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70cm Challenge flavour

With one week to go to the next 2020 Challenge flavour week, time to start warming the UHF up!

So today’s pair of lazy handheld activations will be on 70cm FM. Starting in about 5 minutes…

We have been testing the beam ready for next week so will put up some Alerts when we see what weather is expected. (and when we have finished discussing where to go :slightly_smiling_face: ) We will need a big AZ if we are not sharing 70cm FM. Hope for some s2s, Tom, although not scoring for the Challenge.
73,
Rod

Scottish lockdown travel limits removed 3rd July which is nice. Expecting end of the world weather when that comes.

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But any 70cm S2S next week WILL score for the Challenge!

If you are an early riser the 70cm leg of the VHF NFD replacement contest is on the Sunday morning 0800 - 1000. I am planning to be out for 23cm first, and then 70cm.

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I don’t call 9am “early” myself - but nonetheless a good shout. I was waiting to see what they did with this year’s NFD, but then hadn’t noticed when a plan had indeed been formulated. It’ll have to be a checklog submission once again of course, but a great opportunity (hopefully) to get in and amongst some 70cm activity. One plus aspect of being restricted to being a checklog rather than a contest entry - is that I’ll be able to self-spot for the SOTA chasers!

Anyway, earlier today I decided to have a little practice on 70cm FM with the handheld - 3 QSOs on one summit, and just one on the other. Included, was one of those curious S2S where the other station insists they’re “not doing SOTA”. But it turns out that they are!

http://tomread.co.uk/thecloud.htm
http://tomread.co.uk/gun.htm

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We have now Alerted summits for Wednesday and Saturday and expect to add more for Friday and Sunday.
As GW should be open on Monday we are expecting to add some variety to the recent list by crossing the border weather permitting - maybe Tuesday also.

As usual M6BWA/P on FM with M0JLA on ssb but sharing FM if wet, behind schedule or suffering mutual QRM.

Hoping a few chasers will be around, 73,
Rod

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I’ve just finished building a small beam based on the design in “Backyard Antennas” by G3LDO but extended to four elements. Its the crudest thing you can imagine, based on four lengths of brazing rod stapled on a length of wood which has two holes drilled in it at right angles to slide on the roach pole for horizontal and vertical polarisation. My home QTH is not very good for 70cms due to flatness and trees, the area is replete with mature trees, I have no horizon in any direction - remove the buildings and the area would be a forest. I hope to take the /P station to the local park for some chasing during busy periods on the band (?) as the park is more open, and perhaps get an activation in on my nearest summit one of the flavour days.

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On Wednesday, July 1st, headed for two urban summits in the East Bay W6/NC-432 (Cabot 2 Benchmark) followed by W6/NC-298 (Vollmer Peak). I will be operating with a Kenwood TH-D74A into a 7 element Arrow yagi. My alerts are already posted - look for spots from the summits.

I does not look like a good day for it but we hope to be on schedule at Walton Hill. Hope for a possible contact there, Brian, between showers. Perhaps close enough for your garden - mine is pretty bad too, even with a Yagi atop a 10m pole I am lucky to get 6 contacts for UKAC.
73,
Rod

I’m aiming for a minimalist activation of Long mynd Pole Bank G/WB-005, FM and SSB subject to WX, just adding an alert…

I was going to set up the 817 and 6-el beam this morning on The Cloud G/SP-015, but it was only at the parking spot that I recalled that my mast guying kit was in smithereens and needed urgent attention. I didn’t have anything in the car that would allow me to cobble together an alternative, so I just went up with the handheld. As such, eleven QSOs on 70cm FM was not too bad a return.

Possibly more later - but for now I’ve had to return home to deliver two scheduled Zoom maths tutorials.

Hi Tom, if you do go back on The Cloud on 70, could please put up a spot/alert & I’ll try for QSO. Cheers, John.

Well, I achieved my main objective, which was to participate in the 70cm “Flavour”, but I only managed three QSOs, with Viki (FM) and Rod (SSB) on G/CE-002, and Mike G7HEM (FM).

I used the FT70 on FM, and FT817 on SSB, each with rubber duck antenna, the 817 sitting on the trig point of G/WB-005.
I heard Brian G8ADD and Carolyn G6WRW in QSO with Rod, each about 5 1, but not thereafter.

Had a very welcome extended walk along the Long Mynd though, with very little wind or rain.

I was hoping to be QRV on Friday from North of Dundee (late morning appointment in Dundee) but the WX forecast suggests I need to call in the services a Mr. Noah :frowning: Forecast for Sat-Mon looks much, much better which is nice as I am off work till Tuesday now.

I worked Rod and then Viki, but when I went back to SSB I couldn’t find you. Better luck next time!

Not long ago I worked Rod on Bredon Hill from inside the shack with the homebrew 4 el yagi pointing over my shoulder and through the house having heard him while trying to improve the method of mounting it on the mast. 70cms can be amazing!

I am going back out shortly - but to a different summit. Rest assured, there will be more opportunities to grab the G/SP-015 summit multiplier for the Challenge during this current Flavour week.

Hmmm 70cm FT8 looks like qualifying for the “waste of time” category. I may need to fish the microphone from the rucksack…

The microphone came to the rescue. 15 QSOs - 9 on 70cm FM and 6 on 70cm. S2S with Viki M6BWA/P and Rod M0JLA/P on Worcestershire Beacon G/WB-009.

Lots of expressions of enthusiastic anticipation for the 70cm multimode activity day on Saturday. Including from people with callsigns I didn’t recognise, and who I was not aware were into SOTA - so that was encouraging.

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Rod @M0JLA and Viki @M6BWA going well in the 70cm flavour. It seems every time I turn a radio on, there they’re on a new summit, and they’ve done plenty I’ve missed them on too!

Today on G/SP-015 I broke my feeder cable when switching the polarisation of the antenna early in the activation! I managed to cobble a fix by clipping the coax core to the element with the separated croc clip. I abandoned thoughts of CW, FT8 and SSB as I didn’t want to risk the flimsy fix by swapping polarisation again.

On G/SP-013, I just took the handheld!

The Cloud: 17 QSOs:

15 on 70cm FM
1 on 70cm C4FM
1 on 2m FM

Gun: 6 QSOs:

2 on 70cm C4FM
4 on 70cm FM