Well, they are not all in Shropshire, but there are 5 summits in a relatively small area which attract 2 points, plus a winter bonus. Corndon GW/MW-013, Stiperstones G/WB-003, Longmynd G/WB-005, Brown Clee G/WB-002 and Titterstone Clee G/WB-004.
These have all been activated in one day before by others, but not by me. Until today!
To keep it simple, I decided to use 145MHz FM, with HF as a fall-back option.
Corndon first up, and first in the Log was Rod M0JLA, who also spotted me, thank you, and also for the subsequent ones. Seven contacts followed during a twenty minute stint. I was using my Wouxun handy, and a ladder line J pole antenna. I got the feeling that something was intermittent, but all contacts completed OK.
Over to Stiperstones, where I opted for the FT817, feeding the same antenna. This time, with benefit of an SWR indicator, it became clear that a connection inside the BNC plug was failing. No obvious mechanical damage, but had to be held steady to maintain a connection.
I also found that the 817 had reverted to a strange channel spacing which precluded use of 145.500, so a bit of faffing to set that correctly again. It has done that before, though other settings seem stable…
Again Rod was first in the log, quickly followed by four more stations. A few un-answered CQs, and off to the Longmynd.
Here I tried the FT817 again, but the connector was even more temperamental. The new LiFePo battery was behaving itself, though, which was pleasing if only to be expected.
First in log this time was Neil, MW0ECX/P on GW/SW-005 for a welcome S2S, the only one for me today.
Neil was quickly followed by Rob G7LAS and Rod M0JLA. A total of fifteen stations worked, in about thirty minutes.
The weather forecast had not been too good for the afternoon, but it was looking stable, so off to Brown Clee. A bit of map reading involved, as the shortest route is not overly simple.
This time I opted for the Wouxun and its rubber duck, as this should allow minimum setup time, and avoid the dodgy BNC. The Wouxun was not troubled by the nearby commercial radio installation, and I made six contacts in 20 minutes. Steve M6ZZQ was first in, followed by Jez M0NTC/M and Rod M0JLA. A bit of a lull after the third, and John G7VIE kindly stepped up to the plate when I asked politely for a quick report from anyone listening on 145.500. I don’t think John is a regular chaser, but it is worth asking, if you are struggling for contacts.
So far, all of the summits had been wreathed in damp low cloud, but now a watery sun started to break through, and the surrounding country showed itself. Onwards to Titterstone Clee, with a bit more road map reading.
For once, the wind on this hill was not strong enough to push me around, though still noticeably stronger than any of the others today. Perhaps it is stirred up by the radar
The Wouxun and rubber duck came out again, and Rod M0JLA was first up, and, I think, the only station to catch me on all five. G1BLJ/M followed, and then Dave, G4PGJ. Dave offered to listen for me on 4m (I have the dual band Wouxun) and I agreed to call on 70.450 once I had worked all callers on 145.
Duncan M0OTG called me, having heard that I needed one more contact. Again, not a regular chaser, but much appreciated.
I made two unanswered CQ calls, and then the battery died. So, I was unable to try the 4m experiment, or to explain why - sorry Dave. The Wouxun has no provision for using an external supply, and I have no spare battery.
For a moment, I contemplated pulling out the FT817, and holding the BNC again, but the sun was low, and I was getting cold and tired, so I called it a day.
Many thanks to all who called me, and apologies to anyone who I missed.
PS did I mention the mud ?