wythall radio club

having fun with RF

Summer SOTA on the Sussex Downs

July 05, 2024 By: john daws Category: Club



On a rare day of Summer this year our intrepid chairman Chris G3YHF braved speeding lorries, the threat of flying golf balls and angry golfers  and searing heat to operate  SOTA from an inaccessible peak on the Sussex Downs : his report follows:




FORE!! Chris risk life and limb in this SOTA activation.

“Down here in Sussex I unfortunately chose the hottest day of the week to activate Cliffe hill, near Lewes, for a new SOTA summit.  This is also in the South Downs National Park and so counts for the WWFF scheme.

The summit’s in the middle of a golf course and previous activators report dodging golf balls and angry golfers – but the activation zone extends a little beyond the golf course boundary in places -so that was my target.

The footpath to my chosen spot is carefully concealed by undergrowth off a busy road with no pavement, but having managed to find it and dodged some speeding lorries there was a climb up through woods to a beautiful meadow covered in marbled white, common blue and meadow brown butterflies, and multiple orchids  and with wonderful views across Lewes and to other parts of the South Downs.  

It was a very hot ascent up the meadow to a copse next to the golf course fence where I found some shade.  There were some branches about 7 feet off the ground, so I threw my End Fed Half Wave antenna for 20m across these and called CQ SOTA/WWFF using 5w cw from the lab599 rig.

X marks the Spot: a small prize offered to the first to identify the efhw for 20m.

Delighted to be called by W2WC in New York- nice dx for /p qrp – with a 529 report! Also worked about 10 European stations, best DX eastwards being Ukraine.

Fortunately I’d taken a lot of water, and after an hour’s operating in the shade I’d cooled down enough to walk back down and catch the train to Eastbourne for a welcome dip in the sea!  Maybe Clive gets a dip in some mountain pond after his Lake District SOTA activations?”

Undercover and ready for a quick getaway.. is that a golf ball under the branches??