Thursday, 11 February 2010

Whitfell and Ingleborough

Yesterday (Wednesday) I went up Whitfell (SOTA LD-032). Took the 6m half wave up there with the FT-817 and handhelds for 2m/70cm/4m. Was going to do 23cm but forgot the handheld's original antenna which would cover that band. I wonder if a normal dual band 2m/70cm one would work just as well because 432*3 = 1296.
Got some of the local regulars on 4m and 6m, G6LKB, G7RNX, G6CRV and G1KLZ. Most of the 6m activity seems to be in this area, unless there are people on there further away and can't hear me. 6 metres hasn't taken off like 4m has, it's one of those bands where you've either got it because your equipment happens to include that band (tri-band verticals etc.) or you don't use it at all. Users of 70MHz are more likely to have built something specially for that band and be looking out for any activity on there. 70MHz now has enough users to be able to get all 4 qualifying SOTA QSOs on there.
The band which has always stayed about the same for SOTA is 70cm. Almost everyone has an antenna at home and on the car for that band yet hardly anybody uses it. Why? Is it because it's usually combined with 2m so on many rigs you can only listen to one band at a time? Or because it's just 'the other band', almost exactly like 2m but with less people.

Today (Thursday) I went up Ingleborough (SOTA NP-005).
Just took the Wouxun 4m handheld and the Alinco DJG-7. It was a nice day except for being very cold at the top. The last few metres of climbing were a crawl over some snow. This is the steepest part of the path from Ingleton.
Made QSOs on 23cm, 4m and 2m (some people on more than one band). On 4m using the Wouxun, the best signals seemed to be when I had my back in the direction of the other station. I've noticed this with a CB handheld too, but it's the opposite on 2m and above, where you have to face towards them.

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