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Sunday 29 June 2014

Planning a DXpedition to Tan Hill

I am planning a DXpedition to Tan Hill, home of the highest pub in England, my plan is to take a rig, battery rated around 10Ah, may get a bigger one (my scooter's battery is 7Ah and I need that to power my scooter's starter motor so I cannot use that), or a portable jump-starter with a 12 volt outlet, I just need a collapsible pole and antenna, I plan to make up what is called a T2LT for this purpose.  This is inspired by others going up hills to do this, and Tan Hill makes a good place, I'm sure the Amateurs would like it too, and best of all there's a pub up there for food and drink

Update: Listening to GB3IR, the 2m repeater in Richmond, this evening (I obviously cannot transmit as I don't hold an Amateur license yet) the Amateurs that were on air have mentioned Tan Hill so they actually have used it themselves for HF work, so I am not the first nor am I the last.

The pub itself stands at 1732ft ASL, so the location is pretty much perfect for radio, especially DXing on both 27MHz and 446MHz (I may give the latter a go as well depending on how much charge is in my radios, though I can charge them up prior to the event and take spare batteries, but my aim is to try on 27MHz, as it is sat around spare and it the better of the three mobile rigs I own I will use the Midland 78+ Multi B (the TTI TCB550 is on gateway duties so won't be removed and the Moonraker FA5000 has an awful s-meter and cannot do AM, as AM is now legal and my Midland 78 Plus is type approved for use in the EU as far as I can tell it is legal to use on AM here, for the full 4-watt output on AM, it is required to put the radio into the setting for Spanish channels as these use 26.965-27.405 AM and FM at 4 watts.

My new Sony headphones and my converter will also be going with me, just for those stations I may not hear easily, laptop, maybe, though a notepad would allow me to write down callsigns, I simply need to pick up a portable power supply (a battery and volt meter may be sufficient as a temporary measure until I can get something better), a telescopic or collapsible pole, and an antenna, preferably of the T2LT type.

I may also look into picking up a President Grant II CB radio, as I hear these are very good indeed, and I've wanted a President CB radio for a while now, but until then I will just use my Midland 78+ Multi B.

One thing that I intend to do is take an SWR meter, my good quality Zetagi combo SWR and power meter will be ideal for this role, my cheaper two aren't brilliant, one has a needle that is not as precise as it should be and the other sometimes likes to stick, one of these is connected to my home antenna system for the CB gateway as the radio is also connected to it and I need to monitor if the tuner is working as it should be on occasions.

on PMR446 the antenna will be screwed into the radio, so no meters, coax, or anything else.

If I take the computer I may take the RTL-SDR and use it with another antenna, provided I don't overload it with my own transmissions.

So, I'll post an update as and when this DXpedition takes place, Tan Hill is there, I might as well use it for radio.

73 de 26CT730

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