Getting ready to get back on the motorcycle and head to the hills… on HF!!


Admittedly I sort of gave up a little last year on this blog, for no specific reason other than I was too busy doing many different things; field days out with friends, rides with friends, kids and grandkids etc. But in 2023 I want to at least make a start and hopefully put a little more effort into documenting my motorcycle travels and mini adventures. You never know, I may even end up with more than 10 views!

So, even though it has been snowing a little here in Newport today, apparently – so they tell me – spring is approaching and the weather will soon start to warm up, and I find myself getting excited about the prospect of once again heading out on my motorbike, up into the hills and hidden areas around South Wales and the West, operating portable on my radio. For me, even though I only have a small 125cc bike, there’s something exciting about combining the thrill of riding with the joy of amateur radio. Maybe that’s just me, eh!

Big and exciting addition this year though! Last year when I headed out, I always operated on VHF with my Yaesu FT70D, and while I was still able to make some great contacts with operators some 100 or so miles away in places such as the Isle of Wight, Shropshire hills and Wiltshire, there’s just something about the HF bands that offers an additional unique and exciting challenge – especially portable AND especially from a motorcycle!. So this year I’m looking forward to taking the IC7300 out, exploring the possibilities of HF portable operations.

I am currently investigating the logistics of how to best carry the equipment – safely – on the motorcycle. I need to safely carry and store a battery sufficient for several hours HF operation, the Icom IC7300, an ATU and other equipment needed, in addition to my drinks, sarnies and regular supplies required for a day away from shops and cafés. The current plan is to cut out some 6″ thick foam to place in the lower part of the rear back-box where the IC7300 and ATU will be located, and to place some form of semi rigid backpack on the rear seat attached to the back box which will house the battery etc.

Hopefully by the time some warmer weather arrives I’ll have it all sorted and arranged for my first foray into the hills. One place I visited several times last year but didn’t document was on the eastern side of the Llanthony valley, a place called the Cats Back – beautiful it is up there, just gorgeous. Setting up an HF antenna there would yield great reach so that may end up being one of the first locations I visit – weather depending of course.

Lots to sort in the meantime, and not in the least my bikes’ very first MOT! Wish me (and her!) luck!! Hopefully there will be more blog posts and pics here over the next few months, and if you’ve read this far – you’re mad! but thanks 🙂

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