For the past two years or so I have been very keen to try doing some SOTA activities. I have been building up the equipment I need to do so and I have been building antennas. The biggest hurdle was learning CW. I passed my Class A RAE license back on 1989 with included 12wpm CW but I never really got into CW. I was always very much into computers so I was mostly active with AMTOR and RTTY at the time and some voice. One thing I learnt about SSB is that it signals didn’t travel very far.
So a couple of years ago I started learning CW with CW OPS and Im not confident enough to do some running in contests and doing some small QSOs, but contesting is where I am at. I liked the idea of SOTA of being at the other end, being called for a change so now I have finally done it and Im hooked.
This morning I went to a local summit to try it for the first time. Wendover Woods is a small 1 point summit about 40mins drive from my QTH. I have been thinking of doing this one for some time as its a local summit for a SOTA op who’s Blog I follow, James M0JCQ, so I read his notes on it and thought it would be a good summit to do first. Its not exactly an long climb or even a long walk but its a good starting point.
I parked up at the lay by next to the mountain biking centre and walked up the road and into the field where the trig point is, only to find that it was being used as an overflow carpark for Wendover Woods. I arrived just before 0800 UTC so the carpark was still not in use, I went over to the corner of the field away from the parking area and set up. I strung up my Paktenna into a tree and a good thing I had brought along my Themarest mat as the grass had not be cut for a long time. The Kx2 and the Palm Mini worked like charm.
0840UTC saw G0MGM/p start up and I was called by S57TX as my first call. I then tried to spot myself on Sotawatch and had 6 other stations call me on 40m. After 15 mins I moved to 20m and had another go. I worked 4 more stations and then decided to pack up, it was getting very warm and humid and the car park attendants were turning up getting ready to start taking in cars.
Its was only a short activation but it was very good fun. I am not looking at other summits to do locally but most are at least 1hrs drive from me so getting away from the family to play radio is not easy but I will be back soon..
Thanks to all the chasers and see you soon