Wow, it’s been hot here. If tik-tok is to be believed (please don’t go there if you value your time) British summers are a special kind of heat. Well, I don’t know about that, what I do know is don’t wear synthetic t-shirts on ascents!
It was later in the afternoon when I tackled Holme Fell G/LD-051. There were a number of options along the taxi route I took for Brooke and her friends from their party location near Settle but we ended up in Coniston where I left Brooke and her boyfriend play in Coniston Water (very warm apparently) whilst I took to the ascent.
There were two motorcycle accidents on the route - please take care if you ride. One was clearly a van pulling out from a layby - I don’t know how fast the bike was going. Ride within visibility always. The Settle road is a famous biking route with Kirby Lonsdale and specifically Devils Bridge being a popular destination to ‘hang out’ with other bikers - today there must have been close to 100 bikers parked up there with the same amount enroute.
I had a few radio options in the car but chose the FT-857D already in the rucksack together with the SotaBeams Band Hopper IV, 10m compact pole and 21AH LifePo4. Yes, that battery again! Somehow carrying the battery via a handle seems easier than carrying 1 or 2 x 4200 mAH LifePo4s in the rucksack. I don’t think the knees agree however.
I anticipated there would be few mad enough to tackle any hill in this heat and I was proven right being the only occupier of the summit for the two hours I was there. There was a light breeze which helped, and the odd cloud for some relief. I’d been shopping earlier for some supplies for our pending trip to Rhodes so deployed the newly bought factor 50 before the ascent.
I setup the Band Hopper IV and immediately had another wire breakage - I think it is time for a restring as this has happened several times now.
Summit Cairnstone Pile
Using 50w with the FT-857 and the Spectrum Communications Slim-J got me a few unexpected contacts including Mark G7SXR in Leeds and G4JNN in Bradford.
Starting with 20m to get a S2S with Martin F4JJD on F/CR-258 I then had a good run of contact on 20m. The QSB was having an effect on weaker signals and I had to request callsigns a few times. 40m was working both Inter-G and into Europe.
Only one taker on 80m - I’ve not used it much as I haven’t been using the Sotabeams Band Hopper lately and it is the only antenna that will sensibly do 80m. I did try 60m, no takers.
Not many takers on 20m CW given that I was putting out a 100w CW signal, but great to get across the pond with Matt @W4GO and deep into Europe with Kosmas @SV2SOQ - apologies to him, I’m still loitering on misheard letters instead of re-listening to the repeats, but we got there in the end! I was using the palm straight key, hopefully it didn’t sound too eratic. Great to finish with another S2S with Emanuele @IZ0ETE who was on I/UM-101.
A lovely day in the Lake District but almost too hot for activations!
Sotabeams Band Hopper & Spectrum Comms Slim-J
FT-857D sitting on top of the Ultramax 21AH LifePo4
There is a large boulder on the ascent/descent to Holme Fell from Yew Tree Tarn, I’ve probably taken a photo before but here is a photo with me infront, just to give some scale!
Large Boulder on the Ascent/Descent
Yes it really is quite big!
Thanks to all the chasers, it was late in the day for SOTA but a worthwhile trip.
Time to get that Band Hopper 4 restrung with fresh antenna wire.
Regards, Mark. M0NOM