I was very spoilt during my time on the Isle of Mull with the opportunity of working plenty of amateur radio in the portable, with the rare luxury of being able to do it from indoors since we were staying at a friend’s cottage! This gave me the flexibility of operating at different times of the day and night and I made plenty of contacts mainly on 17 metres, but also a few on 20 and 40 metres.
My only regret of my time on Mull was that I was limited with the battery only and did not have a power supply with me. This limited my power output potential to what the 7Ah battery could handle, but I can’t complain. From Mull, I made my first two long path contacts into VK from Scotland on the bands and this included a VK5 station who was receiving me readability 5 with just 5 watts!
As the photographs show, the Buddipole was set up in the front garden at Iona Cottage in Bunessan on the West side of the Isle of Mull. It was approximately 25 metres from the water so not as close as I would have liked but it worked well at this location. As always on this trip, I was only using the shock chord mast, so I set it up as a vertical with a single counterpoise/radial. I did set it up late one afternoon as a horizontal dipole on 40 metres hoping for some inter UK contacts on the band and did work Beth 2W0VOW (who could hardly hear me) who I know and John MM0GGI in Sutherland.
I had intended resuming the 40 metre activity after dinner but sadly the antenna blew over in the high wind putting a swift end to that session. Fortunately, it fell on to the grass and the 8 feet of elevation ensured no damage to the antenna. I was somewhat perplexed after dinner at the quietness of 40 metres before realising on inspection that the antenna had fallen over.
Looking back at the log, most contacts were with stations throughout Europe (the novelty of working endless European stations had not worn off yet at that point!) on 17 metres. However, the contacts that stand out from this location with the limited power were:-
17 metres – John VK5PO copying me 5/5 with 20 watts and 5/1 with 5 watts!
17 metres – Dennis VE3QT in Ottawa
17 metres – Don WV4VX in Viriginia
20 metres – Charlie VK8HW copying me well with 10 and 30 watts.
Filed under: Amateur Radio