Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Winter Hill activation G/SP-010 23 June 2015

UPDATE October 2020 - see notes regarding access at bottom of page

I had some business to attend to in Chorley Lancs, so at short notice I decided to activate Winter Hill G/SP-010 (1 point) on my way back to North Yorkshire. The summit lies between Bolton and Chorley on the West Lancashire Moors.

I left the M61 junction 6 near a prominent football ground at exactly 2.00pm and rejoined it at 4.00pm following this activation. The time spent on air was just over one hour and this produced 19 contacts - mostly on the 28 MHz, 10m band. 

Parking up on Winter Hill - within activation zone 
The summit houses many communications installations including the main terrestrial TV Transmitter for North West England. My previous visit involved a walk of several miles. This time I simply drove up to the activation zone via grid reference SD 653122 (Makinson Moor) and parked in a footpath junction gateway just before the TV mast at SD 660143. I then walked 300m to the same point at 440m ASL as where I activated this summit in October 2008. The highest point on the plateau is at the trig point within the gated communications site at 456m ASL. 

Conditions were reasonable on the ten meter band so I made a good number of EU and UK contacts for the 2015 SOTA Challenge. I used 70 watts output from my FT-857 to a link dipole, and then added a few contacts on 20m CW. I count the best QSO as being on 28.470 MHz SSB with my friend from Bregenz, Herbert OE9HRV/P, who was on the summit of OE/VB-524 Zwerms.

G4OBK/P SOTA Operation near to the flagged public footpath - the moor is boggy but very popular with walkers and cyclists from the nearby conurbation. The main TV mast is left of photo. There were no problems with RFI on HF
During the activation several passers by stopped out of curiosity to ask me what I was doing, a brief explanation was given and they left me alone to continue with the activation. All in all the detour to Winter Hill was worthwhile and after joining the M61 again at 4.00pm I was back home before 6.30pm. 

Log above from my activation of Winter Hill and current UK Activator positions in the 10m-6m 2015 SOTA Challenge

I obtained some information from Darius M0KCB after his activation in October 2020. There are now two cattle grids on the private access road at Makinson Moor. These are located at SD 65664 12717 (original) and 65772 12857 (new).  The new gate at the cattle grid is locked outside normal working hours, so be advised if you pass through you run the risk of your vehicle being locked in. Please note the warning sign located at the new cattle grid.  There is room for 4 cars to park at the south side of the new cattle grid pictured below:

Thanks to Darius for passing on this useful information...

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