Three more activations in the sunshine today - Tuesday 20th June 2017.
G/SP-004 Shining Tor
I left home at lunchtime and enjoyed a brisk walk up Shining Tor in shorts, T-shirt and sandals. It was a bit breezy, but not at all chilly. A curious bird accompanied me for about quarter of a mile from the path from the tearooms up to the top gate. We took it in turns squawking at each other and it was definitely staying with me, swooping from left to right in front of me and landing for a rest beside me every so often. In my head, I liked to think it was appreciating some company, but in reality, maybe the reverse was true, and it was a ground nesting bird protecting some eggs.
I tried out 20m JT65 again, and had a successful QSO with top SOTA chaser SP9AMH. With just three 2m FM QSOs on the handie to add to that, I packed up and descended.
The day was getting warmer, so the only layering-up I did was with the factor 30. I set up at the top, and things got off to a promising start. For the first time, I managed to establish a rhythm on JT65, and worked F4CUO, UR4UT and LY2FN in relatively* quick succession [Disclaimer: JT65 is not, by any measure, “quick”!]
I added a couple (literally) on 2m FM, and then there was a surprise meeting with top bass player Chris Cliffe by the trig point. Chris mentioned that the last time he’d seen me was at this very spot too! Chris is an amazing bassist and works with bands like FM and Heavy Weather, and had just returned from a 28 day stint in Israel. My schedule went out of the window here as Chris and I spent a good half hour chatting before I commenced my descent.
G/SP-015 The Cloud
I was now eagerly anticipating achieving my first ever SOTA qualification (4 QSOs) on JT65 and perhaps getting across the pond into North America with my new mode. I set up the 20m GP antenna, but soon found a problem - hardly any RX, and very high VSWR. When I checked everything, I found that the feeder core had snapped out of the chocolate box connector. I would need to unscrew that part of the chocolate box to attempt to fudge a repair, but I couldn’t find anything about my person (car keys, allan key etc) that would budge it.
So, regrettably, I had to pack the 20m aerial area and just activate on 2m FM with the handheld. And yet again, it was Pete 2E0LKC and Ann 2E0LMD from Heald Green that were on the other end of the radiowaves.
So, this takes me to…
…and so the next one will be Activation 2K. I think I will be the second ever to achieve this after the phenomenon that is Jan OK2PDT.
I should be set to go for this tomorrow (Wednesday). I expect the main two antennas will be the 20m GP (now repaired) and the 10m-6m trap vert w. GP (that also does 2m). I may also take along the SOTAbeams BH4 (80-40-30-20) and a 60m dipole for other options. Modes - as many as possible: CW, SSB, FM, AM, PSK63, PSK31, JT65. (Would be cool to achieve QSOs on all seven of these modes on 10m).
Summit will be Shining Tor G/SP-004 or The Cloud G/SP-015.