An extra meeting in Newport presented an opportunity to try and bag a couple more of the GW/SW set, and having consulted the archives (and Gerald’s notes) I decided that G/SW-019 before the meeting, and GW/SW-024 (and hopefully GW/SW-030 afterwards) would be a suitable target.
However, having failed on several prior occasions to qualify two summits on one day, the step to three was a bit ambitious, so I only alerted for the first two, but with the possibility held out.
Having set off from Farnborough at 0500bst I arrived at GW/SW-019 and called CQ on 145.500/FM at 0800gmt exactly as per my alert… and I was met by Frank G3RMD/M (my first contact with this SOTA regular) quickly followed by Jonathon M6HBS in Swindon and Tom G3XMM in Gloucester.
After a further 15 minutes of fruitless calling, I used a tidbit I’d previously noted, and called into the Cheltenham Net on 145.400 to ensure the summit was qualified (thanks all). A return to 145.500 used another ten minutes of battery life… I then switched to SSB where immediately Gavin MW0VKD in Llanelli and Mike G6OES in Coventry went into the log. A further 15 minutes of calling proved fruitless, although I note that Gerald G4OIG did spot me, but I didn’t hear him. At 0900bst I went QRT and headed to the car, arriving back at 0930bst and set off for my 1000bst meeting.
What should have been a two hour meeting turned into a four hour meeting, but having over-estimated traval and walking time, I arrived at GW/SW-024 only an hour after the alerted time… But I decided not to try to squeeze GW/SW-030 in afterwards, as timescales were tight anyway.
As it turned out, this was a good decision. I started out wasting 20 minutes on 2m/SSB with nothing to show for it, before moving over to FM. Local contacts Rob GW0WLO and Phil GW0IRT quickly showed up, but it was a further 10 minutes before Barry 2E0ZBR/M sat in his car at G/SC-008 Win Green (ie not SOTAing) made it three, and another ten minutes before Neil 2E0HOQ in Weston Super Mare made it four.
I did contemplate trying for GW/SW-030 at this point but once again decided against, so hung around for a bit longer. Tony G8CKK in Bristol made it five, before Rob GW0WLQ popped back to suggest a 70cm. Sadly I couldn’t make him out, but Tony G8CKK popped over two, to become my first ever 70cm non-repeater contact
Returning to 2m, Dave M0VMC/P popped up from G/DC-002 for a Summit-To-Summit to finish off with.
GW/SW-030 will have to wait til I’m back this way…
One really disappointing aspect is the lack of APRS coverage… it was OK up to arriving at GW/SW-019 as Jonathon M6HBS noted on his contact, but thereafter, only three packets made it to the net
Thanks to all chasers, and hope to work you all again soon