Lunchbreak activation of Billinge Hill

Hi all,

Just a quick report on todays Lunch break activity on G/SP-017:

Have had my FT290R in the boot of the car for over a week waiting for a chance to do Billinge Hill in my Lunch break, as I am working in Haydock for a couple of months.

Parked down from TX Towers and followed the path alongside the Golf Course and strolled to Trig point.

Setting up the FT290 on the Trig Stone with internal Duracell Batteries and using it’s internal telescopic whip. I wasn’t expecting too much on 2m ssb, the radio was raised up at the front with a small block of 3"x 2" this made the antenna protrude at a 45 degree angle.

I was surprised at the calls and distance I got in the next 20 mins: Mike G4BLH in Nelson, GW1CJJ, Phil in Colwyn Bay and the best of all G0RQL, Don in Devon. 2.5 watts into a telescopic antenna and only 180 meters ASL “Amazing”

For a quick snatch during my Lunch I was very pleased to get these and two others close by.

I was going to sell the FT290 but I think I will be experimenting further from higher ASL’s soon

Thanks to all who come back to my CQ and 73 from me


In reply to G1JPV:

Hi Tony

Im glad you have got on ok on Billinge Hill,I have often stay up in ST Helens with work and park at the layby at the entracne to the summit path. I was very disappointed with my Icom Ic e91 just sat in the car , the pager interferance was wiping everything out the same as on my icom ic 7000.

Im Glad you had a good activation and you worked Don down in Devon. Ive worked him many times.

Tristan 2E0VXX

In reply to M3VXX:

Hi Tristan, Billinge is not ranked high on my list of favourites.

The last time I was up I used an Alinco HT and 2m fm suffered breakthrough until I moved round the brick tower hiding from the tx towers. Today using 2m ssb I did not get any Qrm.

this visit I enjoyed better than my last time


In reply to G1JPV:

Tony, I think you’ll find the lack of breakthrough is to do with the design and manufacture of your 290 rather than using SSB. Many “electric handbag” radios of that vintage should be good in environments like Billinge, such as the TR-2300, TR-2200 etc.


In reply to MM0FMF:

Having yet again suffered the appalling performance of my VX5R front end on Hope Mountain this afternoon, I rue the day I sold my FT 290 (with Mutek front end!) many years ago… doh!

73 Marc G0AZS

Well done Tony,pleasure to have the opportunity to work you on your 290 and 2.5w,bit of a struggle but glad we made it before the qsb.I still have my 290 Mk1 plus Mutek front end, purchased in 1983 along with the Ft790.Wouldn’t part with them.Don.

In reply to G0RQL:

Hi Don,

always a pleasure to hear your call when Im up any hill!

and yes will be keeping the 290 and now looking out for a 790 to go with it