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G/TW-005 Normanby Top, Quick Report

As this summit is situated in NW Lincolnshire, I decided to combine it on Saturday with my visit to the Horncastle Rally on Sunday, about 20 miles away. Looking at the SOTA page for this summit, VHF was never going to be easy with only 201 contacts in 48 activations. Therefore, I decided to make an early start and was well under way by 0645 local time. After entering the postcode into the satnav, for some reason, it wanted to take me along the A50 and then up the M1 via Derby, coveing a distance of some 130 miles. At this point I decided to ignore the satnavs instructions until I reached the end of the A50 where it recalculated and took me around Nottingham until I picked up the A46, hence taking me virtually all the way to my destination and saving about 30 miles driving.

On arriving at the Radar Station at G/TW-005, I parked the car, picked up the rucksack and antennas, then headed off to try and find the trig point that is located in the field shown on Google Map.

I hadn’t travelled twenty yards, when I heard a volley of shotgun shots close to the field which I was heading, quickly followed by another volley. It was at this point, for some reason, I suddenly lost the urge to find the trig point, turned around and high tailed it back to the car. The shots continued all day, so I assume there was some sort of organised shoot being held in the fields.

The one thing you bank on about my activations, they’re never uneventful :frowning:

Anyhow, I decided to set up not too far from the Radar Station, (easily within the massive AZ ) and see what I could find. After self spotting, I plonked my self on the 2m FM calling channel and waited for the calls to come. They trickled in for the first hour with a few locals and some calls along the coast and into Norfolk. After about another 10 minutes, I heard a weak call from Rob G0HRT/P on G/SP-004 Shining Tor who was unable to use his main antenna due to some sort of problem. He told me, there were a lot of people asking him “did I know that he was up there?” :-))))

To be honest I was very surprised to hear Rob, who he said he would give me a call later to see how things were going. I duly pressed on but after another hour or so I came to the conclusion, VHF was pretty much exhausted and did the unthinkable, switched to HF. I stuck up the fishing pole antenna and listened around only to find the dreaded “CQ contest call”. That was enough for me to go QRT on HF after making a couple of token contacts on the 15m band. True to his word, Rob came back a little later to see how I was getting on, still his antenna not working properly. He said he would try calling me again when his antenna was fixed. I then spotted my self on 2m SSB, however, as I was working vertical, this proved totally fruitless. It would appear my reservations about this summit were indeed, not without foundation :frowning:

Once again, I returned to 2m FM and that’s where I stayed until I made my only /M contact and oddly enough final contact of the day, Matt G7GCR/M who was on Snake Pass? using a H/H with some friends, they were looking a the wreckage of an aircraft downed in the 40’s.

It was at this point I decided to call it a day, but I’m really pleased to say, I did work Rob once more, only this time with his repaired antenna and he was a very nice radio 5. Well done Rob, great contact on your H/H!

Probably the most unusual contact of the day had to be Richard, M0RET/MM out on the Humber Estuary somewhere. It’s certainly the first contact I’ve made with a Maritime Mobile station on the 2m band and may possibly be a first for SOTA UK on that band.

Anyhow, I finished up with 33 contacts on 2m FM and 2 contacts on 15m. Ironically enough, this activation made 2m the most activated band taking over from 40m

For those amongst you who think Black Hill G/SP-002 is bad news for VHF, compared to G/TW-005 Normanby Top, it’s a veritable gold mine…trust me!

Thanks to all the callers and in particular, M3OZQ, G6DBC and M1COV who came along to the rally and said hello.

73s all
Mike 2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Given my folks live in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, and I’m often that way, somehow I’ve never made it to any of the G/TW hills… but each time I read a report about TW-005 my urge to bag it diminishes…

Probably the most unusual contact of the day had to be Richard, M0RET/MM out
on the Humber Estuary somewhere. It’s certainly the first contact I’ve made
with a Maritime Mobile station on the 2m band and may possibly be a first
for SOTA UK on that band.

Nice catch… but not quite the first - I worked F4ERR/MM from G/SC-008 on 2m/FM last year - but I’m sure there are earlier claims

Andrew

In reply to M6ADB:

but each time I read a report about TW-005 my urge to bag it diminishes…

What do you expect using VHF with a wet noodle for an antenna from a non-hill like Normanby Top? :wink:

HAAT (height above average terrain, population density are key. As well as not pumping valuable RF out over the North Sea!

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Hi Mike

I try to activate this summit at least once a year, I have relatives in the area so this hill provides an oppurtunity for radio HI!

I agree with your sentiments on how hard VHF is from here, I had to use 4m FM, 2m FM and 2m SSB - Just to get the 4 QSOs needed HI! I must admit I did start to think that if I had not got the 2m beam I would have never got a contact! It certainly does help, being able to point the RF into the big areas of Sheffield and Rotherham where the bulk of my QSOs were.

15m full of contests, no surprise really! Try the NVIS bands, more fun, more challenging and less likely to find contests! Plus 5MHz is an excellent band that makes you work towards your Full Licence!

73

Matt G8XYJ

In reply to G8XYJ:

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Hi Mike

I try to activate this summit at least once a year,

Clearly, you’re a glutton for punishment, Matt :wink:

Ok for a unique but quite frankly, it’s not on my list of repeats :frowning:

I agree with your sentiments on how hard VHF is from here, I had to
use 4m FM, 2m FM and 2m SSB - Just to get the 4 QSOs needed HI! I must
admit I did start to think that if I had not got the 2m beam I would
have never got a contact!

I stuck with the collinear game plan, however, it was hard work. Having said this, it was not all bad news. Working G0XTA in Wisbech, about 60 miles, M6KSS in Dereham, about 75 miles and G0ACM in Great Yarmouth, a remarkable 105 miles as the crow flies, the latter being a distance that would be difficult to acheive from the mighty Shining Tor, using a collinear on FM, let alone a summit that is barely 500ft!

73
Mike 2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I managed to work Mick (2e0hjd as he was then) in Clitheroe from there with a 3 ele beam on 2m ssb. Nothing special about that - until I found out Mick was beaming at Newcastle thinking that the TW stood for Tyne & Wear ;-))
p.s. I don`t plan a return trip in my lifetime.

If you are interested in what DX you can get on 2m Mickey, I don’t understand why you resist using a beam! It will outperform the colinear every time. I am intending working 80 to 100 stations, maybe more, in the 2m contest tomorrow night, using a 5-el SOTA Beam. This should include plenty of stations that are 100km or more away, and will all be done using 5 watts from the FT-817.

I will return to reactivate TW-005 if I am passing close by, but won’t be making a special trip. I still haven’t found the trig point!

Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

"I still haven’t found the trig point! "

Go just after the fields are ploughed, it stands out like a sore thumb.

In reply to M1EYP:

If you are interested in what DX you can get on 2m Mickey, I don’t
understand why you resist using a beam! It will outperform the
colinear every time.

I wasn’t looking for DX, the DX found me… :wink:

I am intending working 80 to 100 stations, maybe
more, in the 2m contest tomorrow night, using a 5-el SOTA Beam. This
should include plenty of stations that are 100km or more away, and
will all be done using 5 watts from the FT-817.

Tom, are you seriously trying to compare a 2m Contest with a SOTA activation? If the 2m contest was held exclusively on FM, I’d be more than happy to put the collinear up against the beam.

I took the liberty of looking at Matt G8XYJ activation log of TW-005 last year. Even using his beam for 2m VHF FM and SSB as well as 4m, it took him a shade over an hour to find five contacts.

Using a collinear, in just over an hour, I’d found 14 contacts including a S2S with SP-004, some rag chewing with a couple of stations, all on 2m fm including one contact of almost 170km, using 6 watts and the FT-857.

The collinear, has consistently produced excellent results on 2m and I suspect will do so on 70cm, once the 857 is repaired.

I will return to reactivate TW-005 if I am passing close by, but won’t
be making a special trip. I still haven’t found the trig point!

I’m still not clear as to whether the trig point is on a PROW?

73
Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I’m still not clear as to whether the trig point is on a PROW?

73
Mike
2E0YYY

It is not on a PROW and the area is not CROW.

http://tinyurl.com/3lctrva

Roger G4OWG

I’d be more than happy to put the collinear up against the beam…

Sounds like a challenge! I’m thinking Shining Tor, two consecutive Saturdays, 2m FM, 5 watts. What do you reckon?

Yeah, you’re right, you can’t really compare with a contest, but I can’t help feeling that, as good as your results are with the colinear, that they would be better with a beam (vertically polarised for 2m FM). Considering the lengthy activations you often do, I am sure that you would make even more contacts, and certainly increase your best DX, with a beam.

Tom M1EYP

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Hi Mike

Yes I must admit that it was alot of hard work getting the QSOs! I was up there for a casual activation! In my defence the activation was taken part on a weekday, I feel that Weekday activations are always alot harder then Weekends!

Take what antenna you wnat I suppose is the key thing here! If you cant be bothered to turn beams then a dipole/slimjim or colinear will be the best! However come to Mid Wales Mike and you will crave a beam!! So much harder in Mid and South Wales then IO83 Square!

73 for now

Matt G8XYJ!

In reply to G8XYJ:

These panoramic posts are hard work!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
That better Brian ? :slight_smile:

Roger G4OWG

In reply to G4OWG:

How did you do that, Roger?

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
The address I posted was far too long and didn’t wrap.
I replaced it with a tinyurl.
Perhaps someone could look into stopping this happening :wink:

Roger G4OWG

In reply to G4OWG:

Takes me to a seach page and not a map, is that right?

In reply to G8ADD:

tinyURL is a URL shortening service. It does exactly what it says on the tin, it takes a long URL and provides you with a short URL. The short URL points to tinyURL’s web site where the short URL is resolved back to the long URL and then you are redirected to that URL. It’s a free service. Of course you might ask what tinyURL does with the information it harvests when you ask it to shorten something and when people use those shortened URLs. Well they have to make money somehow.

http://www.tinyurl.com and follow what is written on the page.

And before you ask, a URL is a Uniform Resource Locator. It tells you about a URI and how to get it. A URI is a Uniform Resource Identifier.

e.g. URL http://www.sotawatch.org says fetch the URI ‘www.sotawatch.org’ using http

It’s all easy. You just have to remember everything long enough to look up what the next acronym means and remember what you first started looking for several dozen lookups later! :slight_smile:

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Being the one to first activate Normanby Top way back in 2003 (then called ‘The Wolds’) maybe I can comment. I did it on 40m CW then, in fact two separate activations on a couple of days when I was visiting my Mum in Waddingham 10 miles away. I had no shortage of QSOs, though they were far more leisurely affairs in those days before SOTA took off in a big way. I operated from the road verge near to the tower, and likewise never saw the summit marker which was well hidden in cropped fields. The only thing to keep me company was the farmer driving his manure cart down the road at regular intervals, thought he would stop and ask what I was doing but he didn’t. I can imagine though that 2m was VERY dead, I often had the FT290 with me when at Mum’s and it was a very rare thing to hear anybody. I don’t get up there these days as sadly Mum died a few years ago.

73 Dave G3YMC

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Hi Mike,

Yes, I was on the moors to the north of Snake Pass, around Higher Shelf Stones (unfortunately not a SOTA summit). About 3 miles of walking from the point the Pennine Way crosses the A57 brings you to the crash site -


is a set of photos I took (using a cameraphone, so apologies for the quality!).

Three of the four of us had radios with us, and I just happened to do a scan before descending so heard you. I was only using a VX-5 with the stock antenna.

(incidentally, it was from reading your posts on this reflector that your callsign registered with me and I felt I had to persevere and make contact).

73,

Matt G7GCR

In reply to G7GCR:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Hi Mike,

Yes, I was on the moors to the north of Snake Pass, around Higher
Shelf Stones (unfortunately not a SOTA summit). About 3 miles of
walking from the point the Pennine Way crosses the A57 brings you to
the crash site -

Thanks for confirming the location, Matt. I was 95% certain you had said Snake Pass…

http://tinyurl.com/rb29a-sf
is a set of photos I took (using a cameraphone, so apologies for the
quality!).

Quality is fine… It’s hard to believe the wreckage has been up there for over sixty years.

Three of the four of us had radios with us, and I just happened to do
a scan before descending so heard you. I was only using a VX-5 with
the stock antenna.

It was a very difficult copy at first, your signal was up and down like a yo yo and then it became quite readable.

(incidentally, it was from reading your posts on this reflector that
your callsign registered with me and I felt I had to persevere and
make contact).

Thanks for taking the time to call, Matt. It was nice to finally get a /M in the log on Saturday.

73
Mike 2E0YYY