This is my first activation report in a while, so excuse me if I leave out any relevant details, I’ll add them in as future posts if people point out what they would like to see.
I parked at Dauphine Close and went through the gate after crossing a small stream, walked up the slight slope along the side of some trees. After walking through a gap in trees I came to a section that is bordered on one side by a line of boulders. At the top of this path was another gate, but this had a passing gap to one side and a notice about quarry activities and warnings about times when blasting might be taking place. At this point I was a bit confused as I’d taken two descriptions of the path and neither mentioned whether to turn left or right at this point. I chose left and this turned out to be the correct choice. A little further along I came to the boulder that is painted yellow. There’s a small track from the boulder, but I went a little further along to the gate, again with a passing gap to get through without opening the gate. A bit further along the path got steeper, and muddier, and I wished I’d worn my wellies at this point! Then there was a steadily steeper walk up to the famous bench, a bit further up, on the right after going through a swing (kissing?) gate, I came to the main antenna mast, a small stone building with its own smaller mast and lots of dishes and antennas. Getting to the trig point involved going down a slightly muddy and quite narrow track. At the trig point it was quite windy so I spent most of the operating periods sheltering by the stone building or at the bench.
I’ll add a link to the summit database later, as I can’t access it at the moment because I’ve forgotten the password and the email address that I originally set up is no longer valid.
I took two handheld radios, one for 70MHz (4M) and the other a dual band 2M/70cm unit. In the end I only used 4M and 2M as I didn’t have time to break out the 70cm antenna, although even with a 3 element 2M beam I was hearing at least 3 repeater stations on the frequency of my local 70cm repeater and, I think, breakthrough from another repeater that was probably local and maybe on 2M.
Antennas used were a centre loaded whip for 4M and a 3 element yagi (a MK1 SOTA 2M beam) for 2M. RF power was about 5 Watts from Wouxun radios on their own internal power packs. I did take the usual fishing poles and a guying kit but didn’t use them.
Contacts, in order of contact, were as follows.
13:25 G6ZBO 70.425MHz 59 59 Philip in Nottingham 15W Philips FM1000
13:42 M1CNL 145.450MHz 59 59 Peter
13:50 G8MIA 145.450MHz 59 59 Andy Rougley
13:53 M5ABH 145.450MHz 59 59 Dave 50W Collinear Skegby
13:56 G0RUA 145.450MHz 59 59 Vic Hucknell SK54
14:00 G0RVA 70.425MHz 59 59 Vic Hucknell
14:05 G4DME 70.425MHz 59 57 Mike Heanor IO93ha 25W 1/2 wave dipole
At this point it was starting to drizzle and, as no one was answering my CQ calls on either band, I packed up and started back down.
A word of warning to any other activators, don’t take the very appealing looking road from the summit as it seems to take you down the other side of the hill and, if you climb the new looking steps a little way down that takes you to a very muddy, at present, footpath. So I started back up the hill and back down the way that I had climbed up. Maybe there is a way back to the Vercor Close/Dauphine Close side by using this track but I didn’t want to risk finding myself in the quarry.
Cheers - Dave (G0DJA)