Some of you will know that the activation zone for G/CE-005 is quite large. I decided to take a different approach for the last of my “pointless” activations on Wendover Woods in 2007 and try to locate myself near to the “official” summit cairn in The Woods. This was easy enough as Forest Enterprise has been making new picnic clearings over the last year or so and one of them is about 50m from the cairn.
So I parked up the car near the café and wandered off down the trail to the cairn and the nearby clearing. It was an easy set-up and I put the 10m Sotapole in the middle of the clearing and then tied off the ends of the 88ft doublet to trees at the ends of the clearing. This meant the apex of the doublet was at 9m with the ends about 2-3m. I was pretty pleased with this although I was unsure how the trees would affect the signal compared to the open situation near the trig point.
I also had the luxury of being able to use the in-situ “picnic table” to layout the gear comprising of the 4:1 balun, AT7000 tuner and my Icom 706 II G running about 30W. BTW I used a 17ah SLAB (it wasn’t a long walk in).
I also brought along a mobile phone that would allow me to spot on Spotlite. My normal one has GPRS barred but the spare “pay as you go” phone was fine for this.
So having keyed in my spot on 5MHz, I fired up and was immediately answered by Steve GW7AAV. A good number of QSO’s followed including a S2S with GW0AOD/P on Moel Famau… a new one for me believe it or not!
This continued until things dried up and I moved to 40m CW where I just about managed to find a slot at 7.0315. There was some kind of contest running but I couldn’t work out which one although judging by the way people were moving around, perhaps it was some kind of sprint.
Another good run of QSO’s on CW followed and then a quick move to SSB on 7.116 brought a few more.
I then tried spotting for 30m but it seemed to take a while to make it work so I just started calling anyway on 10.122. No-one replied but as I was thinking about where to go next, I tuned around and found Dan DH8DX/P on 10.118 for another S2S QSO and another new summit for me.
I then tried to spot myself for 80m but I soon realised there was a problem with Sotawatch so I moved back to 5MHz and made some calls for a couple of QSO’s and asked if anyone could spot me but was soon informed by Alistair GW0VMZ that the site was indeed down. So I trundled off to 80M and made a couple of calls on 3.715 not expecting to catch anyone but did manage to snag a QSO with Caroline M3ZCB… probably as a result of my QSO with Martin M1MAJ on 5 MHz a few minutes before
I was just about to pack up but I tuned back to 5MHz and heard Rob G4RQJ/P on Fair Snape Fell so I jumped in and bagged the third S2S of the day… great.
By this stage I was getting quite cold having sat still for an hour and a half. Some of you may have noticed my CW was going decidedly downhill as my fingers got colder despite the 2 fleeces and a jacket on top. I realised my shack key that I had brought with me (a HiMound) has a narrow gap between the paddles that doesn’t suit shivering fingers so I’m off to buy a Palm Paddle tomorrow for less weight and a more forgiving paddle set up.
So not a bad day with 47 QSO’s altogether (mostly on 5MHz and 7MHz but at least I did make a couple of QSO’s on 3.5MHZ and 10MHz too).
Thanks to all that called and especially for the S2S QSO’s with Dave GW0AOD, Dan DH8DX and Rob G4RQJ.
73 and HNY Marc G0AZS