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How I laughed

I picked up an Alinco DJ-G7 triband handheld the other day. It was a bargain price (don’t ask, you’ll cry) but had 2 problems. No charger and it doesn’t turn off properly. Not a real problem, just whizz the battery pack off when not in use or it will discharge within a day or so rather than a few months. All I need now is a suitable summit where 23cms contacts are likely.

I received an email from John GM8OTI saying he was out for 23cms activity night and I thought splendid, I can nip up Cairnpapple Hill and bag him on 23. After a brief exchange, I had 2 sort-of skeds, one with John and the other with Ray GM4CXM in Glasgow, both LOS to Cairnpapple. Smashing, lovely, super!

And so it came to pass that after a hard day at work, an hour at the dentist and smashing meal that couldn’t be beat, I grabbed the DJ-G7, my double quad antenna, some lengths of microwave coax and just for good measure my IC80-AD handy. That gave me 2m, 70cms FM and DV, 2m, 70cms FM again and 23cms FM and set off for Cairnpapple Hill SS-254. A drive of almost 15minutes… would I be able to go the whole way without having to stop and take a break. I did stop to check the rear wheels because the driver’s side rear disc is binding. Again. Grr!

At the car park I grabbed the box of swag and about 3 mins later was on the top. It’s a bit of a joke because the car park is in the AZ but screened by the ground that is higher around. Now the double quad is built into the lid of a plastic box and that contained the DJ-G7, IC80-AD, 2x rubber ducks, coax, speaker-mike and the battery which isn’t left on the radio due to the problem. Remember the problem from the start of this epic? So anyway, I connected the double quad to the coax and the coax to the radio and then the battery to the… hang on where’s the battery. Where’s the battery? WHERE’S THE BATTERY?

Oh noes! The scream of anguish must have been heard all over the Central Belt. Now I could have gone back and got it but that would have turned a quick 45mins of fun into something else. And it would have been dark. So I alerted and called on 2m FM. Just as well I’d brought 2 radios with me. In 20 mins I’d worked Ken & Christine GM0AXY, GM4YMM in Edinburgh, David MM0RAM in Falkirk and quite amazingly, Steven GM7UAU in Greenock. That’s a 75km path obstructed by the Kilsyth Hills using a rubber duck and 5W.

So some chasers got a suprise point they weren’t expecting. And I got a surprise I didn’t want. I’m going to make a wee blanking shield to slip in the between the battery and contacts so I can leave the battery attached. I can laugh (well grimace) about this as I got a point. But it was 2x 23cms QSOs I really wanted. The battery, of course, was sat in the shack where I’d left it.

So now next month’s activity night beckons and I need another simple summit and there’s none as simple as Cairnpapple. But it will be light till gone 10 by then. Allermuir perhaps?


In reply to MM0FMF:
Hi Andy,
I bet you laughed! We all do these daft things. However, well done in making a looming debacle into a winner - not easy north of the border. 73, John.

In reply to MM0FMF:

You could always fix it!

I had a hand portable CB like that back in the day that I got for a fiver. When I opened it up changing the switch was a job and a half so I broke in to the positive wire and inserted a little slide switch in to the side of the rig. Mind you that was the size of two house bricks and took ten AA rechargable batteries.

I also bought a brand new radio cassette at a rally for a pound which I had in my caravan for over twenty years. With that I simply mounted it with a rocker switch off the power lead. Probably the best quid I ever spent.

Bet you paid the best part of a tenner for the G7 then Andy. Pity about missing the 23cms contacts. :0(

Better luck next time Steve GW7AAV