Category Archives: accessible summits

SOTA vk1/ac040 Mount Ainslie 3rd March 2016

After the successful activation of Mount Gibraltar earlier in the day it was down the Hume Highway before turning off down towards Canberra. Such a pleasure driving on roads that weren’t bumper to bumper! Only things I didn’t see, were kangaroos.. well, except the ones at the side of the road that had obviously come worse off when meeting cars and trucks :(
Time was getting on,so after I’d found the hotel and checked in, I drove backup Mount Ainslie, to the fairly large car park, with only one of two cars parked. Menacing clouds were starting to gather, and the distant rumble of thunder meant that I probably wouldn’t be on top of the hill too long!

40m into the linked dipole quickly rattled off 4 QSOs that meant, at least, that I’d qualified the summit, and had it as a ‘complete’ too, which was nice!
Switching to 20m provided another 2 QSOs on the linked dipole.

hf setup, ends of dipole in the trees

hf setup, ends of dipole in the trees

A further one qso back on 40m before I wimped out and pulled down the dipole, putting the 2m moxon on the pole for 3 further 2m fm QSOs

Tiny moxon antenna on the pole

Tiny moxon antenna on the pole

After numerous ground strikes from lightning, getting visibly closer, I hastily decided enough was enough and packed up, apologies if I missed anyone.

Time Call Band Mode Notes
05:22z VK3PF 7MHz SSB s58 r44
05:24z VK3CAT 7MHz SSB s59 r46
05:25z VK1MA 7MHz SSB s58 r34
05:27z VK3LED 7MHz SSB s57 r53
05:46z VK4RF 14MHz SSB s21 r41
05:47z VK4HA 14MHz SSB s21 r41
06:04z VK2IO 7MHz SSB s58 r57
06:20z VK1MA 144MHz FM s59 r59
06:29z VK2COW/M 144MHz FM s59 r59
06:32z VK1LWW 144MHz FM s59 r59

I would have liked to have stayed longer, but safety comes first!

angry clouds, bit like the UK, but with warm rain ;)

angry clouds, bit like the UK, but with warm rain ;)

Equipment used 817nd, MPP-817 amplifier, linked dipole (For HF) 817nd, moxon 2m antenna (for VHF)

‘Accessible’ SOTA Summits in the Welsh Borders

After some discussion on the SOTA Reflector regarding ‘accessible’ summits for less able potential activators, I was reminded of an old posting and the BurtonARC website, which although is now defunct, can be still found via archive.org:

http://web.archive.org/web/20120521205213/http://www.burtonarc.co.uk/sota_easy.htm

Following on from that work, originally done by Steve Warren, M0KPO, I thought I would use Google Earth, and the ‘flood tool’ as described by VK2GOM’s Ham radio and SOTA Blog to show the activation zones for a few of the G/WB SOTA summits that would possibly be of interest to people hoping to activate relatively easy summits.
I have activated all of these, and probably only Long Mynd Pole Bank (G/WB-005) would not be ‘drive on’ summit, although it appears from the ‘flood map’, the Portway may just skirt the Activation zone where it passes nearest to the south east of the trig point.

The other 3 summits have roads that actually run through the activation zone, one, Ruardean Hill (G/WB-021) does have seats next to the car park, which could be useful.

As ever, it is necessary for the activator to ensure that theĀ SOTA rules are adhered to, in particular:

Operations must not be in, or in the close vicinity of, a motor vehicle. No part of the
station may be connected in any way with the motor vehicle. However, the use of a bike
(non-motorized) or animals to enter the Activation Zone is permitted.

For all of these summits, the ‘flood level’ was set to the height of the summit (From the G/WB summit list) minus 25m, rather than taking the height listed in Google Earth. As ever, it would be best to verify the activator’s position is actually within the 25m vertical limit from the summit as per the rules. Several smart phone apps are available to show the altitude at your location.

G/WB-005 Long Mynd Pole Bank

g-wb-005-floodto492

Approximate activation zone for G/WB-005

g-wb-005-floodto492-zoom

The Portway skirting the AZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The footpath up to the trig point is not particularly steep, and mainly well maintained. From the Shooting Box car park (at the top of the image) there appears to be some water damage, from Pole Cottage car park (at the bottom of the image) it is well maintained, although some walking along the road will be necessary to get to the path.
The ‘road’ from East to West across the AZ is probably only suitable for 4×4 vehicles.

 

G/WB-018 View Edge

g-wb-018-floodto296

The road bisecting the approximate Activation Zone on G/WB-018

g-wb-018-floodto296-zoom

There should be room for one car at the entrance to the old quarry, towards the East of the road bisecting the AZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G/WB-023 Hegdon Hill

g-wb-023-floodto230m

The trig point is apparently on private land, but there is parking on the road side, G/WB-023.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G/WB-021 Ruardean Hill

g-wb-021-floodto260

Seats are available next to the small car park! G/WB-021