Three on the Welsh Borders
I’ve long been an advocate of joint SOTA activations. It’s a chance to share ideas, experiences and learning new routes in the company of someone who may know the area well. This is especially so if you are new to SOTA as so much can be learnt even in a day about equipment, operating procedures and possibly the most important point, safety on the hills. Matt G8XYJ and now SOTA Mountain Goat had expressed an interest in joining me on some of the summits that I know well but as I would not be doing them until January I proposed that I would come across to Ludlow and hit some of his local summits for Winter Bonus….we had a plan.
Corndon Hill GW/MW-013…I started out early on Friday morning with the Sat-Nav set for SO 3018 9761 and our arranged meeting and starting point. Matt had already arrived and we soon kitted up and headed South a short way along the track then straight up the side to the summit.
Black clouds forming over Corndon Hill
The weather in the UK has been rather unpleasant of late but conditions today were not too bad although there was a strong wind blowing and rain clouds were blowing towards us as we reached the summit…we quickly got the activation underway. Matt has devised an ingenious way of attaching his VHF antenna to a trig point and was quickly filling up his log before I’d set up the HF antenna.
Matt getting ready for action
As I settled down to start on 60m Matt was calling to say that we had a couple of s2s lined up and very soon James MW0JCQ/p and John G4TQE/p were in our logs from their respective summits..thanks both.
|10:30z||PA1BR||5MHz||SSB||Pascal - Netherlands|
No, it's not that windy Matt
Stiperstones G/WB-003… I followed Matt to Stiperstones, we parked at SO 3692 9769 and headed up the nice easy walk to Manstone Rock.
On our way
The Trig as we approach
I’d already been in contact via text with our mutual friend David MW0YDH/p and as we approached the summit we could hear him calling from Cadair Berwyn. David was quickly in the log and as we finished with him John G4TQE/p was calling from his second summit of the day…in the log…thanks both…great stuff :) On setting up my antenna broke so I stripped back to bare wire, tied a knot in it and with some insulating tape to support the joint I was ready for action on 60m.
|12:48z||PA1JT||5MHz||SSB||Jan - Netherlands|
G4VPX/p trying to drop the W from his callsign :)
Leaving the summit
Long Mynd- Pole bank G/WB-005….Once again following Matt we made our way to SO 4208 9530 and the Shooting Box car park. It’s a very pleasant walk to the summit of this one along a well surfaced path and we were soon at the summit Trig.
Long Mynd-Pole Bank
Matt was quickly on to 2m but there were no s2s contacts for us this time. I set up and had a quick listen on 60m which seemed to be full of stations and our usual spot-frequencies being occupied…it was obvious our friends from the Netherlands were having a good time on their newly acquired band. I quickly moved on to 40m and as Matt had finished on VHF he changed the links for me. Matt has just purchased the same linear that I use so I set mine up to give him a demonstration…result…one big pile-up…thanks everybody.
|15:04z||2E0KVJ||7MHz||SSB||David using new callsign|
Matt..I was trying to get the Trig in the picture :)
It had been a great day…Matt and I never stopped talking as we found out that we had quite a few hobbies in common but the day was not over…..
We packed up and headed back to Ludlow arranging to meet up later at’ The Squirrel’ pub next to the Travelodge where I was staying for the night. After a light meal we were on our way in Matt’s car to the Hereford Amateur Radio Club. It was a Mince pies and Sausage rolls night and not only that we had a fascinating talk by Mike Allenson G3TGD (Malvern Club) on SMD and a chance to get some’ hands-on’ experience of working with these devices. It was great to meet the members as some were SOTA chasers and to have a chat once again with Rod M0JLA (SOTA MG) …thanks everyone. Matt and his dad gave me a demo of both D-Star and Fusion as there might well be a new repeater popping up close to me...watch this space. It had been a long day but a truly memorable one…joint activations are fun…thanks Matt..looking forward to the next one.
Thanks everyone for the contacts, spots and brief chats
73 Allan GW4VPX & Matt G8XYJ
I cancelled the following day's activations as I was nearly blown over twice in the first 100m attempting Titterstone Clee Hill....it'll be there for another day.