As some of you might know, I was scheduled to activate Mallow Castle as part of the CASHOTA weekend in UK and Ireland for the North Cork Radio Group www.ei1nc.com . I was all excited about this, had the rig and antenna ready to go and had the event planned out in my head.
Yesterday was a beautiful day, the sun was out and shining like mad. I had checked the solar terrestrial chart earlier that morning and saw that 20m was supposed to be good (this was about 830am), so that made my mind up, 20m is where I would begin the activation.
With this information in hand, along with my logbook and pen, I went to the location and was all set up. I began to call at approximately 1055am and nothing. I was a bit surprised so I kept calling, and nothing. Oblivious to any possible issues, I kept calling and calling, and calling but noone came back to me. On checking the terrestrial chart again, I notice all the bands were listed as "poor". O great, just my luck, this was the atmospheres way of telling me to shut up and go away lol.
So Im sat there, for hours, calling and calling and not one reply......until about 1320 when I could hear faint signals coming through. Luckily I managed to make some contacts, 58 in total which was ok considering the conditions, but not great in the overall expectancy of a CASHOTA event of 5 - 6 hours calling. I finished up the event about 1545 and will try again today, hopefully conditions are better and I can fill the log a bit but knowing the luck I have been having lately, I dont know.
On saying that, last night I made loads of contacts to Europe through 10m. I dont really use the band much and only checked it out because of Paul Colyer mentioning it was open inter g. Stations were flying in and I made 76 contacts in all last night, lots of PA, DL and ON stations on, along with G stations. Apparantly I was a rare contact on 10m for some of the G stations but due to the short skip on 10m they were able to work me. At least I saw some decent action!!!
So today is a new day and Im on the go again, according to the chart this morning, all the HF bands are poor with the exception of 17 - 15m which are "fair". Must keep an ear out on 10 and 6m also as it seems that there is or will be activity, so itll just have to be hit and miss.
73 for now, Lisa