I replaced the stock dynamic microphone element in my MH-31 microphone with an electret element, as described originally by M0UKD. As far as I can tell, it works at least as well as the original microphone.
The stock mike never impressed me, so I had the W4RT voice booster installed. I did not notice any improvement, but the mike picked up RF on occasion. Signal reports deteriorated over time and finally the microphone seemed to stop working altogether.
Every few weeks, business takes me to the UK. This trip, I arrived a day early to play radio and activated SOTA sites G/SE-015 (Cheriton Hill), G/SE-013 (Detling Hill), G/SE-007 (Crowborough), and G/SE-005 (Botley Hill).
This peak is about a half hour south of Nicosia, mostly along the same roads that I took recently to get to 5B/CY-043, Kreatos, recently. I had thought that I might just eek out two activations today, but it took me longer than I had anticipated to get to this summit and the sun was already too low when I wrapped up this peak to try another.
This activation followed hot on the heels of 5B/CY-046 (Pipis). It is also a relatively low mountain, but near the capital city of Nicosia. Unfortunately, this site is not as picturesque as Pipis, since the top of the mountain is a commercial radio antenna site.
This peak is worth only one point in the SOTA scheme, but it is half an hour drive from Nicosia and there is a road right to the summit. The summit and the area around it are perfect for a picnic outing as well. The dirt road up is a bit rough in places, but did not require four wheel drive. Cars with moderate clearance should do okay as long as the weather is good.
I chose this site because I thought it would be a fairly easy approach by car and, lacking any trees, would be a good chance to try out my new Buddipole. All of that turned out to be true, and I would say that this is a great site for anyone who is visiting and wants to add a painless activation to their itinerary. Just one critical piece of advice: don’t entirely believe Google Maps.
I haven’t participated in any contests recently as I’ve gotten busy with the move to Cyprus and at work, but a few contests were recently scored and I learned that I did pretty well in the Virginia and Delaware QSO Parties
Every year, a few QSO parties fall on the same day, some large ones including 7th Call Area QSO Party and the New England QSO Party, and some individual state ones like the Indiana QSO Party. And then there is Delaware.
After activating Stony Man (W4V/SH-002), I hopped in the car and drove a bit more south on Skyline Drive to reach the Upper Hawksbill Trail parking area.
The trail up is wide and well-maintain and joins up with a gravel fire road for the last third of the ascent to the summit. At the top, there is a shelter and stone stairs lead to an observation platform that has a stunning view. The total distance in is about a kilometer and a half and elevation gain is about 100m. I had good cellular data service from parking to summit.
I saved two ten-point peaks for a drizzly weekday, hoping that would cut down on the number of visitors I’d run into, but even on an off day, Stony Man and Hawksbill, two of the highest peaks in Shenandoah National Park, were busy.