Well, the bands seem to have picked up a little more since my activation on Monday.
Anyhow, I had some work planned this morning, however, there was a change in the situation and so with a fully charged battery already in the rucksack, I decided to make my way to G/SP-017 Billinge Hill.
Over the years, this summit has been much maligned by many Activators, however, it certainly dosen't deserve the reputation it has been dealt. For the astute activator, there's a pot of DX gold waiting to be mined from this one.
Contrary to most opinions, Billinge Hill is also a good VHF site albiet a little noisy from the masts. However, a good 2m rig with decent filtering will reward you well. So, I chucked up the Diamond X-200 colinear to start with. The X-200 weighs in at about a Kilo less than the X-300, with very little difference in gain figures and so, I've taken it on a number of activations recently. Theres been some ducting on 2m for the last few days, sadly, I was too late to get amongst it. Nevertheless, I spent half an hour on 2m FM and logged 20 contacts, before taking a look at the HF bands.
15m was my first port of call and guess what, the tuner refused to work, Try as I may, it would not tune up the Antron-99 and then after 15 minutes of faffing about, it suddenly decided to work again. Another job to sort out
My first call was from Walter NE4TN then Phil VE1WT and Gary K4MF. Some EU contacts were logged before the band dried up. A look at the 20m zoo, produced about 20 contacts including the States and a nice 4k mile hop into Alberta, courtesy of Larry VE5UA, a province that's not heard very often on SOTA activations.
My last chuck of the dice was the 17m band and I found it in good shape. Some nice DX worked including 22 North Americans the best DX being another call from Jerry NG6R in Los Angeles and Gordon K6PT not too far from San Francisco. Nice to get Brazil and Thailand on the band also.
Clearly,17m is the band of choice at the moment, forget 10m, it's bang out of shape.
122 contacts for the activation, 29 North Americans logged.
About 30 DXCC's worked.
The DX is certainly there to be worked, but it has to be earned.
Thanks to all the callers...