Tomorrow evening, 3rd May 2023, at around 1745utc, I hope to be activating Ingleborough G/NP-005 with my original RockMite 20. I built the RockMite, as supplied by Dave Benson @K1SWL, in spring 2007.
My K1SWL RockMite 20
I’ve made a vertical quarter wave antenna and tuned it with NVNA at the weekend. I’ll be running the stock RockMite barefoot with an output power in the region of 350mW. I’ll be very grateful for any QSOs!
This radio is very special to me as it was the kit that started me down the path to home construction. I’d built a couple of kits before the RockMite but this is the kit that got me hooked. Over the years I’ve built well over 25 RockMites, I still own most of those.
A small number of my RockMite collection.
I have to work tomorrow unfortunately so I’ll be heading up Ingleborough afterwards, hence the late time. I’m hoping to finish work at around 4.30pm local (1530utc), but it’s not certain, so time on air is a rough guess.
Disaster, I’ll be away from any radio tomorrow. Otherwise it could have been a rockmite2rockmite. There’ll be other opportunities I’m sure
Not sure if the 350mW would reach the west coast in any case!
Put it in your diary for next year! (Hopefully a day time activation).
That’s a nice collection you’ve put together. Good luck tomorrow with the qrpp activation
73 Marcel DM3FAM
I got to work at 6.50am BST to discover extra orders to deliver and a fuller delivery van. I loaded my van as quickly as possible and managed to set off on my veg delivery round a little bit earlier. Most of my drops are regular, so my ‘head nav’ is pretty well programmed. The weather was dry and warm, but rather breezy. Having dry weather speeds up my round as I’m not having to dodge the rain to keep stuff dry, or put orders into plastic bags if the customer isn’t in. I did all I could to get around my delivery round as quickly as possible and I managed to get back to base at about 3.20pm (BST). I rushed through emptying my van and was all done by 4pm, with the van swept and put to bed.
I’d already done 12,000 steps but it was time to finally get to tackle Ingleborough. The sun was shining and it was quite warm but there was a strong breeze. On the way up Ingleborough I stopped on the path to take a picture of a golden ground beetle.
Just as I’d taken the picture, I saw something else move and noticed a lizard! I followed the lizard for a while and it suddenly froze, I’m guessing it realised it had been spotted! The lizard posed for a short while whilst I tried to take a picture without being too intrusive.
The summit of Ingleborough G/NP-005 was very windy and I contemplated sheltering in an overhang but it was west facing and I figured I needed my RF to go towards Europe as prospects for spanning the atlantic looked slim. I decided that I would just have to work with the wind. I erected my ground plane antenna at an angle pointing into the wind.
I was super happy to log 14 QSOs and the antenna stayed up throughout my activation. I was having another ‘CW off day’ but I mangled ok.
I’d been on air earlier than my alert so I worked through my alerted time and then after a few CQs, I went QRT. I’d promised my wife that I’d be home before my son went to bed so that I could open my presents and cards. I was starting to cold also. Packing up the gear seemed to take an age but I was heading off the mountain by 7.20pm BST.
I arrived home at 8.40pm, so I was 20 minutes within the cut off of 9pm!
It had been a long day but everything had gone to plan, nice to get another 14 contacts on the RockMite.
Thanks to all of my chasers - same time next year?