Many thanks to Steve (MW0SAW) who shares the following field report:
Mini Field Report: Testing the Gabil 7350T and BaMaTech TP-III on a brisk SOTA activation!
by Steve (MW0SAW)
Went for an early walk/SOTA activation up Fan Fawr GW/SW-005 (734m) this morning (9/4/23). I think someone said it was supposed to be the hottest day of the year in the UK. It was about 5 deg celsius with a bitter wind chill of -2c on the summit! It’s very close to the highest peak in South Wales, Pen Y Fan (886m).
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in our emails, I wanted to test a new compact antenna I purchased recently, called the Gabil 7350T in the USA, and branded as the Sharman MD-3500 in the UK where I got mine. I also took the Gabil GRA-ULT01 MK2 tripod which I did purchase from the USA on Amazon.com.
Another first for the the activation was the Bamatech TP-III ultra compact paddle, Dinos were included 🙂
Starting my walk, the lovely view of the reservoir quickly disappeared and was the last view I would see ascending into the mist.
I took refuge in my Decathlon 1 man camping shelter, setting up the tripod and antenna close by.
The wind was howling and turning my back the antenna toppled over. This was quickly resolved with a tent peg on one of the tripod legs. Quick setting of the slider with the analyser got 1.2 SWR and so after a slurp of coffee, I started to call CQ on 20m CW. A nice stream of European qsos ensued with good reports (many 599), it was pleasing to hear with such a small antenna (about 8 ft). Just as the contacts were drying up, I was taken aback by a strong VK station! Always great feeling to get some dx like that but especially pleasing with this tiny antenna on its maiden voyage 🙂
I switched to 20m SSB for a few more QSOs but struggled with QRM on two frequencies. My allotted time was running low and my fingers were numb, so I packed up the HF and got the handie out to catch a few local VHF contacts.
So what can I summarise from this activation, well I can safely say I love the Gabil/Sharman antenna and Gabil tripod. They would make a really nice additional to a small go bag, they seemed to work almost as good as a full size 1/4 on 20m. Time was limited this trip and I was too cold to hang about to try more bands, but extremely pleased with the performance so far.
The Bamatech key is a pure work of art, beautifully made, sensitive and precise. Probably my best portable key to date in my collection.
(Note: Amazon links are QRPer.com affiliate links.)
- Elecraft KX2
- Bamatech TP-III ultra compact paddle
- Gabil 7350T compact telescoping HF antenna (a.k.a. the Sharman MD-3500 in the UK)
- Gabil GRA ULT01 tripod
- Sark 110-ULM mini analyser
- Kenwood TH-K20E
- Diamond RH770 antenna
Thanks to all the chasers.