Sunday, 25 February 2018

24th February 2018. Titterstone Clee Hill SOTA Activation visit.

G/WB-004. 24th Feb 2018.
Grid SO 591779, Altitude 533M.

We had left Brown Clee at 10:13 a.m. and arrived at  SO 59350 77566 at 10:50 a.m. This was our third activation of Titterstone and the first time we have had visibility of more than 20 yards. We headed up and took a few photos, again the wind was bitter cold, I would guess at -5 to - 10 Degs.

It took us 15 minutes to arrive at the summit, this time I had taken my homebrew 2M yagi aswell. We managed to log 14 contacts in a short period of time. I think the yagi worked really well. The only problem I had was the ground was too hard for my pole spike to go in. I ended up with the 20mm plastic conduit held between my legs, this seamed to work well.

Another activation completed and time to pack up and head home. We headed home via Ludlow as this was going to be better roads than we came on. We arrived home at about 12:45 p.m. time to clean the kit and charge the hand held battery back up. Next week no time for activation's but the following week we will be back on air on another summit.

24th February 2018. Brown Clee Hill SOTA Activation visit.

G/WB-002. 24th Feb 2018.
Grid SO 593867, Altitude 540M.

I had decided to try and tackle two summits today as I feel my strength is returning. I still need to take it easy as I am not at my former fitness and health levels. To start with we left home 08:15 a.m from Telford. M6SZF (Jamie) my son was along for company and to keep an eye on me as usual, we arrived at grid SO 58546 86895. 08:43 a.m. which I think was good going. It took us 2 or 3 minutes to put on our walking boots and get our gear. We managed to climb the steep section in about 25 minutes with a few rest breaks.
We arrived at the summit at 09:20 a.m. so 37 minutes ascent wasn't too bad, then I had to try and find somewhere out of the very cold bitter wind. The only place was north west of the summit, the only problem was we were very close to the masts, I knew this was going to cause us a few problems and it did. Most people were giving me good 5/9 signal reports but I struggled to hear most people due to the noise levels from the local masts.

I had to try at the summit to get a contact with M1EYP/P (Tom) when he was S2S on G/SP-013 as the noise level was just too much. It worked so that was the main thing. It was a good overall activation with 12 contacts including Tom twice, once in his car and then again when he was portable.
Jamie wanted to test the ice (literally) at the end as seen below, the ice was 2 inch (50mm) thick at the outer edge but Jamie was not going to try any further out.

9:55 a.m. Activation complete and equipment packed up, time to head our way down and to see how I felt once we arrived back at the car. We arrived back at 10:11 a.m. and we were both feeling good so decided to head towards Titterstone Clee to activate G/WB-004.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

10th February 2018. Corndon Hill SOTA Activation visit.

GW/MW-013 10th Feb 2018.
Grid SO 306969, Altitude 513M.

My return visit to Corndon Hill for 2018, I decided to park a little closer this year and attempt a different ascent route. Last January we came down clockwise around the forest area and had decided to try ascending this route next visit.
We parked at GD SO 29989677 this is about 600 meters further down the track through the gate where we would usually park . I could not see any signs saying private and my map says road used as a public path. There was a farmer feeding his sheep and he just waved back as we waved to him.

We had planned to activate Long Mynd Pole Bank before this but again the Burway was closed due to snow and ice.The new route for us took about 20 minutes from leaving the car and if our fitness level was higher than it is at the moment would have been a lot easier than the near vertical climb that we would usually go up.
This is the route we shall use in the future and strongly recommended to any others.

The weather was cold and very windy, Jamie (M6SZF) had to have one hand on the small mast/pole we use for the 2M Yagi (Homebrew) that we usually use as if would have been blown away.
This was going to be my first activation with purely my Yaesu FT 270 handheld and my light weight Yagi. No FT 817 in the back pack as a back up. I had 11 QSO's from various locations.

After the 20 minutes of activation's we packed up quickly had a quick coffee and headed back to the car, we were very cold but ready for the next visit to a summit, maybe try Pole bank again if no snow in the near future.