More splendid social distancing on the hills today. The hills are definitely a nice place to do this social distancing thing, and all the other walkers seem really lovely about it.
My choice for Shining Tor G/SP-004 was 30m FT8 & CW. That wasn’t really based on any study of likely propagation conditions, but more addiction-based I fear. Anyway, it paid off, with the band providing lots of activity on both modes, though strangely, there was no FT4 to be had on 10.140MHz whatsoever.
G/SP-004 - 52 QSOs:
30m FT8: 20 QSOs
30m CW: 26 QSOs (S2S - HB/BE-087, DM/BW-067, HB/SZ-016)
2m FM: 6 QSOs
It was nice to meet Tom M0TKG up there, and he was having a great activation on 40m SSB. In the heather, just near to where Tom was operating, i found my sunglasses that I’d lost up here back on 21st February 2019 (yes it was a very sunny day for February!) 453 days later - I found them again. Fully intact, but unsurprisingly in need of a clean!
Before descending, I worked a few on 2m FM, culminating with Simon G7WKX who advised me about the opening to EA on 6m. I was going to go home to pick up the 10m GP before my next activation, but now I could switch thoughts to the “Magic Band”, and the SOTAbeams SB6 Moxon was already in the car!
On Gun G/SP-013, I needed to be in the vicinity of the summit for take-off purposes, but well off the three paths that intersect there, for social distancing purposes. I found a spot in the heather just beyond the summit, and was especially careful not to misplace my sunglasses. Irritatingly though, I did lose my rubber. And I had a mistake in my logbook to erase as well - grrr!
G/SP-013 - 13 QSOs:
6m FT8: 8 QSOs (including 6 EA and 1 IK)
6m CW: 4 QSOs (including 1 CT and 1 ZB2)
2m FM: 1 QSO
Over to The Cloud G/SP-015, and I remembered my “mental note” from the other day and ascended around the back of the farm and through the woods - meeting no-one at all. It seemed to take an age to get my first contact on 2m FM on the summit - I suspect everyone was busy on 6m and 10m!
I did make 4 QSOs in the end though, including Tom M0TKG who told me enthusiastically about his Shining Tor activation that morning. I remarked “Yes, I know - I found my sunglasses in the heather next to you!”. He hadn’t realised it was me! I then had a great contact with John G8OBR/P who was near Stoodley Pike on the Pennine Way. John told me that I was his first QSO back on AR after a 43 year absence! Wow!
By this time, the Facebook Messenger on my phone had morphed into a shopping list from my XYL Marianne. The local Tesco Metro to my home QTH had a socially distanced queue outside that looked like it was going to take the thick end of an hour to see any progress. Stuff that - I don’t do queues. So I took my chance and went to Big Sainsburys. You need eyes in the back of your head in there, and the experience of a misspent youth on the funfair dodgems. But I made it home with the specified items, and enjoyed a BBQ, several beers, and a family game of Scrabble in the garden.