Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Castro (EA1/OU-038)

This is a video of a SOTA activation from the summit of Castro, near the city of Ourense.

You can hear the cavalry on the background at the end of the video.

Monday, October 24, 2011

DO4DXA from Pico Sacro (SOTA EA1/CR-016) on 10m SSB

This is a video of a QSO from Pico Sacro (SOTA ref. EA1/CR-016) with German station DO4DXA on 10m SSB.

The summit is divided in two. According to the leyend, it was a titan with his sword who did it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

YO8SOY from Castelo (EA1/CR-023)

SOTA activation near Santiago de Compostela on 20m SSB.

It includes two summit-to-summit QSOs with SCotland.

FT-897 manpack by night

This is a video Robi recorded with his mobile phone when we were doing some tests on 40m SSB with a V dipole and a manual tuner attached to the FT-897.

The video was shot just after we applied a coat of white primer to the tuner's aluminum case.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Clansman PRC-320 with a random wire

This is a video of a QSO with the Clansman PRC-320 and a randon wire antenna.

In favour of the Clansman I should say that I hadn't recharged the battery for months so I hardly had energy left for a single QSO, and I made this QSO calling CQ without the help of any cluster anouncement.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Alto do Anxelio (SOTA EA1/CR-020)

This is a video of Anca's activation of Alto do Anxelio (SOTA reference EA1/CR-020) as EA1/YO8SOY/P on 20m SSB.

Thanks to this activation she now already has 10 DXCC entities confirmed on eQSL.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Serra do Larouco (CT/TM-001)

Yesterday I was invited to a radio fair in Chaves, Portugal, and after the lectures I decided to attempt the activation of a nearby summit, Serra do Larouco (CT/TM-001).

This was my first QSO on 20m SSB, with English station 2E0RDX (Barry).

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Uruguay on 12m: CX2DK

I haven't checked my eQSL account for a long time and when I opened my inbox today I found I had a number of very nice eQSLs waiting, like the one on the picture from Marcelo (CX2DK) in Uruguay, for a QSO on 12m SSB.
I also found out that I already have 78 DXCC entities confirmed, so now I have to go for the 100...

Monday, May 2, 2011

YO8SOY from Pendella (EA1/CR-002)

Yesterday I went to make a SOTA activation with Anca (YO8SOY). She made a total of 12 QSOs, all of them on 20m SSB using 20W and a whip antenna. On this video you can see an extract of her activation:

The hardest part for her was to memorise the callsigns, because we didn't have a pen to write them down (my fault), but in the end she did quite ok for her first SOTA activation.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter activation at Pico da Fiosa (EA1/LU-009)

Last Sunday I went with my father (EA1AQ) to activate Pico da Fiosa (EA1/LU-009) and this is the vide we made. It was a very nice place with an improvised table, great views and excellent conditions for SOTA operation (low noise).

I was running 20W with my FT-857 manpack, an SG-211 tuner and a military whip. The battery is Lithium Polymer and works great. It is powerful and light. I am very satisfied with its performance.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Parque de Bens to Canada (VE2TFL)

LAst Sunday I went to a public park in my city and decided to try my kevlar wire antenna. With the help pf some eucaliptus trees, this was the result.

I was using 20W, as usual, with my FT-857 on a LiPO battery.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Montalén (EA1/CR-006)

This is a video of the activation of Montalén on 20m SSB. I started with a summit to summit QSO with Germany, and made more than a dozen contacts.

At the end of the video you can see how the wind starts to blow...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fontardión (EA1/CR-005)

This is a video of the SOTA activation of Fontardión, together with my friend Robi. The QSOs on teh video are on 20m SSB.

Last time I was not able to make the four QSOs necessary to claim the points, but I has luckier this time.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Carracedo activation (EA1/LU-049)

This is a video of the activation of Carracedo. I started on 2m FM with a handheld radio, but I only made 3 QSOs.

Then I set up my HF station. As you can see on this video, I used a 2.9m collapsible whip and two wires as a counterpoise.

The weather and the landscape were magnificent and the activation couldn't go better. Thanks to all the chasers and to my father (Ea1AQ) and Ernesto (EA1LQ) for putting me on the Sotawatch cluster.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Carracedo (EA1/LU-049): Final ascent

Last Thursday Ernesto (EA1AQ) and my father (EA1LQ) went to hunt a metorological baloon. When I joined them the sonde had already stopped tranmitting, so I decided to attempt some nearby SOTA activation. I found that Carracedo (EA1/LU-049) was close, and this is the video of the final ascent.

It was a bit harder than expected, but the wild horses and the beauty of the landscape paid off.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Carba (EA1/LU-038)

This is a video of the activation of Carba (SOTA reference EA1/LU-038). It was so windy that it is hard to understand the audio sometimes.

This was a difficult activation beacuse the amateur bands were crowded because of the CQ WPX contest. That is why I chose the 17m band instead of the usual 20m band.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Austria (OE6GND)

I have received this beautiful eQSL card from Austrian station OE6GND (operator Gerhard) from Gamlitz, with whom I made a couple of QSOs on 7 and 8 March from two different SOTA summits.
Gamlitz (Slovene: Gomilnica) is a municipality in the district of Leibnitz in Styria, Austria. In the first known document that mentions it (dated from 1145), the settlement is called Gomilnitz, a reference either to the Slavic gomilca which denotes a small hill, or to gom (a group or chain of hills); indeed Gamlitz is situated among and between rolling hills. The tradition of the local castle goes back to the year 1111.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (75)

I have just received an eQSL from Macedonian station Z35F, from Gevgelija, which is the 75th country validly confirmed for my eDX award.
I made this QSO with my FT857 manpack radio for the Summits On The Air programme.
Gevgelija (Macedonian: Гевгелија [ɡɛvˈɡɛlija] ( listen)) is a town with a population of 15,685 located in the very southeast of the Republic of Macedonia along the banks of the Vardar River, situated at the country's main border with Greece (Bogorodica-Evzoni), the point which links the motorway from Skopje and three other former Yugoslav capitals (Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana) with Thessaloniki.
Located between the mountains Kozuf and Pajak only 70 km from Thessaloniki and 165 km from Skopje, the town acts as a rail depot between the two countries, making it a central location in its region. Its position in the south of the country gives it a warm, Mediterranean climate, making it the optimal location in the Republic of Macedonia for cultivation of fruits and vegetables such as figs, lemons, and grapes. The town is also a centre for raising silkworms, an integral part of the country's silk trade.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Alto do Anxelio (EA1/CR-020)

Today I made a SOTA activation of Alto do Anxelio (EA1/CR-020). This is the video of my first QSO on HF, with English Station M0VRS (John).

The video does not have very good audio quality because it was windy, but I made a total of 42 QSOs, which is my best record so far.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Alto das Vaiñas (SOTA EA1/LU-025)

This is a video of my activation of Alto das Valiñas (EA1/LU-025). I was using a LiPO battery which is really light and powerful.

The weather was very nice, and the LiPO battery behaved very well. Thanks to Anca (YO8SOY) for the recording.
By the way, the summit in the background is Pico de Santa Irene (EA1/LU-016).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Zimbabwe (Z21BB): The number 74

I have just received an eQSL for a QSO with Z21BB (Fernando) from Harare, Zimbabwe. This makes my 74th DXCC entity confirmed for the eDX award.
I made this QSO on 15m SSB from my car, with 100W and a 4m whip. I owe this QSO to Ernesto, EA1LQ, who told me about this opportunity when I has parking my car at the university.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

O Teso (EA1/LU-029)

Last Monday I went to activate O Teso (EA1/LU-029) with Anca (YO8SOY). I had already activated this summit in December, but it was dark when I arrived there and I only made 4 QSOs.

In March the days are much longer, and the weather was nice, so I had an opportunity to make 26 QSOs, which is my record so far. All of them were made on 20m SSB with 20W and a 2.9m whip.
Thanks to EA1AQ and EA1LQ for announcing me on the Sotawatch cluster and thanks to mi0tmw, dg6sfu/m, oe6gnd, hb9agh, ok1sde, dk2rmp, ha7ug, g6mzx, oz4rt, ok1cz, dj5av, dl1dlf/p, g6odu, i3vad, s51zg, g0tdm, la8bca, dj0gm, z35f, g4obk, hb9ckv, on4up, sp9iek, m3xie, dk3bk, and oe6wig for the QSOs.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bailadora (EA1/CR-038)

This is a video of the activation of Bailadora (SOTA ref. EA1/CR-038). I made several contacts in VHF (EA1AQ, EA1DFP and EA1BTO) and HF.

It was foggy so you could not see the great view. I will definate be back with better conditions for you to have an opportunity to see the great view from up there.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Fontardión (EA1/CR-005)

This is a video of the SOTA activation of Fontardion (EA1/CR-005) together with EA1AQ and Adi, who also helped with the camera.

I think I chose the wrong frequency this time (15m). I only managed to make 2 local QSOs before it started raining, but it was a good experience anyway.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Formigueiros (SOTA EA1/LU-002): DG7LAL

This is a video of a QSO with German station DG7LAL (op Rainer) from the summit of Formigueiros (1639m) on 20m SSB.

Rainer was one of the first phone QSOs I made with my Clansman PRC-320 when I still had problems with my handset's microphone, and he made a voice recording for me at that time that you can see here:

Thank you Rainer!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cova da Serpe (EA1/LU-046): OK1KZ

This is a video of a QSO with Czech station OK1KZ (Pavel) from Cova da Serpe (SOTA ref. EA1/LU-046) using my FT-857 with a whip antenna.

Cova da Serpe was first activaded on 1 August 2010 by EA1LQ (Ernesto).
The mount is already mentioned in the 10th century as 'Cova de Serpente' (Snake's Cave). The name stems from a cave near the summit, about 12m long and 2m high at the entrance, with a maximum width of 5m.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2m FM from Monte do Oural (EA1/CR-018)

This is a video of a QSO with EA1UP (Julio) from Monte do Oural (Irixoa) on 2m FM.

Then I also made a QSO with EA1AQ/M.

I was using my FT-857D with a quarter-wave mobile whip.

Monday, February 14, 2011

From SOTA EA1/LU-025 to IOTA EU-031 (Procida Island)

This is a video of a QSO with Italian station IC8ATA (operator Raul) from Procida island (IOTA reference EU-031).

Procida is one of the Phlegrean islands off the coast of Naples in southern Italy. The island is between Cape Miseno and the island of Ischia. With its tiny satellite island of Vivara, it is a comune of the province of Naples, in the region of Campania. The population is about ten thousand.
Procida has been chosen as a film set for numerous films, mainly for its panoramas and its typical Mediterranean architecture. The most famous are Il Postino and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

From Naxos Island to the Falklands

Today I made a QSO with Greek station SV8FEB from Naxos Island (operator: Vangelis) on 15m SSB. He gave me reference EU-067 for the IOTA (Islands On The Air) programme.
Naxos is the largest island (429 km2 (166 sq mi)) in the Cyclades island group in the Aegean. It was the centre of archaic Cycladic culture. Mount Zas (999 metres) is the highest peak in the Cyclades, and tends to trap the clouds, permitting greater rainfall. According to a story in Greek mythology, the young Zeus was raised in a cave on Mt. Zas ("Zas" meaning "Zeus").
Immediately after that I made a QSo with VP8LP (Bob) from the Falklands (IOTA ref. SA-002).
I also made contacts with South Africa (ZS6RF and ZS1AX), the US (KC0CF, K1BKE and W3JK), Cameroon (TJ9PF), and Uruguay (CX4BW).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Summit to Summit with EA1HNP

This is a video of a summit-to-summit QSO with EA1HNP (José Luis) who was activating another SOTA summit near Pedrafita do Cebreiro.

The QSO was on 20m SSB and we agreed to meet later to eat "pulpo" (octopus)...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My first SOTA certificate

Today I have received my first SOTA certificate, for 100 points as an activator, dated 31 December 2010.
There are also certificates waiting at 250, 500 and 100 point levels, plus the certificates based on SOTA uniques, i.e. the number of different summits activated regardless of SOTA points, starting at 100.
We will probably have to celebrate this weekend.

15m QSOs from A Cotela do Faro (EA1/LU-003)

On this video you can see the QSOs I made from the Summit of A Cotela do Faro. There was a great view from up there at 1615m of height.

The QSOs were all made on 15m SSB using my battery operated light manpack radio with a 2.9m whip and a dragwire as a counterpoise.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Cotela do Faro (EA1/LU-003)

Last Saturday I went with Robi to do some SOTA activations near Pedrafita do Cebreiro. One of them was A Cotela do Faro (1615m), SOTA reference EA1/LU-003. This is the video of the final ascent.

As you can see, the weather was very good, so we left our jackets in the car.
During the ascent, I made a repeater contact with my father, EA1AQ, who was 200km away, in A Coruña.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bert and Ernie at Beiramar: IW2CLM

This is a video of a QSO on 20m SSB with Italian station IW2CLM. We look like Bert and Ernie testing the new little manpack radio.

Domenico (IW2CLM) is a software engineer and has been licensed since 1983. His 9-element optibeam is 35m above the ground.

Monday, January 31, 2011

EA1AQ/M: Cova da Serpe (Snake's Cave)

This is a video of my first QSO from Cova da Serpe (EA1/LU-046), with EA1AQ/M on 2m FM.

I was using 20W with a quarter-wave on my FT-857D.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

DF7MC: Cova da Serpe (Snake's Cave)

This is a video of a QSO with German station DF7MC on 20m SSB from Cova da Serpe (Snake's Cave), SOTA reference EA1/LU-046. This was my fouth QSO.

DF7MC was running only 5W into a delta loop antenna. Well done!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Alto das Valiñas (SOTA EA1/LU-025): IZ6TGS

This is a video of a QSO on 20m SSB with Italian station IZ6TGS from Alto das Valiñas on the day of New Year's Eve, SOTA reference EA1/LU-025.

This summit awards 4 points plus a seasonal bonus of 3 points in winter.
Adrio was born in 1974 in San Benedetto del Tronto where he currently lives. His passion for radio began in 1990 but it was not until 2010 that he became a radio amateur.
On the right you can see his very nice QSL card featuring a military-style backpack transceiver.

Monday, January 24, 2011

EA1AQ from Formigueiros

This is another video of a QSO from the summit of Formigueiros (1639m). In this case it was a QSO with EA1AQ, who was operating from his caravan, some 40km away from the city of A Coruña.

I also tried a QSO with Ernesto (EA1LQ). I could hear him OK, buy he could not hear me at all, probably because, being in the city, he had a higher noise level.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Trying my new SOTA patches

I have been trying my new SOTA patches together with my second operator Adi. The picture was taken by Anca (YO8SOY). We are looking forward to using them on the field. That may have to wait until next weekend though, when I am fully recovered from a cold I caught this week.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Some pictures of the FT-857 manpack

These are some of the pictures of the light HF manpack transceiver based on the Yaesu FT-857 that I took today because several people asked me to through the FT857 Yahoo group and directly through my blog. On the first picture you can see the details of the antenna mounts for HF and VHF-UHF made out of aluminum plate. You can also see the SG-211 automatic antenna tuner attached by straps. Finally, the homebrew NiMH battery I made out of 11 4000mAh rechargeable batteries that I bought at a well known German supermarket chain.
As you can see on the second picture, the total weight of the radio is 4350g. That is a great improvement over the ft-897 manpack, which weighs 8.5kg or so. The weight improvement comes from a lighter transceiver (almost 2kg lighter), lighter tuner and using just one battery instead of the two that the FT-897 can hold internally.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Embroidered SOTA patches

I have just received our custom embroidered SOTA patches. They are first quality patches, 3" x 3", with 100% of the surface embroidered in 4 colours, heat sealed iron-on backing and stitched border.
The truth is that the patches have exceeded my expectations. They look very nice, don't they? Today I have sent the first ones to colleages in EA.
I hope they like them and soon we will be able to see them on their SOTA pictures and videos. I am looking forward to putting them on my winter jackets too.
There is also a special version with the border stitched in yellow.
The one with the red border are the most faithful to the SOTA logo, but so far the ones with yellow border are being very popular.
Perhaps it is because the red and yellow combination ressembles the Spanish flag, but I guess it depends more on the colour of the jacket you are planning to put them on.

Alto do Moradal (EA1/LU-024)

This is a video of an activation of Alto do Moradal (SOTA ref. EA1/LU-024) that I made on Christmas day.

It was a total of 6 QSOs using my FT-897 manpack with a 2.9m whip, all of them on 17m SSB.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

EA1/LU-016 - Pico de Santa Irene (IT9BDW)

This is a video of a QSO with Italian station IT9BDW during my SOTA activation of Pico de Santa Irene (SOTA ref. EA1/LU-016).

Thanks to Joseph for the nice QSO.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pedestrian Mobile with FT-857 manpack: Bens

This is a video of a pedestrian mobile QSO with Serbian station YT1E (Rod) on 17m SSB. I was using my FT-857 manpack, featuring a 2.9m whip and an SG-211 antenna tuner. The battery is NiMh and the power 20W.

The video was shot by Anca (YO8SOY) and the audio was recorded from my car's station.

Testing the FT-857D manpack: Beiramar

Here are some videos testinf my light Yaesu manpack. The first QSO was with Germany (Mike, DB1JAW) on 17m SSB. I didn't get a very good signal report because the band was not in very good shape.

Here you can see a demonstration of how easy it is to use the automatic antenna tuner, the SG-211 by SGC:

On this video you can see a very good QSO with the Canary Islands (Jean, EA8/ON5JV), on 20m SSB.

Finally, a QSO with Scotland (Kevin, 2M0ONW):

All the QSOs were made with 20W, a 2.9m whip, and a single wire as a counterpoise.

Friday, January 14, 2011

O Teso (EA1/LU-029)

These are some videos of my activation of the summit O Teso, SOTA reference EA1/LU-029. My first QSO was on 17m SSb with the United States immediately after I switched on the station before I had time to start the vide recording. My second QSO was with an avid SOTA chaser, Quique, EA1DFP, on 17m also.

It was getting dark so I tried the 40m band. The result was a QSO with Patrick (OM1XQ) from Bratislava, on 40m SSB.

My next QSO was with Fred, CS7/PD0HNL, from Algarve on 20m.

Here is the nice eQSL I got, which means my 72nd country confirme for my eDX award.

Before leaving I made some repeater QSOs on 2m FM with Julio (EA1UP) and Juan (EA1AQ).

By then it was completely dark.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pico de Santa Irene: IZ7FLP/P

This is a video of a QSO with portable Italian station IZ7FLP/P from Pico de Santa Irene (1202m), SOTA ref. EA1/LU-016, 6 points plus a seasonal bonus of 3 points.

Giovanni is very active in the diploma of Italian castles (DCI) and Italian municipalities (DMI). You can follow his adventures at http://iz7flp.jimdo.com/.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Alto das Valiñas (EA1/LU-025)

This is a video of a QSO with station MM/PA1SVM from Scotland on 20m SSB on Christmas Eve.

Alto das Valiñas (SOTA ref. EA1/LU-025) has an altitude of 1104m and a value of 4 points, with a seasonal bonus of 3 points.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pedestrian mobile with Paquito, Man-Paquito

These are some videos of my new light-weight backpack radio. It is made out of a Yaesu FT-857D. The whip is 2.9m long and the antenna tuner is an SG-211. Thebattery is home made out of 4Ah NiMH cells and the power I was using was 20W.

The battery is a home-made 13.2V NiMh battery and the antenna is a 2.9m whip of military origin. My first QSO was with Canadian station VE2JCW on 20m SSB when I was tuning my antenna, before I could start the video recording.

The second QSO with IW3RUA from the North of Italy was on 17m SSB, and I was delighted to get such a good signal report.

The final QSO with the Czech Republic was slightly more difficult, but the new little manpack behaved like a champion. Test passed!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Alto de Onsolar (EA1/LU-030)

Here are a couple of videos of the SOTA activation of Alto de Onsolar (EA1/LU-030). On the first video you can see the final ascent and station setup.

On the second video you can see some quick QSOs from the summit, with the Slovak Republic, Canada and the United States.

As on other occasions I was accompanied by my friend Robi, who took care of the video recording.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pico de Santa Irene: EA1/LU-016 (G4ZSY)

This is a video of a QSO from Pico de Santa Irene (SOTA ref. EA1/LU-016) with English station G4ZSY.

This peak gives 6 points plus a seasonal bonus of 3 points. There is a trigpoint and a telephone station at the summit.