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Not the best one

Hi,
This is meant to be an activation report from G/WB-004 of my huge hf activities earlier today. It is not going to be that.
Decided at the last minute to play a little radio and rang Mickie to see if he would be interested too. 0930 we set off in the Landy heading for South Shropshire and to Titterstone Clee. The last time we activated this hill we suffered blizzard conditions and a wind chill of -35C. Today is going to be warm and bright.
Took an age to finally get to the hill. Seem to have taken a wrong turn or two on the way. (Blame the navigator).
Left the car park and rushed up the steep bit towards the top. OMG…there is a golf ball early warning thing. Did’nt see that last time we were here. Blizzard kept visibility down to less than 10m.
Bit windy today and not too warm either. Woolies and coffee. Bliss.
Mickie was going to do 2m so quickly set up his ‘small’ co-linear. Beggars belief when you see his portable station - keeps him happy though. Bless.
Me, I’m struggling with my hf di-pole today. Peg it all out wrongly to start with, move it, move it some more and then finally hoist it in the air and snap. oops or words to that effect…top section broken.
Adapt and overcome I shall and eventually get it all rigged up but the di-pole centre keeps falling off the pole now…after 7 attempts I am feeling a bit annoyed. Last time then and it falls over, getting itself all twisted around the barbed-wire fence surrounding the radar station, while the remainder of the aerial is now the other side of the fence. Doh!
A little later than planned I put my cq out…and out…and out some more.
QRM increases to S8. “HF not very good at the moment John …did’nt I tell you?” said Mickey.
This is not how I imagined today would be like.
All of a sudden I hear the friendly voice of DL2DXA coming back to my calls and shortly after I also speak with DF5WA. Then nothing.
Keep trying and after a bit of band hopping, I manage F/DL3KMS in the Cote de Azure and then just as the heavens opened up in a biblical monsoon, Karen 2E0XYL on 2m finished off my less than perfect days radio.
Sorry to cut it short Karen, but the Yaesu was filling up with water and Mickey is such an old girl over things like that…he wanted to put it back in it’s plastic box.
I would like to say thanks to the 4 stations who worked my QRT station today in untypical June weather. I would also like to thank 2E0CVU who I could hear in the back of the box, but was unable to have a qso with. Hopefully next time!
Got home at 1800 and I am still soaked to the skin. Wet underpants all day is such a pleasure… All it cost me is £35 in diesel and a new fishing pole.
Oh well - thats radio…on to the next one soon,
73’s,
John

In reply to G1STQ:
Sounds like you had a similar days activity to mine John! I was supposed to be on TW-004, Bishop Wilton Wold, at 09:00z this morning. I set of for the pretty easy run at half 8 BST, well, somehow i missed the turn for the A166, ended up half way into York center! So, drove out Eastwards, forgetting that i was on the wrong side of the A64. Next thing i knew, i was driving through the Castle Howard estate towards Sutton Bank and Thirsk!

By the time i had found a route back (no damn map in the car - ive done the A166 hundreds of times!) and got to the summit i was 2h late. Thats when i discovered that although the laybys on Garrowby Hill are great for VHF, the summit, right by one of my employers VHF local radio transmitters, is pretty appalling.

No rain for me, and my antennas stayed together, but the battery on my 70cm handheld was kaput, and i only managed to complete the activation on 2m because one of my contacts dragged his mate on! It stayed lovelly and sunny, but after 15mins i was tired, in a bad mood and hungry, so i went home.

Think i’ll stick to summits that are hard to get to the top of but great for radio once there!

Cheers to the four stations who did work me up there today. I’ll maybe try it again on HF sometime

Martin

In reply to G7MRV:

I had a similar day. On Beacon Hill I managed all of seven 2M FM contacts (one S2S with Mike on Titterstone Clee). I then called on Wapley hill on the way back. With cows grazing where I wanted to activate I wanted a quick and simple activation so tried 2M FM with the MFD, but had no answers after about a dozen CQ calls and a self spot. So I had to delay and get the beam out. This gave me a single contact (G3RMD). So much for a quick activation, I had to string out the dipole, where I then managed a quick 6 contacts on 60M. On the plus side, it was nice day and only rained while we were driving.

Richard
G0IBE

In reply to G0IBE:

In reply to G7MRV:

I had a similar day. On Beacon Hill I managed all of seven 2M FM
contacts (one S2S with Mike on Titterstone Clee).

Thanks for the contact Richard, imagine my surprise when I turned the rig on and found you calling CQ SOTA? A S2S first contact is always nice. I would have put John on but he seemed somewhat preoccupied with his dodgy antenna :wink:

Seems you had your share of problems too.

73
Mike 2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Looks like it just wasnt the day for it! If i hadnt got lost, i would have spent much longer, even going back to the car for the spare batteries.

The moral of my tale is of course to always keep a road atlas in the car! Even when your going somewhere you know. I didnt appreciate how little i knew of the roads around the main A roads. The A63, 64, 166 and 170 i know well, but the B and unclassified roads linking them up were my downfall!

Hopefully next time im up there i will have the 80m vertical available. My MKARS-80 is crying out to be used in the field!!!

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Well, life was a bit easier as a chaser yesterday…Came home for lunch, turned on the rig to hear Richard, GW0IBE calling from GW/MW. A few calls and I got through which amazed me considering my home QTH location and a colinear. Then heard Mike calling S2S from Titterstone with a 55 signal.I worked Mike shortly after, which is the first time I’d ever heard, let alone worked, anyone on Titterstone on 2m FM. Are you sure you hadn’t inadvertantly connected your feeder to the ‘Golfball’ Mike?! Must admit, I couldn’t hear John on HF at all, but shortly after had a shaky QSO with Helen up in GM/SI land - very noisy!

Jonathan
M6HBS

In reply to M6HBS:

In reply to 2E0YYY:
. Then heard Mike calling S2S from Titterstone
with a 55 signal.I worked Mike shortly after, which is the first time
I’d ever heard, let alone worked, anyone on Titterstone on 2m FM. Are
you sure you hadn’t inadvertantly connected your feeder to the
’Golfball’ Mike?!

Ahhh, at least one other station (maybe two) commented that they’d never heard Titterstone on 2m FM and it was a new one for them. It would seem the X-300 collinear paid dividends once again, Jonathan.

Also, I was surprised to hear a call from Bill GW0FGO down in Newport, who was running low power IIRC, and 2E0MIX on WOTA summit Dollywaggon Pike up in Cumbria.

Must admit, I couldn’t hear John on HF at all, but
shortly after had a shaky QSO with Helen up in GM/SI land - very
noisy!

I’ve tried to convince John, that Amateur Radio is not really for him but he just won’t listen ;-)))

BTW, I learned some new words when John snapped his fishing pole yesterday, so his day wasn’t totally wasted
:-))))

73
Mike 2E0YYY

In reply to M6HBS:
Must admit, I couldn’t hear John on HF at all, but shortly after had a shaky QSO with Helen up in GM/SI land - very noisy!

It seems Jonathan that you were not alone yesterday.

As for Mickey taking the mickey…Revenge is a dish best served cold and I have all the time in the world. Who knows how flat his batteries may be once he manages to get to the top of Helvellyn in a few weeks time??

I did hear you in there but as you say a real struggle. Mind you check out my QRZ.com page and you’ll laugh at mt little 20m antenna with the FT-817.

The planning man with the stick has forced me to 3M height.

In reply to 2E0CVU:

The planning man with the stick has forced me to 3M height.

When there’s a will, there’s a way. Portable / temporary masts are the way to go in such circumstances. If you don’t want a large HF beam or a super long yagi for 2m, then I’m sure with a bit of imagination you can organise something. For many years I had a 16 element at 8m on a telescopic mast. The planning officer came round to look at it, but couldn’t force me to apply for planning consent as it sat below 3m for most of the time.

If you are a member of the RSGB, they have a planning advisory service which will probably be able to assist you.

73, Gerald G4OIG

In reply to 2E0CVU:
As I am now fishing pole-less for a bit, I am thinking of trying my first 4m activation next week just using my Wouxun 699. Hopefully I will have time to make a di-pole before I go.