SOTA – Activation High Willhays (G/DC-001) on 22.05.2019
SOTA activation on Dartmoor
To Devon? Our hosts in Cornwall raised an eyebrow. Hasn’t Cornwall so much to offer? After a little explanatory work about the SOTA regions, which are spread over several counties, they were satisfied.
Thanks to Dominic Smith’s excellent access information and getting information about the possible access times (This part of Dartmoor National Park is managed by the British Army) planning was quickly done. My XYL and I were able to park our car at the end of the official track. We reached the summit, which is actually more of a plateau, on foot in best weather and with very little wind.
High Willhays, the highest point in Dartmoor, offers plenty of space for antennas and the construction of my multiband dipole on the fiberglass mast was quickly accomplished. I started radio operation in telegraphy at 40 m and already heard the CQ call of Juan-Carlos, EA1AER/p, while setting the frequency. So the first QSO became an S2S (summit to summit) connection. After another connection with Bernd, DL6NBS, and another S2S connection with Jürg, HB9BIN/p, no more calls came back. Meanwhile a contest had started and probably made things difficult. After a change to the 30 m band and a spot on Sotawatch, however, I managed a number of other connections in telegraphy. Unfortunately, at the last QSO with DL5CX my morse key gave up – the battery in the keyer was exhausted and unfortunately no replacement was available.
Since I had planned a test with the FT-8 operating mode anyway, the station was reconfigured, the notebook was started and after some adjustment work, I could log three digital connections. Test successfully completed. And many thanks to all OMs for the calls and QSOs!
After packing up and descending to the car we had a break in Okehampton before going back to Cornwall. There we stayed for the rest of the holiday. Which pleased our hosts.