This is a question basically for my German and Austrian colleagues, but should also be of interest to others in Central Europe and elsewhere.
Having had some experience of no, or very few, contacts on VHF/UHF during weekdays from DL summits, it’s apparent to me that weekends would be the best time for making SOTA contacts and activations. The question is: whether Saturdays or Sundays would generally be considered the best day for such contacts?
This weekend is Bayerisches Bergtag - Saturday is 1296 and up, so most likely not of interest. Sunday 0700-0930 UTC is 70cm. and 0930-1200 is 2metres.
This Sunday between 11:30am and 2pm local time, on 2m would seem to be a good choice. (remember to note down the maidenhead locator from the SOTA summit information page).
By the way the weather is supposed to get better both days as well!
Hi Rob and Ed,
I’ll be there !
Well not “there” (in Bayern) but somewhere more North … on LX/LX-003, close enough to DL to hear at least a couple of stations, not sure if I will make it into the South, using 20W and my 4-element logperiodic.
I’ll try to find a clear spot around 144.325 +/- qrm, would be happy to work you both ! (and many more of course)
Hi Ed and Luc,
Thanks for the replies! - what I’m actually interested to know is:
“Which of the two weekend days in ANY weekend is generally better for a VHF/UHF SOTA activation in this area, since such things as family obligations can have a great influence on whether hams are in general more available for contacts on Saturdays or on Sundays”.
Sorry for any confusion there.
Saturday afternoon and Sunday mornïng.
Hi Rob, no confusion - I just wanted to point out that this weekend will have a lot of 2m activity on, on Sunday.
Generally I think there’s more happening on 2m on Sundays rather than Saturdays, due to shopping and other commitments on a Saturday.
That’s good to know, thank you!
OK, Ed, I don’t think I’m up to going up a hill this Saturday anyway… early Sunday sounds good.
depending on your qth you may want to work the stations participating in the sächsischer bergwettbewerb sbw. 145,425 430,150 mhz.
They have a quite unusual operating style, as there are sometimes several activations operating on one frequency. in the qsos they keep all details to a minimum to block the qrg only for the shortest period of time. therefore, most activations are done within a few minutes. so you have to be fast. the challenging might be to adopt the operating style.
Well, I went up a mountain yesterday, got to the top about midday, could not spot myself because mobile phone coverage was too bad, started calling on 145.500, and then later on 433.500, using a handheld Arrow II yagi and VX-7R: a combination I’ve used before successfully. Tuning around on the FM portions of the bands, I heard nothing, apart from two briefly having a conversation at 145.580. I called repeatedly for nearly two hours, often turning the yagi, often tuning around to listen for any signals before I gave up, packed up and started the descent.
I’ve never before heard these bands so dead, I’m guessing quite a few operators were instead taking part in the “sächsischer bergwettbewerb” contest/event in the SSB portions of the band - or maybe watching the Olympics on the TV?. I was particularly disappointed with getting no contacts in the log, since I was attempting a first-ever activation of the summit I was on, it wasn’t a particularly easy ascent, and there was very little space on the very pointy summit. Oh well, better luck next time!
I also went out yesterday and was on a different SOTA summit to the one that I originally planned as the traffic was horrible - absolute chaos in a town (Diessen) that is a bottleneck on the route in any case. They were having their annual flea market and there were cars parked everywhere!
In any case I got to Berndofer Buchet DL/AM-180 by 0945 UTC and made 7 x 2m SSB contacts in the next hour. The contacts were in Germany and Austria but I aso heard very strong stations from OK and Italy but was unble to get to them with my 5w and Moxon antenna on a hand-held mast, I listened for Luc in LX when he spotted but could not hear him. All contacts were contest rather than SOTA contacts except that one with Martin DF3MC/P could be called a SOTA contact as I gave out the SOTA reference. I gave out my SOTA and maidenhead references in all my CQ calls but got zero responses. I think more power and a propper mast would have helped. I also called and searched on the FM portion of the band but got no takers there either.
Without the contest being on, I suspect I would have had difficulty getting any contacts.