G4YSS: PA/PA-006 Signaal Imbosch with PA0HRM on 19-09-19
Joint Activation of SIGNAAL IMBOSCH PA/PA-006 - 1 point
PA0HRM/P Hans & G4YSS using PA/M1NNN/P (not the usual GX0OOO/P)
Bands: 40m & 20m CW
All times: CET (UTC plus 2hr, UOS as ‘z’)
KX1 CW QRP rig with built in ATU coax fed to end-fed horizontal wire via 9:1 balun
Small SLAB Battery
FT817ND HF/VHF/UHF 5W Transceiver
MX-P50M, 50 Watt HF Linear Amplifier
Link dipole for 80m thru’ 20m on a 5m CFC mast with 1m end-sticks
Home-brew tunable loading coils for 160m (not used)
5 Ah Li-Po battery
J-Pole for 2m FM (not used)
Garmin GEKO-301 GPS
IC-E90, 4-band, 5W VHF H/H (not used)
QRO pack (G4YSS): Approx 9kg (20 pounds)
PA6 was an opportunity not to be missed. We were in Arnhem or to be more specific, at the Bilderberg Hotel in Oosterbeek for the 75th anniversary of operation Market Garden. Wife Denise’s father landed just west of there in a Horsa glider on the 17th of September 1944 and was eventually evacuated across the Rhine on the night of the 25th. ‘A Bridge too Far’ as it is called.
Hans PA0HRM, SOTA manager for PA, is also a volunteer at the new Arnhem Bridge Museum. Hans was naturally interested in Leonard’s story and so we have been corresponding for a year. He kindly offered to introduce me to his local SOTA, as PA6 is just 5km from his home. A second Hans PB2T also had a hand in recommending a route for PA6.
Since I cannot use the SSEG clubcall abroad, I would have to use one of my own, in this case M1NNN.
EXECUTION and ROUTE:
After arranging it the night before and later alerting, Hans picked me up from the Bilderbeck at 14:30 and after his chat with Denise, we departed for the parking place in the national park just north of Rheden. The drive up on a minor road, snaking in places, goes through a very large forest.
At N52.03694 E5.99090 there is an area on the left where several cars may be parked. From there it’s across the road onto a track going via N52.03717 E5.99109 and N52.03851 E5.99385, then turning right at N52.03928 E5.99617 on a sandy track. The final part is on a path which leaves the track at N52.03772 E5.99838, going to the summit marker, a small concrete block, GPS marked today at N52.03825 E5.99877 (110m ASL).
On the way you can make a short detour to a WW2 German fighter tracking station, now in ruins at N52.03797 E5.99303. Distance walked one way was 800m with an ascent of 16m, easy by any standards and very pleasant today in intermittent sunshine and with good company. The saying ‘No Sweat’ was appropriate today as we took just 10 minutes to get there.
Upon arrival at the summit we met a young couple who with a third person a short distance away seemed to be having a whale of a time running around accompanied by a lot of noise. Hans addressed them briefly in Dutch of course, later saying he’d told them that they were at the highest point in the northern Netherlands and did they know? They didn’t and fortunately they left which allowed us to set up our aerials without strangling anybody. This was the first time Hans had seen anybody up there.
We set up separately with a short distance between us. Hans deployed his end-fed single wire between the trees at low-height; only about 5 feet for most of it. This connects with RG58 coax to his KX1 CW QRP rig via a 9:1 balun housed in a plastic box. Very neat and quick thought I.
I had the usual antenna with me, namely an 80m link dipole on a 5m mast but it was slightly tricky to fit between the trees. Trees?! Yes trees, maybe only the second summit from hundreds I can remember activating with trees on it! The other one was in CT3.
SIGNAAL IMBOSCH, PA/PA-006, 454m, 1pt. 15:31 to 17:02. 16C, no wind, overcast/ sunny. (JO22XA). Intermittent phone coverage
7.032 CW and 14.062 CW - 6 QSO’s by PA0HRM Hans:
Beating me onto the air by a significant margin while I was still fiddling with wire versus tree branches, Hans very quickly had pen in hand to log five stations on 7.032 MHz as follows: OK1FII 599 both ways; HB9AGO* Hans 449/ 589 (559/ 579 on 20m); F6GUF Alain 539/ 559; DL6AP/P (Andy on GMA DA/TH-647) 559/ 539 and HB9CLT Thomas.
*HB9AGO had QSO’s on both the 40m and 20m frequencies. Looking at my phone I could see that Hans’ transmissions were picked up almost immediately by the automatic RBN receivers DF4XX for 40m and HB0DQM on 20m.
The above were worked from 13:40 UTC with a power of 3.5W on 40m and about 1.7W on 20m. ‘Now it’s your turn’ said Hans. Oh no, I thought. An ex merchant navy pro is going to hear me send Morse!
7.032.5 CW - 10 QSO’s by G4YSS using PA/M1NNN/P:
Hans had promised my wife that he’d get me back for 6pm so knowing we wouldn’t be staying much longer I started with the full 50 Watts. After trying to self spot and giving up due to no phone signal at the time, I called CQ two or three times. It didn’t take too long until I had callers and first in was Gerald G4OIG from Northampton 599/ 579. Great to meet a friend so early but most of the remainder were familiar callsigns too:
IK2LEY Fabio 579/ 599; DL6FAX Hans 599/ 579; G4AFI Andy 599/ 579; EA2IF Guru 599/ 599; EA2DT Manuel 599/ 559; EA5FV Stefan 579/ 549; SP9AMH Mariusz 559 x 2; DL7URB Rob 599/ 559 and finally M6BLV John 579/ 559. It’s not every day that you work an M6 in CW. This session was picked up by RBN SM7IUN and by my son Phil G0UUU using the online receiver in Nantwich, Cheshire.
There was no time for a QSY to 160m so we walked off at 17:02, taking 5 minutes to look at the 80-year-old military ruins on the way down before regaining Hans’ Volvo at 17:16.
On the drive back to Oosterbeek, Hans showed me another high point free of trees, which might be useful for general VHF operating in the vicinity of a car - (N52.02845 E6.02109). I had in mind the Practical Wireless Magazine 4m contest on Sunday afternoon 22-09-19 but it depends on the weather.
ASCENT & DISTANCE (Start point at 94m ASL):
Ascent approx. 20m? / Distance 2 x 800m (1 mile total)
Ascent: 12 min
Descent: 14 min (inc detour)
Summit time: 1hr-31 min
QSO Total: 16
5 on 40m/
1 on 20m-CW
10 on 40m-CW
A good time was had by all which includes the two activators as well as hopefully the chasers. This was totally different to what I’ve been used to so it made a pleasant change. We didn’t get many QSO’s but we weren’t there to break any records. Now that Hans has shown me the routine, I am free to go back again weather permitting.
It’s rare for me to be picked up by the RBN network but it happened today and twice for Hans.
With a few exceptions, since the start of SOTA in 2002 I have mainly activated solo. That is, not often in conjunction with other amateurs but now and again it comes as a pleasant change to enjoy the company of like-minded people on an activation especially when it’s not too demanding. We had a good talk. Thankfully Hans has a very good command of English.
To ALL STATIONS worked and to RBN spotters DF4XX; HB9DQM and SM7IUN. Most of all many thanks to Hans PA0HRM for organising this outing and taking me there. I can honestly say that our joint activation will live on in my memory for a long time.
73, John G4YSS
Above: Hans PA0HRM on the first part of the track
Above: Hans giving out the ASL
Above: Hans PA0HRM operating from PA6 on 40m-CW. 9:1 Balun
Above: KX1 QRP CW Rig with built-in ATU
Above: Hans’ 9:1 Balun - coax in/ wire out
Above: PA0HRM logging
Above: 80m link dipole in trees
Above: G4YSS (PA/M1NNNN today). Photo by Hans
Above: PA/M1NN/P. Photo by Hans
Above: The remains of the WW2 aircraft tracking station
Above: WW2 aircraft tracking station
Above: Hans back at the car park