Int Sota NP-030 report,
Initial plans for this event, was to operate mainly hf to try and get some continental summit to summit contacts. Stuart G0MJG was to take his buddie pole and myself to take a halo for 6m and cut dipoles for 28 and 14Mhz. Our 817,s were to be left behind and use FT857,s utilising the increased power of these radios. Increased power meant bigger batteries.
During Saturday I charged up a 7amp slab and a 1amp hour slab together with these heavier Radios and batteries we decided to do an easy summit either Longridge fell or Lovely seat was chosen as intended targets. Unable to liaise properly during Saturday we left the final decision until Sunday morning.
At 0830 Stuart arrived and we cross loaded cars, a 24amp battery appeared from Stuart and said that was all he had ( these batteries weigh 22lb appx). So off we set with no alerts heading for NP-030 Lovely seat. I still couldn’t believe it as I watched Stuart stuff this super huge battery into his rucksack. ( I know Inky uses one under each arm hi).
The ascent was slow as expected but 45mins and a summit station worked en route saw us on top. We were greeted with a strong NW wind and somewhat chilly blowing showers either side down the valleys. A plan was hatched to qualify from the rucksack antenna on 2m then progress to different bands. This initial response brought in M3EYP/P, G0NZX/P, and G0CQK/P on their respective summits, a good start.
Up went the 6m halo, up went Stuarts buddie pole then that awful realisation all was not right because most of my gear and stuarts are set up for the 817,s we did not have the right adapters to fit the different sockets on the 857, I could have sworn id thrown the right one in but no I hadn’t, indeed it was still attached to the antenna analyser were I had thought I had taken it from I had the wrong adapter. Stuart had the same problem ( you would have thought we would have learned by now!!).
With what bits we had, I cobbled the 6m halo which for some unknown reason had now developed a hvswr so that was unusable, up went the 14Mhz dipole VSWR bang on but wall to wall contest stations right across the band. Sitting there despondent Stuart came across explaining he now had an adapter problem.
The outcome of all these cockups was to deploy the 2m beam and use full chat on 2m ssb this huge battery was going to be used whatever. So it was the luxury of 50watts used on 2mSSb and Fm brought in many contacts including the usual London, Devon, Cheltnam chasers. Whilst all this was going on a right old hooey of a wind was blowing and the showers dropping balls of ice at us.
After over 3 hours summit time the cold was telling and we descended, I learnt later 28Mhz had been open and probably could have used it. Oh well some you win some you lose. Post activation weigh ins , my rucksack lightweight at 26lbs, Stuarts a whopping 44lbs. I doubt it will happen again but it was nice having the power.
Many thanks to all stations worked and to those that made the weekend enjoyable all the same from like minded nutters.
Rgds Keith G0OXV & Stuart G0MJG