For some reason I have developed a weird obsession with doing five different modes on one band in one activation. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know. I wasn’t going to go down the line of doing a series of datamodes either, because the SOTA Database doesn’t recognise them as distinct. In any case, I currently only have the capability to do PSK31 and PSK63 with my portable set-up, although it would be feasible to add RTTY to that, something I hope to develop before next February.
Anyway, more of that later. The obsession was achieved today, but there are other activation reports to catch up on first.
Tuesday 4th November 2014 - The Cloud G/SP-015
This was the penultimate RSGB 2m activity contest of the year. I decided to give the new SOTAbeams SB2 antenna a try, to see how it compared with my usual SB5 5 element beam. This is the antenna:
I would also be using the new rotating guying system from the same supplier, that I have been using successfully with the SB6 6m beam:
Upon arrival at the Cloudside parking spot, the first thing I noticed after switching on the headtorch, was that the midges were down - and bothering. Two hours after sunset. In November. The most overused phrase on telly over the past month - “unseasonably warm” - probably explained this. I hastily got my gear sorted and got on with the ascent, to get away from them.
Thankfully it was colder and breezier at the summit, so there was no midge problem there. Hang on, did I just suggest that I was PLEASED that it was cold and windy on the summit on a November night? Good grief.
In the contest I worked 92 stations in 18 multiplier squares. Together with another station worked before the contest while testing the station set up, the QSO total for the activation was 93. I found that the SB2 was much quicker and lighter to rotate than the SB5, but yet my overall results were comparable to what I would normally achieve with the much larger SB5. It certainly gave me much to ponder regarding my antenna of choice for the 2015 series of events.
Here is a map of my contest QSOs: