G/SC-007 Long Knoll M0XPO activation 04.11.21

After meeting a number of work deadlines, I needed a break and was really looking forward to getting away from the computer and back out in the open air and trying my 4th SOTA activation. At such short notice, G/SC-007 Long Knoll seemed a good option as it’s located near the Wiltshire / Somerset boarders and only about a 35min drive away from home.

Approaching from Maiden Bradley, I drove SW along the B3092 and missed the ‘safe’ car parking spot mentioned by G0KPE and then proceeded to also miss the ‘unsafe’ spot he mentions. This meant I had to turn the car around which isn’t easy to do as the road has very narrow verges and the traffic is fast moving in both directions. About 1/2mile further down, there was an entrance to a site that was big enough to turn around in so moments later I was heading back up the B3092.

Now driving in the correct direction, I opted to park at the ‘unsafe’ spot G0KPE mentions as it now appeared much clearer than in his photo. Plus the footpath entrance to Rag Wood is very close by which avoids walking along this busy road. Next time, I will put this location accurately into the Sat-Nav and carefully anticipate the location as the oncoming traffic can be quite fast!

©Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey. Media 018/21

At this starting point, it’s already at about +210m so there was another +75m climb to go. Surprisingly, there’s quite a steep initial climb of about 40m and from then on it’s an undulating easy walk taking about 15mins in total. Some maps indicate a blue line along the start of the path and it was certainly very boggy in places. For the majority of the walk, there is a fence to your right which guides you directly to the trig.

The fence certainly helps as a guide and I was looking forward to seeing the art installation mentioned by G0KPE, however, I was to find out later that it had all been removed. The land also quickly slopes away on the left and you do find yourself hemmed in if there are any livestock up there – these cows were quite close with only a few of them opting to stand up as I approached them!

Once at the trig, setting up the FT-817 / 2m Slim Jim was very easy as the fence posts provide a very convenient spot to place/fix antennas to.

Sat with my back against the fence, calling CQ was immediately responded to by 2E1KJB who was fishing at the Isle of Wight - this was about 65miles away and on 4w this seemed a good start to me. The WX was about 12degs with a constant light wind which caused the ladder line to continually vibrate but decent reports were still coming in okay. This time I had a flask of hot tea and a few bars of chocolate to keep the warmth/energy levels up and with a view like this…… how could you not enjoy playing radio!

I seemed to be getting out well in all directions and other interesting QSOs included James 2E1EMK from his narrow boat east of Devizes and Kevin MW0KXN/P located on GW/SW-012 Coity Mountain so my 1st s2s. The session was ended with a second s2s with M5RJC/P on G/WB-019 May Hill.

After two hours and with thirteen QSOs in the log, the sun was disappearing fast behind the cloud, the temp had dropped and the gusts were increasing so it was time to pack up and head back to the car.

This is certainly a summit I would return back to as the fence proved very helpful and I made a mental note to bring the dipole for 20m next time. I was beginning to prefer it when there were no other people around and this may well have been due to the lack of any parking spaces nearby. All in all, it felt a very rewarding session and I even made it back home in time to do the school run!

73, Lea M0XPO


Long Knoll sunrise - November 2007 :grinning:


Thanks for another nice report. After you’ve been there once, the parking area doesn’t seem too scary. I activated Long Knoll a month ago. Like you I missed the space the first time around, but got it on the second. I didn’t find pulling out onto the road afterwards as bad as I was expecting. I think the key, like a lot of things in amateur radio, is to ‘listen, listen, listen’, and once you are satisfied nothing is coming - go for it!

Hi Gerald,

What a fab pic ……. and well done to you for managing to get there as the sun rose. To date, it has been my preferred summit but seeing as I’ve only done five so far I’m happy to see how the next few compare.

73, Lea M0XPO

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What an interesting collection of QSOs, a narrow boat must be worth extra points. :slight_smile:

You might want to edit the title, Long Knoll is 007 not 004. You don’t want to annoy a summit with a licence to kill. :slight_smile:

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Hi Matthew,

I do plan on going back to this one and wouldn’t hesitate at parking at the same spot. Having said that, I doubt I could turn the car there! One thing I did do as I was getting out of my cowpat covered boots, was count how long it took a car to reach me after it had come over the brow in the road. Armed with this info and as you say…… you’ve gotta ‘listen listen listen’ and be ready to pounce to make a swift getaway.

73, Lea M0XPO


Ah yes, the cowpats! You certainly do have to watch your step on that summit! :rofl:

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Hi Lea, thanks for your activation report and photos. Well done :+1: :slightly_smiling_face:

73 de Geoff vk3sq

Hi Lea,

It was the first of 4 summits that day and it just happened that we (Paul G4MD and myself) arrIved at dawn. That’s the beauty of SOTA. It enables you to see sights and places that you otherwise wouldn’t see. Just wait until you experience more and more! It’s part of why I’m hooked on Unique summits.

Many thanks for the excellent report on your day. Memories of November 2007 came flooding back. I even remember sticking my head out of the car window listening intently for traffic as I pulled out of that parking spot… as you say, easier at this time of year.

73, Gerald


Beautiful pictures. Thanks

Thanks Geoff. Good to hear from you again. 73

Thanks Carl,

I do enjoy the photo stops along the way and as Ferris Bueller aptly put it …… “Life Moves Pretty Fast. If You Don’t Stop And Look Around Once In A While, You Could Miss It.”

73, Lea M0XPO

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Hi John,

:grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Yes…. not quite as glamorous as a /MM but I did appreciate ops getting back to me as they were getting on with other things.

Thanks for the heads up about the 007. Being new to the SOTA Reflector, I’ve now seen you made the edit so many thanks for that.

73, Lea M0XPO

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I didn’t do the edit, it must have been one of the MT using their super powers. :slight_smile:

Hi John,

You are correct… a super power has been in touch !

73, Lea.

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