Having previously left my handheld back at home due to rushing around, I wouldnt fail a 2nd time ! I brought my radio to my hotel near where I work in London. I had recommended previously when at home a gateway based in Bromley, being MB7ABR.
Firstly, i was just glad i could access the gateway after programming my Baofeng UV-5RTP with the necessary frequency and DTCSS code. Not being a repeater, no offset was required. The gentleman that provides the gateway has a very nice website at http://www.wiggyweb.co.uk/ detailing the gateway and how it is connected to other networks. Very generous to set it up and keep running !
I keyed up and put out my ID with a test, and sure enough the repeater beeped me back !
I was reallly amazed that in a built up city surrounded by high office buildings I could reach a gateway about 6 miles away on 5 Watts of power !
I called out a few times, but to no avail, but not to be detered, and something I am learning, just patiently waiting pays. Sure enough, after dinner a call from an Echolink user from the US of A – w3ukg got chatting. To start with my signal was weak, so i relocated near the window and everything was really clear – echolink really is amazing. We had a great chat about his pitbull dog and how he enjoyed visiting London years ago, overall a very enjoyable contact.
I’ll be bringing my little Baofeng with me on my trips to London and will continue to monitor the gateway, who knows where my next contact will be from ! If anything, its nice to have a chat with fellow radio amateurs around the world on an otherwise quiet and lonley evening in London.
73’s until next time.