Today I headed for the Wrekin, G/WB-010, mainly for the walk, but also to make my first attempt at a CW activation on 10MHz.
I started off gently on 145MHz FM, and soon had 22 stations in the log, featuring many familiar call-signs. These included my first S2S under the new rules with MW1EYP/P on GW/NW-054, thanks Tom! Even more pleasing, perhaps, was giving Gez M0NTC his 1000th chaser point. Great stuff Gez, and pleased to be involved!
Time to put up the dipole for 30m, which I made out of cheap speaker lead split at the feed point, and run as twin feeder all the way to the FT817.
A few tentative CQs produced nothing, and I kicked myself for not making use of Eric KU6Jâ€™s latest facility on RBNGate. I had passed the window of opportunity since my alerted time, but could so easily have extended it when posting the alert. Iâ€™ll remember next time!
After a few more calls though, OE7PHI replied, and I was away. Suddenly the key needed virtually no pressure to operate, and my cold fingers were sending dots and dashes in all directions. Iâ€™ll wind up the tension a little for next time.
As the encouraging comments from regular CW activators predicted, I was impressed by the courtesy and patience of chasers, and soon settled down. Just 11 contacts made, but it was a great feeling :o) Many thanks to all the stations who worked me.
Finally, a quick dabble on 5MHz. I had established that by chance the 30m dipole also loaded up on 60m, and not any other HF band (without an ATU). An unlikely pairing, on the face of it, but due no doubt to the particular feeder length.
It was obviously too short to be very efficient on 5MHz, and the centre of the inverted V was only at 5m, but I could hear a number of QSOs in progress.
I called GM4MD/P on GM/SS-139, and to my surprise he responded with a 2x2 report, which under the circumstances, I was pleased to accept! Thanks Paul for my first 5MHz activator contact, and a welcome S2S.
I called CQ a few times on nearby channels, and a hopeful CW call at the bottom end. No response, and by now I was starting to feel chilly, so time to pack up.
I did not expect so much fun from a 1 pointer in winter, but thatâ€™s SOTA for you!