G/SB-009 Ros Hill - Pts:1 NU 0811 2532 - IO95BM - 315M 1033ft
The day started as it intended to continue. I awoke briefly to glance at the radio alarm really just to check how long it was till it was time to get moving. The alarm was blinking away silently to itself. The XYL had perceived that my bedside area could do with a bit of her routine attention and in dusting my radio alarm had turned down the volume to zero.
So after that late start it was just after 10:00 am before we rolled off the drive to head north for Ros Hill SB-009 and plunged into the Good Friday traffic. Where the A1 reduced to single carriageway north of Morpeth, the congestion had brought the traffic to a virtual standstill so we branched off onto the A696 to bypass the holdup. If our assessment of the A696 was good we could continue along it till Wooler before turning east, however after a brisk run north to Longhorsley traffic here began to crawl so we took a minor road back to the A1. After we were well onto the next stretch of dual carriageway towards Alnwick we were passed by a few vehicles that had previously passed us on the first dual-carriageway section - well we’d scored!! But that was against the trend of the day.
Arriving at the base of Ros Hill we loaded up and ascended the short distance to the summit. Although it is quite a small summit it has always been one of my favourite Northumberland locations with its spectacular views. However a few clouds were beginning to spoil the sunshine and these continued as the anticyclonic gloom took over the day. On the summit we were anticipating a stream of Easter visitors, so started to set up a bit to the south of the trig point. As I deployed the HF dipole the BNC plug flew off the end of the coax feeder, but fortunately was not lost. As the feeder is a kevlar RG316 it had a crimped plug so a repair job would hopefully be possible.
So we left that to erect the SOTA beam, which went to plan until I came to connect the croc clips to the elements, except there was no red croc clip - it was there 2 second ago - but it was now nowhere to be found. A red croc clip should surely be clearly visible even in the heather but no. Fortunately I always carry spare croc clips of the screw down connection type, so a repair job commenced aided by the mini Swiss army knife. When everything was fixed M3YEY - my daughter Kay - opened on 144.300 SSB and despite my posting a spotlight alert, a sequence of CQ calls brought nothing so she took a break for lunch.
I returned to the HF dipole, managed a temporary repair to the plug and I was pleased when the SWR proved to be OK. So I opened on 5MHz FE which was in poor condition, at 12:24 UTC well past my posted time - but at least I was finally able to operate. 10 QSO’s followed in quick succession and when a QRZ brought no further calls, I switched over to 7MHz but by this late hour frequencies above 7.1 were full of broadcast stations and below 7.1 my calls made no impact on the cacophony that was there. Maybe I’ll need to brush up my very rusty CW. Thanks to Alistair & John for the spots on 5Mhz.
While I ate lunch, we flipped over the SOTA beam to vertical and M3YEY tried a few FM CQ calls which again brought no response, so on hearing a local amateur friend in QSO, I broke in to ask if he could give Kay a contact. We QSYd to give her her first log entry and this was followed by a S2S with Robin GM7PKT on CS-048. After a few more CQ calls, she made contact with another local to give her a third contact and this lead into a quick succession of another 6 including our local chasers Lesa, M0BQD & George, M1BTG, to complete this, her first activation.
We packed up to leave the summit just after 3:30pm BST and joined the procession of traffic south to Newcastle.
G0CQK 5MHz: GW0VMZ,GW4BVE, G3NIJ, G0RQL, GM4FAM, G0HNW, GD3YUM, GW0DSP, G3RMD, M1MAJ
M3YEY 145MHz FM: G1XYS, GM7PKT/P (S2S CS-048), G6BIA, M0RWJ/M, M0ADR/M, G0EHX/M, M0BQD, M1BTG, M3YTZ