NP-021 - Horse Head Moor - A Curates Egg

Set off about 09:30 having dropped XYL at her work.
In Halton Gill by 10:50.
Took usual track but at first gate was knocked over trying to open it

  • very strong gust of wind. passage to summit was slow due to frequent
    sudden gusts. Arrived at summit 11:30 - where’s my SOTA pole? I know
    it was in rucksack because I had a comment from a farmer ‘thal catch
    nowt up there’.Well I say summit - it was too windy to stay trig side
    of wall so went through Horse Head Gate and turned right towards true
    summit. Set base at a convenient fence pole.
    Fortunately I carry a 3m pole which fits inside my rucksack this was
    deployed and the doublet set up - I doubt if I could have used the big
    pole anyway.
    Tuned to FE could just hear G0HNW, who was just closing with GD3YUM,
    but he was only 42 a bad sign as I have never heard Paul at less than 55.
    No answers to CQ on 60m.
    Tried 7.065 no answers.
    3.725 no answers. Of course there was no siganl on my mobile so I
    couldn’t use Spotlite.
    Found WAB net on 3.760 and managed to work G0BFJ and G4JZF.
    Set up SlimJim on pole and raised it above wall - all four joints gave
    way at same time. Slim Jim reassembled and leaned against wall a call
    on S20 brought G6LKB and M3ULV, followed by G1LAT and 2E0FSR in Leeds.
    Thanks for spot Stephanie but no further takers but I thought I heard
    a GW station just as both antennas decided to fall down.
    A brisk walk against the wind back to Halton - picking up my SOTA pole
    at the fall down gate :slight_smile: Phew!
    Decided to drive home past Pen-Y-Ghent and noticed car with antenna at
    usual parking spot, Signal on phone so a Sotawatch check showed
    GX0OOO/P was just QSY’ing to 160 CW. Shucks no key.
    Drove down road a bit and parked up - lay dipole along grass verge on
    ground - tuned it as best I could (abt 4:1) and set 817 to mike key
    keyer. 599 both ways - but the worst CW you have ever heard. I had
    never tried this method before and the keys are far too stiff. Managed
    to get my call sign right once by using both thumbs, Sorry John :slight_smile:
    Tansy loved walk and it was reasonably enjoyable in the end.

Roger G4OWG

In reply to G4OWG: Hi Roger, sorry to hear of your less than perfect day. I spotted the alert for your activation and was listening for you along with many others on FE 5.3985mHz. I too heard Paul G0HNW, he was 3/2 instead of his usual 5/9+60dB and I guessed we wouldn’t hear you there, in fact I didn’t hear very much on five all day. I checked 40m but that seemed to be totally dead at the time too. I then heard someone calling you on S20 and followed you down to 145.400 I listened with the squelch open and the rig on full blast for 20 minutes but although there were loads calling you I never heard anyone make it. A spot came for you on 80m but it appeared too late and there was no sign of you there.
Glad you at least managed to qualify, recovered the SOTA pole and got a contact with John under difficult conditions. Hope your thumbs recover soon and the next activation is a little more successful.

73 de GW7AAV