Wide awake at 4am on Saturday 26th May 2012. Only one thing for it - off to the Gun G/SP-013 for some early morning CW on 20m. Thing was, stupid old me had forgotten that (a) it was the WPX CW contest weekend, and (b) the CW filter needed putting back in my FT-817. So you can well imagine how near-impossible 20m CW operation was!
Surfing around the upper end of the contest activity, around 14.079 to 14.102MHz, I made 12 QSOs, which included NN5J (Arkansas) and 3V8BB (Tunisia). However, it was no fun listening to this din, so I uncharacteristically went up to 20m SSB, 14.264MHz. This netted a further 27 QSOs, mainly from SOTA and/or WFF chasers. It was very nice to speak (on phone) for the first time to several chasers that I have worked many times on CW. The pick of the bunch was W7CNL in Idaho.
When things went quiet on there, I decided to take down the 20m groundplane antenna, and replace with the 30m dipole, and resume the LA1KHA PP3 Challenge. S51ZG and OM7DX were straight in for me, but then there was nought. I had all sorts of problems, with my paddle doing funny things. The speed went up in excess of 35wpm, but I managed to work out how to put that back to my preferred 25wpm!
The paddle also reversed, with dashes on the left and dots on the right. I wouldn’t work out how to fix this, but it dawned on me after a few minutes that I could simply turn the paddle upside down! What I couldn’t resolve was the very high CW pitch - so I just put up with that.
Since returning home, I have had the Rockmite 30 in the shack together with the instructions, so I was able to work throught the menus to restore the preferred settings, and also store a couple of memory keyer strings for next time!
Battery: #1. Activation: #7
Summit: G/SP-013. Band: 30m
Radio: Rockmite 30
Antenna: Inverted V Dipole @ 6m agl
Battery: Duracell Pro-Life
Finish Voltage at room temp: Not a clue
New DXCCs: 1 - SV
Cumulative DXCCs: 17 (9A, DL, G, HA, HB, I, LA, LZ, OE, OK, OM, OZ, RA, S5, SM, SP, SV)
QSOs: 2. Cumulative QSOs: 45
After packing up, I called on the VX7R, and added five QSOs on 2m FM, taking the total for the activation to 46. I wandered back down to the car at around 8.50am BST, and listened to “Sounds of the 60s” with Brian Mathew on BBC Radio 2 while driving back home.
Thanks to all stations who worked me. I suspect I am going to pay for my early-morning antics tonight - because I have got a gig…! Maybe a few zeds in order this afternoon…