Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Prettiest Portable Site

We're enjoying some wonderful weather here in the Lake District at the moment. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get out on the hills for some radio activation. I've been plagued with back pain ever since I returned from Blackpool. But not only that, sometimes I have to go somewhere that is of interest to Olga.

Today we decided to take a drive down to visit Holehird Gardens, home of the Lakeland Horticultural Society. For Olga, who is if anything even more obsessed with gardening than I am with radio, this is like visiting a really big ham radio show would be for me. I have zero interest in gardening, but I do enjoy looking at a nice garden, and I enjoyed the day out as much as she did. In fact, we agreed we should visit Holehird more often.

I took along the little Jin Ma Tong JT-228 VHF radio because it is small, light and easily slips in a shirt pocket. The antenna was a short stubby helical. No sooner had we arrived than I heard Phil M0AYB/P calling CQ Wainwrights On The Air from the summit of Great Gable. Phil was rattling off the contacts, and soon heard my call. I was pleased to make a contact using 3W to such a small antenna especially as Phil was also using a stock rubber duck, though according to a panorama engraved on the slate behind me in the picture Great Gable was line of sight from where I was standing so it shouldn't have been too difficult.

More was to come, as just after Olga had taken my picture I heard Derek 2E0MIX/P calling CQ WOTA from the summit of Hindscarth. I got in a quick call and Derek heard me first, so we had a quick chat. Hindscarth was not line of sight, I think, but Derek was using his SOTA Beam which made a big difference. I was well pleased to make two WOTA contacts using the tiny hand-held radio. I popped it back in my shirt pocket and carried it around for the rest of the afternoon but didn't hear anyone else although several Wainwright summits were activated.

However I was too busy enjoying the wonderful warm weather and beautiful Holehird Gardens to worry too much about the contacts I missed.

What this proved to me is that you don't need to be up on the fells to enjoy some WOTA fun. Come to the Lake District and bring a hand-held with you and you'll be sure to make some contacts!


Anonymous said...

Julian, the memsahib and I were also in the Lakes today...only a short drive from Barnard Castle. Our favourite Cornish pasty shop in Keswick absolutley inundated with holiday people. Disgraceful ! GRIN.
if you want a good bacon buttie, go to St. Patrick Landing on Ullswater.
Nice poeple running the cafe there AND they have diabetic ice-cream for the memsahib.
Reference VHF, I have 2 metres but Barney is an impossible location, surrounded by hills.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Greetings Julian,

Nice to see someone is enjoying some nice weather. Although the lawn has greened up and the dogwoods are blooming its been raining for the past three days and the current temp is a chilly 5 degrees C here in Ohio.


Paul Stam PAØK said...

Hi Julian, it's always nice to have a nice garden. And indeed, the weather is great. It is almost summer. Today up to 25C. It will last until Easter weekend. 73 Paul

Steve GW7AAV said...

Thanks for the tip off Julian. It looks like a great place to visit in between SOTA/WOTA summits next time we get a week up there. Maybe one to take the mother-in-law round to lull her in to a false sense of security before making her walk up Scafell Pike or Helvellyn. ;0)

Jspiker said...

Hello Julian...beautiful place. I remember it well. Sorry to hear about the back. Keep pushing yourself as much as possible. It's better to keep moving as long as you can.


PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hi Julian, it's nice you did a visit for Olga as well. And enjoy it yourself doing your hobby. I've been in our garden whole day and enjoy it, but my main interest is radio. My XYL does like gardening a lot but since she has a bad back like you, I have to do all the heavy work. It doesn't matter as long as she is happy and I can use the garden for my horizontal loop in winter. 73, Bas