It goes without saying, even the most hard bitten HF junkie, will drop everthing for a bit of tropo on VHF and I’m certainly no exception. I suppose for many hams, it’s a bit like going back to their roots really.
Watching M6MGO working Germany during the lift on 2m, with 2.5 Watts on his FT-817 from the radio club last night, really whetted my appetite for for a VHF activation. Of course we all know how unpredictable tropo is…Now you see me now you don’t.
Hepburn had predicted a good morning and so, I set the alarm for 0600 local time. It was a toss up between G/SP-004 Shining Tor 1864 feet and G/SP-013 Gun 1263 feet. I’ve worked plenty of lifts from Shining Tor, however, today, I opted for the lower and safer option of Gun in order not to find myself above the ducting. My journey to Gun, was hampered by a closed road, which nobody had bothered to signpost and this caused about a 7 mile detour
Nevertheless, I was on Gun at about 0625z and qrv at 0645z. It was a toss-up between the X-200 and X-300 colinears and in the end I opted for the X-300 combined with 15 feet of poles. Turning on the rig, found the band on fire and finding a QRG wasn’t easy. There was qrm from all over the shop.
Anyhow, I got onto 500 and put out a CQ. The Chasers were onto me like a shot. Within 15 minutes I had Sweden, Germany, Holland and Belgium in the log with calls coming in from all over the UK. PD4RC made me laugh when he called me from his crane where he was operating crane mobile, a new one for me. Northern Ireland was hammering in, as was the South coast of England. Every signal seemed to be 5/9. The amazing conditions must have been picked up by half the Hams in the country as my pile-up rumbled on. After a few hours, I noticed a change with signals dropping and it seemed as if the conditions were tailing off. At 1054z I announced that I was going QRT at which point EI2KJ called me for my only EI contact of the activation. This was undoubtedly the biggest lift I’ve experienced on VHF and what fun it was too. To sum up…
122 contacts logged, all 2m FM.
SM x 2
ON x 5
PD x 2
DO x 1
GU x 1
EI x 1
GI x 17
The rest were G and GW.
DXCC’s x 9…
0DX SA7CKN 1070 Km. What a fine job the colinear did!
Thanks to all the Chasers, for a very enjoyable morning.