I’m early this month due to there being a lack of content being posted, folks.
The weather or more to the point, the HOT HUMID SUNNY (we do not say this very often) days have been constant throughout the month and these are not been my favourite days for heading out on the hills. A few hardy souls have ventured out and the following is my ‘chasing’ report for the month..
First out the blocks this month was Robin PKT on a visit to the Arrochar area with a midweek activation of The Cobbler. Robin’s evening contrasted weather wise with my earlier in the year activation, I was glad of a N breeze but on his the wind was strong and biting. My blog post HERE.
The following weekend saw me heading to the local golf course trig point as fellow blogger Neil had informed me that I COULD work his intended hill Gathersnow . I had not long come back from a trip with Lance and had grabbed the rukkie and intended to head to Lurg Moor but my legs told me the golfie trig point. I quickly set up and heard a few English stations throughout 2m FM, a lift was on! Soon after I heard some Welsh SOTA activators, read on.
My first contact of the day was Robin PKT on the line of sight Ben Cruachan then it was off to work Gerald WML, a Welsh station on Moel Eilio with no problems. I searched around the band and booming in was a station on Wales‘s highest point, Snowdon but he was pretty busy. I tried a few times to break in but no joy. Neil 2MØNCM was duly worked and entered in the log and as I spoke with Neil, my battery ran out of juice. I quickly finished by handie and then headed home. I knew another station had declared for the Isle of Skye and quickly threw up the beam at home and duly worked both Heather and Colin, UXH (both with different prefixs), I make contact with both each time I’m down in the Lakes so it was good to catch them both on Meall na Suiramach. The lift was still on as I heard another station based near Portree. To finish the day, I spoke with PARC member Craig PHT just to the S of me on the Hill of Stake.
The following weekend I caught Robin on the Mamore of Am Bodach and his second the Grey Corrie Stob Ban. Jack COX split these two by activating Meall na Fearna, this gave me another GM/SS top 50 and now have only 8 to ‘chase’. It’s another goal to make although this one is in the activators hands.The following day I caught Iain WJZ on his summit of Bidean a’Chabair situated to the NE of Loch Morar, an excellent contact considering the amount of higher hills between us, I suspect a slight lift was on as has been a regular occurrence this month. Soon after this I worked PKT on the summit of Aonach Beag just to the E of Ben Nevis.
Finally the end of what was another busy chasing month, I caught Robin on Stob Ghabhar, one of the Black Mount hills near Bridge of Orchy and last chase was Iain WJZ on Beinn Bheula on the Cowal Peninsula.
A busy and points rewarded month, I’m quickly closing in on 3,000 pts all on VHF.
Whilst I’m on the subject of SOTA, take a look at the excellent Mapping Project HERE and now with the extra of being able to add and download GPX files, this is an excellent resource and kudos go out to all those who contribute to this. I’ll certainly make good use of this. There are many good mapping and other tools available on-line, a couple recently mailed to me are ‘Generate a Panorama’ HERE and UK Grid Reference Finder HERE. If you can pass on any others please feel free to post link in the Comments section, the more the merrier.
I probably spent less time than I normally do going by my eQSL tally for the month but continued to call most mornings and early evenings. I see the same stations on the same bands each visit I must try another mode or just try differing times but its good to work each other on different bands, I have one Dutch station down as worked on seven bands, I’ve capabilities on working him on only one more HF band or possibly VHF ? who knows….
I spend most of the time just monitoring but I really must use WSPR at these times.
The bike has taken over I think as I head on to the cycle track most weekend mornings (early) and use it to head off to varying roads in the Renfrewshire area. I enjoy being out and about before the country roads get busy and I have now to sit and decide what route to take although I do this as a whim when out, my old philosophy of deciding right or left at junctions which as regulars have read I do often. I don’t avoid hills now which is a bonus, my trip across the river to ‘visit’ Loch Lomond was my longest by far trip yet, blog post HERE. I have cracked the Dougliehill road climb so nothing fazes me now although one kind woman enquired to my well-being as I rested at the top but laughed when I told her I’d just cycled up the short, very steep climb. One small step etc. I’ll get used to it……eventually.
Radio wise ?
Making plans for the mid-Sept visit to North Wales on which is now an annual SOTA expedition, the hills are chosen so it is just a case of getting there and the weather to play ball.
I’m playing about with the theory of another portable antenna and hope to maybe do a piece on this in the near future but as you know nothing gets done with speed here at the Mhor QTH…
I’m looking at and testing another JT65 decoding program which unfortunately doesn’t sync with JTAlert but with a little extra work does well. I still prefer JTAlert checking the decodes and telling me who has been worked or about to be hopefully worked. Of course, I’m also running on occasion the new version of WSJT-X which decodes both JT65 and JT9. Variety is the spice of life eh ?
Images aren’t exciting this month so my oops!