Last year, I activated G/SP-013 on Xmas day. This was a thoroughly enjoyable morning with nearlty 100 contacts completed. After the success of last year, I planned the same thing this year. I note there are a number of other activators who have also alerted for Xmas day.
A few days ago, the WX forecast was good, however, Murphys law being Murphys law, things have suddenly changed and the forecast for G/SP-013 has gone from dry to light showers and now to heavy rain. In view of the WX forecast, Ray G7TAS, who is also activating Xmas morning, has changed his alert from G/CE-004 Bardon Hill to G/TW-005 Normanby Top, a summit which is much closer to his home QTH.
I’m going to try my best to active G/SP-013 and have even dug out the very lightweight beach shelter. However, it’s all pretty much in the hands of the WX Gods.
A lightweight beach shelter will not be much good in heavy rain Mickey. A bothy bag is what you need. These keep you warm and dry whatever the outside wx, so provided you can bear the walk and set-up in the elements, you can activate for hours in comfort.
A day or so earlier, and you could have probably picked one up from a local supplier.
In reply to M1EYP:
A lightweight beach shelter will not be much good in heavy rain
Mickey. A bothy bag is what you need. These keep you warm and dry
whatever the outside wx, so provided you can bear the walk and set-up
in the elements, you can activate for hours in comfort.
Yeah, the forecast changed so quickly, Tom
I’ve got a one man tent which I’ll probably take instead. Trouble is, I’m on a pretty strict timetable because of Xmas lunch arrangements, so may go up early and set the staion up using the head torch.
Ah, that’s the beauty of bothy bags - ten seconds to deploy, tops. And about 15 to put away!
You can activate warm and dry in very poor weather on very high summits. This is me and Jimmy activating The Cheviot G/SB-001, 815m on a very poor day in 2006:
(Full story here: The Cheviot SB-001 )
(Even fuller story here: Pennine Way On The Air )
The only downside is the view:
[MNI TNX G0LGS].
Xmas Day activation #1
Looking at the spots I do believe No. 1 was me. This was an unannounced activation, simply because I had not actually intended it! However, when I found myself wide awake at 0515 on Christmas Day morning, juxtaposed with the contented zeds elsewhere on our first floor, I decided to go for it.
The weather was quite horrid as I drove to Cloudside, but it turned dry with occasional very light drizzle just in time for my ascent and set-up. A brisk wind across the summit made erecting the pole and 40m dipole taxing, especially in the dark and mist meaning that you couldn’t see where things were!
Once set up, I pulled the bothy bag over me for an instant dry and warm operating position, just as some persistent rain started outside.
I did try some extended calling on 7.051MHz SSB, which I also self-spotted, but couldn’t get any replies. I also intended hanging around until the propagation got shorter so I could work some UK and near Europe stations. However, by 0745, the skip was still hitting Central Europe having moved slowly from the East, and I was tired and uncomfortable by then. So I called it a day and descended.
Prior to that, I made 13 QSOs on 40m CW, with DXCCs DL, I, LY, OE, OK, OM, S5 and YO. But the highlight came at 0725 UTC when I called into the pile-up of KL1A/W2 - and broke it first call with my 5 watts! That was a great first Christmas present of the day!
On the drive home I got a namecheck on 102.8 Canalside Community Radio, and a chaser point by working Mickey 2E0YYY/P on Gun G/SP-013. A nice start to Christmas Day. Festive greetings to all.
In reply to M1EYP:
60 spots in the last 12 hours - impressive!
73 es HNY
In reply to G7TAS:
If you enjoyed your walk up the wee hill today, if you enjoyed playing radio from said summit, then forget the rest and carry on enjoying doing these and keeping the chasers happy in their own ‘contest’.
Just do what I do set a goal and aim for it - everything in life is a contest of some sort!
Merry Christmas to you and all
P.S. I would have been out myself today but loaded with flu for last week, that was my contest - get rid of the damn thing!
I hope all those that ventured out to the hills today had a enjoyable time.
I manged to work just one station on a summit today - Steve G4TCU/P on 23cm FM from G/WB-009, I suspect I was his only contact as he was just walking by the summit when I heard him call and we spoke for several minutes as he enjoyed his walk.
Mike 2E0YYY/P on G/SP-013 was heard by Matt 2E0MDJ and myself on 2m FM in Cheltenham, but not well enough for either of use to complete a contact.
RSGB Xmas Cumulatives on 4m/6m/2m/70cm 1400-1600 for the next 4 days, night give a opportunity for a few more people to make some VHF contacts from there local summits. However I will be staying in the Shack !
Hope everyone had a good day.
73 Stewart G0LGS
In reply to M1EYP:
I did have a listen on 7051 for 10 minutes or so soon after your spot Tom.
Sadly, as you say, the band was loooong.
Missed the 23cm activity from Worcester Beacon too - heard Stewart on the 23cm H/H in the shack, but wasn’t paying much attention (terrible thing to say!!). Must try harder next time
Season’s Greetings to all.