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Visiting England

Hi All,

I’m going to be visiting England 4 Dec through 11 Dec. I’m primarily there to help my sister before and during a medical procedure, so I’m going to be pretty occupied. But I hope to get out and activate a summit at some point. Most likely, G/SE-013.

I’m wondering if anyone can give me tips on a couple of things:

  • Common frequencies to use (VHF and HF)
  • I know I need to sign “M/” before my call sign, but not sure whether “/P” is required at the end. I don’t normally use it here, since it’s not required and portable operation is implied by my SOTA operation.
  • Any tips on where to operate for this specific summit?

Any help is appreciated!

73,
Rex KE6MT

The calling frequency for 2 m is 145.500 MHz and then you move from there to a suitable free frequency. You can find the band plans on the RSGB’s website.

/P is not mandatory but strongly encourage, I think. I actually find it useful in getting people to answer when calling CQ.

I assume you need to check the power limits as well, but I’m sure others knows much more about that.

Thanks! Yeah, I may add /P just to be on the safe side.

Not concerned about power limits - I won’t have any equipment capable of more than 5 watts.

-Rex

Rex, make sure you know how to set your VHF radio to either 12.5 or 25kHz steps unlike the 20kHz steps used in the USA. Also the band is only 2MHz not 4MHz so make sure you stay in band.

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It’s already set to 12.5kHz. I’ll be sure to have a good look at band plans before I go out.

Another tip Rex might be to check what the local repeaters are near where you’re going. Although they don’t count for SOTA, they can be a useful source of contacts if you’re struggling and ask them to QSY to simplex if they’re in range

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Don’t bank on VHF from G/SE-013. It’s a poor VHF site anyway, and in a part of the country where VHF activity is low. Still worth putting a call out - I’ve made QSOs from there even with just a handheld, but you will need HF too I expect.

Everyone uses /P for SOTA activating in England. Definitely use the /P.

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As others have said do use /P Also Detling Hill is pretty dead for VHF especially if it’s mid-week.

Other things to note about Detling Hill in particular:

Access is via a “Dual-Carriageway” (Divided Highway) you can not turn right into the car park if you approach from the south, you have to go almost 2 miles to the roundabout and come back.

There is a height barrier at the entrance, a car or SUV will be okay but if you have even a small 2m antenna on it it will hit the barrier.

The car park requires payment, I think the payment machine still accepts cash but otherwise you need to set up for online payments and use your cell phone to pay once you arrive. Last time I was there the payment machine did NOT take cards directly.

Lots of places to operate from, there is a grass area near the car park with picnic benches and I usually use one of those if it’s not busy since that gives lots of space for an HF dipole.

Thanks for the info! Yeah, I had a feeling VHF might not net a lot of contacts. Used to that on some of the more remote peaks here in California. I’ll have my mountain topper, so I’ll use that.

Again, thanks for all the info! I hope I do get a chance to get out on this summit while I’m there. And also visit a good pub somewhere…

73,
Rex KE6MT

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2m FM is a strange beast! Yesterday I had 13 contacts from G/NP-032 without sending a spot and 6 today from G/NP-031. But a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t raise a single contact with a spot while on G/NP-028 even though it is nearer the major cities here. Fortunately I take 40m/20m CW too although 20m was quieter today (unsettled geomagnetic field?).

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Andy, I think you meant 30 kHz steps in the USA. At least on FM

EL

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Just wondering was the time of the day differing? Sometimes it is hard to get chasers in the afternoon/late afternoon.

73s
Ingo

No, these were all around 1200-1300 on a Thursday or Friday so no obvious difference. I think it’s just luck where the active chasers are.

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My best tip for you is to post an alert as far in advance as possible as soon as you know when you will be there.

Hello all!

Well, plans changed and I ended up activating a different summit. I wanted to go see the coast, so I planned a trip to Wilmington Hill (G/SE-011), followed by Birling Gap and Beachy Head. The weather was absolutely lovely on the summit as well as the coast, and I even managed to time my visit for the golden hour at the cliffs. All followed by a nice pint and burger at the pub.

Thanks for the tips and 73!

Rex - M/KE6MT/P





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Nice hill. I was there a couple of months ago. Glad it worked out for you.

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Well done! It is a beautiful area. It always terrifies me standing at the top of Beachy Head, looking down at the lighthouse and also seeing the massive fractures in the grass!

73, Fraser

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