Annual Trip South

Another year nearly over, and it’s time to make the annual trip to Hayes (NW Kent)with my XYL to see the MIL in it’s lair. Weather permitting, I may get let out to try an activation on Thursday 9th. The nearest summit is Botley Hill, so I hope to try hf from there. As plans stand we also may have Saturday free, so, given decent weather, we may try a quick one somewhere on the South Downs. Will try to alert by mobile phone, and spot when QRV.

Look forward to my first activation since Cadair Idris on 1st November, but if it doesn’t work, Christmas Greetings to all chasers

73s de Dave, G6DTN

Hi Dave

Unless you have a 4wd , be a bit wary of the Titsey Place parking area near Botley Hill, if it is at all snowy/icy. The small car park (earth, no tarmac) tilts slightly downhill away from the entrance and I had a heck of a job getting out of it with my car in icy March this year. Despite all the usual tricks (high gear, ASC off, gentle acceleration), the car just kept steadily slipping further back into the car park. After about 20 mins of this performance two passing kind walkers put branches etc. under the rear wheels and pushed me out. Very embarrassing but will take a shovel next time!
Good luck.


In reply to M0DDC:
Thanks for the warning, and I’ll have a look in the car park before I drive in. We have a Honda CR-V, with 4WD which is supposed to come in if things get slippery. Never experienced it, and don’t want to where I might not escape!

Regards, Dave

In reply to KD9KC:

Thanks for the tip. I had heard of something like that, attaching the carpet etc to the car with a length of rope so you don’t have to stop immediately to retrieve the carpet.

‘Two nations divided by a common language’??

Hope to QSO with you sometime. My 20M gets across the pond sometimes. But it depends on wind direction to get the antenna up (and keep it up) running N-S.

Regards, Dave

In reply to M0DFA:

We have a Honda CR-V, with 4WD which is supposed to come in
if things get slippery. Never experienced it, and don’t want to where
I might not escape!

It’s in and out of 4WD all the time. If you’ve never noticed it then it’s doing its job perfectly :slight_smile:

Put the car on full steering lock (either way) then set off and maintain full lock. Do this in a carpark or somewhere with enough space. Doesn’t need snow/ice or a loose surface, clean dry tarmac will do. As you move off you’re now in 4WD. As soon as you start to straighten the steering wheel a few degrees you’ll drop into 2WD.

On icy roads it’s more fun. Accelerate gently towards a 90deg turn. On compressed snow/ice when you turn the wheels and apply some power they will spin and lose grip as you enter extreme power-on understeer. With some steering lock applied, blip the throttle then straighten the steering. Don’t be silly, just a quick blip and don’t dip the clutch. The 4WD cuts in quick and the back wheels will now try to accelerate the car but will lose grip on the ice/snow. The result is they push the back of the car around so you can turn the bend without slowing down or having to steer around it. If you get the blip right the car will be facing the right way and the steering will be straight. The 4WD drops out and you can smoothly accelerate. It’s a bit like a handbrake turn but not so obviously an “idiot-boy-racer” action.

Satisfying :slight_smile: Also it takes my mind off how much gas the central heating has used the past 12 days :frowning:


In reply to M0DFA:

“We have a Honda CR-V”

Didn`t know you were a hairdresser Dave :wink:

In reply to M0DDC:
Had a look at the car park before driving in. It had about 100mm snow, but mostly virgin. Got in and out OK.

Many thanks for the warning.

73s de Dave, G6DTN

In reply to MM0FMF:
Very interesting, and certainly had no slippery problems on this trip. If I ever get across the border, may I come and play in your CR-V? I’d not like to risk mine. Mostly used for towing a caravan. Fine on the road, but rather high-geared in first and reverse for shoving the thing around on grass

73s de Dave, G6DTN

In reply to G1INK:
??? Please explain (in a plain envelope if necessary, HI)
73s de Dave, G6DTN

Well, we got there (Hayes, Kent), but delayed courtesy of a load of concrete pipes spilled on the M6 near the RAC HQ in Birmingham on Wednesday afternoon. Took 2 hours to get from the end of the M54 to the scene of the spillage. Having had a cuppa before we left Shrewsbury, boy were we glad to get to Corley services.

Having done my duty by taking Janis to Tesco, and then to Beckenham to meet up with some of her school friends for a ladies lunch (mainly rabbit!), I was released and drove off to Botley Hill. A look at the car park suggested I could get in and turned round and had a fair chance of getting out again. I used G3CWI’s suggested activation area - plenty of snow still on the ground but well shielded from the wind, and bombed by snow and hoar frost melting from the trees above. Found one side of the antenna broken at the 5MHz joint, but operated on 40M and 20M to qualify the summit. A twisted-wire bodge got me on air on 80M for a few UK QSOs, but not sure how much that ‘repair’ contributed to the high noise level on 80. Totals of 6 on 80, 7 on 40 but only 2 on 20.

Friday was a tramp through the snow to Downe for a good, but rather expensive lunch in the Queen’s Head, and back.

Saturday was used to go via Edenbridge for coffee (and the obligatory search of the charity shops) to Ditchling Beacon. No point in trying even an approximate spot time - you get away when you get away. Much warmer (or less cold anyway) than Thursday with only a gentle breeze. Activated on a N-S line within a few metres of the trig point. Plently of chasers (16) on 80, and the bodge held. Usual weekend activity on 40 but able to find an initialy clear slot. 19 QSOs but increasing QRM from adjacent stations made it difficult, and when I moved to 20 (only 4 QSOs here), I’m not sure whether I had worked all the chasers on 40. If anyone missed out, my apologies, but I couldn’t hear you.

Watching the increasingly cheerfull face of the weather forecaster on TV today, pointing out the deepening blue tinting of the map, suggests that I may not get to another summit before Christmas, in which case, a Happy Christmas to all fellow activators and chasers.

73s de Dave, M0DFA/G6DTN

I missed you on Botley Hill completely (not sure I even had the radio on that day) and I couldn’t hear you on Ditchling on Saturday, though I could hear stations working you, so skip clearly wasn’t favouring me. Guess I should sort out VHF for these relatively nearby summits. (Didn’t the location of the highest point at Botley Hill get shifted from near the trig point to near the water tank and NATS towers during an update earlier in the year? For a time the Database and the website contained different locations, which was a source of confusion for Colin G8TMV and me before our activation in July. We got ourselves as close to the new location as practically possible on paths and tracks to be sure we were in the new activation area. It’s not exactly the most pronounced of summits, mind.)

73 de Rick

In reply to M0DFA:

Hi Dave
I’m glad the car park worked ok for you. It’s probably this heavyweight Beemer I’ve got that contributed to the problem. Great at hacking down the motorway but not so good with the delicate stuff.
I will probably have a go at Botley Hill again in the New Year. It’s one of the closest Marilyns to my bit of London, i.e. 60 miles away :confused:

All the Best

In reply to M0DFA:

I used G3CWI’s suggested activation area

That is quite a long way from the new summit location although I think it’s still in the activation area.

Colin G8TMV