Playing on NW-051

The wx is looking fine for Sunday afternoon so I am planning on indulging in my four favourite pastimes: (in no particular order!) Hill walking, SOTA, playing amateur radio and playing with military radio equipment.

I have operated from there before using my Clansman PRC-351 running 4W into its own 1.2m whip antenna with contacts made on 4m and 6m (radio covers from 30 to 76MHz in 25kHz steps).

On Sunday I want to experiment with my PRC-352 which is the '351 with a strap on 20W amplifier. I will also be using a ground spike antenna to test out how effective it is (or not!). As the name suggests it consists of a short spike pushed into the ground to which is attached a matching unit into which two, three or four element rods are placed depending on the frequency being used.
The idea is that the antenna can be placed in an exposed position but the radio can be operated from a sheltered location.

I appreciate that not everyone has equipment for 4m but in the past I have always been fortunate with contacts on this band whenever I have been /P.
I would ideally like to make a few contacts on 6m but cannot call on the ‘official’ calling channel of 51.51MHz so I normally operate on 51.55MHz, so if anyone would like to make a sked for this band please let me know.
I will have a 2m/70cm handie with me so hopefully an obliging chaser will be able to spot my progress via contacts on one of these bands.

Best wishes to all,


P.S. Will be away from the keyboard now until Saturday evening.

In reply to GW4EVX:

Will try to remember to look for you on 6m Ron - hopefully at least one setting on the HF dipole will resonate on the band.

73, Gerald

I had a very enjoyable couple of hours this afternoon, decent wx and plenty of activity and the antenna tests went well.

Thanks to Mike GW0DSP, Ian 2E0EDX and Roger MW0IDX for putting the spots on for me.

I had a lunch break before setting up and tuning around on the handy heard Rob G4RQJ/P on LD-013 on 2m ssb. Whilst the handy can receive ssb it can only transmit fm so I was glad to hear Rob say that he was also doing 2m fm. As expected he had a great pile-up but I managed to finally break through for a S2S. Also had three more S2S with Steve G1INK/P on SP-012, Jimmy M3EYP/P on SP-015 and Gerald G4OIG/P on NP-016.Fourteen contacts in all on 2m.

6m and 4m were more of a struggle but managed four contacts on each band in the end.On 6m Ian 2E0EDX in Blackpool (best dx!), Mike 'DSP, Barry M3PXW and Roger 'IDX.
On 4m Ross G6GVI (always dependable!), Will M3WLP, Eric G0NED Stoke-on-Trent and Derek G4XEE/M in the same area.

So the ground spike antenna worked surprisingly well but the next time I plan on taking its matching 5.4m fibreglass mast and the necessary kit to elevate the same antenna to the top of the mast, but I need to practice setting it up first of all in the back garden!

Best wishes,


In reply to GW4EVX:

Hi Ron,

I was pleased to work you on 2m FM yesterday, but would apologise for not erecting the HF dipole on Dodd Fell Hill NP-016 so we could try on 6m. The weather closed in very rapidly when the cloudbase dropped and along with it the temperature plummeted, so I had to abandon my plans for operating HF. It was raining as I descended and the wet made for a very interesting start to my journey home as the road down to Kettlewell was extremely slippery.

Incidentally, I tried the HF dipole on 6m when on GM/SS-170 on Saturday and it was a good match on both the 60m and 40m settings. I didn’t try the 30m one which would seem to be more logical. Unfortunately there were no takers, so I wasn’t able to assess whether any one setting provides better results than another. I would put in links for 6m, but I’d need to be 3 metres tall to change them over!

73, Gerald

In reply to G4OIG:
Hi Gerald , if you used a fishing pole for your dipole it is simply a case of dropping it a couple of sections to unplug the links and then push back up !!!
Hope you had an uneventfull drive home.

In reply to GW4EVX:

Hi Ron

Nice to work you yesterday on both 2 & 6m. With regards to the Clansman radios, PRC 351 & 352, I had the pleasure of working both rigs operationally over many years in the UK, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Canada, The Gambia and West Germany to name but a few places, good rigs… I also have the same antenna you refer too and have also activated using it in conjunction with the FT-8900 quadband on 6 & 10m FM. I further intend to use the 4m capability of the antenna from the summits using a 4m PYE Telecom H/H with mobile mount. I look forward to hearing of your future exploits with the military equipment.


Hi Ron, sounds like you had some fun on your hill. It was nice to get you in the log on 6m for a change.

73 Mike

Hi Ron,

Left the 4m rig on all day, but did not hear anything at all from you.

73, Mike G4BLH

In reply to M3EDX:

Sorry for the late response Ian but have been away for a couple of days.

Good to hear from somebody who has actually used the equipment in active service. I have always been interested in military radio ever since my schooldays in the late '50s. Then of course there was loads of surplus WWII radio gear available - great days!

I appreciate the engineering that goes into them and the rugged design able to withstand handling by even the clumsiest of operators!

I hope to carry out some tests on hf with my PRC-320 over the coming weeks so maybe work you then.

In reply to G4BLH:

Thanks for trying Mike.
It seems to be a difficult path to your QTH on some bands from NW-051 but we should make it when I try the elevated antenna.

Best wishes,