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Wapley Hill WB-016


Wapley Hill, G/WB-016 - 329m ASL - SO 346 624 - OS Explorer 203 - 1 SOTA point        Map & summit information from SOTAwatch    Click to return to summit index

SOTA road trip, Day 7 - Friday 7th August 2020

From Burton Hill G/WB-020, it was a drive of about 20km in an overall NNW direction, to the car park situated due East of the summit just into the woods.  It was after 9pm local, so I was very much walking in twilight, and expecting to return by torchlight!  What I wasn't expecting was how long the activation was going to take me!

Dusk arrival at the Wapley Hill hillfort          Quickly getting dark as I set up the 17m GP antenna

Despite being very tired at the end of a long - nine summit - day, I marched along the forest tracks at a good pace.  I reached the clearing with bench and information board, just ahead of the Iron Age fort ramparts at the summit.  I decided that would be the ideal place to set up the 17m groundplane antenna.

Tom M1EYP          Working conditions for 17m FT8

Despite there being FT8 activity on the band, no-one at all came back to my CQ calls.  I tried answering the CQ calls of other stations active on 17m FT8, but to no avail.  I trotted over to and up onto the fort ramparts and called on the handheld.  This got me Matt 2E0MDJ and Stewart G0LGS in the log on VHF, but I still needed that 17m contact for the Challenge multiplier.  I persisted with FT8 and eventually got CT7AQS - over an hour after I'd worked the Cheltenham pair.  But still I needed a fourth QSO to qualify the activation, and it wasn't coming!  Ultimately, I went to the 20m band on my rig, which was buzzing.  I knew that the VSWR on my 17m aerial would be bad - but if I was on FT4, at least the contact would be over quickly!  This tactic worked and I easily got WO3T in Pennsylvania to be able to pack up and walk back to the car.

Wapley Hill information board Analysis of my sleep in the car Presents for Maz, Jimmy & Liam

I managed to drive for a couple of hours up into Shropshire, but fatigue beat me, and I was never going to make it all the way home this night.  I whacked the car heater on full blast and started looking out for a nice big dark lay-by.  Once found and parked, I reclined my seat, grabbed my pillows from the back seat, took my blood pressure pills and drifted off to sleep.  After waking up early the next morning, I was able to check the quality and duration of my sleep using the Fitbit app on my iPhone, fed with data from my Fitbit tracker watch.  From this, I could see, as well as feel, that I was sufficiently rested to drive again, and headed for Gun G/SP-013 and The Cloud G/SP-015 before finally getting home - with some gifts for the family.





















Wapley Hill 2005 Wapley Hill 2006