On the 11th of May I spent the late morning and afternoon on the Shropshire hills at a place called ‘The Stiperstones’.
I was visiting family in Pontsbury near Shrewsbury for a few days and took the opportunity to do some operating from the hills, especially as the club was on the air from the gun powder mills, GB2RGM.
The weather was cloudy, with a few periods of sun, plenty of rain showers and none too warm.
As can be seen the light was poor and I erected the aerials between heavy showers. The actual Stiperstones known locally as the devils chair are on the summit behind the car. The car park had a few cars mainly from the hardy souls who walk in all weathers.
The equipment was my trusty Icom 706 mk11G and just a droopy 10x10m doublet. This type of aerial I have used portable for many years and I consider it to be on of the best all round aerials for this job. One problem I did encounter was the fact that I could not operate the set at my normal 30 – 50W power as the volt drop from the accessories plug fell to 12v at those levels. So I opted to run 10w SSB on 40m.
Forty metres from there is usually good with a low noise floor. However, as the rain/hail came over the noise levels rose from 1 to s9+ wiping out even the strongest signals. I did work 15 stations all over the UK including GB2RGM, and club members operating from Mountnessing and Upminster mills.
I would have worked more but conditions were becoming very noisy and the wx was getting worse so I decided to close down at about 1500. Even then I had to wait for some very heavy showers to cross before I managed to get everything packed away.
All in all an enjoyable afternoon even with rain, sleet, hail and a gale.