Had some spare time on the weekend so decided to grab a radio or 2 and head for the Welsh hills. I admit that the forecast wasn’t that great but it still didn’t prepare me for the blinding wall of mist that was hanging around on the mountain top 🙂
The rain stayed away though (good for the radios) and with temperatures just the right side of freezing, it was a half decent night of interruption free radio play time.
You know your in the right place for radio use when the mountain your on hosts not one but 3 big communication towers, all kitting out with the usual array of verticals and microwave dishes.
Starting on the 2 meter (144mhz) ham band showed almost a full set of repeaters with many of the frequencies either in use or the repeaters sending out their call signs in Morse. This for me is always an indication of how good a piece of high ground is going to be.
It creates a weird delayed stereo effect but I like to use a second scanner on the inputs of the repeaters to see how many of the Hams come through.
License Free Radio
Another one of my favorites is the license free PMR frequencies and although the system has limited power/range, the line of sight the sheer height of the mountain allows, bought in a mass of signals.
It helps that there are a few of the UK’s bigger cities in range. Even though a high percentage of the users are connected with a business you’d be surprised at the number that use them for more personal communications also.
Spinning around the most used taxi frequencies are an excellent way of judging range because most drivers will (in the end) give a location that you recognize.
All in all a good night on the mountain and the weather (as it was) didn’t get any worse and force me to retreat to the tent 🙂
I’ll leave you with a picture of the climb up to the summit of the mountain (hard going but great fun).