On this occasion we chose Holyhead Mountain, this is SOTA ref GW/NW-069 and at just 220 meters is a real little summit with an interesting walk. Its on the Isle of Anglesey, over looking the Irish sea with good view North into Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man and South into England. The antenna was a new portable design 6 element from John M0UKD, using a light weight aluminium boom and a quick release element system never before seen in the UK.
John had designed the antenna to be easy to assemble, having learnt on the activations to date that its often cold and hard work to tighten screws and secure elements. The new revised (mark 3) design makes use of textile secure spring loaded gripping devices, some will know these better as clothes pegs. The pegs are secured to the boom on a wooden plate, so the elements simply need to be clipped in place making the entire assembly around 60 seconds. On this occasion we used the Yaesu FT 897 and internal battery at 20w on 144 MHz SSB.
Despite our best planning the SSB part of the band was almost all filled with s9 of harsh electrical noise, in some directions we could null out the noise but it soon became apparent that SSB would not be possible from this summit. The back up plan was to move the beam into the vertical polarisation and operate on FM. This proved much more successful, with the noise reduced and we had soon worked 10 stations, including 3 summit to summit which are listed below:
GM7PKT/P (Robin) GM/SS-060 Meall Buidhe 719m (SSB) – a distance of 348 Km
M0NJW/P (Nigel) G/NP-004 Whernside 736m (FM) – a distance of 184 Km
MW6GWR/P (Ricky) GW/NW-048 Mynydd Nodol (FM)- a distance of 78 Km