Monthly Archives: June 2015

SOTA Wapley Hill (G/WB-016) 6th July 2013

Seeing how the day was nice and sunny, I decided to get out and do a SOTA activation. Looking at the summits page on sotawatch, I decided on Wapley Hill, in Herefordshire, which looked rather interesting, being the site of an iron Age Hill Fort.

Journey time from home was around an hour, even though I missed the turning off the B4362, and ended up having to turn back, courtesy of a roundabout on the outskirts of Presteigne! Being careful not to miss the turning again, I was soon in the car park, ready to go.

A fairly simple path using forest tracks soon had me close to the fort itself. A permissive path next to a rustic seat gave a nice short cut to the entrance.

Route up Wapley Hill

Route up Wapley Hill

Rustic seat with permissive path to the right

Rustic seat with permissive path to the right

End of the permissive path, the entrance

End of the permissive path, the entrance

I stopped for a few moments to read the informative sign! (Click to read it!)

The informative board at the entrance

The informative board at the entrance

Looking around, once inside, I decided to set up on one of the mounds. In hindsight, which is a marvellous thing! this probably wasn’t a good move, as it appears that everyone (and his dog.. literally!) is intent on walking around on top of the mounds!  Still, I hope I didn’t cause too much trouble :)

Operating position, possibly not a good one!
Operating position, possibly not a good one!

Centre of the hill fort, probably better for HF

Centre of the hill fort, probably better for HF

I primarily worked on 2M FM, although dropped down to 40M to gain a S2S near the end of the activation.. Perhaps the operating position wasn’t ideal, but the middle of the hill fort would have shielded 2M signals a little, maybe next time I’ll use the middle of the fort which has room for quite large HF antennas!

The following were all logged in a fairly laid back hour and a half:

Time Call Band Mode Notes
12:59z MW0IML/P 144MHz FM Barry on GW/NW-011 59+
13:00z MW6GWR/P 144MHz FM Ricky on GW/NW-011 59
13:13z G4ERP 144MHz FM Richard in Cheltenham
13:15z 2V0MDJ 144MHz FM Matt in Cheltenham
13:18z G0LGS/P 144MHz FM Stewart in Birdlip
13:26z 2E0UPA 144MHz FM Jan on SULA lightship, Gloucester
13:31z M0JLA 144MHz FM Rod in Hereford
13:36z G8CMU 144MHz FM Mike in Ross on Wye
13:38z G4WTF 144MHz FM Ian in Hereford
13:43z 2E0TLG 144MHz FM Duncan
14:15z MM0YCJ/P 7MHz SSB Colwyn on GM/CS-088
14:25z M0TYM/P 144MHz FM Alistair on G/WB-023

All in all a very pleasant afternoon in the sun, even if one walker did think I was calling in air strikes from nearby Shobdon Airfield!

 

 

SOTA View Edge (G/WB-018) 25th June 2013

I had attempted to activate View Edge the week before, from the edge of the old quarry, on 2M only,and failed miserably to gain even a single contact!

This time, I packed my new Sainsonic MP-817 HF Amplifier as well, just in case I had similar problems..

View Edge is essentially a ‘drive on’ summit, so to comply with SOTA rules, it’s really necessary to operate from somewhere away from the car. After parking at the side of the road at the entrance to the old quarry, next to a gate which looked as if it hadn’t been opened in quite some time (I did try to leave enough room, just in case someone needed to open the gate of course!) I walked up the road towards the house on the right hand side, crossed the road and climbed over the stile.

Simple 'route' to my activation point

Simple ‘route’ to my activation point

I then followed the route of the footpath along the side of a field to the next stile where I bungied the fishing pole to a fence post, and attached the Norcal Doublet and the coaxial colinear.

View Edge activation

View Edge activation

View Edge Activation

View Edge Activation

With the ft817nd, HF Amplifier, and travel tuner balanced precariously on top of a fence post, the following contacts were made in just over an hour:

Time Call Band Mode Notes
13:30z G7JMZ/M 144MHz FM John in Halseowen
13:40z MW6BWA/P 144MHz FM Viki on GW/SW-004
13:44z MW0JLA/P 144MHz FM Rod on GW/SW-004
13:45z G8CMU 144MHz FM Mike in Ross on Wye
13:50z M3SLQ 144MHz FM Mick in Cannock
14:28z CT1BQH 14MHz SSB Carlos in Portugal
14:30z DL1DVE 14MHz SSB Thomas in Germany
14:32z DF5WA 14MHz SSB Berthold in Germany
14:34z HB9BYZ 14MHz SSB Peter in Switzerland
14:37z DL8DXL 14MHz SSB Fred in Germany

It seems to be quite a popular walk, as 2 groups passed through during this time, maybe next time I’ll not bungy the pole to the side of the stile……

Once packed up, it was a short walk back along the path, retracing the route back to the car,

SOTA Long Mynd Pole Bank (G/WB-005) 21st June 2013

Summer solstice 2013, and there was an unofficial SOTA Summer Solstice event, hopefully to grab a load of summit to summits!

I made my way up to Long Mynd Pole Bank, not really fancying a long walk :) I parked up at the small car park at Pole Cottage, and took the short walk along the road, bearing left along the Shropshire Way to the trig point.

Short walk to the trig point

Short walk to the trig point

Despite being ‘Mid Summers day’, it was rather chilly to say the least, my hands had turned blue by the end of the fairly short activation!

Only 2M was used, 5W from the ft817nd into my home brew coaxial colinear, the bottom metre or so lying on the ground as the fishing pole bent so much in the wind!

Long Mynd 'shack'

Long Mynd ‘shack’ in the gloom

Long Mynd 'shack'

Long Mynd ‘shack’ in the gloom

All contacts on 2M FM using 5W:

Time Call Band Mode Notes
20:10z G0IBE/P 144MHz FM s59+ r59 Richard on G/CE-001
20:12z 2E0XYL 144MHz FM Karen s55 r53
20:15z 2W0TDX/P 144MHz FM s59+ r 59 Neil on GW/SW-010
20:20z G6LUZ 144MHz FM s59+ r53 Steve in Crewe
20:20z M0NTC 144MHz FM s59+ r59+ Gez in Dudley
20:22z 2W0WDS/P 144MHz FM s41 r59 Wayne on GW/NW-075
20:23z G6ODU 144MHz FM s41 r51 Bob in Ormskirk
20:25z G8IYE 144MHz FM s59+ r59+ Jess, Clee Hill
20:26z G1ZAR/P 144MHz FM s59+ r59+ Stuart on G/CE-004
20:26z M0JLA 144MHz FM s59+ r55 Rod in Hereford
20:28z G7SET 144MHz FM s59+ r55 Andy in Redditch
20:38z G0FBO 144MHz FM s56 r58 Clive in Brownhills
20:41z M1EYP/P 144MHz FM Tom on G/SP-015
20:42z G8XYJ 144MHz FM s59+ r59 Matt in Ludlow

By now it was getting very cold and gloomy, I packed up, removing several small caterpillars from the equipment! and made my way back the short way to the car.

Oh, and 2 points!  Marvellous!

SOTA – The Wrekin (G/WB-010) 7th May 2013

Despite living less than 10 miles away from the Wrekin, on the outskirts of Telford, for nearly 20 years, I’d never even been up it… not even without a backpack full of electronic junk radio equipment…

7th May 2013 put paid to that.

Taking the opportunity to park at the quite large car park at the intersection of Ercall Lane and Wellington Road, I checked I had all the equipment needed, put on the boots and made my way across the road to the bottom of the path.

It doesn’t look far, looking from the M54 as you drive past, but being rather unfit, it was quite a long way, zig zagging up to the ‘Halfway House’ cafe… ‘Halfway’? If only!

Route up the Wrekin

Route up the Wrekin

Once past it, its a little further until the path turns South West towards the summit.. Fantastic!

However, the top of the hill you can see from there is actually ‘Hell Gate’.. Once past there, you can see what looks like the summit… only, it’s not, it’s ‘Heavens Gate’

Once past there, you can actually see the summit.. yay! It was at this point I was nearly run over by a 4×4 carrying a paraglider up to the summit… Oh, for a lift!

Eventually, I made it to the top! and wandered across to the trig. However, being rather busy this day, I decided to set up the stuff just to the North of it, slightly off the top, still within the activation zone.

iew of the transmitter masts on the WrekinV

View from the ‘shack’

Looking down on a police helicopter

Looking down on a police helicopter!

 

Not a huge amount of calls with the 5W from the 817nd, dipole for 2M and the norcal doublet via a portable tuner for HF, but the following made it into the log:

Time Call Band Mode Notes
11:20z G7RHF/M 144MHz FM Al in much Wenlock
11:25z M0IBC 144MHz FM Dave in Rowley Regis
11:26z G6LUZ 144MHz FM Steve in Audlem
11:34z G6ODU 144MHz FM Bob in Ormskirk
11:36z M6RGF 144MHz FM Russ in Cheshire
11:36z G0ALC 144MHz FM Joe in Walsall Wood
11:39z G3NPJ 144MHz FM Alan on the Wirral
11:41z M6IPD 144MHz FM Paul in Stourbrige
12:10z M1NTO 144MHz FM Hugh in TYLDESLEY
12:39z EA2CKX 14MHz SSB Pedro in Spain
12:41z SM6DER 14MHz SSB Sten in Gothenberg Sweden
12:44z OK1DVM 14MHz SSB MIROSLAV in Prague
12:47z EA3HP 14MHz SSB Daniel in Catalunya
12:50z OE5HDN 14MHz SSB Henry in Linz Austria
12:52z OE1KLA 14MHz SSB Karl in Vienna
13:12z G6TUH 14MHz SSB Mike SE England
13:14z GI4ONL 14MHz SSB Victor N. Ireland

There was a couple of people on 60m, but I wasn’t able to tune the 44′ doublet to get a reasonable SWR.

Once the calls had dried up, I packed it all up and made my way back down to the car, considerably easier than coming up!  Quite a way for a single point! None the less, an enjoyable time.