Over the past week, there has been a high pressure system over Scotland. This, combined with conditions for strong radiative ground cooling over night, led to widespread morning fog - and strong tropo!
For me, this was mostly a nightmare. I was working nights, and the enhanced tropospheric propagation of VHF and UHF signals meant massive amounts of co-channel interference to the DTV network! The one saving grace was that, as I left for home on friday morning, 2m FM was buzzing! By the time i'd reached the M62, i'd worked SM7YES in Sweden! Now, Per has a very, very good VHF set-up, but even so, it takes some seriously good conditions to work Sweden on 2m FM from the middle of Yorkshire! Bob, M1BBV, over in Doncaster, even worked him on a 5W handheld!
On reaching home, I quickly rigged up my FT-290Rmk1, 30w Linear amp and assorted ancillaries, to see what could be had on SSB. A couple of Germans worked and I began to notice something was amiss. It seems the 290 has a fault on USB only, a strange tone/carrier that jumps up in level when the rig is keyed, then slowly decays, before sometimes coming back up again! Im totally stumped as to whats causing this.
I visited Hornsea rally today. Sadly I didnt find much I wanted, but I did acquire the battery extension cable for the Clansman radios. I can now power them even when open for repair or alignment. More pressing now though is the need for a charger!