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Broken antenna in a muddy Mt. Askoz EA2/NV-184

Motivation
On saturday we had a lot of rain and I didn’t go to the mountain, but on sunday the weather had improved and I went to activate a new summit for me, that had only been activated once back in 2018.

Activation date: Novembre 08 2020

Climb
The route is a short one and starts next the village of Indurain.

You can park in the road NA-2400 on the kilometer 13, where a dirt road exits left.

  • Track length: 1,8 km (one way)
  • Height gain 190 m
  • Elevation: 720 m

The path started flat and easy and follow a steep section mid way, but once aproaching the summit you have to continue passing by a field.

That part was very hard to progress as the farmers have started to plow the fields. It was all wet and so soft that my boots started to get weight and suddenly I discovered they were like muddy flip-flops!

I was only happy that I had put my gaiters in advance to protect a bit my trousers.
The very last part was ugly; there was no alternative to exit the field as there were plenty of thick bushes around, no way to exit but you could only get on…

In the end I arrived in the higher part of the field. The summit is not indicated by any mountain mailbox.

I stopped in the edge, where I could extend my aerial. I spent some minutes trying to clean my boots from the nasty mud all around; not that easy. I was a bit angry!

Activation

I installed the EFHW and connected all cables to my rig LNR LD-5.

I switched it on and discovered I had hi SWR of 10:1, so bad!
I shouted some obscenity and once relaxed again I checked the connection and changed bands but all the same. Then I checked the wire and found my wire broken next the appex of the pole; a trap was hanging with the wire cut:

I looked for insulating tape in my rucksack but found none. I couldn’t fix the wire in the trap, so instead, I decided to remove the trap and join the wires. The failure was in the 18 MHz trap so I could run the rest of the bands after the repair.

My swiss knife did the job and my SWR was afterwards back to a safe although not ideal value of 2,3:1. Electrical length of the antenna was influenced by the missing trap, I guess.

I ran on 10 and 14 MHz, CW and SSB, and monitored also for some S2S.

I closed my log with 47 qso, including these S2S: EA5M, a pleasure to work Dani as I use to chase him frequently at home, SO9TA/P Sergiy, YU1CA/P Alex, EA2IF/P Guru, running his 87th activation of Mt. Ezkaba, IN3ADF/P Markus, SQ9BQW/P Wojcziech, SP9PND Milosz and OE6FEG/P Matt running on a big pile up.

I disassembled and packed carefully, extracted my chair from the mud pulling hard and decided I wouln’t need to come back to this summit in the future. You know, there are some you would hate to get back again.

Historical & art tip of the day
To have some relief and brighten up my day, on my way back to my QTH I stopped by the village of Artaiz, where there is an interesting old church (XII century).

The charm of this jewel of the monumental heritage of Navarre lies in its rich sculpture , in which the work of different stoneworker can be seen. The decoration of the pediment and the capitals of the front is more complex and shows plant, animal and human motifs.

By looking at these elaborated figures showing animals and human figures playing some musical instruments and aspects of the rural living scenes from the mediaeval epoch, I couldn’t resist to think about how the future humans will look at our current pictures or videos showing us hams while playing the radio or the paddle, hi…

Overall, this church is a fascinating and surprising place that lovers of Romanesque art should not miss.

Thanks all chasers for the qso and see you soon. Time to do a proper antenna repair at home.

73 de Ignacio

19 Likes

always ready rescue tool

73 Armin

2 Likes

Many thanks for the QSO Ignacio!
73!

Victorinox Classic always on keyring! Well done!

Nice to see this great sota adventure, Hi Hi.

Hello Ignacio.
Thanks for your activity report. That’s that’s SOTA life.
Best 73.
André f5ukl