Great Shunner Fell was my first activation - well sort of but as I only managed 3 contacts I was so dejected that I didn’t submit the log. On that occasion I think I moaned about not getting any contacts on 2m. Since then I have never not qualified a summit - but I have got the hang of spotting.
Knowing what HF has been like for the last couple of days I started on 2m, and the band seemed to be in a time warp, so much so that it was quite hard to find an empty frequency. I presume conditions were good but for 11AM on a Tuesday morning I was very impressed and easily qualified the summit.
The same could not be said about my attempts on HF, indeed I was wondering if I had an antenna fault as all that there seemed to be across 40m and 20m was noise with the odd QRO station emerging from the noise, occasionally. A couple of CQ calls later, and an attempt to get a S2S ended with failure. Looking at Solar Ham I notice that the Kp index is 5 which I think is a minor geomagnetic storm explaining my relative failure on HF.
(VHF equipment FT-270 into a Jpole at about 5m. HF Equipment a KX2 (Yes I’m keeping it) into a 40m EFHW)
I’m wondering if I should have brought out the FT-817 and tried 2m SSB - although my 5 ele hb beam isn’t really very good (mechanically) and tends to change polarisation mid activation…
Once again thanks to the chasers, apologies for my barking sidekick (Woody)
My first two activations had one contact each so no points. The first was my local summit Rombalds Moor G/NP-028 so it wasn’t a big deal but the second was Scafell Pike G/LD-001 so that was 10 points I didn’t get. Both were with a handheld so not that surprising. But I still uploaded them so they counted as activations.
I was out recently in similar conditions but still managed plenty of HF contacts. There was clearly sporadic E about, even on 20m, which may not be affected by geomagnetic conditions (?). The higher bands can work here too. This was all on CW which probably helped a lot compared to SSB.
Sorry I missed you for a S2S today, I arrived at Holyhead Mountain (GW/NW-069) at about 11 but the weather was awful (thick fog, rain and humid) and the paths so overgrowm I really should have brought a machete rather than walking poles (one which I managed to break hacking at the bracken).
I did get one S2S with John (M0VCM) on G/NP-004 (
Whernside), 59 both ways, so G/NP-006 should have been possible. Better luck hopefully on Yr Aran (GW/NW-019) tomorrow - weather looks better.
I’m not a propagation expert but I believe a mid-to-high K value mainly affects the lower HF bands like 40m. The SFI was okay this morning (~160) so I wonder if you would have been better off on 20m or higher frequency.
Is it 40m only? My EFHW does 40/20/10 which helps in that situation.