My CW speed was up to 18wpm by the end of the recent CQWW contest, but already it has slipped back to 16wpm. Since terminating my membership of the gym and not yet joining a new one, my fitness has also slipped, such that I am getting beaten at squash every week, and having colleagues not known for their blistering pace ghosting past me at five-a-side on a Friday.
Two birds, one stone, back to a walk up The Cloud every day. Possibly…
I set off from home at 0620, and spoke to Steve M0SGB and Frank G6TNO on the GB3MN repeater on the drive. I collected the gear (almost forgot the pole) from the boot of my car, and set off on the ascent just after 0650. It was still completely dark, and so I took a hand torch to illuminate the stairs. In fact, the torchlight was still needed when out of the trees and up on the ridge.
The torchlight was still needed on the summit, for unpacking the rucksack and laying out the legs of the dipole. This was actually quite hard work in the dark, and I was much slower than usual in setting up.
Eventually, I was QRV around 0725, but failing to solicit any response. I was further hampered by there being an existing QSO on 7.032, thus meaning I would have to find a different QRG to that for which I had alerted. I spotted myself on 7.031, and put out a few calls with no response. Then a loud voice station appeared, splattering all over 7.030 to 7.034, so I rested for a while. When it disappeared, I noticed that 7.032 was now clear, so I called on there, and was called back by a very loud DL6DQI.
Further calls brought only silence until a G station called me five minutes later. This station wanted a conversation rather than a rubber stamp QSO, but seeing as I was wanting to practice my CW, that was not a problem. We had a longish contact lasting 8 minutes. I was by now behind schedule for getting to work on time, so two more contacts with PA0HRM and DL4FDM were very speedy, and then I had to pack up and descend. I think there was another station calling me after Fritz, but I really had to go - apologies.
I frantically collapsed the pole and wound in the dipole, then legged it down the hill. At least it was now light! I was in the car for 0805, and arrived at work at 0831. So a late mark for being 1 minute late to staff morning briefing, but sufficient time to change into my suit and meet the pupils at 0840.
Might very well have another go tomorrow. I really need to pull the timeframe forward by fifteen minutes or so, and aim for a 0700-0730 operating window.
73, Tom M1EYP