Hazy sunshine and a stable forecast. What to do? My wife had the answer. I needed to re-roof a shed and put up some hooks in the kitchen. Obvious really. Fortunately this was finished by 12:15 leaving an afternoon for something more enjoyable.
The parking spot at the Cloud was inevitably full so Mai Ling and I parked along the road. The summit was busy with walkers, picnic-ers and fliers. I set up my simple 2m vertical and had some pleasant contacts. John GW4BVE was an especially welcome caller - good luck on Tuesday John. There was good news on the 10GHz microwave front too as Mike G4BLH is nearing readiness and Bob G8DTF/p called in to say that he had just made his first 10G contact from Winter Hill. I had to get back to Macclesfield by 2pm to drop ML off at a friend’s house so it was a rather short activation.
On the way back it occurred to me that I could pick up the new 30m radio and activate Shining Tor - so that was what I did.
The Cat and Fiddle Road was heaving with bikers and I expected the parking spot to be full. In fact to my surprise it was empty. The hill was busy with dozens of walkers though - including one who looked quite like Griff Rhys Jones…
I set up away from the trig along the wall to be out of the way and enjoyed watching the hang gliders soaring along the slope. I quickly rigged my hang glider trap (30m antenna). At that point I found that there was a small problem with the power connection to the radio. This was sorted with some hilltop butchery with a tent peg (really!). I then discovered that the tuner would not tune for some reason so I abandoned it and used the “emergency” configuration. I was immediately rewarded with the loud voice of an American evangelist. He was taking a telephone call from a young woman. “What I want to know is would it be right for us to do it or not” were the first words that I heard. Interest in SOTA was temporarily suspended. Disappointingly it appeared the the question related to drinking a toast at the funeral of a friend.
Given that the radio is crystal controlled and I was listening on 10.115, the level of broadcast breakthrough was disappointing to say the least. I put out few calls and all I heard was the evangelist asking me to telephone him and leave a message for prayer. I reached for my mobile and hesitated before deciding that a self-spot on SOTAwatch might be faster. I tried that and was soon called by Reg G3WPF. I enjoyed my contact with Reg - the background hymn was a pleasant accompaniment. Many more calls went unanswered (well at least I didn’t hear any answers). After a while a 9A7 called but he was drowned out by “Onward Christian Soldiers”. Time to pack up.
While packing up I was amused to find some SOTA litter. In the grass was the rubber end and plastic ring from the base of a fishing pole. I have never been certain that I have seen SOTA litter before although I did once return from a hilltop with more reusable cable ties than I took up.
Walking back in the hazy sunshine I found a 5p piece so it wasn’t a wasted trip after all.
If you were considering a DC30B for SOTA, I would not bother.The Rockmite is a better bet - and my Rockmite will soon be in the DC30B’s box.
PS Someone has just posted an advert for a PFR3 on my Fleamarket - that looks a better radio for SOTA http://www.fleamarket.org.uk