Activation report - Fan Fawr GW/SW-005 on top band - Wednesday evening 8th Feb 2023
This is becoming to be a standard mid-week madness evening where Kevin and myself discuss our plans through-out the week, check the wx forecast and if all looks good - we crack on over the past few weeks we have realised that 80m doesn’t always work the best in the evening, so our mission this last week was to build a home-made 160m dipole to try out on Fan Fawr GW/SW-005:
We both met in the small gravel car park South of the Beacons reservoir which lies between Pen y Fan GW/SW-001 and Fan Fawr GW/SW-005 at approximately 18:00 UTC, had a quick chat and gathered our gear together. We had two heavy rucksacks to carry this evening, especially with Kevin brining his 10m spider beam pole to hoist the 80m’s of wire in the sky!
There is always plenty to talk about for me and Kev, so after a few different topics discussed and looking across at Pen y Fan watching a queue of head torches descending the summit in the distance, we were soon amongst the mist close to summiting Fan Fawr. Once we reached the top, our mission was to set up our office beside the actual trig stone which is in the AZ, to help anyone who wanted to work the trig as well as the summit:
Man, it’s one long walk to the trig stone from the actual mid point of the summit - it felt like ages until the stone was in view. We quickly had a summit selfie and then started work:
Kevin began by erecting his 10m spider beam beast of a pole while I gathered all the guys ready to tie it down. Once we had everything in order (it took longer than we thought) the 160m home-made dipole was released from its bag and the centre piece was mounted to the top of the 10m spider beam pole. We both hoisted the pole up in the air and guyed it down. It was another 40m walk for both of us to guy both dipole ends down using our walking poles:
Right, we were all set up and ready to try our new idea out we used yellow wire for the antenna @GW4VPX Allan so the UFO’s could see it when flying past (a home joke we have). The equipment used consisted of:
- Icom IC-705 transceiver
- MAT-705 external tuner
- 13.8v battery enabling the 705 to push 10w
- 10m Spider beam telescopic pole
- Full sized 160m dipole (80m in total length)
A spot was placed on the SOTAwatch website for the frequency we chose and a ‘CQ CQ CQ SOTA’ was called out… WOW, the antenna really worked with us having a nice pile-up on 160m entering 16 stations into our log. That wasn’t the response we were expecting, so thank you all very much for your support who called in we didn’t receive any S2S contacts which I thought was odd??? hahaaa. As you’ll see from the antenna images, we really had gone out in style on a mission to qualify this summit on 160m:
It was time for a cup of tea and a cake to celebrate our success - no Welsh cakes on this occasion @MM0EFI
I quickly had a call out on 160-CW where I found the IC-705 to have a completely different tone to my normal KX2, this threw me out slightly, so apologies to the stations I asked to repeat their call-sign, you were a good signal, it was just my ears Phil @G4OBK came booming in, was great to work you on 160m I need to change the settings on the 705 to match the KX2, nevertheless I was impressed with the little radio.
Kevin then joined me on 145-FM where we shared the microphone and worked a further 9 stations to end our fantastic evening!
What a great evening had; a home-made working antenna which received good radio reports, plenty of food and drink to keep us warm and great company with loads of friends to talk to over the radio - we really are enjoying these wild Wednesday evening activations! I must apologise if anyone was waiting for us on 80m, we had alerted for this band too, but because it took a little more time to set up than we anticipated, we run out of time. We will work 160m & 80m on our next wild Wednesday outing to make up for it!
I’d like to thank everyone from the SOTA community who called into us - great support as per normal. I’d also like to thank everyone who passed on the word that we were out activating on 1.8MHz
Until the next evening of fun and madness, I’ll say 73, Ben & Kev