Activation report for G/SC-007 & G/SC-008 14th

Having now got my car fixed with its howling wheel bearings (costing more than the car is worth), it was time to do a couple more activations. Luckily I’d picked a cracking day to activate both Win Green & Long Knoll in the South West of my home county.

After an hour and a half’s drive from Swindon, I arrived at the car park at Win Green, G/SC-008, at 08:45 local time. Having loaded myself up with the paraphenalia I thought I’d need, I headed for the clump of trees near the summit. I chose to grab the bench on the NE side of the trees, as I knew my first caller would be in that direction.

I started on 2m FM, using my FT-857D running 10w into a homebrew Moxon on vertical, 10’ up a landing net handle mast.
I started calling at 0815 UTC and straight away a 59+ signal came back from Colin, G4SXR in Amesbury. After chatting for a few minutes, 3 other stations were worked, 2 from the Isle of Wight (which I could just about make out in the distance) and the qualifying one from John 2E0WHH in Southampton. Hill qualified in 15 minutes. 6 other stations were worked, bringing the total to 10 in around an hour on 2m FM. All were nice chats, rather than quick QSOs.

At 0930, I decided to try 2m SSB. After 20 minutes calling, I was flogging a dead horse, so set up for 4m FM using my Wouxun handie and another Moxon. I couldn’t hear anything, so swapped the moxon for a Garex whip. Some more calling brought a station who I assume I could hear me, but I couldn’t make him out. I found that the BNC/PL259 adapter I had on the Moxon was faulty.

At 1015 UTC I went QRT. On the way back to the car park I noted a colinear on a fence post, thus I met G3AYD & 2E0ZVR, who I have spoken to on a few occasions in the past. After having a chat, eating my sarnies and finding the nearby Geocache, I left Win Green for Long Knoll.

I arrived at G/SC-007 Long Knoll at around 1pm local and began the perilous journey from the parking spot along the road. The climb up the first bit is steep, but it’s a great feeling when you get to the top! The hill is well named and it seems to go on forever until you finally reach the Trig.

Nothing else up here except sheep, so having strapped the mast to a fence post I began calling again on 2m FM at 1242 UTC. Straightaway James 2E1EMK/M came back, followed by 2E0KKB/M from Cirencester, followed by Colin G4SXR/M. The qualifier, once again in 15 minutes, came from another mobile station - G3TFK/M from Bath.

Best DX of the day came at 1312, when calling CQ I heard a faint 2W0— Summit to Summit. This was Leigh 2W0LDJ/P on NW-012, my first ever S2S - cheers Leigh!

I finished the activation at 1332, when in a comic moment which would have suited a Laurel & Hardy sketch, a sudden gust of wind collapsed the top section of my mast and at the exact same time, blew my hat off as well. Time to call it a day after 8 QSOs here! So, packed everything up, did the nearby Geocache and walked back to the car.

All in all a very pleasant day and pleased to have qualified both and obtain my first Summit to Summit.


In reply to M6HBS:


We (M0TUB and I) also had a fantastic activation! One of us will probably put up a report at some point, but we ended up staying up Cadair Berwyn for around 6 Hours!! I hit 41 contacts on 2m fm/ssb - on 1 watt!!! Dave ended up with more, but he was working hf cw. I’ll let him tell you exactly how many QSOs he made.

Really pleased that I was your first S2S and considering my beam wasn’t pointing in your direction we did quite well.

Glad you enjoyed it…

Leigh 2E0LDJ

** EDIT **

I’ve just looked on google earth, and apparently you were approx 150 miles away!!! Not bad for 1w fm on a 5 ele beam!

In reply to M6HBS:

An excellent report Jonathan - brought it all back, even though the time of day that I was on those two was completely different. Interesting that you chose to risk body and soul walking the road to get access to Long Knoll. I parked close to the bottom of the track and the risk was in getting the car back onto the road - a case of hanging one’s head out of the window and listening for traffic approaching as you can’t see much!

Well done on the S2S - the first of many I hope. You may find self-spotting helps on 2m SSB and that will open up more contacts with a dedicated group of chasers.

Hopefully catch you on the band soon.

73, Gerald G4OIG


Long Knoll is a gem! We loved it when we did it last summer, especially that final grassy ridge walk to the summit. I parked where Gerald did, but had the advantage of three extra sets of eyes and ears for getting back on the road!


In reply to M6HBS:

You were lucky to have sheep; I had cows, lots of them and a very large bull! They were all strung out over the path just where the hill levels out and there is a little enclosure. I took a roundabout route part way down the hillside which attracted their interest, but not much action, fortunately. Also fortunately they decided not to follow me to the trig.

The activation was very slow with bad QRN on 7MHz (thunderstorms, I think), so I spent an hour making 5 contacts on 2m FM.

It is a lovely hill; first visit since 1959 (for a school geography day out).

Enjoy SOTA, but be warned, it’s addictive.


In reply to G4OIG:
Many thanks Gerald.

I did pass the pull in at the bottom of the track where you and Tom both parked, but it looked a bit overgrown to attempt to get my Volvo in! The walk to the start of the track from the parking spot is the only down side of the hill, especially carrying poles, antennas etc. Mind you, turning right out of this parking spot wasn’t much fun either, as there is a blind bend to the left.

With regard self spotting, I have on the few other activations I have done, taken a netbook with me to self-spot. I didn’t on this one though. I think that the only 2 SOTA chasers/activators I worked were G4SXR & 2W0LDJ and both wouldn’t have been in a postion at the time to spot me. I guess I’ll have to try the SMS spotting next time.

Long Knoll is a gem! We loved it when we did it last summer, especially that final grassy ridge walk to the summit. I parked where Gerald did, but had the advantage of three extra sets of eyes and ears for getting back on the road!

You’re right Tom, it certainly is a gem. I was trying to describe the hill at work and the nearest I got was to describe it as a 85 metre high, 1 mile long Longbarrow! Nice take off for VHF too, with plenty of antenna room.


In reply to M6HBS:
Hi Jonathon
I bagged Long Knoll earlier this evening, not realising Leigh had spoken to you while you were on it ‘from the other end’ with me the other day. I parked at the bottom of the hill on the verge just off the road. The initial ascent had me filling my lungs with air for a bit. What a lovely stroll along the top of the ridge, along the spine of an upside down loaf of bread. There were only a few sheep around so I had no troubles that way. I did see a very large hare who was playing in the evening sunshine. I attached my 2m dipole to the trig and worked 11 stations including 3 members of the Radio Amateur Caravan Club, who had set up camp in Wells. Having to drive back to Warrington, I packed up pretty promptly - no CW today Leigh…

Tom - Nº 60 !!

In reply to M0TUB:

Hi Dave
Yes, I noted you were on Long Knoll yesterday. I had the radio on the calling channel to try and listen out for you, but the rise of the Marlborough Downs behind my QTH prevented anything coming through. Well done on working 11 stations though! I really enjoyed Long Knoll because of the walk to the activation zone and the solitude up there. It’s certainly one to look forward to visiting again next year and bagging another point! Originally, I’d intended to do this one in conjunction with Beacon Batch near Bristol, but decided to do Win Green instead. Oh well, may try that next year.