Being on medication which affects my circulation, I’ve been wary about winter activations and haven’t been out since last October. The fine weather for the last couple of days tempted me, with my first target being Corndon Hill, GW/MW-013, on Monday 8th March.
After the pull up the steep approach, taken more slowly than usual after a winter of idleness, I set up the stepped dipole in an approximately ENE direction and after a self-spot worked 10 chasers on 80M, including ON4CAP and EI7CC. A change to 40M and another self-spot brought a pile-up resulting in 12 QSOs, working into Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Norway and Scotland. The band was quite quiet, and I was using 20W from an FT857.
On Tuesday 9th, I was on Pole Bank, G/WB-005. Having found a location where my mobile would work (albeit only when holding it aloft at arms reach) I set the stepped dipole up in an approximately ESE direction along a small path to avoid excursions into the heather. A speculative call on 80M, without self-spotting, on my alerted frequency, brought an immediate response from Brian, G8ADD, who put out a spot for me. There followed a run of 10 QSOs, including, again, ON4CAP, and G0GMY on the IOW. The switch to 40M was met with a much noisier band than on Monday, but I was eventually able to post a spot for a relatively quiet frequency. There followed quite a pile-up, but today mainly UK stations. Only 5 non-UK stations were worked: DL2EF, OK1SDE, LA8BCN, DF5WA, OE6WIG, and 14 UK chasers until increasing QRM resulted in a move up the band, with a spot posted by Frank, G3RMD (Thanks, Frank). This only brought temporary respite, and after another 5 QSOs I had to call it a day. Not that I could have gone on for much longer: the 7ah SLAB was down to 9.1V on TX
Corndon Hill was by far the colder activation, due to it’s very open aspect; I had considerable shelter from the heather on Pole Bank. There was heather-burning going on about a couple of miles up wind from Pole Bank, and at that distance the scent suggested it should be dissolved in pure grain spirit and aged in oak casks, HI
I’ve had my holiday in EA8, and its about time the jet-stream returned from its sojourn on that unusually southerly path, where it has caused havoc in Madeira and dumped a lot more rain than usual on EA8. Come back and warm us up a bit in G on your way to your usual northerly summer path to give us a decent summer (or is that to much to ask)
73s, Dave, G6DTN