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Shillhope Law SB006 13/4/07


I haven’t been on Shillhope Law before, although I have done a few walks in the imediate area. For some reason I thought it would be like Ross Hill…right next to the car, and a short climb to the summit.

I was wrong!! My GPS only clocked half a mile, but it seemed to be straight up!! I would recommend anyone climbing this hill to use the slightly longer Barrowburn route, and not the ‘direct ascent’, that I used. I came back that way and the gradient is much easier.

It was still a nice day out though…very foggy from Newcastle Area (Seghill actually), until just after Simonside/Rothbury, when in the space of 400 yards, the sun came out, and Upper Coquetdale could be seen at it’s best. In fact my alternative summit, Tosson Hill, was in bright sunshine, with Simonside (1 mile east) covered in fog…weird!!

Being a weekday, 2m was pretty quiet, so I took a casual approach and had a bit of a natter on FM before trying SSB. Many thanks to G4RFD, M1BTG, M0KLL/M (Sorry Keith , I lost you as you descended to the coast), G0GLH, G0CQK, and the final surprise was M0RCP/P on Helvellyn!.

I’d just finished talking to Jim (G4CQK), had set the beam to horizontal polorisation for SSB, and was checking it was OK, when I heard a /P station on 145.475. I was sure I heard the words Helvellyn, so it was a mad rush to repolorise the antenna… pleased I did, as we had a 5/9 contact. This was Ricks 250th activator point so congratiulations to him… it also put me over 100 chaser points…

I nearly forgot… half an hour of CQ calls on SSB…Nothing!!! I was only using 5 watts, into a 4 element beam…

As always though (in spite of the lack of SSB activity) a most enjoyable ‘activation’, and even my 4 element beam behaved itsself!!


Rob (G1TPO)


In reply to G1TPO:

Hi Rob,

The walk up from Shillhope over Inner Hill is pleasant and relatively untaxing. I never considered a direct assault - you are a brave man!

73, Gerald G4OIG

P.S. Good to work you from Peel Fell last week.


In reply to G1ZJQ:
Hi Derek (and Gerald)…I parked at Wedder Leap, crossed the footbridge (where Wedder leapt !) walked ahead to the hillside, turned right, followed the fence to the first stream, then followed the stream up to the ridge, then right and up to the summit… the initial ascent by the stream was the killer, that, plus the fact I was carrying far too much gear!

I should point out that I’m very unfit at the moment!!!

The last time I used SSB on a 2m activation,(actually the first time), I was using my FT897, and probably running 25w or so (Long Crag), and made loads of contacts, so I think you are dead right about power. I may get a small linear for future use.

On my own website, I say that an FT897 “isn’t THAT heavy” (details on QRZ). Well it is, and that’s why I got an 817. I used a 6AH gel cell, with no problems at all, running 2.5/5.0w FM and 5w on SSB…the battery was still good after 2 hours…I’ll have to work out the pros and cons of current consumtion v transmitter power.

I still can’t get over how small the FT817 is…amazing!!

Regarding an SB summit to summit, I was thinking of activating a local hill at the same time as the South Pennine “gathering”. Probably Long Crag or Tosson. Let me know if you’re interested…I think it’s next Sunday. Last ‘SP Day’, I set up at “Winters Gibbet”, near Otterburn (315m ASL), but was a bit late and only made one contact.

One way or another I’ll be trying to make some SP contacts…




In reply to G1ZJQ:
Just checked…my batteries are 7.2AH… that’s why I have a bad back!!




In reply to G1TPO:


I sometimes haul up a 12AH SLAB (4.2kg) and a BNOS 150 watt linear… Usual kit is a 3.3AH and a 25w MM linear - runs for over an hour on SSB with some left for a chat on FM afterwards. Believe it or not, my back is better than it used to be!

73, Gerald G4OIG

P.S. Will look out for you next Sunday.