M1BUU/P, Fountains Fell G/NP-017, Saturday, 18th November. Brief report.
I chose Fountains Fell as it’s one of my nearer summits and I hadn’t activated it yet this year. It’s not my favourite summit but it’s a fairly easy, if boring, walk.
I decided to try both a dipole and a ground plane antenna. I wanted to switch instantly between either antenna but I looked at antenna switches at the dealers and decided that I could not afford their prices! I raided the junk box and knocked up a quick and dirty switch box -
The switch box worked fine and I noticed ever so slight better DX signals on the vertical, but it was very close between both antennas.
I took a ‘sun shelter’ to attempt the hold back some of the predicted breeze. The shelter isn’t very sturdy, I ended up propping it up with the spare pole section to stop it blowing flat! (see video later!)
Linked dipole and wire ground plane antenna for 20m with four elevated radials, fed at ~1m agl.
I started off on 14MHz and had a few Eu S2S on CW, I then worked Tom M1EYP/P (G/SP-015) on 20m SSB for my only phone QSO of the day.
I heard a large number of US stations on the bands but my first DX QSO was with N1GB on 20m CW. N4EX was next on 18MHz CW.
My only NA S2S was with Mike NS1TA on W1/EM-001 on 14-CW. Starngely enough, during the last Eu-NA event, my only NA S2S was also with Mike!
I heard Barry N1EU call me at one point but another summit station thought his QSO was more important and tried to bully a QSO, despite me asking specifically for N1EU only, unfortunately neither station ultimately ended up in my log. A shame, because I always like to get Barry in my log, he’s provided so many amazing chases of my flea power signals.
I began to grow a bit frustrated after a while of not working many stations so I dropped down on to 40m to seek some activity, unfortunately the band was crammed up to the point of busting, so I switched to 30m for a nice end to my activation. The video below shows some of my 30m operating, relevant here because it shows my gear and shelter. Note the pole propping up the shelter against the wind!
By 1600, I had got very cold so it was time to pack up. I left the summit at 1630 as it was just starting to get dark.
It was pitch black by the time I got back to my car at 1715.
In all I had 24 QSO’s comprising:
8 S2S including 1 S2S to NA
18MHz x 2
14MHz x 17
10MHz x 5