Thursday 14th February 2019 - The Cloud G/SP-015
The main walk of the day was a favourite of mine and Marianne’s. It’s a 12 mile circular via Macclesfield town centre, over the Hollins to Langley, then up over Tegg’s Nose to the cafe, before walking back down Buxton Road to town and then the remaining couple of miles home. The occasion was Valentine’s Day, and the Valentine’s afternoon tea event at Tegg’s Nose Country Park cafe.
And what a feast it was - soup, sandwiches, cakes, more cakes and even more cakes, scones with jam and cream, coffee, chocolates and shortbread - amazing! Red roses on the table, and decorated with rose petals. Add to this the fact it was a glorious sunny day with clear blue skies making hillwalking a total delight. Plenty of brownie points in my rucksack today.
But after 12 miles, and over 20,000 steps, I still hadn’t actually done any SOTA. That was to be rectified with an evening jaunt up The Cloud for the 6m MGM and UK activity contests.
I was feeling perfectly organised, and arrived punctually at the parking spot with all batteries freshly topped-up. I inserted the rechargeable battery pack into the Petzl headtorch - but it wouldn’t turn on. I tried it with normal AAA cells instead, but it was the headtorch itself that had failed. Very disappointing - and infuriating.
So my being a little ahead of time soon morphed into my running half-an-hour behind schedule, by having to drive down to Congleton, and pick up an Energiser headtorch from the big Tescos there.
I managed to get QRV on 6m FT8 just after 1930z. I had only about 40% of the full contest period to work with. As such, 11 QSOs was not too shabby, but it was annoying not to be able to do the full 55 minutes despite thorough preparations.
In the main UKAC, I made 75 contacts, all on SSB except for one (MM0CEZ) on CW. At least the RSGBCC has done away with the silly requirements to use vertical omnidirectional antennas for the short contests ahead of the main UKACs, so I didn’t have to lose even more time by changing over aerials. So all QSOs in the maps below were made using 5w from the FT-817 and SOTAbeams SB6 (Moxon).
Ponderosa tomorrow - one of my favourite SOTA outings of every year!
SSB / CW: