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Brit abroad W8O-NE001 Noblet Benchmark Activation

A recent job role change, and the opportunity to enjoy paid travel should see my activator score start to climb. The bug has well and truly bitten again after an enforced SOTA absence due to a family tragedy. Fitness levels are improving already this year, and hopefully should be back at 2017 levels by summer if I can keep up the training.
To celebrate getting on with life again, I bit the bullet and bought a KX2. Not the easiest radio to get on with so far, but very compact, and airline friendly.

This weeks trip to Ohio, and passing near enough to Apple Tree Orchards, the highest place in the state around lunch time was worth the detour. The orchard is a cider and apple farm run by the family who live there. They also have a cafe on site. Coffee and donuts for lunch, and a chat with the owners about the area was interesting. I asked permission to set up between the rows of apple trees which was instantly agreed to, on the promise that I would read an article in the paper aloud in my best English voice, trade agreed, and after walking into the orchard to get away from the car and the road the station was set up.


Mine is the small mast unfortunately.

HF is pretty dire just now, I opted for spot frequencies on 40m and 20m, set the KX2 up on an apple box, and the end fed random wire on a 5m travel pole, sent the spots and called, then called some more, and called some more. The wind was picking up and getting quite cold after 30 minutes of unsuccessful calling/trying to break conversations. Note to self, find a portable KW if I go here again and want to break into a rag chew…
Resigned to not qualifying, a last spot and call were put out on 20m, immediately K4MF came back from Florida with 57, 1 down , 3 to go. More calls produced a murmur in the noise, but not strong enough to copy. QSY to 40m and an instant call from AC1Z in New Hampshire. QRZ followed by W2SE in New Jersey, on a roll now and with fresh enthusiasm I called for another 10 minutes with only white noise and a flattening battery for company. I had three in the bag and not about to give up qualifying OH as a new call area, I decided to go hunting. a little further up the band KB3WAV was calling parks on the air from K1425 Susquehannock state park in PA (https://parksontheair.com/). Answered first call, in less than 30 seconds the QSO complete, and my first NA qualifying SOTA summit was in the bag. The wave of euphoria made the cold and blowing dust worthwhile. The face says it all!


Thanks to the the four who made it happen, I would have liked to stay longer and fire up data modes to try out the PSK-NUE, but the battery was low, and I still had 120 miles to drive to the next hotel.
Lessons learned for International SOTA activation’s:
Buy a second battery for the KX2
If activating in March in Ohio, bring a jumper (Sweater)
Resonant aerials dont need the inbuilt tuner and associated current drain.
Learn how to drive the radio and turn off the display backlight
Work on the CW practice daily to get back to a reasonable standard - SSB is hard work with 5w
Go hunting earlier if the spot has not produced.
More to follow from the North America travels.
73
Tim
W8/G4YTD

7 Likes

The KX2 tuner uses latching relays, so there is no current drain after it finds a match.

wunder

Hi Tim, saw your spots but couldn’t hear you - by the way, you would have been better spotting as W8/G4YTD not just G4YTD on SOTAWatch - it may have caused more response.

73 Ed.

Portable KW, you say? I’ve got one, but it causes a nightmarish amount of RF feedback on the summit. Better at 100 watts. Even better to go CW, where 10 watts is fine.

Elliott, K6EL

Is this a valid callsign? It doesn’t look like one to me.

W8O is the SOTA Regional Code … not a valid prefix for operating abroad under CEPT rules.

73,
Walt (G3NYY)

I spotted using the SMS gateway, will try the web site direct on the next one.

Thanks Elliot - working on my CW skills after a long lay off, hopefully up to speed soon.

Hi Walt
30 hours of airports, travel in planes trains and automobiles - W8/G4YTD was the call used
I typed this last night with one eye closed whilst reading my notes.
All was well on the day, but thanks for pointing it out.
73
W8/G4YTD

I listened for you also… No Joy in Pittsburgh…

btw… You were in “4” land I believe :slight_smile: , but with an English accent you’ll be able to get away with pretty much anything… ask me how I know…

Richard // N2GBR

It just gets better lol
Time I gave this up and went decorating cakes or something instead…
Heading for Arizona next, will try harder!
I asked the RSGB for guidance who advised the 8 on this part of the trip!
Thanks for taking the time out to listen
Tim - G4YTD

Tim
No need for the jumper when you get to Phoenix. Should be 85 today.
73 Burke KF7NP

Thanks Burke,
Its raining in Ohio today - looking forward to the sunshine.
73
Tim
G4YTD

Just type W8/G4YTD instead !

However, not putting the actual correct call doesn’t seem to affect my SMS spots or Victor GI4ONL or Colwyn MM0YCJ spots by any discernible amount. I’d put the slow take up down to rubbish HF conditions.

I used
! W8O ne001 14.246 ssb calling now as the message format

if I substitute ! for W8/G4YTD should that insert my temp call Andy?
Yes, HF Conditions poor just now.]
Hope for greater things in the contest on Sunday from AZ - The HF Packer should be waiting for me at the Hotel, so a bit more umph available.

No Richard, Tim was in Ohio, which according to the map I’m looking at is in 8 region - please let me know if Ohio is now in 4 as I intend activating in Ohio in May! He has dropped the O in the earlier post, so W8/G4YTD was what he was using, just spotting it didn’t come thru.

73 Ed.

The members of the MT are not infallible but I think we may have noticed or been corrected by someone previously had we created a W8O association in W4-land. If it was W4-land we’d have called in W4O, the clue being in the association prefix.

Yeah that’s correct, 8 land… MI, OH and WVA.
Richard // N2GBR