I’m getting very lacklustre in my planning these days. I knew it was going to be a windy day, and having spent a couple of hours on Gummer’s How in the wind last weekend I wasn’t really in a hurry to repeat the experience. Even with a tarp the wind just somehow seems to drain your energy and warmth regardless.
However - the one saving grace today was that the wind was coming from the NE which meant I could setup on Gummer’s How facing the west - which was kind of the point of today’s event. Didn’t fancy my chances with the SOTABeams Band Hopper IV in these conditions, so I opted for the Chameleon MPAS2.0 - a first for me using it SOTA. It is very sturdy and provides a reasonable SWR match on 6m - 60m. Handy when you are hunting down S2S.
- 21AH LifePo4 Golf Cart Battery
- RM Italy HLA-150V amp
- Chameleon MPAS2.0
- DD Superlight Tarp
- Paper logging
Yes, this lot did weight some!
I opted for the Chameleon choked 50ft COAX so I had the option of separating operating position from antenna. As it happens I found a good rock with protection from the wind and managed to get the spike of the MPAS2.0 in about 1/2 way which was good enough to keep it vertical(-ish). The wind really gave it a hammering - the whole thing seemingly 20 degrees off vertical at times!
I was on the summit for around 2.5 hours and stayed long enough to see the sunset. By this time I was getting chilly and decided it was time to pack up. I spent plenty of time seeking out NA activators but wasn’t very successful - 15m & 18m seemed to be the best bands, and were definitely opening towards the end. 20m was hopeless transatlantic.
My CW skills would appear to have solidified a little and I didn’t need many repeats and only made one error - corrected by the other station before the QSO ended. Six S2S in total with @W4KAC Ken, @VA2EO Eric & @AJ2I Alfonse very welcome EU-NA S2S. Also of note was NG6R Jerry all the way from Long Beach, Los Angeles, NW7E in Oregon & @W7GA Greg in Salt Lake City - some good DX there into the USA!
10m was serving up some tantalising DX including The Falkland Islands, in the end I had to content myself with Western Sahara, Brazil and Israel.
Many thanks to all participants - sorry I missed the bulk of the EU activators!