Friday 11th January 2019 - Black Down G/SE-003 & Butser Hill G/SE-004
Back at the apartment after Black Down G/SE-003, I regrouped and set off again, this time with Jimmy and Liam. First though, I phoned the Queen Elizabeth II Country Park visitor centre to secure permission for the activation. Initially, the lady declined, saying “We haven’t got the licence any more”. I asked what licence that was. She replied “The licence for the radio”. So I said “Oh that’s OK, we’ve both got our own amateur radio licences”, to which she replied “Well that’s OK then, you can, but it’s at your own risk”. I said that was fine, and thanked her. Quite a peculiar exchange though!
Jim directed me up to the car park on Butser, and he, I and Liam made the short easy stroll the quarter of a mile or so to the trig. Interestingly, Jimmy was challenged by a lady saying she was a staff member and asking if we had permission. All was fine when he confirmed that indeed we had. No further proof was sought.
We had a great joint activation. I made 32 QSOs - 2 on 80m FT8, 6 on 80m CW, 6 on 80m SSB, 16 on 40m CW and 2 on 40m SSB. I tried - but failed to get any contacts on 40m or 20m SSB. Jimmy made five ragchew style QSOs on 2m FM, and just before we packed up, he decided to take the plunge on FT8. He took to the mode smoothly and enjoyed working four chasers on 80m FT8.
Thursday 21st November 2019
Another very early get-up, and this time the target was Butser Hill. I'd already activated this hill in 2019 and collected the single point that was on offer, but I preferred the idea of activating again for zero points than lounging around the apartment until all the family were ready to go out.
I set up the 30m GP beside the trig point. As ever, I hoped for some greyline DX on this interesting band, but there was nothing on this morning. I was still more than satisfied with the 16 European contacts - 7 on FT8 and 9 on CW. We had plans to drive down to Bournemouth on this day to meet up with Marianne's brother Paul, so I got back to Southampton as usual to hook up with the family for the rest of the day.
The following day was the travel back home day, and with us having two cars available, I sensed an opportunity to treat myself to a trip to the Isle of Wight to activate the two SOTA summits on the island, starting with St Boniface Down G/SE-008.