Brian G6AUR and myself ventured out to our favourite spot, the Blorenge Mountain in South Wales (near Blaenavon, IO81LS) on Sunday 11th December 2016. The previous day had been a wash-out in the South of England and most portable activity was re-arranged for the Sunday. When we got there, it was fine, but there was a cold wind, which made us restrict the aerial height.
We quickly established contact with Noel & Dave on the Isle of Wight and they were a good signal on talkback. We had a fairly easy, two way QSO on 146.5MHz, 333ks/s, with Noels signals achieving an MER of about 14dB. By the skin of our teeth, this constitutes a new world distance record for a two way 2m RB-TV contact at 185km.
We also were received at full scale MER by Ivor G1IXF in Bristol (46km), who had been busy the previous week working on his aerials for the weekend. We also accessed the GB3ZZ 2m RB-TV input, off the back of the input beam, which is heading South East at present.
A little later in the afternoon, Brian G3NWR/P arrived at Clee Hill. He was a reasonable signal on his mobile whip, but once he got his beams up, it was end stop on talkback even at minimum power – not surprising for a 86km line of sight path between two 500+m peaks! We worked Brian two way on 146.5MHz 333ks/s with full scale MER.
We beamed in all directions at various times over the three hours that we were active on site, but the only other station we heard or worked was Rob M0DTS/P, who was quite weak on talkback. All told, it was a very enjoyable day and thanks go to all the other stations that went out portable in the middle of winter! One of my winter projects will be to re-configure my equipment so that I can operate in the car, because it was really cold at 515m asl. A Happy Christmas to all ATVers and we look forward to working you all next year.