On yer bike….to the hilltop – bicycle portable on 28/50/144 and 432MHz

It seemed ages since I’d taken the FT-817 and a whip antenna out on the bike. After a very wet Jubilee day yesterday, although there were some dark clouds about I decided to get out this morning before any rain could fall.

My simple 28/50/144/432MHz setup carried on the bike is the FT-817 and an ATX Walkabout antenna which I use on 28 and 50MHz. This morning, I took the Baofeng UV-5R for 144/432MHz FM.

A favourite spot to cycle to is Windmill Hill which is a couple of miles from our house. It’s not that high, but it’s open, quiet (both electrically and not too many passers by) and it’s also a pleasant place to sit for an hour or so.

There’s usually something to listen to. This morning 28MHz was pretty quiet. I heard beacons from Finland and Norway quite weakly and IK8JWY was heard CQing weakly on CW – not strong enough to work. 50MHz was quiet too, but interesting to hear the GB3MCB beacon on 50.042 from IO70. I don’t hear it from home, so just goes to show what difference a quiet band can make.

Just as I thought I was going to have to pack up without making a contact, Matthew 2E0RNM popped up on the GB3WH repeater so it was good to chat with him.

Picture shows the relaxed operating position – and the Palm Paddle used for CW.

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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