Thank you to everyone who worked me today on 20m from the top of F/MC-195 Mont Lozére. I was pleased that Ron GW4EVX got the honour(?) of my first QSO from outside of the UK - somehow I was glad of that extra “W” in the callsign! As I mentioned on the spots, and a little on air, I did not remeber to pack my logsheet and pencil! I had nothing to write with or on, but as I was up there and conditions were good I forged ahead. I know that I comfortably qualified the summit, but I have no log of it. I was wondering if a mnimum of 3 of you (an S2S with Geoff 2W0BTR/P will make up a fourth) could please send me details of our QSO so I can at least log the activation? I do not think that this is breaking any rules - if so, no worries, I am sure I’ll be up there again.
A few tidbits for those that are interested: Heavy QSB was evident both ways. Looking at the Chilton ionogram shows that the MUF for paths at about 1000km was round about 9MHz. Es is also in evidence on the ionograms, so I suggest that the activation largely took place via this mode. I could also hear several ZL stations at R5, some moving the meter to a 6, so multi-hop F2 was also good today! Interestingly, after a little while a British station (who i couldn’t name and shame even if I wanted to due to my lack of log, hi) came on 50Hz above me. He was sounding quite annoyed at some of my chasers, informing them that “this frequency is in use!”. I did try to get back to him and explain, but no joy (perhaps due to my QRP set up). A friendly DL station also rallied to the cause, explaing that a SOTA station was on 50Hz below him and he either did not hear or did not care!
The other thing was the aligators. I tried (unsuccessfully) until I was blue in the face to get a signal report back to Frank G3RMD, who was really struggling to hear me and every time I repreated and repeated and then called “over”, a variety of stations would come booming in with their calls! Not conducive to weak signal QSOs, gentlemen!
My final contact was with Geoff 2W0BTR/P who was on GW/SW-026. He was 3/1 to me, and I 2/1 to him. It took a lot of repeats and riding of the QSB to get there, but we did! I am convinced that my Maplin el-cheapo in-ear headphones saved the day. They are of the sort that have squishy rubber gaitors that expand into your ear, sealing the noise in. I was elated at the end of this QSO, to have had my first contacts away from home and also get that S2S with my Dad at just 5W both ways. It was one of those days when radio feels truly magical, like it did as a child.
Thanks all and 73,