I activated G/DC-007 Watch Croft today, the last of the 7 SOTA summits in DC to be activated by me.
I was looking forward to nice views but a sea mist put paid to that!
There are several places you can park for Watch Croft. I chose the most southerly. You can see it at the 193 spot height to the west of where the building called Dakota is in the lower centre of the screen.
©Crown copyright 2022 Ordnance Survey. Media 041/22
The bridle path, marked in green runs North East from here which brings you after a kilometre or so to the entrance to a cottage. In this photo below the path to the summit starts on the right, just where the track bends. Its hard to see in the photo but is easily identified on the ground. I wouldn’t like to approach the summit from here if there was no path as the gorse is thick. As others have written this isn’t a summit to approach wearing shorts, boots and long trousers are essential!
The Trig point makes a convenient support for the pole but it is surrounded by large rocks which are very awkward to walk about on.
I wanted to try VHF and UHF so I hoisted the 5 element Diamond Yagi and called CQ after posting a spot. Action was slow but Don G0RQL replied after a few minutes of calling. And that was it on 2m SSB. I swung the beam around, pointing north, east and south in the hope of reaching someone in France but without success.
I’ve modified the Yagi to make it much easier to change from horizontal to vertical so it only took a few moments to switch to 2m FM. I spotted a frequency but had no replies so I switched to the FM calling frequency of 145.500 and found John near Clovelly in North Devon. He isn’t listed in QRZ so doesn’t appear on the maps at the end.
After an antenna change I called on 70cm SSB, Don replied but we were only 55 in both directions. Then Damian M0BKV came through to make it 4 QSOs but sadly only 3 unique callsigns.
So after another antenna change my newly constructed 6m Delta Loop was flying in the Cornish breeze. You might just make it out in this photo.
Note the discarded Yagis and those boulders!
It would have just been my luck to find the 6m band closed after being reliably open for several weeks but as it tuned to 50.313 I heard the unmistakable warbling of digital signals. What might look like a cracked screen is the reflection of the delta loop.
Looking afterwards on the PSK Reporter map I was heard all over Europe but not across the Atlantic. But I soon had 3 QSOs logged and with a time deadline looming for me to be back at the campervan to rescue my wife I closed down at that point.
With more time I would have tried 2m again and I’m sure a 4th QSO could have been logged. Later in the day 6m might also have been open to NA.
Here are the maps.
Very many thanks to all chasers. 2m and especially 70cm are a struggle from this remote location but with perseverence it could be activated, weekends probably the best time.
6m FT8 is like shooting ducks in a barrel when the band is open but fun for a short period.
And sincere apologies to Armin @DL6GCA. Having left a vital cable at home I haven’t been able to use CW on this trip and 30m CW would have been worth trying to get Armin his Complete for this summit.