It was while we were setting up for the 144MHz May contest back on the 15th May 2010 that Tony, G0MBA mentioned he had an FT-847 for sale because he’d replaced it with a TS-2000. Without worrying too much where I’d scrape the cash from, I said I’d have it to replace my ageing FT-736 and Tony picked it up from home and gave it to me that same weekend.
Three weeks later we’d already scheduled to do some repair work on my 2m aerial setup here and at the same time I was presented with a second hand aerial for 10m, a Sirio 827 by Yan, 2E0YAN (now M0YNK) with the logic that now I had an HF radio, I may as well have an aerial to use. That was put up alongside my 2m beam.
Luckily it was during the Sporadic Es season and so I was able to use it straight away. My first ever HF QSO from home was on the 5th June 2010 at 16:41 with OE3DMA, Alex.
I liked 10m, it was something new and very different to what I’d used before and even though I had no ATU, I managed to squeeze a few watts up the aerial on 6m and work a handful of stations on the ‘magic band’ a couple of weekends later.
Having got the feel of HF with 10m during Es season, it was only a matter of time before I wanted more and on the 28th August 2010 I became active using a ‘long’ 70ft end fed wire using an SGC 237 Smartuner on all the other HF bands.
I only had a total of 235 HF QSOs during 2010 but that enthused me enough to start the QSO365 project throughout 2011 and my station has gone from strength to strength since then with the addition of an Alimast from Aerial-Parts of Colchester, a Hexbeam and an Acom 1000 amplifier.
If you’d asked me about the HF bands just over two years ago, I’d have said that I wasn’t interested in operating HF! How times change.
Incidentally, we came fourth in our section in the May contest.