I joined the SOTA reflector a few months back, hoping I’d get up and running soon.
Well, that didn’t happen, but I have managed to get everything ready now.
Today I went for a long walk up to the Ben of Howth, IE-072, with the intention of a test-run.
Well everything was great, the weather was fantastic (I even managed to get an unintentional suntan), slight easterly wind.
I had picked up an FT-817 and required bits and pieces a few months for some activations.
I also made up a dipole, like GW4BVE’s.
The only thing that left me down was a) the HF conditions (unfortunately, no control over that) and b) my antenna construction skills.
I used the completely wrong wire (way to heavy) for the antenna, and the lengths may not have been exactly correct.
I did manage to make 1/2 a QSO with a very patience G0NXA, Giles in Tewkesbury. He got EI8F /QRP. Not enough for the logbook.
The 80 & 40M opened up at approx 6-7PM with Russia, Germany, and Netherlands at S6-7. Alot of G ragchew-nets on 80M were very clear from 5PM on.
Anyway, I’ll be going back to the antenna drawing board (possibly purchasing an Elecraft T1, if the price is right).
Hopefully I will get the antenna problems sorted, and I’ll be back up again, and then to some more challenging east-coast summits.
I thought you might be interested.