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Long Knoll

Hi all

I had been visiting the south Bristol area and by late afternoon had done what I’d wanted. I’m slowly picking my way round summits that I’ve not been on before and Long Knoll (G/SC-007) was the nearest.

The weather was quite warm but very windy on the summit which I accessed from the east along a pleasant walk across the ridge to the trig point.

I initially started the activation on 20 metres after a self spot. Noise on the band was running at the S7 level and I had only heard a couple of others while tuning around.

First contact after a number of calls was with HA5MA, so I was radiating something. After a little lull I heard a weak Robert (G0PEB), on the Isle of Wight which must have been ground wave. Robert kindly popped on a spot for a QSY to 3.666.

Noise was even worse here running around s9 peaking S9+. I struggled to make contact with Martyn (M1MAJ), Robert and Mark (G0VOF). At least I’d managed to qualify the summit.

Just before I packed away I spotted for 7.126 and made only two additional contacts; DF1OX/MM just to the west of Corsica and Mike (LA5SAA), again with S8/9 noise.

Usually on the hills the general noise level is far lower than an urban area but today I think I experienced the worst contitions possible.

I scrapped the activation (a low number of QSOs by my standards) so I would be interested to hear how others found the bands between 1800 and 1900 bst.

Carolyn (G6WRW)

In reply to G6WRW:

I would be interested to hear how others found the bands between 1800
and 1900 bst.

Very noisy with a lot of QRN and static crashes all over the bands with me in Buckinghamshire. It was not a good evening Carolyn so I think you were unlucky.

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G6WRW:
Very noisy also here yesterday evening. Did listen for you Carolyn, but
nothing copied.
73 Aage/LA1ENA

In reply to G6WRW:
Likewise here in Yorkshire - very noisy on 20 & 80, I could not hear you !

73 Graham

In reply to G6WRW:

Ditto what Aage said.

Heard someone calling you on 20m but no reply. Heard Martyn only on 80m and nothing at all on 40m. Noise level on 80m was very low giving the impression the band was dead. 40m noise was around S7 but tuning around only a couple of readable stations. 20m seemed seemed a bit quiet here.

Sorry I could not get you in the log. A big fat chasers zero for yesterday.

Steve GW7AAV

Can’t have good days all the time :o) pleased it wan’t just me.

Checking the Chilton Ionograms for last night the sky was doing strange things.

Long Knoll is a hill I will have to visit again with Helen (M0YHB), but not to activate till I get MG :o)


In reply to G6WRW:

Sorry to hear about conditions last night Carolyn.
Only done the summit once & remember 3 things about it.

  1. Nearly getting run over on very busy road where I parked.
  2. Sheep poo - lots of it.
  3. Field of lights - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO2eFFI_3v8

In reply to G1INK:

Hi Steve

Agreed; not a nice place to park, its a very fast road

very little sheep poo this time just a nice grassy area near the trig with loads of space for antennas

Interesting vid… I had to google him :o)

In reply to G6WRW:

I struggled to make contact with Martyn (M1MAJ)

I always have a high noise level but last night was very strange. Occasional syllables were coming through clearly but others almost seemed to be breaking up. I’m pretty sure it was propagation rather than anything wrong with your signal. FYI, I was running 50W rather than my usual 5W. By the way, Caroline hadn’t arrived home so no attempt was made at lower power.

In reply to G6WRW:

Hi Carolyn,

I wouldn’t normally be active during the week as I usually have a very early night ready for work in the morning, however I do check Sotawatch for spots, although usually these are for activations that have been & gone long before I get home.

Fortunately I saw that you had been spotted on 3.666 MHz SSB so I powered up my station & took a listen for you. I have to say, conditions were atrocious, with S9+ static crashes taking out virtually all stations on the 80m band. These are the sort of conditions when the 400 Watt amplifier you keep to one side just for emergencies would be required to ensure reliable communication.

As it was, I was still tuned up on 3.650 from last weekend so after hearing enough of your previous QSO’s to gather how difficult things were for you I gave you a call. It was very nice when you replied to my call as usually, as you have said, the noise level on summits is usually much lower than in built up areas. That evening all things were equal & it was simply a case of how much power can you bounce off the ionosphere HI!

Well Carolyn, you bounced enough power into Blackburn for you to have been a good 57 but with terrible QRN & static crashes, which at the distance & time of day involved, I don’t think is too bad at all :slight_smile:

I haven’t used an amplifier for many years so on this occasion I was running 100 Watts into a modified 80m full wavelength horizontal loop at an average of 6m above ground level. Designed primarily for NVIS communication within the UK & near Europe, I am quite happy with its performance.

I must have known what I was doing when I put it up many years ago :wink: HI!

Very nice to make this difficult contact with you, & I am still over the moon with the surprise contact I had with you & Helen from GM/SI-171 :slight_smile:

I have seen the lovely photos, & even though my operating position at the time was very comfortable & convenient, it was nowhere near as scenic. In fact it’s the only time I have been able to sit out in my garden this summer with the weather we’ve had!!!


Thanks for the nice, although difficult QSO Carolyn,


Mark G0VOF

In reply to M1MAJ:

Hi Martyn

I wasn’t too worried about my kit and after so many portable HF actvations you get to have a feel about what the bands are like so realised I was going to struggle.

I was using my usual set-up; big dipoles, 20m vertical, 817 and 40W-ish amp.

I was just a bit disapointed because it was a nice hill.

BTW what is your antenna?