After a fashion, I finally managed to get the FT-817ND to transmit on 5MHz. This with the very much appreciated assistance of Mark G0VOF, who supplied the info and to Mike, G4VSS, who completed the surgery. Tuesday past saw time to cut a dipole for 60m and finally get it all tested out - success at last and now time for a summit. Being Remembrance Sunday, an early departure was out of the question. Having served my time, an 1130 departure was planned ensuring a moment to myself at the 11th hour. Jill, M6JBZ and the two boys, Daniel and Ben were coming along too. The company is great but the time on the summit is usually limited - it was also necessary to pick a less demanding target, lest I should suffer from ‘SOTA strike’ yet again!! Mynydd-y-briw GW/NW-060 looked a sound choice.
Good progress was made in light traffic from the home QTH at South Warrington. We turned off the main road, following the SATNAV, toward the target. It did the usual thing and took us where no man had been before!!! We ended up on a titchy road with the wheels up to the axles going down a slippery and muddy hill. As we descended t’was obvious that there needed to be a decent road at the bottom or we were stuck - there was no way we were going to get back up this hill. At this stage Jill reminded me about the sign which stated ‘not suitable for motor vehicles’. In order to save a few bob on the fuel I had elected to leave the Land Rover at home, and take the Citroen C3, in which I had left my glasses - doh!
Anyway, soon after I could see the mast on the summit top ahead. I stopped momentarily to work M6MMM/P on G/SP-004 and to arrange a S2S a short time later.
An easy ascent up the tarmac path took us up toward the mast. A short time later the sun had come out and the dipole for 2m had been erected on the grassy, trigless summit. I worked Mike (M6MMM/P) again for the S2S from the Shining Tor and promptly handed the microphone to the Station Manager who also commenced her activation. This proved to be really hard work on 2m for a Sunday afternoon. We managed to work the 4 stations required over 20 minutes & Mike again, on his other call sign. Thanks also to MW6RBH Richard, G6LLX/P Keith, and G7HVF Stuart without whom we would have been beaten.
It was time for 5MHz now as Jill and the boys gave me a hand to erect the dipole. I was delighted to hear G0VOF, Mark, reply to my CQ call and be the first in my SOTA log on 60m. He put a spot on for me and I was very surprised at the resulting pile up with 11 QSOs in almost as many minutes. Mark came back to wish me well and agreed to spot me on 30m. I knew Andy MM0MMF was around and so had a listen for him, but to no avail. I removed the links in the dipole and off I went on 30m. As usual, Roy G4SSH was there, the first of 11 on this band too. I tried 7.032MHz next but the noise level was 9+. I am not sure if it was QRM from the nearby transmitter but using this band would have been impossible. I tried my luck on 14.062 and managed to attract F8AAB Gerard, who applied a spot for me. I only managed another 3 stations, including DL1BJA Klaus, RA3DUO Boris and PA0RBC before it became obvious it was now time to go. When I got home I discovered this was the first activation of this summit on 20m.
A pleasant dander back down the hill to the car, an avoidance of the aforementioned
slippery road and a McDonalds Ice Cream Flurry saw a the end to a good day out.
Thanks to everybody who called in and apologies to those expecting me on 40m.
Dave, Jill, Daniel and Ben
M0TUB & M6JBZ