SOTA Activation Reports 2006 (1)

SOTA Activation Reports 2006
Activation reports previously submitted  to the Summits On The Air Reflector

2nd January 2006 NW-051 Foel Fenlli

...and Santa came late


Christmas came and went and I resigned my self to having to save up for the 817 later in the year. Then Helen told me she had done a deal with a friend who was selling an 817 and a few days later the kid (me) had his new toy and a grin like the Cheshire cat.

I had no intention of doing any activating until the weather warmed up and that would give me time to construct my portable antenna for HF, sort out what I needed, such as guys, pegs, coax etcetera and how to pack it all for hillwalking. However telling everyone who would listen on SOTA-IRC that I had my new toy had an unexpected effect and John GW4BVE invited me to join him on an activation. I was disappointed to turn him down but I was working. I felt a bit miffed that it was the 2nd time I had turned him down as I had been working on a previous occasion.

John is not one to give up and when he mentioned he was doing NW-044and 051 I said would do one but I was working nights that night and would not have time to do the second.

On the night of January 1st 2006 I came home from work and started packing me kit for next day. If I had been able to get everything I wanted to take into one bag I would never have been able to lift it. I wouldn't take the delta loop as I hadn't figure out how to pack it. I hadn't got a HF antenna made so no need for the SOTA pole. The mobile whip or the rubber duck would just have to do.

I was packing the car when I heard John on 2 metres en-route and I drove on near empty roads to arrive at the top car park and was just about to call him when he pulled up along side, perfect timing. I introduced my self and then we spotted Dick M0EIQ wandering past. Suddenly he realise who we were and came over. John and I had already decided to do Foel Fenlli and Dick would do Moel Famau with Mike G4BLH. John later went on to do Moel Famau and I had to go home to
get some shut eye before going to work 12 hour nights.

As we set off it started to rain and I was expecting the worst, but at least there was no wind. I ignored the rain and never really noticed when it stopped but wasn't much anyway. It was muddy, slippery and started quite steep but despite John saying he would be slow we arrive at the summit nearly 30 minutes earlier than we expected.

I had intended to activate 70cms first, try a little 2m ssb and then do 2m FM but I never got the chance. BFH called me on 2m FM to say they were nearing the summit and the pile up started. John worked 23cms and then I had a quick go working BLH, EIQ and G6DDQ on 23cms, my first ever 23cms contact all summit 2 summit. Thanks for the loan of the handheld goes to Mike BLH. After that John went on to 5mHz and I was quite amused to see his reclined operating position in the
heather with his SOTApole doing a poor impression on Cleopatra lounging under a fan. I went back to me pile up on 2m and it was great to work so many activators and activators as chasers as well as so many freinds who are not really into SOTA (yet). I was still at it when the batteries in the 817 died and then when the batteries in one hand held went the same way. I was still at it and no sign of let up as John was packing up and I still had loads calling when I said last call as John was waiting for me. I told John to go ahead and I would catch him up, but I never did as I meet a few walkers who wanted to know why there were so many guys with aerials on the hills.

John continued up Moel Famau and I set off back home, but my pile up on 2m meant I missed my rendezvous with Dick to do the mod on the 817 as he and Mike had already begun there assent of Foel Fenlli before I got down. A quick contact with Tom M1EYP on the way down added another SOTA to the tally and I was just about to pull off from the car  park when I heard G0PZO from Snowdon a nice 10 chaser points there, thanks Charlie. I worked a few more summits on the drive home
and then managed John BVE on 5mhz from the shack.

All in all a cracking day, I wish I could have done Moel Famau with John but I will save that for another day. I really enjoyed it and it was warm enough do take off jacket and gloves for the activation. Next time I would like to see the view, that is all (darn mist). Thanks to John for inviting me and to everyone who made up the pile up. Thanks also to Mike G4BLH for the chance to get 23cms in the log and a special thanks to Dick M0EIQ who went out of his way and stopped at my home on his way back to do the 817 mod. It all goes to prove what a great lot SOTAers and radio amateurs in general are