I really should learn to take a look at band conditions before leaving home at 0500 local time to activate a summit. If I had done so, it would have been an about turn and straight back to bed this morning.
Once again, I had an appointment in Llandudno and thought I may as well take in an early doors activation of Great Orme GW/NW-070. Rather surprisingly, this summit hadn't been activated for four months. As usual, when activating Great Orme, I went for a bullet proof option of the Antron-99 on 15 feet of poles.
However, I was in for a rude awakening. When I had a listen to all the HF bands above 20m, it was like a graveyard. A self spot on 20m at 0738 brought nothing for about eight or nine minutes, before Jan OK2PDT popped up to answer my begging. Four minutes later the summit was qualified by Viktor RX3AIK in Moscow. A s2s call was recieved from 9A/S56LXN Bojan, then a call from Phil G4OBK in Pickering...nice work Phil!
Phil, was followed straight in by Matt VK1MA. This really took me by surprise, I didn't expect to hear a VK chaser today, let alone work one...Great contact Matt! I hung about for a while, making a couple of s2s with Christos SV2OXS and Stavros SY2BIK and a few more EU contacts, before having to leave for my appointment.
My meeting finished at 1300z and being a glutton for punishment, I made a return visit to the summit. Once again, I persisted with 20m band and found it suffering from wicked, deep and rapid QSB. Nevertheless, the radio gods took pity and gave me six North Americans on the trot.
After this the going was becoming painfully slow, so I chucked up the little X-50 colinear and played a bit of VHF. I was rewarded with 20 contacts, including EI, GI, G, GD, GW and a couple of s2s iincluding Andrew G4VFL up on G/LD-045 Dent and Lewis M3HHY on Winter Hil.
Just 37 contacts on 20m and 20 contacts on 2m.
A tough days radio However, every cloud has a silver lining. The recently refurbished pay and display, parking ticket machine, has been trashed once again and so, for the moment, parking is free.