It is a while since I posted an activation report. There hasn’t been much to report in all honesty. A regular weekend gig in Blackpool has significantly limited SOTAing opportunities and continues to do so.
Nonetheless, I have been up The Cloud G/SP-015 a few times. All for zero SOTA points of course, but always pleasurable.
Tuesday 26th August 2014
6m UKAC, using the new SOTAbeams SB6 - compact 6m beam antenna, rotatable on a standard SOTA Pole. For years I had been trying to persuade Richard G3CWI to design and produce a lightweight, packable 6m antenna that would be directional and able to be sat on a SOTA pole and rotated armstrong fashion from the base. Well, here was the yearned-after product.
It certainly worked well. Three of my first four stations came in from Finland (OH), and the rotation - which was way quicker than repegging a delta loop - enabled me to rack up the multiplier squares much more easily. A new design of guying system was anchored much higher up the pole than the old version, and used a clever little idea to enable smooth and easy rotation from below. Anyway, I ended with 65 QSOs - 6 on CW and 59 on SSB.
Tuesday 2nd September 2014
2m UKAC. Not a new antenna for this one, but the out-of-production SB5 (5 element beam). I did take the new design of SOTAbeams guying system though, as it was much better for frequent and rapid antenna rotation, as needed in a contest.
I had a decent contest with 90 QSOs, all 2m SSB, and a very healthy number of multipliers. Plenty of distance in the QSOs too with good numbers of GM stations as far north as Aberdeen, and several south coasters as well.
Tuesday 9th September 2014
Another week, another Tuesday, and another RSGB UK activity contest, this time the 70cm event. I was on summit with an hour to spare, so did some 20m CW first for a bonus 31 contacts, including several USA, one Azores, and a huge signal from Matt VK2DAG despite the late hour.
In the 432MHz contest, I managed 64 QSOs. The multiplier count was healthy again with several Scottish squares available, and all four JO squares. And so the total for the activation was 95 QSOs. I briefly considered thrashing out a further five on the HT, but decided against, and went home.
Saturday 20th September 2014
The skies were damp and grey above East Cheshire, but the instinct was that it wasn’t going to rain. Indeed, it didn’t. Jimmy and Liam accompanied me for a short walk up The Cloud. I left my coat and jumper in the car. In fact I left almost everything in the car, and just took my 2m HT, notepad and pencil, which I carried in my hands as I walked up.
I had no intention of sticking around that long as I had things to pick up in town before going to the Macclesfield v Southport match at the Moss Rose. Jimmy and I took turns in being on air on 2m FM. In a short stay on summit, he made 5 contacts, while I got 6. Interestingly, my logbook did not contain a single fully licensed amateur. My six QSOs were with four Intermediates followed by two Foundations.
Macclesfield then thumped Southport 3-0, so it was a good day!