HF Sunset on Loughrigg

Firstly, apologies for anyone chasing on VHF. I took my FT-817 and have had issues with it on VHF - high SWR - on previous activations. Sometimes it just ‘goes away’. This time both my Spectrum SlimJ and whip antenna both showed high SWR and I knew it really wasn’t working when Robert @M0RWX was heard 59 on White Howe a Staveley Fell and he couldn’t hear me on either antenna. I need to fault find now and see if it is maybe the rig that is experiencing issues.

I should have been out much earlier today! In the end rather than not go out I decided that a sunset was likely going to be just as spectacular as the sunrise surely was. Running lightweight I took the FT-817, a 2200maH LifePo4 3-cell gumstick battery, 6m Decathalon travel pole and SotaBeams Band Hopper IV, all carried in my Runature compact over-the-shoulder bag. Knowing that I would most likely be descending with fading light I took my usual route up Loughrigg from a parking spot off the A593 Coniston Road up Ellers Brow. Summit temperature was around -2ºC with a light breeze giving a bit of windchill.

Radio: 20m was brisk with S0 noise, as was 80m. I like 80m but don’t have it with the Chameleon MPAS 2.0 which I’ve use for the most part recently, and when I have attempted 80m lately it has been quite poor, so nice to get a few good contacts today. 40m was a bit of a bun fight - finding a clear frequency was tough going. My S2S with Andrew MI0TXM was completed with what sounded like an over-the-hill radar running at S9.

After the sun had set the temperature dropped significantly, following the last of the photos I made it back to the car without the need for a headtorch. It was good to get out; the Lakes was really beautiful today with lots of white on the pennines in the distance.

Cheers, Mark. M0NOM

14:45 EA2DT 20m SSB 59 55 Manuel
14:46 OH3GZ 20m SSB 58 59 JUKKA
14:46 IU3GKJ 20m SSB 59 57 Riccardo
14:47 EA1AAP 20m SSB 58 55 Fernando
14:47 EA3EVL 20m SSB 55 53 PABLO
14:48 EA2DDG 20m SSB 59 55 Jose
14:49 SP6KEP 20m SSB 58 57 Radio
14:51 SP9JKL 20m SSB 59 55 Jerzy
14:52 EA2CCG 20m SSB 58 57 Joaquín
14:52 S57ILF 20m SSB 58 33 FRANCI
14:57 2E0FEH 80m SSB 55 44 Karl
14:59 G6LKB 80m SSB 59 55 David
14:59 2E0AGB 80m SSB 59 59 Allen
15:00 MW0SAW 80m SSB 58 53 Steve
15:02 G0RQL 80m SSB 59 59 DON
15:07 MI0TXM 40m SSB 55 57 Andrew SOTA GI/MM-007
15:10 MW0SAW 40m SSB 59 59 Steve
15:11 ON3RMB 40m SSB 58 44 Kristof
15:12 F6FTB 40m SSB 58 56 CHRISTIAN
15:12 M0GQC 40m SSB 59 56 James
15:13 F4HZR 40m SSB 59 56 MICKE
15:14 G4IAR 40m SSB 59 59 Dave
15:14 MW0BYS 40m SSB 59 59 BILLY
15:14 G0FVH 40m SSB 59 59 DAVID.
15:15 M3LDS 40m SSB 59 59 Reg
15:15 GW3YQP 40m SSB 59 59 Chris
15:15 ON3LMA 40m SSB 59 59 Serge
15:16 M0VBA 40m SSB 58 59 Vlad


Broken connection at the socket on the 817. If you use one socket for VHF and the other for HF then it would be a possibility. If you use the same socket it will be elsewhere.

Good call, but everything is through the front BNC connector. I’m going to plug it into the X50 at home to start with, and then go from there.

Cheers, Mark

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Chilly at the moment. Bass lake and Derwent had ice on them. Hopefully you weren’t too cold

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It was OK today - thankfully the wind was fairly light. I did have ice in my water bottle when I tried to drink it at the end of the activation mind!

Thanks for the beautiful photographs in the crisp, dry winter air. An inspiration for the rest of us to get out on a hill.

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HI Mark,

Indeed, I could not hear you. Hope you are able to fix it.
This was my operating position around 15:45 UTC from White Howe.

73, Robert


Thanks for the contact Mark and the report. Cracking piccies.
Stay safe and well. Best 73

Don’t forget my qso at 1513! Great report, Mark & thanks for the contact, 73 John