It was a clear dry evening last night at 8.30pm in the March SHF UKAC and I set-up both 13cm and 3cm dishes on the tripod at Remenham Hill, my normal /P perch in IO91NM. This is a roadside layby just north of Wargrave, with clear views of the horizon in all directions. Quickly I worked G4BRK and G4LDR on 13cm SSB. But 3cm remained very quiet.
For the first time from this QTH I managed to find the GB3SEE Reigate Beacon on 10368.850MHz. It was weaker in strength than from some of the other sites I use nearby, Remenham Hill must be obstructed to the SE. It was good news finding the beacon, it meant that I could work out the approximate offset of my transverter, which was calculated to be about 22.3KHz high of the dial frequency on the FT-290R.
With my frequency better defined, I tried again on ON4KST with Neil G4LDR in Salisbury and we managed to work each other on 3cm. Neil's signal was very distorted by rain scatter from a set of rain clouds that were between us, moving my way from the SW and W! Rain scatter produces a profound doppler shift with signals moving up and down in frequency and on SSB this sounds almost auroral. The rain clouds last night were moving quickly towards me and the scattering effect meant that it was difficult to resolve Neil's signal, but we managed to complete a 3cm QSO with RS helping. My first 3cm QSO in 2017.
At about 10pm the rain arrived overhead and I got absolutely soaked! I did manage to hear M0GHZ and G4BAO on 3cm before packing away, but my 150mW was too QRP for them to hear me. Fortunately no water got into the transverter boxes and everything is back in the shack drying out, ready for another outing in next months event!