I did my opening SOTA activation for the 2015/16 Challenge on Saturday 16th May 2015. Before reporting on that, I’ll briefly record some details of other SOTA activations since returning from EA8:
Tuesday 14th April 2015 - The Cloud G/SP-015
432MHz contest night. 51 contacts - 50 SSB + one CW, all on 70cm. Not a great night on The Cloud. 11 (22) mults - 72, 74, 81, 82, 83, 84, 91, 92, 93, 94, 02.
More mults heard but not worked - 86, 90, 00 plus IN99. Known to be about but not heard - 01, 03. Usual squares not heard of at all - 64, 75, 80, 85.
Wishing I’d gone up to Merryton Low now with Nick (M1DDD) being out of action and Erik (G8XVJ) staying at home.
Wednesday 15th April 2015 - The Cloud G/SP-015
This was a trial activation ahead of the 6/10m Challenge, to see if I could use my end-fed plus tuner to operate on the target bands. Well I could, although I only achieved one CW contact on 6m and none at all on 10m! A couple were then added on 20m CW and 13 on 40m CW, including two S2S.
Tuesday 28th April 2015 - The Cloud G/SP-015
Uninspiring contest for me. Just 60 QSOs, and a dismal 9 multipliers: 64, 82, 83, 90, 91, 92, 93, 02, 03.
I heard, but didn’t work: 65, 73, 74, 81, 00, 01.
I really think that M7 has spoiled the UKACs. Activity seems much harder to come by, and half the stations are just beaming to the continent like the bad old days. I haven’t checked the data, but my instinct is that participation is falling too, after year-on-year rises for a number of years under M5.
I’m also rather unimpressed with just how blinking cold it was. 3 degrees C, and we were within a week of May Day!
Fellow Tall Trees Contest Group members worked: M1DDD, M0HGY, G8WUY, G3RKF, G3KAF, G3TDH, M0VAA, G3UJE, GW4ZAR.
Monday 4th May 2015 - The Cloud G/SP-015
A friend’s QTH was not available as an option last night, as he was out for a Bank Holiday meal. So no 10 watts, no 80m doublet and no warmth and comfort!
Instead, it was back to the old routine of participating SOTA style from Cloud summit. 52 was probably the best I have done in that circumstance. I do need to at least try to run for some small block of time near the end, but I’m not sure the receive or filtering on the 817 is ever going to be up to it. At least the 52 is in the QRP section.
Tuesday 5th May 2015 - The Cloud G/SP-015
84 QSOs into 29 (14 + 1) for me. Not bad QSOs but mults let me down. Only the one from 75 from GM. Never heard 94, 80, 90 or 00 that I would have wanted.
Much easier on the rx without Erik XVJ on Merryton Low, or Jake from Crewe on Mow Cop!
Tuesday 12th May 2015 - The Cloud G/SP-015
Back round to 70cm contest night, but still we did not appear to be clear of winter. It was cold and windy, even if the longer daylight was welcome.
Anyway, I was still finding the UKAC hard work. Conditions were evidently bobbins, but the south and eastern participants beaming at the continent for the first two hours, and the continuing boycott by the Scottish stations made for another rubbish night. M7 rule - progress? I think not.
Just 50 QSOs, 49 on 70cm SSB and one on 70cm CW.
Wednesday 13th May 2015 - The Cloud G/SP-015
It was back to this slightly familar summit once again, this time for the RSGB Club Contest 80m Data session. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my new HTC One phone to receive signals through the cable into the phone’s headphone jack. Fortunately, I had taken my old Galaxy S3 phone up as back-up just in case.
Fifteen QSOs were made on 80m PSK63 in the contest, followed by six on 80m SSB afterwards.
I am at a bit of a loss to understand why the new phone isn’t working. DroidPSK springs to life when I disconnect the cable, with the audio from the FT-817’s speaker being heard via the phone’s microphone. Triggering TX from the phone works OK, just not RX. The supplied earbuds / mike with the phone all seem to work OK, so I can’t work this out!