Today, I did a quick activation of the newly added 8-pointer DM/BW-854 “Höchsten”, (838 M / 2749 ft), which is very easy to access. As of today, it only has two activations, which is natural considering that it has only been added to the list of SOTA summits by December 1, 2017. I bet it will become even more popular than Gehrenberg, DM/BW-348.
Directions and Approach:
There is a road getting directly to the nearby restaurant “Berggasthof Höchsten”". Best is to use Google Maps to get there, click here for a direct link.
From the parking lot, there are two routes to the actual summit, both are quick and easy and meet the 200m rule of summit access on foot of the SOTA program.
The actual activation zone is pretty large, because the summit is flat. There is a wooden watchtower on the top that might be used for activations in bad weather. I did not use that, because it was Sunday and I did not want to interfere with the many touristic visitors. Instead, I set up my antenna slightly below that tower in the direction to the large transmission station. But there is plenty of space for setting up your gear.
Rig: Mountain Topper MTR-5B in my GoBox enclosure
Antenna: Hybrid EFHW with Traps for 40-30-20m and two links for 17m and 15m, based on a modified @HB9BCB design and inverted-L deployment as inspired by @WA6MM 's QRZ page (scroll to the bottom of the page).
Mast: Decathlon 6m carbon-fiber pole, 340g.
This was a quick and successful activation. I went QRV on 40m at 11:48Z and immediately logged DL3HXX, DL2YBG, OK1ZE and OM1AX on 40m within 4 minutes. Since I had more time this time, I tried all available bands.
After 12 QSOs on 40 m with DL, OK, HB9, EA, and PA I changed to 30m by 12:07Z. Propagation on 30m seems to have been so good that I hardly found a free frequency, and changed three times because I had the impression the calling stations were trying to work someone else. Eventually, I gave up 30m at 12:10Z and changed to 20m. RW3XZ, @DL8DXL, and @G3RDQ went into my log. Geographically, quite a strange mix for 20m. I was a bit disappointed for a lack of further contacts on 20m. The QSO with G3RDQ was very rewarding for me, for we made it despite 229/529 reports.
At 12:22Z I changed to 17m and worked @GI4ONL and R7GD. Eventually, I also tried 15m, but despite spots, did not find any chasers.
At 12:40Z I closed the station.
All in all, a nice, rewarding activation on a sunny Sunday with a scenic view!
I wonder if I had made more distant contacts had I not operated in the shadow the watchtower, but leave it up to other activators to do better.
Mni tnx fer chasing!
73 de Martin, DK3IT
Station and Antenna: