This week I decided it was time I re-activated May Hill (G/WB-019) and Raurdean Hill (G/WB-021), being two of the five closest to home Summits I have activated these before and they may well be activated by me (and Matt M3WDS) again before too much longer, but at least it gets me out the shack !
As the hardest of the two to ascend is G/WB-019 that had to be first on days agenda, so leaving home around 1155 I arrived at my chosen parking spot around 1225 and after locking up the bike ascent to the summit took approx 30 minutes, where on arrival I chose to eat my packed lunch (really a small baguette style roll with a slice of corned beef) before doing any operating.
At 1323 the first call using the H/H on my usual 2m FM natter frequency produced two contacts, the first with Tony M3UEY and the second with Richard G4ERP who kindly spotted me however nothing else was heard for several minutes, which gave me almost enough time to erect the SOTA pole and SOTA beam before Frank G3RMD called to make the 3rd contact in the log.
The change of radio and antenna brought four more 2m FM contacts with Ken G0PPM, Dave M0MYA, Jim 2E0DAJ/P and David 2E0DAI before the change to 2m SSB which gave contacts with Dave G0ELJ, Don G0NES, Graham G3OHC, Geoff 2E0BTR, Brian G8ADD and Don G0RQL.
After several more calls only a weak station that I was unable to pull out of the noise was heard and calls on 70cm SSB gained no response. A quick Listen on 10m found only one very weak beacon so I packed up and was leaving the Summit around 1440 for a leisurely walk back to the parking spot.
After a short journey taking in a couple of stops to look at other things on the way I arrived at Raurdean Hill parked up and took a short walk to my chosen operating position approx 30m from the Trig Point, the SOTA pole and beam were erected before my first call at 1646 (again on my local FM natter frequency) gave me the first contacts with Rich 2E0KLD, Frank G3RMD and Dave M3IXC, these were soon followed by contacts with Geoff 2E0BTR, Ken G3LVP, Ron G0CRO and GB4WAB (operated by Ernie G4XFF) before the change to 2m SSB.
After a couple of calls 2m SSB I found Richard G4ERP who had just come in from the Garden, Ron G0RQL, Graham G3OHC, Chris G0CLP/P, Ian G4PDS, Ian GW7VQD/M (apparently his first 2m SSB Contact) and Dave 2E0IXC.
After several more calls nothing was heard for several minutes until I detected a weak signal on 144.300 after turning the beam it was found to be EB1LA but he was still rather weak so didn’t call him to start with, a few moments later EA8AVI (I believe) was breifly heard but despite calling he did not seem to hear me.
After tuning around (with the beam SSW) and listening for several more minutes EB1LA came up quite considerably and we managed to quickly exchange 55/56 reports (on 144.300) at 1739 (BST) giving me a new square (IN63) for 2m.
A few minutes later the QSY to 70cm SSB got just two contacts with stations that I had already worked on 2m SSB, so it was back to 2m SSB for the remainder of my time on the hill.
Jack G8DX was heard working F6HRO with both stations peaking 59, so when they finished the contact was made with Jack (as it was his QRG). This was followed a few minutes later by a contact with Camille F6HRO who answered my call at 1757 on 144.4300 to complete the tally for the day as G0LGS/P.
EB1LA was heard still working stations for quite a time afterwards with his signal varying from 41 to 59, but no other DX stations were found on the band. After listening to several calls being made by Daniel with no replies at 1823 (BST) one more contact was made, but this time I used one of the local Club Calls, during this final contact of the day we managed to have several overs and exchanged additional information that just was not possible during the earlier quick contact on 144.300.
So after a good afternoon out on the Hills I finally packed up and left WB-021 around 1840.
Thank you to everyone for the QSO’s today and I hope to hear some of you on Tuesday evening during the UKAC 6m Contest.