Loughrigg Fell

My first SOTA in ages on a windless, cold winters day in the Lake District. My IC-705 internal battery was depleted so I decided to go old school and take the FT-817 together with my new SOTABeams Tactical 7m mast and the trusty SOTABeams Band Hopper IV. Power was via a 3 cell LifePo4 2200 mAH external battery.

I’d struggled previously to find a location on Loughrigg that will take the width of the 80m dipole but this time round I found an East-West ridgeline to the South that I had never noticed before from the summit. This was helped by the unusual southerly light breeze.

Band conditions were good and I had a nice pile up on 40m with skip distance starting very close in - within 20km and extending into Europe. 20m was S0 which was nice and drew in a few chasers from further afield.

Unfortunately I’d forgotten my BNC adapter for the FT1XD and couldn’t raise anyone on 2m FM. The FT-817 has a problem on 2m so I didn’t even try.

It was great to hear so many familiar voices on HF, and I’m hoping to get out over the winter more and make use of the bonus. My SOTA points have crept up very slowly this year due to other priorities and distractions!

Cheers, Mark.

13:30 G7SXR 40m SSB 59 59 Mark
13:31 ON3RMB 40m SSB 59 55 Kristof
13:32 EA2DT 40m SSB 57 44 Manuel
13:32 G0FEX 40m SSB 59 59 KEN
13:33 M0RWX 40m SSB 59 59 Robert
13:33 GM4WHA 40m SSB 59 59 GEOFF
13:34 GW6OVD 40m SSB 59 59 Mal
13:35 G6AEK 40m SSB 59 59 Dave
13:35 G4TCI 40m SSB 59 59 Mike
13:36 M6KWB 40m SSB 59 58 Kelly
13:37 2E0AGB 40m SSB 59 59 Allen
13:37 M0ICR 40m SSB 59 59 Carl
13:38 M1AOB 40m SSB 59 59 Richard
13:38 G6TSJ 40m SSB 59 44 Phil
13:39 ON6ZQ 40m SSB 58 55 Christophe
13:40 G0HRT 40m SSB 59 59 Rob
13:41 SP6KEP 40m SSB 55 55 Radio
13:41 EA3EBJ 40m SSB 54 56 Roca
13:42 G1BBY 40m SSB 59 59 Walter
13:43 PA3GLK/QRP 40m SSB 56 56 Dave
13:44 G4OBK 40m SSB 59 55 Philip
13:44 GM5ALX 40m SSB 59 57 Alex
13:46 2I0WMN 40m SSB 58 57 William
13:47 2E0XGO 40m SSB 59 59 Richard
13:48 GI4TAJ 40m SSB 59 55 Joe
13:49 G3OKA 40m SSB 59 59 John
13:49 G7ORH 40m SSB 59 58 Shaun
13:50 M0TZR/P 40m SSB 59 59 Paul
13:52 G8KHR 40m SSB 59 59 Mark
13:57 2E0LDF 40m SSB 57 58
13:59 MM0GHM 40m SSB 59 57 Graham
14:00 G0MHF 40m SSB 59 59 John
14:04 SQ9MDF 20m SSB 59 57 Leszek
14:05 CT1ETE 20m SSB 59 57 PAULO
14:05 DF2FN 20m SSB 59 59 Hartmut
14:06 SQ9NOT 20m SSB 59 57 WIOLETTA
14:06 S57ILF 20m SSB 57 55 FRANCI
14:07 OE7PHI 20m SSB 55 55 HANSJOERG
14:07 OE3GKQ 20m SSB 59 45 Gerhard
14:08 EA2DT 20m SSB 59 44 Manuel
14:09 EA2DDG 20m SSB 57 53 Jose
14:09 OE5EEP 20m SSB 59 57 Heinz
14:10 OE6STD 20m SSB 58 53 Horst
14:10 DD7UW 20m SSB 59 55 Horst
14:10 DL1DRA 20m SSB 59 59 -
14:11 F1PBZ 20m SSB 59 59 Mike

Nice run of QSO’s there Mark. I’m curious as to what the problem is on 2m with your 817?
Mine has a problem on RX on 2m FM but if I gently tap the top of the case it works fine!
I’ve removed the case but I can’t see anything loose. Strangely 2m SSB is fine and speaking to Yaesu they seem to think it’s a problem with the filters.

73 Chris M0RSF

Hi Chris

Symptoms are:

  • receive is fine
  • no output power
  • high SWR on transmit

I tried replacing the pin diode that switches in the 2m transmit signal path, but I’m not convinced that has cured the issue, even though the fix perfectly matches the symptoms. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Can’t be relied on.

I haven’t tried 2m SSB but that might help the problem diagnosis.

Regards, Mark.

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Just been looking in the messages in FT-817 Groups.IO site - might be worth looking at this: ft817@groups.io | Bacon frying on 2m - saying that over time the front/rear antenna relay can stick - this would be fixed with a tap.

I’m going to check mine.

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Are you continuing with your morse Mark?

I just had to check David, as I had a very similar comment on my Great Gable activation a few years ago:

Blockquote Magnificent:
QSO’s, Across the pond and S2S
Feel good factor
SOTA and Wainwright points
Just need to add CW to make it
Totally Magnificent

Yes, still doing morse, although I have had so much to learn for work since I moved job 18 months ago that there has been little left in terms of mental capacity to keep the learning programme going. I joined the Long Island CW Club as a lifetime member, and am always planning on dropping into a few sessions, but that hasn’t happened in a while.

I don’t appear to have improved appreciably in the past 18 months which is probably in direct correlation to me not practicing actively.

On SOTA activations with the IC-705 I have my Palm Pico Paddles always to hand, but I typically chase rather than activate. Every time I hear an activation with a pile up I get scared…

Regards, Mark.


Thanks for the QSO Mark.

G/LD-047 Loughrigg Fell is my favourite summit in England.

Perhaps the weather skewed my opinion when I did visit, but when Loughrigg Tarn came into view, it was like entering a completely different world. The summit has various small ‘tributary’ summits and dog walkers, fell runners and photographers arrived from all directions.
A great place to visit - with nice views - and spend a summer’s day at.

73, Robert


Good to see you getting back out Mark. Really nice photos and I’m glad you found some sheep.