Thursday, 25 June 2015

SOTA - Dundry Down - G/SC-010

Dundry Down - 233m, 1 point

Association: England Region: South Central
Latitude: 51 23 50 N, Longitude: 2 38 38 W
Grid Reference: ST 553667, QTH Locator: IO81QJ

After Beacon Batch, it was a short drive back past Bristol Airport to the village of Dundry.
The carpark in the village is actually within the activation zone, but I took the small walk across the field to my usual position by a stone wall and barbed wire fence. Due to rot, one of the fence posts is hollow and makes an ideal pole support without the need for any guys or straps. It was therefore a quick setup and I was on the air by 0800L.

Operating position

What a difference a couple of hours make! Europe had now woken up and contacts came along more quickly than earlier, but conditions were still very poor.

The shack
As I was operating, I received a text message from my daughter, to say she'd landed safely in Greece.
I was still within sight of the planes taking off and landing at Bristol Airport!

Bristol Airport

Clifton Suspension Bridge

I ended up operating for an hour and 45 mins and all that netted was 33 contacts.
Four S2Ss however from OK2PDT/p on OK/PA-017, Dl4MHA/p om DL/MF-056, DL/PB2T/p on DM/BM-052 and HB9/F5HTR/p on HB/VD-020.

An interesting morning out, but by midday I was ready for bed!

SOTA - Beacon Batch - G/SC-003

Beacon Batch - 325m, 1 point
Association: England Region: South Central
Latitude: 51 18 41 N, Longitude: 2 44 30 W
Grid Reference: ST 484572, QTH Locator: IO81PH

An early morning run to drop off my daughter at Bristol Airport meant only one thing. An activation of Beacon Batch!
I left the house at 0200L, dropped off my passenger and I was ascending Beacon Batch, in the dark, at 0430L.
I parked in the car park just below Elick Farm and started the ascent.

The sky was lightening in the East with the promise of a fine day. Low cloud and mist rolled along the valleys below as I climbed above it.

Approaching dawn
I reached the trig point and found my usual spot to setup under a small bush.

I set up my camera on the trig point and took a selfie!

Selfie at dawn
I then started to setup the rig and prepare for the activation. It was about 10 minutes later, as I was bent over the rig that I was startled by someone saying "have you lost some money!"
The last thing I expected was to see anyone else in the darkness, but a mountain biker had joined me on my dawn patrol. He'd found the 3 £1 coins I'd used to prop the camera up with on the top of the trig point. Thanks for being honest and returning them!

I started off calling on a completely dead 20 metres. Absolutely zilch. Not a squeak and not even picked up by RBN. Moving to 40m I called for about 25 minutes before Mariusz, SP9AMH, thankfully answered my call. It really was a silly hour of the morning to be operating when there's no opening to any DX. It took me a further 26 minutes from the my call being answered by Mariusz to get my 4th qualifying QSO with IS0LYN and over an hour since I started out calling! Certainly my longest ever qualifying period.

Mist clearing

I stuck it out for an hour operating 40, 30 and 20 metres, ending up with 17 contacts for the day.
Certainly hard work in the very flat summer conditions.

A pleasant descent back to the car, the mist still hanging in the valleys.
Then it was off to the day's second summit - Dundry Down