I had a day off today and intended to get a few tasks out of the way. However the weather seemed to be clearing up and chasing Fritz DL4FDM/P first thing in the morning inspired me to get out and and actually do an activation (albeit close to home of course)
I gathered my gear and decided I would use CW and SSB for the benefit of more chasers. This dictated using the 706 rather than the PFR-3.
I drove up into the forestry car park near “The Cafe in the Woods” and set off down the track towards the Chiltern high point cairn. In a matter of minutes I was ready to set up in the clearing nearby and soon had the 88ft Double Norcal doublet up on the 10m Sotapole under a blue sky with just a few clouds.
At about 10:30 everything was ready and I had a quick tune around before starting on my alerted QRG. I soon realised that Frank DL6UNF/P was active on DM/SX-060 so I worked him for a S2S on 7.032 before moving off to 60m to get started for myself.
The 60m beacons seemed very loud so I called on 5.291 (one of the recommended CW frequencies for 60m in the UK) and drew a blank after calling for a couple of minutes. So I resorted to a self spot and soon enough I was called by Graham G3OHC followed by a satisfying small run to qualify the summit on 60m CW… nice!
I then moved to FE (5.3985) SSB where I expected to mop up a few more of the regulars. However I only worked four more stations before moving off to 40m where business really got started.
I called and immediately got rolling with Bert DF5WA followed by a nice long run of stations on 7.032 CW.
This went well but I must say it was a little unruly at times. A little more power from my end and patience seemed to restore order. I was also surprised today by the number of tuners on the QRG. It didn’t bother me too much but I hope the chasers didn’t struggle.
I pressed on and the pile worked down nicely with a variety of countries calling in with some good inter-G conditions too. When things dried up, I moved off to 7.117 SSB to catch a few more stations.
After a quick call I was found by Jeff G4ELZ and the run continued including a first for me… being chased by a maritime mobile station M0PMC/MM. It was tough going but we managed to exchange calls and reports and think I caught his location but I am still curious as to exactly where he was.
As things progressed I was aware that my 706 was showing signs of the battery dying. This surprised me as I had only been working on two bands so far and intended to do 30m and 20m too. This seemed odd to be finishing so soon but in hindsight it was not surprising as I made 77 QSO’s… many more than usual!
I just about finished exchanging with the last callers when the battery finally gave up. I quickly packed up the station and went home for some lunch.
Thanks to all callers and especially GM0AXY, DL2DXA and G4ELZ for the spots.
Total 77 QSO’s
60m CW - 5 QSO’s
60m SSB - 4 QSO’s
40m CW - 51 QSO’s
40m SSB - 17 QSO’s
17 DXCC entities worked… strangely no GW
73 Marc G0AZS