G/NP-005 in the snow.

Looking up at Ingleborough at the weekend, I decided that I could ignore it no longer, I had to get up there and look down for once!

I use the MWIS weather forecast and I saw the prediction for clear skies today. Following the snow that had been forecasted for yesterday, I knew that today would be a mountain day not to miss! http://www.mwis.org.uk

I have been disappointed of late by the lack of UK stations that I’ve been able to work, 40m has been long for each of my recent activations. I’d like to try 60m but I can’t face digging into the cupboard under the stairs for parts to make a new antenna or parts to load up my 40m dipole. My 80m dipole was to hand and I had found my FT817 recently, having last used it in November. I decided to try 80m CW today, in order to get contacts a little closer in. I’d say that I was fairly successful, having worked G3RDQ, GW4VPX, G0NES, G0HIO and G4AZS.

I worked my way up through 40, 30 and 20m, it was nice to finish off with 3 contacts to East coast US. I struggle with the keyer timing on the FT817, it’s ever so slightly different to my MTRs, but I did better than I thought I would with it. I needed to use my FT817 to give me 80 metres.

later edit
I meant to mention that 40m didn’t seem to be working very well and my FT817 was showing a couple of bars of reflected power (VSWR). When changing to 30m, I discovered that I’d changed the wrong links! For 40m I’d been using the 30m driven element and 40m ground side element. I blame it on the minus temps and high altitude! (my new QTH is at 85m ASL)
edit end

I really enjoyed my day on Ingleborough, it was as good if not better than I had hoped for.

73, Colin


Thanks for the QSO Colin, and the great photos!



Hi Colin,
These clear sunny snowy days make the best SOTA photos. Well done! 73, John


The white snow and blue skies - great pictures - never mind Ingleborough, pictures 3,4 & 5 could be anywhere in the Arctic or Antarctic!

Great pictures.

73 Ed.

P.S. you said:

What type of antenna were you using? With a driven element and a ground side element are you just refering to the two sides of a linked dipole? if so you’re not the first to do that - I’ve had one side at 20m length and the other side at 40m length before (oops - still worked but as you say, the SWR isn’t great).

Hi Colin.

Thanks for the cw contact on 80m…nothing heard on 40m. Great pics.

73 Allan GW4VPX

Or maybe the moon! :new_moon:

Yes, I was using a SOTAbeams Band Hopper 4 dipole. Technically I guess, the elements of a dipole are equal, being a balanced antenna. Without a BalUn, I’m thinking that the element connected to the inner conductor of the coax is the most critical to be the correct length. I might experiment!

I enjoyed our contact, you’re CW confidence has really grown!

I’m sorry I messed up sending your name - I really meant it when I said the FT817 keyer hates me!

Hope to work you again soon.

73, Colin

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Hi Colin,
Both sides of the dipole are critical as effectively one half works “against” the other to get balance. OK then you did the same as I have done in the past and on the same antenna. Although I like trying out other antennas, that SOTABeams Bandhopper (80/40/30/20m) linked dipole remains my “go to” antenna as it always works.

73 Ed.