Friday, 7 June 2013

Phil G4OBK & Nick G4OOE team up to visit Housedon Hill G/SB-010

On the afternoon of 7th June 2013 Nick (G4OOE) and I left the car park for the Cheviot in the Harthope Valley at 3.15pm and headed north of Wooler to activate the lowest of the Scottish Borders Marilyn Summits Housedon Hill, a mere 266m high. 

The most convenient place to park is close to the end of the C Class public road at Reedsford, (NT 8930 3254). The spacious and signposted parking area is on the right adjacent to some cottages. No one challenged us parking there, as we set out for the summit just after 4.00pm. 
My terrier Treacle (after climbing The Cheviot earlier) needed a rest so she was left sleeping in Nick's car as we climbed to the summit. 

Gorse on the flank of Housedon Hill G/SB-010

We had decided to operate QRP (low power) on this summit so were carrying a lighter load than earlier in the day on The Cheviot. A 35 minute climb took us to the summit, the best and driest route being via a narrow gate in the fence corner at NT 8983 3289, a point where cattle do not seem to gather as they do at the previous gate. 

Views from the summit of Housedon Hill:

The grass topped summit was surrounded by much higher hills some distance away and offered a superb viewpoint, whilst being disappointing from a VHF FM low power point of view - in that working condition our CQ calls went unanswered, so we reverted to HF CW and got out our Morse Keys, both of us setting up our link dipoles end to end using the fence which runs adjacent to the summit, to support our fishing poles. 

Nick in action on CW on the 30m band
Nick was using his Yaesu FT-817 with internal battery whilst I was using for the first time on a summit, my YouKits HB1B 4 band QRP CW Transceiver.

The simple and basic HB-1B 4 band CW Transceiver
With fine weather and no shortage of stations calling we had quite a lengthy activation making 37 contacts between us with 10 European countries.  The best DX (long distance) contact being with UU4JDD in Ukraine on the 10 MHz (30m) band. We left the summit just after 6.00pm, and it took 27 minutes to walk back down to the car park. 

Descending from Housedon Hill on a beautiful evening

After a strenuous day we were both hungry and thirsty so on our way back to Yorkshire we left the A1(M) when we reached Gateshead to visit the KFC. It had been a long 17 hour day, I got home at 10.30pm  - thank you Nick for offering to do the driving.


Operators Phil G4OBK & Nick G4OOE

Distance walked: 2 miles
Total ascent: 670 feet
Time taken out and back: 2hours 25 minutes
Time spent on air: 40 minutes
Radio's used:
Yaesu FT-817 HF Transceiver 2.5 watt internal battery
YouKits HB-1B 4 Band QRP CW Transceiver 5 watt internal battery
Yaesu VX-170 5 watt FM Transceiver internal battery
Antennae: 3 band link dipoles, 2m vertical dipole 
Amateur Bands used: 40m CW, 30m CW, 20m CW, 2m FM (No contacts)
HF CW Contacts made (QRP): 37

More information about Housedon Hill and the Scottish Borders Marilyns can be found on the excellent SB Homepage hosted by Jim G0CQK at Link

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