Christ Cross – G/DC-005

by vk3arr

Having arrived in the UK yesterday, the jet lag under some kind of control, we decided to head out early and visit a few places in Devon.  Recognising the opportunity to activate what appeared to be an easy drive-up summit, I threw the kit in the back and wrote out directions courtesy of Google Maps, with the aim of activating Christ Cross (G/DC-005).

Leaving the M5 at Cullompton, we headed towards Bradninch, turning off a mile short onto some very narrow roads.  At the intersection at Beacon Hill, we turned right, bore left onto Christ Cross Lane, and then parked on the left at the end of road, at the top of the hill.  We got out, and walked up to the summit.  The path was very muddy, and there were a few people working at the communications tower, so in order to not disturb them, and to avoid suspicion, we set up on the other side of the road to where we’d parked the car, inside the activation zone, and unattached to a vehicle.

The narrow lanes to get to the summit

The narrow lanes to get to the summit

The first thing I noticed was that I’d brought the wrong power cable. I had the charger cable for the battery, not the adapter to connect the battery to the radio. The charger cable had 5.5mm bullet connectors to banana sockets, and the radio power cable was Anderson Powerpoles. I jammed the banana plugs into the Powerpoles, and it worked. Remarkably well.

I put out a spot via SMS for 20m, and called for a while without much response.  Eventually, Bernt DF5WA came back to me, and I managed to work a total of 9 contacts on 20m before a station came up on me and was knocking my signal out.  I had already qualified the summit so didn’t bother switching to another frequency.  I probably should have as Paul VK5PAS was listening in.  I do not have data roaming enabled (to save my wallet), so I didn’t see the spot until I got home. I worked Germany (4x), Spain (2x), Poland, Switzerland and Austria (1 each).

Instead, I switched to 40m.  This was a different experience.  40m on a weekday in VK has plenty of free spots to set up on, but I struggled to find anything clear for a while.  I eventually found a clear frequency, and put out a spot.  I worked 4 stations, Don G0RQL first up, also in Devon.  I then had M0MDA call in, although his local QRM prevented him from hearing my 59 report to him.  He didn’t log the contact.  Then Alan GW4VPX called in from Wales, followed by Steve G6LUZ near Manchester.  I called it a day at that point as the tripod supporting my antenna was being supported by my wife and I didn’t want to push my luck any further.

We headed back the way we came, the first G summit activated, and the views fantastic.

A hot air balloon pops up above the hedge

A hot air balloon pops up above the hedge

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The Devon countryside

The Devon countryside

Looking South West towards Cornwall

Looking South West towards Cornwall

Looking North East

Looking North East

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