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GW-MW010 and NW009

After meeting Gerald (G4OIG) on Aberedw Hill the other week, I was inspired to try 2m SSB using an old FT290 and a newly bought MML LNA/PA that Gerald had also very kindly told me was on sale on ebay.

I set off to Gwaunceste (which is local to me) complete with lightweight tent as I reckoned that 1) it’s not a busy part of the world and 2) with the weather as it was, there would be even fewer people around who might get disturbed by the tent which has a very low profile in any case. The tent was so I could operate despite the heavy showers and drizzle of yesterday.

The 2m SSB worked fine, as it should with the SOTA beam and 30W. Contacts were Richard G8JVM and a s2s with Carolyn G6WRW on an (I would guess)almost moated Clee Hill.

I had my SG2020 on 80m too and QSOd with Ian M0RGI and John and Mike GX0SCR/p with whom I also had a QSO on 2m SSB. Finally, with a large black cloud overhead showing lots of ominous vertical development, I packed up the tent, FT290 and HF gear before doing some quick 2m fm QSOs with Neil and John, M3NFL, G4OJS both from Bromsgrove.

As the weather looked a lot better this morning I set off for Cadair Idris with FT290, 2 handies, and the SG2020 together with all the other bits. I can guess what you’re thinking and you’re correct - too much caggage. Note to self - there’s no need to take all my toys with me next time. I thought the climb up the Minffordd path was harder work than usual and the reason was confirmed at a rucsac weigh-in on return - 19kg is not huge but it could be lighter. Still it’s all good exercise.

The backpacker’s contest was going and this gave me QSOs with GW8ZRE/P, GW4RWR/P, G0HIK/P on 2m SSB together with Frank on hols in Wexford EI/G3RMD/P. I’m afraid I was unable to give the post code for Cadair which was needed for the comp - but I did have a brief surreal vision of a postman delivering a package to the shelter hut there.

I also had fm QSOs with Patrick, Dave, Steve and Martin -GW1SXN, GW3XRM, 2W0BIX/M, GD3YUM. Thanks to Martin for pointing out the FT290 is off frequency -this explains why all the beacons weren’t quite where I expected (DUHH!)

I then opened with 80m but conditions were not good and it started to drizzle - my small brolly came in handy then. I tried without success to call GB4TCM and then I became hungry and keen to rejoin my flask of tea in the car; so I packed up with no 80m contacts and the 2020 could have stayed at home. Packing up at this point was a lucky call, as the rain became heavy just as I left the summit and stayed that way until I got back to the car.

I did see the view from Cadair briefly (honest) and even felt some sun on my face at times.

Many thanks to all those with whom I had QSOs.

73s Neil (MW0ECX)

In reply to MW0ECX:

Pleased it worked out okay Neil with the new linear and that you enjoyed the contacts on 2m SSB. Interesting report. I hope we can have an S2S sometime soon, not just half of one… if you see what I mean!

73, Gerald

In reply to G1ZJQ:

It’s been a long time since I owned an FT290 (lovely little rig!) but I seem to remember that it is fairly simple to put it back on frequency, involving a single trimmer. I no longer have the circuit diagram but perhaps the info is on www.mods.dk, its worth a look! By modern standards the board is spacious and easy to work on!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to G1ZJQ:

I seem to remember that it is fairly simple to put it back on
frequency, involving a single trimmer.

I’ve just stolen this from the web, can’t find the link now to credit the source!


If this is just a couple of KHz then realign PLL local osc. If it is
several KHz (possibly 10-12) off frequency then suspect PLL local osc
xtal X02 (18.7414MHz).


Realign L1002 (FM TX osc coil). If frequency error is significant then
suspect xtal X1001.


The PLL circuit alignment procedure is very critical because of the ambient
temperature change. This alignment must be performed under temperature
conditions between the range of 15 to 30 gr. Celcius. If your transceiver is
exposed to temperatures beyond this range for an extended period of time,
the transceiver should sit in the proper temperature for at least two
hours before you start the following alignment procedure.

  1. PLL Local, IF Alignment

(a) Set the MODE switch to the FM position, and adjust the frequency to
146.000.0 MHz (model B: 145.000.0 MHz).
(b) Set [TC 3001] to the center position, and connect an oscilloscope to
pin 14 of [Q 3006].
© Adjust the cores of [T 3001] - [T 3003] for maximum amplitude on the

  1. VCV Line Adjustment

(a) Tune the transciever to 146.000.0 MHz (model B: 145.000.0 MHz) and
connect a DC voltmeter to [R 3014].
(b) Adjust [TC 3001] for a reading of 3.5 volts on the meter.

  1. PLL Local Frequency adjustment

(a) Set the MODE switch to FM and tune the transciever to 146.000.0 MHz
(model B: 145.000.0 MHz). Preset [VR 3001] and [VR 3002] to the
center position.
(b) Connect a frequency counter to the cathode of [D 3002] or [D 3003]
© Adjust the core of [L 3007] for the frequency of 135.190.0 MHz (model
B: 134.190.0 MHz).
(d) Now turn the CLAR switch on, and rotate the main knob one click
counterclockwise (1 step)
(e) Adjust [VR 3001] and [VR 3002] for a frequency of 135.189.9 MHz (model
(f) Repeat the alignment from step © to (e) a few times to be sure the
proper frequency is obtained.

If it’s only a little off then you may want to live with it. It’s not a problem on SSB as you can tune it out easily. Bit harder on FM but not impossible.


In reply to MM0FMF:

Many thanks for the information. Something to do in the long wet afternoon. Hi!