VK3ARR's SOTA Blog

Ego loqui ad viros super montes

Month: April, 2014

Travelling with Lithium Batteries

Having just completed a long trip carrying a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery, I’d like to share a few key points in case anyone else is planning to do the same. This will hopefully protect the investment you have placed in your batteries, and enable some good SOTA at the other end.

Note: This advice is based on my own experience and is by no means intended to be authoritative or canonical. I take no responsibility for any loss you may encounter by following this advice, and you must complete your own research before travelling with lithium batteries. Different countries and different airlines have different rules on this stuff. Do your research.

I flew with Qantas via Dubai, then Japan Air Lines through Tokyo. I cleared security at Melbourne, Dubai, London Heathrow and Tokyo Narita airports. Based on those airlines and IATA, I found the following out:

  • Lithium batteries are classed as a dangerous good, and appear prominently under the “batteries” section of the dangerous goods list. This probably means you should declare them to the check-in staff when you check in. I didn’t, firstly because I forgot to, but largely because I knew the rules for the airlines I was flying.
  • Lithium batteries must either be installed in the device they are powering, or, if spare, carried in your carry-on luggage only. I have never checked a lithium battery in, and always carry them onto the aircraft. If installed in the device, you can carry a battery up to 160Wh in capacity, or 2g of Lithium content.
  • Lithium batteries outside of the device are classed as “spare” batteries. If you are carrying a spare battery, you can carry up to 100Wh of batteries as spare batteries for a device, or 2g of Lithium content. You can also ask for permission from the carrier to carry spare batteries up to 160Wh in capacity, but this must be done in writing before you check-in, so cannot be done at the check-in counter.
  • Lithium batteries must be transported in a manner that prevents short circuits.
  • Lithium batteries may be subject to additional screening.

OK, so those are the rules. How do we apply that in practice?

  • What sort of battery are you taking? Not all Lithium batteries are equal. Li-Ion batteries such as laptop batteries are a different chemical beast to Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFe).
     
    Follow the basic rules for each chemistry in terms of transporting. You want to keep LiPo batteries in a “fire safe” bag. I personally would be concerned about boarding an aeroplane with anything that requires transportation in a fire safe bag, so I recommend not taking LiPo batteries on an aeroplane. See YouTube for many exciting videos of LiPo batteries catching fire.
  • What battery are you taking? Look at your battery. It has many parameters on it, but probably not a Watt-hour rating. It will have an amp-hour rating on it, and maybe a voltage too, but it may not, having only 3S or 4S stamped on it. It will probably not have the grammage of lithium stamped on it.
     
    For LiFe batteries, 4S is 13.2V, which is an almost perfect swap for a 13.8V SLAB battery. I have two 4S LiFe batteries, one 8.4Ah and one 4.2Ah. The 8.4Ah battery therefore has a watt-hour rating of 13.2×8.4 or 110.88 Wh, above the magic 100Wh mark. It stayed at home. The 4.2Ah one is obviously half of that, or 55.44Wh. I took that one, rather than going through the rigmarole of getting the 8.4Ah approved.

    Note that there is a restriction too on the lithium content in the battery. I could find no reference to tell me what percentage of the battery is lithium or what weight that corresponds to. Instead, I note that the 2g limit also applies to 160Wh batteries, so I’m guessing unless you are using an exotic lithium chemistry, you won’t exceed the 2g limit. If you don’t know, the security staff won’t know either 🙂

  • How do you package the battery? Firstly, I have my LiFe batteries with the original 5.5mm bullet connectors on them, with an adaptor that provides Anderson DC connectors for connecting to the radio. I taped (using duct tape) each joint between the adaptor and the bullet connectors, as well as taping the ends of the Anderson connectors for good measure. I then put the battery into a zip-lock back and placed it into my carry-on luggage.
     
    Double taping, plus taping the Anderson connectors may seem like overkill, but you are trying to demonstrate that you are avoiding short circuits that might cause the battery to overheat. The plastic bag also helps serve this purpose. When I travel for work, I put my laptop battery (Li-Ion) into a zip-lock bag and do not bother taping the terminals, but a laptop battery looks very different on an X-ray to a LiFe battery. It’s better to overreact where LiFe batteries are concerned and keep security calm.

    Finally, consider where in your bag you put the battery. The TSA have a good bit of information on packing your carry-on to avoid a cavity search whilst traversing America. Search their website. I kept my battery to one side of a middle section, in a pocket where it was unlikely to move around. I carried a DSLR, laptop power and noise-cancelling headphones, all positioned to avoid obscuring the X-ray image of the lithium battery. It may have had the desired effect (I didn’t get cavity searched), or it may have been pointless, but in my experience, travelling with lots of wires floating about at random is a good way to get enhanced screening.

  • How does enhanced screening work? Lithium batteries may be subject to further security checks. This happened to me at Dubai and at London. In both instances, keeping calm and knowing airline policy helps. In Dubai, they were worried about two things – a weird reading that turned out to be a pinion gear in the lens of the camera, and the battery. The battery left my sight and was taken for further scans. It came back with no problems.
     
    In London, the battery was the only thing that was picked up for scanning. Remember the fact you have it in a plastic bag? They can just remove that and recheck. Makes their life easier. It helps them understand that you understand how to travel with lithium batteries. These two things make you less of a risk, so they treat you nicely. I answered a few questions about the battery and the device it was a spare for. It went through the X-ray again, and I was free to go.

    This also is a good reason to not travel with LiPo batteries. Imagine the look on the face of the security screener who pulls out a bag marked “fire safe” for an item he’s already had flagged by the X-ray operator. It might not hurt, but can’t see how that’s going to help either.

    I haven’t travelled through America yet with a LiFe battery, but frequently with a spare laptop battery. I’ve had my bag rescanned once, but as long as you’re calm and positively perky about the idea your bag needs to be rescanned, the TSA is pretty cool. My theory is most people who get tagged for, ahem, enhanced patdowns are those that get uptight and freak out. The TSA are just doing a job, and didn’t want to touch your private parts any more than you want them to. The law’s an ass and they just had to touch yours. If you have an attitude of “Air travel is fun!” even if it’s your third connecting flight after 23 hours, they respect that.

  • Know your rights Usually that statement is meant to convey a sense of standing your ground in the face of over-officious security or check-in staff. I don’t mean it in that sense. I mean understand exactly the requirements of each and every airline you are flying on, and each and every country you are traversing. Remember that even transit areas can have different rules to the airlines, and these will trump any airline permissions. I had a sudden fear of this in Dubai – I hadn’t researched Dubai’s rules on carriage of lithium batteries. But, I also knew that if they took it and I asked them under what grounds, they’d give me an answer and I could go from there.
     
    Make sure you carry copies of the airline’s policy on carriage of lithium batteries to help your cause. I didn’t need to pull my copies out at any point on my trip, but knowing I had Qantas’ and JAL’s policies handy meant I knew I had a better bargaining position. At the very least, the security handler would probably call his supervisor over rather than just confiscate the battery.

So, that’s my basic advice, based on my own experience. I will probably have to travel to the US sometime this year, at which point I will probably try going through TSA security with a LiFe battery. I will report on how that goes.

G/TW-004 Bishop Wilton Wold

The last summit I had planned to activate coincided with our trip back from Scotland. My wife’s family had come from an area of Yorkshire called Sledmere, being workers on the main estate house there. Having originally planned to stay in York, we ended up, due to not finding cheap York accommodation, out in the Yorkshire Wolds, near to where both her family and Bishop Wilton Wold were located.

I threw the radio gear in the back, just-in-case, knowing that our path out there would involve the A166 one way or the other, and we spent a nice day in York, before heading out to our accommodation. On the way, we passed over Bishop Wilton Wold, but I had been told in no uncertain terms that I had no option of activating it that day.

Instead, we went through to our accommodation, to find a loud band practicing and the realisation we’d booked in on the same night as a 60th birthday party. Luckily we were at the other end of the hotel, but it was a bit noisy for the first part of the night. The next day, the hotelier apologised, as he’d thought we’d been part of the party. He kindly took 50 pounds off the bill as compensation and we headed back in to Sledmere.

Sledmere House was built by the Sykes family in the 1700s, and boasted a glorious garden and Georgian House. my wife’s great-great-grandfather had been a woodsman there. His job would have been to manage the forests and woods on the estate, to keep a steady and sustainable supply of wood to the house for so they could burn peasants, or whatever it was that Yorkshire baronets did in the late days of the Victorian reign.

It didn’t open until 10:30, so I got permission to activate the summit while we waited. I headed off to Bishop Wilton Wold, threw the car in a U-turn, and parked in the layby near the summit. I pulled all the gear out and set it up under steady but light drizzle and a strong breeze.

I set up on 20m first, amidst antenna collapses and the ever present high SWR. Since returning, I’ve found intermittent continuity problems with all three coax cables I took over to the UK. That will be something that needs to be addressed next time: better cables, better coax, better packing. 20m was chaos. Some contest was on, and I had no chance of finding a clear spot. The best I could hope for was a spot on the dial with minimum splatter.

I found that, spotted myself, and called into the ether. Only one person came back on 20m, HB9MKV with 59 signals both way, but a lot of QRM. I gave up and switched to 40m. Now, on a weekend in VK, 40m SOTA requires the following: come up on 7090 kHz, then move to 7095 if occupied, 7085 or 7100. If you haven’t found a clear frequency by then, then something major is going on and you might even have to move to 7105kHz!. 40m on a weekend in EU works on the principle that if you have managed to find a clear frequency by that stage, then your antenna is faulty.

I found some clear air and managed to work Don G0RQL but it wasn’t pretty at his end. I also heard Mick M0MDA with a 57 signal. We tried to work but there was just too much QRM on the band to get through. I gave up in a huff and tried 12m, which was beautifully clear of QRM. I picked a frequency, called CQ once or twice, before a UA9 station came up over the top of me and started calling CQ. He didn’t respond to me when I called him.

Not happy. Everything was by now wet, I had tried three separate bands for 2 contacts, and then the antenna fell down again in the wind. Convinced the SOTA gods were against me, I packed it all up and headed back to the car. My wife wanted to hear none of my complaints, which is fair enough.

We headed off to Sledmere House, had a nice stroll around the gardens, and then drove back to London, making inappropriate jokes about the town of Wetwang as we set off. Of course, fate (and common map reading) would decree that I had to pass over Bishop Wilton Wold a third time to get to London, for a grand total of 3 “ascents” of the hill, one half-activation and 2 contacts, its radio tower standing like an out-extended middle finger in my general direction.

Another one to add to the “will come back to complete” list.

GM/SS-276 Moncreiffe Hill

Having ended up in Edinburgh and polled the SOTA crowds for simple, easy summits to activate in Scotland, I leant towards two options, Cairnpapple Hill that is on the way to Torphichen, an area where my ancestors came from and that would be interesting to check out, and Moncreiffe Hill, just out of Perth. The other option, in Edinburgh, of Arthur’s Seat, required prior permission. Mike 2E0YYY suggested it was easy to get expedited (ie, within 2 hours) if you phoned them up, but at international roaming rates I didn’t feel the effort was justified when there were other options available.

My wife wanted to head up to Pitlochry, and understanding that keeping her happy allows me to SOTA more, I decided on Moncreiffe Hill, which would have been obvious for anyone reading the title of this post.

The Woodland Trust of Scotland have a nice website for Moncreiffe Hill, complete with maps and suggestions on how to get access. I parked at the Northern (Tay) Car Park, providing the shortest route – a little over a kilometre by my rough reckoning by eye. The summit itself is not Moncreiffe Hill, but Moredun Top is the actual higher point.

The path was muddy, and tougher than it needed to be due to stiffness from the Skiddaw expedition, and the fact I’d forgotten to tape my heels to protect against blisters. I felt some forming by the end of the descent, unfortunately. Total ascent took about 15 minutes.

At the top of the summit, I was greeted to a foggy surrounding, being unable to see more than about 250 metres around. I set up on the south side of the summit, which had a nice takeoff due to a fairly precipitous drop. The sounds of the M90 motorway were loud and clear, but it was impossible to see within the clouds. Strangely, given the day we’d had so far, there was no wind and no rain.

Moncreiffe Hill panorama

Moncreiffe Hill panorama

I set up first on 40m, having traced my SWR problems down to what appears to be braid coming loose in the feedline between the radio and the SWR/power meter. By luck, I found another patch lead in the bottom of my bag in better condition (marginally). SWR wasn’t perfect, but given where it had been, I was going to get a good signal out.

I worked a total of 22 QSOs on 40m across about 25 minutes, including a reasonable pileup by VK standards and a S2S with Don M0HCU. One station called in from Aberdeen (Peter MM3PDM/P) and asked me to move up to 7.160 to join a net. I fully intended to, after I’d done some 20m activating, but by the time I finished the pileup on 40m, and quickly operating 20m for another 4 QSOs, I realised I had been up the mountain for well over my allotted 30 minutes, and the wife would be quite upset at having to wait in the car.

I packed up quickly, and then dropped rapidly down the mountain. Some of the dry bits were good enough to run on, so I did that as well, with my rate getting up to 7 mins/km according to the smartphone. Not quite double-time, but I did have to slow for the muddy bits. I met my (irate) wife about 300 metres from the end and then we headed back down to the car together. Another association activated. One more to go for the Bronze level of Mountain Explorer, which will hopefully be a VK1 summit when I head there for work.

The summit log

The summit log

The station on the edge of the hill

The station on the edge of the hill

Muddy track to the summit

Muddy track to the summit

G/LD-004 Skiddaw

Leaving the Lake District on the best weather day, I convinced my wife that I should be able to attempt Skiddaw, a 10 pointer that towers over the town of Keswick. She decided against trying, and frankly I don’t blame her, so I left her in Keswick armed with nothing more than an Australian accent and a credit card.

I headed up to the Latrigg car park, the most common place to start the walk up Skiddaw. The road was in an interesting condition: it had small speed humps, but these were clearly superfluous, as the potholes provided more than enough deterrent to speeding, and if anything, the man-made humps were the smoothest part of the track. The car park opened up in front of me as I came around the corner and it wasn’t too busy. Only three other cars to speak of. A middle aged man set off as I pulled up, with his walking poles, and a lady about my age was hopping out with her dog, wondering aloud if she would be able to do the climb in a T-shirt. I shivered uncontrollably at that thought, and instead layered up.

The target - Skiddaw

The target – Skiddaw

The start of the walk is fairly easy, turning north to start to track up to the summit. I walked at my usual pace – I seem unable to walk slowly – and as I started the ascent, decided I was possibly quite mad. I had given myself about 3 hours, based on timings on other blogs and accounts of climbing Skiddaw. What I saw in front of me was easily the equivalent of the final ascent from VK3/VC-032, only stretching ahead for a kilometre or more in front of me. As I’d said to myself on VK3/VC-032, I wasn’t as youngish as I once was.

Halfway between the first and second gate, I overtook the middle-aged man and we swapped pleasantries. He was anticipating taking the whole day to get up to the top. I was anticipating a equivalently easy descent. We were both wrong. Indeed, by the time I reached the second gate, I was anticipating a heart attack half-way up. I stopped by the second gate, and had a drink and some Kendal Mint Cake, which was widely evangelised by Tom M1EYP, and now by me.

The rest helped me regain some energy, and I continued up the slope. I seemed to be able to go about 250 metres or so before having to stop, and occasionally I simply sat down on the track and took the weight of my pack off my back; a graphic demonstration of the adage I learnt many years prior in the Australian Air Force Cadets: “Never run when you can walk, never walk when you can stand, never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down.” At some point in between these breaks, I had the thought that I was pulse-width modulating my way up the mountain. 100% output on about a 40-50% duty cycle, then a nice break to regain energy.

I took a long break by the third gate just before the flat section leading behind Skiddaw Little Man. I had been overtaken repeatedly by younger, more lithe individuals, as well crossing paths with the crazy runners throwing themselves down the mountain by choice. Of course, there is a decent excuse to stop the whole way up, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains swathed in sunshine. The sun stayed out for most of the cloud, but when it went behind high cloud, the summit became enclosed in cloud as the air cooled.

I waited at the third gate as the cloud came in, watching people climb Skiddaw Little Man. I noticed the young lady and her dog were almost at the top of Little Man. After wondering how the dog was going, I set off again. The slope was much less severe by now, before actually flattening out. I covered in 15 minutes the same distance that had taken almost an hour. It was also the first view of the back of Skiddaw I’d had, which swept out towards Blencathra in the distance and down towards Skiddaw House. The cloud was still in the valley below, sweeping away as the sun came out again.

I stopped again at the fourth gate before the ascent to the Skiddaw summit ridge, taking photos of the snow that sat in small hollows on the lee side of the hill. The final ascent was of a similar grade to the first section, but it was nowhere near as long, and I reached the summit ridge just as cloud started to roll in. Without any knowledge of the summit from blogs, I may have felt the first section was the summit, but it continued on into a slight depression before I reached the top, complete with trig point and small rock shelter. The young lady with the dog was beginning her descent at that point and we exchanged pleasantries again.

The wind was unbelievable and the temperature was quite low, probably just above zero. I set up behind the rock shelter, struggling with the wind and the tripod. I strung out a counterpoise for 20m, then held the antenna up with one hand while trying to operate the radio with the other. I had the same SWR problems, before it dawned on me that I was actually watching infinite SWR suggesting an open circuit. The radio slipped and somehow the feedline was bumped, and to quote Paul Kelly, “the radio came alive”. The SWR wasn’t perfect, but it was enough.

I cranked the power a bit, and then put out a CQ call. The first person to come back was John G0TDM in Penrith down the road, who boomed in 59 on ground wave. I then worked OM1AX, DK8PX and qualified the summit with DJ5AV, giving me my first 10 pointer. I worked two more stations, DL3HXX and S56IHX, and tried to work out if I could get onto 40m somehow. The length of the counterpoise would mean I’d have to operate from outside the wind shelter, and the antenna was trying to work its way to Keswick via a rapid and direct descent.

By this time, I decided I would descend while I was still solvent; I had last seen my wife eyeing a pair of ceramic badgers at 80 Pounds each. The wind and the temperature were also major incentives. The wind had been strong, but was now stronger and gusting even more. The temperature, now I wasn’t being active, was penetrating. The point I knew I wasn’t operating 100% was when I was trying to respond to DL3HXX with the microphone the wrong way around. Despite talking into the wrong side, I still managed a 56 signal!

I packed up, and started my descent, after taking a summit panorama. I left the summit cold but exhilarated. I’d pushed myself hard to reach the top, and had achieved something I could be proud of. I had considered giving up and returning to the bottom when I was climbing, thinking I wouldn’t make my 3 hour deadline. I wasn’t going to make it, but I was only going to go over by perhaps 30 minutes, which was pretty good in my mind, given how much farting about I’d done with the antenna.

Skiddaw panorama

Skiddaw panorama

I had a big smile on descent and as I was greeted with a nice Cumbrian “Hey-yur” from those ascending, I responded with a nice Australian “G’day”. Whilst on the summit, one gentleman with a broad Yorkshire accent asked if I was working 2m, and we had a quick chat. I didn’t get his callsign, but he was keen to know if I’d made any contacts as I passed his group on descent. I was able to reply that I’d made owt rather than nowt. The view on descent was worth stopping as it was completely different. The sun had moved, when it popped out behind clouds, and different hills were illuminated or visible.

Panorama towards Blencathra from the back of Skiddaw near Skiddaw Little Man

Panorama towards Blencathra from the back of Skiddaw near Skiddaw Little Man

I forgot to take one at the summit, but you can see the summit behind my left ear #dslrselfie

I forgot to take one at the summit, but you can see the summit behind my left ear #dslrselfie

The descent itself was interesting. A steep slope up equals a steep slope down, and I could feel my calves breathing a sigh of relief and my quads suddenly demanding to know what I’d done to them. In many cases, it wasn’t so much of a descent as a controlled fall. Even the controlled part wasn’t always true. In the end, I used my tripod for the antenna as a walking stick, which helped, although I did bend the thin bottom telescopic part.

Derwentwater and Keswick

Derwentwater and Keswick

Descending the Skiddaw Highway

Descending the Skiddaw Highway

I messaged my wife at the first gate (final gate) on the way back, took a break and some photos of sheep and then powered back to the car. The young lady and her dog had just finished doing Latrigg. We chatted a bit about SOTA – she was into Wainwrights – and she was impressed I’d dragged a radio up to the top. Of all the reasons she’d heard to climb Skiddaw, that was the first time someone had said SOTA. Her dog, thinking I had food stashed in my bag, practically molested me by sniffing every part of my anatomy, and I was grateful when the dog was packed into the car and she left. I usually prefer dinner and a movie first before that sort of thing happens.

Sheep, looking back to Hevellyn (I think)

Sheep, looking back to Hevellyn (I think)

I returned to Keswick, found my wife, found her badger-less to my great surprise and relief, and we headed up to Edinburgh. A successful 10 pointer and my first. I’m setting myself a goal of 100 points by the end of the year, and that carried me to 41. As far as my wife is concerned, the goal is 75 points, but we’ll which we land closer to.

I realised halfway to Edinburgh that Mt Macedon is about 100m higher than Skiddaw, but a damn sight easier (and 4 points less). I’m sure if it was in VK1, it’d be a 1 pointer… 😉

Sheep on Latrigg

Sheep on Latrigg

Marconi Wireless Station Poldhu

Heading up from visiting The Lizard (the southernmost point of England), I realised I was somewhere near Poldhu. For those involved in Radio, Poldhu should be considered part of any pilgrimage, being the point where Marconi first transmitted across the Atlantic to North America.

I’d been reminded of the existence of Poldhu by watching TX Factor before I’d come, and seeing a sign to it as we left the Lizard, I convinced my wife to allow me a little time to check it out. I was met by Keith Matthew G0YWS who was pleased to accommodate a VK at the club, and gave me a great tour of the facilities. Keith features quite a bit in the TX Factor Episode 1, and was modest about the fact I’d recognised him from that.

In the end, I didn’t get around to setting up my radio to transmit portable from Poldhu given we were running late, but I can now tick that one off the Places Geeks Like Me Should Visit list.

Wireless Field, Poldhu

Wireless Field, Poldhu

The info board at Wireless Field, Poldhu

The info board at Wireless Field, Poldhu

Two towers used to string up a dipole.  Not the original Marconi towers, but lend an air.

Two towers used to string up a dipole. Not the original Marconi towers, but lend an air.

The remains of the generator building that powered the spark gap transmitter

The remains of the generator building that powered the spark gap transmitter

Wireless Field, looking back at the hotel and Marconi Centre

Wireless Field, looking back at the hotel and Marconi Centre

Wireless Field

Wireless Field

GW/SW-033 Wentwood

Leaving the south of England, we were due to head up to the Lake District, where I want to activate a few summits. To head north from where we were, you need to head north up the M5 motorway, several hours of mind-numbing motorway travel. On the way up, we skirt so close to Wales that I thought it’d be a pity not to head over the Severn and activate something close. The high point in Wentwood made the most sense, being close to the border, and not that substantial a diversion – adding maybe 30-40 minutes onto the travel time, plus time spent activating.

It seemed a perfect way to break up the motorway travel, and gave me another association for the Mountain Explorer award, so it wasn’t hard to convince myself, and since I was driving, that was all that mattered. Mr Google was consulted for driving directions, and we headed off. Mr Google’s directions weren’t real flash and I turned the wrong way a few times, but a helpful gentleman noticed me trying to work the smartphone’s GPS and gave me directions. I wasn’t far off, but came in on a different road. It wasn’t hard from there to find where the summit was.

The summit itself looks like the Tunguska Event, with pine trees having been clear-felled, but the path by a comms tower towards the summit was still there and my wife and I followed it until we were well into the activation zone, the main criteria being some good trees to string the Buddistick’s counterpoise from. The path was very muddy, no doubt churned up by whatever machinery had been used to clear the forest.

The summit was clear of trees.  A few weeks back, it was probably totally enclosed in pine trees.

The summit was clear of trees. A few weeks back, it was probably totally enclosed in pine trees.

I fired up 40m first, onto 7.118 and could hear 2E0NON working some chasers and tried to call in for a summit-to-summit. Unfortunately, there was high SWR and I struggled to get a signal out to them. I tried a few times, and tried to reduce the SWR by tuning the counterpoise length and tapping the coil, but it stayed high. In the end, I worked Don G0RQL, who spotted me, and G6LUZ, both with low reports.

Recognising a lost cause and seeing the battery voltage dropping, I jumped instead to 20m. I was able to tune the antenna much better on 20m, even if it was a bit rough and ready, and quickly qualified the summit with DJ5AV and EA7PY. I worked 4 EA stations (EA1MA QRP), 1 SP station which should have been 2 if a DL station hadn’t kept calling over the top. He was one of 3 DLs (including DJ5AV) I worked. I also worked OK and OE, OE3KAB, Karl, Kevin VK3KAB’s Austrian doppelganger.

We headed back to the car, my wife going first while I tried to find the trig point. It seemed to be missing, although it was tough with all the pine tree root balls blocking the view in all directions. In the end, I gave up. I had to be on top of it almost according to the OS map, but it wasn’t obvious to me. I headed back to the car. Near where we parked, there is a small garden planted with flowers. A small sign says it marks the spot where someone’s wife died, and that person has permission to keep the garden there as a memorial. I didn’t get a photo of it unfortunately.

All up, a nice distraction from the drive, and a GW association summit.

Action shot

Action shot

The view South East.

The view South East.

Action shot again.

Action shot again.

Looking back the path to the summit

Looking back the path to the summit

Weird rock, Wentwood

Weird rock, Wentwood

The mud on the track.  Could be walked around, but still very soft.

The mud on the track. Could be walked around, but still very soft.