Thursday, 17 July 2014

SOTA Activation G/SC-003 Beacon Batch & G/SC-007 Long Knoll 17 July 2014

G/SC-003 Beacon Batch

An early morning drive south from Bristol took me to the parking spot for G/SC-003 Beacon Batch, at grid reference ST 490580 which is on the B3134 near to the track passing Ellick House. There was room to park under the trees there at the bottom of the track.  The plateau which includes Beacon Batch, is known as Black Down but is not to be confused with the other Marilyn summit called Black Down the highest point in the South Downs National Park, 150 Kms away which is referenced SE-003...

Signage at the parking place roadside under some trees

I was carrying my FT-857 radio, 3S1P 5 Amp battery, 6m Travel Pole and link dipole. The 600m walk took 18 minutes and I was on the summit with little effort. The path was good over a gradual contour... 
G4OBK - My route starting out at 0700am on 17 July 2014
There were plenty of early risers and my friend Roy G4SSH in Scarborough was the first in line at 0641z. At 0726z just before I closed down, VK2UH Andrew in New South Wales was logged on 20m CW. As usual I worked through the callers as fast as I could and made 59 contacts in less than 50 minutes.

Operating from the trig point at Beacon Batch on a grey but mild July morning
Time to get back down then and head to Long Knoll G/SE-007 next, south west of Warminster...

G/SC-007 Long Knoll

There was just room to park my car on the grass at the end of the footpath into Rag Wood at ST 8020 3781. The 20 minute walk to the summit overlooking the Wiltshire Countryside was most enjoyable. There were cows grazing in the area of the trig point when I arrived but they were more interested in eating than bothering me when I went on the air at 1030z...

Selfie - wearing my SOTA Polo Shirt on Long Knoll - taken with the timer on my camera
High route out - low route back....busy road though so my return route is best avoided...

10 MHz was in poor shape and only produced one contact with DL2HWI, but 40m and 20m were pretty good. The last contact logged out of 38 was DX - this was with N1EU, who was the only station outside Europe that I logged in the 45 minutes I was on the air.  Activation complete I chose a different route back. This brought me out further along Frome Road, the B3092. I wouldn't recommend this as a safe walk back and if I visited again I would return back the same way as I went up. 


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

SOTA Activation G/SC-010 Dundry Down 15th July 2014

In the summer of 2014 a relative moved to Westbury on Trym, near Bristol. I now make regular visits now to the area, so this means I can easily get to summits in the south of England and South Wales. 

My first visit was in July 2014 and after dinner one evening I drove through the Clifton district of Bristol to a "drive on activation" at the village of Dundry, south of the city. I parked in the British Legion Club Car park but I would have been better driving to grid reference ST 5563 6686 which is within the activation zone. I could have parked and set up there by the fence, instead I went slightly higher and near to some farm buildings where the ground was quite dirty and well trodden by animals. This wasn't access land and I was some distance off the public right of way, but there was no one around apart from the horse who came to see what was going on. Further across the fields were some communications masts. I didn't bother trying to seek out the trig point which was behind the barns and not directly on a public right of way. This was Dundry Down that evening:


The 20m band after 1915z was very disappointing and only one contact was made there with OH3T on CW. The other 39 QSOs were made on 30m and 40m in CW/SSB. 

Watch out for horses! This one came shooting towards me and then veered away as it approached...
The Village Church - the Dundry Inn is just to the right of the junction and has a nice beer garden

There is a historic church and pub in the village which is where I ended up for a swift pint before returning to Westbury on Trym to plan my next two activations further south from Bristol...