Early this morning I set off for Seat Sandal, G/LD-022, which is around 25 minutes from my home QTH. The plan was to get some exercise on a summit less travelled. Seat Sandal sits south of Helvellyn and west of Fairfield - in the Central Lake District, North West England, and the ascent from Dunmail Raise takes around an hour.
Zoomed in on the iconic Battery or Lion & The Lamb at the summit of Helm Crag
During my activation I didn’t come across anyone until the end, when two couples were on the summit near the cairnstones, and two runners passed on a lower path. I made sure I was well clear from all paths and the cairnstones.
Ascent via Raise Beck - this is the very dry overflow
Grizedale Tarn looking towards St Sunday Crag and Fairfield
I set up the SOTABeams Quad Bander (mine is restrung for 20m, 40m, 60m and 80m) and also put the Spectrum Communications Slim-J 2m/70cm at the same point on the SOTABeams 10m compact travel pole.
I was planning on using the FT-817 with a home-brew external battery comprising 3 x 18650 cells in a battery holder, with integrated balance lead and fuse terminated in powerpoles. Unfortunately my powerpole to FT-817 power adapter wasn’t in the case. I have recently bought a new Swiss Army knife and was pondering whether I could hack something together, but the FT-817 power connector is very narrow and I though better of it! Fortunately I keep an internal Nicad battery in the FT-817 which has saved my bacon on more than one occasion! I’ve now attached that powerpole bolt on adapter that I’ve had sat on my workbench for the past month. It won’t be the last lesson I will learn the hard way…
I started on 20m and it was great to get Manuel @EA2DT in the log straight away - he is often first to the party! Straight after I had a S2S with Ivo @IN3EFR on I/AA-145. A good stream of chasers on 20m followed. I was impressed with my signal reports, as I was using 2.5 watts throughout. 20m also was observed in very good shape with less than S1 noise and good coverage throughout Europe, including relatively near stations in the UK.
St Sunday Crag & Fairfield
Only one contact on 40m, 2E0FLW before I moved to 2m SSB vertical. Despite hearing someone back of the box I could not manage a contact. 2m FM was more lively with a HEMA contact with Derek 2E0MIX and great to hear from the Lake District chasing regulars as well as some new callsigns.
Only one contact again on 80m G0FEX.
At this point I decided to use my remaining battery attempting to chase S2S on 20m. Riccardo @IZ1GDB was my first on I/PM-263.
Zoomed in on Great Gable Summit
As I was scanning 20m I heard a ZL station calling on 14.215. It was ZL2JBR and I managed to capture the audio on video, although he couldn’t hear my 5 watts!
As I was calling after ZL2JBR I was found and managed a S2S with Joan @CT2GSN on CT/TM-043 who also worked EA6LU on EA6/MA-011 after I did. Fortunately the ZL station had dropped into the noise at this point, so I didn’t feel too bad! This then resulted in a string of contacts including a couple of QRP stations. I dropped to 0.5 watts with GM0KPK and he could hear me no issues.
Grasmere Water from Summit
Would loved to have stayed all day as it was very pleasant on summit, but family beckoned and I suspect the battery was about to quit.
A slightly drained Thirlmere
Historic AA Box on Dunmail Raise
Transport, my trusty 2000 R1
A great day’s QRP.
Regards, Mark. M0NOM