With good weather forecast for today I took the opportunity for a quick activation of Kit Hill G/DC-003 in order to get some more CW practise in. I am far from fluent in CW but I think I am slowly getting better and recent experience has convinced me the best place to practice is on a summit.
I seem to have gone in the last 6 months from having to ask for a repeat of every callsign, often more than once, to a point where now I am actually reading some callsigns the first time! Not all of them but a reasonable percentage. This is progress.
I have also learned to recognise a callsign starting with DE isn’t from Germany but is the normal DE meaning “from”. It should be obvious but it kept catching me out in the heat of the moment. I have also learned to recognise calls from Switzerland much better, there are just too many dits in HB although it probably helps that almost all of them start with HB9 were the 9 is a good indication of where the operator is from.
I opened on 5m CW but managed only one QSO with Chris GW3YQP after several attempts. I could hear him quite well at 559 but my 10 watts was struggling to get across the Bristol Channel but we completed eventually.
The 30m band was much better and I managed 11 QSO before it dried up when I changed to 40m SSB for another 8 QSOs. Finding a spare frequency was difficult. Relaying through another operator I heard Esther operating /P in Ireland was hearing me but I couldn’t hear her. Working through the other operator she suggested a different frequency but when I QSY’d all I heard was a language lesson to improve my Italian.
With time pressing I changed to my home-made 10m delta loop which initially decided to tangle itself, losing me precious time sorting it out. I must try Andy MM0FMF 's suggestion and put a connection in it so I can wind it up as a straight wire.
This delta loop has worked well at home but I had not tried it QRP from a summit before. My expectations were high but I could raise no replies on SSB and though I didn’t expect any replies when I tried 10m FM it would have been nice to hear someone. I am told the audio quality on 10m FM is excellent but I didn’t get the chance to find out today. Changing to 10m CW and calling CQ I was surprised no spot was generated by the RBN network, it had worked on 60m (a single French station heard me) and 30m earlier but while calling CQ someone came back in response but they were blisteringly fast and I could make nothing of the call.
Later I checked the RBN website and M0WIV/P had not been heard on 10m but M0WIV had been! I suspect my keying was falling off towards the end of the activation.
A huge thanks to all chasers and especially for those helping my CW to improve!
I have suffered from the cold on recent activations but today was delightfully warm with no wind and sunshine. The only equipment I forgot to bring was my Tilly hat to keep the sun off my face.
The photo below shows the 10m loop on a 5.5m (6m with broken top) Decathlon travel pole.
Maps of the QSOs, missing is HB9LAN who is not on QRZ.