Tag Archives: Nutberry Hill

(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…


Conic Hill SOTA Trip


Conic Hill GM/SS 239 was the choice for the this trip, it rises 361m ASL above Balmaha nr. Loch Lomond. We left Port Glasgow and headed through Dumbarton, Balloch and Drymen and arrived at the car park at Balmaha, the car park was strangely quiet as we headed up toward the top of the hill, there is a track with steepish sections which have steps, these are hard going. The ascent was pretty steep from start to finish with many others walking to the top. The summit was reached in slightly just under an hour.

First thing , was to set up ‘camp’ and then get the mast and beam erected, radio checks then I gave my first call out on S20(145.500), Robbie, a MMO/M station came back immediately, Robbie was heading westwards towards Ayr and was a strong signal. I next spoke to Andy, a MM0 station from Falkirk who is a regular SOTA chaser and Andy ‘spotted’ me on the SOTA Spots page, thanks Andy !!
Next to return to my call was John, a MM0 station from Stevenson in Ayrshire, the beam certainly makes the difference, a quick swing and the signal when the beam is pointing your way makes all the difference. John, a 2M0 station in Clarkston, Glasgow called by next, Gordon, MM6 station from Troon gave me his regular call by before leaving me to speak to Charlie, a GM 8 station from Glasgow.
A break for lunch followed and a chance to soak in the wonderful views, I had read that the views were stunning from the top of Conic Hill and they were fantastic, I could see Arran, Inverkip Power Station chimney, Greenock, my home QTH high in Port Glasgow, south east to Glasgow and eastwards to the Campsies and the Ochils, to the north Ben Lomond and many high tops to the NW. I could see two of my previous SOTA activation hills, the Hill Of Stake to the SW and Duncolm to the SE.
The weather at this time was sunny but we could see rain heading our way, a couple of slight showers soon passed.
After a bite to eat, I called again and 2M0/M station, Colin was near Eaglesham, I noticed Colin’s callsign on the SOTA Activation list when I recorded my activation log. Another call and a swing of the beam NE and Peter, a GM1 station from Muirhead nr Dundee called back, it was good as I had never worked that direction from any of the previous SOTA summits I had activated. Brian ,a regular, a MM1 station from Howwood called in for his chaser point.
Roddy, 2M0/M,who had ‘spotted’ me on the SOTA website the previous week (Thanks !!)was next to call by, Roddy was mobile in North Ayrshire. Next was John, a MM1 station from Springburn, Glasgow. John calls in every Sunday I’m on a hill whether it is SOTA or one of my local hills. Alan, a 2M0 station called in from Larkhall, I had worked Alan the previous Sunday, Alan had activated Nutberry Hill and todays contact was from his home QTH.
I then had a call from Peter, who is a GM8 station from Fishcross, a village near Alloa. Peter shares the last three letters of his callsign with me, rather ironic hi hi. Barry, MM0, another SOTA activator from Bathgate called in , I headed back to S20 (145.500) and made contact with Paul, a GM0 station from Biggar and then lastly I worked Steven , a MM6 station from Cowdenbeath.
Another activation, another point, the ascent was steepish but with the contacts and seeing Loch Lomond’s south side at its best made it all worthwhile. I’m slowly exhausting all the ‘lowish’ hills in my local area, I must look at other targets.


Top Left- Conic Hill from road
Next Right – Looking towards Ben Lomond from Conic Hill
Middle Right – Looking NW
Bottom – Euan heading down

International SOTA Weekend – Day Two Blaeloch Hill

Blaeloch Hill  in the North Ayrshire hills was the activation for today, we left home and set off and reached the foot of the route to Blaeloch, we ascended from a layby on the LargsKilbirnie road. A long damp heavy slog uphill took us to the summit of Blaeloch Hill, the summit was found only after finding the Blae Loch which nestles at the W side of the summit. The weather had been mixed on the ascent, high winds plus hailstones made it slightly uncomfortable at times.
The ‘camp’ was set up and the antenna and mast were erected, the mast then had to be reduced in length as the high wind was putting stress on it.
First contact was Barry, a 2MO station in Bathgate, Barry had activated Tinto Hill the previous day, next contact was Bob, a MM1/P station at Ardentinny nr Dunoon, I next contacted Eunice, a MM3/P station at the same location, we exchanged signal reports and I left to go back to S20 (145.500) to try and get the fourth contact I needed to fully activate the hill, a mobile station, Derek, 2M0 in Patna, Ayrshire came back to my call, the activation had been made.

I took a break and headed to the wreckage of a Fairey Firefly aircraft which had crashed to the SW of the hill, I had a quick look and headed back, if interested, further information on this specific air crash is HERE.

I then called on S20 and made the contact with MM1, John in Glasgow, I’ve made the contact with John on each of my activations. Next to answer my call was Andy, a GM7 station from East Kilbride. Grant, a MM5 station from Bearsden, with whom I had spoken to the previous day was next in the log.
I had another quick break for some lunch then called on S20 and MM0, Gordon from Irvine came back to my call, we chatted for some time then Brian, a MM1 station from Howwood called in for a chaser point. The next station contacted was a STS (Summit to Summit) contact, Alan, a 2M0 had been activating Nutberry Hill and was ready to depart.
Next station I contacted was Gordon, a MM6 station from Troon with whom I had previously spoken to the previous day, last station contacted was Julian, a MM0 station from Irvine, contacts were getting thin on the ground and the weather was deteriorating so we decided to ‘break’ down the station and head back to our prearranged pick up spot.
The walk-in and out was very wet and muddy, the ascent was steepish at times but another SOTA point had been earned.

Photos :

Top Right – Blae Loch
Next Left -Me
Middle Left- Firefly Engine Block
Middle Right – Firefly Crash Landing Site
Bottom – Firefly Wreckage