Firstly can I just say big thank you to all stations that worked me today on G/SP-012 Easington Fell. This was only intended to be a quick activation, mainly for the exercise after a weeks holiday at home spending way too much time relaxing HI!
I had hoped to catch the odd summit to summit while up there & was very pleased to work John GW4BVE/P on GW/MW-015 on 40 metres after working him on his first summit of the day from home. I sadly just missed Phil G1OPV/P who I heard calling CQ SOTA while on my way up Easington Fell, but for once my VX7R & flexible whip were not enough to get over the other nearby fells.
For a “quick” activation I was very pleased to manage 50 QSO’s which equals my previous highest number, & I could have had many more if I had activated on 2m FM with a J-Pole rather than a couple of quick QSO’s on the handheld while leaving the summit. Not a bad total for me at any time but for a weekday it is remarkable.
I think that is more a demonstration of how radio conditions play a huge part in SOTA. When I activated this hill back in May, conditions on 80m & 60m were dire & the only contact I had that day on 60m was Paul G0HNW, who also happened to be my first contact today, although this time followed by several more stations
40 Metres had been in excellent shape earlier, & today was the first real opportunity I have had to try out the 40m section of my linked dipole since adding that band several months ago.
Conditions on 40m today were as near to perfect as I can remember in a long time, with stations being very strong from the very local, to those much further away in Europe. That really is the type of radio I like, coverage from where I am, outwards, without any gaps
I also tried a new, smaller battery today, as 7Ah does seem a bit more capacity than necessary for the usual single summit activations I do using an FT817. My smaller battery is a 2.2Ah slab, which on test gave more than ample time for a good activation at 5 Watts, & performed perfectly on the hill today.
I wasn’t even intending taking any photos or video today, but in the end I took lots of photos & have quite a bit of video too. This time I tried to focus more on the main problem you will encounter when activating this summit, boggy terrain. After the rain we have had recently I was expecting conditions to be much worse than they actually were, & I actually took the direct route following the wall without over-topping my boots at any point.
Several stations remarked that this was a new summit for them, which I was very happy to give them, along with the chaser point. I of course receive no points for this activation as I have already activated it this year. I did it purely for the fun of playing radio (under good conditions for a change) from a nice summit in pretty good weather, & of course for the exercise
I will upload some video, once edited, to Youtube & a selection of photos to Flickr, but for now I am enjoying a nice cold Beer, which I have been looking forward to all afternoon
Once again, a big Thank you to all who worked me & to Steve GW7AAV & Don G0RQL for the spots & invaluable assistance today