Tag Archives: Broughton Heights

(March) Radio Days…2011

I thought I had posted this as ‘Latest Post’ on the wall but the post was hidden in the ‘Musings’ section…plus I thought I’d better add the year to the post title as it could get a bit confusing if you search for any of these posts.

Beinn Ime

Beinn Ime

I think the format of this monthly post as it is turning out to be a blow-by-blow account of my SOTA chasing for the relevant month. I’ve a few ideas rattling about in my mostly empty head and I’ll see if anything suits.


Still spending some time on 2m and the occasional visits to 4m and 70cm.



Two this month, a misty visit to the Trossachs and the summit of Ben Venue, most memorable for the antics of Roddy IOB and his crossing of a snow field and finally a jaunt up Ben Donich for the SOTA UHF Fun Day on the last Sunday of the month.


First points ‘chased’ this month were from Bob AWV who was activating Beinn Dubh near Luss whilst we were on the cloudy summit of Ben Venue. The following day was again busy out in the hills as first, I ‘chased’ fellow blogger Neil 2MØNCM who was out on Broughton Heights followed by Alan XXP who appeared on Black Mount and as is usual, I also worked Alan on 4m FM. Later that day, I worked a MM6 station who was on Duncolm, I pointed him toward the SOTA website but no points for this one.

In what was another good ‘chasing’ day, Robin PKT activated Beinn Odhar in the Tyndrum area and was quickly followed by another fellow blogger, Graeme GIL who was in the Campsies on the summit of Earls Seat, a busy day in which I got some contacts from my local summit and finished the day at home.

One week later, only XXP was out, I walked up to the top of the golf course to work Alan on 4 and 2m. Unfortunately I have approx a 200 ft tall solid lump of igneous rock to the SE and S of me. The hill itself is 659 ft ASL but is a quick, handy and easy summit to get to.

Ben Donich from Beinn an Lochain

Ben Donich from Beinn an Lochain

The next weekend was the test of Roddy’s 2m beam, we headed for higher ground on the border of Port Glasgow and Greenock. Iain WJZ had alerted for Schiehallion so that would be a good test for it and we also worked Jack COX who was on Culter Fell. The following day, Robert GUF was on Tinto and later, Neil NCM popped up on Nutberry Hill.

Finally, the last weekend saw the UHF Fun Day and as mentioned before, Ben Donich was the base for this one. First STS (summit to summit) was with Graeme GIL who was on Sgiath a’Chaise quickly followed by Robin PKT was further to the NE on Meall Ghaordaidh and to finish the day, I worked Jack COX who was across Gleann a’Chro on the summit of Ben Arthur better known as the Cobbler during our ascent off the hill.

A busy chasing month again and the quest to reach ‘Shack Sloth’ status continues.


Busy, busy month as propagation is picking up and more ‘exotic’ stations are popping up and being worked but not by me. The disadvantage of having a stealth antenna is just that but each contact is ‘worked’ for. Trips across the ‘pond’ and contacts in to Africa, Asia as well as the regular European traffic.

I never did any WSPR work this month, hopefully the higher HF bands may come more into play as the summer arrives.

‘Ben Donich from Beinn an Lochain‘ photo © Neil 2MØNCM…


(January) Radio Days

I was most pleasantly surprised to receive a text message asking ‘Have you not got a review to do ?’. I had this ready but just had to add the links and the photo so here we now go.


Just the usual ‘QSO’s plus been working local stations on 4m FM.


Two activations this month, on Sunday the 2nd along with Roddy 2M0IOB, we headed to Beinn a’Mhanaich in the Luss Hills to take part in the SOTA VHF Fun Day. Contacts were made on 4m and 2m including 6 STS (summit to summit) contacts. A cold but very successful day, my blog post <HERE>, Roddy’s blog post <HERE>.

The second activation was my yearly visit to the Hill of Stake which is the highest summit in the Renfrewshire hills. The weather and conditions underfoot were near ideal. One STS to Graeme 2M0GIL who was on a’Mhanaich, Graeme’s blog post <HERE>, my blog post is <HERE>.

Two activations, both enjoyed !

Activation about to go 'live'

Activation about to go 'live'

My other ‘chasing for Jan…

Nobody was active on the 1st so it was on to the VHF Fun Day to activate and chase, amongst those points gathered were Robin PKT on Beinn Iaruinn– 97kms,  Alan XXP on Green Hill – 101 kms,  Neil  NCM on Craigenreoch -103 kms, Derek MIX on Pillar, Lake District – 207 kms, Alun and Barry on Moel Eilio, North Wales – 338 kms.

Good points earned.

Next points came from Bob AWV who was on Corse Hill to the south of Glasgow. Conditions for Bob were horrendous, sitting in the warmth of my shack I felt for them, I did say he was mad! Next up was Ian, the recently anointed ‘Mountain Goat’ who made the effort to walk to the summit of Ben Lawers, a cold and snowy day for him. Next day, more activators were out, first up was Neil , 2M0NCM who took the ferry across the Clyde to activate another Cowal hill, Beinn Bheag, he was quickly followed across the Clyde by Roddy 2M0IOB who took to the Cowal hills and activate Cruach Nan Cuilean, blog post <HERE>, quickly followed by first time activator, Craig ANL who had just recently passed his Foundation licence and was on the Fruin which rises above Helensburgh, he also made his first STS contacts in quick succession with Neil and Roddy. Iain WJZ next appeared on Cruach Ardrain, all four chasers worked in just slightly over an hour, superb!

The month wasn’t over, Brian HMZ visited Ben Bowie and as I write this in early February, the hill now has been activated four times lately. I had previously mentioned that I worked Graeme 2M0GIL STS from the Hill of Stake. The last contact of the month was made from my local hill, I worked Alan XXP on Broughton Heights on both 2m and 4m FM, both of us on handhelds, a cracking contact considering the distance was 85 kms as the crow flies.

This mostly all took place in the last half of the month, good to see so many GM activators out and about esp for us chasers.


Had a call most days on 40, 30, 17 and 15m depending on conditions.

The usual European regulars worked, great fun.

One new DXCC in Moldovia.

WSPR put on back burner just now.


Did some antenna work in my loft space, more to come on that. The SOTA ‘winter bonus’ period finishes mid March so still hoping to head out sometime until then and activate another summit, hopefully the weather will stay steady. I’m thinking of extending my ‘stealth’ dipole but only a thought at this present time.

Thanks to Neil 2M0NCM for pointing out the correct date for the ending of the activating Winter bonus.

(January) Radio Days


A bit more lively on the ‘local’ front, Barrie GM0, Graham MM0 and Roddy 2M0 on occasions.

SOTA VHF activity for January

A SOTA FM Fun day had been scheduled for the 3rd of the month, unfortunately the weather conditions or more precise, the snow had proven too much of an obstacle for some.

First of all, Graeme 2M0GIL/P had let me know of his intent to activate Meikle Bin (blog link HERE ), the ‘Blowing The Cobwebs Off’ post further down this blog will explain the day in more detail. I also worked Jack, a GM4 who was on Dungavel Hill and finally Neil 2M0NCM/P who activated Beneraird in the Galloway Hills. A good effort, lads. I also spoke that day to Dennis, MM0 from Glasgow and Fred, a GM0 from Dunlop. Having a hill behind me at 659ft ASL and 15 mins away is handy.

Towards the end of the month, on the 23rd Bob, a MM1 station activated Duncolm and Ian, a MM0 station activated Broughton Heights on the 25th.

A warmer day

Duncolm from the South

On the 31st, I worked Alan, a MM0 activated East Cairn Hill in the Pentlands, this was my first 70mhz QSO !. I next worked  Robert, aGM4 on top of Tinto Hill lastly I spoke to Neil, 2M0 on Beinn a’Mhanaich.

UHF is still quiet.


I managed to suss out what my soundcard problem was and I got active again about the middle of the month, the usual Europeans and occasional DX station, the best once again a trip to Oz to Alice Springs to work a VK8 station.

If you click on the above image, you will see more detail and if you look closely you will see a faint trace below the yellow marker.  A ‘European Russia’ RX1 station replying to my CQ call.


As I noted above, hopefully that is the soundcard problem fixed. I now have Linux on my laptop, it may take me time to get to know more about this and to see how I can apply it to my radio work. I have Echolink running through the ‘Wine’ emulator, it took me sometime, another sound problem but I got there in the end.

I’m on Echolink node 493825 if anyone wants to chat.