Static Rain Stops Radio Play - GM/SS-280

Hi folks!

Sorry for the erratic activation of GM/SS-280 yesterday, but as our national poet(Robert Burns) said ‘The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley’ Quote Details: Robert Burns: The best laid schemes... - The Quotations Page for a translation.

I attempted to activate this easy 1 pointer on a beautiful evening two years ago, to have the electronic fuse ‘pop’ in my battery pack after my second contact - with no back-up (even back at the car - I now make sure I always have a back-up even on the easiest of summits!). So back to properly activate it.

Having checked the forecast and Met Office rain radar it seemed that SS-280 would only encounter some slight rain showers. How wrong could they be!

Arriving at the foot of the hill in warm sunshine the XYL GM4UXX & myself took a leisurely ‘puff’ to the top and setting up the 20M vertical GP and telescoping 2M dipole. Proceeded to have a spot of lunch. (wrong move)

Looking over Fife to the north, the clouds look really ominous, but still thought that that the rain band would push more easterly out over the North Sea. Wrong again! Within tens minutes the ‘heavens opened’ producing torrential rain and associated static.

To cover a future ultra light-weight multi-day expedition in the Scottish highlands I had recently purchased and built an 20M MFJ Cub & Palm Cube for my Palm paddle. Trying out the combination successfully on Saturday (31st July on SS-208) I was looking forward to giving the combination a serious work-out on SS-280.

14.062MHz (or there-abouts as the Cub has no accurate dial - a modification in the pipe-line) I worked Jo HA5CW and that was it - the rig/aerial started discharging through my soaking wet body. Ouch!!!

The aerial was quickly dropped and I ‘hunkered-down’ to see if the storm would pass - no chance! But I was determined to qualify the hill and was successful with an additional ‘gurgely’ two contacts on 2M.

Quickly ‘chucking’ all the sodden kit into the rucksac I made a hasty retreat back to the car, returning home with a towel positioned over the driving seat to absorb the water from my soaking clothes (no change of clothes another mistake - but it was only a small hill wasn’t it!?(:>)

Looking at the evening weather report on the TV they had still extreme wx warnings out for the east coast of Scotland and the Scottish Borders. (not a mention of this on that morning’s forecast!)

So - sorry for those who could hear me, but I just could make anything out at my end. Catch you again soon on the ‘wee’ Cub (that’s if it’s still working after the static discharges through it and the paddle??)



PS: Anne had abandoned the hill long before the rain started - a girl with sense - hi!

In reply to GM4COX:

Just imagine how much more annoyed you’d be if this was big hill not a wee pimple that can be climbed in 20mins or so.

I looked at the forecast for Sunday and thought it sounded quite grim. So instead of getting out exercising I was playing with SQL databases for my next bit of SOTA software. As I sat in the kitchen in the afternoon looking at the still very dry day I realised the WX report must be wrong. Then I read the spot about you and the rain, then the heavens opened here.

I have to admit that I was pleased not to be out with the sheer scale of the rain. Still there would have been enough time to go to the Crianlarich Rally then bag a 1pter on the way home and not get too wet! But I did get the 1st bit of the SQL nonsense working. So it wasn’t a wasted day.

Hope your Cub is OK. The Palm Cube is very nice. I did think of punting for one but kept convincing myself I should design my own memory keyer. The only downside with a homebrew one is that it will not be in a cute box like the cube!


In reply to MM0FMF:

Hi Andy!

Yes impressed by the Cube - up to the usual high German standard - though I am not sure I may have a problem in that there is the odd ‘dodgy’ character being generated from it? (and no it’s not my suspect morse - hi!)

And as for the Cub. Just completed it last week as per the MFJ instructions, but as it stands it’s too vunerable for SOTA activations. So I am going to modify it with dicast case, BNC feed, slo-mo drive, Raynet LT feed, etc.


Jack (:>)