I activated Rombald’s Moor G/NP-028 on New Year’s Eve but only managed one QSO after 0000utc, so I failed to qualify for the 2018 activator point Rombalds Moor is usually the first summit that I qualify in the year, so I managed to negotiate some SOTA time for this morning.
I checked out the sunrise time and decided to aim to be on air by around then. I had to scrape the frost off my car windscreen before setting off. The road to the mast was frost covered and icy in places.
I made it to the parking spot with only a couple of tricky moments. I’d had to play ‘hunt the headtorch’ before I left home, but actually it was not needed.
The moor was a riot of sound as the red grouse were doing their own rendition of a dawn chorus.
Gone are the days of a boggy wade to the trig point, now there’s a posh flagstone path all the way.
I’d got my antenna set up in time for my alert but I was too busy drinking in the sky and taking photos as the sun came up!
The activation itself was a fairly standard affair, I’d taken along my favourite rig, an MTR-5B which I built a couple of years ago. I started on 40m CW and then went to 30m and 20m. My time on 30m was cut short by QRM which suddenly appeared, no point trying to fight QRO stations with my 4 watts! I tried 17m, putting my rig into auto CQ for about ten minutes but I didn’t even get picked up by the RBN. By far the best contact of the day was with Sergei RV9DC on 40m, 2,200 miles! Its a long time since I’ve worked so far on 40m. I also got picked up by the RBN in North America, amazing to realise that my peanut power is making it across the pond.
I have a feeling that my 3S lipo is getting tired, I’ve noticed that the charger has several attempts to fully top off the battery. The voltage displayed on the MTR LCD seems to drop off faster than it used to. There’s no sign of swelling or anything else on the battery pack though. Maybe it’s time to retire my favourite battery.