Sunday, 26 February 2017

25th February 2017. GW/NW-042 SOTA Activation visit.

GW/NW-042 Moel y Gamelin. 25th February 2017.
Grid SJ 176465 Altitude 578m.

We arrived back at the car park after completing GW/NW-043 at 11:40 a.m. had a little drink and sorted out our packs ready for the next ascent, I had read that this was 20 minutes to the summit? we made the first summit in 18 minutes (Moel y Faen) and carried on until we arrived at Moel y Gamelin, total ascent time was more like 50 minutes after a few rest breaks.
As seen from the photo's above the route that we took (in green), first photo viewed from near the first summit and then a view from the 2nd summit around 200 meters from the trig point. We arrived at around 12:50 p.m. had a quick coffee and decided it was to windy for Jamie to do any cooking and the HF mast was not going to be a good idea. As seen from photo 3 under neath the wind was extremely strong, we even had to put the SOTA flag near the base.

If you look carefully at photo 1 you can just see the mast of the summit near Carn y Brian, in total we had walked 7.5 miles from our arrival time of 09:50 a.m. In total we had 10 QSO's on 2M FM. We started our descent at around 13:23 p.m. and made it back to the car by 14:00 p.m. and after dropping all of our gear in the car we headed straight into the Ponderosa Cafe for a well deserved stake pie chips and gravy for me and sausage chips and gravy for Jamie.

25th February 2017. GW/NW-043 SOTA Activation visit.

GW/NW-043 Cyrn-y-Brain. 25th February 2017.
Altitude 565m.

Jamie and myself left Telford at 08:10 a.m. and headed towards Llangollen on the A5 then followed the A452 to the Horseshoe Pass were we parked opposite the Ponderosa Cafe we arrived at around 09:50 a.m. We were going to activate both summits there today and had decided to go up to Cyrn y Brain first. I had read somewhere that this was a 30 minutes walk. We are both fairly fit and it took us 30 minutes to reach the large mast then a further 10 minutes to walk to the trig point some 400 meters further.
The start of the walk it rained but had stopped by the time we arrived at the first mast, we then walked down the bike track along a fence line until we found the style to cross towards the trig point. A quick photo shoot then we set up the 2M dipole, and started our activation, we had our first QSO with MOCQE (Paul) one of our top chasers and a pleasant man to talk to every time. Followed by a further 6 QSO's including 2 summit to summits with M0JCQ and G0POT both on Long Mynd G/WB-005 one of my local summits. I had also spoken to them during their activation on Corndon Hill earlier during our car journey as we passed Shrewsbury.

According to the rainbow in the distance it was still raining a little distance away, the app I use on my phone is called Outdoors Great Britain and has GPRS as seen on the photo above, I find it very helpful in locating the trig point's. This activation is not a hard walk but is exposed at the summit apart from the small mound of stones.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

18th February 2017. Dunkery Beacon SOTA Activation visit.

G/SC-001 Dunkrey Beacon. 18th February 2017.
A little business trip took me down south this week so I thought I would take advantage of this and activate one of the closest summits. My wife Michelle had the day off and wanted to accompany me. We stayed in Minehead, after breakfast we headed to the car park at Grid SS 89568 40617. We started the walk without me looking at my map, really bad idea as after 10 minutes of walking I realised we were on the wrong track as indicated by grey route on the map.
Yet another foggy summit with less than 30 meters visibility, we arrived at the summit at 09:45 a.m. set up 2M dipole and my 20M Endfed. A very rocky ground so had a few problems setting up my mast, glad I have a full wavelength of coax for 20m and it was just enough to get to my ground spike.

 Had my first QSO's with Matt 2E0MDJ followed by 3 more on 2M including a S2S with Bill G4WSB and he was on G/WB-005 Long Mynd. Then started my 20M QSO's landing Poland x2, Hungary, Germany and Czech Republic. All now finished so we packed up, walked the 15 minutes back to the car and started our 3 hour drive home, now looking forward to next weeks activation.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

11th February 2017. Cadair Berwyn SOTA Activation visit.

GW/NW-012 Cadair Berwyn. 11th February 2017.

Today's visit was going to be a big activation that I have wanted to do for a month or so now. Jamie and I set off from home at 08:15 a.m. and headed towards Oswestry on the A5, then A483 until Llynclys then turned right on to the A495, followed it then it turned into the B4396 then eventually into the B4580, eventually turning into Waterfall Street. We arrived at 10:15 a.m.
We parked at the car park marked with the Blue circle on the above map, we made our ascent up the route marked with the Green line at this took us around 2 hours 30 minutes, we made a few stops for water and photo's (plus a rest lol). There was a lite covering of snow at the car park but nothing to worry about, we arrived at the lake after about 1 and a half hours and as can be seen it most mostly frozen.
We headed east at the lake mainly to try and get out of the very strong winds and was also advised by a local walker that it was a lot easier and not so dangerous (bogs).
We carried on until we reached the fence and then started our climb again toward Moel Sych, The summit of this can be seen as the back drop in the left photo above. The snow was a lot deeper here with drifts of 12 inchs plus, as seen above Jamie took his Snowboard  and was going to try his luck.
We activated from the stone shelter some 800 meters on from here, as this was out of the strong winds and blowing snow gale. We made our ascent down the Red route via the waterfall in 2 hours 15 minutes.

As seen on this video the fence was not as big as we first thought.

Can we mostly say thank you to all the Sota Chasers that we spoke with, you make it all worth while.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

4th February 2017. Moel Famau SOTA Activation visit.

GW/NW-044 Moel Famau. 4th February 2017.

Moel Famau was our second summit of the day after Foel Fenlli. We arrived back at grid SJ 161605 and the car, we managed a quick drink and then set off on our second ascent, this took as up the green route on my map and was completed in around 55 minutes. The descent down the same route took 32 minutes. 

First picture shows Moel Famau from the summit of Foel Fenlli, the Jubilee Tower built in 1820 can be seen from many miles away. Our first visit here but seamed to be a very popular tourist site. The first and final part of the ascent was the hardest going.

My first QSO was a Summit two Summit with M6VMS/P (Mark) G/LD-017, sounded like he had nice weather at the Lakes. There were plenty of hiker's at the tower and a few ventured in our direction and became interested in our activity's. In all a very nice day topped of with one of Jamie's famous bacon sandwich's with brown sauce. I can always rely on him for warm food.

4th February 2017. Foel Fenlli SOTA Activation visit.

GW/NW-051 Foel Fenlli. 4th February 2017.

This weekends SOTA activation took us to North Wales. Foel Fenlli & Moel Famau and my first attempt with 2M SSB, having built a 2M Moxon this week and so far so good. We arrived at grid SJ 161605 and parked the car with around another 30 cars, (very busy). The first hill Foel Fenlli was our first ascent, this took as up the green route on my map and was completed in around 30 minutes. The descent took only 7 minutes down the blue route (ascent this way for the very fit). 

We arrived at the summit and set up, first activation was on 2M FM with G0UFE Simon a fellow TDARS Club member, then 3 more one after another. Then I decided to try out the Moxon on SSB, I spoke with M0JLA (Rod) A fellow SOTA Activator down in Hereford.
As seen on the analyser the SWR for the Moxon was not too bad. Jamie reached the summit just before I did and claimed it for himself, a quick look down towards the car park below just before we made the summit saw that it was getting very full.