I took a trip to Gummer’s How G/LD-050 yesterday evening as the WX forecast for the weekend isn’t great. Typically I looked at the camera as I left ‘won’t need that as the light is really flat’ and of course that is a guarantee of an amazing sunset.
I had taken the FT-857, High Power Linked Dipole and 4 x 4.2AH LifePo4s in the hope that the WX would stay nice and I’d be able to take advantage when the 20m band opened. I also had a Slim-J for 2m.
I was following Knut LA9DSA/P on SOTA Spotter activating LA/HM-024 for the first time but couldn’t hear him on 20m, so jumped at the chance of a S2S when he spotted for 40m.
What followed afterwards was the slow opening of the 20m band to the West. Initial H&P brought 8 stations in the log including K2J one of the Special Event stations in the USA operating during the 4th July celebration weekend. Hearing operators consistently say God Bless America was quite interesting!
After the initial run I found a frequency and called CQ, spotting myself on SOTAWatch. What followed was a first for me, an amazing pile-up of DX - my 100 watts and a wire being heard across North and South America, as well as a splattering of contacts from Europe.
|22:15||W4LDS||14.270||SSB||59||59||West Palm Beach|
|22:42||VE3OWV||14.270||SSB||57||59||Nick||30m W Ottowa|
|22:49||W3EMD||14.270||SSB||58||59||Buzz||16km N of NY City Hudson River|
|22:55||K2BQ||14.270||SSB||59||59||Paul||Nr. Fort Myers|
I don’t know whether it was due to the propagation moving the open path to the North, or a DX cluster effect, but I ended this run mostly with chasers from Canada. It was great to work deep into North America with contacts onto the West Coast. When the run dried up I went searching again to bag a few more stations.
Give that we had now hit midnight local, and I had one battery left, I thought I would try and work a frequency one last time, and amazingly I attracted another batch of mostly North American contacts, the exception being Rami 4X6HU near Tel Aviv, from whom I have had a surprising number of contacts recently. Emil LU3MCJ would prove to be my longest DX of the evening at 11841 km.
|23:10||N1FSX||14.188||SSB||42||57||Chris||100m SE Denver CO|
|23:30||4X6HU||14.164||SSB||57||58||Rami||Nr Tel Aviv|
I’m sure the number of contacts was helped by being the 4th July weekend, but it was great to be able to work so many stations, and many with a quick chat. The weather was still fairly warm as I left the summit at about 1:15am, there was no wind, you can probably count on two hands the number of evenings you’ll get like that in the Lake District!
Contact with Emil LU3MCJ
West Coast Contacts
Rami 4X6HU near Tel Aviv
Knut LA9DSA/P activating LA/HM-024
If anyone would like to play with the Google Earth KML file that I generated from this activity, it is available here. If you click the link this will download the KML file, you then need to open a tab for Google Earth, click on the Marker Icon (labelled Projects) and import the KML file from computer.
Regards, Mark. M0NOM