Friday 11th January 2019 - Black Down G/SE-003 & Butser Hill G/SE-004
I set my alarm for 5am. In the uncomfortable bed in the noisy apartment, I was awake (again) at 0455z. So off I went.
After a leisurely breakfast stop at a petrol station on one of the main roads around Petersfield, I arrived at the Tennyson Lane parking spot just as dawn was breaking. This was good because it can be hard to erect an 80m antenna in the dark!
I followed the woodland paths in the general direction of the summit, keeping an eye out in the gloomy early light for the trig.
I was QRV at 8am on Black Down G/SE-003. Eight QSOs were made. 4 on 80m FT8, 1 on 80m CW and 3 on 80m SSB. Phil G4OBK got through on all three modes.
Partway on the journey back, I drove past Butser Hill G/SE-004 where we would head later. Back at the apartment, I regrouped and set off again, this time with Jimmy and Liam.
First though, I phoned the Queen Elizabeth II Country Park visitor centre to secure permission for the activation. Initially, the lady declined, saying “We haven’t got the licence any more”. I asked what licence. She replied “The licence for the radio”. So I said “Oh that’s OK, we’ve both got our own amateur radio licences”, to which she replied “Well that’s OK then, you can, but it’s at your own risk”. I said that was fine, and thanked her. Quite a peculiar exchange though!
Jim directed me up to the car park on Butser, and he, I and Liam made the short easy stroll the quarter of a mile or so to the trig.
Interestingly, Jimmy was challenged by a lady saying she was a staff member and asking if we had permission. All was fine when he confirmed that indeed we had. No further proof was sought.
We had a great joint activation. I made 32 QSOs - 2 on 80m FT8, 6 on 80m CW, 6 on 80m SSB, 16 on 40m CW and 2 on 40m SSB. I tried - but failed to get any contacts on 40m or 20m SSB.
Jimmy made five ragchew style QSOs on 2m FM, and just before we packed up, he decided to take the plunge on FT8. He took to the mode smoothly and enjoyed working four chasers on 80m FT8.