This one I put on the alerts as QRP 40m activity - I wanted to try out the FT-817 on its own (SSB of course, I’m still not a Morse convert), which was perfectly successful. Usually for HF activations I’ve taken my homebrew 35W linear, which I built as a result of finding it hard to be heard on 80m when operating from a favourite location near the sea. It’s not particularly heavy but the batteries are.
It’s a nice little hill, with an even easier access than that described by Andy MM0FMF in the summits info. I will put a note there about an alternative parking spot, which is marked on a recent 1:50000 OS map. There is also a prehistoric (?) fort marked on the OS map as well, but there are few traces of this at the summit, and I didn’t notice any obvious hut circles on the way up either - probably needs the trained eye of an archaeologist (though I used to survey standing stones in my youth, which is another story).
The pack was much lighter with just one 12V SLAB instead of the usual three, and I was at the summit in 25 minutes. A quick shout on 2m FM (no beam for SSB sorry, that hill is surrounded by bigger ones and I wouldn’t have got out for 2m DX) brought Ken GM0AXY and Christine GA4YMM (many thanks for the spot Ken), and then Tam MM0TGB/M in Fife. Fairly good copy to Fife, considering me hiding out of the wind near ground level at the trig point and using the rubber duck antenna; unfortunately I’d forgotten I was using the FT-817 internal batteries at that point, and these can’t have been fully charged (or they don’t hold much, maybe - I normally use an external battery) as I’m afraid I lost Tam - sorry for that.
Once I’d set up for 40m with the usual inverted V (but a bit lower than usual because of the amazingly strong wind - photo on Flickr) a few calls suggested that the frequency I’d alerted was clear, though looking at the spots it appears I may have inadvertently thieved Martin’s (OE5REO/P) frequency - sorry about that. We did speak S2S later which was great - my first S2S outside the UK I think, many thanks indeed for that Martin. Peter DL8YR was the first contact (many thanks again for the spot), and there were ten contacts on 40m before the frequency went quiet, which was fine, especially considering it was a Monday morning and I was running 5W.
All told, a successful little trip, and there are now clearly so many chasers around on HF for me to manage with the bare 5W on the FT-817, which will save a bit of weight. (The antenna, of course, whether HF or VHF, is the key component.) Of course, on suitable hills I will still be carrying the usual load for VHF/UHF ssb work, and that can only get heavier!