G4YSS as CT9/M1NNN: CT3/ MI-006 Pico Ruivo de Paul on 10-04-15 (pm)
This report covers No6 in the CT3 series of eight activations.
For a general introduction see report No1 (MI1).
List of eight SOTA’s activated between 2nd and 12th April 2015:
CT3/MI-001; MI-005; MI-004 (Night Activation); MI-002; MI-008; MI-006; MI-009 and MI-004 (Day Activation). I also tried to activate CT3/MI-007 on the morning of 04-04-15 but this failed.
Note: CT3/MI-008 was activated in the morning of the same day, 10-04-15 (see separate report.)
PICO RUIVO de PAUL: CT3/MI-006 (QRO)
Bands: 20m-17m-10m CW/ SSB and 10-FM
G4YSS using alternative personal callsign CT9/ M1NNN/P. Unaccompanied.
All times ‘WEST’ UOS. (Western European Daylight Saving Time which is UTC + 1hr and also equivalent to BST).
FT817ND HF/VHF/UHF 5W Transceiver.
MX-P50M HF 50 Watt Linear Amplifier.
Adjustable link dipole for 20-17-15-(12)-10m (built 1992 for CT3).
Two 7m-long end strings for dipole.
5m Telescopic Mast with ground spike. (Guying kit and end sticks not carried).
6Ah Li-Po battery (partially discharged on MI8 in the morning)
3 x 2.2 Ah Li-Po batteries parallelled.
Garmin GEKO miniature GPS.
Packweight: 7.8 kg (17 pounds) including food and 1 x 0.5 litres of water.
Ascent of MI6:
Immediately following the MI8 activation came a 65 minute drive to Paul de Serra from Boca da Corrida via the south coast and Canhas on the R222. This detour was required because the road out of Encumeada had been closed for the past 18 months due to rockfall. MI8 had been activated in the morning with 54 QSO’s, so with the 6Ah battery almost discharged, the reserve consisting of three 2.2 Ah Li-Po’s in parallel, was slipped into a rucksack side pocket.
MI8 had been mainly cold and cloudy but the weather was a lot better up on Paul de Serra. I passed windmills and a nice looking lattice radio mast on the way, eventually arriving at the MI6 start point, which was GPS’d at N32 46.192 W17 04.684.
Here is a sizeable car park where there is an unintelligible notice (to me at the time that is) ‘Parque de Estacionamento.’ A pparently a long way of saying ‘Car Park’. At the other side of the road exists a gate which guards the track to a place called Fontes Ruivas. Along the track a sign states, ‘Pico Ruivo de Paul 1.2km.’ This track is followed for about 300m as far as N32 46.294 W17 04.803 where a right turn is made onto a path. A sign there reads, ‘Pico Ruivo de Paul 0.8km’ and there is another sign to confirm it 400m further along.
Despite some low-cloud interspersed with sunshine, this SOTA was very easy to find and also to climb between bushes via N32 46.476 W17 04.721; N32 46.556 W17 04.753 & N32 46.589 W17 04.778. The enormous summit trig point was GPS’d today at N32 46.623 W17 04.817.
Thanks should go to G4OBK and DG5WU for their tracklogs for this one. I was confused as to where Phil & Nick had parked in 2014, so I chose the DG5WU start point which is incidentally just 13 minutes walk away.
PICO RUIVO de PAUL CT3/ MI-006: 1,640m, 6pts, 13:43 to 17:05. Temp: 10C. Wind 5mph. Intermittent low-cloud with hazy sunshine. LOC: IM12LS; IOTA: AF-014. Orange (EE via Portuguese network) phone coverage on summit and ascent route.
18.092 CW - 24 QSO’s:
Just beyond the mammoth trig point, there is a convenient rock to sit on. Bushes and a fence provided dipole end supports. Two of the three Scarborough stations were the first ones worked. As well as Roy G4SSH, there was Kevin G0NUP with a 579/ 559 exchange. After these, with 50 Watts for the first few and 30 Watts thereafter, I worked: G; I; K2LNS; DL; ON; HB9; AC1Z; OK; N7UN; SP; F; EA; OE and S52. The only 17m-CW S2S was with HB9BCB/P Heinz on HB/BE-158 and I received a 599 RST from him.
18.132 SSB - 25 QSO’s:
Mike G6TUH was first to find the SSB location and a 57 report followed both ways. Mike reported QSB so I turned the power up to the full 50 Watts available. Like the CW session, this was a prolific one. Logged: G; HB9; EA; GM; N4EX; K3YLG; DL; SV2; PA and OK. G6WRW reported 42 to 57 QSB and I started badly with Geoff at the shop in Penrith. However with patience on both sides, G4WHA/A was eventually logged at 44/ 31. Phil G0UUU/M was easily heard with 55 to 57 QSB from the top of Irton Moor Lane again and we able to have a brief chat.
There was one S2S with HB9BQU/P (55/ 57) on HB/SO-020 (55/ 57). The session took about 40 minutes.
29.600 FM - 1 QSO:
While switching through the memories on the FT817ND, I came across a CQ on 10-FM. After a rush to open the 10m band dipole links, there followed a rapid 59/ 59 QSO with LU8EEM. In this case ‘quick’ was good as I forgot to reduce power from 50 Watts to the recommended level of around 25. The poor old amp took it well but little did I know, it wasn’t long for this World!
28.032 CW - 7 QSO’s:
Working on 10-FM got me thinking about 10m-CW so I sent a text to Roy for a spot. A short time later I logged seven stations: IK2ILH; OK1DPU; OM1AX; DL3HXX; I3FDP and OM5DP. The majority of incoming reports were 599 in response to a power level of 30 Watts.
28.250 SSB - 5 QSO’s:
All five stations worked on here seemed very happy with their QSO’s. They were: OE5AUL Peter and YL OE5YYN Sylvia; OE3GGS; SQ9MDN and OE5FSL. All the reports were 57 or 59 apart from the final one which was a ‘33.’ 50 Watts were used for these five.
14.287 SSB - 19 QSO’s:
After OK2WM secured first place in the 20m log, I worked the third Scarborough station - G4OOE with a 57/ 55 exchange. Nick is right under the hill near the hospital which perhaps unsurprisingly in this day and age, seems to be the source of much QRN. Once again it was nice to have a chat with someone who’d activated this summit only a year earlier.
I went on to log: G; OE; SV2; DL; OE; EA2; CS7/DL3HK; RV9DC; S52 and HB9. Reports were mainly 57 with a few 59’s. The most difficult copy was S52CU (55/ 33.) EA7JUR (59/ 57) turned out to be ‘John from Paignton’ with a current location of ‘200km south of Alicante.’ Power was 50 Watts throughout and QRT was at 1550z.
Tall Trig Point:
MI6 has the biggest trig point I have ever seen. It must stand 5 or 6 metres with five steel runged steps up the side. After packing up the equipment, I met a couple from the Czech Republic there. He was standing on top so I snapped a photo. He did the same for me when I climbed it. I offered his wife the chance of a picture of them both together. She didn’t understand at first but when she did cotton on, it was a definite ‘No.’ I must say, the man’s photo of me shows me clinging to the concrete! There must be a purpose for such a tall trig pillar? Maybe a neighboring pillar can’t quite be seen without it or it’s a general landmark on a very flat mountain plateau when conditions are not as nice as they were today?
Descent of MI6:
I arrived back at the car at 17:16. The drive ‘home’ to Canico via Canhas, took from 17:18 to 18:11 arriving in good time for the evening meal at 18:30 (worth one brownie point, at least). Thus two summits were easily completed today.
Ascent/ Distance - PICO RUIVO de PAUL CT3/ MI-006:
Ascent: 110m (361ft) including re-ascent of approx 2x 10m.
Distance: 2 x 1.2km (max) = 2.4km (1.5 miles).
17m CW: 24
17m SSB: 25
10m FM: 1
10m CW: 7
10m SSB: 5
20m SSB: 19
6 SOTA points
We often try to make comparisons, and while talking to Phil G4OBK in CW during the activation, I compared this to Little Mell Fell. Only, I might add, with respect to the ascent time. Otherwise it’s a standard sub-tropical Madeiran mountaintop with lush vegetation. Maybe the easiest 6 pointer I’ve come across, it is a snip to climb. The six points can be seen as quite a steal due to a conveniently high and close start point. That all makes for an easy single day pairing with another summit, in this case MI8 in the morning.
QSB was rife this afternoon. The chasers were now well used to that however, as there hadn’t been a single activation in 8 days on the bands between 20m and 12m, where QSB wasn’t doing its mischief.
This activation gave me my first 2015 CT3 QSO on 10-FM and it was DX too. I’m never impressed by the use of the calling channel for extended working but on the other hand, 29.600 is not like 145.500. The notion to carry on the theme with CW and SSB on 10m seemed to be successful.
I was relieved that I’d been able to cram two summits between breakfast and evening meal. Considering that there were now just two possible activating days remaining, it made a vast difference in percentage terms, to the tally so far. Now I just had to decide what to do on what was to be my final activation day.
Thanks to all stations worked and to G4SSH; G0UUU; G6TUH; IK2ILH; G4OBK; DL3HXX; SP9AMH and GM4AXY for spotting either during this activation or on others in the fortnight. Also to Andy MM0FMF for the indirect use of his text spotting service on 12th April. Special thanks to Roy G4SSH for SMS text liaison for the duration of the activation and for posting advanced alerts.
Thanks to Phil G4OBK and DG5WU for route information.
73, John G4YSS
(Using CT9/ M1NNN/P)
G4YSS as CT9/M1NNN/P. Above: Paul de Serra radio mast. (Envy was the main emotion).
G4YSS as CT9/M1NNN/P. Above: MI6 final section.
G4YSS as CT9/M1NNN/P. Above: MI6’s massive trig point.
G4YSS as CT9/M1NNN/P. Above: MI6 QTH.
Above: The trusty Renault in a sizeable car park. The track to MI6 can be seen at the other side of the road.
Links to all CT9/M1NNN/P 2015 Reports:
CT3/MI-001 G4YSS as CT9/M1NNN: CT3/ MI-001 Pico Ruivo on 02-04-15
CT3/MI-002 G4YSS as CT9/M1NNN: CT3/ MI-002 Pico Grande on 08-04-15
CT3/MI-004 (LF) G4YSS as CT9/M1NNN: CT3/ MI-004 Pico Areiro on LF, 05/ 06-04-15
CT3/MI-004 (HF) G4YSS as CT9/M1NNN: CT3/ MI-004 Pico Areiro on HF 12-04-15
CT3/MI-005 G4YSS as CT9/M1NNN: CT3/ MI-005 Pico Casado on 04-04-15
CT3/MI-006 G4YSS as CT9/M1NNN: CT3/ MI-006 Pico RUIVO de PAUL on 10-04-15
CT3/MI-007 G4YSS (CT9/M1NNN): CT3/ MI-007 Picos da Achadinha, FAILED! 04-04-15
CT3/MI-008 G4YSS as CT9/M1NNN: CT3/ MI-008 Pico Chao dos Terreiros on 10-04-15
CT3/MI-009 G4YSS as CT9/M1NNN: CT3/ MI-009 Pico da Coroa on 12-04-15