G/LD-058 Arnside Knott

Wednesday 26 October 2016

DSCN0160.JPGToday we were going to Keswick for an evening show at the Theatre by the Lake.  As a result are plan was to spend the day around Kendal relaxing.  This meant the chance for another activation first thing in the morning.  The target for today was Arnside Knott which was about 25 minutes drive from the hotel.  Leaving the hotel at 7.30am I headed south on the A6 for Arnside and then took the road up to the National Trust Car Park, sign posted ‘The Knott’ (SD 449774).

Equipment

FT-817 5 Watts, 4.2Ah LiFePO4, 60m/40m/20m linked dipole, 7m sotapole and a palm paddle, VX-8 plus RSS 2M dipole.

Arnside Knott G/LD-058

Back tracking down the road from the car park about 50 metres there is an obvious track leading up the hill on the right hand side.  Follow the track until you come to an observation point, from here follow the track to the left through an open gate way on the wooded summit plateau.  Head in a NEerly direction along the obvious track until you reach a seat looking north towards the Lakeland Fells.  A path heading SE takes you a few further feet to the trig point.  Returning to the observation seat I set up the station and realised that I had left my phone in the hotel so couldn’t self spot so just put out a call on 7.032 MHz and hoped for the best. Distance 0.5 miles, Ascent 245 feet, Time Taken 15 minutes.
route.jpg

Two stations responded in fairly quick order, both with good reports which was surprising because when I had gone to bed the night before the K-index was 6!  The second station I worked also spotted me so a big thanks to IX1IHR.  Then the sky broke big time!  After calling for another 20 minutes without response I tuned around the band to find it dead, not a sausage! Then on returning to my original frequency the band lifted again for about 10 minutes – long enough to work 3 further stations and qualify the hill.
DSCN0161.JPG
DSCN0162.JPG

The journey back to the car was the reverse of the walk up and very straight forward as was the drive back to the hotel where I was in time to join Mandi for breakfast.

73 Glyn

Advertisements

G/LD-046 Lambrigg Fell

Tuesday 25 October 2016

DSCN0158.JPG

The view from the car at the end of the activation

I was spending a few days in The Lake District with my wife Mandi as part of my 60th Birthday celebration.  Whilst this was intended to be a family holiday doing the usual sightseeing and endless driving, my wife had agreed to let me activate a couple of summits whilst we were there.  As mentioned in a previous blog, my wife suffers from a debilitating illness which precludes her from joining me on the fells so any activation would have to be done in the early morning before she got up – she’s also a late sleeper!  The first opportunity arose on the Tuesday morning so an early alarm call was set for 6am.

 

Equipment

FT-817 5 Watts, 4.2Ah LiFePO4, 60m/40m/20m linked dipole, 7m sotapole and a palm paddle, VX-8 plus RSS 2M dipole.

Lambrigg Fell G/LD-046

Leaving the hotel at 0615 I arrived at the start of the walk at 0630 in complete darkness.  Other activators had suggested parking in the access road to the quarry.  Well in the 5 minutes I sat in the car I had 5 heavy and fast quarry lorries go thundering past!  I chose not to risk my new car and decided to park by the gate at the start of the footpath making sure I didn’t block too much of the access off (SD 585930).

I set off, by the light of my head torch, along the footpath until I reached the service road for the wind farm.  I followed this road until I reached its northern end before setting off NW for the summit.  The walk to the summit was easy but a little eerie due to the proximity of the slow-moving wind turbines and the darkness.  Distance 0.7 miles, Ascent 174 feet, Time Taken 15 minutes
route.jpg

I had a little difficulty setting up the station as I have never done this in darkness before.  But eventually I turned on the radio and tuned to 7.032 MHz only to hear Chris, F5LKW, calling me!  After an easy QSO Chris spotted me (thanks) a further 5 stations made their way into the log over the next 15 minutes.  The band conditions were not brilliant but the skip seemed to be running fairly long as most of the QSO’s were in southern central Europe.

I contemplated QSYing to 20m but conscious of the XYL back at the hotel and not wanting to push my luck on the first activation, I decided to call it a day and pack up.  As I walked off the Fell the sun started to rise and I was able to turn the head torch off for the last part of the walk.

This had been a short sharp walk and activation but it ‘bagged’ another LD 1 pointer and I was back just as the wife was getting up – perfect timing.

73 Glyn

Eastbourne Duo

Monday 3 October 2016

se-010-se-011-fm-se-014
Following on from last months return to the hills, I was now ready for the next stage of the recovery and to increase the work load.  More low-level walking has already been added to the itinerary over the past 3 weeks and it was now time to add more height to the exercise regime.  Wilmington Hill and Firle Beacon are fairly close to home and so doesn’t require a great deal of driving and hence a long day.  The plan was for an early start to avoid the usual A27 traffic snarl-ups, which would also mean being home before the evening rush hour.

Equipment

FT-817 5 Watts, 4.2Ah LiFePO4, 60m/40m/20m linked dipole, 7m sotapole and a palm paddle, VX-8 plus RSS 2M dipole.

Wilmington Hill G/SE-011

Leaving home as planned at 0630 I headed off along the A27 and managed to get through the usual traffic problems at Chichester only to get delayed by almost an hour going through Worthing!  Having stopped for a MacDonald’s breakfast wrap en route, I was well fuelled up when I eventually got to the parking area (TQ 531032) at 0845.

At 0900 I set off along the South Downs Way (SDW) track heading east climbing gradually up the ridge.  At TQ 540034 there is the option of three routes to the summit.  The obvious one is the SDW track heads off to the right, the central track that appears to go straight for the highest point of the hill and the left hand track that follows the line of the fence.  Last year I took the central track so by way of a change I decided to take the left-hand fence track up and return via the SDW.  This proved to be the easier route gaining height gradually and also offering a limited view looking down on top of ‘The Long Man‘.  In 30 minutes I was at the trig point and started to set the station of against the fence close by. Distance 1.1 miles, Ascent 470 feet, Time Taken 30 minutes.
route-2016

Self spotting I opened up on 7.118 Mhz and quickly opened the account with Sid in Londonderry with a responsible signal report in both directions.  It appeared that the band was open despite the recent auroral activity and a K Index of 3!  A further 10 stations made it into the log before the ‘pile-up’ ran dry.  This included a summit to summit with Frank LX/PC7C/P on Kiirchbësch LX-003.  Switching to 7-cw I tuned around the band to realise that there was a contest in full swing and the band was full of wall to wall b*****ks (regular readers will know my contempt for contests).  I choose to activate during the week to avoid such interfering nonsense so you can imaging I was well p****d off and decided to shut down and head off the hill.
log-2016
Taking the full SDW route back to the car I was back at the car park in under 20 minutes having had a leisurely walk back on a bright warm and sunny morning.
DSCN0123.JPG
DSCN0126.JPG

Firle Beacon G/SE-010

Last year I approached Firle Beacon from the car park at the west end so this year I decided to come from the east.  From Wilmington Hill car park I headed back onto the A27 and headed west for a couple of miles before turning left into Bo Peep Lane and heading to the top of the ridge and the Car Park (TQ 494050).  The car park was full of cars but fortunately most were paragliders who were launching off the ridge to the east and not Firle Beacon.  Setting off along the obvious SDW track heading west I made the trig point in 15 minutes. Distance 0.8 miles, Ascent 180 feet, Time taken 15 minutes.
route-2016

Self spotting on 7.121 Mhz I was soon called by Victor GI4ONL with an excellent report, so the band appeared to have improved since earlier this morning.  This was followed by 7 further QSOs mostly from the UK but 1 from Spain (no guesses for who that was) and 1 from Germany.  A special mention for Esther GI0AZA/M wh tried calling in a couple of times but the signal was just to weak to copy.  eventually after she had driven some distance to a better location di we manage a good 55 QSO each way.  Thanks for the perseverance Esther.
log-2016
By now the sun was high in the sky and a relaxing few minutes were taken out to just relax and enjoy the early October sunshine and think about my trip to LD land in 3 weeks time with my XYL Mandi to celebrate my 60th and hopefully bag a few Lakeland summits in the process.  As I walked back to the car I spent a little time watching all the paragliders enjoying the thermals and light breeze.  All in all , traffic and contest issues aside it has been a very pleasant day out with some good radio.

20161003_105705.jpg

Start of the SDW Track looking towards the summit

DSCN0127.JPG

A Shack with a view!

DSCN0131.JPG

The Car Park with the paragliders on the far ridge