Saturday, 31 March 2012

GW/SW 029

GW/SW 029   31/03/12. - Foel Fynyddau

Height  370 M /  1214 ft
Grid reference SS 782936 

Today this summit was the first of two planned for activation. Arriving at the foot of the mountain where there is plenty of room for a few cars to park.

The path starts as a rocky road taking the first gate on the left (gate was open on the way up but was looked on the decent). There is a narrow path through a gate which then runs along side the forest on your right to the summit.
Where does this go !

Arriving at the summit where there is plenty of room a 2M beam & a 4M Slim Jim was set up, but not a match for the three masts which impose on the area. Contacts were soon made and was able to activate the summit. At the summit the views of the surrounding area where you can see all of Swansea Bay and the industrial views of the Port Talbot steel works a summit well worth a visit.
Last of the summer wine !!!

Mobile station !!!

2M Contacts made with


4M Contacts made with

Sunday, 18 March 2012

GW/SW 006 & 007

GW/SW 007  Fan Nedd  17/03/12

 Height 663M / 2175 ft
Grid reference SO 913184

GW/SW 006 Fan Gyhirych 17/03/12

Height 725M / 2379 ft

Grid reference SO 881191

A few members of Aberdare Amateur Radio society decided to activate SOTA summit GW/SW-007 (Fan Nedd ). The group consisted of Mal (GW6OVD), Phil (MWOPJJ), Corinne (Foundation Student), Alex (MW6AZP ) and Me (Andy—GW7RKC). We arrived at a spot on the road  just East of Fan Nedd at about 09:20am and began to make our ascent toward the summit. 

Set-up begins on 007!

The terrain was fairly steep, but good progress was made, arriving at the summit around 10 am. We wasted no time in setting up the equipment in preparation for the activation. 

Mal (left) operating on 4M FM, Phil & Alex (right) 2m FM

 Mal opted for 4m operation using his handheld and a homebrew Slim Jim on a guyed fishing pole. Phil and Alex set up to work 2m fm using another Slim Jim anchored to the Trig Point!

Weathering The Storm!

 Shortly after everything was up and running, the wind picked up and it started to rain. The image to the right shows Mal sheltering and operating  inside a makeshift tent, ably assisted by other group members!

Fortunately the ‘squall’ quickly subsided and we all got down to the serious business of the activation! By about 11:15am we had completed the activation achieving many good contacts on 4m and 2m. 

At this point Mal and I decided to continue on to the second summit of the day (Fan Gyhirych) which was clearly visible to the West of  Fan Nedd. We descended into the valley between Fan Nedd and Fan Fraith, when we reached the bottom it got fairly wet and boggy underfoot which slowed us somewhat, once through this we managed to pick up the pace and covered approximately 4km to the summit of Fan Gyhirych in just over an hour. 

Mal's homebrew Slim Jim working well on Fan Gyhirych

To travel light  we had left the fishing pole ‘masts’ with the other club members and just activated the summit with the 2m SlimJim, again anchored in the Trig Point. 

Andy - GW7RKC
As we began the activation, we had reasonably bright skies with great views all around, this was not to last however, and 40 minutes into the activation we were hit with another cloudburst, this time it was hail! 

We had enough points for the activation, and with conditions deteriorating, we decided to call it a day and head back.

Mal - GW6OVD

The image below shows the route taken........

GPS Log Of Route

And here's a 'fly through' video of the route, created from the GPS tracklog.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog entry, please drop by again to see our future SOTA adventures, all the best and 73.....

Andy - GW7RKC

Saturday, 10 March 2012

GW/SW 001

GW/SW 001   10/03/12. - Pen y Fan

Height 886 M / 2906 ft
Grid reference SO 012216

Alex (MW6AZP) and Myself (MW0PJJ) arrived at 10am and parking the car with only a few parking spaces left. Looking up we could see mist and cloud covering the summit. 

After an 80 minute walk the summit was in view with a short walk to climb the last few metres which brings you on to a large flat area with plenty of room to erect an antenna. 

The summit has become very busy today with many people taking advantage of the good weather, however at the summit the wind has a cold chill about it together with a mist.

This has been the best day so far for the number of contacts made with many stations being worked, however the wind noise made listerning to the calls very difficult. Headphones are a must on windy days !

Map at the base of the Mountain

As we were ready to take a break a male voice choir turned up and assembled at the summit and started to sing. Later we discovered that it was the wish of a member who had passed away that they would bring his cap to the summit and sing to celebrate his life. Well done guys.

Contacts we made with the following stations


Saturday, 3 March 2012

GW/SW - 003

GW/SW 003   1/03/12. - Fan Brycheiniog

Height 802 M / 2630 ft
Grid reference SO 825218

Report from GW6OVD

I arrived at SN855 223 at around 10.40 to find roadside parking for 3 or 4 cars. I parked up and loaded the rucksack.  

Looking towards Fan Brycheiniog , which was obscured by low cloud, I could see no obvious path.   I headed off in the right general direction until I found a good point to cross the stream.  It quickly became very wet underfoot, especially where it flattens out a little after the first ridge.

Looking back from this point my car was barely visible through the mist.

I pressed on until I reached Llyn y Fan Fawr  (SN833 213) and stopped for a rest and a quick cup of coffee.

From here, the path is very good, and rises steeply towards the Summit. 

At the summit there is a circular stone shelter which made a good point to operate from.

After erecting the antenna I quickly managed to make enough contacts for my activation, with excellent reports from as far as Cardigan, Milford Haven and Swindon.

By this time the weather had taken a turn for the worst and it was time to head back home.  

Total distance covered was 7.2km, walking time around 1 hour 20 minutes each way.

Sorry there’s no photos this time, but some idiot forgot to put a SD card in the camera before leaving, Hi Hi

Many thanks to all those who helped with my activation of Fan Brycheiniog.

73 Mal  GW6OVD 

GW/SW - 034

GW/SW 034   3/03/12. - Garth Hill

Height  307M / 1007 ft
Grid reference SO 103835

An early morning start with a poor weather forecast we did not expect to see blue sky. The drive to the foot of the hill where there is enough room for three cars to park. A step ascent for the first 200 metres where the path levels out to a gentle slope until the summit. A plaque can be found on the local history near the summit. With fantastic views of Cardiff bay, local valleys & the channel.
Castell Coch in the distance

Setting up the antenna was made difficult by the strong wind. Lucky that an extra length of coax was available to allow the radio to be positioned on the side of the summit sheltering us from the wind.

Contacts were made with Cardiff, Pontypridd, Aberdare and Brecon stations.

During the visit one of the contact stations commented that the last time he had visited the hill he had lost his shoe in the mud!  If you should find a very old shoe then the owner GW0PLN would love to be re-united with it.

Here comes the rain
Weather forecast was spot on SHOWERS! This was possibly the fastest decent down the mountain we have ever had with hail-stones upon us, as we packed up with the chill of the wind, making the car a very welcome sight .   
View of Cardiff Bay

Contacts made with