I’ve been working down in Bristol for a while and wanted to do some radio ‘stuff’ but… It’s just been too damn wet!
Apart from the 17th July, which seemed like it’s the first day for weeks that it hadn’t rained. So, armed with my FT817ND, recently made (but untested) link dipole, fishing pole and very necessary groundsheet(!), off I went to Dundry Down (G/SC-010) after work.
Bristol being Bristol was a pain to drive through, but the satnav eventually brought me within a few feet of the car park recommended by Richard on SOTAwatch, and off I went through the field full of cows..!
Far from being a tip, I think this route was quite pleasant, even if some large puddles and a *lot* of cow pats needed to be navigated around! Quite easy for someone as unfit as me….
So, fishing pole was erected and link dipole setup, but for some reason SWR was found to be way out on 40M, and since I only cut it for 40, 20 and 10, that probably left only 20 to use.
Having a look on SOTAwatch spots, I noticed Hans Christian ( LA1EBA/P) on some unpronounceable 😉 summit (LA/RL-061) in Norway. He was coming through about 4/7 but I just couldn’t get in due to a long winded QSO he was in with someone in Holland I think.
Anyway, I spotted myself on SOTAwatch and was on air around 18:35z Quickly followed by a couple of contacts in Slovakia and Denmark.
Then tried getting back to LA1EBA/P who could just about hear me, but he was soon lost in the noise, unfortunately. maybe another day!
Followed by a QSO with Andy in Falkirk who very kindly put out another spot for my one remaining QSO, which was picked up by Tony in Manchester, followed closely by Sara, his XYL.
Graeme in Glasgow followed, as did 4 walkers who asked me to send their regards to Glasgow 😉 And the evening finished off with Michael from near Lake Constance in Germany.
Just before packing up, I thought I’d investigate the antenna, only to find that it was working perfectly on 40m.. Probably something to do with the ends being about a foot off the ground… oh well, never mind!
Many thanks to the following:
Altogether quite a successful first HF activation. There was quite a few stations heard on 2M FM, but the interference from the transmitters was quite bad at times, so in true ‘give up’ style, I didn’t bother 🙂