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SOTA on a golf course - Cliffe Hill G/SE-014

06-Nov-2021: Thought I’d do a report for this unusual summit, G/SE-014 Cliffe Hill in the South Downs. First let me thank M7BIA and M0JKS for S2S on G/SP-004 and G8CXK for S2S on G/SB-009.

I travelled down by train from London (I don’t have a car so all the operating I do I travel by train and walk) to Lewes. My train was cancelled so I had to take a rail replacement bus from Gatwick airport to Three Bridges then wait an hour for the train to Lewes. From Lewes station walk through the town center (a very nice town), past the protestors in orange jumpsuits, over the bridge past the man playing the guitar and harmonica and up Chapel Hill.


Thameslink from St Pancras to Gatwick airport

I had read that the trig point lies on a golf course so I contacted Mandy at Lewes Golf Course by email for permission to access the trig point and set up a station.


The road to the golf club is a private road but you can walk up. There’s a narrow footpath to the side.

Walk past the small driving range, past the obelisk (to your left), then follow the course round to the right. You will see a track for vehicles, on the OS map its the black dotted path. Keep following this until you pass a small farm building. OS map screenshot: ©Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey. Media 018/21

The trig point is hidden behind some bushes and trees at first, just walk up to it carefully making sure no golfers are nearby and you will see the trig point next to hole 18.

I set up my station off the green, but well within the allowed distance to the summit. It was windy with gusts up to 35mph. This was my first activation with my new-to-me KX3. I used the sotabeams carbon6 and a 16ish meter wire antenna hooked up to an LDG 9:1. Good SWR on 80/30/20/17/15/12/10 (2.5:1 or better). Ironically I activated on 40m, needed the tuner since SWR was 4.5:1.

I was active for 40 mins and got 20 QSOs. The antenna was droopy and mast was blowing in the wind and I was using 15w of power. Pretty happy with the result. 3 S2S and one castles on the air contact too.

To contact the golf club email secretary@lewesgolfclub.co.uk or phone 01273 483 474. I’ll probably never come back to this summit because I don’t want to be taken out by a rogue golf ball to the head on a windy day.

73 from 2E0HXS. If anyone has instagram feel free to connect http://instagram.com/HamzahRadio

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Good Job. Have to ask the question - where is Britain’s most unusual trig point? That must be one of them.

I thought mine today would be surrounded by trees. However, area had been clear-felled!

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Thanks! Where did you activate today? Were you planning on using the trees to support the antenna?

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Well done Ham. Using public transport is a major challenge at the best of times, more so when you are carting radio kit around. You were my only contact on 40m this afternoon. The higher bands were starting to open up, so I decided to leave 40m until later… didn’t get back to the band. :grin:

73, Gerald G8CXK aka G4OIG

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Thanks Gerald, hope you enjoyed your activation and thanks for S2S. You were my last contact of the day - I was just about to pack up before I heard you call. Good timing!

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I had grand plans, however they were curtailed due to the high wind speeds. I settled for GM/CS-121 Hill of Wangie, near Elgin. Summits with tree cover are hard to find up here. Despite the clear felled summit area, there was still good tree cover within the Activation zone. It made a huge difference.

Edit: I tried throwing a wire up a trunk, but soon gave up. I did end up using a 4m dead one to support theast in the end. It was a novel day out for me.

73, Fraser

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Another question - how many SOTA summits are on golf courses ?
I know of G/WB-011 and GW/NW-061 but I’m sure there are others

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Thanks very much for the nice report and photos. This is one of two G/SE summits that I’ve yet to activate, so the information in your report was very useful and interesting to me. I had wondered how easy it was to activate this one due to the summit being on a golf course, but it seems like you didn’t have any trouble.

Congratulations on a successful activation,

73 - Matthew, M0JSB

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FWIW by the OS map the top of the adjacent Nature Reserve is within the AZ and is access land

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Glad it was useful Matthew. I was a little nervous because it’s different to all the others I’ve done so far but it went smoothly today. The view of Lewes from the top is quite nice, you’ll enjoy it. Thanks :slight_smile:

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someone should should start Golf Courses on the Air haha

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Great to catch you. A challenging day today! Well done. Martin

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Yes, I can imagine why you might have felt a bit apprehensive, so glad it all worked out - especially after such an arduous journey!
Hopefully work you from a summit sometime soon…

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Thanks Martin! glad to get you in the log. hope you had fun today.

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One of those days when reflecting on it is better than the experience. Totally shattered this evening! But good fun!

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When I was surveying Japan summits, I found two or three. One is located right next to the 9th green. I guess SOTA activations should call players through in that instance.

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This is correct Rick. You can get comfortably into the AZ without entering the boundary of the golf course, and the associated issues. That area has plenty of gorse bushes, and would appear to be very popular with livestock judging by the evidence on the ground, so finding a spot to operate and erect an antenna can be tricky.

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Well done Hamzah and thank you for the interesting report and photos. That one brings back a few memories especially of the lady golfer telling me that I was too loud as she prepared to putt the ball…oh dear.

73 Allan GW4VPX

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The trig point on Hensbarrow Beacon in Cornwall is unusual from a SOTA perspective. This used to be the SOTA summit G/DC-004 and is on top of a natural hill. However, it is completely over-shadowed by an enormous spoil heap from the local China clay workings. The spoil heap is very old and is completely covered in vegetation so it too looks like a natural hill. The top of this summit is G/DC-008, replacing G/DC-004 which is now marked in the database as “inactive”. The unusual bit is on the ground the trig point seems to be at the bottom of the hill not the top. Of course it is marking the summit of Hensbarrow Beacon but compared to the spoil heap this is hardly noticeable, looking more like a low bump in the ground.

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Hensbarrow is unusual in that the big hill is man-made since the trig was built. But there are many trig points that are not at the high point of the hill. The location was chosen such that optical sightings to other trig points could be most easily made. I think there are a few where the trig isn’t in the AZ even.

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