I still have 3 summits in the G/DC region left to activate but with the exception of Watch Croft G/DC-007 the other two (005 & 006) don’t fill me with a lot of enthusiasm! They will have to be done but on a fine sunny day I wanted somewhere with better views so I returned to High Willhays G/DC-001 with the intention of starting from the outset on CW at my new de-rated speed of 14 WPM as recommended to me on here after my stuttering efforts at 18 WPM.
This time I parked at Rowtor car parking area, south of Okehampton which is found by taking the road to the Army Camp from Okehampton. The walk from here to the summit is about an hour.
Equipment was an IC-705 with external battery to give 10W, SotaBeams Bandspringer end fed wire with counterpoise, supported on a 6m Decathlon pole and connected to the radio through an AH-705 ATU.
I was QRV at about 08:45 but 80m was dead. 40m was much better and I managed 4 QSOs over about 15 minutes after initially struggling for a while with an EA station. ON7GO, G4OOE, GMOGAV & EI6FR entered into the log. The latter was nice as I had chased Declan yesterday but he was too faint for me to make out his reply.
Having forgotten all about 60m on previous activations I finally remembered today I could use this band now and switching to 60m CW exchanged QSOs with G3RDQ, M0NNQ & M0BKV.
Staying on 60m I changed to 5.317MHz AM as I had read there was an AM QSO party going on this weekend. M0BKV, based not far away in Cornwall was the only reply but my first AM QSO was satisfying. I’m not sure it’s a mode for DX.
Time was against me staying much longer but a quick flick to 2m FM resulted in a nice chat with Don, G0RQL. I was using an RH770 clone inserted directly into the IC-705 which I then stood on its end. I had seen a photograph of someone doing this and wanted to give it a try. It works after a fashion but is awkward if running on an external battery as the connection is on the end you want to stand it on. The tuning knob is also vulnerable to being knocked. My final QSO on 2m was with M0BKV, which made a total of 3 QSOs with Damian for the day: 60m CW, 60m AM and 2m FM.
My CW is still poor but I’m getting better although a SOTA QSO isn’t too demanding. Learning the skill to have a rag-chew will take longer.
I don’t think HF conditions were very good today. RBN only showed two hits on 40m and those not far into Europe. But I suspect this made for an easier activation with less chasers!
73 and thanks to all those who chased me. I should have spent longer on CW but my brain was beginning to seize up. It should get easier with practice.
This isn’t the most adventurous activation report you will have read on here but my reason for posting is to encourage others to try CW. I only started learning at the end of last year just before my 69th birthday. With the patience and support available here and from chasers it can be done.