Exmoor Portable Operation

Hi all, looks like I have a few minutes this morning to write a quick post for a change 🙂

Ive been out portable most weekends mainly on 2m and 70cm, these bands interest me because of the low use here, Ive lost interest in HF, I mainly get change to play radio at the weekends and there is nothing worse than setting up only to find the band full of contesters and contesting doesn’t really interest me. I still try some JS8Call from time to time but more recently have been using voice on 2m/70cm.

I started using VHF/UHF after sanding up some hills and had great success, but with the height advantage its expected and therefore too easy 😉

I found that using a decent antenna in my garden that I could make the occasional contact despite being in a valley but still 300m or so ASL, this has prompted me to try a few portable locations that I wouldn’t have bothered before, you have to call a few times but its worth the effort when you finally make a contact, and at times its a present surprise.

Let’s take yesterday for example.

Setting up here:

At about 460m ASL using my portable HB9CV and IC705

I made a contact immediately after switching on the radio. It was with Rod MW0JLA and Viki MW6BWA who were doing a SOTA activation on GW/SW-004 Waun Rydd – 769m ASL about 55 miles away. Very strong signal, but I wasn’t so good and got a 51 report, but they could hear me which is the point. It was only after the QSO that I checked my settings and found that I had my power set at 0% – approx 340mw so I’m pretty happy with that contact.

I then heard that Viki and Rod were moving to 70cm so I added my portable yagi to the mast and used all 10w to make a contact with them on 70cm, no problem at all this time 😉

After a few tries calling 70cm without a response I switched back to 2m and heard MW0PJE Calling, another SOTA activation this time on GW/MW-015 Bryn Amlwg – 488m just over 100 miles away.

that was followed by a QSO with GW7HJN 50 miles away near Swansea, had a nice chat before shutting down and heading home to cook dinner.

Quality not quantity was the order of the day here with my QSOs, when the sun is shining like it was on Sunday it was great to take my gear out into the country side and spend s few hours playing radio – a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon after a week stuck inside at work!

Here in England Ive found that VHF and UHF are very under utilised so will continue to call CQ and get some use out of them 🙂

Some notes on my setup:

Im using the excellent Icom IC705 Radio.

The antenna mast is a 3m telescopic painters ole supported by para cord and 3 tent pegs https://amzn.to/3DjFSjW

HB9CV attached to pole with a paint brush holder https://amzn.to/3wQX126

70cm yagi that folds up for transport https://amzn.to/3wQX126

2m portable HB9CV antenna

The above Amazon urls are my amazon affiliate links, if you buy from there I will get a few pence commission.


Mark M0IAX