At last some time off and a chance to get up to “The Woods”… and get an activation point!
I dropped off my daughter at school and quickly rushed back home to grab the gear. I was particularly excited as this would also be the first time to be able to try out my Christmas present to myself, a Palm Mini Paddle. I wasn’t sure how things would go as it feels a little different to my normal paddles with a wider gap between them.
So off I went thanking the WX gods that the sky was clear and the temperature was about 4C. As I drove up the hill and reached the cafe car park, I noticed that the temperature had dropped a little to 3C and there was a brisk breeze blowing. I decided that choosing an activation spot at a picnic clearing in the trees near the summit cairn would at least allow me to set up comfortably, stay in the sun and take some shelter from the breeze.
So I started putting up the 10M pole and 88ft “Norcal Doublet” and somehow managed to stab myself with a peg! Moral of the story, new pegs need to be blunted a little!
Anyway things were soon put together and I spent a few moments thinking about where to put the new paddles. On top of the 706 seemed to be the best option so I went with it.
First call on 5Mhz SSB brought no replies so I used spotlite and called again. Almost immediately Frank G3RMD replied and then a short run of 6 more stations followed. Things dried up so I announced my much anticipated (by myself) move to 40m to get cracking on CW.
As I was establishing myself on frequency I realised that Alain F6ENO/P was on 7.0315 so I started my Palm Paddles “career” with a S2S… great start!
Next moving to 7.033, there followed a long run of stations from all over Europe until a quick QSY to 7.0945 brought SSB QSO’s with Laurent F8BBL and Andy MM0USU but no more.
I tried 10.118 but just one QSO with Laurent F8BBL again and then a QSY to 80M where just one CW QSO was made with Laurent again… no replies on SSB. I realise now that the 88ft doublet is pretty poor on 80M. I will put together a “proper” dipole soon.
One last call on on 5.3715 brought QSO’s with Roger G0TRB and Andy G1SAA and then time to pack up.
Not much more blood was spilled taking down the station although I managed to give myself rope burn on the pad of my thumb from the guys… don’t ask… I don’t know how I did it either!
Anyway, thank you to all stations that called and thanks to F8BBL, GW0DSP and DJ5AV for the spots.
A special thank you to to Laurent F8BBL for chasing me around the bands and achieving 4 band/mode “slots”… I’m sure he was listening on 5Mhz but of course could not make a QSO… hi.
A very pleasant morning off work and looking forward to more over the spring and summer.
73 Marc G0AZS