Yesterday was a bit of an intense day, with an early start to go to the Southport Airshow. We’ve been to Southport Airshow a couple of times and the traffic management always seems to be very poor. We expected the traffic management to be no better this time, so we elected to leave home early. Thankfully our planning worked well for us and we were near the front of the queue to get on to the beach with negligible stress. The Red Arrows closed the show on Saturday, their display starting at around 4pm local. Rather than join the queues to leave the venue, we had a wander around the display stands until the traffic got a bit quieter. Our plan once again worked to perfection and Google maps even diverted us around a bit of congestion meaning that our journey home was painless.
Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane over Southport beach.
Our long day yesterday meant that today we would be taking it easy.
I thought that as the weather was nice, it would be fun to do some SOTA from a local hill. My son wanted to join me for the fresh air and exercise. White Hill, G/SP-006 is not so far from my QTH and not activated as often as some other local summits.
I hadn’t used my beloved MTR-5B for quite some time, and I felt like it would nice to use it today. The MTR-5B is like an old pair of slippers, I feel comfortable with it. I had no particular agenda today, although I was conscious that it was an exceedingly sunny day and I didn’t want to let my son get too bored waiting for his old man to finish with the beeps!
I decided to skip 40m and 30m and opted to start on 20m. I had a nice stream of callers on 20m and S2S contacts with HB9EVF/P on HB/BE-087 and HB9AFI/P on HB/FR-027. I relish transatlantic QSOs, so I was hoping to work someone in NA. The contacts on 20m dried up, so I thought I would try 17m, again in the hope for a transatlantic QSO. It was great to be called by Ignacio EA2BD on 17m and his signal was good too. Tom M1EYP/P called me and after some initial confusion, we had a solid intra-SP region S2S; G/SP-006 to G/SP-015. After 7 QSOs, the band went quiet again. Sadly there were no NA callers again - where are they all? Has the pull of POTA become too great?
I’d been on air for around 40 minutes, but I felt like I could cheekily sneak in a few minutes on 15m before packing up. After a few CQs, I was called by SM4CJM and we completed a simple QSO. I was then called by an unfamiliar callsign and I had to ask for a couple of repeats, sure enough, I copied the call sign consistently as 7N1FRE. I knew that a call sign starting with 7N was exotic, but I couldn’t exactly bring to mind where it could be. The QSO needed some repeat exchanges, but we managed in the end. Immediately I googled the call sign and found out that I had worked Kaz, 7N1FRE on Honshu, Japan! I sent out one more CQ and heard nothing so went QRT - I didn’t think there was any point calling anymore - nothing could top working a station in Japan with my home built QRP rig!
Another great day on the radio, glorious sunshine and 25 QSOs in the log.
Photos by my son.