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Weird conditions on 18MHz


#1

Seeing a few North America activations alerted I decided to head up to Shining Tor to see if I could get an S2S. I didn’t catch any but conditions were strange. My log consists of around half G stations (as far away as Oxford) and half DX (as far away as Los Angeles). It was all rather odd.

DX conditions were certainly good enough for an S2S. I did work the two NA regulars VA2SG and N4EX for the first time on SSB which was fun - thanks guys. Strongest was a station from Cuba with whom I exchanged 59 both ways.

It was fun up on the summit but very windy.

73

Richard
G3CWI


#2

In reply to G3CWI:
Thanks for the QSO Richard, well done on the DX.

The bands seem in great shape this evening. I worked CE3FZ in Santiago on 12m CW 2023 local. 559 both ways (100w and doublet).

73
Roger MW0IDX


#3

In reply to MW0IDX:
Thanks Richard. More fun was the fact I was running probably 7 watts on the Argonaut V … in my windom antenna!.
So thanks for your patience :wink:

Hpe to QSO tomorrow from VE2/QC-015!


#4

In reply to G3CWI:

I was one of the NA activators today.

I ended up not operating HF. Most of the summit (W1/GM-011) was roped off to protect the arctic tundra from the 50+ day hikers crammed into the summit (today is likely the single busiest hiking day in Vermont as the fall colors are at their peak) - so erecting any kind of HF antenna was out of the question.

I did call CQ on the 2M FM calling channel and pick up 4 contacts to make the activation legit. Two of them were on mountains like me(One on Mt. Cardigan farther South in the Green Mountains, One was on Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks) - so it wasn’t a total bust.

Tomorrow I plan to operate pedestrian mobile (W1/VA3SIE/PM) from the summit of Mt. Mansfield (W1/GM-001) if I can. It will be busier than Camels Hump (today) but at least if the antenna is on my back then it won’t be in anyone way (just need to stand at the edge of the summit and toss the drag wire over the side!).

Sorry an S2S was not on the cards today Richard.

Maybe we can complete an S2S on November 13th (NA SOTA Day). J.P. is activating too…

73!
Martin.


#5

In reply to G3CWI:
I managed to work you richard thanks for the contact very strange conditions indeed ive been trying to work outside of europe for quite a while now and shortly after working you I managed it with a contact into cuba ill be keeping my eye on this band from now on allan m6amo


#6

In reply to VA3SIE:

I did call CQ on the 2M FM calling channel and pick up 4 contacts to
make the activation legit. Two of them were on mountains like me(One
on Mt. Cardigan farther South in the Green Mountains, One was on
Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks) - so it wasn’t a total bust.

Martin

That’s a great way to get other people interested in SOTA!

Tomorrow I plan to operate pedestrian mobile (W1/VA3SIE/PM) from the
summit of Mt. Mansfield (W1/GM-001) if I can. It will be busier than
Camels Hump (today) but at least if the antenna is on my back then it
won’t be in anyone way (just need to stand at the edge of the summit
and toss the drag wire over the side!).

If you have 18MHz maybe we could make it.

73

Richard
G3CWI


#7

In reply to G3CWI:

Moving up a band to 21MHz this afternoon and still things were weird. Again I have a log half full of G stations from various locations (not all local by any means). The strongest signals were from NA with many 59 both way contacts (DX as far as Alberta and Arizona). Several US stations said I was the strongest European on the band - one said I was the only European he could hear. Great to give Mike VA6FUN his first Eu SOTA contact. Local stations reported that they could only hear the stations I was working weakly, or not at all. Amazing performance with a ground plane and 40 Watts; it has to be down to the hill profile reducing the angle of radiation.

Still no S2S but its just a matter of time now.

73

Richard
G3CWI


#8

In reply to G3CWI:
Hi Richard…It was GREAT to get my first SOTA QSO from across the pond! The SOTA boys on the east coast of NA seem to make it across on a regular basis…but the sigs usually don’t reach me in Alberta! Maybe the 40 watts helped…but nice to see 15M open up! Hope to work you again in the future!

Mike VA6FUN


#9

In reply to G3CWI:
Hi Richard

I too have found using a GP vertical at elevation be a SOTA summit or a hill with a good to view to the horizon gives results that are just not possible from home.

I get your point about the drop off on Shining Tor, Something I have never thought of before, I have had several good easy contacts into the States and Canada from Gun which as you know is almost flat facing West.

What I have found with GP verticals is getting the ground planes off the ground, With the first one I made for 20m when used on the shorter 6m SOTA pole the radials were fairly close to the ground, So far the 20m vertical has given the best dx!

What angles are the radials on your verticals? How many radials for the GP do you use? The angle is something I found to make little if any difference in performance although I could be wrong. I hear two radials will give approx 90% efficiency with three or more being best, For this reason I settled on three radials which as you know also serve as guys for the pole.

When you was on 17m yesterday I could not hear any other stations apart from yourself, Setting up a GP vertical on a summit compared to being at my home QTH is like comparing night to day!
Sean M0GIA