My 23cm capability got real today (theoretically) with the addition of a real antenna to replace the indoor mobile antenna I had hooked up as a temporary measure. A Comet CYA 1216E is now gracing my tower, pointed in the general direction of the VA7ICM D-Star repeater in Surrey.
The rough direction to point was determined from the location of the repeater available on-line:
Using this information, I was able to plot a line between my QTH and VA7ICM using Google Earth, and ascertain the direction to point in according to visible landmarks:
As usual bumbling around up the tower was 'fun'. I especially like the bit where you are holding the antenna, with an awkward 42' of LMR-400 coiled out the back, and trying to get the U bolt/nuts aligned and tightened without slipping anything or dropping anything (least of all oneself).
Anyway, I survived :-), and in theory the antenna is aimed at the right spot for VA7ICM. In practice I may have to wait to find out if everything is working until I'm properly registered on VA7ICM and unregistered from VA7RAG (which I registered with before realising that VA7ICM is probably a better choice in terms of line of sight, even if its a little more distant). I've been waiting for a response from the VA7ICM admin for a few days, so hopefully something will be forthcoming soon.
Here are a few pictures of the new tower denizen: