Despite getting soaked, despite getting lashed by the wind, despite sitting with no shelter assembling the system, despite all that, that was fun.
WX forecast said light rain. It said dry yesterday. Clouds said heavy rain. Tinto was heaving with people. I did think of turning back as it was so wet and windy at one point on the ascent, but I kept going. I tuned up to find lots of locals nattering away on 2m, Robert GM4GUF with Alan GM0USI (both keen microwavers), Alan was off to do something and Rober was off to warm up his 13cms gear. As he lives a few miles from the foot of Tinto I didn’t expect a new world distance record. I had a chat with Jack and John as set up the system. GB3CSB was silly loud, so loud I think it was overloading the front end of the transverter.
John announced he was QRV and he called. A quick tweak of the bowtie and he was 59+ from East Lomond, a LOS path of 78km. He gave me 59+. I had my antenna just propped again the rucksack and during our overs it fell over so it was pointing at the sky. John dropped to 59 and he gain me 57. No matter how I pointed the antenna we were able to have an armchair copy conversation (wind and rain excepted). A few mins later Jack appeared and I had to point the bowtie at Jack but when I did he was 58. Looking at the map, I was down a few metres from the top because of the wind so the path to Jack was not LOS. The antenna was only 15cms above ground and so I was beaming into the top of Tinto. Finally Robert appeared of 13cms for a third QSO.
Iain had texted he was delayed but I was not able to stay longer. I was now shivering as I was fully exposed to the wind and rain so I bid them goodbye and hightailed down to the car. Jack had the benefit of his wee shelter so I think he was staying longer. John pulled the plug too. Sorry Iain.
The antenna took about 1hr to make out of old PCB material, some 2mm brass tube and an off cut of RG-402 which was terminated in an SMA female. I need to make it SOTA-ready as it is fragile. For today I have a container from a Chinese Takeway meal attached to the reflector with rubber bands. Ugly but functional.