

I had a quick search through the reflector and couldn’t find anything about a UK SOTA event.
Have we had such a thing in the past? I think maybe around the summer solstice would be a great time of year.

This came to mind after reading an article in the July 2017 TRAIL magazine, page 54 entitled ‘From which summit can I see the most Lakeland Fells’ within which VHF radio was discussed for event support and High Raise was mentioned as the best fell for views and presumably S2S in the Lakes :wink:

Oh and I meant to ask - has anyone held a SOTA special event station? I’d be really interested to know how that might work.

Regards, Mark.

Hi Mark,
Not sure if this is what to are asking about…
We used to have SOTA Fun Days usually on the 2nd January and one around the beginning on May. These fun days drifted away as more activators were taking part in SOTA and there was nearly always someone on somewhere around the world sometime of the day.
The initial idea of the Fun Days was to get more activators out and to help promote SOTA to the wider amateur world. I think it has become a victim of its own success.
They were really great days and we’re mostly VHF and the odd UHF activations, however, most of us did HF either before or after the event.
Search for Fun Day in the reflector.

73 Neil

Hi Mark
It’s probably not what you were actually asking about but it is possible to arrange a ‘fun day’ without any official involvement by just ‘advertising’ on the reflector. Last year I mentioned (a few times!) that I was intending activating GW/SW-001 (Waun Fach) on 2 April on VHF and UHF and I would be particularly concentrating on UHF as I was hoping to qualify as a UHF Mountain goat. The local activators had got used to being asked to QSY to UHF when on other summits and, with the right kit (I use a 5w VX7R with dipole and many others were also on a handy) found it very easy to make contact over long distances. Having arranged for a beautifully sunny day I made 22 contacts on UHF including 7 S2S (GW/MW-001, G/CE-001 and 002, G/WB-012 and 021 etc) and also reached South Staffs and N of Coventry. With a VHF S2S to E!/IE-003 as well it certainly felt like a ‘Fun Day’ to me!

If you feel like organising something yourself then just ask around (what happened to the SOTA cycling day last year??) on the reflector and with local activators and see what happens. Have a fun time!

73 Viki M6BWA

Hi Mark

The North Pennines Fun Day was a reet good do in 2009. We also worked stations on 2m FM in the Lake District. I took part and operated from Hoove. There was a lot of interest from those involved at that time, but there are a lot of different people doing SOTA now. Some come and go and some come and stay for rather a long time, like me! If someone was to coordinate a similar event with sufficient notice - possibly toward the end of the current WB period, it could again be very popular.

73 Phil

Whatever happened to ‘Gaulfest’?

Not sure why Gaulfest is Tom? Please explain, maybe I missed something.

If Mark or anyone else was prepared to coordinate another NP Fun Day if I was free I would certainly support it from an activating point of view. There are plenty of summits to go at, and the South Pennines and Lake District and even North Wales are within range on 2m FM.

73 Phil

Another example of a fun day was held in 2015, which I coordinated. The event coincided with a visit to the UK by Ed DD5LP and was also well supported, albeit we only have five lowly summits in my region.

We also had a social event at a pub after the event, This would be awkward to arrange in a larger region however.

73 Phil

As said the 2009 SOTA Fun Day was awesome. There was a decent report in Radcom. That Chris 2E0FSR was a good lad organising that bless him.

I think that since SOTA has grown and gone worldwide activity on VHF/UHF has decreased in favour of more activators using HF.

If there is to be a VHF/UHF Fun Day/weekend then I’m definitely interested.

73 Chris M0RSF (ex 2E0FSR)

Yes, he was a good lad was that Chris. I think he is still about doing the odd SOTA - nice one Chris! (M0RSF).

73 Phil

It still doesn’t explain what Gaulfest was or why it was so called.

It was one of the early SOTA activator S2S thrashes with social meet afterwards. That’s WHAT it was; I’d have thought that was clear :wink:

As to WHY it was called that - I can’t remember. Maybe I’ll do a little research - or perhaps @M0DFA may remind us?

Research complete. Turns out it was an error - which then stuck!

BTW, why “Gaul”? Hmmm…got it wrong! Was after the ancient name for Wales - as in “Pays de Galles”.

Thanks info Tom. Although I did work G3CWI on day one of SOTA I took my eye off the ball until 2005. Good to know about Gaulfest, was not aware.

73 Phil

It definitely happened again in 2004, not sure about after that. We should try to make it an annual thing again for between Christmas and New Year. It was a lot of fun.

The photo brought back some memories, including as it did Shirley MW0YLS and Riley G7GOD, now both SK. My activation report gave me some amusement, with the mention of me racing ahead of Jimmy to the summit! My goodness, that must have been a VERY long time ago!