Operating HF in the middle of nowhere – from a Motorcycle!

view from the cats back


I mean come on…. outstanding views, clear skies, temperatures around 24°C, a motorcycle and an Icom IC-7300 – what more could anyone want! I guess to summarise my experiences of this gorgeous hillside location, there’s little else to say except that this was simply a wonderful ride to the middle of nowhere, coupled with some first class /p amateur radio operation, and I’d absolutely recommend it to anyone!

loaded motorcycle

I previously visited this location on several occasions in 2022, the scenery & beauty matched with peace and quiet is always going to draw me to visiting many times more in the future.

foam in back box

Located approx 5 miles from Longtown, 1000′ elevation on the eastward slopes of the most eastward mountain valley in the Brecon Beacons, this remote hikers paradise is a true gem if one is seeking peace and tranquility, coupled with some portable amateur radio operation. With sarnies, drinks, fruits and the compulsory bar of chocolate hidden away in my already rammed tank bag, back-box and back-pack, I headed off out on what for me on my trusty 125cc, is about a 1 hour / 36 mile ride.

As described in previous blogs I purchased some 6″ deep foam and had it cut and to match the size and contours of the back box storage unit on the bike, so now the IC-7300, 49:1 with antenna and ATU all manage to fit in snugly, leaving heaps of space above for other items. The lead acid battery though, has its own separate space resting on the pillion seat in the back pack.

bike with telescopic mast for amateur radio antenna

Stretched out the EFHW, attached the 49:1 balun onto the telescopic mast, connected it all to the IC-7300 and voila; Europe, USA and of course all over the UK were easily obtainable. Spent a few hours mulling around across the bands, eating my grub and then had a visit from a curious biker asking what all the gear was about etc.

He was well impressed at being able to chat to someone thousands of miles away without the use of the good ‘ol internet!

He had had travelled across from Bristol to take a photo of his bike a few years down the line from when he last visited the place, and wow, what an impressive bike he was on.

honda varadero

Would you believe this motorcycle is only a 125cc? It’s a Honda Varadero that was imported from Europe as at the time they were not available in the UK, and apart from making it right hand drive 😂 the only mod he had to get sorted was new decor/gauge on the speedometer as it was reading only in kph and not mph!

We had a great chat for well over an hour and rode back down to Abergavenny with him after I had packed everything up.

It’s great isn’t it, the random folk we meet doing whatever we are doing!

icom 7300 on 20M
the cats back

view across to the east

Thanks for reading!

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