Given the biblical weather we had here yesterday in the Lake District - heavy rain and flooding - the last thing on my mind was the possibility of a SOTA activation. However, having had a lazy start to Sunday I checked the weather report and was surprised of the modified prediction of light winds and no rain. Sunshine even later! So I hurriedly topped up a LiFePo4 battery and threw my usual SOTA kit into a rucksack. Arriving possibly quite unusually by motorbike at the Kirkstone Inn car park I took the 45 minute stone staircase to the summit. I was expecting it to be wet under foot but most of the stone was dry and easy.
I setup at the tarn near the trig and got going quickly on 40m having found that I still have issues with the 80m section of my linked dipole. Cracking run of 20 chasers on 40m mostly in Europe but some UK stations. Two S2S’s initially with OE5REO/P on OE/OO-345 and HB9CRY/P on HB/LU-010.
Moving to 20m band conditions were still good even though there was a Scandinavian competition on. Moving to 2m brought in some local chasers and two contacts on C4FM. Back to 20m another two S2S were completed with OE9HRV/P on OE/VB-465 and HB9DIZ/P on HB/LU-025.
It was time to brave a CW contact - I’m still very much a noob - in then end I thought I would be able to copy DL0FUL/P - a club callsign - on 40m. It was going well until the MCHF rig totally hung and required a reboot which lost the frequency, but at least this was after callsigns and signal reports were exchanged. Not brave or competent enough yet to try a CW activation. I chased one SOTA activator last week - but at least chasing you get a chance to copy the activators callsign a few times to ensure correct.
I then noticed the spot by Herbert @OE9HRV on O/VB-465 saying ‘state side is open’ (what a great thing to put in a spot Herbert!) so I moved back to 20m for another run including Phillip @VE1WT which was great!
With the SOTABeam 10m compact mast strong enough to support both the HF antenna and the Slim-G 2m/70cm antenna I was fortunate enough to catch Viki @M6BWA calling CQ on 2m from G/SB-007. Earlier I had noticed her alert and used the Solwise Wireless Elevation Tool to find that it was pretty much line-of-sight from Red Screes (skirting over the top of a North Pennine summit). So we managed both a 2m and 70cm QSO without any difficulty.
I then talked to a couple of others calling CQ on 2m including MM6JIG in Wigtown, Scotland, for whom I was his first contact ever as an M6!
To top all this the sun came out and I happily donned my sunglasses and took the opportunity to take some great photos. Roll on the winter bonus!
Date: 14/Oct/2018 Summit: G/LD-017 (Red Screes) Call Used: M0NOM/P Points: 0 Bonus: 0
|11:45z||OH0X||14MHz||SSB||Scandanavian Contest RX: 1751 TX: 0001|
|11:50z||S57WJM||14MHz||SSB||Mitha JN76HA Slovenia|
|13:51z||MM6JIG||144MHz||FM||Wigtown 85 yrs old|
|14:36z||IZ5DRL||14MHz||SSB||Mario 2ele beam 500w Expert Amp TS990|