Me, my dad Tom M1EYP and the rest for my family will be doing a trip around Benelux from Monday 24th June to Thursday 4th July. If you don’t know what Benelux means, it means the countries of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.
We will be getting the overnight ferry from Hull to Rotterdam in The Netherlands on Monday 24th June and will be staying in Amstelveen, near Amsterdam in The Netherlands from Tuesday 25th June to Friday 29th June and will then be staying in Liege in Belgium from Friday 29th June to Thursday 4th July and then getting the overnight ferry back home from Rotterdam to Hull on Thursday 4th July.
While on this trip we are planning to activate all the SOTA summits in PA and LX and some of the SOTA summits in ON . Activations are also possible in F and DL, but are unlikely. As this is a family trip SOTA activations will be restricted to early mornings and 1 or 2 whole days SOTA activating.
I have the licensing regulations for all countries mentioned above, but need to get round to reading through them at some-point, if anyone knows any key differences to the licensing regulations for the above countries to the UK (such as do you have to keep a log of everything including CQ calls like to would do in EI etc), please let me know.
I am planning to do the SOTA activations on HF SSB and 2m FM and my dad will activate on HF CW and possibly HF FT8. I am just wondering what may best chances are of making on contacts on 2m FM. In the UK, we have a calling channel of 145.500 which is used for making CQ calls and then you would QSY to another simplex frequency to complete the QSO. Is it exactly the same for the above countries or would be best best to remain on 145.500 to complete the QSO or it is a case of no calling channel to exist and having to call CQ to any random 2m FM simplex frequency to get a QSO. Any local knowledge on this would be much appreciated.
for your info, here are all the parking positions for the Belgian summits + average walking time.
As you can see, very little walking is needed
There is a link to my blog on each summits’ page, for more info and pictures.
73 Luc - ON7DQ
Seriously, my positions are for driving close to where I park … off the main road of course !
Some GPS may not want to guide you on gravel roads, one solution is to put the GPS in “bicycle” mode for the last part.
while I was at it, I made a table for PA and LX too.
parking pos GPS
Avg walking time
Observant (Sint Pietersberg)
Only don’t remember exactly how long I walked for LX-001 and LX-003, so those are just guesses, hi.
Also haven’t anything on my blog for those two , or for PA-006. I will add those someday …
For PA-003, please read my blog, the access road is a bit complicated.
2m/HT : ok for communicating with your family (if they are hams of course), or other activators nearby, so with some luck you might catch a S2S.
But for general SOTA activation … nah, not worth the effort.
I only checked the three most activated ON summits : less than 1% of the qso’s were on 2m.
We have only about 3000 hams in Belgium, of which only 1/3 live in the French speaking part, where most of the summits are. And many of those are not really very “active” hams, and as a rough guess : only 5 of them are SOTA activators, all the other activators are from the Flemish speaking part of Belgium.
Moreover, when you call CQ in English, most people will be reluctant to reply …
But if you still want to try, 145.500 will indeed be the best place to start calling.
And you will certainly have to self-spot for any success.
And you thought that the Br?x*t was a complicated matter ? ;-).
Welcome to Belgium !
PS : from my QTH in Ostend, I can hardly work any of the ON summits, the skip is too short for 60m or higher. Only on 80m I can work them.
But the good news is : I will be in EA7 from May 19 - June 8, and on the road to Friedrichshafen from June 18 - June 26, so I may have a better chance of working you guys from there, and it will be S2S as well !
And for Jimmy and Tom : we might bump into each other on a ON or LX summit, since I will be on the return home from FH when you are in that area … we’ll see.