Monday, 19 May 2014

/P hat trick weekend

With the good weather back, I managed to get out Fri, Sat and Sun to do some /P.

On Friday, I went up to the Burton Dassett Hills Country park after work. It was sunny and 22C.
I put up the 20.76m doublet as an inverted V up to 9m using a homebrew ladder line. The pole was held by the sotabeams guying kit.

Burton Dassett Hills Country park shack

M0HDF/P station
Station: HB1B, SWR/PWR meter, MFJ 901B, mini paddle, Gwhip 1:1 current balun, amplified speaker from Amazon.
The doublet worked pretty well on 40, 30 & 20m. I was not able to tune 20m with the Gwhip 1:1 current balun and I had to use the MFJ 901-b internal 4:1 voltage balun due to the high impedance.
The antenna worked pretty well on all bands, with stations calling back after my CQs. 

I enjoyed QRPs ragchew QSOs in 40 and 20m with DQ0E Norbert, F5LAW Wille, OK1FAO/QRP Jirka, SP3FJK -Marek, & HA9RP Osze. with pretty good reports.

On Saturday morning I picked up my new antenna analyser kit shipped from AU and a new Elecraft T1 ATU from the post office. In the afternoon, we went to the Barr Beacon to meet the guys from CRAC, who were doing a foundation license practise assessment.
I repeated with the same antenna. The EA & UN DX contests were going on and we worked a few EU stations on 20m, the conditions were not great. DXCCs worked: I, YL, EA7, EA5, DL, SP. I had a a few longer QSOs on 40m with DM2BRF Dietrich, F3ET Paul and G4LHI Peter.
In the early evening I worked a few more stations on the contest to test the T1 ATU with my delta loop at home. YT, OG, EF, 3Z, OK, OM and RA/UU9JK in the box.

 On Sunday, we went for our 5Km loop walk around the local Clent Hill and Walton Hill. Nice sunny weather, with a pleasant breeze. As we got to the top of Walton Hill, we met G4TCU Steve who was working the UK 2m backpackers contest. We had a brief chat to let him know we were going to be operating CW on 40m, and he commented on the 25Kg of his contest station (the majority of it being the power pack). It is an interesting comparison with our 2Kg CW SOTA /P station.

G4TCU at 144MHz backpackers contest @ Walton Hill top
Steve contacted me after the contest and shared his contest log map.

Walton Hill G/CE-002 shack
 I put up the multiband EFHW switched for 40m with the 7m sota pole and run the wire parallel to the fence as the place is a popular summit with a lot of hikers and did not want to have the wire all over the place.
It was a little bit windy at the top. With the Mountain tuner the shack was assembled in a few minutes.
We only activated the summit using Eva's call - M0HJV/P on 40m. We had limited time today as we had friends coming home for a BBQ.

Operating position

The hat and long sleeves were mandatory on Sunday as I got sun-burnt the previous day. I set the keyer to 20-21wpm. With the alert in place, the RBN picked up pretty well the call by sending SOTA in front of and after the auto CQ of the HB1B. It was a slow start, but it picked up after a while. We worked M0IML, ON6ZQ, F5UBH, G4SSH, G4FVK, PA4M, G4ELZ. After the S2S  I jumped to 7.032 and worked G0DDX/P & GM4COX.

DK2JK/P Heribert called on my frequency from DM/NW-185 at 12.04z - I gave him a 449. A few minutes later I called on his frequency (4Khz higher) an we exchange 599s, I guess the propagation must have changed or I did not zero beat him the first time around. After that  I called G4ASA/P Dave on G/TW-003, he responded to my "/P /P" very swiftly and we completed the exchange.

Many thanks to all the chasers. I was a lot of fun to work SOTA again on 40m.

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