On Tuesday I completed the erection of my tri-band colinear at the new QTH and carried out some tests over a 3km path to G6ALB to see how results compared between my old and new QTH on 6, 2 and 70cms. I was expecting results "on the hill" to be somewhat better, but in actual fact over this short path the results were identical within the limits of experimental error. Andrew put in various levels of attenuation to see how low he could go and still copy me. On 2m for example he could put in 43dB attenuation and still just copy me. 43dB is an attenuation of 20000 times suggesting just a few uW is enough to cover this distance.
Yesterday morning I was able to work through the Welwyn Garden City 70cm repeater, although conditions were up a bit. Last night I worked several I and HA stations on 6m SSB and CW during an unexpected Es opening, getting good reports with my 5W. Conclusion so far: the antenna works fine.
I am now considering that big-wheel for 2m on the same mast. I am looking forward to working some SSB/CW stations again on 2m.