Saturday, 25 April 2015

SOTA/QRPTTF - Cleeve Hill - G/CE-001

Cleeve Hill - 330m, 1 point

Association: England Region: Central England
Latitude: 51 55 11 N, Longitude: 2 0 21 W
Grid Reference: SO 996245, QTH Locator: IO81XW

The idea of today's outing was to make some stateside contacts for  QRP to the Field
It turned out to be quite a nice afternoon, but HF condx were very marginal.
I spent most of my time playing with various antenna configurations (all EFHW) rather than doing very much serious chasing or activating!

After a quick run on 20 metres I decided to play on 17 metres with a new EFHW tuner I have just built.
I'd brought along my antenna analyser so that I could do some wire trimming etc.
After I set it up with the analyser I proceeded to call CQ on an eerily quiet band for over 10 minutes without a bite!
Even RBNGate didn't pick me up. I eventually self spotted and still nothing.
To my horror I realised that the feeder was still connected to the analyser and not to my rig!
Plugging it back in made the band decidedly noisier, and a few contacts were made.

I did eventually manage to hook up with Barry, N1EU on W2/GC-026 for a genuine QRPTTF contact.

On top of that, SOTA S2S were made with YU1WC/p on YU/CS-046 and S57X/p on S5/TK-022

Anyway it was fun, dry and pleasantly warm out of the fresh breeze, on my 23rd activation of Cleeve Hill!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

SOTA - Fan Gyhirych - GW/SW-006

Fan Gyhirych - 725m, 6 points

Association: Wales Region: South Wales
Latitude: 51 51 33 N, Longitude: 3 37 35 W
Grid Reference: SN 881191, QTH Locator: IO81EU

It took me just over an hour to hike the 3 miles between summits of Fan Nedd and Fan Gyhirych with approx 800' ascent from the connecting coll.

Looking back up to Fan Nedd

Today's elevation profile.
Walking along the ridge of Fan Gyhirych
Part of the route between summits is a wide stone track. It's rare to see anyone on this summit and today was no exception except for the surprise of meeting a tractor pulling a trailer with a JCB on the back. What was more surprising was that the driver was eating, what looked like his evening meal, as he drove along... 

With a strong wind still blowing, it was definitely time for the tarp again. It was a bit cooler on this summit as I now had to sit in the shade to stay out of the wind. Even though it was beautifully sunny, I had 3 layers on whilst operating.

Shack with a view

In the shade

Conditions were good and this time around 57 QSOs in the log. S2Ss with HB9CGA/p on HB/ZH-008 and DL/HB9AGO/p on DM/BW-157 rounded of the activation for the day.

QSO map from Log2Map by ON6ZQ

The track home.

After an hour it was time to pack up and make my way back to the start. This time I contoured round the bottom of Fan Nedd.
Total distance for the day was 7.5 miles and 1820' ascent.

A lovely day out in GW and one of my favourite double activations.

SOTA - Fan Nedd - GW/SW-007

Fan Nedd - 663m, 4 points

Association: Wales Region: South Wales
Latitude: 51 51 12 N, Longitude: 3 34 46 W
Grid Reference: SN 913184, QTH Locator: IO81FU

Today's forecast was for early cloud, lifting well above the summits during the morning, and then fine dry weather for the remainder of the day. Winds were forecast to be fresh to strong over the tops.

Summit still in the cloud
 I decided to tackle a tried and tested route, Fan Nedd first, then Fan Gyhirych, returning to the start by a track contouring around the hill.  As forecast, the tops were still in cloud as I arrived at the starting point.

Today's route

Clouds clearing
By the time I'd reached the summit the last wisps of cloud had been blown away and the sun came out for the day. The wind was keen, so I quickly erected my small tarp to give me a windbreak. Without it, it would have been too cold to sit around in shorts!

QRV. Trig point in background.
 Starting off on 20m, the first contact without even calling CQ, was a S2S with OE5EIN/p on OE/OO-303. This was followed by a further 55 QSOs, notable of which were further S2S with HA5MA/p and HA5LV/p on HA/EM-116 and EA6/HB9BIN/p on EA6/MA-028.

The shack

With 90 minutes total time on the summit, it was time to start the hike to Fan Gyhirych looking pretty in the distance.
Looking over to next summit,  Fan Gyhirych