Firstly, a cracking month radio wise on the SOTA front whilst on the home VHF front, the usual contacts made on 2m. I had posted last month about taking down the 4m antenna which I had placed in my attic space, the frame is still in place but I removed the wire but it will be a 10 mins job to fit it all back in place. I had intended to rattle up a Halo type antenna for 6m but due to my appetite for golf being rekindled it is on the back burner. I now have my Shack Sloth so the relentless pursuit of points isn’t so intense although on the third Friday of the month, I had ‘chased’ Robin PKT on Meall a’Bhuraidh just before midday and knowing that he was heading to Creise, I took my handie with its ‘helically wound’ on to the golf course with me ( a two-stroke penalty ?).
Roddy 2MØIOB had let me know Robin was on the hill but he was not be heard but in my search, I found Jack COX on An Caisteal, a quick call in and with a 30ft pitch and run for a birdie, I left Jack…
I bogeyed the hole….perhaps the gaining of an extra six points put me off. The handie placed back into the golf bag and off I went to play ‘army golf’. left, right, left, right yet again.
a good month with my first 10 point activation, Ben Lawers bagged…read about it <HERE> and following that 10 days later, a return trip to Beinn Eich but this time I repeated my 2009 double activation with Doune Hill. An eight point jaunt ! read about the Eich/Doune trip <HERE>. One ‘story’ I never mentioned on the Lawers blog post, I was just over half way to the summit of Beinn Ghlas when I saw someone descending with a spade across his backpack. He stopped to chat and I asked if he had been forewarned about my impending doom, he laughed and said he had cleared some of the water run-off areas on the path. I did get a strange look though.
First one was a summit to summit (STS) with Derek MIX who was on the summit of Knott in the Lake District area, I had come across Derek whilst I was on Lawers. Two days later, Alan TXY was working from one of my favourite hills Beinn a’Mhanaich along with his nephew Scott SWC, it was Scott’s first activation…also our fellow blogger Roddy 2MØIOB ably assisted by Mrs IOB on his activation of the Cowal hill of Beinn Mhor, Roddy’s blog report <HERE>. A busy Saturday indeed.
The following weekend was my dual activation and two STS’s with Robin PKT, one from Eich and the other from Doune Hill, Robin was on Ben Hiant in the Ardnamurchan peninsula, this hill is a ‘to do’ as the views from its top are impressive from images posted online. The other STS was with our old friend Neil who was on Beinn Bhalgairean south-east from Dalmally. One week later, Iain WJZ activated Ben Cluech, the highest summit in the Ochil Hills, I stayed at home for this one as the weather was not too good for ascending any of my local hills. Later that day, Caroline ZCB appeared on Meall Greigh which is one of the Lawers Munro hills, Caroline and hubby Martyn were up for their annual activation week in GM land. The following day, Caroline appeared on Stobinnean, I think I could have used the proverbial piece of wet string as its summit just peeks over Kilotter above the village of Cardross on the opposite bank of the Clyde from me, it only shows when the sun drops in the winter months when snow is lying.
Three days later, Robin PKT popped up on the same summit after I caught him on his first hill, the steep-sided Ben More, he then appeared on the summit of Stobinnean, I worked him both times on 2m FM. Later that day, Caroline popped up in the Trossachs on Ben Vane. I had a quick chat with Caroline as they were heading back south on the Saturday.
The next day, I caught the relentless Robin PKT on another dual activation, both over 1,100m in height, first the aforementioned Meall a’Bhuraidh but I failed to chase him on Creise. 4 10 pt’ers in two days, I did Lawers and was stiff for a week ( a bit less !). Finally that day, I got Jack COX on An Caisteal ( see previous reference to this)…a good month point wise.
A funny month propagation wise, it was dead to me most days but came alive most evenings with occasional forays on to10m thrown in. Nothing of much to report except a throwback to my school geography days when I saw the name Svalbard appearing, the operator was getting swamped by European stations, I did try but at that time, no chance. I had a look around the other bands when I thought time for a wee bit of SWL’ing and lo and behold the JW station was cq’ing, off went the ‘him to me’ call and voilà ! I had Svalbard, a new DXCC country, luck or what ?
A few forays into modes, WSPR is excellent to leave running in the background whilst I do other stuff on the computer or laze and watch some tv. I tend to concentrate on the 20m band but have occasionally visited the 10m band on occasion.
Daily look to see what is happening although I did have a surprise contact mid June, I was sending out a general CQ call on 20m ROS and noticed the 15m band had a few Euro stations calling, I tuned my dipole and headed to15m and had just sent out a general CQ and I saw I had been ‘picked’ up in South Korea albeit with a lowish signal, as an aside to this I had earlier that day updated the ROS programme to its latest version and was watching the screen when I saw the ‘GM7 de’ coming through onto the ROS screen and next came the DS prefix and then the programme ‘hung’, I quickly restarted said programme and immediately sent out more CQ’s on 15m but apart from a couple of Europeans nothing else ‘came’ back, I checked my eQSL account later and found a card from the South Korean station confirming our ‘QSO’, a bad time for it to freeze….it hasn’t happened since, dilemma DXCC or not ? This programme tells you who is sending out CQs and on what band, a bit DX clustery ? but you will get reports from who ‘hears’ you even if they are only monitoring the frequency and will upload to pskreporter.
For Ben Hiant photos, try Geograph