This summit is about 40 minutes from Nicosia by road. GoogleMaps will plot the directions to the base of the northern most trailhead, although a better trailhead is visible on OpenStreetMaps a little further along the same road (at 34.918473N, 33.315676E). That’s the one that I went up. The road itself is dirt, but in good shape. No need for four-wheel drive or high clearance to access this peak.
There is a sign at the base of the trailhead, which indicates that this site is maintained by the Department of Forestry. The trail that runs up from here is a little gravely to start, but otherwise easy to follow. Along the way, there are some signs marked “E4”.
I replaced the stock dynamic microphone element in my MH-31 microphone with an electret element, as described originally by M0UKD. As far as I can tell, it works at least as well as the original microphone.
The stock mike never impressed me, so I had the W4RT voice booster installed. I did not notice any improvement, but the mike picked up RF on occasion. Signal reports deteriorated over time and finally the microphone seemed to stop working altogether.
Every few weeks, business takes me to the UK. This trip, I arrived a day early to play radio and activated SOTA sites G/SE-015 (Cheriton Hill), G/SE-013 (Detling Hill), G/SE-007 (Crowborough), and G/SE-005 (Botley Hill).
This peak is about a half hour south of Nicosia, mostly along the same roads that I took recently to get to 5B/CY-043, Kreatos, recently. I had thought that I might just eek out two activations today, but it took me longer than I had anticipated to get to this summit and the sun was already too low when I wrapped up this peak to try another.
I tried something new this week: recording a video of the activation (see below). This peak is the closest one to the capital city; it was less than a half-hour away for me. The approach is along a winding dirt road that switches back and forth a few times on the way to the peak. I managed to drive up it, but there is a lot of loose rock, so vehicles will need some ground clearance to get up it. Otherwise, it would be possible to park on the street at the base of the trail and walk up, probably over a couple hours.
This is a state-of-the-shack update. I’ve finally got a few temporary antennas up and am beginning to make contacts from the home station including a tiny bit of contesting.
The first antenna I tried from home was the Buddipole. Before taking it into the field for SOTA operations, I practiced with it one afternoon on the roof. It happened to be the weekend of the Ukranian DX contest, so I did a quick spin through 20m and worked about five stations one after the other with my FT817. I was happy to make any contacts, particularly on a crowded band. No doubt some of the credit goes to the Ukranian operators and their ability to pick out weak signals.
This activation followed hot on the heels of 5B/CY-046 (Pipis). It is also a relatively low mountain, but near the capital city of Nicosia. Unfortunately, this site is not as picturesque as Pipis, since the top of the mountain is a commercial radio antenna site.
This peak is worth only one point in the SOTA scheme, but it is half an hour drive from Nicosia and there is a road right to the summit. The summit and the area around it are perfect for a picnic outing as well. The dirt road up is a bit rough in places, but did not require four wheel drive. Cars with moderate clearance should do okay as long as the weather is good.
I chose this site because I thought it would be a fairly easy approach by car and, lacking any trees, would be a good chance to try out my new Buddipole. All of that turned out to be true, and I would say that this is a great site for anyone who is visiting and wants to add a painless activation to their itinerary. Just one critical piece of advice: don’t entirely believe Google Maps.
I got to Cyprus a few weeks ago, but just got on the air yesterday from SOTA peak 5B/CY-002, Madari. We’ll be here for another three years, so I would like to see how many SOTA peaks I can reach on the island.
I’ve been thinking about these peaks since before we arrived, and here’s my very rough assessment of them based on information that I can glean from online sources. Red means “just about impossible” (like a restricted army area), yellow means “no, I’m not willing to dangle from that cliff” (or, at least not yet — there are easier peaks), green means “a doable hike, maybe in the cooler part of the day”, and blue means “looks like you could pretty much drive on”. These assumptions may prove hilariously wrong when I get a look at these sites in person. The purple marker near Nicosia is home and the darker purple marker is the site for the Region 1 field day operation in a couple weeks by the Nicosia Radio Club, 5B4NC.