Over the last few weeks I’ve attempted my first HF CW activations (and my first for a year).
A few weeks ago I attempted Cracoe Fell (G/NP-032) but had to abandon it due to thunder and lightning.
Over the last couple of weeks I was on holiday in North Wales and activated Mynydd Bodafon (GW/NW-071) and Holyhead Mountain (GW/NW-069). I used my FT817ND and 20/30m link EFHW with homebrew matching transformer. These were successful with plenty of contacts on 20m including the USA and a couple on 30m. My CQ calls resulted in a mini-pileup so I was very happy.
Today I activated my local summit of Rombalds Moor (G/NP-028). As well as the 20/30m EFHW I also took a half wave for 40m and set this aerial up first. My CQ resulted in 3 contacts in 10 minutes including an S2S. But the fourth was elusive. At this point I heard a local station calling on 2m on my handheld so I managed a couple of FM contacts so the activation was in the bag. I then found the 40m end fed also has a low SWR on 20m (as you would expect) but my CQ SOTA went unanswered, so I switched to the 20/30m wire and put new batteries in my FT817. Still no response to my CQs on either 20m or 30m. I did manage one contact on each band though.
So the trip was successful in that I proved the 40m end fed works and I got the point, but it wasn’t as good as when I was in Wales. So I wonder why things were different.
- Was it a difficult day for everyone?
- Is the take off from Rombalds Moor poor?
- Was I just lucky in Wales? - perhaps the proximity of the sea helped.