Sunday, 22 July 2012
The starting time at 22 July 2012 0000z (0100L) was not ideal from an European point of view, but I was willing to give it a go anyway, even though it was a US centric event.
After my earlier activation of Dundry Down, I had some food , chilled out and then around 0000L made my way to my local SOTA summit of Cleeve Hill. The reasons for this were two fold.
1. There was an extra 500 points available for portable stations
2. The hill is a much quieter (RF) location than home.
I ran my old faithful EFHW, but this time as a vertical on 20metres, hoping to get some Stateside contacts.
These, because of the nature of the event, would all be QRP - QRP contacts.
In the pitch black I set up camp and was soon on the air waiting for the Party to begin.
This is what it looked like!
This was not going to be a 10 contacts a minute event!
Band conditions were extremely poor, but by careful searching and a few opportunist CQ's, I managed to winkle out and work 6 stations over a period of about 2 hours. At that time, now approaching dawn, I'd had enough and called it quits. I was ready for bed when I got home!
The results published show that I didn't do too badly, coming in 5th place out of 11 entries, and the only station outside of the USA.
Looking forward to the next event when hopefully conditions might be better.
Full details of the Sprint are here.
Saturday, 21 July 2012
Latitude: 51 23 50 N, Longitude: 2 38 38 W
Grid Reference: ST 553667, QTH Locator: IO81QJ
Part of the summit is literally a tip, but if you park in the carpark near the village church (ST556668), it's a short quiet walk up to the antenna towers on the hill top. This is a very easy summit with virtually no vertical distance to be walked.
After dropping family off at the airport, I drove the five minutes to the carpark and walked in glorious sunshine to a convenient area within the activation zone.
I soon found a rotten fence post with a convenient hole in which to place the antenna pole, and was soon on the air.
A quick activation with 30 QSOs and 13 DXCC .
I had other things planned for later on.
|View to the north overlooking Bristol.|
|Path to the summit.|
|Competing with the big boys!|