(Sept) Radio Days
October 12, 2012 5 Comments
I thought a wee break in posts was in order after I posted the three rapid blog posts of September’s Lake District activations and visit.
September was a busy month as it was the yearly trip of myself, Roddy IØB and Patsy UPG and this year we headed for the Lake District after the 2011 visit to the Isle of Mull was deemed a roaring success. We first activated the highest point in England, Scafell Pike in what turned out to be almost weather-wise four seasons in one day. The following day it was a dual activation as Roddy and I headed on to separate hilltops and passed each other on Littledale Edge to each others first hill, the venue was Dale Head and Robinson, two ‘Marilyns‘ separated by just 3 km . The weather was much the earlier days but thankfully this time no hailstones on this trip.
Finally the five day visit was ended after an activation of Stony Cove Pike near Kirkstone Pass on the Fri, all done with handheld activations except my 4m one on Dale Head as the wind was strong on each of our visits except for Stony Cove Pike which has amazing views looking south to Morecambe Bay. Thanks obviously must go to those who took the time to work us plus I’ll be back down next year. Blog posts are here Pt 1 Pt 2 Pt4
Another busy month started with a visit to the now usual Lurg Moor trig point and first in the log for the month was Robin PKT who was on Beinn Udlamain which is the highest hill on the west side of the Drumochter Pass. I had returned home and caught Robin on his next summit Sgairneagh Mhor on 2m SSB.
The following Saturday Robin popped up on Schiehallion and the next day I headed to Lurg Moor and although knowing Graeme 2MØGIL was activating Meall Corranaich I missed him as I was heading along the single track road with the handie scanning the 2m band, I later found out I had mistimed and missed him. I did catch him later on his other hill of the day Meall a’Choire Leith but back to my arrival and set up.
I switched on the 817 and lo and behold, a ‘ lift‘ was on as I made contact with Mike YYY on Pen-Y-Ghent in the North Pennines, I did try to contact stations on Great Gable, Blencathra among others but with no joy. The strong signals you receive in the Fells would dwarf mine as the incoming signals were weak. I gave up trying after a short time. Jim GLM was next in the log from Meikle Bin followed by Robin on Carn Dearg to the east of Glen Roy and a good contact given its lower height and it being over 115 kms away . The day wasn’t finished as Craig HCF appeared on Schiehallion which I also worked the previous day.
A midweek contact with Kenny ZUN who activated Ben Lomond, this one caught from sea level from my work base.
It was off to the Lakes and on our second days on the Fells I worked two STS (summit to summit) with Roddy 2MØIOB on Dale Head and Robinson. Two days later, I had just reached the activation zone when I worked a station PLF on Snowdon ’handie to handie’ over 175 km away then a local STS with Richard JTD who was just to the north of us on Hallin Fell which overlooks Ullswater.
The next day it was back to chasing in GM (Scotland) land and Robin PKT was on Binnean Mor the highest and one of the remotest Mamores. Meanwhile Jack COX had climbed up to Beinn Bhuidhe at the top of Loch Fyne and was my final contact that day.
The following day I recorded points from Neil 2MØNCM who had travelled north from his Ayrshire base to Beinn Udlaidh which towers over Glens Lochy and Orchy. this Corbett is known for its quartz rib which is visible from the main road which runs to its east plus it was good to see Neil oot’n'aboot again and last contact for the month was with Robin PKT who also started the month, Robin was to the west of Neil on Creagh Bheinn to the west of Loch Etive.
Neils blog post on his activation of Beinn Udlaidh is HERE
A busy month with points mounting up..a possible 99 pts.
Apart from enjoying the contacts it then leads to a ‘google’ of any new summit worked and reading about the hill, its Gaelic meaning and all relevant info plus I look at possible routes even though I may never visit the area so it’s not all about the chase it is a learning process after the contact, I also apply this to any HF contact I make….the Internet is such a wonderful learning tool.
Propagation started to really pick up towards the latter part of the month but my activity was negligible although most days I had a call. 15, 12 and 10m started to show some exotic DX locations but none seemed to come my way.At the start of the month I did manage to work a station in Beijing on 17m JT65HF. I’m presently having a rest from it all.
Still playing with the ‘dongle’ on VHF and UHF. Things have slowed slightly as stocks of the superior 4000 tuner chip are now running out. Work is currently being done on the suitably of a 820 chip which has appeared on the market. Some sellers are now labelling these dongles as SDR so please check the chips first are suitable, check this at the subReddit RTLSDR
I’m still heading out to higher local spots for radio work and the trig at Lurg Moor is beginning to be my ‘go to’ place, it has excellent views in a 180 degree vista from west to east. I must organise a seat as with a wet summer, the grass areas are sodden and Bob must save his weary legs.