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Benelux Trip

Monday 1st July 2019

Baraque Fraiture ON/ON-010
Steekammchen LX/LX-001
Kiirchbësch LX/LX-003
Gregenwald LX/LX-002
Widderbierg LX/LX-004

It became increasingly apparent that the way to get to do some SOTA in LX was for Jimmy and I to secure a pass-out for the full day - and do all of them! This was agreed and we got up at 5am to make the most of the day.

As the route to Luxembourg would take us right past an almost drive-on 8-pointer ON summit, we couldn’t ignore that. Jimmy had no joy with 2m FM, and didn’t for the rest of the day. Every summit was qualified by Jimmy on 40m SSB, and by me on 40m CW.

Luxembourg was an interesting little country. It reminded me very much of Cheshire’s own Delamere Forest - but on a much bigger scale! And with half-price fuel. Timed to perfection, I was running on fumes as I entered LX, so filled up the cheapest tank of diesel I’ve had in years. Grateful thanks to Steve @G1INK for the heads-up.

We had great support from the chasers today, with many working one or both of us on multiple summits. Fabio @IK2LEY got us on all five - excellent work!

Now relaxing with the family, enjoying great food and beer in Le Legia bar & restaurant, Liege. I’ve become a fan of Liegeois meatballs, Belgian chips, and Juliper beer!

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Tuesday 2nd July 2019 - Terril Ste-Barde et Tonne ON/ON-029

I had to get up early in order to shift my car from a city centre car park before charging started for the day. Knowing that the rest of the clan would be having a lie-in, I grasped the opportunity to do a Cloud-style pointless repeat activation of an easy local summit!

This summit is only 5 minutes drive then 10 minutes walk from the accommodation so this might not even be the last visit during this holiday!

I just about squeezed the 30m GP into the small summit area. The band was pretty dead but I managed six QSOs on FT8 and double figures on CW (and counting - I write this report from the summit with the activation still in progress!)

In the end I finished with 35 QSOs on 30m CW to add to the six on FT8. It was a nice surprise to be called and worker by SOTA’s President and Founder John G3WGV.

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Hi Tom,
I listened several times on 10.117 … no copy here in Ostend , too close.
And I have nothing set up for FT8 at the moment.
You know you don’t have to sit on that lump of coal dust :wink:
The summit is not that small, all grassy areas around are also in the AZ, I usually sit a bit further North from those coal bubbles … I got visited by a fox one time I was there early morning (see my blog).
Have fun !
Luc ON7DQ

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Hi Luc, Will 2m FM work for you?

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Alas no, just saw your spot for 145.500, but nothing heard here …
I gave a shout with 100W, don’t know if u heard anything ?
Luc

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Bit delayed, just starting on 2 now.

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Hi Tom,
Thanks for the contact from ON/ON-028, you made my day !
That was the last summit I needed to have all ON summits complete , yiehaa !
You were just barely audible.

I’m curious to see your report on this one and what you think of our little “molehill”.
This is the only summit in the Flemish part of Belgium, and it is a man-made one too, hi.
73
Luc - ON7DQ

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Wednesday 3rd July 2019

Le Mont d’Henri-Chapelle ON/ON-026
Noordelijke terril Waterschei ON/ON-028
Signal de Botrange ON/ON-001

Jimmy and I agreed another 0500 local (0300z) get-up in order to bag another couple of ON activations.

The first summit was no more than a road beside a tower close to a village. We parked on s side road and walked down to a picnic table where we set up to activate.

I made just six QSOs on 40m CW before Jimmy took over and qualified on 40m SSB.

We then drove over to Genk, and actually parked in the car park of the Genk FC stadium. I was to later.learn that Genk are the newly crowned Belgian champions.

It was a flattish path until the now naturalised coal tip. Then it was very steep, and potentially slippery on the coal dust. The summit area was very small but I was able to throw the ends of the dipole legs over a couple of trees.

It was 17 QSOs for me on 40m CW. Jimmy ON/M0HGY/P took over and worked through a large pile-up on SSB.

We chatted with some local walkers - and Genk FC supporters - who arrived on summit just before we left. Working our way back down the steep coal tip was slow and necessarily careful work!

We drove back to Liege to pick up Maz and Liam for the day out.

The restaurant at the highest point in Belgium was the motivating factor for Marianne to sanction a family activating outing. A minor inconvenience was arriving there only to find it was currently in the period of a temporary closure.

We drove back down the hill to Baraque Michel, formerly ON/ON-002. How this ever had its own reference I’ll never know! It was downslope from ON/ON-001! At least here was a restaurant we had noted as being open as we drove past it earlier.

We had a nice meal and couple of beers in here. Obviously I knew about the French speaking community in Belgium, and of course the Flemish/Dutch speaking community. However the predominant language in use in the restaurant by both staff and guests was German. My chef’s special spare ribs and chips was excellent.

After driving back up to Signal de Botrange, Jimmy and I set up our antennas on a grassy area behind the restaurant. I worked 18 on 40m CW. Jimmy worked into PA on 2m FM before using 40m SSB to qualify.

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Thursday 4th July 2019 - Terril Ste-Barde et Tonne ON/ON-029

Last day of holiday. Got up at 5am local in order to bag one last ON activation, albeit a “pointless” repeat.

Set up 20m GP which is a better sized antenna for the small summit, but it was rather too early for the band when I started at 0400z!

Still calling now @ 0444z - 14.013MHz CW.

…finished with 25 QSOs on 20m CW. 9H and 7X were nice catches, albeit unspectacular. I know I was early, but even so, the band seemed quite late in opening.

Final contact was a 2m FM handheld-to-handheld with a Jimmy ON/M0HGY who was down at the apartment in Liege.

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Some wrap-up stats from our Benelux trip as we sail back on the Pride of Hull:

Total QSOs: 306

M1EYP: 216
M0HGY: 90

PA: 46
LX: 91
ON: 169

New activator uniques: 11 each

Activations: M1EYP 13, M0HGY 11

40m CW: 128
40m SSB: 92
30m CW: 50
30m FT8: 6
20m CW: 25
2m FM: 5

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Looks like you guys had a nice trip. Thanks for all the pictures!
Part of me regrets not getting the other Dutch summit, but I supposed that gives me an excuse to head back sometime. :smiley:

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Benelux trip activations added to http://tomread.co.uk

Observant (Sint Pietersberg) PA/PA-003 - http://tomread.co.uk/observant.htm
Signaal Imbosch PA/PA-006 - http://tomread.co.uk/signaal_imbosch_pa-006.htm
Steekammchen LX/LX-001 - http://tomread.co.uk/steekammchen_lx-001.htm
Grengenwald LX/LX-002 - http://tomread.co.uk/new_page_38.htm
Kiirchbësch LX/LX-003 - http://tomread.co.uk/kiir.htm
Widderbierg LX/LX-004 - http://tomread.co.uk/widderbierg_lx-004.htm
Signal de Botrange ON/ON-001 - http://tomread.co.uk/signal_de_botrange_on-001.htm
Baraque Fraiture ON/ON-010 - http://tomread.co.uk/baraque_fraiture_on-010.htm
Le Mont d’Henri-Chapelle ON/ON-026 - http://tomread.co.uk/new_page_35.htm
Noordelijke terril Waterschei ON/ON-028 - http://tomread.co.uk/new_page_36.htm
Terril Ste-Barde et Tonne ON/ON-029 - http://tomread.co.uk/new_page_37.htm

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