Another Caravan Trip

This time we are going to be near Aberearon. Weather permitting, the target is at least GW/MW-011, with MW-028 and/or MW-033 if time permits. 80/40/20 hf ssb with the FT817. If it survives the trip, 70cm with a freshly-built home-brew 7-el Yagi, calling round the compass, including the SW. Will need guidance as to QSY frequencies as I’ve never used 70cm before. Hope to be able to self-spot before we leave the caravan and when we get set up. Calls GW6DTN/P on hf, and MW0DFA/P on 70.

Hope for a full log. Will check the reflector before we leave Wednesday lunchtime.

73s, Dave, G6DTN/M0DFA

In reply to M0DFA:

Hi Dave,

Just a few recommendations with regards to 70cms:

  1. I would stick to one frequency and include this in your alerts. I always use 432.222MHz as it is memorable. Chasers with 70cms will generally be prepared to sit on frequency and wait for you to appear, though the band is best run in conjunction with 2m SSB from where you should be able to announce a QSY, especially if Don G0RQL is QRV as he will usually spot you and so alert others. Alternatively use Spotlite.

  2. If you have a linear (preferably with a preamp) take it with you as the path loss can be quite high. Common sense really, but do use the best coax you have available to minimise loss. An S9 report on 2m is no guarantee of a contact being possible on 70cms.

  3. Take a key with you if you can - CW is far more effective than SSB.

  4. Likely interest will come from Don G0RQL, Frank G3RMD, Phil G4OBK and Graham G3OHC.

  5. Don’t expect to drum up any 70cms FM contacts by calling on 433.500MHz - you might poach a few contacts by dragging people off the local repeater, but that takes time and you may find the repeater band devoid of life.

  6. You will be surprised how sharp the 7 element is - I would target specific directions for the chasers listed above as a priority rather than trying to spray RF around 360 degrees which will waste time and valuable battery power.

Above all enjoy the summits you have listed. I particularly enjoyed Frenni Fawr MW-028 which has excellent views all round. I found the magnetic rocks on Mynydd Carningli affected my compass, so you may need to work out beam headings by taking a rough guide from the lie of the coastline, assuming the mist hasn’t come down and you can see it!

73, Gerald