Friday 20 May 2016
My wife had an appointment with the beautician today in Hove so this was the ideal opportunity to take in a couple of simple hills on the South Downs. Cliffe Hill was about 25 minutes drive from wife’s appointment, with Ditchling Beacon being an easy ‘drive-on’ 12 minutes from her, so ideal when she called for pick-up. As this is the second time I have activated both of these hills I didn’t take any photos apart from the one above from the car park at Ditchling Beacon.
FT-817 5 Watts, 4.2Ah LiFePO4, 60m/40m/20m linked dipole, 7m sotapole and a palm paddle, VX-8, VX-170 plus RSS 2M dipole
Cliffe Hill G/SE-014
Parking in a field entrance along an unmetaled track way (TQ 447106). Once booted up I walked down the track to the gate, then turned right to walk up the left side of the woods. Once clear of the woods continue to follow the track to the boundary with the golf course. Proceeding with care (I almost got hit by a golf ball last time) I made my way to the trig. Moving away from the trig to a safe haven within the AZ I set up and self spotted on 7-cw. Very quickly calls started coming from across the UK and Europe and by the time the cw calls stopped I had worked 19 stations in 20 mins including a summit to summit with HB9DQM/P on HB/ZH-006. Self spotting for 7-ssb I was immediately called by Mike G6TUH, who lives just up the road, followed by a further 12 stations predominantly from across the UK. At least three times I announced final call and the calls still continued.
Overall a very good activation with 32 stations logged in 30 minutes. A quick check of the watch and I realised that I definitely had time for the second activation on Ditchling Beacon.
Ditchling Beacon G/SE-006
Ditchling is a very easy summit to activate as it is a ‘Drive-on’! Parking up in the Beacon Car Park (TQ 333129) I walked the 30 metres to the trig point where I set up adjacent to the fence. Having spent 10 minutes explaining what I was doing to a young couple who were running the South Downs Way!! I self spotted on 7-ssb and started calling. The response was slow but steady, nothing like it had been an hour earlier. Most stations reported heavy QSB and the UK stations were now struggling to hear me. Six stations made it into the log including a summit to summit again with HB9DQM/P from HB/ZH-006 before ssb dried up. Self spotting for 7-cw added a further 6 stations including a summit to summit with F6HBI/P on F/AM-476 but it was slow and hard work. One final 2-fm QSO concluded the activation as I received a text from the wife to say that she was ready for her taxi home!
Today had been an enjoyable but strange day highlighting how quickly the propagation conditions can change – in this case in just over a hour – from outstanding to dire. Once again the weather was kind to me with some sunny spells but much windier. Thanks to all the callers today.
73 Glyn G4CFS