I always try hard to not ruffle the feathers of other fell goers, but failed today. You know that feeling, Someone stood off to one side, waiting for you to catch eye contact. In this case the gentleman initially was curious what I was up to, but I could feel there was something remaining. “You need thicker wire - I nearly walked into it earlier”. Fair enough. The SOTABeams Band Hopper IV, a legendary antenna (in my opinion) does use thin wire. It is bright yellow however!
Anyone who has operated portable in the Lake District knows they are treading a thin line. People are very precious about these fells. For good reason. As I was coming off the fell in the light drizzle, I thought “no matter what we do/have already done to this planet I foresee drizzle on these fells for thousands of years to come”.
Today it was the IC-705 again, nestled in the Manfrotto camera case that is proving a very practical, reused housing. With a 4200mah LifePo4 battery in the bottom of the case, switched fused lead and speaker/mic accessory pocket the best thing is the flip top that can be used to protect the rig from precipitation with a flick of the wrist. Initially in ‘the shack’ I found the length of the speaker/mic lead a pain, but whilst operating portable you can happily stand up and move around with this lead - win win win (in the cold for sure)!
HF went well considering the low 5m peak of the inverted V. 40m was mad and finding a frequency clearly had SOTA activators today struggling. Last night I sat in a lay-by near J37 of the M6 with a Chameleon MPAS 2.0 deployed listening to transatlantic contacts, Jamaica and South America. Interesting HF conditions!
First off, sheep photo to authenticate this post @G8CPZ
Not much snow on Loughrigg but plenty on the higher peaks
SotaBEAMS Band Hopper IV and Spectrum Comms Slim-J
Windermere Lake Cruises Steamer - back to Windermere from Ambleside
Dumail Raise at the start of the activation
Dunmail Raise at the end of the activation
Fairfield in snow
I’ve almost always had interesting weather on Loughrigg Fell. With the predominant westerly wind today I was counting on the higher summits to the west to break the back of the precipitation and this was the case today.
Only S2S today with David on G/SP-005 running the ‘naked’ FT-818 with stock antenna to good effect on Pendle Hill - good distance that. A nod to Chris 2E0XLG/P who was in his shack in the Yorkshire Dales which is at-height and has a wood-burning stove. He responded to my CQ call with the 2m RF power on the IC-705 set to 0% - following experimentation - so I’ve no idea what 0% equates to in Watts. Andrew @G0LWU also responded and pointed out I didn’t sound right - so his equipment passes the muster test too! More successful when running a full 10w including Geoff @GM4WHA who always puts himself out for a Lake District chase - operating /M from Tesco’s in Annan.
|11:18||CT2IWW||20m||SSB||59||55||Paulo Alexandre Tei|
|11:18||EA4BQG||20m||SSB||59||57||GUILLERMO ALCALA DE|
|11:19||EB1IFK||20m||SSB||59||55||Santiago Creo Batal|
|11:19||CT2HOV||20m||SSB||59||53||Nuno Pereira Gomes|
|11:22||OK1SDE||20m||SSB||57||55||Dalibor ( Borek ) W|
|11:48||G0LWU||2m||FM||59||59||Andrew Charles Scar|
|11:56||G6ZET||2m||FM||59||59||DAVID W JACKSON|
Thanks to all chasers! The rain didn’t really materialize at midday as expected - however the light drizzle will eventually soak you! I had a very unusual experience over the weekend. I finally have an HF antenna at home. It isn’t perfect by any measure but I am making contacts and it feels really weird to be in the house doing this. I’ve had 4 years of only portable HF. Mind with the noise levels you dedicated chasers don’t have anything to worry about!
Geoff’s QSO today