Yes, well done on the FB 100+ last night Walt. You weren’t alone though - many ops went through the 100 QSO barrier in last night’s activity contest. I finished on 78 QSOs, 6 DXCCs and 16 multiplier squares, which is reasonably respectable from a 5w SOTA activation I reckon.
Don’t worry about Richard either. He’s always lightning quick to pounce whenever I contradict myself, however trivially! Not as good as my wife though, who can spot the most slight of contradictions I make, especially when a period of nearly 20 years exists between the mildly contradicting statements.
Tuesday 6th July 2010
Evening meal of gammon and pineapple, followed by Liam’s scrummy homemade “American style” soft chocolate cookies, and I was asking Jimmy what his plans for the evening were. Would it be the 2m contest or the World Cup semi-final between Holland and Uruguay that won his attention? “Bit of both” was his reply.
I left the house just before 7pm, almost forgetting my headtorch, and Marianne calling out “Pick some eggs up while you are out”. Hmmm. The parking area on Red Lane at Cloudside was busy, but there was room for me at one end. I kitted up and set off on the familiar walk.
The summit was busy with walkers and runners, and many of them wanted to chat about my activity. A couple even stayed until just after 8pm so that they could see the station in action. One of the young ladies with the running club asked me what kind of programme I was presenting and what music I would be playing! The inevitable polite explanations and trying to appear keen and flattered by their interest meant that although I should have had time to spare, I was only fully set up by one minute before the contest start time of 8pm.
Not that it mattered. The first four minutes or so had me calling fruitlessly without response, somewhat embarrassing with the lady and gentleman sat by the trig point and waiting expectantly for something to happen! Thankfully, Tony 2E0LAE put them - and me - out of our collective misery and was 001 in the contest. I later noted that Tony had spotted me with the comment “Slow start”! He wasn’t wrong with just three stations then worked in the first ten minutes!
I decided to abandon ‘running’ on a QRG and switch to S+P operation. I normally manage to run for the first 30 to 45 minutes of a UKAC before going S+P, but tonight I had to be decisive. The benefit of this was that I now got most of my multiplier squares in the log in the first hour, whereas usually several of the significant ones don’t appear until after 9.30pm.
Jimmy made his appearance in my log at 1933z, and was indeed switching between the contest and the World Cup. After completing the exchange, he reported that Holland were winning 1-0. Many of the stations worked had some pretty big serial numbers, even in that first hour, and several were heard with 100+ by the end. DXCCs worked by me were G, GW, GI, GD, GM and EI, while locator multipliers claimed were IO63, IO64, IO74, IO80, IO81, IO82, IO83, IO84, IO85, IO90, IO91, IO92, IO93, JO01, JO02 and JO03. Heard, but ‘gotaways’ were IO70, IO75, JO00, JO11 (ON) and IN89 (GJ). The last one was agonizing, as he responded in the affirmative to my request to QSY “up 3”, but then I never heard him again!
A pleasing feature of this contest was the large number of stations I had not spoken to for ages, that were worked in the contest. This included many ‘old friends’ from the early days of SOTA. Another significantly large cohort of the stations worked mentioned that they were looking forward to the SOTA talk at Bolton Wireless Club on Monday 12th July 2010. If they all turn up it should be a big crowd!
It had tried to rain a couple of times, but it stayed dry and the wind across the summit steadily died down as the evening went on. So it was all very pleasant, and I celebrated with a pint of Robinsons 4-4-2 and a delicious Spearings meat pie with a blob of Colmans English mustard in the Harrington Arms, Gawsworth, afterwards.
My evening was not yet complete however. Next stop was the 24 hour Tesco in Macclesfield for half a dozen eggs as instructed by Marianne!
Many thanks to everyone that worked me.