Quick activation report G/CE-002 Walton Hill Wednesday 06/09
With the SFI well over 100 again, I had high hopes for DX for this activation. However, the sun decided to throw a curved ball and if there's one thing a Radio Ham can't argue with, it's the sun.
At 0615 I was QRV on 20m and initially, the band was in good shape to EU. 29 contacts were quickly in the log, including Ed DD5LP and later on, Brian G8ADD, Ken G0FEX a s2s with Bojan, signing 9A/S56LXN/p.
Then it was the turn of John ZL1BYZ to call in. John was a weaker signal than normal, but signal reports were completed both ways, to make a valid contact. Ernie VK3DET followed John straight in...Cheers Ernie. A few more EU contacts were made, when John, VK6WC gave me a call. John was a good signal. Gez M0NTC was next and a few more EU contacts followed him, before the band finally dried up.
Next was 2m fm, where the going was slow. I've never really rated WaltonHill as a good VHF spot and I wasn't exactly rushed off my feet. For example contacts into GW are rare on FM and a vertical. Nevertheless Graham G7WFK called in as did Steven G4TCU Gez M0NTC, Peter M1CNL..
After 50 minutes, I decided to take one last look at 20m ssb. When I tuned along the band, there was nothing, it was as dead as a dodo. The promised solar flair had clearly hit planet earth and wrecked HF. A look at 40m found the same problem. I couldn't hear a thing on 10m either...In fact, I checked the coax, to make sure it was still connected!!!
If there's one thing I've learned about HF over the years, never write off the mighty Antron-99, it is more than capable of pulling rabbits out of the hat and today was no exception.
On what can only be described as a broken 20m band along came Rudolph OE7RDI for a s2s, then out of nowhere, my good friend Bill W1OW from Massachusetts at 1010z. How on earth did Bill manage that? A few more contacts were logged but by now the going was painfully slow and so, I chucked the towel in.
I've been lucky enough to have made some great DX contacts over my years activating SOTA summits, however, I was really pleased to make contacts with VK/ZL and W, in these tough band conditions.
70 contacts for the activation.
Once again, the Antron-99 delivered the goods. There are very few antennas, which could have found the DX and DXCC's this wonderful antenna did in such testing conditions as yesterday.
55 contacts on 20m ssb
15 contacts on 2m fm
For those of you who took a look at the picture of the FT-857, you'll notice it's tuned to 88.3, Radio 2. This was so I could listen to Ken Bruce's PopMaster quiz, at about 0925z