Tag Archives: Ben Lui

(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.

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Ben More and Stobinnean

(Aug) Radio Days 2011

SOTA…

No activations to report this month…

SOTA chasing had been excellent in August after the upward trend shown so far in 2011. Activity has been steady all summer long, first points this month were gained from Iain WJZ who activated Beinn Eich and Doune Hill, both in the Luss Hill area, mention is made of Roddy 2MØIOB who had activated Blackwood Hill in the Scottish Border area and gained the points necessary from the Beinn Eich summit to summit contact with Iain to gain his Shack Sloth award, nice one!! Later in the day Robin PKT put an appearance in from Stob a’Choire Odhair.

The following day, Neil 2MØNCM returned to the Glen Douglas area to activate Beinn Bhreac, I had a look at Google after Neil mentioned large fissures about the hillside, one for the future.

There was no midweek activations so it was on the following Saturday that Bob AWV called from The Fruin above Helensburgh, I contacted Bob with my wee 2w handie as the hill is line of sight from the home QTH, a cloudy day. Neil NCM popped up on the Sunday on what was an occasionally wet and windy day from Lomond side, Ben Vorlich was his hill for the day.

Luss and Arrochar hills

Luss and Arrochar hills

The following day Robin PKT was out on sister hills in the Ben Lawers area, Meall Corranaich was the first and was later followed by Meall a’Choire Leith, I managed to work him on the latter which was my first home contact to the hill as it sits slap behind Corranaich. He was out on most days this week and popped up on Beinn Challum, Ben Lui and Sgurr a’Mhaim ( in the shadows of Ben Nevis).

On the Saturday, I had gone out for a local hill walk taking in Corlic which I had timed to work Iain WJZ using only a handie and on my walk home, Roddy IOB had let me know that fellow Paisley club member Craig ANL was to activate Beinn Chaorach later that afternoon, I ended up working him from home.

On the last weekend of the month, it was Robin PKT who activated a double on the Sat doing both Beinn a’Bheithir tops, Sgurr Dhonuill and Sgurr Dhearg and finally for the month, Iain WJZ did the pair of Ben More and Stobinnean

Ben More and Stobinnean

Ben More and Stobinnean

Another excellent month

for ‘chasing’ points !

HF..

I tended to spend too much time on JT65 this month, ignoring my usual modes of PSK and WSPR. Contacts being made across Europe as far as Japan and as westwards to the US. There is, as in WSPR an excellent spotting facility in this mode and pleasantly surprised to be ‘spotted’ in Indonesia, South Africa , Australia and in New Zealand on more than one occasion. Power varies between 5 and 15 watts.

If the bands are quiet then a test of three CQs using the JT65HF software will let you know the propagation situation, I occasionally used other bands in this mode, contacts being made on 40, 30, 20, 15 and 10m but spent most time on 20m. I’ll probably look further more at the mode but unless conditions improve dramatically, I’ll just move between WSPR and JT65.

Outlook..

As this is usually written at the start of the next month, Sept in this case, plans were afoot to activate a SI munro but due to weather and other circumstances, this had been shelved until later, hopefully in early October…I did try to up my fitness level doing regular local walks late in the month and early Sept but suffered an ankle sprain whilst on my way to Corlic, unfortunately I had just under two-mile to hobble to a pick up point, sod this healthy exercise stuff. Oh well.

Ben Lomond

(July) Radio Days 2011

Another good month SOTAwise. I had two activations near the end of the month plus these were also my first ones in England (G land), I had visited the Lake District for a few days and reached the summits of Skiddaw and Dale Head.

On local VHF the local contacts were made on 2m FM whilst I did some SOTA chasing from two of my local hills, one was an activation of Corlic which now has the status being a HuMP and its official title is GM/HSS 088, which roughly translates as GM ( Scotland) H (Hump) SS (Southern Scotland) and 088 is its relevance in height total, the other local hill was Creuch which lies to the south of Greenock, I had not been there in almost two years but had frequented this hill during the old 11m days.

Chasing…

First logged contact was with on my Corlic (GM/HSS 088)activation ( unofficial as yet). Robin PKT was worked from the summit of Creag Meagaidh, approx 115 km away, a good one to start whilst Neil 2MØNCM was next on Beinn Mhor on the Cowal peninsula, I spoke to Jack on Dungavel Hill whilst waiting on Iain WJZ who I unfortunately missed due to conditions but finally working Robin again on his second summit of Beinn a’Chaorainn.

The next weekend was a quiet one due to weather but I still worked Colwyn YCJ who activated Beinn a’Bhuiridh in the Cruachan area, the following day, a single summit worked, Robin PKT was on Meall Nan Tarmachan, a hill I activated in 2010.

Meall Nan Tarmachan ridge

Meall Nan Tarmachan ridge

Robin was out and about for the next seven days, first was from the summit of Na Maoilean between Bonawe and Connal then two days later I caught him on Sgor Gaoith which under the conditions was a good contact, next was Beinn Euniach and Beinn a’Chochuill. On the second last Saturday Robin PKT was on Ben Oss and Beinn Dubhchraig whilst I worked Ian WJZ on Ben Starav, a hill in my ‘Etive triangle’ and finally that day,Jack COX was on Ben Challum.

The next trip out for me was to Creuch Hill south of Greenock, a good day weather wise with cracking views led to contacts with fellow PARC members Craig on Ben Bowie, Graeme 2MØGIL on Ben Lui then Iain WJZ on Stob Dubh and finally Robin PKT on Stob Ghabhar altogether a worthwhile hike to Creuch.

The Lake District chases were all STS (summit to summit) on my visit. On Skiddaw I worked John VCO on Arnside Knott, Dave JDH on Pillar and finally, JImmy EYP in the Borders area on Slighty Crag. The last one for the month was a STS with with Jimmy EYP who was still in the same area  but this time was on the top of Peel Fell. The month wasn’t finished with on the last weekend, I worked Robin PKT on the summit of Starav and finally on the Sunday, fellow club member Brian MM1HMZ braved a wet and windy summit of Ben Lomond, well done fella !

Ben Lomond

Ben Lomond

A good month point wise considering the occasional rainy day, PKT was out in force and also good to see PARC members out activating.

HF…

Conditions have not been the best this month but I have been spending more time than usual on the lower bands, still mostly working psk31 but had a foray into looking at working some Olivia but I obviously was searching in the wrong places as I could not find any signals in the couple of sessions I had put aside for this, conditions mostly paid a part in this.

I have towards the very end of the month been looking another data mode JT65 using the interface programme JT65HF, initial results have been encouraging but more of this next month.

ROS ? due to the looking at other data modes, ROS has been lying on the back burner but I shall return to it soon. I still occasionally use WSPR especially when propagation looks out or I’m doing something else ( watching Baseball, mostly)…

Ahead…

Plans are being construed as we speak for a SI activation in Sept, I’ll need to try up my fitness for that one and let’s hope the weather will be good for it. If not a weekend away should be fun.

More ‘playing’ about with the regular data modes with a bit more time using JT65HF I think as some DX stations have popped up. I guess my SWL days have come back, the difference between then and now is considerable as you had CW, voice or RTTY only. Are we going away from the tradional methods or more likely, it is evolving quickly as the internet has taken hold of our pastime.

I must admit the information available on line regarding help with any installation problems etc really helps greatly.

If bored , go look at my two new pages with some of my boring old stuff on them..

‘My SOTA Activations’ and ‘Radio Days’….

As usual, I will probably edit and add to this, I tend to tweak a lot.

Once again, a big thanks to Wikipedia…

(April) Radio Days….2011

VHF….

Working 2m from home, still monitoring 4m FM and 70cm but not much activity.

SOTA….

One activation this month, a visit to King’s Seat in the Sidlaw Hills to the W of Dundee.

Chasing..

First in log was two summit to summit contacts from the top of King’s Seat, Iain WJZ was first, Ian was on the summit of Corserine in the Galloway Hills, a cracking STS across country and Barry TOE was to the N on the summit of Mealna Letter for the next STS, a worthwhile activation for me.

Looking NW to the Lawers Range

Looking NW to the Lawers Range

The following weekend, I worked Jack COX on Dungavel Hill and later that day, Iain WJZ on Sgor Gaibhre. On the Sunday, Bob AWV was on Conic Hill near Balmaha and this day it was the turn of Neil 2MØNCM to be on Dungavel Hill. The following Sunday, I made tracks to Corlic as a few alerts were posted. Firstly fellow blogger Graeme 2MØGIL was on Beinn Dubhchraig whilst at the same time, Neil 2MØNCM was making up his way up to its sister summit of Ben Oss

Looking to the Lui summits

Looking to the Lui summits

whilst unknown to all of us, Alan XXP was making tracks up Ben Lui a stone throw to the N of both hills. Next in the log was Alan EYO who was on a GM land activation holiday, Alan was on Schiehallion to the NE. In a busy day chasing wise, Jack COX was to the south of EYO on Meall Corranaich in the Lawers range. 40 odd points in one day, nice one.

I noticed another visitor to GM land was activating Ben More on the Isle of Mull mid-week so I monitored S20 waiting on him, the points from Gerald AQU were in the bag. A couple of days later, Corlic was my base while Robin PKT started his day off on one of the Beinn a’Ghlo summits followed later by a visit to the summit of Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain, I heard his third activation as I headed back home but failed to make the contact.. In between this, Neil 2MØNCM was line of sight on the Hill of Stake, hill for some reason that some activators hate, dunno why ?.The Holiday Monday I was on Corlic again to chase Graeme 2MØGIL as he was to activate two ‘Munros’, Sqiath Chuil and Meall Glas but whilst I waited on Graeme, Seamus OVV activated Conic Hill, another point.

The next weekend was another holiday weekend and on the Friday, Robin PKT activated two of the hills which make up the Great Wall of Rannoch, first I worked him on Beinn a’Dothaidh and next on Beinn Dorain, the next day he was back out and I ‘chased’ him on both summits of Buachaille Etive Beag whilst at the same time, Gerald AQU popped in to the frequency and Stob Ghabhar was in the bag.

A frenetic month and my quest for Shack Sloth status was about to be realised with just a few more points to go.

HF…

Still scanning the bands from 40m to 12m looking for psk contacts. Working European stations with the odd sprinkling of stations outside. One new DXCC in SV5 Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean Sea. I occasionally had the WSPR set up in operation but for no extended period, 5 watts can certainly carry far in this excellent mode. I’m using what it I guess a ‘stealth’ antenna partially inside my loft space and finally running down behind the outside downpipes. It isn’t the best but it gets out there, five continents so far…

Another thanks to Wikipedia for outside links..