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Ingleborough Report 15/02


#1

In an attempt to acquire further Winter Bonus points I chose to activate Ingleborough G/NP-005 on Sunday, 15th Febuary 2009, of which would add 9 points to the tally. I abandoned this activation on the 1st February due to poor WX.

Left a clear and mild Blackpool at 0810 hours, although I could smell the smoke from the Tivoli Buildings as over 60 fire fighters continued to fight the blaze in Talbot Square; arriving Chapel-Le-Dale at 0945 hours. The Low Sleights Road out of Ingleton was covered in fog with visibility at approximately 20m and I was flagged down by a farmer waving a torch informing me that sheep were on the road ahead and could I please keep speed to a minimum, not much else I could do… I could’nt see the road! A start was made from the parking area SD 744776 at 1000 hours then via the track to Humphrey Bottom. The track was extremely muddy until I got to the wall stile at the 1 mile point and then it was just the long 1 mile stone staircase which was covered in places in ice. Up to this point Ingleborough could not be seen for hill fog. I reached Humphrey Bottom and tried calling on GB3FC, the 70cms Blackpool repeater, in order to contact Brian & Nathan ascending Helvellyn and Brian 2E0TOG/P ascending Winter Hill, all member of the Blackpool CQ Portable Group, but could not make the distance from that side of the hill. The steep route up to the summit from here looked impossible with a mixture of ice and snow with the snow-line being met at approximately 600m. The going wasn’t too bad because some areas on the ascent had blown bare whilst others had a covering of old ice, however, it was treacherous and at times I had to dig my toe in to get a foothold (Crampons… who needs them?).

Onto the summit with visibility down to 20 feet or less and I estimated where I thought the summit shelter was. Nevertheless found it quite quickly and after a coffee, set-up the VX-170 and RSS by wedging the RSS awkwardly into the stonework of the summit shelter. Ingleborough’s top consists of sparse grass amongst shale and small rocks but because the surface was frozen solid, sticking the walking pole into the ground posed a problem, therefore I could’nt employ the WASP Special, hence wedging the RSS into the shelter wall. Wind was fresh behind the shelter wall, but the writing fingers were very cold… but no rain!

Started off at 1120 hours on 4m using the newly acquired Wouxun KG-699E with 5w output into its helical, and worked Mike G4BLH in Briarfield, then Dave G6CRV and Ron GW4EVX/P activating a 4m contest somewhere in North Wales (sadly not a SOTA summit for the S to S). Very pleased with the way this radio worked, the digital display made life easier, however, although I received a 59/57 & 51 into N. Wales audio reports were complimentary. When I acquire the SMA/BNC the military vertical antenna should improve distance and quality reports.

Then I QSY’d to 2m where I worked a further 17 stations with the furthest contact being GW3 GUX in Anglsey. Two Summit to Summit contacts were gained, one with Richard GW3CWI/P on NW-054 and the second one with Brian 2E0TOG/P on Winter Hill SP-010. Activation ended with working Brian at around 1215 hours. It was nice to work Jen M6MIJ in Blackpool, who at the time of contact 1142 hours had also heard nothing from her husband & son, Brian & Nathan ascending Helvellyn LD-003.

Right, now the problems started, getting off the summit. Started off in the right direction in pea-thick soup and soon down at the top gate. Then it was a slippery, treacherous slope all the way down till I reached the stone staircase. Half way down I lost my footing on the ice, onto my bum and right shoulder and slid down about 20 ft over ice, rock and sharp stone resulting in a wet muddy bum and sleeve, a ripped glove (now in the bin) and an injury to my shoulder and the biggest bruise my posteria has ever encountered. Shoulder pain has now eased off a bit…

Glad to get back to the car in one piece and once packed hit the road home, time for soak in bath, Sunday roast and Man Utd hammering Derby County, what an enjoyable day… Will be out again as soon as the XYL lets me… Hi!

Thanks to all activators/Chasers worked.

73’s
Ian 2E0EDX


#2

In reply to M3EDX:

When I acquire the SMA/BNC

Beware some of these adapters leave a lot to be desired in terms of quality. Also consider the increased leverage on the SMA socket that adding an adapter and possibly bigger antenna will have. Most modern handies have featherweight rubber ducks and the design is such that there is a large amount of the rubber duck base in contact with the handy body to take any torque the antenna presents to the socket.

Westlake sell an SMA male that fits nicely (and easily) onto RG-58. They’re the only people I’ve seen selling such an item. I made an extension lead for my VX-170 (SMA) to BNC socket. This enables me to continue to use BNC connectors for all antenna leads.

The final issue with SMA connectors is attempting to connect and undo the connections with cold hands. With big podgy paws like mine I cannot attach a flylead with SMA when cold. I picked up a 10cm piece of UT-141 hardline at a rally that has an SMA plug one end and an SMA socket the other. I usually attach this to the VX-170 back at the car. The VX-170 rubber duck screws on top and still works FB. By moving the SMA connector from the confines of the handy topplate makes it so much easier to deal with in the cold.

Andy
MM0FMF


#3

In reply to MM0FMF:

Hi Andy and thanks for the advice.

‘Also consider the increased leverage on the SMA socket that adding an adapter and possibly bigger antenna will have. Most modern handies have featherweight rubber ducks and the design is such that there is a large amount of the rubber duck base in contact with the handy body to take any torque the antenna presents to the socket.’

The military antenna is a vertical with four elements, two only required for 4m. The elements fit into a pot which then groundspikes into the ground. From the pot is a length of coax RG-8 mini coax I think, terminating in a female BNC, so as you can see no problem with antenna torgue.

I also use the VX-170 (SMA) to BNC socket. This also enables me to continue to use BNC connectors for all antenna leads on both the Rucksack Special and 2m 3el SOTA beam when activating from the summits.

I do like the flylead idea with the VX-170 and its rubber duck and the way that you have got around the cold fingers scenario.

73’s

Ian 2E0EDX


#4

In reply to M3EDX:

Make sure that you get the correct adapter if you intend using one. The SMA socket on the Wouxun is a male (i.e. thread on the inside) and so needs a female adapter. The Yaesu & Icom handhelds that I have come across have a female socket on the rig (thread on the outside) and use a male adapter.

I agree with Andy 100%, avoid adapters if possible and use a flying lead which is a much better idea providing that you can get the correct SMA fitting. My 4m handhelds use a TNC fitting and I did use a TNC/BNC adapter, but I discovered that 2 out of the 3 adapters I had became intermittent (pin did not connect reliably) and only discovered this after a couple of 4m activations where local stations were very weak and only giving me poor signal strength reports. I now use a ‘flying lead’ and have had no further problems (leave it attached to the rig so you do not forget it like I did once …grrr).

Mike G4BLH


#5

In reply to G4BLH:

I now use a ‘flying lead’ and have had no further problems (leave
it attached to the rig so you do not forget it like I did once
…grrr)

So it’s not only me then!

Andy
MM0FMF


#6

In reply to MM0FMF:

I have forgotten things more times than I can remember. I try to cable-tie leads into harnesses where possible to avoid forgetting things. This has worked well with my 10G gear and also my HF amplifier(s).

73

Richard
G3CWI


#7

In reply to M3EDX:

Good to work you on Sunday Ian and apologies for not being on a Sota summit!
Thanks for the chaser points and for boosting my contest score in the last minutes of the contest.
Your rig sounded fine and did well to make the trip considering I was using a horizontal beam.
I have used the ground spike antenna several times with my military radios and it works surprisingly well considering that it is simply stuck in the ground!
You can in fact use three elements with it since the manual states that it will cover from 52 to 71Mhz with three fitted.
I don’t know whether or not this improves the radiation efficiency compared to just using two rods but it psychologically feels better to have more metal in the air!
If the wx is kind next Sunday I will be operating from NW-051 for the next leg of the 4m contest so maybe work you then.

73
Ron,GW4EVX


#8

In reply to GW4EVX:

Hi Ron

No need whatsoever to apologise, always a pleasure to work you Ron. I was extremely pleased to work you on 4m making the distance with only 5w output on the helical.I was very pleased with the Wouxun KG-699E and many thanks for letting me know the handheld sounded fine. Hopefully the addition of the military antenna will improve 4m activations for me, just need to acquire appropriate SMA/BNC adaptor.
Thanks for the information on using three elements vertically rather than two with the manual stating it will cover 52 to 71Mhz. As you say Ron, the more metal in the air the better.

Hopefully,will be out on Sunday on Ward’s Stone SP-003 so hope to work you on 4m in the contest on NW-051. Good luck in the contest. Down your way on Monday, wife visiting family in Chester, me playing radio on Moel Famau and Foel Fenlli, 4m will be utilised…

73’s

Ian 2E0EDX


#9

In reply to G4BLH:

Hi Mike

Have you sourced the correct female adapter or made up an appropriate flylead as yet for the Wouxun?

Extremely interested in your reply.

73’s

Ian 2E0EDX


#10

In reply to M3EDX:

Hi Ian,

I have sourced the adapter and sent for one, but not sourced the bits for the ‘fly lead’ yet, but working on it HI.

73, Mike


#11

In reply to G4BLH:

Mike thats great. Would appreciate the information on where you have sourced the adapter from that I also may order a couple as soon as possible.I want to use the Military antenna soonest in order to compare results etc…

73’s

Ian 2E0EDX


#12

In reply to M3EDX:

Ian,

I’ve emailed Pete ZVI at Garex to get a price for a mini patch lead for the Wouxun. Will post details as soon as I have a response. I have a couple of standard SMA to BNC leads Pete made up for my 23cms operations and they have been excellent - much easier than wrestling with SMA’s.

73, Gerald


#13

In reply to G4OIG:

Hi Gerald

Excellent news. Once a price has been established, I would welcome all details, that I could perhaps also purchase a couple. Seems the way to go rather than as you say wrestle with SMA’s.

Thanks for that, it is appreciated.

73’s

Ian 2E0EDX


#14

In reply to M3EDX:

Awaiting arrival of adapter to check that it fits before passing on details, but still prefer ‘flying lead’ with appropriate connectors.

73,Mike G4BLH


#15

In reply to G4OIG:

“I’ve emailed Pete ZVI at Garex to get a price for a mini patch lead for the Wouxun.”

I`d be interested in a couple also.
73


#16

In reply to G1INK:

Had one email from Pete. Just double checking with him as we don’t want a load of incompatible connectors. Looks like they might be £6.30 + P and P, but will confirm once I hear back from him.

73, Gerald


#17

In reply to G4OIG:

I’ve now heard back from Pete at Garex and he has confirmed that the lead is described as follows:

“NEW! SMA SOCKET to BNC SOCKET MINIPATCH GBP 6.30 Suits many new rigs fitted with SMA PLUG aerial connector.”

I’m ordering one this evening, so if anyone is still worried, then I’ll confirm back once I have it to hand.

Link to order page - http://garex.co.uk/pay/pay.htm - or just Google Garex.

73, Gerald


#18

In reply to G4OIG:

Hi Gerald

Thanks to your information, today contacted Garex UK and ordered their NEW! SMA SOCKET to BNC SOCKET MINIPATCH GBP 6.30 + £2 p&p. Suits many new rigs fitted with SMA PLUG aerial connector. This includes the Wouxun 4m handheld.

Spoke to Pete this evening and also made the order this evening and would hope to be with me by Saturday morning. If so will be able to use the military antenna over the next few days on SOTA activations. Pete stated he has the minipatch in stock for those interested.

73’s

Ian 2E0EDX


#19

In reply to M3EDX:

Hi Ian,

I received another email from Pete that might be of interest to anyone wanting an relatively inexpensive antenna for use in a gale!

"Hi Gerald

I’ve been making flexiwhips for 4m recently, initially with the ICOM E90 in mind, which uses a normal SMA plug. I’ve previously made large quantities for the Fire Service 71MHz.

I can make flexiwhips with the SMA socket. The whips are “centre loaded” and approx 20" long. As far as the E90 is concerned, reports indicate my whip beats the optional supplied 70MHz whip, and is less expensive.

http://garex.co.uk/aerials/flexis.htm

Pete "

Must say it’s nice to have someone who cares about providing a good level of service for a change.

73, Gerald


#20

In reply to G4OIG:

Hi Gerald

‘Thanks to your information, today contacted Garex UK and ordered their NEW! SMA SOCKET to BNC SOCKET MINIPATCH GBP 6.30 + £2 p&p. Suits many new rigs fitted with SMA PLUG aerial connector. This includes the Wouxun 4m handheld’.

Minipatch indeed arrived in this mornings post and appears to fit well to the Wouxun. Therefore, tomorrow Sunday, 22nd February, will carry the military antenna on the activation of the Old Man of Coniston and operate 4m Fm using the antenna.
Will be good to see if this indeed improves performance and what contacts are made.

73’s

Ian 2E0EDX