Sue and I are up here whittling down the last few of her Munros.
These days she like “day on, day off”, so I got yesterday free to build my first dipole and experiment with the fishing pole I bought to create an Inverted Vee.
This morning I was pleasantly surprised when shouldering my pack with the “extras”. The pole, downlead, FT-817 and my rather basic dipole only made my bag feel like a “normal” winter rucksack.
A steady four hour walk took us from Glen Nevis, past Steall Falls up to the summit of Sgurr Choinnich Mor.
Sue helped me get set up, which took about 15 minutes. Probably not a record time, but not bad for my first go.
I was using the internal battery on the FT-817, which as far as I can tell means just 2.5W PEP.
I tried 2m first and managed just one contact to Derek in Helmsdale - quite a good distance for VHF I think? Thanks Derek. I tried calling for a while on 2m without any further success.
By this point Sue had my “emergency duvet” coat on… now she was warm I could keep on trying!
I moved to 40m SSB and found lots of stations working. I then spent ages trying to get in to anyone - probably my lack of experience showing I suspect. I tried calling CQ on a clear frequency for ages with no response.
Eventually I was spotted by a few people and managed a fantastic S2S all the way to the Isle of Wight (over 700km I believe). Not bad for my 2.5W and my ham fisted attempt at a dipole!
Thanks to everyone else who I contacted and those who “let me in” to their nets, including the Royal Signals group.
Well, think I’m hooked now.
Another 10 days up here yet, so hopefully a lot more summits activated.
MW6AQU (MM6AQU/P this week!)