Wednesday, 12 March 2014

SOTA Activations G/WB-003 & G/WB-005

Glorious SOTA Sunday... Proper spring weather, 17C and sunny. Apparently, every SOTA activator on the country was out yesterday!
We drove to The Shropshire Hills AONB, in the Welsh Border region, planning on doing two 2 point summits, each one with a 3 point winter bonus (ironic with yesterday's weather).

Approaching Manstone Rock from the South
G/WB-003 Stiperstones - 536m ASL

After evaluating the terrain, we decided to place the QTH on the North side of the rock to get out of the way. 

We put the 40m EFHW antenna as an inverted V to a 9m pole in the North-South direction so I could operate 40m and 20m bands and a 2m counterpoise. Setting up took a little longer than anticipated, lacking some practise, the antenna wire and guy lines got all tangled.

Views towards the Northwest
The night before I had added 6m of mason line to the end of the antenna, which meant the wire end was about 2m high with the wire-winder in the ground. I also programmed my picokeyer plus to send CQ at 22wpm and my callsign at 18wpm plus SOTA, which was detected OK by the RBN gateway.

Operating position
I used my HB1B on the Li-Ion battery outputting 3.5W onto the Mountain Tuner, pk+ & mini paddle. 
I started on 40m and worked 13 stations, then moved on to 20m, working another 6 stations, one of them S2S (Gyula - HA2VR/P on HA/EM-22). Thanks to all the chasers.

I wish I had a rig to work 12m given the current solar conditions.
20m was poor and I am not convinced about the 40m EFHW wire on 20m as an inverted V. More experimentation required...

SOTA embodiment. This one speaks for itself...
We packed around 2.30 pm and as we started to move Nick - MW5DND/P on top of the Aston Hill answered Eva's call (M0HJV/P) on 2m FM.

We made our way down so we had enough time to drive to the next summit. 

It was slightly colder and windier when we got to the top of the Pole Bank, so we went for a 2m activation on FM with the Kenwood TH-22E @ 5W and Diamond RH-771 whip antenna. 

We managed to get 5 QSOs each before the battery gave up. 
Thanks to Adrian G4AZS, Simon G0EIY, Peter GW1FOA, Gary 2E0DAQ and Jimmy M0HGY/P (S2S to G/SP-015 The Cloud).

Looking forward to the next outing...

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