I’m not sure if this is the right category but here goes.
I blame Jack GM4COX. We were sat at the GM Microwave Round Table last November when a 13cms transverter was shown by G4BAO I think. Jack said after that he would buy one if I would. So I said OK it’s less than £200 and we would put some much need activity on the band. From there like acorns, things grew. Sometime last March we ordered 7 units from SG-Lab in Bulgaria and about 5 days later a box filled with shiny toys appeared.
The following people had their arms twisted in to going on 13cms, James MM0GLM, Iain MM3WJZ, Barry GM4TOE plus myself and Jack. A further 2 units went to ED GM3SBC and Chris GM4YLN, longstanding uwavers but not into SOTA. Barry collected his unit at the MT meet and Jack collected the others last week. So everyone now has their unit.
You drive them with 0.5 to 5W on 432MHz and the signal comes out on 2320MHZ at 2W or so. The LO is programmable so you can work the 2300MHz band (you need a NoV) or 2320 or higher. There is a viable RF Vox or hard switching. Combined or separate RX/TX paths and you can drive them with 10MHz from a GPS/Rubidium standard.
Barry was down for the new rally in Glasgow this weekend and wanted to bag a summit on the way. He selected Carleatheran SS-175 in the Gargunnock Hills. That is LOS to Cairnpapple Hill SS-254 about 25mins from my QTH. So a sched was arranged. Jack was busy earlier or he would have gone out too.
It takes almost 5mins to get to the trig on Cairnpapple from the car park. I had the transverter plus all the HF gear. In the end I spent all my time on 13cms or 2m. It was windy and the wind was from the NE so it whilst it was a beautifully sunny day it was baltic cold! I wandered up having spoken to Barry on 2.1GHz (3G) and he said he was running late due to roadworks. I had a tune about on 2m and could hear Steve MM0XPZ from Hill of Stake SS-155. Now I activated that about 3 weeks ago so an S2S meant not only S2S points but a complete as well. Steve was duly bagged. I then had a long chat with Jack on 2m whilst checking I could hear GB3CSB the local 13cms beacon. Hear it? It was sooooo very loud. Now due to the LO set up options I made sure with Jack that we knew where 2320.200 was on our 817s. Jack has his set so 434.2 in is 2320.200 out, I have mine set so 432.2 in is 2320.200 out. It doesn’t matter as long as you know what to use to get the output where you want.
On to 13cms and a quick tweak and there was Jack peaking 57 on 2320.200MHz. It’s a non-LOS path just grazing a few hills and with the little antennas and the fact Jack’s unit was inside, we were both happy with the results. I tuned about after finishing with Jack whilst waiting for Barry to appear. I managed a quick QSO with Ken GM0AXY and then with Steve MM0XPZ’s help completed another S2S with Robin GM7PKT who was out on Troweir SS-257 near Girvan. It was a struggle using just the rubber duck, but we managed 41 both ways over an obstructed 108km path. Troweir is due for retirement as soon as I have activated it and having now chased it, I can retire it having completed it and S2S’d it as well. AM’s prerogative is what you call that!
Finally Barry dragged his sorry body up the 7.5km trail and appeared on 2320.200. S9+++ for a S2S with me. Deep joy, as S. Unwin Esq. would say. After that I beamed at Jack’s QTH and we had a quick 3 way on 13cms. Grins all round.
Sorry no pics of the setup. In the excitement of working 2 QSOs on a new band, I forgot to take any. D’Oh! Now to get a better antenna made and for my 13cms partners in crimes to plan when we will all be out at the same time so we can all qualify our hills with 13cms S2S contacts.
See it was all Jack’s fault…