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G/ce005 - g0azs

A quick follow up after yesterday on todays activation on G/CE-005 Wendover Woods. (Friday 4th April '08)

Things were better generally:
My cold is better. (just)
My keying was better… (after I got the Allen key out for adjustments before the second QSO with Les G3VQO!).
The WX was better… sunny and 16C.

I even worked two s2s… F/HB9AFI/P and OK2OP/P, OK2BDF/P (same summit).

I also had calls from even more countries including a special mention for SM6DPF, SM7NDX and SM1TDE, the first SM chasers in my activation log.

QSO Summary as follows:

40m
CW - 43

60m
CW - 4
SSB - 6

80m
CW - 5
SSB - 1

TOTAL 59 QSO’s from 15 DXCC entities

Thanks to all callers and to Frank G3RMD, Mike GW0DSP, Klaus DL1LKR, Les G3VQO, Jozsef HA6OY and Dan DH8DX for the spots on SOTAwatch and the DXCluster.

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0AZS:
Thanks for the point.
73
Eric

Having been away for nearly 3 weeks with no radio activity, I thought that an activation of “The Woods” might help blow the cobwebs off. In fact it was just as well because my CW was a bit rusty to put it mildly… and I just can’t get used to the Palm Paddle compared to the shack key.

Anyway, I headed for the clearing near the summit cairn and got the doublet up on the 10m pole fairly quickly. As I was getting the 706 and auto-tuner out of the rucksack I had a flashback and saw the interconnecting control cable lying on the desk at home… I had forgotten to pack it.

I checked the antenna to see if I could work on any bands without the tuner but no chance… I had to lay the pole down in the clearing, run back to the car and drive home to get the cable. Hence the extra 45 minutes or so beyond the time I would have started… linked dipole or manual tuner here I come!

When I did get up and running on 60m CW, I was pleased to “qualify” the summit on that band/mode. Thanks to the stations who called (GM0AXY, GW0DSP, G4OBK, and G3RMD). I then moved to 60m SSB and made just one QSO with Christine GM4YMM before moving to 40m CW.

A small pile up was worked with a satisfying mix of countries including a couple of Nordic callers (SM6CMU and LA1KHA later). Then it was difficult to find a clear slot for 40m SSB and when I did find one, it was just Ken GM0AXY who made it into the log before a QSY to 30m where I made just one QSO with DL9SXX.

I tried 20m CW and self spotted but made no QSO’s so I moved on to 80m CW where a couple of QSO’s were made with Mike GW0DSP and Roy G4SSH.

I took one last go at 40m CW before packing up… which is just as well as I managed a S2S with Rainer DL2RVL/P on DM/ND-029… Thanks!

I listened briefly on 80m SSB and answered a loud station calling CQ for just one 80m SSB QSO before packing up.

So an enjoyable morning and a good illustration to me that regular CW is better than long breaks!

QSO summary as follows:

30m – 1 CW
40m – 25 CW, 1 SSB
60m – 4 CW, 1 SSB
80m – 2 CW, 1 SSB

Total 35 QSO’s

Thanks to all callers and to Ken GM0AXY and Mike GW0DSP for the spots.

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0AZS:

Great to work you on 2 bands Marc.

Your cw was excellent, nice and easy armchair copy so you needn’t worry on that score.

73

Mike GW0DSP

I decided to undertake an evening activation of “The Woods” from the “Trig Point Field” as opposed to the “Clearing Near the Summit”… I wanted to see how the “low bands” would fare during the evening and also hoped to pick up a S2S with Tom M1EYP/P.

I parked in the lay by on Aston Hill instead of going up the forest road (they lock it at 2000z) to give more finish time flexibility.

I walked up the public path over the stile and fought my way through the long grass in the Trig Point field (“hay fever suffers need not apply”) and dumped the gear next to the Trig. I then paced around in the grass setting up the 10m Sotapole with 88ft doublet (trying not to lose anything)

By the time I was ready it was 1900 and I sat down next to the Trig, turned on the 706 and tuned to 3.557 just in time to hear Tom calling CQ. I went back and we exchanged 579 reports.

Great! …a S2S with “The Cloud” from “The Woods”.

I shifted down to 3.556 CW to get started myself and worked a nice run of stations (including some I don’t normally work on CW) from G, DL, and LA… Then a QSY to 3.659 SSB followed and more satisfying QSO’s with G and GW before announcing my move to 40m on 7.033 CW (I found QRM on 7.032).

I expected a cacophony but actually it was a steady small pile up from all around Europe including, G, I, GW, DL, GM, EI, UA, OH, ON and SM… Maybe I should have started on 40m earlier as I guess it was getting late in EU.

I was pleased to be able to complete with Klaus DF2GN as conditions took a turn for the worse with QSB and QRM just as the QSO went back to him for my report. Thanks for persevering Klaus and I’m glad to give you a point for a change.

Anyway, I had wanted to go to 40m SSB but it was starting to get dark and a little cold and I didn’t want to pack up in the dark. So my apologies to anyone who might have been waiting/hoping for more slots to follow.

Equipment:

Icom 706 MK II G - 25 watts
17Ah SLAB
LDG AT-7000 autotuner
10m Sotapole
88ft double Norcal doublet

QSO summary as follows:

80m
CW – 16, SSB – 9

40m
CW – 15

Total - 40 QSO’s in 75 minutes operation

Thanks to all for calling and especially to Frank G3RMD, Geoff G4ELZ and Peter ON3WAB for the spots.

73 Marc G0AZS

PS. My PFR-3 kit arrived today… soldering iron warming up…this will be a great SOTA rig!

Great to get the CW S2S with you Marc. In fact, CE-005 was a new chaser unique for me. And what a nice way to get it, with an HF CW S2S.

I remained firmly stuck on one DXCC on my Cloud activation, so you did well on 80m. I will probably do 40m on July 15th (the next non-2/6/70 Tuesday evening). Tomorrow morning will be 80m as promised.

“hay fever sufferers need not apply”

You no doubt remember the abject misery suffered by Jimmy and myself on that very spot last year! - http://tomread.co.uk/haddingt.htm

Perhaps work you in the morning? ISTR you do try to work me on my 80m CW dawn expeditions. Which reminds me, I (therefore) really ought to be going to bed…

Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:
Hi Tom

Thanks for the excellent S2S QSO too… I cant believe it was also a unique for you!

Yes… sorry, I admit my grass comment was made with you and Jimmy in mind… it was probably even longer than last year. :slight_smile: The 706 is now back in the shack so maybe see you in the morning.

Tnx agn es 73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0AZS:

PS. My PFR-3 kit arrived today… soldering iron warming up…this
will be a great SOTA rig!

Marc, I’m curious about your firsthand report. 73, Mario

Glad to work you Marc, you were a stonking 59+20 !! when I worked you.

Peter

A quick activation of “The Woods” this morning… just to blow the cobwebs off… and they needed it!

I used 40m CW, 30m CW and 60m SSB and CW with a satisfying run of QSO’s.

A big disappointment was a failure to complete when called by S58R/P. He was 559 on the call but after sending him a report and my SOTA ref. his reply was covered by another station replying and trying to exchange. When I finally went back and asked for “S58R/P ONLY”, his signal had faded to nothing and I was getting some very heavy static crashes and although I think I caught some of the SOTA reference, I just couldn’t get the report so it won’t be in the log… VY SRI OM :frowning:

I managed to finish on 60m CW, just as some spots of rain started, with a single QSO with GM0AXY. Thanks Ken for helping continue my mission to keep making 60m CW QSO’s from summits.

So 31 QSO’s in 1 hour from 12 DXCC entities as follows:

30m – 12 CW
40m – 15 CW
60m – 3 SSB, 1 CW

Thanks to all callers and to Jeff G4ELZ, Steve GW7AAV and Graham G3OHC for the spots.

73 Marc G0AZS

This afternoon’s activation was the first outing for my newly built PFR-3. Please see the separate thread for a full report about building the PFR-3 and first experiences on the air here:

http://www.sotawatch.org/reflector.php?topic=1989#16363

Interestingly, I had been trying out the tuner in the PFR-3 at home this morning and when listening around I heard and worked Norby F/LX1NO/P who was the first ever QSO with the new rig!

Amazingly, the second ever QSO was another with Norby F/LX1NO/P, summit to summit from G/CE-005. So it was well and truly christened with SOTA, chasing, S2S, and activating!

Anyway back to the activation… I planned to operate from the trig point field to try out both the new rig and a method of attaching the SOTA pole to the trig with bungees and a couple of climbing slings (in readiness for the posts on the summit of SM/SE-001 later this week). However when I walked up the road and along the footpath to the stile I could see that the grass in the field had been cut and rolled in to bags of silage… and there was a tractor with a large fork on the front driving around picking them up. I didn’t fancy being skewered so I decided to go to the real summit in the Woods.

Unfortunately it was very busy but I managed to set up the 10m pole and 2 x 13.5m doublet in a different clearing to usual. I tuned up and slipped down to 7.032 to hear Norby calling. I worked him and was thankful to bag a first S2S with the PFR-3!

I then moved down to 7.031 and started calling. I had deliberately not alerted or self spotted, as I wanted to see how I would get on with the 4+ watts from the internal AA batteries. I was not disappointed and although my received reports were lower than I’m used to with the 706, I managed to work 12 stations before I QSY’ed to 10.118.

Once again I called without a spot and worked a nice run of 10 stations. DJ5AV and DL4FDM must have particularly good ears as the first 2 QSO’s on 30m were made with the built in SWR bridge in the “tune” position… so I was radiating less than 1 watt!

I had to stop and the activation was slightly shorter than anticipated when some folks arrived having booked the clearing for a football and a barbecue. They were not surprisingly rather curious about the pole etc. so I explained what I had been doing and then packed up the gear and left them to it.

So a successful first outing for the PFR-3 and I can see that it will serve me well. I did get one report that was 338. I don’t know if it was incorrectly sent but did anyone notice if the tone was a bit off? Chirping perhaps?

QSO Summary (all CW of course)

40m – 12 QSO’s including a S2S
30m – 10 QSO’s

Thanks to all for listening so well and to Norby F/LX1NO/P for the S2S. Also thanks to DL3JPN and DJ5AV for the spots.

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0AZS:

My pleasure. Did not copy the first time due to some QRM. Audio and Sig were ok. Congrats.

73 Norby

I should have been travelling back from JA today but I got an earlier flight yesterday and managed to “win” some time to myself. Unfortunately I still won’t be able to go to the HFC at the weekend so I decided to blow off the cobwebs and spend a couple of hours doing an activation up on Wendover Woods this morning as the weather looked so good.

Funnily enough, when I went to the website to post an alert, I saw Keith G8HXE’s spot saying he was already up on Wendover Woods and struggling on 2m FM. I called him straight away and learned he had been calling for 25 minutes with no other QSO’s. I suggested some better locations for 2m take off and then continued to get myself ready for my own activation.

As I was driving up to the “true summit” area I passed a chap sitting at the scenic viewpoint (one of my suggestions) holding what looked like an RSS. I guessed it was Keith and stopped to have a chat (and hold his antenna whilst he worked Frank G3RMD). So, thankful that Keith had qualified the summit, I carried on and set up my own station near the summit cairn in the usual clearing with the sun “blazing down” with just a cheeky breeze every now and then.

I started off on 5 MHz CW but unusually only had a couple of callers, G4OBK and G0NES. I was worried that maybe conditions were not so good but when I moved to FE and SSB, I had plenty of stations to work with good strong signals all round.

After that I moved off and tried to work S2S with DF9TS/P on 40m but couldn’t break the pile so I started myself on 7.0315. A good run followed on CW along with a handful more callers when I moved to 40m SSB on 7.089. Interestingly, one was a mobile station in PA land just using 5W from his 817 to whip on the car… and doing quite well until the QSB kicked in.

Next was a move to 30m with a S2S with DL7VKD/P on 10.118 and another short run myself on 10.119 before QSY’ing to 20m and 14.058 where I made another couple of QSO’s on CW to Russia (QRP station) and Hungary.

I then moved back to FE on 5Mhz to announce a QSY to 80m (just in case anyone was monitoring) and worked G3RMD, my shadow today :slight_smile: and G4ZRP (who was only using 1w).

On 80m CW, I was especially pleased to work Peter ON3WAB who had apparently been hearing me strongly at 59+10 on 5 MHz but of course was unable to call on that band. A few more callers followed on CW and then just a couple on 80m SSB including Frank G3RMD (for his 4th band/mode slot).

I closed down at about 1300 GMT after making 54 QSO’s with 17 DXCC entities which break down as follows:
(It was particularly nice to have worked CW chasers on all 5 bands)

80m – 5 CW, 2 SSB
60m – 2 CW, 13 SSB
40m – 18 CW, 4 SSB
30m – 8 CW
20m – 2 CW

QRO Equipment today:
Icom 706 II G – about 25-30W
88ft “Norcal” doublet
10m Sotapole

Thanks to all callers and to G3RMD, ON3WAB, DL2DXA and M3RHJ for the spots.

73 Marc G0AZS

Oh dear, what a disaster.

Last night I was off to do some errands and decided to take along the PFR-3 and a couple of 10m lengths of wire along with the Sotapole. On the way I pulled up near one of the closed gates into Wendover Woods (inside the AZ). I strapped the pole to a gatepost and set up the wire as a 10m vertical (vaguely) with a 10m counterpoise. It tuned up fine so off I went on 7.032.

I called and called… and called… and called some more.

Then I self spotted… and called… and got colder… and called.

Having had no reply, I decided to pack up and carry on with the errands. I can only assume that one or a number of factors contributed to this sad affair: :frowning:

Lack of listeners (of course I had not posted an alert as it was last minute)
Poor efficiency from the antenna amongst the trees (I have never used this 1/4 wave with counterpoise before)
Low power output (but it should have been 4-5w??)
Bad luck

Never mind. At least I learned how to set up the PFR-3 in the dark.

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0AZS:

That has happened also to me few times now. The K-index was and is a little high meaning less favorable conditions for QRP operation. In case that I do not find any chasers from the announced frequencies, I usually start to look others calling CQ or try tail ending some QSOs. If that fails then it was bad luck.

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL

In reply to F5VGL:
Hi Jaakko

After modelling the sloping 1/4 wave long wire and counterpoise I used compared to my normal doublet, it would have been at least 6 dB worse in the direction of Europe… not a good start with QRP :slight_smile:

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0AZS:

Hi Marc,

After modelling the sloping 1/4 wave long wire and counterpoise I used
compared to my normal doublet, it would have been at least 6 dB worse
in the direction of Europe… not a good start with QRP :slight_smile:

The *NEC models have the property that if you have one wire of your antenna system close to the ground, the overall gain will drop by several dBs. You can observe this by removing the counterpoise wire and by driving the sloper against ground. Thus the models will always favor dipole or any other antenna far away from the ground. For me a low dipole is a NVIS antenna, so it is in some sense different propagation mode antenna compared to the DX antennas.

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL