Activity Report – 2014-08-12 GFF-127

Titchfield Haven NNR

Background

Titchfield Haven NNR GFF-127 WAB SU50

Titchfield Haven NNR
WWFF GFF-127, WAB SU50

I had an early morning appointment near Fareham, and a late afternoon meeting in Crawley.

This gave an opportunity to revisit the nearby Titchfield Haven NNR (GFF-127, WAB SU50) last activated by my alter-ego M6ADB in 2011… and provided the chance to tick-off  some more of the South Coast WAB squares for 2014’s Sapphire Award.

About Titchfield Haven NNR

GFF-127 reedbeds

Titchfield Haven NNR
WWFF GFF-127, WAB SU50

Titchfield Haven is part of the lower floodplain of the Meon river, is a low lying and generally flat area. The site was formerly the estuary of the River Meon.

As well as being designated as a National Nature Reserve, the site is also part of the eastern segment of the Solent & Southampton Water RAMSAR and Special Protection Area (see GFF-125 for the Western segment).

Titchfield Haven NNR is owned and managed by the Hampshire County Council.

The Activation

Starting on 40m

Southampton Water WWFF GFF-127 WAB SU50

The adjacent Southampton Water RAMSAR/SPA
WWFF GFF-127, WAB SU50

I arrived on site and set-up to start on 40m at 0615utc.  A scan of the bands was not promising; after ten minutes of fruitless calling, and with a good 3G signal available, I self-spotted, and the calls started coming in.

Although band-conditions were very tricky at times with heavy QSB, a steady flow of contacts followed, and over the next hour or so, 73 stations were logged from 16 European DXCCs.

Switching to 20m

At 0730utc I moved up to 20m… band conditions were better and while there was never a pile-up, a steady flow of 96 callers went in the log from 27 DXCCs – 23 from EU, UA9 from AS, PY from SA, HR from NA and VK from OC.

Back on 40m

With all callers having been logged, I moved back to 40m to try and improve the tally there… but it was not to be as conditions had deteriorated, and the band was very poor.

Even the Worked All Britain frequency was quiet – putting out a call found Tony G4STP while Mike GM4LTJ/M popped up from North Uist for a new square (NF86)… it became clear that the WAB run was going to be a challenge!  A couple of others were added before it was time to move on.

Highlights

As I always say, and I mean it sincerely, I appreciate every caller. But today, three calls get highlighted.

  • VK3EW (David) calling in from Melbourne.  Calls from “down under” are still a rarity for me, but to get “a real 5 and 9” as my report brought a smile.
  • PY6RT (Roberto) from Brazil. My QSO count with South America is even lower than that with Australia.
  • HR1AAB (Alberto) from Honduras. When I heard Hotel Radio One I was immediately thinking “Where?”.  So many thanks for a new DXCC!

Summary

In total, 173 WWFF qualifying QSOs were made, from 32 DXCCs.  Thanks to all hunters!

Band QSOs Calls DXCCs
40m 77 77 16
20m 96 96 27
All 173 TBC 32

QSL?

My log will be uploaded to:

I am not planning a special QSL card for this activity; my new M0YMA card will be used.  QSL via the bureau is preferred.

WAB Activity

WAB Club Call-Sign

For this activity, I was using one of the WAB club call-signs, G4WAB, for the Sapphire Award.

Band Conditions

As mentioned above, it was very clear that conditions were far from ideal for inter-G on 40m – but as I don’t (yet) have an antenna for 80m, I had no real alternative…

Squares Activated

Starting from Titchfield Haven, the following squares were activated:

  • SU50, SZ59, SZ69, SU60 (for Portsea Island and Hilsea Lines – see below)
  • SU61, SU71, SU70 (for Hayling Island), SZ79 (also for Hayling Island)
  • SU80, SZ89, SZ99, SU90 (for Yapton)
  • TQ00, TQ10, TQ20, TQ21, TQ11, TQ12, TQ22, TQ23

Squares Worked

In the trying conditions, there was little in the way of a net – but thanks to Mike for his activity in the Hebrides… I managed to log five all-time new NF squares, and four islands.

Hilsea Lines

Hilsea Lines sign CASHOTA G464

Hilsea Lines sign
CASHOTA G464

As well as counting as an island for WAB purposes, I had planned in a stop at Hilsea Lines (CASHOTA G464) while on Portsea Island (SU60).

Hilsea Lines are a line of 18th- and 19th-century fortifications built to protect the Northern approach to Portsea Island its key naval base. Today the lines are accessible for most of their length, but overgrown and derelict in places.

G464 fortifications

Hilsea Lines CASHOTA G464

By now, band conditions had deteriorated to the point that only Tom GM0FGI, Rodney EI2KD and Dan SM6CNX could hear me on 40m and I got no reply to my CQs on 20m, so my planned stop was curtailed… but not before a quick walk to take a couple of piccies.

Yapton

Over the years, I have passed through SU90 a number of times, and had to decline the invites of a cup of coffee from Mike G4TSQ and Christine G4WYL.

This time, I made sure I had enough time to stop and say “hello!”.

Summary

Although all objectives were completed, a very frustrating day especially for the mobile activity…

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