Tag Archives: Ben Ledi

(Dec) Radio Days……

The end of another years radio work, a hobby ? it could be if I slowed things down.

The year was covered in my two-part 2012 Retrothingy posts (see bottom of this post for links).

Let’s get going…

SOTA..

No activations more due to the weather which for most part was rain, rain and more rain. There were a few hardy souls venturing out on to the summits and as you will read, it turned out into the ‘Iain WJZ show’, all those months ‘Down Under’ yearning for the rain-soaked hills of Scotland ?. Mad I say.

Ben Donich trig point

Ben Donich trig point

Without further adieu, here is the ‘chasing’ bit..

On the first day of the month, three stations took to the summits. I headed to my usual Lurg Moor area trig and as I arrived I worked the aforementioned Iain to the north of me on Ben Challum. I knew fellow blogger Graeme 2MØGIL was heading to Ben Donich and although I could have worked Iain and Graeme from home with no problems, I thought time to get out and have the cobwebs blown away.

Whilst waiting on Graeme, Bob AWV turned up on Beinn Ruadh which was to the WNW of me on the Cowal peninsula, I could see the summits of both Donich and Ruadh from my location. Donich had a fair covering of snow as I found out when finally making contact with Graeme plus I knew the dangers of this hill in the snow. Fissures abound on the upper slopes adjacent to the path. The day was over as I finished working Graeme so it was the long way home.

The following day I caught Iain on Glas Maol, the highest point of the Mounth Hills and a part of the Glenshee Ski Centre plus the county top of Angus. I had used the beam from the home QTH to catch Iain and nab a good contact at 130km plus.

The following weekend, Iain was on Tullich Hill in the Glen Douglas area, a hill I then pencilled in for my first activation of ’13 (weather changed the venue). Two days later, Iain crossed to the east side of Loch Lomond and climbed the ‘Ben.

To finish December and ’13, I spoke with Iain on Ben Ledi and after a call from Steve UAU saying that Colwyn YCJ was on Meall an t-Seallaidh, a Corbett to the west of Loch Earn. A quick word with both and my SOTA year was finished as I missed those who headed out on Boxing Day. I had taken my packed rukkie to on my Xmas NE visit but King’s Seat will have to wait until another day, it was the hill that started off the discussion about ‘white’ trig points HERE.

Tullich Hill from Glen Douglas © Neil 2MØNCM

Tullich Hill from Glen Douglas © Neil 2MØNCM

HF

I spent most time using JT65 with the odd visit to the JT9-1 frequencies. I did return to PSK on occasion. A couple of new DXCC‘s in Iraq and Lebanon and the continuing search to work States to get my WAS, I’ve still 16 to go, I’m in for a long haul I think.

JT 9-1 still has some activity but I seem to ‘miss’ it…

Other..

I did more work with the dongle SDR stuff as I had ordered a upconverter (see image) to use in with the 820 tuner chip. I set up everything one evening when the HF bands were quiet and after following this short instructional video HERE, I was listening to AM stations in the 49m band area. I’ve packed all away as other things have taken up my time but I must return and do more work in this area to follow-up the earlier posts on SDR. This being able to incorporate the HF band opens up all sorts of possibilities. Looking forward to it..

SDR dongle earlier posts –  HERE and HERE

Upconverter available from HERE plus all documentation is HERE.

2012…Retrothingy posts – Pt 1 and the last bit

Upconvertor for SDR dongle

Upconvertor for SDR dongle

New contributor..

As you will have seen in the earlier blog post, Lance Mhor has joined us to regale us with stories of the saddle although he informs me that the present saddle could do him some damage, the blog has since purchased him a new gel one to ease the pain.

I’m sure you will as a regular reader remember the post where Bob’s rucksack wrote a guest post but if not the post is HERE

Retro…

Found links to an old Reporting London TV report of CB in London (circa 1981)

Click Pt 1 HERE and Pt 2 HERE

Believe me, it is seriously worth a look….

A big 10.10, good buddies or ‘Root Toot am oot !!’

Once again, thanks goes to Wikipedia, Peakbagger and to Neil 2MØNCM for allowing me the use of his atmospheric image of Tullich Hill.

To embiggen images, click on image.

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(Oct) Radio Days

Sitting here monitoring the 10m band whilst fuelling myself with more caffeine and trying to get the enthusiasm to head out for a few mile walk. I took a quick look at the front page of the blog earlier and realised it has been well-nigh a month since I last posted. I thought mmmm, I’ll surprise everyone by doing the Radio Days post early. I did have a part local post ready to go but I’ve not  got round to heading out to some local spot to see if I could find remnants of a rifle range long disappeared just to the SW of me, another day. I enjoy just poring over the old local area mapping available online but I’m digressing from what is the original point of this monthly post so here goes..

SOTA work….

No activations to report as only ‘chasing’ done this month and not as much in recent months. I had packed my rukkie with all the equipment on a trip up NE but due to weather and other factors I missed out.

First one in the log in October was Kenny ZUN who headed to Ben Ledi in the Trossachs area and the following day from my now regular Sunday perch at NS 303737, I chased a dual activation of Sgor Gaibhre by Adrain DHY and Colwyn YCJ and I was to catch Colwyn later on a second hill Meall na Meoig, a Corbett, both hills are to the east of Corrour station. The contacts were excellent this day as next station worked was Victor JST who had crossed the border into Eire and I worked him from his summit of Crocknasmug in NE Donegal. Crocknasmug has what could be one of the weirdest but coolest  ‘cairns’ see photo HERE. You must take a look, go on go on go on go on go on (apologies to Mrs Doyle)

5 ele beam on Lurg Moor

5 ele beam on Lurg Moor

Next in the log was Robin PKT who was on Stob Dearg, one of the two Munro summits of Buachaille Etive Mor, this hill is one of the iconic views of Scotland and if you have ever travelled to Glencoe it stands tall on your left as you approach and will hopefully play its part in something I have planned for late 2013.

Following this was Jim GLM who was on another hill known to me, Craigowl which dominates the landscape to the west of Dundee. I had plans to ‘do’ this hill but it is a hill with many military et al antennae bristling on its top. Next in the log was Brian HMZ to the east of me on Cairnpapple Hill, I had received a text from Brian advising that I could find rare DX on .525. I did find him and he forgot to log me, the rare DX is lost.

Next was a very pleasant surprise  as I spoke with oor Cat CNC on a hill both her and Neil 2MØNCM had ascended, one of the many named  Beinn Chaorach this is the one in the Tyndrum area after working both it was the previous mentioned YCJ on Meall na Meoig.

Two days later on what was an excellent sunny day, I spoke to Robin PKT on Ben Cruachan from my work base at sea level  which was a good contact on my handie but I had to go to a higher point to work Jack COX who was celebrating his 10th year of SOTA activating on Ben Lawers. Only six more years for me to do this.

Ben Lawers

Ben Lawers

The next weekend was one in which I made no contacts as I had travelled NE for the weekend but had stopped on the way home to try to catch Neil NCM just N of Peebles but nothing heard from just SW of Perth. I later found out I had passed the hill Jim GLM had been activating near Perth, ces’t la vie.

The following Sunday, perched on my usual spot at Lurg Moor trig and first in the log was Jim GLM who was on Creag na

Ciche in the Glen Shee area and after not long, I spoke with fellow blogger Graeme 2MØGIL who was just under 4,000 ft on Ben Lawers among some snow, I think Graeme was thankful of his flask of soup that day. I was enjoying a ‘crisp’ sunny day but there was a slight difference of 3,300 ft between our heights.

Robin PKT appeared on one of the Southern Scottish high points, Ben Lui whilst next in the log was Colwyn YCJ on Mam na Gualainn which is just N of the Pap of Glencoe on the very south of the Lochaber region.

Neil 2MØNCM appeared on Corradie on the Cowal penninsula this is when I discovered my ‘Homer moment’ that I had left my 4m handie on charge at home but I got Neil later on 2m, this was another virgin summit for Neil and congrats on what was a long round trip for a couple of points.

Last contact for the month was Craig HCF who was on the summit of Duncolm which is line of sight for me plus an enjoyable summit to activate although a one pointer the views and walk in and out is excellent.

Still a busy month and hopefully the snow will stay away in November although the first snow of the year in the Luss hills appeared on the 30th of this month but disappeared quickly within hours.

Duncolm from the South

Duncolm from the South

HF…

Still having an odd call on both PSK and JT65 in the data sections of the HF bands. My 7-year-old computer died on me and although I had set everything up on my laptop I waited until I got a replacement tower and since then it has been primarily JT65 with contacts to Euro, Asia and NA. The bands have been very active and some good DX is out there to work, I tend to try to be around at ‘grey line‘ time if possible.

Other Stuff…

I have given a rest to the SDR dongle side of things although I now have acquired one which uses the 820 tuner chip but have yet to set this up plus I have ordered another related piece of equipment and will wait until this arrives then get stuck in to this newish part of the hobby. Plus I’m having a look at a newish data mode JT9.1, I’ve got it set up and need to find some time and contacts with it. Too much to do and too much time wasted doing other things.

11m days

11m days

This was taken in the ’80 during what was an intense high in the then sunspot cycle, a 2 ele home-brew Quad which was later improved, 100w through this baby and the world was your oyster, great and memorable days indeed.

Graeme GIL’s blog post on Ben Lawers HERE

Old Scotland maps HERE

Thanks again got to Wikipedia, Peakbagger and WalkHighlands…

Linked image of Crocknasmug summit cairn © Jim Bloomer.

The link for Corradie goes to Beinn Bhreac which is the general hill area.

(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 ?

 

(October) Radio Days

October

VHF…

Not much 2m activity to report this month, 2m seems to have quietened up here locally over the last couple of months. SOTA outings were limited to one activation because of the weather which was rain, rain and more rain…The only SOTA activation was the one of Minch Moor ( see further down the present blog page ) activated with Graeme, 2M0GIL on a dour chilled day. I  SOTA ‘chased’ 2M0/P Neil on Ben Ledi , Graeme 2M0GIL/P on Ben Vane and finally, John, GM8/P on Broomy Law, activity has been curtailed by the aforementioned weather, Robin GM7/P is now back on the activation trail but due to commitments (golf …mmmm) I missed his activations.

HF…

20m is where I have been mostly operating, still trying out data modes, mostly psk31 but a flirtation with RTTY on occasion, I have also been ‘working’ 30m but concentrating mostly on 20m, working roughly 30 plus countries, the regular Europeans with some new countries being worked….Senegal, Canada, Madeira Is. and Australia. The Australian station was a special event station based in Elizabeth, South Australia, VI50LZ, I saw the faint trace on the waterfall and read that they were calling ‘cq’ , I sent a ‘me to them’ stream and next saw the GA7something being typed out back to me, quick exchange of infos and left them to work a pile up of Europeans.

I had intended to get some HF antenna work but a mixture of weather and ‘let’s just use what works’ won the day. I hope the weather stays dry and mild this winter and hopefully get some HF/Portable practice in for next summer, the long term forecast looks like I’ll be home bound though.

I have a dipole cut for 40m that is in my loft space/outside which runs from NW to SE that is lying redundant, I ‘borrowed’ the coax from it to use for another project if I replace the coax then this will do as a receive only antenna although the local noise levels on the HF bands are horrendous, there is much activity happening to ‘investigate’ on HF.