Tom Read - click to email meBDXC ISWL WAB SOTA RSGB IOTA - see my radio page for more detailsLiam & Jimmy

Kit Hill 2004


This summit was activated by myself, accompanied by Jimmy on Wednesday 28th July 2004.     Click to return to summit index


From our holiday location of Shaldon in Devon, we headed over the bridge to Teignmouth and turned West to join the A38 dual carriageway. In a move that cost us time, but gained us fine views and good VHF broadcast DXing opportunities, we took the direct route over Dartmoor towards Tavistock.  While driving over the moor, we heard new stations for the broadcast log and QSL chase, including South Hams Radio, Radio Plymouth, Plymouth Sound, Lantern FM, and Classic Gold Plymouth 1152. Beyond Tavistock, we continued on the A390 before turning right at the signpost for Kit Hill Country Park.  There was a large parking area just a short walk from the summit and trig point.

Tower on Kit Hill     Jimmy at the summit of Kit Hill

We set up and immediately worked Terry G0VHS over in Weymouth, who I had previously worked on 40m from the campsite on Anglsey back in June. Then into the Black Hole we went. An eternity of fruitless calling on 2m FM & SSB, 70cm FM and 40m SSB ensued without success. However, the monotony was broken by an officious Cornwall Countryside Warden who asked me who had given me permission, "because you certainly haven't asked me". I was told I was set up on a "sensitive archaelogical site", which surprised me as it wasn't roped off or notified in any way. I was then told that "People come up here for a bit of peace and quiet", another surprising remark as the only words that had passed through my lips since she arrived in the vicinity was some chat with Jimmy, while kids from other families on the summit were running around yelling and screaming. The radio was turned to a very low volume as it always is, and there was certainly no audio emitting from it! I resisted the considerable temptation to point out the anomalies in her assertions, and used the frustrating but generally successful technique of appearing timid and compliant! "How long are you going to be?" she asked. Right, I had been on the summit for nearly two hours and so far had racked up one contact. Without telling her this bit, I answered "Not long at all - I only need three more contacts". And off she went. Right, now surely getting the other contacts would be doddle by comparison!

Tom M1EYP/P operating from the summit of Kit Hill G/DC-003     The SOTA Beam on Kit Hill

Well, not really. Several more fruitless calls and changes of band, mode, aerial and beam headings followed. Tension began to mount as it had passed 11am, we still needed 3 contacts and a 90 minute drive back - and we had promised Marianne we'd be back by 9am! It was during a swap from 2m FM to SSB that my prayers were answered. As I rotated the knob on the 817, scrolling down from 145 to 144 MHz in 12.5 kHz steps, I was still in FM mode, and thought I heard something. My luck had changed, and there was a QSO of four local stations on 144.725 MHz, all being received with 59+ signals. They were holding some kind of on-air workshop about MS-DOS commands, but after apologising for being off-topic and explaining my situation they were more than happy to oblige. The time elapsed between my first and second contacts on the activation, with constant calling, was 2 hours and 25 minutes. Is this a record?

Thanks to the following stations, all worked on 2m FM with 2.5 watts, execpt the first contact made using 5 watts:

G0VHS Weymouth Terry
G7ANY Plymouth Tony
G4XOP St Austell Terry
G3YJQ near Tamar Bridge Fred
G0MSM Plympton Ron