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2m all mode activation

Saturday 5th November 2016 and I visited G/SP-015 to take part in the 144MHz CW Marconi contest. Always a rare pleasure to get into double figures on VHF CW!

Best DX into France and Belgium. It’s hardly a busy contest though, so I veered onto 2m SSB and 2m FM at times. I’ll likely do so again when I return for a couple more hours this morning, so a watch on 144.300 and 145.500 may be useful. I’ll be mainly calling down in the CW section though, of course!

Sunday 6th November 2016 contained a further 14 hours of the Marconi 2m CW contest. In fact as I type, there’s still over an hour left! What’s more, I had up to 3 hours and 56 minutes of operating time available. Well not really; I needed to be back home in time to change, load the car and get on the road to Blackpool for a gig with Mr Longthorne. Still, without an alarm, I found myself awake before 8am, so decided to go and do another couple of hours at least.

Winter has arrived. It was really cold on The Cloud summit, and snow was falling for a spell. I found myself repeatedly disappearing into my bothy bag for a little respite from the biting cold. Anyway, today’s results were:

14 contacts on 2m:

2m FM: 4
2m SSB: 4
2m CW: 6 … taking mt 2m CW contest total to 23, including yesterday’s QSOs.

Best DX this morning was ON7RY/P in JO20ti. Another highlight was a long rag-chew with Matt G8XYJ on 2m SSB, mainly about bass guitars and amplification!

I was going to stay for another half hour, despite the unpleasant cold wind and worsening rain/sleet. However, this happened…

…end of activation. #SOTA mode OFF #GIG mode ON

It’s a good thing those aluminium rods are bendy. Nowt like a kinky antenna to show heavy use. :wink:

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My SB5 has gone into shock seeing its brother lying prostrate on the ground. :frowning:

Aren’t beams “prone” to that sort of thing?

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Well…

Look at how many SOTA activations I’ve done.

Look at how many I’ve done in less-than-perfect weather.

Look at how many times I’ve done 2m with a beam antenna.

…then ask yourself if you imagine that this is the first time this has happened?

Nope, the elements are all back in the boom getting used to be (approximately) straight again, and the system awaits its next outing. As gross as that photo appears, there wasn’t actually any damage.

Not in my experience. The usual thing is one of the pole sections losing its resistance fit with the next one and the pole telescoping down, notably to deliver the SB5 directly on top of my head when I was on Moel Siabod in January 2009… and I still sit underneath it when I operate. Thankfully I changed to the SB5 when I changed to a telescopic pole - the 5 element Tonna I used previously might have made a greater impression on me. :wink:

Then you would have been “prone” too!

The fall was due to a sudden gust of wind causing the peg to be pulled out of a fairly loose piece of ground. Ultimately a slight mistake in my setting up. Not the first time it’s happened, but occurrences probably still in single figures in approaching 2K activations.

The collapse you describe happens semi-regularly. Hardly ever when using HF antennas, but with beam on the pole, and an operator sat rotating the pole every few seconds for 2.5 hours - then yes it does happen, especially when the pole gets old!