Monday, 24 May 2010

6 metres

There were good 50 MHz conditions today, I worked 9A2PT (JN75JD) and E76C (JN84MX) on SSB using 50 watts to the loft antenna. These were the first long distance contacts I've made from this house on 6 metres. When I tried WSPR though I wasn't spotted by anyone but only 10 stations were listed as being active, and most of them couldn't receive each other.
28 MHz is also good at the moment, probably the best it's been for a long time.

Yesterday G7RNX and myself activated Seat Sandal (SOTA G/LD-022). Alex was on 70 MHz and I used 144 and 1297 MHz. Didn't hear any other SOTA activity in the Lake District but G1JTD and M3XJV were activating Wainwright summits just across the valley from us near Grasmere.
I tried putting a call out on 144.6125 using my Icom IC-E91 handheld (through the amp and dipole) using D-Star but got no replies, even after putting a spot on Sotawatch. Is there any simplex D-Star activity on 2 metres?
I had a look at the SOTA database and in the activator roll of honour, DV or D-Star isn't an option in the mode field. It would be either Data or Other. Out of all activators in England, since SOTA began, 7 have used Data and 9 have used Other.

Thursday, 20 May 2010


Got to EI2MLP at Mount Leinster (IO62OO) on 2m APRS from home tonight. That's nearly 180 miles so 2m conditions must be good.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Billinge Hill

Activated Billinge Hill (SOTA G/SP-017) today. I was just stopping on the way south so I didn't stay long, using the Alinco handheld with its own antenna.
Billinge Hill has a few radio masts on it so there is a problem with strong signals overloading but I managed a few contacts on 145 MHz and also 2 on 23cm (G7IEI in Westhoughton and MW1FGQ in Holywell). There is a stone building at the summit with a metal door which is some help in screening from the masts if you stand right next to it on the south side. I've been up there with an FT-817 before and that was OK.

Wythenshawe FM's link from studio to transmitter is on 52.750 MHz wide FM.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


On Sunday (9th May) I activated Seatallan (SOTA G/LD-025)
Made 30 QSOs from the summit, on 144 MHz SSB and FM. Used my FT-817 into the 30 watt amp which I'd bought at Blackpool rally. This was powered by its own 4Ah 11.1v battery so was putting out around 25 watts when driven with 5 watts from the 817.
The antenna was a slanted dipole like I used on Harter Fell last month. It had been over 5 years since I'd last been to Seatallan.
The relay in the amp doesn't have enough of a delay before it switches back to receive, but it still worked OK, I can't have sounded that bad. The furthest contacts were to G0TRB (Tamowrth), G0NES (Birmingham) and MM0RWJ (Motherwell), all using SSB.
After using the amp for about an hour, I put it on charge and it took 1000mAh to charge it back to full. I've got a Imax B6 charger which shows the amount of charge put into batteries.
The FT-817 and 4Ah battery all fit into a plastic food box.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Horizon Graph

Graph showing the elevation angle to the horizon from my roof. The flat part of the line is where there is a view out to sea. There is a 180 degree view out to sea from 140 to 320 degrees. The steepest angle is to the top of Black Combe around 335 degrees.
Between 340 and 40 degrees is the hill right behind me, with the horizon about 2km away at the top of Hawcoat.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

2 Easy North Pennines

Lovely Seat (SOTA G/NP-030) and Great Knoutberry Hill (SOTA G/NP-015) today.
Both take about 30 minutes to walk up, and less going down, and are worth 4 points.
Left home about 1pm and parked at the top of Buttertubs pass. Today I used a 1/4 wave ground plane for 145 MHz, made from 4 telescopic antennas and a BNC socket. This was taped to the fishing pole. All contacts were made on 145 MHz FM today.
From Lovely Seat (at about 3:30pm) I got 2 summit-summit QSOs, G4ZOI on LD-049 Kirkby Moor and G1JTD on NP-010 Pen Y Ghent.
As well as the usual chasers G6LKB and G1CCL, I worked M3ZSV in Thirsk.

1/4 wave ground plane antenna at Lovely Seat

Great Knoutberry Hill from Lovely Seat

From Great Knoutberry (at about 5pm) I got:

Summit of Great Knoutberry Hill

Lovely Seat from Great Knoutberry

Old car parked where I walked from

Got a total of 4 chaser summits today because I also worked G0HIK on Whitbarrow Scar (LD-056) and G1OPV on Pendle Hill (SP-005) this morning, both on 145 MHz FM.