Tag Archives: Tinto Hill

(January) Radio Days

VHF….

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.

HF….

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.

Odds

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.

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Dunrod Visit, Portable 31/05/09


After a tiring trip the previous day, I made tracks to Dunrod Hill, an old favourite haunt of mine radio wise. I left home and headed to the car park at the Cornalees Visitor Centre and headed towards Dunrod, I made good time and arrived at the trig point in about 20mins, Dunrod is 298m (977ft ASL) and has spectacular views on almost all points.
I started to set up station and Roddy, a 2M0 station that is mentioned many times in this blog arrived, we set up our equipment, Roddy had brought along his Tape Measure Yagi, it is built as the name suggests, we put out CQs but the 2m frequencies were quiet, we later scanned 144/145 MHZ looking for any SOTA activations, first station we made contact with was Robert, a GM4 station on Tinto Hill, one of two stations we worked on that summit, the other was Douglas, a GM0 station. Robert is a regular on Tinto but not on SOTA activation this time.
We next made contact with Robin, GM7/P, another regular on this blog, Robin had activated a 10pt summit , he was on the summit of Aonach Beag, it was his fourth summit of the weekend, this weekend had been the hottest all year and made activation a warm business.
Still scanning the frequencies, we next hooked up Alan, a 2M0/P on White Coomb, I had spoken to Alan the previous day from Beinn Chaorach.
The bands then went quiet and it was time to break everything down and head back to our respective home QTHs, Roddy dropped me off (Thanks!!!).
The day had been an excellent one.
I then spent the evening updating my logs and SOTA activation and chaser information.

Photo :

Antenna farm

International SOTA Weekend – Day One

sotaimage55Unable to ‘activate’ a SOTA summit, I decided to concentrate on trying to add more ‘chaser’ points from the home QTH. I had been speaking to Bob, a MM1/P who was visiting Ardentinny in Argyllshire, I met up with Bob on occasions throughout the day as he was looking for SOTA chaser points .I meanwhile kept an eye on both the SOTA ‘Spots’ page and the SOTA ‘Alert’ page, whilst monitoring the 2m FM / SSB frequencies, I first made contact with Graeme,  2M0GIL/P station, a SOTA regular , Graeme was on Beinn Bhreac and was just about to make a move to another SOTA summit nearby.
I later decided to ‘head’ up to the hilltop behind my house, I crossed the golf course and found a sheltered spot just below the high point which is 620ft ASL , I erected the mast but this time instead of the beam I used a 2m ‘slim jim type’ vertical that I had made up from 300ohm ribbon cable.
I first made contact with Roddy, a 2M0 station who was on the Hill of Stake , Roddy was activating this as his first SOTA summit, Roddy’s signal was end stopping, I could see the summit to the south of me.
I then spoke with two reasonably local stations, Ray, a GM4 station from Drumchapel and Grant, a MM5 station from Bearsden.
Moving about the frequencies , I heard Barry, a 2M0 station who was activating Tinto Hill, I then worked Jack, a GM4 station who was on frequency with Barry, Jack was activating Culter Fell. Jack was a strong signal as well. I left them as other stations were calling them, I next spoke to Rab, a MMo station who was mobile in Motherwell, I had worked Rab on one of my previous jaunts to Corlic. I then hooked up again with Roddy on the Hill of Stake and then spoke to Gordon, a MM6/P station, Gordon was located on Brown Carrick Hill, a SOTA summit near Ayr but he was not activating it.
I then heard Graeme, the 2M0/P station I had worked earlier in the day again but never had the chance to make the contact. I heard Robin, GM7/P on Meall Corranaich calling on S20, we moved down and had a quickish QSO, Robin was ready to ascend and head home so I said goodbye and had a further look around the 2m FM frequencies, it had gone quiet so I broke down the station and headed back home. Handy to know that a good portable location is only 15 – 20 mins away.

Hill Of Stake……first SOTA activation !


Finally made my first SOTA (Summits On The Air) activation today, made the long slog into the Hill Of Stake , which is GM/SS 155,  a 522m(1712ft) hill in north Ayrshire, my son Euan accompanied me and we both set off from the home QTH about 9am, arrived at the Muirshiel Ranger Centre near Lochwinnoch and set off at 9.40. The trek starts for 4km along the old mine track, a steady uphill gradient then after 3km it levels out , the old barytes mine was reached 50 mins later, we took and double checked our compass reading and set out to the SW, the ground leading into the hill is very wet and boggy, there is no path and we had to make a few diversions to avoid the worst of the marshy areas. The walk in to the hill is approx 2 1/2 km from the old mine and is a steady uphill walk until the foot of the hill which rises steeply. We arrived at 11.40 and took a breather, I set up the 2m beam on an adjacent fencepost.
I made my first call on S20 (145.5 FM ) and Steve, a GM7 station responded to my call, we exchanged signal reports, I next made contact with some relatively nearby stations, I then worked Eric, a GM0 from Girvan, this was my first long distance contact, then Iain, a MM3 station called in, Iain was activating a SOTA summit, Ben Lui, north west of Ardlui at the top of Loch Lomond, excellent signal as one expected. I worked more nearby stations then I next made the contact with a MI0 mobile station, who had stopped just outside Ballymena to respond to my call.
I next worked Gordon, a MM6 station from Troon, Gordon is a member of a ‘radio’ forum I frequent so it was nice to make the contact.
Next call in was Robert, a GM4/P station who was atop another SOTA summit, Tinto Hill in Lanarkshire, his incoming signal was end stopping. Next station to call in was Robbie, a 2I0 station from Newry, NI, Robbie gave me 5×5 and as he is on the border with EI, I pointed the beam that way but nothing from EI land appeared. I then made contact with a Falkirk station, GM0 who was using his radio club callsign. More local stations were contacted then I was told a G/P station had activated a SOTA summit in the Lake District, I qsy’ed to the frequency on the SOTA Spot page and waited then I called and made contact with David on Whitfell, signal report was 5×5 each way, David was on the SW edge of Lake District.
Spoke with other relatively local stations before I made contact with GM7/P, Robin , he was NW of Fort William on another SOTA summit, Chno Dearg, the fourth of four Summit to Summit calls, excellent signal reports both ways, 5×7 for him then spoke with another couple of relatively local stations, Andy, a MM0 station called me from Falkirk before I got ready to break down the station and head home.
We dismantled the beam, mast etc and headed back out towards the Ranger Centre, my XYL met us and off home we went , tired but happy the first activation was out the way, where next ? who knows.

Photos :

Top left -The beam
Bottom left – Looking west to the isles of Arran, Bute and Cumbrae