I was down in Liverpool over the weekend for my mum’s 88th birthday. Normally I’d have brought all the SOTA gear and gone out into NW with Brian G4ZRP, but I was a little short of time this visit so Brian suggested we just nip out Saturday afternoon for a few minutes whilst nobody was watching! We were going to do what is now known as Lamb’s Hill (NW-062) but at the last minute Brian suggested Raw Head and so Raw Head it was. I dropped Sarah off at a friends near where we used to live on The Wirral and then met with Brian.
We travelled out to Chester and then the Broxton roundabout on the A41. Left onto the A534 and then the 4th on the left up to Harthill. Just before the village centre we turned down New Lane and drove right to the gate and parked in the layby there at SJ510522. There’s a signpost pointing out the Sandstone Trail and a pleasant path leads through the forest. After a short climb this path meets another path in a T junction. Turn right and the path leads to the trig point in a few minutes. It took us 11 mins from car park to summit.
First operation was 2m FM using 1.5W from Brian’s Kenwood TH79 handy with the FT-817’s rubber duck. We worked 7 contacts on FM and all bar one on the rubber duck. To work Dave G0AOD we used Brian’s HB9CV just held by hand. After those, the battery on the TH79 was complaining, it’s over 10 years old so it held up well all things considered. After that we switched to SSB using the HB9CV and my FT817 on its internal NiMH cells. I was using a freshly charged set of the “4x 2500mh AA for £2” from Aldi. (Or was it Lidl?) Anyway we went on to work another 10 contacts on SSB and the cells seemed to stand up well. The FT817 battery reading was 10.4V on RX when we started and was showing 9.9V at the end of 55mins of intensive operation. I’m sure they’re good for a fair bit more operation before needing a recharge. They certainly look to be well worth the £4 they cost.
Best DX of the day was Don G0RQL in N. Devon who was, at a guess, 175miles distant. Not bad for an HB9CV 3ft AGL and 2.5W! The WX was gorgeous, fairly overcast but warm at the start. By the time we left the trig, the sky was 75% blue and the sun was starting to burn my balding head, my hat was with the rest of the walking gear some 250miles North. It was a great afternoon, simple gear and showing that you can have huge amounts of fun with SOTA using the bare minimum of equipment. The view isn’t too bad for only being 227m ASL! Pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mm0fmf as usual.
Distance walked: 0.6miles, total ascent: 50m/164ft, distance driven: 532miles
Sorry, those figures are not meant to be taken too seriously