I operated from this “drive on” summit last week and had technical problems with my Yaesu FT-857 - Nick G4OOE, sat in a different place and on a different band on switch on had no such problem with his identical transceiver. We parked in the designated car park on the summit used by dog walkers and hikers.
We operated about 100m away from each other away from an adjacent power line. I set up in the corner of the car park with one side of my link dipole fairly close to a metal fence, which I believe may have conducted strong emissions from the military radar station on the summit into my radio.
I am 99% certain that the emissions from the station caused my transceiver to malfunction. On switch on with the radio set to the 18 MHz band, I could only operate the on-off switch. I could not change band, mode or transmit using the PTT on the microphone or the morse key. I effected a full factory reset of the radio on the summit, to no avail, as the radio was still locked up and only the on-off or reset procedure was allowed.
As a result I operated on 7 MHz sharing the G4OOE FT-857 without problem. When we moved summits my FT-857 “fixed itself” and I then hurriedly reprogrammed the necessary settings to continue the SOTA operations.
This is the first time I have had an HF transceiver affected by emissions from such a source - worth knowing if the same happens to you on BW-052.
The summit has now been activated 20 times and I wondered if anyone else had experienced the same situation?
In reply to G4OBK:
No malfunctions noticed on our joint activation on 23.05.2014 +/-09:00z.
Some kind of hiss/demodulation artifacts heard when operating the KX3 on 7, 14, 21 and 24 MHz; not unusual for such locations. No problems observed also by Kurt HB9AFI when operating the PFR-3 on 10 MHz.
Maybe the (overrated) summits in DM/BW are reluctant at doing QRO, hi.
73, Heinz HB9BCB
In reply to HB9BCB:
Yes - it must have been the power - except I did not get the opportunity to run any as I could not transmit on that summit due to control of the rig being blocked. We used 30 watts on most summits and we were told we were the strongest SOTA stations heard in the UK last week - I think tripling the power from 10 watts makes a considerable difference and it makes controlling the small pile up much easier as the anxious chasers can (hopefully) hear better when the activator is transmitting. We didn’t have to carry the heavier FT-857 radio’s very far so the emergency FT-817s remained in our suitcases.
The BW area is overated maybe as you can drive so near to the top of 1000m high summits, but it sure is an extremely easy to accrue points and uniques!
In reply to G4OBK:
Phil, no isses on my side as well. I was QRV on 30m only and was using a doublet into a KX3. I didn’t like the over head powerline at the car parc and moved up to the fence at the perimeter.
if it was the radar you should hear the QRM once per second (or whatever the turning rate was). Or I was simply lucky and the site wasn’t QRV on Monday 20 May 2013.
73 de Dominik, HB9CZF
never activated DM/BW-052 at the carpark. moved everytime a bit to the east to direction of a spot named “sickersberg” in the map. also within the activation zone and with a nice view to the alps by nice wx. activated this summit before with a kx3, homemade qrp rigs es also a ts-480sat with lifepoÂ´s. antennas used are verticals, doublets and longwires…never had problems with the radar on the summit. maybe it donÂ´t work in the times i activated this summit…
by the way. after a few injection`s of cortison and other medicals my back feels much better. but i canÂ´t carry a heavy rucksack with me or sit too long without moving. but the doctor says itÂ´s ok to walk and move and should do that ! so i made today a try and activated DM/bw-519 with my old qrp rig and a simple wire antenna on 40 and 30m. wow, like the beginning of my sota activations. had a lot fun with this very simple qrp cw only rig and a very simple 13m long wire.and all is so lightweight ! donÂ´t use rbn network on this activations, but its very interesting and wondering how fast you are spotted by chasers. after the first CQ ! Les, G3VQO came back and spotted me, the same on 40m with DL1FU…had so much fun with this lightweight simple qrp operating. but the negative side is that i donÂ´t have ssb on board. but i called QRS 8-10wpm at last CQÂ´s, but get no callers as usually maybe there is no interest by chasers to make a cw qso in QRS…hey ! newcomers in cw are welcome !!!
vy 73 Klaus DF2GN/p
In reply to G4OBK: I was also on this summit in this year, worked on 40/30 & 20m without problems. My location was in the north part of the enclosed station, about 25m away the fence and on snow. I worked with my KX3 and with my modified upper&outer-antenna. Sorry for your trouble there and i wish you better conditions next time.
In reply to G4OBK:
As the others are saying they did not experience RF created system lockups, is it possible your DC supply was either noisy or around / below 11v. I know the FT857 & 897 don’t like operating at lower voltages. Just a thought.
The battery could have recovered a little by the next summit (especially if the temperature increased) or a partially bad supply wire connection could have resolved itself by the movement of packing and unpacking.
73 Ed DD5LP
In reply to DD5LP:
No Ed, it wasn’t that. My three batteries were all fully charged every night. I’m convinced it was emissions from the radar station that locked up my radio.
Thanks to everyone else who responded, if I ever went back I would set up in a different place on the summit.