Rubbish Op, Rubbish Kit or Rubbish Sky?

Today I activated GW/NW-018 on hf using GW6DTN/P. I used my usual kit (FT857 at 20W, 7 metre vertical, 4 metre counterpoise, tuned with a Z-11 Pro auto tuner, the only difference being that the steel tent peg had parted company with the far end of the counterpoise.

The only way I could get a signal to self-spot (via Vodafone) was to stand on the summit and hold the phone up at arm’s length, so I opted to use SMSBot via the T-mobile conglomerate.

On 40M I heard PA9HR calling CQ on 7030 at a speed I could manage so this rookie op worked him for a 579 report. I also worked PA/ON9CBQ/P on PA/PA-003 on 7113 for a 5/2 report and G4WQL (QRP at 3W) in Cornwall for 5/2. Otherwise this band produced noise

I could only hear noise on 20M, despite self-spotting via SMS and calling for 10 minutes. On 17M I was chased by DL8DXL (5/5 report) and N4EX (4/4).

Listening on 30M, I heard DL5NBS/P calling CQ and we had a QRS QSO until QSB stopped the fun.

6 QSOs is hardly a fit reward for slogging up that hill, when my usual tally is in the 20s for the same kit on 40 and 20.

Any suggestions, other than carrying more kit up the hills?

Sorry to disappoint the usual chasers

Regards, Dave,

Add me to the list of those to suspect a fault with the antenna after today’s activation. Unusal flat bands from 20-40m down (while 17m was somewhat congested in the upper CW part with no result, too).

I got no grip which band was “short” or “long” as only extremely few signals sounded crisp and not watery. RBN-figures were proportionally bad but seemingly with other activators, too.

But a good day was had after months only in the valley :frowning:

In reply to M0DFA:

Definitely rubbish sky Dave. I was wondering whether someone had sneakily put a pin through my coax, but it wasn’t as simple as that. Tuning across 40m through to 15m I could find someone at S9 on each band, but in general there were very few stations to be heard. I listened for several activators, but didn’t hear many, yourself included. I noted that the chasers were putting in quite weak signals. Those activators that I could copy were working hard, having to call CQ regularly. You were definitely not the only one!

73, Gerald G4OIG

Edit: Couldn’t hear Barry IML, but worked Malcolm M6UGX/P on G/LD-056. The only other person worked was Franz PA/ON9CBQ/P who I suspect was using something more than a barefoot 817.

In reply to M0DFA:
Rubbish sky, I guess, with the SFI down to about 100 - but an improvement is coming…


Brian G8ADD

In reply to M0DFA:

Hi Dave,

The conditions on 40m today were terrible here in Leeds. I couldn’t hear you or Barry MW0IML in Wales or Malcolm M6UXG in the lakes. I am pretty sure you or your equipment were not at fault, it was rubbish sky :frowning:

Let’s hope things improve soon and we all have better conditions. I’ll be listening for you next time you’re on a summit, hopefully with much better results than today.

73 de Mick M0MDA

In reply to M0MDA:

I was on VHF on GW/SW-008 (no mike for 817 !!!) and met Barry, MW0IML, afterwards. He had a very disappointing activation of G/SW-041 with only one QSO on 40m if I recall correctly. Not bad on 20m, apparently.

Hope for better tomorrow.



Tks Gerald for the QSO,
as the condx were lausy, I made only 7 QSO on 40m and 2!! at 20m. Rig FT 817, link-dipol 5m above gnd, 2200mAh LiPo.
But had nice wx hihi.

73 de Franz

In reply to ON9CBQ:

That was an excellent signal from just an 817 Franz. I was running an 857 at 60 watts to a dipole. Pleased to hear you given the poor conditions.

73, Gerald G4OIG