News just in…the Mayans forgot that they had banned the 2013 calendar due to a certain Bieber featuring on it so I get to follow-up with the last bit.
First I’d like to wish all those who pass by the blog a very Happy New Year and all the best wishes for 2013….
For me 2012 was an exceptional SOTA ‘chasing’ year.
I managed to pass my ‘portable’ Sloth at some point although I never kept a regular check, I’d a thought one night and a quick tally and I was there.
All contacts are appreciated whether from home, a summit or on a hillside like Lurg Moor trig which has turned into my regular haunt.
Memorable contacts ? them all although some wee exceptions rise to the top. I turned up on Lurg Moor one Sunday morning knowing fellow blogger and outing buddy Roddy IOB was heading to Larriston Fell on the Scotland/England border. I had reccied Memory Map checking from which hill or area the contact would be possible from but decided Lurg Moor could be possible.
I did make the contact with Roddy IOB on Larriston Fell and after a quick exchange of reports and some chit-chat, I left IOB to activate the hill. A surprising 149 km contact.
There had been a memorable lift in August for regular mentioned station Robin PKT who had worked England and various continental stations during a lift on 2m SSB from almost 4,000 ft in the previous weeks and there was a lift albeit weak to the Lake District and the Pennines, the only station I worked was Mike YYY on Pen-Y-Ghent, one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks in the North Yorkshire Dales. I was acknowledged by a couple other stations but I got fed up waiting as regulars in Scotland were out and about.
Other distance contacts were a 2w contact with Colwyn YCJ who was 136km away on Cat Law near Kirriemuir, the handie antenna was a Nagoya 701 which is my choice for my wee Chinese handies. I had just left the B788 to head up to Corlic at this point.
Furthest non-lift contacts were both into Ireland, Victor a GI station whom I contacted on Muckish as a STS (summit to summit) form the Hill of Stake and more surprisingly, Crocksnamug near Malin Head approx 161 kms away but this was from the wrong side of the hill, yep ! Lurg Moor. A cracking little spot at only 750 ft ASL with extensive views N and this proved the spot for a surprise contact with Iain WJZ on Creag nan Damh, one of the South Glen Shiel ridge tops although I had in previous weeks heard Iain WJZ on one of the Skye Cullins but couldn’t make the trip back but I have heard a Skye based station on more than a few occasions so maybe that wee bit higher next time I know someone is in that area, Cruech Hill would be ideal.
2012 was the busiest year so far in my short chasing time and if I had put in more effort then the magical figure of 1,000 pts in 12 months could have been achievable note I only work VHF, I wonder how many if I did HF too ?
My thanks again to those who venture out in all weathers to ‘give’ us our SOTA chaser points..
Still spending/wasting my time on data modes..
Whilst suffering from constant electrical QRM which you would expect in an urban environment, I find that low power data suits me.
The year started with most activity being on the PSK area of the bands but as the months passed I found myself hanging around the JT65 bands and as you may have read or about to, the year ended up with a dabble in JT 9-1 but after a promising start this mode seems to have quieted down which was to be expected but there is still a stream of opos trying this out, the advantages are low power, low-bandwidth usage and especially just now a lack of high power stations. I have worked around twenty DXCC on no more than 10w, a mode which I hope will soon grow in popularity.
SDR the dongle method…
This came to my attention through Reddit ( where I spend too much time) subreddit /RTLSDR.
I have bought three dongles each with different tuner chips but with the same Realtek chipset. I managed to ‘zap’ the Elonics one which was the first tuner chip all the work was done on and as Elonics left the marketplace other tuner chips were starting to be used but the bandwidth and sensitivity of these were not as good but recently a new tuner chip has appeared and first tests look positive although I have put all this on the back burner just now. I must get going I have some other equipment to test in this area.
I built a 7 ele 2m yagi during the summer months and I still haven’t tuned it in yet, lazy or what ? but this will be only for portable work as the present 5 ele is ideal for any activating I do. I keep also looking into having a LiPo battery set up and although discussing in detail this with Neil NCM, I have still to do something about this, can you see a pattern here ?
More hills, plain and simple that is if this rain will ever stop. Global warming or should it be global wetting. The golf has been hit on the head but I hadn’t played much last year. I did over just under 680 ml walking over last 12 months so hopefully the same again this year.
I have a smaller wish list for ’13 and check the image showing a very young and fitter Mhor circa 1981 preferring a scramble to the path heading to the summit of one of my ‘go to’ hills later this year. We never made further progress as my wife of only TWO DAYS decided enough was enough, I would have of course headed on but she was the Boss even then…just as an aside, this was not the regular path used on this hill.
Can anyone guess the hills in the background ?
That seems to be it, the yearly digest is over.
Enjoy 2013 everyone.
Thanks again go to Wikipedia, Peakbagger and all those who ‘suffer’ me on the bands and my regular ‘activation buddy’ Roddy IOB for our outings and making sure his earplugs never show.