Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Breamo: The best SOTA activation so far

Some months ago I tried to activate the summit of Breamo (EA1/CR-035) without much success. The day of Christmas Eve I went to try my antenna setup.

The day was special and the lace as well. The summit, which only has 1 point, turned out to be my best SOTA activation to date.

IZ2LRT/QRPp: 0.9 Watts

On Christmas Eve I went to the country to make some adjustments in my manpack radio. I resetted the memory of my antenna tuner and recorded new memories for the 2.9m whip I am currently using. This is the test QSO I made, on 20m SSB.

Before this QSO I had never heard of QRPp and later I realized it means lower power than QRP, with power outputs up to 1 Watt máximum. On this video, IZ2LRT is using only 0.9W. Outstanding!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pico Ribón II (EA1 LU-028)

On Christmas Day I went with EA1AQ to activate Pico Ribón (1051m) and I made 17 QSOs on 17m SSB. On this video you can see a sample.

As you can see, it was a very productive activation. Overall, I am very satisfied with the performance of my manpack.
Special thanks to HA7UG, DL3JPN, and all the other colleagues who are always ready to help with an activation.

United States from the summit of Formigueiros (EA1/LU-002)

This is a video of a QSO with American station K8CW from the summit of Formigueiros, for the Summits On The Air (SOTA) programme. That day I was accompanied by my friend Robi, who recorded the QSO.

The weather was good but it was starting to get colder, and this was a really good QSO. Just in time before the camcorder's battery died.

Pico Ribón (EA1/LU-028): Part I

This is the video of the approach to Pico Ribon (SOTA ref. EA1/LU-028) that I went to activate with EA1AQ on Christmas day.

The car left us very close to the summit, but the last 300m were very hard, because of the snow and the weight of the backpack radio (some 9kg overall). As you can see from the elevation profile, the final ascent had slopes of up to 40%. This also made it virtually impossible to stop for a rest until the summit was reached.
While on the way I was in contact by radio with EA1AQ, who stayed in the car. Although it was not necessary, we used the R5 repeater frequency because it also gave us the opportunity to keep in contact with other hams in the region.
To be continued...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Slovenia on 40m (S51MA)

Last week was very active as far as SOTA is concerned. On Tuesday I attempted the activation of Cedeira (EA1/CR-010) but I was not happy with the results because I arrived there too late, the propagation was not good, and it became dark and cold before I could make my needed four QSOs.

On my second attempt I focused on the 40m band because propagation was still terrible on higher bands. This QSO with Slovenian station S51MA shows that the short whip is also usable on that lower band with the FC-40 antenna tuner.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Scotland from the peak of Formigueiros

This is the video of a QSO with Scottish station 2M0ONW (operator: Kevin) on 20m SSB.

It was my second QSO from the peak of Formigueiros (SOTA ref. EA1/LU-002).

First QSO from Formigueiros (OE6ECG)

This is the first QSO I made from the peak of Formigueiros (SOTA ref. EA1/LU-002). It was a QSO with Austrian station OE6ECG on 20m SSB.

Mike (Michael in German) told me he has also been a SOTA activator in Austria, but mainly on VHF and UHF. This QSO was a very good start.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Formigueiros: Google Earth track

This is the track of our way to Formigueiros and back on Google Earth.
When you look at the elevation profile, it seems that we made some 2.5 extra kilometres because we walked to the summit of Teso das Papoulas before we found our way to Formigueiros.
Another thing that surprised me is the total ascent of nearly 500m.

Formigueiros Revenge: Part 1

As you may know from previous posts, we attempted the activation of Formigeiros some weeks ago without success. But this time we were better prepared...

As if it were not enough, we climbed another peak first (Teso das Papoulas) from which we saw the access to Formigueiros that we had missed when we passed by.
I was accompanied by my colleague Robi, with whom I exchanged backpacks from time to time to share the effort.

Monday, December 20, 2010

DL9KU on 40m from EA1/CR-010

This is another QSO from the summit called Cedeira (EA1/CR-010), also known as Alto do Castelo, on 40m SSB.

As you can see it was already getting dark, but this was my fourth QSO, which is the minimum necessary for a valid activation.
According to his QRz.com entry, DL9Ku is a great expeditioner, with operations from numerous places all around the word including South Africa, New Zealand and Antartica.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

EA5CC from Cedeira (EA1/CR-010)

This is another QSO from the summit of Cedeira (SOTA ref. EA1/CR-010) on 40m SSB.

I was standing by while EA1AQ and EA1LQ made the QSO from Alto do Anxelio, and then I made the QSO myself.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Summit to summit from Cedeira (EA1/CR-010)

Yesterday I went for the second time to try the activation of Cedeira (EA1/CR-010). On this video you can see a couple of summit-to-summit QSOs on 20m SSB.

EA1AQ and EA1LQ were at a different peak not very far away called Alto do Anxelio (SOTA ref. EA1/CR-020) which I had already activated in the past with the help of José Luis (EA1HNP).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Transylvania (YO6OAF) on 15m

This is a video of a QSO with Romanian station YO6OAF (operator Bela, from Miercurea-Ciuc) on 15m SSB.

Miercurea-Ciuc is the county seat of Harghita County, Romania. It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania. The town is situated in the Olt River valley.
Miercurea-Ciuc was captured by Hungary between 1940 and 1944 as a result of the Second Vienna Diktat. In 1944, the Soviet Red Army captured the town. It became part of Romania again in 1945, a move confirmed by the Paris Peace Treaties of 1947. Between 1952-1960, the town was part of the Magyar Autonomous Region, later named the Mureş-Magyar Autonomous Region between 1960-1968. In 1968, Miercurea-Ciuc became the county seat of Harghita.
In the post-WWII period, the town was industrialized; among other projects, a tractor factory, a textile factory and, in the 1960s, a beer factory were built here. The Ciuc Beer products have gained an increasing popularity in Romania.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

United States from the summit of Pradairo (1029m)

This is the video of my QSO with Steve (N3EON) from the summit of Pradairo (EA1/LU-031) on 15m SSB.

That day I was accompanied by Ernesto (EA1LQ), who is currently the leading SOTA activator in Spain. As you can see from my GPS at the beginning of the video, we were operating from the summit, at an altitude of 1029m.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Yaesu FT-857D manpack: Pedestrian mobile

This is a video of a first test of the FT-857D manpack on 6m SSB.

The battery I am using is home made from 11 rechargeable C-size NiMh batteries in series, for a nominal voltage of 13.2V and 4000mAh.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another QSO with IK0TRV

This is my QSO with Riccardo IK0TRV on 20m SSB using my FT-897 manpack.

The antenna I am currently using is 2.9m long and should be slightly more efficient thant the shorter 2.4m whip that I used before.

EA1LQ/P: From Pradairo to Monte Cassino

On this video you can see Ernesto (EA1LQ) making a QSO with Italian station IK0TRV (Riccardo) from near Monte Cassino.

The Battle of Monte Cassino (also known as the Battle for Rome and the Battle for Cassino) was a costly series of four battles during World War II, fought by the Allies with the intention of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome.
In the beginning of 1944, the western half of the Winter Line was being anchored by Germans holding the Rapido, Liri and Garigliano valleys and certain surrounding peaks and ridges, together known as the Gustav Line. The Germans had not occupied the historic hilltop abbey of Monte Cassino, founded in AD 524 by Benedict of Nursia and which dominated the town of Cassino and the entrances to the Liri and Rapido valleys, although they manned defensive positions set into the steep slopes below the abbey walls.
On 15 February, the monastery, high on a peak overlooking the town of Cassino, was destroyed by 1,400 tons of bombs dropped by American bombers. The bombing was based on the fear that the abbey was being used as a lookout post for the German defenders (this position evolved over time to admit that German soldiers were not garrisoned there but that the risk of the monastery becoming occupied justified the action).
Two days after the bombing, German paratroopers took up positions in the ruins; the destruction caused by the bombing and the resulting jagged wasteland of rubble gave troops improved protection from air and artillery attack making it a more viable defensive position. From 17 January to 18 May, the Gustav defences were assaulted four times by Allied troops. For the last of these the Allies gathered 20 divisions for a major assault along a twenty mile front and drove the German defenders from their positions but at a high cost.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Canary Islands (EA8CBC) from Pradairo - EA1/LU-031

This is the video of my second QSO from Pradairo on the 20m band, with EA8CBC (Antonio) from the island of Tenerife. I was using my FT-897D with a 2.9m whip.

We started with the 20m band because we could not hear any stations on higher bands. The efficiency of the 2.9m antenna is not very high on that band but at least on this case propagation was more important than radiated power.

EA1LQ/P from Pradairo (EA1/LU-031)

Last Tuesday I went with Ernesto EA1LQ to activate the peak of Pradairo for the Summits on the Air programme (ref. EA1/LU-031). The height is 1029 metres, which means 4 points, plus a seasonal bonus of 3 points for the winter activation.

Ernesto is currently the leading SOTA activator not only in EA1, but also in the whole of Spain, with 13 summits and 38 points, followed by EE1URO with 4 activations and 26 points.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pendella (EA1/CR-002)

Yesterday EA1AQ (Juan) was activating the summit of Pendella (SOTA ref. EA1/CR-002) and we made a QSO with him on 2m FM.

The recording was made with Anca's photo camera, and she also made the QSO herself.

I was testing my new backpack project based on a Yaesu FT-857D.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Virginia (W4JTE)

This is a video of a QSO with W4JTE (Jack) on 15m SSB. W4TJE is now QRV from the blue ridge mountains in southwestern VA, along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The elevation at the shack is 3000 feet with a nice take-off in most directions.

The last picture was taken in his woods by his motion activated wildlife camera. It is mama bear with her 3 cubs.

Formigueiros 4: Calling CQ

This is a video of the expedition to Formigueiros. I am calling CQ on 15m SSB.

The best from this video is the view from the peak.

EC1CW - EA1LQ: Lithuania (LY2PX)

This ia s video of two QSOs that I and Ernesto (EA1LQ) made with Lithuanian station LY2PX (operator: Willy from Vilnius) on 15m SSB.

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 (850,324 together with Vilnius County) as of 2010.
The city was first mentioned in written sources in 1323, when the Letters of Grand Duke Gediminas were sent to German cities inviting German members of the Jewish community to settle in the capital city, as well as to Pope John XXII. These letters contain the first unambiguous reference to Vilnius as the capital; Old Trakai Castle had been the earlier seat of the court of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. According to legend, Gediminas dreamt of an iron wolf howling on a hilltop and consulted a pagan priest for its interpretation. He was told: "What is destined for the ruler and the State of Lithuania, is thus: the Iron Wolf represents a castle and a city which will be established by you on this site.

Ukraine from Torres de Arneiro (UR7EP)

Yesterday we went to see the remains of the so-called Torres de Arneiro, which were erected by the Germans as a radio navigation aid on the Atlantic.

On this video I make a QSO with Yuri from Ukraine on 15m SSB using my Yaesu manpack with a 2.9m whip anttena.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Senegal (6V7Z)

I have just receive this very nice eQSL for a QSO with Senegal on the 15m band. 6V7Z is now back@home now and doing homework.
The operation took place between 8 and 18 November 2010 from Somone, about 80 km south of Dakar "Le Calao" (http://www.le-calao.com/).
The operators were Jo (DL4MAQ), Matt (DL5MFL), and Sven (DF9MV). The QSL-Manager is Fredy DE0MST (mor ederails on http://www.qrz.com/). These guys really know how how to choose their activations!