Monday, 4 September 2017

Walton Hill

A couple of weeks ago we went for a little 3 night tour of the Midlands, stopping at Oldbury, Droitwich and Leicester.

Droitwich from the hotel car park

On the Sunday, I had a walk up Walton Hill (SOTA G/CE-002) in the Clent Hills South West of Birmingham, parking in the large car park at SO942802.
I just had the Baofeng GT-3 handheld with me but as the hill wasn't very far from Birmingham I knew I'd still be able to make a few contacts. I managed the 4 QSOs for SOTA but there was a problem, even with its own 20cm long antenna, on 145MHz the GT-3 was being overloaded by some strong signals. At one time it would probably have been paging transmitters that were the strongest things near that frequency, but many pager sites have been closed now and the interference could have been from anything on VHF. Even on strong signals that were perfectly readable, the squelch was being closed by some noise in the background and I ended up keeping the squelch open.
At home on my outdoor antenna, the GT-3 is completely wiped out on VHF and I'm over 10km from any mast with powerful VHF transmitters (but the closest does have high power DAB and FM broadcast so this may be what is causing the problems on hill tops).

Mast at Romsley to the East of Walton Hill
 Malvern Hills

Clee Hill

 Brierley Hill
 Towards Birmingham

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