You think I ever remember what day of the week it is?
I always remember when it is Saturday. I especially like Saturdays.
Saturday 28th February 2015 was my mum’s 70th birthday. However, as she was on a cruise ship somewhere in the South Pacific, I didn’t have to worry about that. So I went up The Cloud G/SP-015.
The morning’s drizzle stopped just as I was parking up on Cloudside, and it remained dry throughout my walk and activation. Once on summit, I posted my best wishes to my mum on my Facebook wall, just to be safe, although she would have had most of her birthday where she was, and probably getting ready for dinner.
I used the EA8 kit of HB1B with end-fed and Micro Z tuner. QSOs as follows:
40m CW: 17
30m CW: 27 including S2S with S53XX/P on S5/JA-061
20m CW: 9
Total: 53 contacts for the activation.
Kate and I were on Tenerife over Christmas, but it was a non-Radio visit. We both needed to get away and just chill out, which we did.
Now we are discussing a return visit and I’m angling to hire a car so that we can visit more areas, now that we know a bit about the place, and I can maybe activate El Tiede, and possibly the other peak as well.
Interesting to see the interest generated by others as our holiday plans are in July, during the 6M/10M challenge times.
“Mission Tidy” has taken a bit of a back seat these past few days. Sunday I was in the mood for something completely different - well a bit different anyway. I went out activating trig points for that new WAB Trigpointing award. All local, all non-SOTA. FWIW I did New Farm (“Great Weston Fell”), Mow Cop, Biddulph Moor, Brown Edge, Blakemere (“Merryton Low”) and finally Axe Edge where I got caught in a blizzard! All good fun, and the full reports, details and photos will appear somewhere (but not here) in due course.
On Monday 2nd March 2015, it was RSGB 80m Club Contest night, and the turn of the Data section. I managed to get both PSK63 and RTTY running at home, so left that for Jimmy M0HGY while I went out to operate from The Cloud G/SP-015 portable-style.
Well, it was complete and utter rubbish. I managed to make the sum total of 5, yes FIVE contacts in the 90 minute contest period. I don’t know what went so wrong, but I appeared to have much more difficulty than usual zoning in accurately on the signals on the waterfall, and actually being able to read the transmissions.
It was a while since I last did a PSK SOTA activation, and I forgot a few of the basics. Like I needed my FT-817 set to DIG mode, not CW - corrected after 20 minutes. Like I needed my phone’s sound slider turned up to the maximum - corrected ten minutes after that. But still things were notably worse than they should be.
It was only in the last five minutes when my little interface started behaving oddly that it dawned on me that I hadn’t wound the choke balun I normally would in the coax feeder, adjacent to the feed point of the antenna. That would account for the RF getting back into the interface, but would it explain my difficulties in receiving intelligible PSK63 signals?
I’ll just have to give it a go again next month - and try to remember all the housekeeping! My mood wasn’t improved when I joined the Tall Trees Contest Group after-contest net on 80m SSB, only to sit through long monologues of overs from the guys while freezing to death under snowfall. At least that doubled my activation QSO count, if nothing else!
My mood improved after returning home to learn that Jimmy had smashed his (and mine) previous record of QSOs in the 80m Data series.
Hoping for a return to form in tonight’s 2m UKAC for which I’ll be back on G/SP-015.
What mode(s) will you be using? I’ll try to remember to take a handheld out with me when I go swimming and will stop somewhere on the way back and have a listen for you.
SSB, with occasional CW.
That will be a problem then, as I don’t have an antenna for 2M up at home and the only portable radio I have for 2M is FM only.
Actually, that’s not true, I do have an FT817 but the batteries are not charged up. If I can find the DC lead I might take it with me with a SLAB and the SOTABeam 3 element yagi.
Tuesday 3rd March 2015, 2m UKAC on The Cloud G/SP-015.
Not a bad evening all things considered. I thought it was going to be a disaster, with 8MHz wide of noise wrecking everything from 141MHz to 149MHz from a contest station on a nearby hill. This went on for an hour, but then I think the beam must have been turned - or the power drastically reduced - or the problem fixed or whatever.
On another bitterly cold night, I made 93 QSOs, all 2m SSB, with 33 multipliers (16 UK multipliers x 2 + 1 square from Belgium). Rather enjoyable, apart from the QRM and the freezing cold.
Tuesday 10th March 2015, 2m UKAC on The Cloud G/SP-015.
Dreadful evening. After set up and beyond the start time of 2000z, I could only hear three signals on the 70cm band. I worked my friend Nick M1DDD/P across the valley. He was confused as to why he could only give me a 55 report. I got up and took a look at the antenna, only to find that the crocodile clip and broken off from the core of the Aircell 7 feeder cable.
Using my teeth to strip down the wire, I got enough to wrap around the driven element and secured it using the croc clip. SWR was now good, the next station reported a very strong signal and now the entire band was alive with activity!
However, it was a disappointing night. Not long after 10pm I had made only 53 QSOs into 10 UK squares plus one in France. There had been a gap of 8 minutes between my 52nd and 53rd QSOs, and now another long period of frustration was opening up. It was bitterly cold, and so was I, as well as tired and fed-up. Uncharacteristically, I quit.
So I was home and in bed 20 minutes earlier than I would have been. Sometimes, it isn’t enjoyable and this certainly wasn’t.
Here is a map of my contest QSOs:
Mission Tidy update:
The shack tidy - not going very well.
The diet - not going very well.
The teetotalling - not going very well.
The exercise - at least getting plenty of this!
Sunday 15th March 2015 was just the most fabulous Mother’s Day ever. My mum was away on a cruise ship somewhere in the Far East and my wife was at work al day - doddle! With Liam away on an activity weekend with mates in the Lake District and Jimmy indulging in his customary Sunday lie-in, I decided to go out and play. Again.
I kicked off with The Cloud G/SP-015, to see if I could pick up any interesting DX in the BERU (Commonwealth) contest. This time I took up the 10m GP antenna. It wasn’t exactly hectic, but five QSOs made all had interest value. Four on CW were C4Z and P3M (both Cyprus), V5/G3TXF (Namibia, an all-time new DXCC for me), 9J2BO (Zambia), while after a while of trying, ZS6AI (South Africa) was worked on SSB.
Following that, it was off to do a few more local trig points. The first was Shutlingsloe, the best summit in the area despite it being non-SOTA. Then off to Kerridge Hill, the summit of the well-known ridge that runs from White Nancy (Bollington) at one end, to Rainow village at the other. Finally, a walk beginning in a residential area of Bollington to climb Nab Head. Most enjoyable.
Well here we are folks. M0HGY and I at the bottom cable car station for El Teide EA8 / TF-001. Having coffee and bocadillos ahead of the ride and then summit walk. Route is open, wx is fb and we have permits. Fingers crossed we can get on hf and vhf from the top.
Look forward to working a few of you later.
Where do you apply for the permit please? If we go back I might look at activating El Teide as well.
Sorry here is the English version!
I just clicked on the tab marked “English”
Mission accomplished. Bit of bother with the paddle, sorry about that and thanks for your patience. Also thank you for the excellent discipline when I asked for the /P.
I was also very impressed with the conduct of the chasers when I attempted an S2S with Eva in DL yesterday. Sadly the QSB won and it was only after I’d thanked the helpers who were relaying that there was an s2s calling and said that I was having to bow out that I found how many had been waiting in the wings for their own qso and keeping the frequency clear for me.
Thanks all for your help