23cms activation - SP010

Hi, I finally managed to complete an activation using only 23cms today - unfortunately no points for me as I have done Winter Hill earlier this year.

Some of you may remember my disastrous attempt a few months ago when I tried (and failed) to get a multiband HF dipole tuned up correctly, and then failed to get an activation on 1296 due to leaving a vital part of the equipment at home. Well today I had another go on 23cm SSB and managed 4 contacts in less than an hour - I was most impressed even if nobody else was !..

I must admit that I did choose a contest weekend to maximise my chances of success, but due to the conditions I only worked 2 contest stations, the other two were after SOTA points. All contacts were on SSB but I did put several calls out on FM but got no replies which I am a bit surprised about.

A couple of problems with the transverter did arise however and these will need to be sorted out:- the rig is deaf, and the oscillator is off so tuning as “a bit off”.

This was a last minute activation as the weather last night was terrible and it didn’t look too good before breakfast today, but things improved early and I decided to give it a go - with the fallback of just parking part way up Winter Hill and giving out a few contest points. Well, the weather improved tremendously and I found a good place to operate - just to the south west of the TV mast but still well within the activation zone, although screened towards the Nelson area (sorry !)…

The visibility towards the end of my activation was tremendous and Anglesey, the Menai Straits, and several gas rigs out in Morecambe Bay were easily visible - the best I have seen for quite some time.

Just a word of warning now about Winter Hill… Due to the work on the TV mast for the digital changeover, the road is now blocked just short of the TV transmitter building so there’s no chance of driving to the top (the temporary lower barrier has however been removed). Also there is no pedestrian access beyond this barrier, the footpath has been diverted to the right along a long muddy diversion before it rejoins the tarmac road so anyone who wants to reach the trig point will need boots - shoes are no longer sufficient.

Keith G8HXE.

PS - I intend to have a go at a couple of the WB summits next Friday - probably just 144 FM but possibly SSB, and I may carry 5MHz gear with me. Hills and times are unknown as yet but keep a look out on the “alerts” - if weather is bad I may try some of the CE ones.