Today I grabbed 1.5 hours to activate my local SOTA summit of Wendover Woods (G/CE-005). The day started out with heavy rain up until midday, but after this the sun came out and it was a lovely winters afternoon. Today I cheated and drove up almost to the road nearest the trig point.
Parking Tip: Just before the Aston Hill Mountain Biking car park there’s a lay by (nearest postcode is HP22 5NQ) where you can park for free. The trig point is a 3 minute walk from here! The official summit is over near the Cafe in the Woods, where it costs to park. The activation point there is not as suitable for HF activations (busy, boggy and trees make putting out a dipole difficult!)
I chose the Aston Hill trig point for my activation, the field was a lot muddier than the last time I was here and was water logged in places, considering the heavy rain overnight this wasn’t a surprise! I chose to set up on the actual Trigpoint itself to keep everything clear of the mud:
In between operating I made a video showing the summit and equipment I used:
I chose the 60m band as I find it good for SOTA activations and easier as a QRP operator for inter-G contacts than 40m. Sometimes 40m can be a challenge because of its popularity; it’s difficult to find a clear frequency and keep it going using 5w SSB!
My operating was relaxed and I enjoyed a number of rag chews on 60m before trying my luck on 40m for a bit. I made 23 QSO’s (thanks to the chasers) in 1.5 hours of relaxed operating:
This SOTA activation was short and unexpected but a lot of fun on a rare sunny winters day. The QSO’s were much more leisurely than normal which made a change and I made contact with a number of regular SOTA chasers which is always nice.
I intend to use this same site for future RSGB VHF UKAC contests, it is the highest point around after all!