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Short Report for Black Hill G/SP-002 and also apol

On arriving at Black Hill G/SP-002 parking spot the first thing that caught my attention was the wind and heavy rain, it was blowing a hooley, driving the rain almost horizontal. I gave Rufus M6MGB, my co-activator a call to let him know what to expect. On his arrival, we decided that both HF antennas and any type of collinear for VHF were more or less a non-runners and therefore, to do the 2 and 6m activations using just handhelds, a Sota Beam and my dipole and fishing pole along with rufus’s 6m antenna.

We set off a lot later than anticipated and I found that fighting the wind was making the trek somewhat unpleasant, although Rufus who is clearly pretty fit, took all this in his stride. Anyhow, by the time we were about halfway up the summit, the pair of us resembled a couple of drowned rats.

Nevertheless, we plodded on until we reached the trig point. On arriving, Rufus attempted to put up the shelter, but was clearly struggling, as he fought the wind for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, I was messing about trying to get the dipole up, only succeeding in breaking the fishing pole. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

By now, Rufus turned his attention to the 6m antenna in order to try his luck. After some hasty improvisation, I eventually got the 2m dipole about 12’ in the air, attached it to the handheld and called cq, as did Rufus on 6m.

Now, I’m aware that the VHF take-off isn’t too hot from Black Hill, however today, it turned out to be a utter garbage. I was calling cq and chasers were responding then simply disappearing when we qsy’d to a clear frequency. Most of the time, I could here very little although reading Steve GW7AAV comments on the Spots, people could hear me. I pulled the antenna down and checked it out… it seemed OK! …Oh, how I wished I had brought the collinear with me.

In the meantime, Rufus’s handheld decided to throw the towel in after just one contact on 6m. Maybe a dry joint on the antenna connector, as it seems to work if you wiggle it about. I managed just five contacts on 2m and Rufus, using my handheld, managed to qualify the hill with about half a dozen. Rather surprisingly, Rufus’s 6m contact was only the third SOTA contact ever from Black Hill, although I suspect there were plenty of 6m chasers hoping to work him.

Apologies to all those chasers who we missed …and it seems there were quite a few. We tried our level best, but it seems that rather frustratingly, it was just one of those days when everything conspired against us.

Big thanks to Rufus for demonstrating tremendous patience, today. Look forward to working another joint activation very shortly, when hopefully, conditions are a lot more favorable and he can get a shed load of contacts on the Magic Band.

73 all
Mike 2E0YYY

The Magic Band has been open today, but I don’t think there’s ever much magic taking place on the FM segment of the band.

Handheld, 2m FM, SP-002 and poor wx - what utter joy! Never mind, there’s always Stalybridge station buffet on the way home.

Tom M1EYP

In reply to Mike 2E0YYY

You were 59 in Pudsey on 2M from SP-002 yet despite me using 100W for some reason you couldn’t hear me. I also heard some regular chasers and some other ops calling you.

The good thing to come out of this is that you both qualified the summit. Good effort in far from ideal conditions.

73 Chris M0RSF

In reply to M0RSF:

In reply to Mike 2E0YYY

You were 59 in Pudsey on 2M from SP-002 yet despite me using 100W for
some reason you couldn’t hear me. I also heard some regular chasers
and some other ops calling you.

Thanks for trying, Chris, I guess that’s radio for you.

The good thing to come out of this is that you both qualified the
summit. Good effort in far from ideal conditions.

I’ll try it again using a different antenna and the 857 when the wx improves.

Should be interesting.

73
Mike 2E0YYY

In reply to M1EYP:

The Magic Band has been open today, but I don’t think there’s ever
much magic taking place on the FM segment of the band.

Handheld, 2m FM, SP-002 and poor wx - what utter joy! Never mind,
there’s always Stalybridge station buffet on the way home.

That just about sums the day up, Tom.

With hindsight, we would have been better off going straight there and giving Black Hill a miss :wink:

73
Mike 2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Dozens of us calling you Mike but you did not seem to be able to hear anyone, several of those calling said you were 59+ :0( Better luck next time.

In reply to GW7AAV:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Dozens of us calling you Mike but you did not seem to be able to hear
anyone, several of those calling said you were 59+ :0( Better luck
next time.

Many thanks for the spot, Steve. On returning home, I thought it may be the rx on the Wouxun. Having gone out into the garden this morning and conducted some tests, this is not the case.

73
Mike 2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Well it was a day to remember, At least I made a 6m contact off the handheld which was a personal goal for me for the trip. I think the next few I will do shall be the GW/NW variety I think. It was a learning experience for me about having a backup kit which means I need to have a think about a portable HF/VHF rig maybe. The dipole VHF antenna that mike brought looked v good and was lightweight and saved the day for my points on VHF so thank you and can I have a copy of drawings!! One more antenna in the shack… Never mind. The bacon butty and brew after dumping the kit in the car was appreciated like never before. Thank you to all for trying to call us, hope not to disapoint next time.

Now I need to get my VX8 handy repaired… There appears to be a dry joint on the antenna connection. The rubber duck appears ok ish but when using an adaptor or fly lead to either the beam or dipole or my mobile whip it seems like a loose conection on the plug. Any suggestions where I can get this fixed without paying over the odds. I don’t want to try myself as my soldering is not very good yet and I quite like how the rig works so don’t want to fry it! It was bought off eBay so no warranty on it. Any ideas most welcome.

73s

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Probably something up there desensitising your RX, but if that was the case I would have expected someone to say there was a problem. There have been plenty of activations from that summit where I could not hear the activator but I don’t remember any that I could hear but could not raise. I can’t say the same of some other summits but the desensitising issue on those is well known.

Something new at Holme Moss?

73 Steve

In reply to 2E0YYY:

The problems you get yourself in if I am not with you never seem to surprise me!

In reply to GW7AAV:

I agree Steve. Given that Mike was a good signal on TX it’s reasonable to discount the antenna and feeder. It will have been a desense issue or user error. Modem handhelds are far too complex so it could be down to something silly like too high a squelch levele or having CTCSS/DCS enabled by mistake. Normally when you hit the squelch defeat button any signal squelches like CTCSS are defeated as well. Of course it depends on which design the Wouxun copied and if they copied it correctly as to whether that happens.

If we assume Mike checked the obvious causes of apparent on-site deafness and combine it with the knowledge that the Wouxun has a very respectable RF performance the most likely cause is some nearby TX close to 2m in frequency.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

Of course it depends on which design the Wouxun copied …

You say that as if it’s a bad thing, Andy.

:wink:

73,
Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to MM0FMF:

In reply to GW7AAV:

.

If we assume Mike checked the obvious causes of apparent on-site
deafness and combine it with the knowledge that the Wouxun has a very
respectable RF performance the most likely cause is some nearby TX
close to 2m in frequency.

Definitely not the Wouxun Andy, I’ve been using the same rig on G/SP-004 this morning.

I remember saying to Rufus M6MGB, “I can’t understand why there isn’t a pile-up.” Clearly, there was but I certainly couldn’t hear it. When I worked Bob G6ODU and Karen 2E0XYL both their signal were down. It was about that time, I pulled the antenna apart to check that it was ok.

Anyway, I’m going to try Black Hill again on Saturday, only this time, I’m taking the FT-857 and X-300 collinear.

I’d be grateful for a call if anyone hears me and then perhaps we could get some sort of idea about what’s happening up there! Perhaps that’s something you may care to take a look at when I Log the activation, Andy?

73
Mike 2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Hi Mike
I had a bad day yesterday too - totally my own fault!!
I departed for the Wrekin G/WB-010 and arrived with Jill and the kids in good time. When I got the rig out I discovered I had left my dipole, coax and fishing rod mast in the caravan, 40 odd miles away. Such a clown.
Fortunately, I had not unpacked my 6 ele yagi which was lying in the boot of the car. I took it up the hill in the hope of finding a stick to support it with. The wind was dreadful and I ended up getting Jill to hold the beam , connected to the rig by an 18 inch patch lead. Then we swapped over. Anyway, we both qualified the summit with a few QSOs to spare.

Forever preserving my amateur status

Dave
M0TUB

In reply to 2E0YYY:

In reply to MM0FMF:

In reply to GW7AAV:

.

If we assume Mike checked the obvious causes of apparent on-site
deafness and combine it with the knowledge that the Wouxun has a
very
respectable RF performance the most likely cause is some nearby
TX
close to 2m in frequency.

Definitely not the Wouxun Andy, I’ve been using the same rig on
G/SP-004 this morning.

I remember saying to Rufus M6MGB, “I can’t understand why there
isn’t a pile-up.” Clearly, there was but I certainly couldn’t
hear it. When I worked Bob G6ODU and Karen 2E0XYL both their signal
were down. It was about that time, I pulled the antenna apart to check
that it was ok.

Anyway, I’m going to try Black Hill again on Saturday, only this time,
I’m taking the FT-857 and X-300 collinear.

I’d be grateful for a call if anyone hears me and then perhaps we
could get some sort of idea about what’s happening up there! Perhaps
that’s something you may care to take a look at when I Log the
activation, Andy?

73
Mike 2E0YYY
Perhaps no-one wanted to speak to you Mike. I can understand that:)

Anyway, I’m going to try Black Hill again on Saturday

Why? How about another like Hail Storm Hill, Freeholds Top, Boulsworth Hill, Pendle Hill, Kinder Scout, The Wrekin, Moel Famau, Moel y Gamelin…etc?

You have loads within easy striking range Mike without having to do a ‘pointless’ repeat. Yes, I know I do ‘pointless repeats’, but not when it involves more than half an hour on the road.

GL,

Tom M1EYP

In reply to G1STQ:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

In reply to MM0FMF:

In reply to GW7AAV:

Perhaps no-one wanted to speak to you Mike. I can understand that:)

C’mon John, who can possibly resist my charm, finnese, razor sharp wit and repartee and boyish good looks?

Then again, maybe you’re right :frowning:

73
Mike 2E0YYY

In reply to M1EYP:

I vote for Moel Gyw. I really, really enjoyed that one and it’s nice and easy too. Or Penycloddiau. But the road is better for Moel Gyw.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to 2E0YYY:
You forgot to mention your incredible friends!!!

Quick report for the replay of G/SP-002 Black Hill… 04/06/11

After last weeks drubbing suffered by Rufus M6MGB/P and myself, from G/SP-002 Black Hill, due to weather and equipment problems, I decided to give it another try Saturday.

Let me start by saying, the problem with the antenna last week turned out to be a break in the coax very close to the PL213, feeding the dipole. However, for this activation, I decided to revert back to the trusty, X-300 Collinear.

My first contact was Dave M3XIE, whose signal is just about guaranteed 20 over anywhere in the SP …even if I’m using a wet noodle for an antenna! Today, my signal report to him was down to a generous 5/2 even on the Collinear.

I managed to work a total of 72 stations in a 5 hour stint including 5 stations in Pudsey, Leeds!..What are the chances of that?

There was hardly a squeek from places such as Liverpool, The Wirral or South Cumbria.

On the DX front, a solitary contact into GW, a couple into York, the only other bright spot was a contact with G7CNW/P who was on the sixth floor of a building in Lincoln (not the Cathedral this time) using his handheld.

As for S2S, rather annoyingly, I was unable to work M6MNT/P on G/LD-003 Helvellyn or Alan M1EY0/P on G/LD-013 The Old Man of Coniston, both of those summits being easy from just about anywhere else in the SP. However, I did manage to work 2E0MIX/P on G/LD-008 Hallsfell Top and Colin G8JSM/P on SP-017 Billinge Hill.

For those amongst you who haven’t yet sampled the delights of Black Hill, well as far as summits go, this place has to be the most unsympathetic of them all to the 2m band. VHF take-off is at best mediocre and at worst, for a summit that is around 1900ft ASL, pretty dissapointing.

On the plus side though, this must be the easiest SOTA summit in the UK to erect an antenna…

Next time I visit Black Hill, maybe I’ll try HF.

73
Mike 2E0YYY