You’ve got your callsign wrong!

SOTA summit: Worcestershire Beacon G/WB-009

Activation Date: May 28, 2017

Portable operation: Yes

Radio: Yaesu VX-8G

Antenna: Slim Jim 2m/70cm hanging from mast

Bands used: 2m and 70cm

Furthest QSO: ~48 miles with Andy, G8MIA in Rugeley area

Hike in: Yes, ~1 mile roundtrip and 600 ft ascent

Solo operation: No, with my brother

Recommend: Yes

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Tear drop is peak
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Furthest call ….. 48 miles to Andy in Rugeley

 

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Destination is peak on right

It’s a long narrow ridge that rises unexpectedly out of a patchwork of green fields that stretch in all directions. None of the peaks are particularly high and the modest effort to climb them is rewarded with great views.

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Looking north over a Queen Victoria monument from Worcestershire Beacon

Beyond the views I’m here for a little practice run. Some amount of sleuthing in the SOTA database reveals VHF/UHF only activations fair quite well in the UK. With the exception of the LA Basin back home, VHF/UHF activating in California is a little hit or miss and it’s quite possible you could call into the ether unheard and unanswered. With the sun waning and HF being less reliable, VHF/UHF has more than novelty value.

Peak markers in the US are small discs that you generally won’t find easily. Set in a flat piece of rock it requires both luck and effort to locate. However, back in the mother country and in a roll reversal, bigger is better seems to be the British mantra and the peak marker stands conical and literally a beacon for all to gravitate toward.

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A UK trig point (peak marker) and me (M/W6PNG)

The UK has a policy of not recycling call signs. Once issued its never be re-issued even if the owner is long gone and wandering the halls of Valhalla. As a consequence the UK has started with new formats such 2E0 something something something and very recently M6 something something something.

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Slim Jim antenna dangling from my mast….quick and easy deployment

As a visitor to the UK and in this case England, I preface my US call sign with M/ for England as in M/W6PNG. This all might work well if I had a US accent but despite decades in the US I still seem to have something of a British Isles ascent and so I managed to confuse some who steadfastly tell me I have my new British call sign all wrong and that I am really M6PNG. After a short explanation, chuckles are heard and a mental note made to myself to state after I call that I should say its a US call sign.

I managed to achieve my goal; I’ve used 2m and 70cm, to Andy’s point I’ve avoided the band police and realized I needed to bone up on getting myself spotted properly.

Success achieved I round up my bro and we head back home stopping on the way at Ledbury for coffee and one of those sticky things that seems to be my slow undoing.

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Ledbury

 

 

 

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