Not quite as forecast - or a good way to test the

Good afternoon, all.

Sorry if anyone was looking in vain for me on Cader Idris yesterday morning but it turned into a bit of a farce of an activation.

The forecast said dry with a 90% chance of cloud-free summits. It started raining after I had climbed about 500ft. The light rain got heavier and heavier, with downpours eventually interspersed with hail. This continued for the whole of the 2500ft ascent. The ultra-lightweight “keep them in your sack in case you need them” waterproofs just about held out. Although damp inside, I think much of that was perspiration. I would have abandoned the activation had I not known that there is a proper shelter by the summit - in fact that thought kept me going for the last 1000 ft.

Not suprisingly, I had the summit shelter to myself. It’s usually a very busy summit. I set up just the 2m dipole on the mast which I strapped to the roof of the shelter then discovered that the rain was producing 5/9+60 static. Quick disconnection required. Very quick!

Hence, those few I worked were courtesy of the FT817 and it’s rubber-duck antenna which I poked as far out of the shelter entrance as I could without getting soaked.

Needless to say, the rain stopped just after I left the summit, I emerged from the clag just below the col on the Pony Path, and was in sunshine by the time I reached the foothills. By this time the hoardes were starting to ascend and I got some very strange looks for my bedraggled and apparently overdressed appearance.

Having mentally decided to abandon the second one whilst at the top, I changed my mind at this point and used the sunshine and warm breeze on Foel Offrwm to dry out both me and most of my wet clothing and kit.

Oh, well. I guess the moral of this one is “be prepared” - whatever the forecast says.

73, Richard G4ERP

In reply to G4ERP:

Shades of Gwaunceste!

Sorry to have missed you, but family commitments came before radio… as they often do. Glad to hear that you didn’t suffer the fate of Richard CWI.

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:
Hi, Gerald.

Fate played a bit of a hand here. The program memory in my FT50 handheld got stuffed somehow on the Friday during the cloning process which is used to send new memories to the device so I had to take the FT817 as the spare radio. This actually did me a favour in terms of qualifying the summit as I had a more efficient antenna on the FT817 and SSB capability as well.

I guess I could have pulled the dipole into the shelter with me and used the FT857 but maybe I wasn’t thinking straight.

73, Richard

In reply to G4ERP:

I don’t think any of us think straight under such conditions Richard. It took me a while to sort out the situation on Gwaunceste where I used the 817 and its large whip to qualify the summit through the static rain.

Quite often I come off a summit and think “why didn’t I do that?”.

73, Gerald