Tag: sota

G/SC-009 – Lewesdon Hill, Dorset

G/SC-009 – Lewesdon Hill, Dorset

In complete contrast to my last activation at Hardown Hill, this was a huge success on the contacts front.

  • 32 contacts
  • 19 countries
  • 4 Summit to summit
  • First transatlantic contact

Travelling through the village of Broadwindsor heading south the parking options are limited. I eventually found a lay-by in front of a row of cottages. I was able to park far enough from the cottages to not cause a nuisance so left the car and headed up the hill.

OS Explorer Map
ViewRanger screenshot showing parking position & route to the summit

It was a steep climb in places and a hot day made it hard work at times but a nice walk and a few downed trees have obviously become the play thing of kids building dens.
Once on the summit I had a walk around to scope the area and options for antennas, the summit is relatively clear but surrounded by trees. I decided to stay towards the southern end of the summit as this was the largest clear space. I put up the 6m pole and used the new SotaBeams Bandhopper 2 as both antenna & guying support. I put up the end fed with a new 40-10m wire to compare the results and have a backup for the bandhopper.

I started on 20m calling CQ using the voice recorder while spotting myself on SOTAwatch. Within a few minutes of starting the QSO’s came thick and fast with my first ever pileup.
With 23 contacts in the bag on 20m and the band quiet I dropped the mast and linked the crocodile clips on the Bandhopper to move to 40m. An updated spot on SOTAwatch and another 9 contacts.

As the frequency went quiet I took the opportunity to have a break, make a coffee and scan around the other bands, sadly 10m & 6m were both deathly quiet and I couldn’t hear the other spots online so began packing up my equipment.

Before leaving the summit I gave a final call on 2m and achieved one last QSO with a local amateur just a few miles away.

Sotamaps Screenshot
Missing the AK4AT contact but showing how many countries worked.
SOTA Contacts List
G/SC-011 – Hardown Hill, Dorset

G/SC-011 – Hardown Hill, Dorset

The most important thing I can say about this is, follow the advice from G0POT http://peanutpower.co.uk/gsc011. I parked where he recommended but took the wrong path and ended up fighting my way through what felt like a jungle.

Upon reaching the summit I settled on using the mobile phone mast compound as a base location. I was able to attach my telescopic pole to the concrete fence post making an easy antenna erection of the 80-10m End Fed Half Wave antenna.

Once setup and on air I realised it was a contest weekend so the bands were packed and many times I’d check if a frequency was clear and call CQ, then try to add a spot on SOTAwatch but by the time I did someone else was calling on the frequency. I also suffered what seemed like intentional QRM with a constant tone after each CQ call. This happened on a couple of frequencies so I don’t think it was just normal noise. It was most likely someone tuning up so maybe they couldn’t hear me but it happened again after I QSY’d

Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 via ViewRanger app

The position marked with a P in the top left of the map is where I parked and walked from, however having visited again later the P to the right and marked route appear much easier for both parking and access.