Monday, 17 March 2014

SOTA Activation: Gun & The Cloud

We drove to the Southern Pennines Region to activate a couple of summits on Sunday. The weather was not that good - cloudy and windy and temp of 9C. We parked nearby the summit as recommended in the SOTA summit info. The family decided to stay in the car due to the weather so I run up the 600m to the top the hill to activate the summit. (quite an easy access)

view to the East from Gun G/SP-013 
I used a new 7m SOTA pole from sotabeams.co.uk - 600gr weight saving w.r.t my 10m pole and a lot more manageable. On the North side of the summit I found shelter from the wind close to a few trees and stone fences.

QTH
I lifted an EFHW for 20m as an inverted L with the top pointing towards the East. I used a couple of trees to support the pole and top of my inverted L (mason line run to the tree in the background). It took me a little bit longer than expected to set up - the insulator slipped over the top of the pole when I was tightening the mason line.

Operating position
 I called CQ at 20wpm with the picokeyer plus and on the second attempt Manuel EA2DT responded from Pamplona, I recognised his callsign immediately as I worked him in the last activation. I used to go over there with work back in 2006, very nice place.
After him, Jean VE2JCW replied, this was my first SOTA DX. The band seemed to be in a better shape than in the past days with the German stations coming very loud, 20 min of operating produced 22 QSOs. I also made a contact with what I wrote down as DL/WA1USA - a google search returned USS Saratoga aircraft carrier museum ship??? - marinefunker.de  [did I copy the call correctly?]
Worked DXCC: EA, VE, DL, DJ, DF, DK, OE, CU, HB, OM, SM, SP, GW, F

The EFHW and Mountain Tuner seems to be working great, it will be interesting to compare it back to back with my Gwhip resonant end fed which is a solid performer.

No time for 40m this week. I packed quickly and run back to the car.

We drove for 10 min to The Cloud and parked passed the Shooting Range. The summit is very close from there.
Approaching The Cloud G/SP-015

Eva called CQ on 145.500 with the Kenwood TH22E @5W and the Diamond whip (364 gr) and we both made the required QSOs. Thanks to Alan G3NPJ, John M6JUR, Frank M0AFF, John G0NAJ, Mike M0OZH/P (s2s at Gun).




We quite enjoyed the views. I can see now why The Cloud is so popular. It is a pity that the weather was not better...




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