VHF was a breeze again this morning - Thursday 18th May 2017. And a good job too, because the portion of the HF spectrum for which I brought an antenna - 60m - was far from "alive and well". In total contrast to the other day, it was a struggle to get the three QSOs in 20 minutes of operating.
The other stations were reporting severe noise and QSB, although at my end I was not experiencing such difficulties. A fourth station - MI0RTY - was heard really well by me, and the contact was entirely complete, with the exception of him receiving his report from me - so not complete then!
Don G0RQL (my first contact) came back on frequency to advise that John MW0XOT was struggling for QSOs on his HEMA (HuMPs Excluding Marilyns Award) activation, and could I provide him with a contact? Of course, I would be happy to help was my reply, although I think John must have got his contacts on 80m as he never did call me on 60m.
There was then a further delay as I chased up that night's gig for which I had been booked, but not heard anything about. The phone call provided me with the information that the gig had been cancelled and they had forgotten to tell me. Pity, I was looking forward to playing at Old Trafford again (not many people can say that hi hi!), but at least it meant I had a night off and didn't have to rush home (my glass is always half-full).
I then switched to my VX7R VHF/UHF handheld, and the famine instantly became a feast. Two QSOs on 70cm, preceded by six in as many minutes on 2m FM, including S2S with Dave G3TQQ/P on Calf Top G/NP-022, and Dave GW8NZN/P on Penycloddiau GW/NW-054.
So eleven contacts for this activation, and the almost-daily activations of The Cloud are starting to make me feel slightly less pleb-like, so I must keep them up. Back home, and sorted myself some maths teaching work for the Friday to cover for the lost gig on Thursday. Getting bored with my job is now something from the dim and distant past!
I shall not be on for the Backpackers on Sunday. I would absolutely love to do another full series of the Backpackers Contest, which fits so well with summer SOTA activations, but it won't be this year. I've got gig work most weekends for the rest of the year. Ironically, this weekend I am gigging Saturday night (Hull), but, unusually, no gig on Sunday. However, Macclesfield Town are playing in the F.A. Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium Sunday afternoon, so that's where I'll be. You might even see me on the telly!