Tag Archives: Earl’s Seat

(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.

VHF….

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

SOTA…

Activations..

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.

Chasing..

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.

HF…. 

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…

Advertisements

(December) Radio Days

VHF….

Last month of 2010 and still 2m is relatively quiet, I did have a few calls occasionally on 70cms, both FM and SSB but nothing. I had the usual occasional QSO on 2m.

SOTA…

No activations but a busy, busy month with two new Scottish Mountain Goat activators, first to reach 1,000 pts was Iain, WJZ who built up to reaching his points total with an activation on snow covered Ben Cruachan, a fitting hill on which to achieve the total. Later in the month after multiple December activations, Allan BJP also reached the magic total with a visit to Binnean Nan Gobhar, east of Loch Lomond. Neil NCM headed North late in the month to visit Tullich Hill.

Ben Lomond summit from the Ptarmigan Ridge
Ben Lomond summit from the Ptarmigan Ridge

My first points of the month came from Iain, WJZ who was on a snowbound Ben Lomond, one week later, Iain was on Hart Fell, this time I had nipped up to the trig point on my local hill, 650 ft ASL. Iain was on Earls Seat the following day whilst Allan BJP was activating Beinn Bhreac at roughly the same time of day.

The following Saturday, Allan BJP activated a trio of Luss Hills, Beinn Eich, Doune Hill and lastly Cruach an t-Sidhean, the weather at times on this activation sounded pretty uncomfortable but Allan had walked out through Glen Luss. The next day, Iain WJZ qualified  Ben Cruachan, a hill unusually not overly activated, his 1,000pts had been achieved.

Near the end of the month, BJP crept nearer the 1,000pts with a visit of Beinn Dubh.

Neil NCM finally headed north and activated Tullich Hill whilst 60 mins later that day, Alan achieved his 1,000pts on activating Binnean Nan Gobhar.

A great month for ‘chasing’ but also to see the fourth and fifth SOTA Scottish ‘Mountain Goat’ awards being achieved.

HF….

Nothing different from the recent previous months, basically roamed the bands from 40m to 12m. European contacts in the main, new DXCC in Corsica. A quiet month for me on HF.

WSPR..

I did almost no WSPR work in December although a look on occasion to see what was happening in the forum.

Odds….

Have a few irons in the fire , hopefully get these going in late January


(August) Radio Days

VHF

Pretty quiet, spoke to 2M0IOB Roddy, 2MoUPG Patsy on occasion. Still monitoring S20 on occasions but relatively quiet.

SOTA activity.

An upturn in activity again.

I had two activations this month, a trip to the Arrochar Alps area to activate Ben Donich and a trip to the Isle of Arran with 2M0IOB, Roddy to activate Goat Fell.

Roddy’s Goat Fell Blog post <HERE>

Blog posts <Ben Donich> <Goat Fell>

On the 1st of the month, the first station ‘chased’ was Neil, 2M0NCM who activated White Coomb. I had nipped up to NS 327728 (Auchinleck Hill) to make the contact. On the 7th I activated Ben Donich, the only STS (Summit to Summit) was down to the Lake District and was to Richard,a G1 station on Skiddaw. The next day, I worked Robin, GM7 , a regular on these postings, on first, Beinn An Dothaidh then later in the day on Beinn Dorain. Neil, 2M0NCM had activated Conic Hill near Balamaha, famous for its excellent views of Loch Lomond, my photos of my Conic Hill activation are .

The following weekend, everyone seemed to be out, once again, I worked Robin GM7 who activated Beinn Achaladair, Beinn A’Chreachain and Bidean nan Bian over two days. Bob MM1 and his party was ‘chased’ on Black Craig on the Cowal peninsula. On the Sunday, Neil 2M0NCM popped up on Beinn An Lochain, a hill at the top of the Rest and Be Thankful.More ‘chaser’ points from Neil, 2M0NCM  on the last Sunday of the month who activated Earl’s Seat , high in the Campsies in what could be described as a wind lashed summit. Neil’s Earl’s Seat blog post <HERE>

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Finally on the last day of the month, I activated Goat Fell, my first activation of a GM/SI  Scottish Island summit. I activated the hill by using 4m FM, in all I had seven 4m FM contacts before going on to 2m to work Graeme, 2M0GIL in Glasgow and another blog regular, Neil, 2M0NCM near Girvan. I had made 2 contacts into GI (Northern Ireland) , one into G (England) and rest into GM (Scotland). I had hoped to fully activate a summit in ’10 on 4m , what next ? Roddy had also added EI (Ireland) to the list so four countries was good going. Unfortunately no STS as it was a quiet Tuesday SOTA VHF wise.

I finally achieved 500 ‘chaser’ points this month, my thanks go to the regular activators mentioned in this blog.

All in all, a busy month.

HF

The usual mix of stations all worked on data, mostly PSK.

The odd excursion outside Europe to JA land.

The propagation has been hit and miss on most days but there is always something to do.

ODDS…

I’ve tested out a ‘stealth’ dipole originally cut to 40m for short wave listening, it tunes in from 80m to 10m although some bands haven’t been open to see how it performs, hopefully it will work out. I have another option to try as well.

I’ve used WSPR some surprising results so far using only 5 watts, I hope to set up to use 500 mw in the near future

I’m debating whether to try a 4m JPole (vertically polarised) for the FM part of the band outside just to check and if there is any local activity.

Plans are afoot to activate more SOTA hills.

Both photos are ©Neil 2M0NCM, all rights reserved.

SOTA reference, click on hill :

White Coomb Skiddaw Beinn an Dothaidh Beinn Dorain

Ben Donich Beinn Achaladair Beinn A’Chreachain

Bidean nan Bian Goat Fell Conic Hill Black Craig

(December) Radio Days

VHF….

Once again not much happening on the ‘local’ front, Barrie GM0 and Graham MM0 on occasions..

SOTA activity was ‘chasing’ Iain, MM3 on Ben Lomond on the 4th, the Ben had quite been well ‘topped’ in fresh snow the night before. On the following Saturday, Iain was active again from Meall a’Bhuiridh, a ‘Munro‘ at the entrance to Glencoe whilst earlier that morning Neil 2M0 had also made the long haul up from South Ayrshire to activate Cnoc Connich on the west bank of Loch Long, Neil and Iain had done well activating as the wind chill had been high. Winter activations, are they worth the extra bonus points?
One week later, Graeme 2M0GIL activated a fog bound Earl’s Seat. (link to Graeme’s ‘Earl’s Seat’ Blog Post)
VHF is still quiet.

HF….

20m psk was once again the main mode, the usual European and occasional North American stations were worked, nothing exciting DX wise to report but the odd eQSL card from previous months are still trickling in….in the short period since July, over 600 contacts have been made on psk31.

PSK waterfall

PSK waterfall

Odds

Audio problems dogged my psk work in the latter part of the month, still to be fixed…