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Anyone Around For 2m Activity?

In December I tried to activate Hardown Hill using 4 different 2m modes. I managed 3 but 2m CW was a blank. I described the activation on this thread: Hardown Hill G/SC-011 - 2m Activity

I will be driving past this hill on Wednesday (2 February) and will have the opportunity for a second attempt around 10:30 UTC.

My plan is to probably start on FT8 then FT4 with the yagi horizontal, then try SSB and with the antenna still horizontal try CW. I’ll then put the antenna vertical and try CW again before switching to FM.

I’ll post spots of course but if anyone thinks they might be able to reply to my CW CQ let me know if they prefer horizontal or vertical and I’ll make sure to point the antenna in their direction. Obviously responses on the other modes will be very welcome too! :slight_smile:

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2M and CW rarely appear in the same sentence unfortunately! I can point 400W of CW to an 11 ele long Yagi in your general direction from IO84 (beam 002°) and see what happens if you like.

73, John

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Like John G3WGV, I am up north but in IO94 John (20 degs for you). I muster 200 watts CW to 7 elements (either vertical or horizontal as I have a 7+7 cross yagi). Don’t work many on 2m CW but Gerald G(M)4OIG/P on his wanderings up north is the most likely these days.

Good luck, and I hope you don’t manage to sit in dog excrement like I did when I activated Hardown Hill in 2015!

73 Phil

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Hi John, I still have 2m CW QSOs with locals both from home and when portable, and I’m glad to see you do it for SOTA. Sadly, with about 400km between G/SC-011 and SOTA summits near me, it’s very unlikely you would hear my modest 5W CW with my portable 3-element Yagi.

No doubt someone will tell us, that with the right propagation conditions [e.g. tropospheric ducting] with high enough summits both ends, and Yagis the size of long swords, that distance is no problem.

Good luck and have fun on Wednesday.
73 Andy

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Thank you for all the replies. I’ll post an update on Tuesday, if not before, confirming it is still going ahead. The weather forecast looks good at the moment.

John

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John,

Thank you. I see your QTH is Penrith (which no one on TV can pronounce correctly :slight_smile: ). I’m going to find a different place on the hill to activate from which has a better take off north and east so things might work out. I need to be able to see France based on previous experience as there are operators there I can work, so a bit of compromise is needed.

I may have to pack a flame-thrower to clear the gorse. :slight_smile:

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Indeed… I always have the key plugged in and listen intently in case anyone gives me a call on the off chance. Unfortunately there aren’t usually any takers. At one time I often used to get a call from those I’d worked on SSB… just to add another QSO to my log.

Will keep an eye out. Maybe get out portable myself from a local high spot if nothing intervenes in the meantime. I’m minus a mast at home, so only QRV on HF.

73, Gerald

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Gerald,

Thank you. :slight_smile:

In the Spring we will resume the “2m Multimode Saturday” sessions. These were a great success last year with several stations out with 2m beams on a local summit on a Saturday morning. We would cycle through all the modes on 2m - FM, SSB, CW, AM, FT8, FT4 and even SSTV - making S2S contacts and working chasers. Sounds like it would be something you’d be interested in joining in with John @M0WIV ?

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That’s certainly worth a try Tom. Just need to find a suitable hill which is quick to get to. Kit Hill is the obvious one but it has transmitters on it but I’d probably try it first. :slight_smile: The others down here are a longer drive.

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I could try next Wednesday if I can hear you here in northern Germany. That would be my first cw qso on 2m and an s2s. Only 10w and 4 elements :grimacing:

Hope dies last, they say here in Germany.

73 Chris

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It will be worth a try but there is high ground in Southern England between Hardown Hill and Northern Germany which may get in the way. Normandy in France is easy as there is only the sea between us.

There should be plenty of CW on 2m this evening (1 Feb) during the UK Activity Contest. There are a few stations up in the Far North that use CW on the VHF bands and all of us would be over the moon to work somebody (anybody?) in your area :laughing:

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Just added my alert for tonight Barry. I’ll be doing the FM contest 1900-1955z, then the UKAC. I’ll probably start by beaming north for GM at 2000z, and might even kick off in CW!

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The wind here is gusting hard right now, hopefully quieten down later.
Certainly planning to be on from kick-off

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Yes, the wind is the biggest threat to substantial/comfortable/enjoyable participation this evening. Currently gusting 60mph but that will reduce to 45mph by this evening. Just have to see how it goes!

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A quick update. All is on course for the activation tomorrow. In addition to calling CQ on CW on 144.050 I will point the beam at France and try a frequency closer to 144.300 as I understand this is where French CW operators may be listening.

If time permits and I don’t get too cold* I will try a bit of 70cm both SSB and FM at the end.

I’ve also only just realised the date tomorrow is designed for 2m being 2-2-22. :slight_smile: There’s also a CME forecast to arrive tomorrow but hopefully this won’t impact VHF/UHF negatively, it might even help!

*Santa read my letter and tomorrow will be the first run out of my new down jacket. :slight_smile:

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Not so well.

Twice the wind hauled the SB5 and mast assembly off the ground for a short flight, leaving me to unbend the elements as best I could and go again. I made it to the end of the 2m FM Activity Contest with 28 QSOs in the log. That will be nowhere near competitive.

I continued on for the UKAC, making seven QSOs on 2m SSB before the antenna and mast was thrown to the floor for a third time. It was at that point when sitting watching television with my wife, a bottle of Pinot Noir and an early Easter egg, become a more attractive proposition to me than continuing with a cold and uncomfortable SOTA activation…

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The weather was excellent this morning, not too cold at about 9C first thing with occasional glimpses of the sun. There was a bit of a breeze on the summit of Hardown Hill G/SC-011 but nothing mast-threatening on this occasion!

I started on 2m FT8 but frustratingly although I could see CQ calls coming in from several other UK operators they could not hear me when I replied. I was running with a horizontal antenna perhaps they had vertical? Or perhaps they were just sending out CQ call unattended? As in December there were several French operators and I managed 2 QSOs looking towards France then after a bit of a struggle completed a QSO with Ben GW4BML.

I tried FT4 briefly but there didn’t seem to be anything happening so I switched to 2m SSB and on 144.300 found Patrick F0DBU near Mont St Michel in Normandy. I have spoken with Patrick several times and he can usually be found reliably on 144.300 in the mornings.

A QSY to 144.250 and a bit of a struggle completed a QSO with Gerald in his G4OIG/P guise which I did not recognise at the time. oops! :slight_smile: It was a 52 in both directions with signals fading out completely at times. Bob, G0KYS followed with a booming 59 from nearby Dawlish. I’ve then got a note in my log that Gerald and I spoke again but the entry is incomplete so I’m not sure it happened! There was another caller but I couldn’t make out enough of their callsign then lost them anyway.

It was time to try 2m CW and switching to 144.050 I caught the end of a transmission using my callsign. I couldn’t work out the sender so I sent CQ and they came back. It was Gerald G4OIG/P of course and he was immensely patient as he listened as I mangled almost everything I was sending. But we completed the QSO and I could start breathing again.

2m FM brought in 3 more QSOs and completed the aim of the morning - to complete the activation using 4 different modes on 2m. I suspect trying to do it on 5 modes by including satellite may have to wait for another day as my satellite chasing skills are still in their infancy. :slight_smile:

Very many thanks to all the chasers and especially to Gerald who went out /P just to provide the CW QSO. This was very much appreciated.

I had brought an antenna to try UHF but I had failed to bring any lunch with me and after an early start I was starving so I packed up and descended the hill at this point to find something to eat! :slight_smile:

A print-out of the log:

10:50 F6CIS 2m FT8 -10 -10 Sylvain
10:53 F5MYK 2m FT8|-10|-10|Francois
10:59GW4BML 2m FT8 -10 -10 Ben
11:10 F0DBU 2m SSB 55 53 Patrick
11:18 G4OIG/P 2m SSB 52 52 GERALD
11:20 G0KYS 2m SSB 59 59 BOB
11:28 G4OIG/P 2m CW 539 539 GERALD
11:42 2E1KJB 2m FM 59 57 Kevin
11:45 G7KTE 2m FM 59 59 PETER
11:47 G4IUG 2m FM 59 59 Dave

Operating position:

I need to work on my selfies!

France is over there:

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I couldn’t hear anything about your activity here in Northern Germany. My spot on 2m brought me 0 qsos.

Nice to read that you were more successful.

73 Chris

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