I just had time to squeeze this activation in before the year end. I like to activate TW-001 TW-002 TW-003 and TW-004 once a year if I can. The weather was better today than it has been for some weeks so at 1300z I left home to drove to one of my most local summits, the one point Gisborough Moor TW-003. This is a 40 minute drive for me and then a 40 minute 2 mile easy walk up a track on to the grouse moor near Commondale. A good test of the heart, the new tablets I am taking (Valsartin 96 Mg High dose) seem to be OK for me so far. I did not need to stop and was never out of breath, although having said that, Gisborough Moor is a flattish walk from the road…
I set up on the plateau. My 5m travel pole was on its last outing as a 4m pole after a breakage shortened it on October 11th to 4m when I activated Cairn Table in Scotland. After today it is pensioned off for spares. I have another new 5m one ready to go.
I went straight on to 20m 14063 at 1445z and worked just the one USA station - NE4TN who is a regular in the logs of EU CW activators. I guess Walter has a very good antenna and station. There were 3 other EU stations on CW and one on SSB - special mention SV1RVJ. Before 20m a shout out on 2m with my FT-4X and RH770 whip produced one QSO with M0IOC near Peterlee. No IO83 or IO82 effect here Tom. I didn’t waste any more time with fruitless CQ calls than I needed to and went to 20m. A move then to 30m brought a nice wee pile of stations, including good CW friend Kurt HB9AFI/P on HB/FR-049, S2S, great stuff. It had been worth the walk… After 10 minutes the interest on 30m had waned so I moved to 40m CW and they came again - excellent show from the chasers today. I went to SSB after 7 minutes CW action and the first QSO on phone another S2S - it was Chris DL1CR on DM/NS-122. Great to work Kurt earlier then Chris from a summit as I take the points from them as a Chaser very regularly, so good to give one back! At 1521 after 31 QSOs I was still sitting comfortably in the heather below the wind so I decided to try a call on 60m with my unmatched 40m dipole. I don’t have the KX2 built in ATU, when I bought the radio about 4 years back it was too expensive. However the rig survived five minutes of use without the PA going up in smoke and eight guys were hopefully pleased to make a 5 MHz QSO: GI4ONL, F5JKK, DK1WI, DL4ZM, G4FGJ, PF2X, G4YBU, GW4VPX. When I was in QSO with Allan GW4VPX somone else fired up thinking I was working them. No sir, whoever it was you are not in the log. The power meter on the KX2 was indicating 5 watts out on a 10 watt setting due to the mismatch and the SWR was off the clock, I guess it was around 6:1 or higher. Using the radio like this is not recommended, don’t try this at home folks! A few pics here, thanks to ON6ZQ for the Log2MAP. Home by 1730z for a chicken dinner…
It was my pleasure, dear Phil. Unfortunately I hardly heard you on 20m and 30m.
That’s why I waited impatiently for your spot on 40m and it worked.
Does the sign mean that dogs must be on leads but not on bikes?
Good one Phil glad you were able to hike ok nothing worse than the lungs feeling like they are half full of water. My meds are sorted now too I decided I did not need to take them and back to my old self. No more dizzy weeezzz all the way.
Ian vk5cz …
Phil, after I saw your spot for 2m FM, I went out to my cold outside shack hoping to work you on 40m or 60m CW. I was thinking, heck Phil’s a long time on 2m - must be working a pileup. After a few 40m CW QSOs whilst waiting I gave up and went back into the house. Half an hour later I realised that I still had the Spots band filter set to ‘VHF only’ from a few days ago so hadn’t seen your HF spots. I had only just missed you. Lesson learnt. I can’t be the only one who’s been caught this way.
I’ve requested a feature addition via the SOTA website contacts to make the filter icon change in some visible way when set (eg a tick mark, colour change).
Phil, from your photo you don’t appear to have / be using an internal ATU with your KX2. My KX2’s internal ATU loads up my 40m EFHW a treat (1:1.0) on 60m and I highly recommend adding one.
Hi Phil, sure nice to catch you on my last (easy) summit today…
73 cu kurt HB9AFI
I just can approve that too. With the internal ATU from the KX2, I get SWR <1.5 from 80m to 10m, including 60, 30, 17, 12m and always a good performance with my 20m long EFHW using a 1:49 unun.
Nice to see you & tnx QSO
Unusual configuration: I chased you.
Thanks to all for the responses guys.
@G8CPZ Andy and @DL1CR Chris:
On the ATU (KXAT2) suggestions for the KX2 - it sounds like the small board you can buy to perform the tuning works extremely well for matching a bad load - and so it should at £239.95 + postage (W&S)! I just checked my accounts and when I bought the KX2 from the same supplier on 29/06/16 it cost me £798.45 including post. I got it just after the Brexit vote result and subsequent drop in the pound at the old stock price. The KX2 is now priced at £949.95 plus postage. If I weren’t so lazy I would extend my home brew link dipole to include 60m at zero cost! I did buy an LDG Z-100+ ATU from a silent key sale for £60 three months ago, but when I set out for TW-003 I had no plans to activate 60m so I didn’t carry it. Once I had been on 40m it was just that there was sufficient daylight and I was comfortable down in the heather that I decided to try 60m and run the risk with a high SWR.
Glad you sorted your spots filter Andrew. I tend to take all spots for SOTA but I use heavy filtering for DX spotting which come in to me also on Telnet via the VE7CC CC User application.
The Elecraft accessories are very expensive and most of them not worth the money, battery pack, microphone etc. however I admit it would surely be very convenient to have that ATU board inside the radio, I just cannot bring myself to pay out such a large sum of money for it. I would never recommend the KXPD paddle key either to anyone thinking of buying it. When I got mine it was around £110 (now its £165.95). A key I had problems with, many sending errors. It needed regular adjustment and cleaning and I sold it on after a year or so’s use. I was fortunate to buy one of the swivelling fixed on Palm keys from SOTABeams just before they stopped making them, and have never had any trouble with that.
@VK5CZ Ian - glad you are feeling FB without the meds. You are right with your thoughts about the lungs not feeling like they had any capacity. If I had stayed like I was in Oct 2019 which was with the lungs exactly as you describe so well, I would have given up activating for good.
@VK1DA Andrew - the gamekeeper Nigel runs a tight ship on Gisborough Moor. He lives at North Ings and keeps watch over the moor very closely as he has access to the top via land rover. Woe betide anyone caught letting their dog run loose on the moor or riding a trials bike. I saw more grouse there on Monday than I’ve seen anywhere I would say. Nigel was waiting for me on Monday when I came off the Moor near to the road just to see what I had been doing up there. He doesn’t miss a thing on that moor!
@HB9AFI Kurt - after chaser contacts earlier that day from home it was great to hear you call me from HB/FR-049. Photo looks like you are near some sort of platform adjacent to an almost snow-free shallow ski slope. As I type this you are spotted today on HB/SO-008 7032.5 - what a prolific activator you are Kurt! I must now stop typing and call in…
@SP9MA fb Jarek - very pleased to give you a point when you have given me so many as a chaser.
73 and Merry Xmas to you and all the readers
Phil, I’ve never regretted going for the best, albeit more expensive, option – whether it be AR gear, hiking equipment, hi-fi, cars, etc – that I could afford. It’s true that Elecraft radios and accessories - like most US-made products - are very expensive here in the UK.
The KX2 is not a perfect radio [could there be such a thing?] but since my dear wife got me one as my most-expensive birthday present ever a few years ago, I still think it’s the best all-HF-bands CW portable rig available for my needs.
The ATU allows me to use my 40/30/20 EFHW on all bands and my CW-subband-optimized 80m dipole for SSB at the high end. I’ve sure you won’t regret getting the KXATU2. I agree with you re other KX2 accessories.
I tend not to use my KXPD2 paddles since I bought a Palm Pico, preferring its smaller paddles and paddle spacing. However, I find in winter weather that I can key the KXPD2 wearing thin long-fingered cycling gloves and make fewer errors.
I’ve met that keeper a couple of times. Always been very pleasant with me - and after I told him what I’d been doing he expressed an interest and told me he gets frequent other visitors doing the same.
He’s got extremely sharp senses too!. He asked me if `i could smell something like a fox with a chemical like smell, he was quite puzzled and we checked his landrover to see whether or what it was.
30 minutes later as I was approaching the entrance to North Ings he rushed over to me and asked me if he could smell my binoculars - which he did. “Its those I could smell” he said and I’d given the body of them a wipe over with some old cleaning rag a day or two previously. Still not sure whether it was me that also smelt of fox.
Hi Phil, Dave & all,
Haven’t been on here for weeks but saw your report and very pleased you’ve been out. Enjoyed reading it too - in fact the whole thread but most importantly the bit about your improved medical situation. That made me the happiest! Great news.
Sorry to tell you that Roy went in Scarb. Hosp. with the virus yesterday. It’s not good because of his other problems. If further news I’ll do a dedicated post. We cancelled our Christmas in Keswick yesterday too so no summits from LD for a whole year from me.
I’d like to wish you and everybody else a Christmas that’s ‘as good as it can be’ and a much better 2021 than 2020!
Keep up the good work Phil. All I can think of at the moment is TW4!
I did hear you faintly on 20m Phil, but not well enough to try a contact.
John, sorry to hear about Roy, please tell him we’re thinking of him if you are in touch. My brother and niece are both just recovering from it (he’s a primary school teacher). Sadly our plans have also been curtailed and we have cancelled our trip to the in-laws. Hopefully we’ll all start getting back to normal next year.
I was thinking of going up TW-003 tomorrow, but it looks windy. There’s more shelter on TW-001, so I might go there instead.
Happy Christmas and a better 2021 to you all
Terrible news about Roy going into hospital. I read today that Scarborough has had a big increase in Covid cases, in fact we have the most cases in our county according to Scarborough Borough Council. Let us hope for better news soon and my thoughts are with Roy and his family.
Guess you are mentionning Roy, SSH; very sadend to hear about his health issue… have missed him for months as a regular chaser…
Please send him my best wishes for a full recovery !!
Yes, we are talking about Roy G4SSH.
Thanks for keeping us informed John about Roy G4SSH - I didn’t get on the reflector last night due to working in a contest so the bad news has come late to me. Really sorry to hear that Roy has contracted Covid-19 in his care home. We hope and pray he will pull through. He has been long missed on the usual SOTA freqs since being forced to leave his home QTH.
Further news awaited.
Many of us changed our Xmas plans - no family gathering here - we cancelled it on Wednesday until we have had the vaccine. With stepdaughter’s baby on the way and us oldies its just too risky, especially with the high level of Covid in Cardiff where they live at present. Our butcher is freezing our turkey. Will probably take it off him around Easter time and have it then.
73 and all the best as can be
I sincerely hope Roy pulls through as I lost my sister to it earlier this week.
Our thoughts are with him John.
David and Christine at G0EVV