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
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
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.