Tag Archives: Beinn Odhar

(July) Radio Days

 

Lets get going…

Activations…

July had only  one activation but a good one for me. I headed to the Arrochar area with the intention to activate the Cobbler but as I stood at the bealach I looked left then straight ahead and the twin tops of Ime tempted me too much. I only wished I had taken a quick photo.  The extra effort was worthwhile. One to remember ! Blog post HERE

Chasing…

Another busy month, my thanks again to those who headed to the tops.

Looking N from Corlic

Looking N from Corlic

First in the log for July was Colwyn YCJ with the first of his summits for the day, Stobinnean plus later I was to work him on Ben More and Cruach Ardrain, a good workout. Robin PKT turned up on Beinn Challum, I had worked YCJ’s first and Robin from Corlic and with Jack COX’s help I managed YCJ on what probably was the lowest part of my journey home, Cruach Adrain worked later from the home.. A great start to the month !

The following Friday I worked Jack COX from his activation of Beinn Odhar which sits to the north-east of Tyndrum, unexpected but welcome points.

Two days later I worked Iain WJZ on the Green Lowther a hill which I thought would be out of my reach but with the beam up at home I managed the contact and later that day, Robin PKT turned up on a Lawers area hill, Meall Nan Tarmachan. During the midweek, Jack COX had done a wild camp and I managed to catch him on each hill, first was Beinn Achaladair followed by Beinn a’Chreachain and finally on the Friday morning on Beinn Mhanach.

The following day Iain WJZ activated both Beinn Each then later was on Stuc a’Chroin whilst Robin PKT was on Carn Mor Dearg. I had just left to head to the Lurg Moor trig when I heard Iain and I made the contact using my 2w Baofeng and its dual band Nagoya duck.

Ben More and Stobinnean

Ben More and Stobinnean

Robin PKT activated some high point hills helping raise my chaser points total, first was the two hills Jack COX had earlier done, Beinn Achaladair followed by Beinn a’Chreachain and four days later, the Crainlarich high points, Ben More and Stobinnean. The following day I worked Robin as I headed over the Green Rd on Ben Lawers and as I headed home from Corlic, I caught Iain as I walked up the B788 road leaving Greenock, I had previously heard Brian HMZ, a fellow PARC member who was on Corse Hill from what was the wrong side of the hill so after i worked Iain I headed quickly and even sometimes breaking into a run to catch Brian but I caught him from a high point just to the east of the Lurg Moor trig, chaser point bagged. The thought of me running for points just shows my commitment to this game. 19 and a half stone is a lot to shift and more to the point, STOP.

The following day was one to stay in and read books or tidy up your shack but no blog regular Neil 2MØNCM headed northwards from his South Ayrshire base in what can only be described as ‘I’m glad I’m inside’ weather but after a wet and windy ascent activated the hill in a true ‘lets get the hell outta here’ , I felt appreciation of his efforts as I scoffed another cream bun and sipped my coffee and shuffled my feet about. I later spoke with Neil on his return journey down the Balloch By Pass until he was lucky enough to lose me on the south side of the Erskine Bridge. A hard-earned eight points for him.

On my ascent of Ime, I heard Kenny ZUN activate Beinn Dubh which I could see to the SE of me so I nipped in and grabbed the points from the ascent of Ime. A good start to that day.

5 ele beam on Lurg Moor

5 ele beam on Lurg Moor

Those points were the last points for what was another busy month…

HF..

I still gave out a call on a daily basis but I spent more time on other projects. As usual modes of choice were JT65 and PSK31. I’ll get back to more use in the winter months although I may have to revert to the onboard audio as I’m having a problem with an aging SB card I installed. I’ll fix it at some point. I have no problem from 20m upwards but 30m and below isn’t working as it should…ces’t la vie.

Other…

Spent a considerable time on this SDR dongle thing, blog post HERE.

I’m amazed at the quality of the received sound on both FM, AM and especially SSB, I did follow one activator as he worked on 2m FM and next on 2m SSB using the dual band collinear in my loft space. Signal strength wasn’t much down on my 2m radio but I have since found the lack of diodes in-line with the E4000 dongle I have has literally fried it. I still have and use the other with the FC0013 tuner chip and although it has a higher signal to noise ratio I still get results but under close examination, this dongle seems to lack the diodes as well. I’m sure someone will step and start production of the excellent 4000 tuner chip at some point or even better a superior tuner ? An interesting and cheap entry into SDR(software defined radio).

I am looking for an alternative for HRD and am presently trying OmniRig and Log4OM.

That has possibly taken up most of my time radio wise obviously apart from my SOTA work.

Just to say I used a HDR app to take the ‘Looking N from Corlic’, HDR explanation HERE

A big thanks to Wikipedia ( a project worth supporting) also Peakbagger.

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(April) Radio Days………

Once again, I’m running late with these monthly round ups. This time of year is a busy time not only radio wise but in other things esp with the improving weather and as I write this we are in the midst of a heat wave with possible water restrictions being mentioned. Long may it continue, the rain to fill the lochs can fall overnight. One useful side effect is that the dreaded midge is taking its time to appear in numbers and this is one side effect that we want to definitely continue .

SOTA….

I did my first activation of the year on the nearby 2 pointer, the Hill Of Stake. I was later than I normally am as this is one hill in which I usually grab the winter bonus. Four STS’s (summit to summit) on the day, one NW to Sidhean Na Raplaich in the Morvern area, one to the NE Carleatheran, 5 mile to the SW of me to Blaeloch Hill and finally one to Muckish Mountain in the Derryveagh Mountains in Donegal. A total of 15 contacts on both 4m and 2m FM. Blog post HERE

Meall Nan Tarmachan summit

Meall Nan Tarmachan summit

Chasing…

The month started off with a bang as I worked first fellow blogger Graeme 2MØGIL who was in the Lawers area on Meall Nan Tarmachan then quickly following was Robin PKT who was to the west of Graeme on Beinn Chaorach in the Tyndrum area. Next in the log that day was Bob AWV who activated Ben Bowie on the opposite bank of the river estuary to me, I scanned the hill and summit with binoculars but could see nothing. Neil 2MØNCM was next to appear on Meall an Fhudair, his first hill of the day, I was later to work him on a smaller hill Beinn Damhain. A good start to the month and definitely not an April’s Fool day.

Five days later, Adrian DHY was to turn up on the aforementioned Meall Nan Tarmachan, a hill I would recommend plus not much later that afternoon Gerald AQU appeared on the tongue-twister Beinn Bhreac-liath (the speckled grey hill), Scots Gaelic is such a poetic language, the hill is to the N of Tyndrum. Just as an aside, there are 11 Beinn Bhreac’s ‘in the ‘Marilyns’ list and our previous mentioned one’ -liath’ would make it twelve, the most popular name in the entire list.

Two days later on what was a miserable cloudy day, Gerald AQU appeared on Beinn Odhar another Corbett in the Tyndrum area whilst our good friend Neil 2MØNCM was ascending Beinn Bhuidhe from Glen Fyne, another Munro to his collection.

The following weekend, I worked Robin PKT on Meall Buidhe not on the usual 2m FM but this time on 6m SSB before I set out on a local walk where I heard and worked Bob AWV on Beinn Lagan.

The following Saturday, Jack COX was just to the N of me on Beinn Dubh whilst the following day, I caught four STS from the Hill of Stake ( see above)…

The last weekend of the month finished as it started with first working Bob AWV on Corse Hill, Robin PKT on Beinn Fhionnlaidh in the Glen Etive (or Glen Creran as it depends from where you access the hill) and finally that day, Jack COX appeared on The Stob.  The following day I worked Robin PKT this time on Beinn Leamhain followed by Graeme 2MØGIL on the Brack in the Arrochar area and finally to close out the month, Jim GLM on Beinn Dearg.

A very busy month indeed….

Other miscellaneous …

Occasionally working the HF data modes mostly JT65, PSK and on occasion, WSPR. The sunspot cycle isn’t hitting the heady heights yet but I’ll keep monitoring the higher frequencies for openings.I now have a 4m FM mobile radio which I am hoping to rig up in the shack but more to the point it is down to the choice of antenna I decide to use with it…

Sorbus Aucuparia growing in the top of a fence post

Sorbus Aucuparia growing in the top of a fence post

Still scanning the VHF and UHF bands but not much activity to report, I take my wee Baofeng dual band handie out on my local walks but mostly PMR traffic with the odd use of the 2m and 70cm FM frequencies.

I’m still using the 5 ele yagi beam at home when needed for chasing, I can set it up and get on air in about 8 mins and drop and pack it away in much less. Very handy !!!

No visits this month to the local hills but I look forward to when I do…..

Walking…

Still plodding away trying to build up my fitness and enjoying taking in the sights and smells

( farms!!) of the local area. I’ve set high totals for myself and are achieving them.

One other bit of news to pass on, I have been reluctantly accepted into the Second Class Operators Club (SOC), a fine recognition for my poor radio operating skills and I am now SOC #1008, I’m pleased to be a member of such a mediocre bunch. More Info HERE

This month’s nostalgia bit…

My personalised Alfa Tango card from 11m days (I’ve digitally removed the P.O.Box number just in case)…I used Bob as it was easy to do phonetically and in some of pile ups, the shorter the better but the AT group issued an excellent directory of all members annually so the information was there.

Bob AT 459

Bob AT 459

My thanks go to all the linked content esp Wikipedia and Peakbagger.

Till next month, slainthe mhath !!!

(Jan) Radio Days ’12

The start of another year…

SOTA….

No activation to start the year, the chosen date as of twelve month earlier, the 2nd proved weather wise a non event.

2m JPole on the HWNN

2m JPole on the HWNN

A quiet month due to mostly inclement weather keeping the regular activators at home although some hardy souls did get out. My only chasing contacts came at the end of the month when on the last weekend, I worked Robin PKT who activated Beinn Chaorach (not the Luss one) but the one that lies between Ben Challum and Beinn Odhar just east of Tyndrum, a good path through meant Robin was worked with no problem.

The following day, Iain WJZ had declared for Ben Lawers, I had looked at local snow levels and on the previous day it was roughly about 1200ft ASL so I would imagine Lawers would be snow bound although Robin had mentioned that the average depth on his hill the previous day at 2685 ft was 8cm deep. I caught Iain from the ‘Hill with no name’ (NS 325702) near Kilmacolm although whilst researching some old documents online, I came across a possible name of Clachers Hill (meaning  ‘stony hill’) which could be correct as the farm of Clachers lies at its southern foot.

That was it…. only two ‘chases’ for me, I had tried two weeks earlier to work Iain WJZ on his trip to Aonach Beag. I had left home and headed to walk to the summit of Corlic, Roddy IOB had let me know Iain was on air. I finally managed to pick him up but as he asked for contacts, I called but I was in the noise to him. I had about 300m to get to the summit so I rushed through bog and more bog but unbelievably I could not hear him on the top. Ces’t la vie ! Everyone is now playing ‘Dodgebob’ hihi

HF

I spent my time using data modes, mostly JT65, PSK and as I mentioned last month, OPERA. Nothing exciting to report this month but still managing to pick up the odd contact from Euroland, Asia and N. America. No preference but just a listen around the bands before operating. I’m not a big fan of ‘DX clusters’ but I use the excellent sites of  both  ‘pskreporter‘ and Joe W6CQZ’s  ‘HFJT65Loggerset only to let me know where I am being ‘spotted’.

OPERA

OPERA

As things are pretty quiet in the reporting side this month, I will rattle on a wee bit about OPERA. This has come about as the joint work of the inventor of ROS, EA5HVK and GØNBD. This SARC news article will give you the gist of the mode HERE. It uses the interface of ROS so it was familiar to me as I occasionally spend some time using this mode. A two-way version of this mode was created just before the end of January, this is as JT65 has evolved from WSPR. Initial success on the 500khz band has encouraged more than a few amateurs worldwide to take part.  Another excellent mode for the low power addicts among us to use. I have an image of the mode interface below in action, RX only . If you look at the RX image you will see my ‘spots’ highlighted in red. On the last day of the month, I made my first QSO with an OK station, you now have the option to RX only but a tick in the ‘Auto QSO’ box enables the option if you both ‘spot’ each then a QSO is made,  more on this aspect as I learn more.

This mode is being updated on literally a day-to-day basis so all versions are labelled as ‘Beta’. There are more than a few data modes being used on HF and with new modes appearing on a regular basis, some obviously fall by the wayside.

ROS is now being used by a W station who has special dispensation to test data modes. More on this in the future.

Andy K3UK had an Opera guide on-line but has since sadly disappeared  but Andy has an interesting data modes orientated site HERE

O_P_E_R_A Yahoo Group HERE   

Once again, thanks to go Wikipedia and all those other sources that I’ve linked to.


20m Opera RX

20m Opera RX

Finally radiowise…..

Came across this You Tube video of a 2M0 station going ‘long path’ with 5w

Video HERE

Impressive !!!

Other stuff..

You may have noticed that I supported the ‘Blackout’ in the protest against SOPA/PIPA and carried a ‘black ribbon’ of the protest against the intended ‘censorship’ of the Internet. These bills were American in origin but the ongoing effect if passed would have been felt throughout the internet.

‘Fight For The Future’.

I thought to mention this here on this blog post and not on a separate post. I say in my ‘About’ page  ‘no opinions here’ but I feel strongly about any threat to our internet freedom. Please show support by joining ‘Fight For The Future’.

Thanks for taking the time to read the blog post.

(Nov) Radio Days ’11

The regular monthly post is running rather late this month so here we go…

SOTA

One activation to report, Beinn Chaorach in the Luss Hills area. I normally do this hill mid year but due to so much else going on, I had hoped to try catch this hill at one point although not as late as this.

I headed to do this hill on a whim on an excellent day weather wise. Ben Bowie had been my original target. Blog post on the activation is HERE

A snowy Beinn Chaorach

A snowy Beinn Chaorach

Chasing…..

The first weekend of the month and on the Sat, Robin PKT was out on the summit of Meall Chuaich. The following day Graeme 2MØGIL headed to the Trossachs area to activate the highest hill in the area, Ben Ledi, Graeme’s blog post is HERE.

On the Monday, I caught Neil 2MØNCM on a line of sight hill, Duncolm in the Old Kilpatrick Hills, I spoke to Neil on both 4 and 2m. Later that day, Ian MXW was out on Cairnpapple Hill to the SW of me. Good to catch two contacts outside the weekend.

The following weekend, I headed out for a walk in the back roads and returned to the trig point at the top of the hill behind me and I worked rather surprisingly Iain WJZ, Iain was on the summit of the Merrick well to the south of me. Minutes later, I caught Neil 2MØNCM on Green Hill in the Lowthers, good to see Neil getting this hill out of the roadand again within minutes I worked Jack COX, Jack was on his regular hill, Dungavel to the south-west of me…a good haul especially as all contacts were made on the 2w Baofeng handie ( dual band duck)..

Duncolm from the South

Duncolm from the South

The next day, Neil was out further north on Beinn Odhar whilst Graeme 2MØGIL popped up again across the river from me on Ben Bowie, his blog post HERE. Robin PKT later popped up on Beinn Chlaonleud in the Morvern area just south-west of Fort William. I later worked Neil NCM on 10m ssb.

Finishing off the month, it was Neil’s turn to pop up on Bowie, a hill that is my nearest Marilyn.

A quiet month but typical November weather.

HF…

I spent probably too much time on JT65 and ignored PSK for most of the month. The usual European contacts interspersed with Asian and North American contacts but one lunchtime, I finally cracked South America with a contact into Argentina on 10m JT65, it took me long enough but that is the six continents finally worked, what next ?..

The Green Road (or Devol Rd) heading back home

The Green Road (or Devol Rd) heading back home

The rest…

Quite a few miles walked in the local area mostly to the south of me, I have a track nearby which takes me into the back roads of eastern Inverclyde. 15 mins from home and I drop down the other side of the hill but with the excessive rain the track is very muddy and puddly in places. It is good to head out and decide your route just before the bottom of the track.

One Sunday morning, I headed over the Green Rd early and had reached the top of the track where it splits the golf course, I looked down the 4th fairway to see if I could see any golfers. I saw none but surprised to see 9 ponies walking towards me……across the soft 4th green. Oh boy, not good…I contacted the greenkeeper and herded the ponies into an area where hopefully they would cause no harm. Unfortunately too late as a couple of greens got damaged on their walk to the top of the course. .at least I go to play cowboy, now where is me saddle ?