Thanks to Richard G3CWI for persevering in his determination to find a suitable spot for HF activations of Crowborough. Today I tried his latest find, as described in the summit notes.
Well, it certainly is a lot better than previous nooks and crannies, but is a long way from idyllic!
I parked in the Golf Club visitors’ car park as suggested. It’s undoubtedly private property, but, given its size, I don’t foresee any problems unless you visit on a day when there is a golf tournament taking place. The footpath, secondary path and clearing are all easy to find within a 100m stroll. I would suggest care when selecting the best spot for setting up as, by my calculations, the wood is on the very edge of the Activation Zone. By the debris strewn around I suspect that the clearing is also a venue for the local “yoof”, so don’t expect to be alone if you try an evening activation!
Anyway, today I suppose the local suspects were either in school or in court, so I had the place to myself! There are lots of trees to assist with the erection of an HF antenna, and some fallen trees ideal for sitting on. Sadly, the constant noise of traffic on the A26 is ever-present - there seems to be no escape on this summit.
A few calls on 7032.5 eventually found some customers, and fourteen stations found their way into the log before it went quiet. I announced a QSY to 10117, but I’m not sure if anybody copied that. After a few CQs there without response I decided to try 60m SSB. Channel FE was occupied with a loud CW station, so I called on FM. The band seemed quite noisy, but eventually I was called by G0UOO in Kent. He was a solid 59 with me, but found my QRP signal frequently disappearing into the noise. We did, however, manage to complete the contact, but conditions were such that there were no further takers.
By this time the forecast sunny day was raining quite hard! I packed up and departed, deciding to come straight home rather than attempting Cliffe Hill (G/SE-014) as originally intended.
So, the new operating site is best described as the best of a bad batch. Don’t expect to enjoy this hill if you activate it! I probably will not return until 2008 when I will at least get a point for my trouble.
73 de Les, G3VQO