Tom Read - click to email meBDXC ISWL WAB SOTA RSGB IOTA - see my radio page for more detailsLiam & Jimmy

Shining Tor 2020

 

Sunday 5th January 2020 - Kinder Scout G/SP-001, Shining Tor G/SP-004, The Cloud G/SP-015 & Gun G/SP-013

After Kinder Scout G/SP-001, I drove over to Shining Tor G/SP-004, for more FT8 SOTA.  I would, naturally, focus on 80m FT8 again, with the added bonus of giving chasers a multiplier in the 2020 Flavours Challenge!  But I also wanted to be able to swiftly QSY to 20m for a possible S2S FT8 QSO into the USA, so the SOTAbeams Bandhopper 4 linked dipole antenna was ideal.

Bandhopper 4 on Shining Tor    Trig point    Tom M1EYP

The FT8 activity never really got going on this activation, with just two on 80m and one on 20m.  But that one on 20m was S2S with Tom N2YTF/P on a W2 summit in the USA - so that was highly pleasing.  The weather conditions by this stage on Shining Tor were most unpleasant, but I was about to return to 80m to give the CW and SSB chasers a chance for their Challenge multiplier.  Unfortunately I was a bit too heavy handed (yes, I know, it’s happened before) when closing a link and I snapped the wire.  Game over.  The bad news was that I only had recorded 3 contacts on HF FT8 and hadn’t qualified the summit.  The good news was that I had my 2m handie, and this reaped 6 QSOs in just 3 minutes!

After returning to Macc and meeting Jimmy M0HGY and Liam at the pub for tea, I went out again for another couple of activations, starting with The Cloud G/SP-015.

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

S2S

14:50

G0RQL

3.5MHz

FT8

 

14:53

G4TJC

3.5MHz

FT8

 

15:27

N2YTF/P

14MHz

FT8

W2/NJ-009

16:00

G0MHF

144MHz

FM

 

16:00

2E0LKC

144MHz

FM

 

16:01

2W0JYN

144MHz

FM

 

16:01

2E0LMD

144MHz

FM

 

16:02

M0HGY

144MHz

FM

 

16:03

MW1MDH/M

144MHz

FM

 

 

Monday 10th February 2020 - Shining Tor G/SP-004, The Cloud G/SP-015 & Gun G/SP-013

Wellington School in Altrincham, where I was doing a long term teaching assignment until April, was on half-term this week.  However, some schools' half-term break was a week later, and were therefore in session on this date.  I picked up a day's supply at New Mills School, where I had a really lovely and fulfilling day.  That was mainly because the students really engaged positively with my teaching, but part of my enjoyment was the Dark Peak towering above the school campus and visible from most places I was during the day!

Shining Tor summit        Tom M1EYP

On my way home I just had to go via Shining Tor for my daily walking and SOTA fix!  At the top, it was cold with a dusting of snow.  Seven QSOs were made on 2m FM before I went home for my tea - after which I went out again, firstly to The Cloud G/SP-004.

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

16:51

G0XBU/M

144MHz

FM

16:52

2E0TXE

144MHz

FM

16:52

M7ECT

144MHz

FM

16:53

M0VWT

144MHz

FM

16:53

M0NTI

144MHz

FM

16:54

2E0VWT/P

144MHz

FM

16:54

M6XCP

144MHz

FM

 

Saturday 21st March 2020 - The Cloud G/SP-015, Gun G/SP-013 & Shining Tor G/SP-004

Uninspired and disinterested in the Saturday evening TV fayre, I excused myself and went out for an evening stroll up Shining Tor.  This was an enjoyable night walk in the cold crisp air, rewarded at the summit with great views over the lights of Manchester.

Shining Tor summit        Tom M1EYP

Twelve stations were worked on the handheld, all on 2m FM.  It was a pleasing end to an enjoyable three-activation day.

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

20:21

M0TKG

144MHz

FM

20:22

G0RXT

144MHz

FM

20:24

2E0CCD

144MHz

FM

20:25

M7ECT

144MHz

FM

20:25

2E0LMD

144MHz

FM

20:26

2E0LKC

144MHz

FM

20:27

2E0JPY

144MHz

FM

20:28

G0RXA

144MHz

FM

20:29

M0MTF

144MHz

FM

20:30

G1OXH

144MHz

FM

20:32

M1DCG

144MHz

FM

20:34

M0OAU

144MHz

FM

 

Monday 23rd March 2020 - Shining Tor G/SP-004, The Cloud G/SP-015, Gun G/SP-013

Social distancing seemed to be getting ramped up.  Driving out to a local hill for a local walk still seemed to be OK, whereas driving longer distance out of area to do so would probably be socially unacceptable.  But later in the day, even further instructions would be announced by the government that effectively ruled out SOTA.

Tom M1EYP  View from the shack!

I had a great walk up Shining Tor.  In order to be able to set up an antenna for HF, and be 100% certain to respect social distancing, I positioned myself a little away from the summit, in a pleasant sheltered spot below some rocks, overlooking the Macc-Buxton road, the Macclesfield Forest and the Cheshire Plain.

I left my tablet working automated-fashion on 15m FT8 via WSJT-Z.  Interspersed with activity on that mode, I called periodically on my handheld, making QSOs on 2m FM and 70cm FM.  It was a delightfully pleasant hour-and-a-half!  The activation concluded with nice S2S QSOs with Viki MW6BWA/P on Graig Syfyrddin GW/SW-020 - not a bad old distance with a handheld!  That afternoon I returned home, but with the full intention of conducting a couple more activations that evening - starting with The Cloud G/SP-015.

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

S2S

11:26

F6BHK

21MHz

FT8

 

11:30

G4KHG

21MHz

FT8

 

11:37

EB3JT

21MHz

FT8

 

11:57

GW4TQE/P

433MHz

FM

GW/MW-027

12:00

EA3FAJ

21MHz

FT8

 

12:01

2W0FOI

433MHz

FM

 

12:08

CT1ELP

21MHz

FT8

 

12:12

G6MMS

433MHz

FM

 

12:13

IK4CBO

21MHz

FT8

 

12:15

G4TJC

21MHz

FT8

 

12:22

M0VAZ

433MHz

FM

 

12:28

G4CFP/M

144MHz

FM

 

12:29

2E0LKC

144MHz

FM

 

12:30

G4ERQ

144MHz

FM

 

12:30

EA7GV

21MHz

FT8

 

12:32

G4GCZ

144MHz

FM

 

12:32

2E0BCJ

144MHz

FM

 

12:33

M5HFJ

144MHz

FM

 

12:34

G1VKT

144MHz

FM

 

12:36

2W0JYN

144MHz

FM

 

12:37

MW6SHJ

144MHz

FM

 

12:39

G0XBU

144MHz

FM

 

12:44

MW6BWA/P

144MHz

FM

GW/SW-020

12:47

MW6BWA/P

433MHz

FM

GW/SW-020

12:49

M0CSP

144MHz

FM

 

12:50

2E0TXE

144MHz

FM

 

12:52

MW0JLA/P

144MHz

FM

GW/SW-020

 

Saturday 16th May 2020 - The Cloud G/SP-015, Gun G/SP-013 & Shining Tor G/SP-004

It was a super joint activation on Shining Tor G/SP-004 with Jimmy M0HGY. 

Cup cake from Cherry Blossom Bakery        Jimmy M0HGY

We set off after 7pm, choosing to utilise the evening time to avoid others and keep social distancing as easy as possible.

M0HGY:

51 QSOs

44 on 2m FM

7 on 30m FT4

M1EYP:

53 QSOs

13 on 2m FM

29 on 30m FT4

2 on 30m FT8

9 on 30m CW

Jimmy M0HGY        Tom M1EYP

Jimmy clearly supported my claim that 2m is alive and well with contacts coming thick and fast throughout the evening. By packdown time, I was thinking “If only I had my backpacking tent and sleeping bag with me, and be in a phase and life in which that was socially acceptable!” This was because I was by this stage getting called and worked by North American stations on 30m FT4. I would have liked to have gone on for hours!

Jimmy M0HGY        Waypost on Shining Tor

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

19:41

EA4HAI

10MHz

FT4

19:42

SQ9UPH

10MHz

FT4

19:44

SV8NAJ

10MHz

FT4

19:45

EA3HYF

10MHz

FT4

19:46

IK2LEY

10MHz

FT4

19:53

IZ3KUX

10MHz

FT4

20:00

G7ADF

10MHz

FT4

20:16

SQ1OD

10MHz

FT8

20:21

UX5UN

10MHz

FT8

20:32

S52XA

10MHz

CW

20:33

SA4BLM

10MHz

CW

20:34

SM7CBS

10MHz

CW

20:41

YO8AZQ

10MHz

CW

20:43

US5XD

10MHz

CW

20:45

UR5CI

10MHz

CW

20:47

UT3UGI

10MHz

CW

20:49

EA3CW

10MHz

CW

20:52

IZ4EKG

10MHz

CW

21:01

EA1GWM

10MHz

FT4

21:06

SM0EJR

10MHz

FT4

21:07

OK1XHC

10MHz

FT4

21:09

RN3AOE

10MHz

FT4

21:12

HB9CNU

10MHz

FT4

21:16

OK4DJ

10MHz

FT4

21:18

F5LKW

10MHz

FT4

21:26

MW6SHJ

144MHz

FM

21:26

G7OEM

144MHz

FM

21:29

G0HIZ

144MHz

FM

21:30

M0SQJ

144MHz

FM

21:31

M0DAV

144MHz

FM

21:32

G7LHK

144MHz

FM

21:33

G7UCP

144MHz

FM

21:33

M1EIB

144MHz

FM

21:34

M0INY

144MHz

FM

21:36

G0TEE

144MHz

FM

21:38

2W0JYN

144MHz

FM

21:41

M7MJK

144MHz

FM

21:42

G7ABR

144MHz

FM

21:48

DL6NAC

10MHz

FT4

21:49

R2EA

10MHz

FT4

21:51

CT2JQD

10MHz

FT4

21:58

DL3IG

10MHz

FT4

21:58

IU7MZC

10MHz

FT4

22:00

I6JEI

10MHz

FT4

22:04

R4FBG

10MHz

FT4

22:05

IK2EST

10MHz

FT4

22:05

EA8UK

10MHz

FT4

22:07

SP9RM

10MHz

FT4

22:08

VE9NC

10MHz

FT4

22:11

W2DJX

10MHz

FT4

22:13

WB9CNE

10MHz

FT4

22:19

IZ1MHY

10MHz

FT4

22:22

W0ALA

10MHz

FT4

 

Sunday 17th May 2020 - Shining Tor G/SP-004, Gun G/SP-013 & The Cloud G/SP-015

The Peak District, like most National Parks, was suffering “bad press” (or those that flock to them were).  Of course, only bad news tends to “make the cut” on TV bulletins. There was plenty of walkers on Shining Tor G/SP-004.  Social distancing was being observed impeccably with everyone showing great respect for each other on the paths.  Care needed to be taken with gates and stiles of course - but I’d rather have been there than in a supermarket. (Less than 1% of Covid transmission occur outdoors according to a study published the previous week).

The previous evening, there were zero other people on the hill.  This morning with several - but plenty of space for everyone, and all lovely considerate fellow walkers.

2m FM handheld - 6 QSOs

I then drove over to Gun G/SP-013.

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

11:11

M6OXO

144MHz

FM

11:12

2E0SAE

144MHz

FM

11:18

MW0RKD

144MHz

FM

11:19

G3CWI/M

144MHz

FM

11:20

M0VTS

144MHz

FM

11:22

G0ELM/P

144MHz

FM

 

Wednesday 20th May 2020 - Shining Tor G/SP-004, Gun G/SP-013 & The Cloud G/SP-015

More splendid social distancing on the hills.  The hills are definitely a nice place to do this social distancing thing, and all the other walkers seem really lovely about it.  My choice for Shining Tor G/SP-004 was 30m FT8 & CW.  That wasn’t really based on any study of likely propagation conditions, but more addiction-based I fear.  Anyway, it paid off, with the band providing lots of activity on both modes, though strangely, there was no FT4 to be had on 10.140MHz whatsoever.

52 QSOs:

30m FT8: 20 QSOs

30m CW: 26 QSOs (S2S - HB/BE-087, DM/BW-067, HB/SZ-016)

2m FM: 6 QSOs

Tom M0TKG & Tom M1EYP        Cracking view from Shining Tor

It was nice to meet Tom M0TKG up there, and he was having a great activation on 40m SSB.  In the heather, just near to where Tom was operating, I found my sunglasses that I’d lost up here back on 21st February 2019 (yes it was a very sunny day for February!) 453 days later - I found them again.  Fully intact, but unsurprisingly in need of a clean!   I stayed on the road and went to activate Gun G/SP-013, and then The Cloud G/SP-015.

Before descending, I worked a few on 2m FM, culminating with Simon G7WKX who advised me about the opening to EA on 6m.  I was going to go home to pick up the 10m GP before my next activation, but now I could switch thoughts to the “Magic Band”, and the SOTAbeams SB6 Moxon was already in the car!

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

S2S

09:08

DL2VED

10MHz

FT8

 

09:10

G7ADF

10MHz

FT8

 

09:13

ON5SWA

10MHz

FT8

 

09:16

EA3HP

10MHz

FT8

 

09:21

DB1BMN

10MHz

FT8

 

09:24

SM4CJM

10MHz

FT8

 

09:25

F5HTR

10MHz

FT8

 

09:26

F5JKK

10MHz

FT8

 

09:29

EA7GV

10MHz

FT8

 

09:30

DG1PO

10MHz

FT8

 

09:31

OE6GND

10MHz

FT8

 

09:33

ON7DE

10MHz

FT8

 

09:41

F5EOW

10MHz

FT8

 

09:42

IK2LEY

10MHz

FT8

 

09:43

EA2LU

10MHz

FT8

 

09:45

IU8JCQ

10MHz

FT8

 

09:49

PA7RA

10MHz

FT8

 

09:50

DK1REM

10MHz

FT8

 

10:01

SP1O

10MHz

FT8

 

10:03

DG1DBX

10MHz

FT8

 

10:12

OH3GZ

10MHz

CW

 

10:13

HB9AGH

10MHz

CW

 

10:13

DJ1MX

10MHz

CW

 

10:14

DL1CR

10MHz

CW

 

10:14

OE6GND

10MHz

CW

 

10:15

DL1FU

10MHz

CW

 

10:16

HB9CBR/P

10MHz

CW

HB/BE-087

10:18

OK1FMJ

10MHz

CW

 

10:19

DL6FBK/P

10MHz

CW

DM/BW-067

10:20

DL4MFM

10MHz

CW

 

10:21

HB9CEV/P

10MHz

CW

HB/SZ-016

10:23

EA2IF

10MHz

CW

 

10:24

PA7RA

10MHz

CW

 

10:25

DL4EPM

10MHz

CW

 

10:26

IK2ECC

10MHz

CW

 

10:26

ON4ON

10MHz

CW

 

10:28

DL8NDG

10MHz

CW

 

10:29

DL7UWR/P

10MHz

CW

 

10:31

SA4BLM

10MHz

CW

 

10:32

SM5LNE

10MHz

CW

 

10:33

IU3HMH

10MHz

CW

 

10:34

EA5K

10MHz

CW

 

10:35

SP5KD

10MHz

CW

 

10:35

HF0B

10MHz

CW

 

10:37

EA2GM

10MHz

CW

 

10:40

DL1SWB

10MHz

CW

 

10:50

2E0PXW

144MHz

FM

 

10:51

G8MIA

144MHz

FM

 

10:51

G3CWI/M

144MHz

FM

 

10:52

M0VTS

144MHz

FM

 

10:53

M7ECT

144MHz

FM

 

11:13

G7WKX

144MHz

FM

 

 

Friday 22nd May 2020 - Shining Tor G/SP-004

My 12m GP hadn’t been used in a while, so that’s what I took up to Shining Tor G/SP-004 with me for the joint activation with Alan M1FHM.  When I unpacked that, it was in a sorry state, and no wonder, as it was rather sloppily constructed compared to what I would do now.  It was therefore no surprise that it suffered several collapses in stiff breeze. Interestingly though, the VSWR indication on the 817 suggested it might be usable on 10m as well.

Tom M1EYP & Alan M1FHM        Alan M1FHM

And so it proved to be.

12m FT8: 5 QSOs

10m FT8: 13 QSOs

2m FM: 2 QSOs

I made a mental note to to remake the 12m GP, better and stronger, and maybe with the resonant frequency nudged up a little higher.

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

06:55

RW1C

24MHz

FT8

07:00

G8HXE

24MHz

FT8

07:16

RX4CD

24MHz

FT8

07:35

G0JEI

28MHz

FT8

07:35

M5JPG

28MHz

FT8

07:40

G4TJC

28MHz

FT8

07:48

SP4SHK

28MHz

FT8

07:49

OK2PDT

28MHz

FT8

07:55

M3JIE

28MHz

FT8

07:56

SP4UPH

28MHz

FT8

07:57

SM4CJM

28MHz

FT8

08:01

EA7GV

28MHz

FT8

08:10

EA5D

28MHz

FT8

08:12

ES3RM

28MHz

FT8

08:24

2E0EEY

28MHz

FT8

08:27

SQ5MR

28MHz

FT8

08:43

SP5XSD

24MHz

FT8

08:44

G4TJC

24MHz

FT8

09:02

2E0PXW

144MHz

FM

09:03

G0RXT

144MHz

FM

 

Saturday 4th July 2020 - Shining Tor G/SP-004, The Cloud G/SP-015 & Gun G/SP-013

Cold, windy and wet.  Again.  Another day that would be horrid in winter - in midsummer.  Refreshingly good activity for the 70cm SOTA day despite that.  I got several 70cm FM S2S:

G1ZAR/P on Bardon Hill G/CE-004

M6BWA/P on Wapley Hill G/WB-016

M0JLA/P on Wapley Hill G/WB-016

G4AZS/P on Heath Mynd G/WB-007

M6BWA/P on Shobdon G/WB-017

M0JLA/P on Shobdon G/WB-017

Very necessary shelter for this activation!   Tom M1EYP in the tent

Having studied the highly depressing weather forecast, I took my backpacking tent along.  Even with that there was an unpleasantly damp and cold feel to the morning; it would have been unbearable without it.  The activation got off to the worst possible start when I snapped off a croc clip from my newly repaired feeder during set up.  So once again, the croc clip was repurposed to clip the coax core to the driven element of the 6-el beam.  This meant I was reluctant to muck about with changes of polarisation, and as such, reluctant to venture onto SSB or FT8.

Astonishingly, this fragile assembly survived the hostile conditions throughout the 6 hour activation!  Anyway, the results were as follows:

70cm FM: 36 QSOs

70cm CW: 1 QSO

2m FM: 5 QSOs

 

Much later in the day, I went out again, to activate The Cloud G/SP-015 and Gun G/SP-013.

 

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

S2S

06:01

G0BUB

433MHz

FM

 

06:28

G0IZR

144MHz

FM

 

06:31

G0IZR

433MHz

FM

 

06:33

M3PVB

433MHz

FM

 

06:41

GW0HUS

433MHz

FM

 

06:44

G0MHF

433MHz

FM

 

07:06

M6OXO

144MHz

FM

 

07:12

G6GVI

433MHz

FM

 

07:27

G1JPV

433MHz

FM

 

07:33

G0AKU

144MHz

FM

 

08:08

G0FRI

433MHz

FM

 

08:19

G1ZAR/P

433MHz

FM

G/CE-004

08:29

G6MMS

433MHz

FM

 

08:40

G3CWI

433MHz

FM

 

08:49

2E0RIL

144MHz

FM

 

08:53

G3CWI

433MHz

CW

 

08:56

G3ZHE

433MHz

FM

 

09:09

G4VSS

433MHz

FM

 

09:16

G0UXC

433MHz

FM

 

09:25

M6BWA/P

433MHz

FM

G/WB-016

09:33

G4UCT

433MHz

FM

 

09:43

M0JLA/P

433MHz

FM

G/WB-016

09:50

G0BJK

433MHz

FM

 

10:00

2E0NDD

433MHz

FM

 

10:28

M7CJK

433MHz

FM

 

10:33

GB0ELR

433MHz

FM

 

10:35

G6QA

433MHz

FM

 

10:37

GB0ELR

144MHz

FM

 

10:50

G0SLR

433MHz

FM

 

10:52

G7RYN

433MHz

FM

 

10:53

M0AJJ

433MHz

FM

 

10:54

M7ECT

433MHz

FM

 

10:55

G0UXI

433MHz

FM

 

10:55

G0KZH

433MHz

FM

 

10:58

M0HZX/M

433MHz

FM

 

11:18

G4UKV

433MHz

FM

 

11:33

G4AZS/P

433MHz

FM

G/WB-007

11:35

M6BWA/P

433MHz

FM

G/WB-017

11:37

M0JLA/P

433MHz

FM

G/WB-017

11:38

M6XBQ

144MHz

FM

 

12:10

G0DBE

433MHz

FM

 

12:12

M1FHM

433MHz

FM

 

 

Monday 6th July 2020 - The Wrekin G/WB-010, Shining Tor G/SP-004, The Cloud G/SP-015 & Gun G/SP-013

After getting home from The Wrekin G/WB-010, Marianne and Liam were getting out of bed, and preparing to go walking in the Goyt Valley.  I interrogated Marianne about her proposed route, and upon discovering that it would pass over Shining Tor G/SP-004, I invited myself along!

Cat & Fiddle                Turning off the A537 road

 

This route is a 9 mile circular starting and finishing at the Cat & Fiddle.  The walk goes down to Derbyshire Bridge then follows right down the beautiful Goyt Valley to Errwood Reservoir before rising up to Pym Chair.  At that point, the road is left and a mostly flagged path is taken right up to the SOTA summit, before the familar descent back to the Cat & Fiddle pub.

 

Marianne & Liam heading down to Derbyshire Bridge                River Goyt

 

7 QSOs were made, 5 on 70cm FM and 2 on 2m FM.  This was just on the handheld, as setting up and bedding down with portable radio doesn’t really work with walks with the XYL (I have discovered). 

 

Road down to Derbyshire Bridge    Derbyshire Bridge parking area    Liam heading into the Goyt Valley

 

Liam & Marianne walking down to Derbyshire Bridge                Liam, Goyt Valley

 

Goyt Valley    River Goyt    Water cascade

 

Top of the Goyt Valley                Derbyshire Bridge

 

River Goyt                Liam & Tom, Goyt Valley

 

Packhorse Bridge, Goyt Valley                Errwood Reservoir

 

Errwood Reservoir                Pym Chair

 

Walking down the Goyt Valley    Near Pym Chair    Approaching Shining Tor from Pym Chair

 

Flagged path to Shining Tor    Shining Tor summit    Shining Tor summit

 

Shining Tor summit                Footpath signpost near to Shining Tor summit

 

Shining Tor summit                Kissing gate on the descent from Shining Tor

 

Tom M1EYP                Back at the Cat & Fiddle

 

Immediately after getting back to Macclesfield, I skipped my evening meal in order to go straight back out again, this time to The Cloud G/SP-015.

 

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

16:52

G0MHF

433MHz

FM

16:54

G4YLJ

433MHz

FM

16:54

2E0IXM

433MHz

FM

16:57

M1DYU

144MHz

FM

16:58

M1DYU

433MHz

FM

17:08

M7ECT

433MHz

FM

17:10

M6AIF

433MHz

FM

 

Saturday 11th July 2020 - The Cloud G/SP-015, Gun G/SP-013 & Shining Tor G/SP-004

I’d not done a campover activation for a while, so I took an opportunity to do so last night.  Having already done a couple of activations during the day, and then added a long circular route with Marianne, Jimmy M0HGY and Liam, the good thing was that I wouldn’t have difficulty sleeping! 

My accommodation for the Saturday evening!        Tent porch

By the time I’d ascended Shining Tor G/SP-004 and pitched my backpacking tent, it was already gone midnight BST. I  called on 2m FM on the handheld and worked Jimmy M0HGY and Dave 2E0IXM.  I returned to the tent, set out my roll mat and sleeping bag, then assembled the main station and commenced the new UTC day activation at 0005z.

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

23:18

M0HGY

144MHz

FM

23:19

2E0IXM

144MHz

FM

 

Sunday 12th July 2020 - Shining Tor G/SP-004

I spent the rest of the UTC day setting up the main HF station, arranging things in my tent, getting the mat, sleeping bag and pillow etc in position.  By 1am local - midnight UTC, I was ready to get back on the air.  Several stations were worked on 20m CW and SSB in the IARU contest, including a good number of North Americans.  However, the band was somewhat tedious in the contest, and so I decided to get some sleep.

Tom M1EYP        Camp on Shining Tor

Three hours or so later, I was awake again.  I made use of the auto-sequencing mode on WSJT-Z and set the station off working on 20m FT4 and allowed myself to relax a little more. After a little sleep, I got going on SSB again, working 30 more stations.  Switching to CW, 42 QSOs were logged.  I attempted to run on a clear-ish frequency, but just one QSO resulted.  I managed a S2S with OK/SP9AMH/P on OK/MO-057, but then took down the HF station.  Before descent, I worked 9 stations on 2m FM including two more S2S - GW4TQE/P on GW/NW-060 and MW1HAX/P on GW/NW-012.  Total of 101 contacts for the activation.

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

S2S

00:05

K3TS

14MHz

CW

 

00:13

N5NU

14MHz

CW

 

00:16

NO9E

14MHz

CW

 

00:19

IB3N

14MHz

CW

 

00:21

EA2W

14MHz

CW

 

00:22

NN7CW

14MHz

CW

 

00:26

S53A

14MHz

CW

 

00:27

IR4B

14MHz

CW

 

00:34

N5KWN

14MHz

CW

 

00:39

IO5HQ

14MHz

CW

 

00:41

EF5HQ

14MHz

CW

 

00:44

9A0HQ

14MHz

CW

 

00:53

N0AX

14MHz

CW

 

00:59

EA3CI

14MHz

SSB

 

01:03

IK7YTT

14MHz

SSB

 

01:14

IO6HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

01:16

VE3DZ

14MHz

SSB

 

04:25

UA6JQ

14MHz

FT4

 

04:34

R6KF

14MHz

FT4

 

04:38

UA6ARR

14MHz

FT4

 

04:41

UR4MVD

14MHz

FT4

 

04:54

R6TJ

14MHz

FT4

 

05:05

UX1IB

14MHz

FT4

 

05:14

R3LAF

14MHz

FT4

 

05:14

R3IX

14MHz

FT4

 

05:18

SV1JMC

14MHz

FT4

 

05:20

RA6AVP

14MHz

FT4

 

05:26

OH3OJ

14MHz

FT4

 

05:28

R3LO

14MHz

FT4

 

05:38

US1GDQ

14MHz

FT4

 

05:39

RX9ATX

14MHz

FT4

 

05:40

M0OWS

14MHz

FT4

 

05:48

SV3BLX

14MHz

FT4

 

05:49

F6ECI

14MHz

FT4

 

06:00

R3WF

14MHz

FT4

 

06:03

RU7C

14MHz

FT4

 

06:08

R9JZ

14MHz

FT4

 

06:10

IW1AYD

14MHz

FT4

 

06:12

UW5EHR

14MHz

FT4

 

06:13

HA2G

14MHz

FT4

 

06:14

SQ7RN

14MHz

FT4

 

06:19

IZ7XNB

14MHz

FT4

 

07:02

OL0HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:05

EW7BA

14MHz

SSB

 

07:06

J42L

14MHz

SSB

 

07:08

IK8NSR

14MHz

SSB

 

07:11

UW2M

14MHz

SSB

 

07:12

OH6LI

14MHz

SSB

 

07:13

EA3CI

14MHz

SSB

 

07:14

E7HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:15

S52OT

14MHz

SSB

 

07:16

C4W

14MHz

SSB

 

07:17

IO9A

14MHz

SSB

 

07:18

IO6HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:21

LY0HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:23

SO7G

14MHz

SSB

 

07:23

SN0HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:24

HG6N

14MHz

SSB

 

07:25

TM0HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:27

EM5HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:30

YR0HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:33

SP8KP

14MHz

SSB

 

07:35

S50HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:37

EU1A

14MHz

SSB

 

07:38

ES7A

14MHz

SSB

 

07:39

9A0HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:41

US5D

14MHz

SSB

 

07:44

ER7HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:46

LZ0HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:50

R2AD

14MHz

SSB

 

07:50

CR6T

14MHz

SSB

 

07:52

HG0HQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:54

EA8BQM

14MHz

CW

 

07:55

I5MXX

14MHz

CW

 

07:56

YU1ED

14MHz

CW

 

08:07

UA3ABJ

14MHz

CW

 

08:13

UX1UT

14MHz

CW

 

08:14

RA1QD

14MHz

CW

 

08:15

DL2RMC

14MHz

CW

 

08:16

EU1DX

14MHz

CW

 

08:17

DJ5MW

14MHz

CW

 

08:18

YL5W

14MHz

CW

 

08:18

EU8U

14MHz

CW

 

08:21

R4GM

14MHz

CW

 

08:22

OY1CT

14MHz

CW

 

08:23

EW8DX

14MHz

CW

 

08:26

RT9A

14MHz

CW

 

08:29

IR1G

14MHz

CW

 

08:30

OH2BAH

14MHz

CW

 

08:36

HA3DX

14MHz

CW

 

08:39

DL100BKW

14MHz

CW

 

08:40

HG7Q

14MHz

CW

 

08:41

S57DX

14MHz

CW

 

08:44

SD1A

14MHz

CW

 

08:46

SQ5JUP

14MHz

CW

 

08:47

OL8M

14MHz

CW

 

08:48

UT5C

14MHz

CW

 

08:52

S53MM

14MHz

CW

 

08:53

E74UK

14MHz

CW

 

08:55

YO8RXP

14MHz

CW

 

08:56

E7HQ

14MHz

CW

 

09:02

OH2HQ

14MHz

CW

 

09:05

9A0HQ

14MHz

CW

 

09:06

YR0HQ

14MHz

CW

 

09:09

LA8HGA

14MHz

CW

 

09:11

LY2F

14MHz

CW

 

09:18

HG6O

14MHz

CW

 

09:19

LZ0HQ

14MHz

CW

 

09:22

YT0HQ

14MHz

CW

 

09:25

YL0HQ

14MHz

CW

 

09:28

OL0HQ

14MHz

CW

 

09:34

ON3BH

14MHz

CW

 

09:36

UA4W

14MHz

CW

 

09:40

RW2F

14MHz

CW

 

09:46

2E0WDX/M

14MHz

SSB

 

10:01

OK/SP9AMH/P

14MHz

SSB

OK/MO-057

10:05

GW4TQE/P

144MHz

FM

GW/NW-060

10:27

MW1HAX/P

144MHz

FM

GW/NW-012

10:46

G1JPV

144MHz

FM

 

10:48

G6TMO

144MHz

FM

 

10:52

G0BFJ/P

144MHz

FM

 

10:55

2W0CSS

144MHz

FM

 

10:57

M0HGY

144MHz

FM

 

11:02

M7ECT

144MHz

FM

 

11:06

2W0JYN

144MHz

FM

 

 

Saturday 18th July 2020 - The Cloud G/SP-015, Gun G/SP-013 & Shining Tor G/SP-004

So I headed out to Shining Tor around 10.20pm BST, and was on summit, with the 20m GP erected and the backpacking tent pitched about 90 minutes later.

Shining Tour G/SP-004 - 4 QSOs, all 2m FM

Even though this was technically the activation for 18th July (2310 to 2324 UTC), it was after midnight BST, and so my son Jimmy M0HGY, working me from home, was the first to wish me a happy birthday.

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

23:10

2W0JYN

144MHz

FM

23:14

M6MGO

144MHz

FM

23:22

M0HGY

144MHz

FM

23:24

2E0PXW

144MHz

FM

 

Sunday 19th July 2020 - Shining Tor G/SP-004, Gun G/SP-013 & The Cloud G/SP-015

I got into the tent and started setting up the Yaesu FT-817 with Tracer LifePO4 16Ah battery, Windows 10 tablet, paddle, microphone etc.  I had with me my new Anderson PowerPole Y-Cable and PowerPole to cigar-lighter socket adaptor.  That’s when it dawned on me that I hadn’t thought to also bring charging leads for the tablet or iPhone - doh!  So that station improvement would have to wait alongside the new 17m antenna.  I'd opted for 20m for the overnighter on Shining Tor as I was hoping to attempt S2S with the FT8 activation alerted from BV-land.  However, by the time I was in the tent, that alert had been deleted, and so that activation was presumably cancelled.  Interestingly, even at 2am local, I could still see the lights and hear the footsteps of walkers passing by my tent on the summit!

I got going with some FT8 and FT4 operating before getting some sleep.  After waking up to a glorious sunny dawn - with amazing views - I operated on CW, eventually switching to SSB, lured by S2S opportunities.  There was also a little operation on 2m FM with the handheld.

Shining Tor G/SP-004 - 65 QSOs

20m CW: 24 QSOs - 1 S2S

20m SSB: 23 QSOs - 6 S2S

20m FT8: 12 QSOs

20m FT4: 1 QSO

2m FM: 5 QSOs - 1 S2S

S2S: EA6/MA-047, SV/ST-065, G/CE-002, GW/MW-030, I/TN-315, EA5/AT-045, 9A/DH-105, GW/NW-011

The weather was in total contrast to the previous day.  A text from my XYL wished me a happy birthday, and instructed me to enjoy my day on the hills and not rush back home.  I kept an eye on the time anyway, as we had dinner booked in a restaurant for 5pm.  Next up was Gun G/SP-013.

The view I awoke to on the morning of my 50th birthday!        Tom M1EYP

 

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

S2S

00:31

OZ2JOP

14MHz

FT8

 

00:33

SP6EIY

14MHz

FT8

 

00:39

RA3CA

14MHz

FT8

 

00:44

M7VCK

14MHz

FT8

 

01:01

IK4LZH

14MHz

FT8

 

01:18

EA3ENR

14MHz

FT4

 

01:42

DK7ZT

14MHz

FT8

 

02:28

TA2VB

14MHz

FT8

 

02:34

4Z4DX

14MHz

FT8

 

02:39

G1MHU

14MHz

FT8

 

03:08

RA4HL

14MHz

FT8

 

03:12

DL1VVQ

14MHz

FT8

 

03:26

EA5KN

14MHz

FT8

 

03:29

I8EJC

14MHz

FT8

 

06:21

OK1DPU

14MHz

CW

 

06:26

R2DXU/P

14MHz

CW

 

06:29

DL2WA

14MHz

CW

 

06:29

UA1BJ

14MHz

CW

 

06:31

LZ2OQ/1

14MHz

CW

 

06:33

S51AP

14MHz

CW

 

06:33

S52CU

14MHz

CW

 

06:37

OE6GC

14MHz

CW

 

06:39

OH1CM

14MHz

CW

 

06:40

SP5CCK

14MHz

CW

 

06:41

OM7OM

14MHz

CW

 

06:41

R2KW

14MHz

CW

 

06:42

R3LO

14MHz

CW

 

06:43

IV3IPS

14MHz

CW

 

06:45

OM3CND

14MHz

CW

 

06:45

HA7WI

14MHz

CW

 

06:47

UX0UO

14MHz

CW

 

06:49

LZ2AF/2

14MHz

CW

 

06:50

DM5BB

14MHz

CW

 

06:57

IK2XYI

14MHz

SSB

 

06:58

EA5JN

14MHz

SSB

 

06:59

EA2DT

14MHz

SSB

 

07:00

OK1WFT

14MHz

SSB

 

07:00

F4GMB

14MHz

SSB

 

07:01

YL2TQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:02

EB5EWM

14MHz

SSB

 

07:02

EA3EVL

14MHz

SSB

 

07:03

SV3SFJ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:04

IZ1RDQ

14MHz

SSB

 

07:05

OK7WA

14MHz

SSB

 

07:17

SV2RUJ/P

14MHz

SSB

SV/ST-065

07:18

EA6KB

14MHz

SSB

EA6/MA-047

07:21

SP9KEK

14MHz

SSB

 

07:22

M3TMX/P

14MHz

SSB

G/CE-002

07:22

HB9MKV

14MHz

SSB

 

07:23

CT1MH

14MHz

SSB

 

07:24

F6JKK

14MHz

SSB

 

07:33

IK0PXD

14MHz

CW

 

07:34

DL2SWB

14MHz

CW

 

07:34

DL8DXL

14MHz

CW

 

07:36

SM5LNE

14MHz

CW

 

07:39

GW4TQE/P

14MHz

SSB

GW/MW-030

07:48

IZ3GOS/P

14MHz

SSB

I/TN-315

07:52

F6FTB

14MHz

SSB

 

07:53

IU1KGS

14MHz

SSB

 

07:56

EA5ITW

14MHz

SSB

EA5/AT-045

08:04

9A6CW

14MHz

CW

9A/DH-105

08:27

MW1HAX/P

144MHz

FM

GW/NW-011

08:51

2E0PXW

144MHz

FM

 

08:55

G1JPV

144MHz

FM

 

08:58

M1FHM

144MHz

FM

 

09:00

M7WTG

144MHz

FM

 

 

Tuesday 28th July 2020 - Shining Tor G/SP-004, The Cloud G/SP-015 & Gun G/SP-013

I decided to take on an ambitious circular walk from the Cat & Fiddle, taking in Shutlingsloe before then approaching Shining Tor from Lamaload.

Lockdown walk 13 - click for more details

©Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey. Media 010/20

I started at the Cat & Fiddle pub on the main A537 Macclesfield to Buxton road.  There is parking available on the opposite side of the road to the pub, or 200m back down the road at the start of the path to Shining Tor.

 

Cat & Fiddle                Cat & Fiddle

 

Cross the road to take the bridleway over the moor directly away from the Cat & Fiddle.

 

Bridleway opposite the Cat & Fiddle                Bridleway between A537 and A54

 

At the signpost, turn right to follow the path down into Danethorn Hollow.

 

Right turning down towards Cumberland Brook                Path down Cumberland Brook

 

There are a few path options forking off around here, and most reunite again! 

 

Waterfall at the top of Cumberland Brooo    Waterfall further down Cumberland Brook    Shutlingsloe on the horizon

 

However, as a general rule, try to stick to the path that is directly beside the brook.

 

Footpath down Cumberland Brook                Cumberland Brook

 

At the junction of paths, bear right to follow the track through the gate, passing a waterfall on your left.

 

Cumberland Brook footpath                Waterfall on Cumberland Brook

 

There is a nice spot for a lunch break just before the footbridge over Cumberland Brook.

 

Approaching Wildboarclough                Footbridge over Cumberland Brook

 

Continue down Cumberland Brook, and the summit of Shutlingsloe begins to loom high on the horizon ahead.

 

Clough House Farm                Footbridge out of Clough House Farm

 

Cross the footbridge over the brook and continue down the path to Clough House.  Pass through the farmyard and across the field to cross the wooden footbridge to the lane.

 

Shutlingsloe footpath sign in Wildboarclough                Approaching Shutlingsloe

 

Pick up the public footpath directly over the lane and follow up to and beyond the house at Banktop.  Double back on yourself onto the access track to Shutlingsloe Farm.  As the track enters the farmyard, bear left to follow the public footpath up to Shutlingsloe.

 

Descending Cumberland Brook                Approaching Shutlingsloe

 

You can bear left or right for the final approach, but both end up at the summit.  Both are steep in places but the right option is probably more pleasant.

 

Kissing gate on the slopes of Shutlingsloe                Tom on the summit of Shutlingsloe

 

Stop for a rest or spot of lunch on the summit if required.  Continue over the summit to join the steep flagged stairway down towards Macclesfield Forest.

 

Summit of Shutlingsloe                Descending Shutlingsloe

 

Bear right after passing through the wall to follow a rough path over towards the forest.  There is some meshing to walk along but many of the sections are very boggy.

 

Path to Macclesfield Forest                Footpath sign in Macclesfield Forest

 

Enjoy the fine views over the forest and reservoirs on your left as you pass over a small rise then descend to join the main forest track.

 

View over the Macclesfield Forest and Ridgegate Reservoir                Between Shutlingsloe and Standing Stone

 

At Standing Stone, enter the car park and join the permissive path leading out from its back corner.

 

Looking back to Shutlingsloe                Standing Stone

 

This is a lovely section of winding gravel path through the forest.

 

Signpost at Standing Stone                Exiting Standing Stone car park onto one of the forest trails

 

This is a very bendy path and you may often feel as though you're going in the wrong direction - have faith!

 

Pleasant path through Macc Forest                Macclesfield Forest

 

At the junction, follow the signpost for the path to Forest Chapel.

 

Another footpath signpost                Leaving the Macclesfield Forest

 

At Forest Chapel, turn left before the church onto a rough byway.  This is Charity Lane, the other end of which is a proper tarmac road at Walker Barn.

 

Forest Chapel                Charity Lane

 

After only a short distance up the byway, take the public footpath to the right and follow up to the farm at Whitehills.

 

Public footpath from Charity Lane to Buxton Road                I said "There's a whisky names after you".  He replied "What - Eric?"

 

The PROW is not well signed through the yards at Whitehills, but emerges from a gate at the back of the property and heads down to a wooden footbridge.

 

Chick chick chick chick chicken...                Between Whitehills and Greenways Farm               

 

The footpath on the other side of the footbridge is not at all distinct.  Simply contour around the small hill and work your way towards the next farm at Greenways.

 

Approaching Greenways Farm   Greenways Farm   Crossing the main A537 road

 

The public footpath enters the yard at Greenways via a wall stile then down the access track to the road.  Cross over the road and straight onto another public footpath.  Do this again when you reach the main A537 Macclesfield to Buxton road very shortly after.

 

Approaching Lamaload Reservoir                Start of the long climb to Shining Tor

 

The path now joins the road down to Lamaload reservoir, which you walk down all the way until the reservoir is to your left.  Look out for a public footpath leading off to your right by the Hooleyhey road sign.  I was intercepted here by Richard G3CWI who brought me a very nice piece of Pandan Chiffon cake!

 

Richard G3CWI                Starting the climb to Shining Tor from Lamaload

 

Take that path up beside the wood and take the right fork as you leave the wood behind.

 

Old gateway on a section of ridge                Shining Tor summit

 

After a stiff climb, there is a pleasant kilometre or so of ridge walking to be enjoyed before the final climb to Shining Tor summit.  Eight QSOs were made on 2m FM with the handheld

 

Tom M1EYP                Looking across to Shutlingsloe, a summit visited earlier in this walk

 

From Shining Tor, take the main path back down to the Cat & Fiddle.  The route is complete.

 

Cat & Fiddle ahead                The end of the route

 

Yearning even more exercise, I went out again later and did The Cloud G/SP-015 and Gun G/SP-013!

 

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

14:48

2E0PXW/M

144MHz

FM

14:49

M7JRB/M

144MHz

FM

14:50

G6TMO

144MHz

FM

14:51

G7WKX

144MHz

FM

14:53

M7OMT/P

144MHz

FM

14:55

G0MHF

144MHz

FM

15:01

G3CWI

144MHz

FM

15:03

G0UXC

144MHz

FM

 

Tuesday 11th August 2020 - The Cloud G/SP-015, Gun G/SP-013 & Shining Tor G/SP-004

I arrived on summit on beautiful sunny, warm and still Tuesday late afternoon.  I'd checked the weather forecast carefully as there was a significant possibility of a storm that night.  Thankfully it looked like it was going to give me a wide berth.  Wrong!  This was very much the calm before the storm!

70cm beam & backpacking tent Tom M1EYP Shining Tor summit area

Almost as soon as I'd set up the tent and got myself inside, it was descended upon by a huge swarm of midges.  It actually sounded like a heavy hail shower hitting the tent canvas!  Unfortunately, it was necessary for me to leave the tent to adjust something on the beam antenna, and I got absolutely attacked!  It was horrible - but not as horrible as what would occur later!

Trying for MS contacts before having to abandon due to the storm.  Very useful to be able to calm my nerves with this!  Tom M1EYP Very bad storm!

The 70cm FM contest and then the UK activity contest both went well, and 104 QSOs were recorded for the activation.  Towards the end, PE1EWR in the Netherlands was worked, which was a pleasing contact on 70cm.  Stations in Scotland and the Isle of Man also contributed to what would be a reasonably competitive pair of entries.

After the contest concluded, I turned my attentions to working on MSK144 for the possibility of some DX meteor scatter contacts.  The night was the peak of the Perseids meteor shower - but rumbles of thunder had been getting louder, and sheet lightning flashes more frequent.  Ultimately, I took the defensive decision to disconnect my radio from the antenna, and lie the antenna and mast down on the ground.

Lightningmaps was my essential “peak” time viewing from around midnight through to 3am local.  I would see (unmissable) the lightning flash from inside my tent, then within a second, it’s exact location would appear on the website map on my phone screen.  I watched as the intense concentration of lightning strikes slowly edged East and North from Shropshire and Stoke-on-Trent.  I figured I had time to abandon the MS S2S attempt, disconnect the antenna and lie it on the ground, disconnect the rig from the feeder cable (using some dry fabric between my fingers and connectors!) and arrange the inside of my tent so that I was insulated from the ground by as many dry, non-conducting layers as possible (FWIW - every little helps…!).

I didn’t have time to break camp and get off the hill.  I cracked open a can of Brewdog Dead Pony Club ale for a little calming refreshment!  The eye of the storm appeared to home in on the summit of Shining Tor - where I was - according to lightningmaps.  Then it appeared to stay put, rather than continue to edge slowly eastwards.  At this point, there were frequent blinding flashes, seemingly at ground level, and seemingly not far outside my tent!  This was in addition to the >1 per second lightning flashes continuing overhead.  Earlier, there had been little or no noise from thunder (many reports of the “silent lightning” circulated), but by this point there were frequent huge explosion-sounding bangs.  It was as though I was in the middle of a bombing raid or warzone.

With the Brewdog ale all consumed at the height of the storm around 0130 BST, I now had no option but to resort to phoning my XYL.  Marianne would normally be furious to have been disturbed at this late hour, but I knew she had been up unusually late stormwatching anyway.  Anyway, she chatted calmly with me for about half-an-hour, which I really appreciated, except for all the times she burst out laughing hearing my terrified reaction to the latest flash or bang.  At this point, I must place on record that I had monitored the forecast for Shining Tor on the Met Office website frequently throughout the preceding day.  I am confident that I have become good at interpreting the Met Office forecasts over the years, and it did look very much like a summit campover was going to be safe.  But there you go.

After the call with Marianne, the rain started to come down, more and more heavily.  Unlike storms I’ve experienced throughout my life though, this did not coincide with a decrease in the frequency of thunder and lightning - well not for over half-an-hour anyway.  Eventually, after 2am, the frequency of the flashes and bangs did start to slowly decrease, and at last, the lightningmaps started to look a little less congested between Macclesfield and Buxton!  I kept watch on this until about 3am, by which it was just heavy rain, and no more sound and light show!  All the activity on lightningmaps was now clear of the Peak District and over in South and East Yorkshire.  I felt able to drift off to sleep, and I got a decent three hours in.

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

17:45

M6AIF

144MHz

FM

17:47

M7ECT

144MHz

FM

17:48

G2ALN

144MHz

FM

17:53

M0OAU

144MHz

FM

18:00

2E0FPW

433MHz

FM

18:01

2W0JYN

433MHz

FM

18:02

GW8ASD

433MHz

FM

18:08

M1DDD/P

433MHz

FM

18:09

G4DPZ

433MHz

FM

18:09

G3TDH

433MHz

FM

18:10

G8REQ

433MHz

FM

18:11

G3SQQ

433MHz

FM

18:13

M7LOZ/P

433MHz

FM

18:16

GW4ZAR

433MHz

FM

18:18

G4IGF/P

433MHz

FM

18:20

GW0TQM

433MHz

FM

18:20

G8ZRE

433MHz

FM

18:24

GW3ATZ/P

433MHz

FM

18:34

G4DVN

433MHz

FM

18:42

M5MAT/P

433MHz

FM

18:46

M0KPW/P

433MHz

FM

18:47

M1BNH

433MHz

FM

18:52

G4BXD

433MHz

FM

18:53

G8EVR

433MHz

FM

18:54

M0WTR/P

433MHz

FM

18:54

M5RMF

433MHz

FM

19:00

GW4ZAR

433MHz

SSB

19:03

G3VCA

433MHz

SSB

19:04

G1YBB/P