SOTA road trip, Day 5 - Wednesday 5th August 2020
From Dunkery Beacon G/SC-001, I drove back into Minehead, and then up the long zigzagging cul-de-sac lane to Selworthy Beacon. I pulled the car onto a grassy area beside the start of the short path to the summit and collected together my extra overnight things - tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, pillow etc.
It was past midnight BST but before midnight UTC as I was pitching my backpacking tent. Anxious to record an activation for both of the UTC days I would be on this summit, I decided to put out a call on the handheld to secure the first of those activations. Two stations in South Wales came back to the call on 2m FM and we actually had a pleasant chat for a while.
After I pitched my tent, and set up the 17m groundplane, I found that the band was completely dead - even on the FT8 frequency! That was fine though. I was more than happy to relax with my supper of Scrumpy Jack sider and Welsh cakes, then get some sleep!
SOTA road trip, Day 6 - Thursday 6th August 2020
I slept really well in my backpacking tent once again. So much so that it rather surprised me to have slept through to 7am local! Although I'd activated the summit the previous night, I'd collected neither than Challenge Flavour multiplier, nor the activation point. The 17m groundplane was already set up from the night before, so I plugged in the FT-817 and Windows tablet and got going on 17m FT8.
Well, I tried to! Although the band activity screen was showing stuff going on, it seemed very few were hearing me. Over an hour's operating brought just three QSOs on 17m, but a call on the handheld brought the qualifying contact on 2m FM. One final contact was added on 17m FT8 before I decided it was high time to unpitch the camp and get on the road to Kit Hill G/DC-003. First though, I drove back down the hill into Minehead to find the Oggy Oggy shop for a couple of delicious Cornish pasties for breakfast!