How two Scottish SOTA activations encouraged me to upgrade my German license
by Thomas (DM1TBE / M0KEU)
I just wanted to tell someone this story. Not sure if you want to hear it, but I will tell you anyway
During June last year, my boss asked me if I could step in for an ill colleague and visit a business partner in Frankfurt and Edinburgh. As a SOTA activator, I first checked the map and have happily spotted a summit within walking distance of the hotel in Edinburgh.
Unfortunately, there were three issues to solve:
- The UK does not accept my German “Klasse E” (CEPT novice/intermediate) license;
- operating a radio on the summit requires written permission and
- as the duration of the trip was planned with just 2 overnight stays, only hand luggage was possible.
At the Ham Radio in Friedrichshafen, I asked an RSGB representative if it is possible to get a British license as a German. Mark, M1MPA, explained to me how the process worked, so I started the online course provided by GM6DX. It was not too difficult, and I soon passed every mock exam. Roughly, two weeks before the trip, I passed the RSGB operated online exam and got my UK foundation license, so I could operate in Scotland as MM7TBE.
Regarding the issue with the permission to operate on the summit, I first chose to ignore and pretend being a stupid foreign tourist until I was told that it is really enforced, and my activation could be deleted. So, I asked the Ranger Service at Historic Environment Scotland for permission less than two weeks before my activation and received it just one day later with a comment that it is usually expected to ask one month in advance. Many thanks to the Ranger Service, next time I will come earlier – I promise!
The last issue was the size of the equipment.
There is no tree on top of the summit Arthur’s Seat GM/SS-272, and I had very little space left. So I went with a KX3 with an AX1 antenna and a FT2D for 2m FM.
Now the journey could begin.
On the first day, I was at a very high place in Frankfurt but unfortunately, it did not qualify for SOTA. That evening I arrived in Edinburgh.
The next day, late afternoon, the fun could start.
A colleague and I walked from the city centre to the summit Arthur’s seat. Continue reading SOTA-Inspired License Upgrades: Thomas activates two Edinburgh summits with his Elecraft KX3/AX1 kit during business travel