Today’s activation started to go wrong when we left home in Derbyshire several days ago, heading south to Dorset. I had left behind the mast!
Having visited a bait & tackle shop in Poole to secure a stand-in (just 6m, but a nice 2nd-hand pole as it turns out) our intended activation of Win Green Hill, G/SC-008, was back on.
Once there it became apparent that I’d also forgotten my guying strings, bungees and straps. So I had to make do with using the dipole (with single back stay) to support itself. Fortunately I was able to get one end into the stand of trees at the summit, whilst also staying well within 25m of the trig point for trig chasers (TP0738 in square ST92). This was with the extensions for 80m attached.
Helen, 2E0VMD/P, called from the trig on 2m using just the handheld whilst I finished setting up for 80m. Then I started with FT8.
Of course I’d planned ahead and adjusted my settings the night before. This included changing back from a VK-prefixed call sign (although I never used wsjt whilst there). So how did it gather a spurious W? For the first 3 QSOs I was sending GW4TJC - oops. Having fixed that I then found I’d compounded this mistake by sending GW4TJC/P in my spots too! Double oops.
So, to be clear, my log says G4TJC/P. I did occasionally send the right call along with the reference and of course the IO80 square, so hopefully it was clear what I meant.
Slight drizzle on the screen kept making the pointer jump and my little track pad would not behave itself.
With 5 FT8 QSOs logged I swapped to 2m FM (one QSO) whilst Helen worked a veritable pile-up on 80m SSB. When it came to my turn on the mic the supply of chasers had dried up somewhat. There were enough though to satisfy a quota of 4 proper person-to-person contacts as opposed to machine-to-machine. We concluded with a quick go on CW. The antenna is tuned low and seemed to perform better here. Thanks to Allan GW4VPX and G3RMD Frank for that.
Helen fielded questions from many dog walkers, including one M6 from the nearby signals unit at Blandford Camp.
Thanks to all the chasers. Happy New Year!