Not to forget Barry N1EU who very usefully provides a different perspective from across the pond and was partly instrumental in us moving the event from the third to the first weekend in November. I was somewhat sceptical that conditions would be good enough this early in the month, but hey, what a blast!!!
Paul G6GGP (G4MD) and myself were originally going to North Wales for this outing, but the wet WX over there dictated otherwise. After considering several summits, we decided upon Bredon Hill G/CE-003 just inside the Cotswold National Park. The location contributed to several of my contacts as it is with the FF area, with 44’s being passed quite regularly.
The view out from Bredon Hill G/CE-003
We operated for around three and a half hours. With two stations set up on the summit we knew that there would be some in-band interference, but were not prepared for my operations on 18MHz wiping out Paul on 14MHz. Paul was first to get going and I sat listening to him calling CQ. A spot for him soon got things underway and I sat listening for a while before starting my own run lower down the band on CW. With many large signals on the band from across the pond, I had the confidence to run the 857D at just 20 watts output knowing this would help with the battery depletion. As it was, my 16.4AH 3S LiPO + single NiMH combination was still providing 12.5V when I packed up. BTW, apologies for using my G8 call - the XK combination had several people either straining to copy this correctly or send it back to me correctly! I hope it didn’t blow any minds!
In all I made 39 contacts with a breakdown as follows: 10 EU fixed, 2 EU S2S, 21 American fixed, 5 American S2S (Barry N1EU, Tom N2YTF (on SSB), Pete WA7JTM, Keith KR7RK, Leo K4LPQ) and an S2S with Malcolm VE2DDZ on VE2/ES-010. The S2S with Keith on W6/NC-151 was my first S2S with California. Pete was an amazing 579 signal.
No shelter required - just a tarp to sit on in a convenient hollow
I finished at 16:40z a little earlier than planned so may have missed some potential contacts. Known misses were Pat KI4SVM (who I copied working Paul, but it was Paul’s frequency so I didn’t butt in) and Charlie NJ7V who was handling a run of Stateside callers all of whom were stronger than I was. Both Paul and I looked for Malen VE6VID, but unfortunately we didn’t copy anything.
Many thanks to all who turned out for this event. With the threat of solar activity and it being the low point in the solar cycle, the event went much better than I had expected. I hope a good number will turn out for the next one in the spring.
73, Gerald G8CXK (G4OIG)
EDIT: For anyone interested in the States worked they were AZ, CA, CO, FL, KS, KY, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NM, OR, PA, SC and TN. 15 in all. I often work fewer during a contest!