(Oct) Radio Days

Sitting here monitoring the 10m band whilst fuelling myself with more caffeine and trying to get the enthusiasm to head out for a few mile walk. I took a quick look at the front page of the blog earlier and realised it has been well-nigh a month since I last posted. I thought mmmm, I’ll surprise everyone by doing the Radio Days post early. I did have a part local post ready to go but I’ve not  got round to heading out to some local spot to see if I could find remnants of a rifle range long disappeared just to the SW of me, another day. I enjoy just poring over the old local area mapping available online but I’m digressing from what is the original point of this monthly post so here goes..

SOTA work….

No activations to report as only ‘chasing’ done this month and not as much in recent months. I had packed my rukkie with all the equipment on a trip up NE but due to weather and other factors I missed out.

First one in the log in October was Kenny ZUN who headed to Ben Ledi in the Trossachs area and the following day from my now regular Sunday perch at NS 303737, I chased a dual activation of Sgor Gaibhre by Adrain DHY and Colwyn YCJ and I was to catch Colwyn later on a second hill Meall na Meoig, a Corbett, both hills are to the east of Corrour station. The contacts were excellent this day as next station worked was Victor JST who had crossed the border into Eire and I worked him from his summit of Crocknasmug in NE Donegal. Crocknasmug has what could be one of the weirdest but coolest  ‘cairns’ see photo HERE. You must take a look, go on go on go on go on go on (apologies to Mrs Doyle)

5 ele beam on Lurg Moor

5 ele beam on Lurg Moor

Next in the log was Robin PKT who was on Stob Dearg, one of the two Munro summits of Buachaille Etive Mor, this hill is one of the iconic views of Scotland and if you have ever travelled to Glencoe it stands tall on your left as you approach and will hopefully play its part in something I have planned for late 2013.

Following this was Jim GLM who was on another hill known to me, Craigowl which dominates the landscape to the west of Dundee. I had plans to ‘do’ this hill but it is a hill with many military et al antennae bristling on its top. Next in the log was Brian HMZ to the east of me on Cairnpapple Hill, I had received a text from Brian advising that I could find rare DX on .525. I did find him and he forgot to log me, the rare DX is lost.

Next was a very pleasant surprise  as I spoke with oor Cat CNC on a hill both her and Neil 2MØNCM had ascended, one of the many named  Beinn Chaorach this is the one in the Tyndrum area after working both it was the previous mentioned YCJ on Meall na Meoig.

Two days later on what was an excellent sunny day, I spoke to Robin PKT on Ben Cruachan from my work base at sea level  which was a good contact on my handie but I had to go to a higher point to work Jack COX who was celebrating his 10th year of SOTA activating on Ben Lawers. Only six more years for me to do this.

Ben Lawers

Ben Lawers

The next weekend was one in which I made no contacts as I had travelled NE for the weekend but had stopped on the way home to try to catch Neil NCM just N of Peebles but nothing heard from just SW of Perth. I later found out I had passed the hill Jim GLM had been activating near Perth, ces’t la vie.

The following Sunday, perched on my usual spot at Lurg Moor trig and first in the log was Jim GLM who was on Creag na

Ciche in the Glen Shee area and after not long, I spoke with fellow blogger Graeme 2MØGIL who was just under 4,000 ft on Ben Lawers among some snow, I think Graeme was thankful of his flask of soup that day. I was enjoying a ‘crisp’ sunny day but there was a slight difference of 3,300 ft between our heights.

Robin PKT appeared on one of the Southern Scottish high points, Ben Lui whilst next in the log was Colwyn YCJ on Mam na Gualainn which is just N of the Pap of Glencoe on the very south of the Lochaber region.

Neil 2MØNCM appeared on Corradie on the Cowal penninsula this is when I discovered my ‘Homer moment’ that I had left my 4m handie on charge at home but I got Neil later on 2m, this was another virgin summit for Neil and congrats on what was a long round trip for a couple of points.

Last contact for the month was Craig HCF who was on the summit of Duncolm which is line of sight for me plus an enjoyable summit to activate although a one pointer the views and walk in and out is excellent.

Still a busy month and hopefully the snow will stay away in November although the first snow of the year in the Luss hills appeared on the 30th of this month but disappeared quickly within hours.

Duncolm from the South

Duncolm from the South


Still having an odd call on both PSK and JT65 in the data sections of the HF bands. My 7-year-old computer died on me and although I had set everything up on my laptop I waited until I got a replacement tower and since then it has been primarily JT65 with contacts to Euro, Asia and NA. The bands have been very active and some good DX is out there to work, I tend to try to be around at ‘grey line‘ time if possible.

Other Stuff…

I have given a rest to the SDR dongle side of things although I now have acquired one which uses the 820 tuner chip but have yet to set this up plus I have ordered another related piece of equipment and will wait until this arrives then get stuck in to this newish part of the hobby. Plus I’m having a look at a newish data mode JT9.1, I’ve got it set up and need to find some time and contacts with it. Too much to do and too much time wasted doing other things.

11m days

11m days

This was taken in the ’80 during what was an intense high in the then sunspot cycle, a 2 ele home-brew Quad which was later improved, 100w through this baby and the world was your oyster, great and memorable days indeed.

Graeme GIL’s blog post on Ben Lawers HERE

Old Scotland maps HERE

Thanks again got to Wikipedia, Peakbagger and WalkHighlands…

Linked image of Crocknasmug summit cairn © Jim Bloomer.

The link for Corradie goes to Beinn Bhreac which is the general hill area.


About gm7something

64, married, three kids......overweight, unfit, folically challenged, need I go on ?
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