Activation and band conditions report G/CE-002 Walton Hill 13/05/2017.
For the Activators in EU, who wish to make contacts with VK/ZL, this invloves an early start and even activating a local summit, requires a 5am local time alarm call for me.
If there's one thing I've learned after 7 years of working SOTA... DX has to be earned and I'm only too well aware, even hard work is no guarantee of success. For sure, the propagation Gods are ruthless and wiil take no prisoners.
I made the 55 mile drive to Walton Hill and just 15 minute walk to the trig point and was QRV on the 20m band at about 0620z.
20m was in reasonable shape into EU, once again, the skip was short, not good for DX. I worked a run of EU contacts, however, QSB was the enemy today. My first DX call was Ernie VK3DET and it wasn't easy, nevertheless we exchanged signal reports. There were other VK callers but I just couldn't log them. The EU chasers were there in large numbers and I worked my way through, until 0830z, grabbing a number of s2s along the way.
I contacted Rob G7LAS who was on his way to HuMP G/HSP-005 with his newly licensed son, Ben M6XOO, for some 4m activity. My own AKD 4m rig is as deaf as a post and puts out about 10 of the 25 Watts it should do and is only fit for the scrapyard. However, it weighs a fraction of the Anytone, the other 4m rig I own and has only been out of the box once, for the addition of Powerpoles.
Bringing the AKD provesd to be a bad move, just one contact was made, a s2s with Matt G8XYJ and what should have been an armchair copy with Rob and Ben, never materialised. In the end, we all completed the s2s on 2m, with me using a handheld.
I'd taken the X-200 colinear with me for some 2m and set it up at about 1000z. In order to preserve the 22Ah LiFePO4 battery for the EU/NA party, I attached the Wouxun 2m/70cm handie to the X-200. Normally, this would be a no-no on many summits as the front end would be swamped by pager noise, however, rather surprisingly, no such problem on Walton Hill.
2m FM, S2S contacts were completed with Gerald, M0WML activating G/WB-022 Seager Hill, Barry MW0IML GW/SW-011 Sugar Loaf, Mike GW7HEM GW/NW-009 Cadair Idris. Always good to hear Gez M0NTC/M, thanks Gez. Great to work Stewart G0LGS and Matt 2E0MDJ in Cheltenam.
At about 1115z, I returned to 20m and put out another CQ and a few more EU contacts, including a s2s with Don M0HCU/p activating G/WB-015.
I also noticed a spot for Andy GM8OEG/P activating GM/SS-259, Largo Law. As I had no antenna for 40m the Antron-99 was tuned up and an easy s2s was completed...Thanks for a new one Andy! Just as I was packing up, I saw a spot for Luc EA6/ON7DQ on 17m activating EA6/MA-065, Puig de sa Cova Negra, no problem for the A-99.
All in all, a nice days radio.
135 contacts completed, 12 S2S
98 on 20m ssb
34 on 2m fm
1 on 4m fm
1 on 17m ssb
1 on 40m ssb
Thanks to all the callers.