I’ve had a dreadful cold for a week or so and decided that fresh air would either kill or cure me. I had been inspired by some wonderful views of the Alps on my travels this week so an activation of my local “Alp”, Wendover Woods, was in order.
I posted an alert that said I would do CW only due to my poor throat and because I really wanted to try and get some CW QSO’s on 60m. I’ve called and called on 60m CW at home but to no avail. Maybe a CW only activation would be the carrot.
So having driven up to The Woods, I located myself in the usual clearing near the summit (gentle rise) cairn.
I set up the 88ft double Norcal doublet on the 10m pole and listened to the 60m beacons on 5.290. They were absolutely romping in. This boded well I thought with good conditions for 60m operation across the UK.
Now although I didn’t expect to interfere with the beacons by using 5.291 (one of the recommended CW working frequencies), I did wait until a gap in their transmission schedule after 15 minutes past the hour.
After a few calls I was off and relieved to work some nice strong CW signals from G4CMQ, G4RQJ, G4BLH and G3CWI. Things dried up after that but I have to say that based on what I heard, all you 817 users should carry a key for use on 60m. I have heard plenty of distant activations on 60m that were noisy and R2 at best on SSB with me… I reckon a key would have made it at least a workable R4. Anyway enough of the soapbox…
I felt a little mean not using SSB so I announced I would do some SSB QSO’s on FE so off I went. A good run of the “usual suspects” followed (including a first QSO with Carolyn G6WRW) but then my voice really started to give out so I moved off to 40m CW on 7.032.
I started calling and instantly worked Dan DH8DX (not on a summit for a change) but realised there was some QRM on the frequency so I slid up to 7.033 and hoped others would follow. No problem and another nice run followed including QSO’s with most of the G’s from 5MHz who said “wont hear you on 40”… interesting
It was particularly nice to have calls from chasers in Finland (OH3GZ) and Norway (LA1ENA)… two recent new associations. A shame I didn’t get a call from Sweden, another Nordic country that will soon be on board too.
Some other interesting calls including Hungary, Ukraine and Bosnia Herzegovina. It just goes to show that early evening is an interesting time on the LF bands.
I moved to 3.557 expecting a run of G’s but I guess most had worked me on 40m! Other than a few UK stations, I worked DL, F and HB9 on 80m.
I thought about calling it a day at that point but then I remembered something someone said about trying the doublet on 6m. So I tuned it up on 50.090 and started calling on CW… however nothing ensued and I guess better antennas and better notice/alert would be necessary for a successful 6m activation (although maybe SSB might have been better?)
I made one last move back to FE on 60m for a few more QSO’s and decided to go QRT at about 1740z… just as well as I remembered they lock the gates on the forest roads at 1800z!
I quickly packed up and made my way back to the car and down the hill (with a couple of minutes to spare) after a satisfying couple of hours.
QSO summary is as follows:
CW – 4
SSB – 12
CW – 17
CW – 9
TOTAL - 42
BTW… Sorry for my poor keying at one point. One issue was my “woolly head” full of cold, the other is the fact that I have not adjusted the Palm Paddle since getting it out of the box… it is not at it’s optimum for me and I will give it some attention now.
Anyway thanks to all for the QSO’s and to G6WRW, GW0DSP, G4OBK and HA5TI for the spots.
It was especially good to work “old friends” but also some new calls around Europe. Isn’t SOTA great!
73 Marc G0AZS