Tag Archives: Ben Chonzie

(Aug) Radio Days

Mr. Mhor is not a creature of habit eh?

All those recent ‘Radio Day’ posts being up to six weeks late and now I post within two weeks of the end of the post’s month in question.

Let’s get going…

Activation….

One SOTA and two WOTA this month.

There is a twist on that last sentence as my SOTA activation of Blencathra is also a WOTA hill to those who are unfamiliar with SOTA and WOTA, follow these links below and the explanation is there for you

SOTA HERE

WOTA HERE

Back to business…

On what now seems an annual trip to the Lake District, I had planned hills to activate but due to circumstances only Blencathra (Hallsfell Top) was done under the SOTA banner. We had travelled down with intentions being dropped off near Threlkeld and doing a round route whilst activating on the way. My descent took in a quick look at Sharp Edge then a quick descent back to Scales via Mousthwaite Comb, a good day contact and weather wise.

Blencathra from Latrigg

Blencathra from Latrigg

I followed up Blencathra with an activation of Latrigg Fell which over looks Keswick.  Accompanied by Katie, my long-suffering XYL and the scran option was far superior to the previous day. An idea for the future although I must get a lighter car battery for her to humph up the hill.

Chasing..

This was another non stop month contact wise so take a deep breath.

First in the Aug log is Duncan CXM who activated Dumyat on the western end of the Ochil Hills whilst Colwyn YCJ was on the Isle of Arran but I only caught him on the one hill Caisteal Abhail the middle one of his triple activation that day, I had headed out to Corlic to work him on his third but was on my way back home due to the worsening weather and I missed him.

The following day I worked Craig HCF, a fellow Paisley club member on Ben Ledi whilst Robin PKT turned up later on Beinn Bhreac-liath near Glen Orchy.

Next chased points were during my activation of Blencathra, first contact( and Summit to Summit) was Terry VWP who was to the south of me on Claife Heights on the west bank of Lake Windermere whilst one of my last contacts that day was Terry CJJ who was on the Isle of Anglesey high point Mynydd Bodafon, Terry was using the Baofeng UV5R with its stock duck antenna. It works well as this was over approx 170 kms.

Returning home it was soon back to serious business as Robin PKT appeared what turned out to be a day to remember on Stob Choire Easain east of Fort William and he proceeded to work into the near continent, I think only the oncoming darkness and long trek out forced him off the hill.

The next day I made my way to the trig point on Lurg Moor where I first worked Jim GLM who appeared on Ben Chonzie and back to a ‘liftless” activation was Robin this time on Stob Ghabhar whilst waiting to talk to Robin I heard Iain WJZ calling him from Creag nan Damh part of the south Glen Sheil ridge. A fine contact of over 140 km.

Busy ? we are not even at the mid part of the month yet.

Meall Corranaich from Ben Lawers lower path

Meall Corranaich from Ben Lawers lower path

The next weekend at Lurg Moor, I first got Robin PKT who was on Carn na Caim in the Drumochter Pass area whilst I had a longer than normal contact with Neil 2MØNCM who was on Grey Hill between Girvan and Lendalfoot. The next day on a busy day from the same trig point, Iain WJZ was first in the book, Iain was on Gael-charn then next was Robin on Beinn a’Chlachair and was pleased to contact fellow blogger Roddy 2MØIOB who was almost 150km away on Larriston Fell in the Borders area. There was some QSB but the contact made with no problem plus I had checked the elevation profile between our two points and had reckoned earlier there was only a slight chance. Roddy’s activation blog post HERE. Next was Jim GLM who turned up on Meall Bhuide just north of Lochearnhead whilst Robert GUF had returned to his normal haunt Tinto before I finally worked Robin PKT on his second hill of the day Geal Charn, note this is a different hill than Iain’s before mentioned for this day. Robin’s hill that day Gael Charn is to the south-east of Loch Laggan whilst the Gael-charn Iain WJZ was on is just to the west overlooking the Drumochter Pass. That ended what was a busy Sunday.

Still with me ? I did say a busy month..

On the last weekend, on the Saturday I worked Robin PKT on Meall Corranaich and just as I was leaving for Cappielow, I caught him on Meall a’Choire Leith both in the Lawers area. The following day I waited at home and caught Robin PKT from the daddy of all Scottish hills, Ben Nevis then I left to head to Corlic with my youngest, Ailsa in tow and as we headed on to open moorland I received a text from Roddy IOB telling me Colwyn YCJ had turned up on Cat Law to the north of Kirriemuir and using only my wee 2w Baofeng and a Nagoya 701 worked him over 130 kms, a fine contact on what was almost a line of sight contact. Returning home I had just turned on the radio and heard Bob AWV out on what is a line of sight Duncolm in the Old Kilpatrick hills.

Grey Hill summit © Neil 2MØNCM

Grey Hill summit © Neil 2MØNCM

A busy month and a few miles walked to make some of these contacts.

HF..

As you read above I had not much time to ‘play’ HF but still made contacts in Europe, Asia and N America mostly on JT65. On the last Sunday of the month whilst having breakfast I worked into Anchorage, Alaska a very good start to what was a good day SOTA wise as well.

Other Stuff…

Firstly I must recommend a book I read towards to the end of the month.

The title ? “Rocket Men, a story of the first men on the moon” by Craig Nelson, a well written account of how Neil Armstrong finally made the first step on the moon. It deals with the history leading up to JFK’s declaration of sending a man to the moon to the background politics, training plus a revealing insight into each astronauts life. A book which some reviewers say fragments at times and leaps from the story but I found this added to the overall story. Worth a read.

I’m still learning about SDR and hope over the winter months to do something along building a Softrock rx but still to look at what frequencies I’m really interested but if the new work being done on another tuner chip bears fruit then I’ll stick to this line of thought.

Finally..

If you have been a long time reader of the blog, you will have read how my oldest Euan was with me on most of my first SOTA activations but fell away but all this paid off for him as he recently graduated from the University of Glasgow as a BSc with First Class Honours in Computer Science, Sergey Brin & Co watch out..

Euan on Duncolm trig

Euan on Duncolm trig

and a mention for my youngest Ailsa who also recently completed the ‘ hike’ part of her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, she only has her presentation of her days spent in the Border hills to do. The hike was done over what could be described as horrendously wet for the first two days.

Phew !! a biggie post this month, I hope you are still with me at the end…

Thanks again to all sites I have linked.

My thanks also to Neil 2MØNCM who let me use © his image of Grey Hill in South Ayrshire.

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Autumnal snow on Ben Lomond

(Oct) Radio Days 2011

SOTA

One activation to report with a trip to the Isle of Mull to activate Ben More, the highest point on the island. The original plan was for a September visit but due to weather and other circumstances, we delayed the trip until the beginning of October, a good excuse for a 4 day trip. The weather certainly shone through for us on the Sunday, the activation blog post is HERE and the rest of the trip blog post is HERE.

Ben More from near Penyghael

Ben More from near Penyghael

Chasing….

This has been an excellent year for us chasers on the VHF frequencies here in Scotland and unless I’m mistaken activity on the hills has increased dramatically, I have accrued nearly 50% of my chaser points so far in ’11.( I only started in 2009).

October was quiet for me but the regulars were still out and about.

First out of the blocks for me was a Summit to Summit (STS) with Iain WJZ who activated Beinn Chaorach in the Luss Hills, I was to head there in early November and on the same day from the top of Ben More, another STS with Robin PKT was on nearby mainland hill Beinn Lora. We had glorious sunshine that day and both these hills are seen from Ben More but sadly not on our visit.

The following weekend I caught up again with Iain WJZ on the summit of Ben Chonzie whilst fellow PARC member Craig ANL later that day nipped up to enjoy the views from Conic Hill and to play radio. It was all weekend stuff this month for me, I headed up to the golfie trig point to work Neil 2MØNCM who was on Cairnkinna Hill whilst later on the same day, Robin PKT achieved the 5,000 activator point mark with a tour of the Lawers Round, I only managed to catch Robin on his final hill Ben Lawers but it was the hill which took him over such a magical total..I have 144 pts as I write this, a big difference you’ll agree but a fantastic achievement for him ‘5 Mountain Goatdom’. Dedicated and as always a pleasure to work.

The following weekend was my last ‘chase’ for the month, Colwyn YCJ activated Beinn Narnain in what was a wet and windy day, keen!

Loch Lomond from Conic Hill path

Loch Lomond from Conic Hill path

The quietest month so far this year but always glad to work those out and about….

The winter months are now upon us and it is time to get all organised for all the winter activities as hill height doesn’t matter and the basic survival equipment carried.

HF

Gave up on the V4 and concentrated mostly on JT65 with some PSK thrown in and with conditions being poorly over the summer roared back with a vengeance, 10m has been open mostly every day and some exotic DX has been noted. I didn’t spend so much time on the radio as I had been but still had a few CQs on most days.

The rest..

I have worked my winter plan for SOTA activations but as last year and the year earlier, we will see what I manage to do..

The weather turned wintry for a day mid month, Ben Lomond showed a fine layer of snow for one day, the tops of Donich, a’Mhanaich and Chaorach also had a little dusting, Donich more than the other two, the snow on the lower hills disappeared in no time at all then it was quickly back to the spell of mild weather we are having until as I write this.

A few plans over the winter antenna wise, I’m still wondering if I need a beam for 4m for the SOTA work, obviously it has to be portable but activity hasn’t been the best this summer on 4m when I have activated, Ben More being an exception.

Off into the final months of the year and with HF now alive and kicking, it is time to start hunting down some DX….

Click any image to see a full size photo..

The photo of snow on Ben Lomond was taken mid October 2011..

No animals were harmed in making of this blog post and music was provided by The KLF

Autumnal snow on Ben Lomond

Autumnal snow on Ben Lomond

Corlic Hill, Portable 26/04/09


Sunday 26th April ’09….

No SOTA activation this weekend due to varying circumstances. The SOTA Alert page had a few GM alerts so instead of hopefully working them from the comfort of my home, I grabbed the usual equipment and headed up the ‘old favourite’ Corlic. Corlic Hill rises 303m ASL ( or 994ft) to the south east of Greenock and with the mast fully extended , the beam itself would be over 1000ft ASL.
As you can see from the picture, it was a dreich day with wind and rain at times, I arrived at the grassy summit after 40 mins slog, no path at the east approach of this hill.
I first checked the SOTA Spot page before hearing Brian, a MM1 station I’d worked the previous weekends so I ‘popped’ in to say ‘Hi!’ then said my goodbyes and called out on S20 (145.500FM) and Jim, a MM0 station from Helensburgh came back to my call, we chatted for a while then a break for lunch was had. I heard Graham, a 2M0 station from Helensburgh whom I regularly QSO with, so had a short talk with him before heading to find the SOTA activators. I first heard Iain, a MM3/P who was atop Ben Chonzie, NW of Crieff, chatted to Iain and then left him to work the stations who were calling him. I then spoke John, a MM1 station from Glasgow, John is another station I’d worked last weekend whilst on Duncolm Hill
I had gone down the frequencies looking for Robin, GM7/P when I heard him on145.525, the weather atop Beinn Teallach, NE of Fort William sounded horrendous but I left him after a short QSO to let him find more contacts. I then spoke to Steve, a local GM7 station with whom I speak most weekends before going in search of a 2Mo/p station who was to activate another summit but never found him. The weather then set in and rather than get drenched, I broke down the station and headed towards my pickup point. Another day, another good walk.

Photo :

Looking East, Beam on Corlic Hill