In reply to M0YHB & G6WRW:
A Big thank you to both of you for activating some very remote summits on your GM tour, & congratulations for the first activation of GM/SI-210 Noss Head!
I was monitoring your alerted frequencies for that one & when you were spotted on 20m I listened, but at my location you were at best, just above my noise level. I listened patiently on your alerted 40m frequency for some time, but I had to go out, so I will never know if I could have worked you on any of the other bands you used, although the chances are, that I could have.
I was up quite early on Saturday & had already done some serious pruning of some overgrown bushes & shrubs in my small back garden & the reason I had to go out, was that I had an “appointment” with the local DIY emporium, as I needed some more heavy duty hardware to enable a DXpedition to the far end of my HF wire antenna.HI! When I put it up over 15 years ago the far end was easily accessible, but over the years a large conifer & a privet hedge had grown around it, making any adjustments or tweaking a bit of a jungle type experience!
After lots of fun on Sunday morning with a new cordless hedge trimmer & some “Large Loppers”, I finally reached the far end of my wire antenna & at last had somewhere in my garden I could sit in that has Sun all day long at this time of year.This also meant I could properly experiment with feeding my aerial from the garden, as opposed to from my normal indoor “shack”.
I set myself up with my FT897 powered from a car battery, the indoor end of my aerial disconnected, & a counterpoise wire on the ground to tune against. I also erected a 2m J-Pole for local QSO’s. I called in on the “after news net” on 5MHz & was very glad to hear that my signals were as normal, on what was at that time a very changeable band.
After several very relaxed QSO’s on different bands in the sunshine, it started to rain. It wasn’t heavy rain, but after the downpour we had here on Saturday I wasn’t going to take any chances, so I quickly disconnected my gear & retreated to my kitchen. The rain didn’t last long & while debating whether to abandon the garden & retreat to the “shack” I saw that Robin GM7PKT/P had been spotted on GM/WS-323 so I quickly set up in the garden again & after first thinking I’d missed him, he called again & I managed to work him.
Thanks for calling again Robin
Robin then QSY’d to 40m, & a short time later while sorting something out in the kitchen I heard Carolyn’s dulcet tones asking if Robin was still on frequency. There was no response to her call, so I called her & said that Robin was now on 40m. After a quick dash to my kitchen, where I had left my netbook, I gave Carolyn Robin’s frequency on 40m. After very kindly working me she QSY’d to 40m & tried to work Robin but conditions were not right for the distance unfortunately. I had no idea where GM/SI-171 was, other than it was somewhere on a Scottish island, imagine my surprise when I found out later that it was also another Shetland Isles summit, & had only been activated once before, by Paul GM4MD/P back in 2007!
As only 4 QSO’s were listed against Paul’s activation, my little call in to help Carolyn out was still only QSO number 5, for GM/SI-171 Ward of Scousburgh
Although local conditions weren’t good on 60m at the time, I was very glad to hear many other stations working Carolyn after I had posted a spot, so I hope it was another successful activation
Although my “shack” is air conditioned & quite comfortable even in the hottest & most humid of weather, there is nothing quite like being out in the fresh air!
I took a couple of photos of my new “Summer” operating position at the end of my garden, which is where I was when I worked Robin & Carolyn on Sunday. For those who haven’t tried it, setting up outside really is great fun, even if it’s only in your garden
Not a very flattering photo, but here is one of me in my garden.
And this was the view from my operating position. For the eagle eyed amongst you, I am not deriving some new form of “Bio-energy” from the pile of leaves, there is actually a car battery under the table
Once again, a huge Thank You, & Congratulations to both Helen & Carolyn.