VHF Tropo Opening (November 2018) 3

VHF Tropo Opening (November 2018)
I’d been watching the tropo forecast with anticipation for the 17th-18th of November 2018 and had planned to go out portable to see what I could work on 2m VHF. In the morning I’d had a scan on 2m from home (using a Diamond V2000 colinear) and I could see conditions were up, as I ...

Activating Southern Britain’s Highest Mountain on Top Band (Pen Y Fan) 4

Activating Southern Britain's Highest Mountain on Top Band (Pen Y Fan)
Having activated Pen Y Fan (GW/SW-001 – 886m ASL – 8 points) four times previously, I was looking for something new to do. My wife was taking part in a Mountain Midnight Marathon again, which runs up southern Britains highest mountain (and then back down), so I’d have a few hours up at the summit ...

2m QRP Contesting in the Sun and DX

2m QRP Contesting in the Sun and DX
On Sunday the 10th of June I took part in the RSGB 2m Backpackers contest. I like this contest because it combines portable operating and QRP, some of my favourite things! I entered the 5B section, which means you’re limited to 5w output and a mast height of 4m above ground. With this restriction I ...

SOTA activation of England’s highest summit: Scafell Pike

SOTA activation of England's highest summit: Scafell Pike
While on holiday in the Lake District with the YL in July, I activated ten SOTA summits. The focus of these walks was not SOTA, but instead all day walking, so brevity and lightweight gear was the order of the day – 2m FM was the natural choice. We chose to do Scafell Pike (G/LD-001 ...

Activating Mount Washington – Highest Mountain in N.E USA

Activating Mount Washington - Highest Mountain in N.E USA
Each year I’m sent away to Boston, MA on a company conference, this year I decided to take the radio and activate some of the nearby (well nearish) SOTA summits. I’d planned with some likeminded colleagues to visit the White Mountains in New Hampshire, about 3 hours north of Boston. We’d arrive on Friday evening ...

5 Sussex SOTA Summits on a Summer’s Day 4

5 Sussex SOTA Summits on a Summer's Day
This string of 5 summits along the South Downs way in Sussex had been on my hit list for some time. I’d always consciously saved them for a nice summers day. Michael G0POT had activated this string of summits before and had given me a lot of his logistical planning – I’ve built on this ...

Becoming a Half SOTA Goat – The First 500 Activator Points

Becoming a Half SOTA Goat - The First 500 Activator Points
Reaching 500 activator points was my target for 2017 and I’ve peaked early! The tipping point was an unexpected trip to Snowdonia in Wales in April, where I activated 11 summits for 75 points. This took me beyond 500 points but officially marked me reaching the half way point to becoming a full mountain goat (1000 ...

SOTA Activation of Pen Y Garn (during Storm Desmond)

SOTA Activation of Pen Y Garn (during Storm Desmond)
This was the second day of my Storm Desmond SOTA activations in Mid-Wales (see Plynlimon and Drosgol activation reports) back in December 2015. Unfortunately the weather was looking even worse than the day before from the B&B! After a full English (or should that be Welsh?) breakfast I set off towards the summit of Pen Y Garn (GW/MW-004) ...

VHF SOTA Expedition in the Snowdonia National Park 6

VHF SOTA Expedition in the Snowdonia National Park
In April I finally finished a big project at work and had some time off to relax – the perfect break would be some walking in the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. Of course the first thing that usually happens when I start to relax is that I get a cold, annoyingly this happened ...

How to Undertake a SOTA Activation – Step by Step Guide 1

How to Undertake a SOTA Activation - Step by Step Guide
Recently I’ve been shooting a number of videos for YouTube outlining the kit I use for SOTA and now I’ve done one showing how I go about activating a SOTA summit.   It’s a step by step guide to carrying out a SOTA activation in the great outdoors. It covers the set-up, spotting, operating procedure ...