Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

GW/NW-062 Nightmare


#1

I went up to my local summit Hope Mountain GW/NW-062, with the full intention of finishing off the fitting and tuning of the remaining sections of my new 6 band linked dipole.
The wx in Connah’s Quay looked sunny and the wind had abated sufficiently, so I thought, get the job sorted then test the antenna with an activation. I guess I should have known better.

On arrival at the farm to collect the key, I was met with the sad sight of the normally lively multitude of rabbits, whimpering around and in a terrible state, that horrible disease has reached N.E. Wales, enough on that subject.

So, up to the summit in reasonable wx and fantastic visibility. G/SP-016 Raw Head seemed almost in arms length distance as was Winter hill G/SP/010 and the bigger North Pennines and Lake District summits stood out, defiantly proud with their snow capped summits easily visible. This was going to be one of those days when it felt good to be alive.

The very second I began to unload the car, it started and went downhill pretty fast from that point on. The instant I fixed my pole to a fence post the wind rose from a gentle breeze to a gale force monster, coming in straight off The Irish Sea, 10 minutes later it was snowing and hail-stoning violently. At one stage I would have taken bets on my pole snapping like a carrot. I had no other option than to lower the pole a couple of sections so that the centre was only approx 3.5 - 4 metres up and attempt the activation in this 2nd rate fashion, using just the 40/30m sections of the dipole and just 5 watts from my FT-817nd.

I only managed 20 contacts on the various bands used, 12 QSOs on 40m-cw, including a S2S with Alain F6ENO/P on a unique F/JU-066, thanks for the FB S2S Alain, just the 1 Qso on 30m-cw with Amedeo I1GZG and 7 QSOs on 2m-fm, including 1st time QSOs with Dave 2E0BYA and Janine M3VOB. A blast from the past was SOTA regular Nigel 2E0NHM still reeling from the birth of his 2nd daughter just a few days ago, congratulations Helen & Nigel.

Apologies for my “make do” set up and thanks to all stations worked, and thanks also to DL8YR and 2E0PXW for the spots.

73 Mike GW0DSP