G4OBK TW-004 on Top Band 19/02/09

Hi All

I hope to rise early Friday morning and be on TW-004 around sunrise while the band is still usable. Look for me around 1832 KHz 0715-0730z but be aware that at that time the band may still be open for DX so I may have to QSY higher up the band.

I have identified the 3 best sites for operating away from the A166 and will site myself at SE 83177 55267, which I feel is the best spot away from power lines and overhanging trees in the way of my long wire antenna. There are electric fences in the area though, but the FT-857 noise blanker copes well with those. I won’t be on 80m as the chosen aerial presents too high an impedance there.

Hope to work you tomorrow CW/SSB on 160m 1832±/1843± KHz and then I will QSY to 40m CW. 60m SSB will be last.


In reply to G4OBK:
Hi Phil,

What kind of antenna do you use on 160m ?

73 Alain F6ENO

In reply to F6ENO
Hi Alain

At home I use 60m long 3/8 wave inverted L tuned with vacuum variable capacitor at feedpoint. Vertical section is 28m high horizontal 32m long with several thousand metres of radials.

For tomorrow /P I will use 38m long 1/4 wave inverted L with two 19m long radials on the ground, fencing wire also if there is any in the vicinity. 10m vertical pole and 28m horizontal. It should work into near EU at that time of day. (sorry will be too late for HA/S5 I think). Hope I can get out of my bed early enough. Short drive - only 35 Km from home QTH and roads run over over this summit. So my person powered ascent will be about 100m walk!
I will (of course) use your excellent ADI2SOTA software to load my log into the SOTA Database. Thanks again for producing it Alain - it is a real time saver for me.

73 Phil

In reply to G4OBK:
Hi Phil.I was very pleased with the contact this morning on 160 ssb.I cant recall working SOTA on top band before.73 and hope the knee is soon sorted.ATB Geoff G6MZX

In reply to G4OBK:
It makes me feel like digging my topband portable aerial out and give it an airing! What time you thinking of being QRV Phil? Sean M0GIA

In reply to M0GIA:

In reply to G4OBK:
It makes me feel like digging my topband portable aerial out and give
it an airing! What time you thinking of being QRV Phil? Sean M0GIA

I’ve been and was back home by 10.30am Sean - report later.


G/TW-004 Activation by G4OBK/P on 20th Feb 2009

Gear: FT-857D set at 70 watts O/P - powered by 13 AH SLAB
Aerial: 125 feet inverted L supported by 10m pole with end tied off at 4m AGL. Tuned against 2 x 66 feet radials on the ground. Resonant on 160m but tuned on 30m/40m/60m bands with LDG Z-100 autotuner.
Camping chair and a plastic box used as a “table” owing to the ease of access to the “Summit” and an ongoing problem with a sore knee.
Distance walked: 175 Metres x 2
Ascent from vehicle: 6 Metres
Operating position: Behind fence adjacent to lane at SE 83177 55267. A recce trip was carried out the previous day and three possible operating sites were identified well away from the A166 road. This one was QRN free with no noise from electric fences. The spot was well inside the activation zone information supplied to me by G0AZS (TNX Marc). The circumference of the AZ on TW-004 is approximately 16 miles long. Whilst I am a very experienced operator on the 160m band this is the first time I have used the band for a SOTA activation, and I thought it was about time I opened up an account there within the SOTA activator database.

I left home at 0625z and drove the 20 miles to TW-004 from Pickering, arriving at 0710z. The pole was fastened to a fence post with bungees and the far end of the inverted L was elevated using a standard SOTA Pole fastened to a field fence.

I was QRV on 160m on CW at 0727z with G3RMD the first station logged (Thanks for spotting Frank). 1832 KHz was clear and several stations were worked. A move to call CQ on SSB on 1842 KHz brought a response from a station outside the UK who said the K5D DXpedition (Desecheo Island)was transmitting on 1843 KHz, so I moved up to 1850 Khz where 2E0IOG Darren in Burnley was worked. I went back to 160m at the end of the activity and worked a few more.

Next was 40m and then 30m CW with the auto ATU in-line. Most of the usual suspects were worked. With the K5D and T27A DXpeditions in full swing both working split 7032 was covered so I used 7028 Khz - that got covered by DX callers too, so I ended up on a clear QRG of 7015 KHz. It’s a good job we have SOTAWatch and the spotters who are such a big help. SSB on 60m went well with 9 QSOs - not bad for the early hour - it was before 0900z, no danger of a DXpedition landing on top of you on that band! A last look at 160m on 1850 KHz brought two final QSOs on SSB - local G4DAX, and Michael DJ5AV - a good solid QSO with 57/47 reports exchanged at 0852z, which was over 90 minutes after my sunrise. I did hear Brian G8ADD call me on 160m at 56 but he obviously wasn’t hearing me well enough to exchange reports. This was a nice quiet site at my end.

Countries/Stations worked:
160m CW: G3RMD EI2CL EI7CC G4SSH SM6CMU(0734Z), G4BLH GX0OOO/P(S2S NP-005 0806z)
40m CW (22 QSOs)DXCC: G, LA, F, ON, HA, S5, OK, DL, EU, SP.
30m CW (5 QSOs)DXCC: OK, DL, G, SM, YO.
60m SSB (9 QSOs)DXCC: G, GW.

QRV 0727z
QRT 0852z
48 QSOs logged.

This turned into a successful operation which included an S2S Top Band QSO in CW with GX0OOO/P (G4YSS John) on G/NP-005 Ingleborough. The QSO was not prearranged - thanks to G3RMD and G4SSH for alerting me that John was coming up on 160m and to GW0DSP and G8ADD for spots.

73 Phil G4OBK

In reply to G4OBK:
Hi Phil,
Fun to work you on Top Band cw and ssb. You were a good signal on both modes, and pleased to note your S to S with John. Think that was probably a first, for that band?
Hope your knee improves soon.

In reply to G3RMD:
Hi Frank,

No I think it has been done before, not long after SOTA started and John was one end of the QSO. I’m sure John could tell us more, so we must wait until he gets back from another of his marathon days out in the Yorkshire Dales.

73 Phil