SOTA – Allermuir Hill GM/SS-171

The path from Hillend. New Queensferry Crossing in the distance.

This is my local hill from home, so is easy to get out to for a quick activation. Andrew G4VFL had posted that he was going to be up Schiehallion with his father, and was keen to try 13cm from there – so he had a few takers! I decided to go for Allermuir as it’s also line of sight to Schiehallion, just over 100km.

The trig point at Allermuir Hill summit, looking north east towards Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh

I arrived well in advance of my alerted time (it actually only takes 45 minutes to walk up from the Hillend centre car park), and took a few photos before setting up. Once set up – the antenna pole well stuck into the ground, it was very windy – I checked the GB3CSB beacon as usual. It’s very strong, not really needing much of an antenna. On tuning to 2320.200MHz I heard Andrew as GM4VFL/P calling CQ – he was ahead of schedule. We had a quick chat before I left the frequency to him to pick up some more contacts. Distance just over 100km unobstructed, 59 both ways.

View towards the Forth bridges; Schiehallion is on the horizon just to the right of the bridges. Brian GM4DIJ is in Edinburgh in this photo too!

Jon GM4JTJ called in and we moved to 2320.180 for a nice chat and catch up on news. Distance here just about 95km, path somewhat obstructed by the hills in Fife, but strong signals with me from Jon and he could hear me S3-5.

Jon GM4JTJ is just to the left of Arthur’s Seat, obstructed by the low hills in Fife

It was then time to shift the beam round to point in the direction of Jack GM4COX and Roy GM4VKI. Jack was a strong signal (43km, obstructed by low hills towards his end of the path) but we switched to FM for an even clearer chat. The exchange was 58 both ways on ssb and 59+ on fm, but who knows how the FT-817 S meter is calibrated! Unfortunately I did not manage a contact with Roy.

Jack GM4COX is behind some low hills just to the right of centre of the photo; there are some windmills visible

I also heard Pete GM4BYF calling CQ, but he did not respond to my replies so I assumed his received problems were continuing.

When later trying (unsuccessfully) to set up a path between me and Mark GM4ISM Jack found that I was a stronger signal reflected off Black Hill – probably the TV masts.

The sun had gone behind thicker clouds, it was still blowing a hooley, and I was feeling a bit cold, so it was time to pack up and head back down the hill. A fun day though!

The station partly dismantled

Thanks to everyone for the contacts and the chat.