Feeling a little bored this morning and seeing the brilliant sunshine, this whetted my appetite for an activation and so I jumped into the car and made my way to my local summit G/SP-013 Gun. The plan was just for a bit of 2m VHF FM and nothing else. Nevertheless, I lugged the A-99 up to the summit along with my 8 metre fishing pole and X-200 colinear. At 1050, I was QRV and noticed a spot for 2E1IHZ up on G/WB-005 an easy s2s from Gun. My CQ on 2m produced a run of 30 chasers including a s2s with Stewart G0LGS/p on G/CE-001 working with his Handheld Other SOTA regulats included Dave M6RUG, Matt G8XYJ and Steve G4TCU also on a handy, somewhere in the West Midlands. Things then went a bit quiet, and so my last call 2m was with, Pete M1CNL.
At this point, I was on the verge of chucking the towel in, however, looking at the A-99 lying on the ground, I though to myself, blow it and chucked it into the hawthorn tree.
Over the years, I’ve learned that the day before a big contest is always a good time to try and work some exotic DX. Many of the big stations take the opportunity to test their set-up and it can be worth having a listen around the bands. Ten Metres was utter pants and 20m wasn’t exactly popping, but I self spotted anyway. Ninteen stations were logged on 20m, the best of it being Jean VE2JCW, Mac VE9ZY and Kevin AC2KL.
My last shout before going QRT, was on the 15m band. Taking a look up and down found some of the contest stations warming up and so I nicked J8/WW2DX on St, Vincent Island, FM1HN on Martinique, P40AH on Aruba and finally, what I suspect is a rare SOTA DXCC (from Europe at least) Obaid DU1/A61DJ in the Philippines with an armchair copy 5/5 5/7 report. After this, it was like someone had hit a kill switch and the band died.
Thanks to Allan GW4VPX, activating GW/NW-021 for a s2s on the 40m band, It’s always a challenge working the 40m band using the A-99, nevertheless, signal reports were exchanged and the contact completed!
To sum up, the higher HF frequencies are still hard work, however, a bit of patience and you’ll find yourself rewarded.
Thanks to all the callers for a pleasant days radio…