Summit Easter Eggs

In reply to G1INK:

It is. Junction 6.

Tom, a thought about your journey down and the Severn Bridge toll. We always take the Ross Spur M50 then there is a fast mainly dual carriageway A40/A449 to Newport, J24 on the M4. Because the traffic is light this is faster than the M5/M4 route - and avoids the toll!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
Thanks for the tip Brian - if you were coming from Bristol would the same apply do you think?

A family member of ours will soon be moving to Bristol from London, and I may be able to use Bristol as a launching pad.

73 Phil

In reply to G4OBK:

No, Phil, you’d spend more in fuel than you’d save in tolls! At least you don’t have to pay a toll to leave Wales on the M4 - I wonder if that is significant? :wink:


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
Thanks for info Brian - they do or did the same on the Humber Bridge. I think they double the money up on one side and man it and then save on staff at one end. I rerely go over Humber Bridge at Hull but I think the toll was dropped on once the bridge had been paid for - it took many years! Dave G6DTN would know for sure as he lives that way.

73 Phil

In reply to M1EYP:

…the GPS on my phone to indicate exactly where we were on the UK Atlas Android app (which has the OS 1:25000 mapping).

Hmmm, looks like I need to play with this app and possibly OS Maps UK Pro as well before I pay out a large sum on a new mapping GPS. No doubt they have limitations, but that is probably not an issue when used with an actual map.

Thanks for the heads-up!

73, Gerald G4OIG

Of course another app on my phone is the DroidPSK that I use for SOTA PSK work, and seemed to draw a lot of attention after it was featured in episode 1 of TX Factor. The plan for the evening of Thursday 24th April 2014 was to use that - now that it has been updated to also support PSK63 - to enter the RSGB 80m CC Data from The Cloud G/SP-015. This would allow Jimmy to simultaneously make an entry from the home shack for our contest group - Tall Trees CG.

I decided to use my “new” spot about halfway between the NT squeeze stile and the summit. The 80m dipole (SOTAbeams Bandhopper 4) went up a treat here, and I lifted each end using my Leki poles. I was in the process f connecting up my FT-817, mike, Palm Paddle etc when horror struck. I felt my trouser pocket and realised that my mobile phone was still on charge - in the kitchen at home.

What a chump.

So instead I worked a couple on 2m FM using the handie, then three on 80m CW and one on 80m SSB. The latter contact was actually quite interesting, as t station - Gordon GM7WCO in Irvine - couldn’t hear me! He was transmitting back to me OK using his own station, but was using the WebSDR at Nantwich, Cheshire to hear my overs coming back!

That added a bit of interest and intrigue to the evening, but I still drove home rather frustrated and cross with myself.


In reply to M1EYP:

me! He was transmitting back to me OK using his own station, but was
using the WebSDR at Nantwich, Cheshire to hear my overs coming back!

Hi all,
Is it legal chasing SOTAs with the help of WebSDR receptors?
I believed it wasn’t but after reading your post, I’m in doubt.
Thank you for clarification.
Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF

In reply to G4OBK:
Hi Phil

The Humber Bridge hasn’t been paid off yet and don’t think it ever will. The Government paid half the debt off and that’s reduced the toll from £3 each way to £1.50 each way and yes, you do have to pay both ways, not just one way and contrary to what most people think, the bridge is actually in Hessle and not Hull, can just see the top of one of the towers from home.
Since the Toll was halved traffic across the bridge has increased considerably and they are now building new Pay Booths which will probably include ones like those at the Dartford crossing where you chuck your money into a basket.


In reply to G4ASA:
Thanks for the info Dave on what has happened at the Humber Bridge.

73 Phil

Is it legal chasing SOTAs with the help of WebSDR receptors?

An interesting question Guru.

His transmissions from his own station were reaching me on The Cloud, no problem. But he was making use of a “remote receiver”

In any case, the station I worked is not an active or registered SOTA chaser.


An unexpected opportunity for a SOTA day out arose on Friday 25th April 2014. A late start was necessary, as the deal involved dropping Liam off at college at 9am, and the weather forecast looked bobbins for the afternoon. However, Jimmy was at work, so provided I was prepared to “grin and bear it”, there was no stopping me.

Naturally, I headed in the direction of my nearest (or perhaps “most easily accessible”) cluster of summits not yet recorded as multipliers in the 12m Challenge. In my case, this was the Shropshire hills of Caer Caradoc G/WB-006, Brown Clee Hill G/WB-002 and Titterstone Clee Hill G/WB-004.

Road progress was slowed by having to stop at corners and reconsult the road atlas in the “old fashioned way”, what with not having a satnav, nor a human navigator with me. It had been a long time - 11 years in fact - since I last attempted the north face of Caradoc, and it took a little time to find the correct parking spot and access to the path.

I couldn’t find anywhere to park near to Lower Botvyle and the path signed “Caradoc Path” in the yard, but I pulled onto the verge at SO476961 by Botvyle Farm and took the PROW from there. The sign here said “Caer Caradoc 0.1 miles, 5 minutes”. ‘Yeah right’ I thought!

After walking across the first field, the gradient stiffened significantly up a grassy gully to the saddle between Little Caradoc and Caer Caradoc. Turning right (south) there was another trudge up a gently rising field before hitting the well-known “footprint steps” up Caradoc’s north ridge. Although this is the steepest part of the walk, it is also the easiest, because you can place your feet down flat and get into a rhythm!

Hanging around the ramparts just below the summit was several groups of teenage girls doing D of E Bronze. I had a chat with some of them on the way up, and down later, and found them to be very pleasant and intelligent. I was soon on the summit and down again on the other side - well one metre down, using the rocks for shelter!

The only HF band carried was 12m for the challenge, but I figured that if I struggled to make the four contacts, I would simply switch to the 2m FM handie. As it was, I got the four QSOs, all on CW, in 17 minutes. The fourth and qualifying contact took a long while coming, but when it did, it was worth waiting for - OV1CDX on EU-029. OK, not exactly IOTA DX, but nice to get a not-so-common prefix.

With no other replies coming, nor any activity worth queueing up for elsewhere on 24MHz, I packed up and retraced my steps to the car. It was now off to Brown Clee Hill G/WB-002.


The drive from Caer Caradoc Hill G/WB-006 to Brown Clee Hill G/WB-002 on Friday 25th April 2014 was a total pain. My car horn was put into overdrive as I negotiated my way through countless blind bends on the narrow Shropshire lanes. I pulled in at several crossroads to consult the road atlas. Eventually, I found my way to the telephone box at Abdon and pulled in on the grass verge a little further up the road.

I was originally going to go up from the picnic site again, but a study of the OS map influenced me to return to the bridleway from Abdon, starting at SO585868. Once into my stride, I was happy with this decision. The track is reasonably surfaced with small stones further down, and firm dry grass further up, and remains at a constant but not-too-taxing gradient. When the path swings 90 degrees to the left, you know you are within a couple of minutes of the summit.

It was now raining constantly, and my coat and rucksack were getting rather wet. I set the 12m GP up quickly, then got inside the bothy bag to complete the set up. This provided for comfortable and dry operating, the only problem being that the bothy bag was itself getting soaked before the next and third activation of the day!

Like on the earlier summit, QSOs were not rapidly forthcoming on 12m, but four CW contacts were recorded inside eight minutes. A self-spotted attempt to add some SSB to the log came to nought. That mattered not, as I was still glowing from my fourth and qualifying contact on CW when my CQ was answered by Heribert 7Z1HL in Saudi Arabia!

Thankfully, the rain eased to a very damp mist for packaway and descent, but once on the road to Titterstone Clee Hill G/WB-004, the rain intensified again and became heavy and persistent.


The routefinding was a little easier this time, following the country lanes south to the B4364, onto which I turned right towards Ludlow. Before the town, I turned left onto the A4117 Kidderminster road, and followed this up to the big sign indicating a left to to Titterstone Clee Summit.

I think this was the first and only time I have arrived at this car park and be the only car and person it it! Mind you, it was tipping it down by now, so I was probably the only one mad enough!

I was “in the zone” though and thought nothing of throwing on my coat and rucksack and marching uphill in the rain. Most of this hill has been quarried and all that remains is a large horseshoe shape, fortunately with the original highest point remaining undisturbed.

At last there was a bit more life on 24MHz, as indicated when the first reply to my CQ calls came from Barry N1EU in New York, and with a genuine 599 signal as well. A relatively bumper total of 12 QSOs was made on this one, with 9 on CW and 3 on SSB.

By the time I had packed up and descended, I was soaked. The Exped drybags had protected all the good stuff, but they themselves were wet on the outside, so everything came out of my rucksack and was arranged along the bag seat and parcel shelf for a good airing on the drive home.

Many thanks for the calls.


In reply to M1EYP:
Thanks for the detail on those GW/SW summits.
With the 21 remaining 1 pointers to do for SW completion, the info might come in handy some day!
I’m not likely to make a special effort to travel all that distance for solitary points, however my youngest daughter is off to Swansea Uni in September, so I expect I’ll be “required” to make a few journeys there to transport her luggage etc. - an ideal time to tick off some of those 21 from the list :slight_smile: