Monday, 26 January 2015

MAG Lyke Wake Walk

Myself and Bob M1BBV are planning on doing the Lyke Wake Walk, 40 miles across the North York Moors, with 5000ft of climb, in under 24h, around mid-summer, in aid of the charity MAG (Mines Awareness Group)

Many people do this walk, but we're planning something a bit different - we will maintain HF radio contact throughout. What this means in real terms, is we will operate HF portable, under special event station conditions, making as many QSOs as we can during the crossing.

It is our intention to solicit sponsorship for both the walk itself, and per QSO. We also intend that QSL cards will have to be 'bought', the cost covering printing, postage and a donation to MAG.

There are three main difficulties with this venture, which are Physical, Electrical, and Logistical.

Physical - well, its 40 miles over mountainous terrain. This difficulty speaks for itself! Mucho training walking needed and good foot care!

Logistical - The route is linear, so, we have to not only get to the start, but also get back from the finish!

The biggie really is Electrical - neither myself nor Bob have suitable radio equipment! We have of course VHF handies, but they wont get us enough contacts. We need HF, and we need man-portable HF. Essentially, this boils down to just one system, the Clansman PRC-320 HF Manpack.

Now, we could just go out and buy one, but neither of us can afford it, even if we invested together. So, the challenge is to find some kind hearted and charitable soul who will be willing to provide us the equipment on loan for an extended period.

An extended, long term loan is needed as not only will we need to train with the radio on the hills to acclimatise to its weight, but also as nether of us were ever signalers, we will need to train with it on-air to become competent at setting up and operating the system.

Training with it will comprise a good number of SOTA activations!

Another difficulty not mentioned will be persuading Ofcom to allow us a special event station callsign. We could operate under our own calls, but it wouldnt have the impact of a SES callsign, and to be honest we'll get far more contacts working as 'GB0MAG'

The plan is to do the walk the week after summer solstice, so we have the maximum number of daylight hours, although we will probably start the walk at midnight, and get the most of the climb out the way whilst its cool.

I'll update this blog with details until such time as I have enough to start a dedicated blog. A 'justgiving' page will be arranged in due course.

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