Sorry for the very poor showing today on Heidstein (DM/BW-633) a never before activated summit!
After calling for quite a while, self spotting and then a change of frequency (and more spots) I started to suspect there was a problem somewhere. Not even Mads (M/LA1TPA) could hear me. Propagation was totally different to only an hour or so earlier when (while mobile) I had a chat to John (GW4BVE) with 9+ signals; skip had appeared to be long with USA stations heard being worked.
Some people were hearing me well but all wasn’t well. The antenna seemed to be OK with the vSWR being where I expected it to be.
I use an amplifier to boost the 817’s meagre output and signs pointed to its demise. Outwardly it appeared to be working with the TX light coming on when expected. On closer (internal) inspection the problem became apparent. At some time since its last use (which was on Les Minquiers (Minkies) 10 miles south of Jersey) it appears to have had a bump at some time during our journeys because the band change switch had been damaged. Because this hadn’t been noticed, probably the first time I transmitted one of the finals will have failed; an easy repair if at home.
So a difficult activation under poor conditions with QRP was finally accomplished by me and Helen of this unique summit. Thank you to G0RQL, GW4BVE, HA7UG, LA8BCA, HB9AGH, SM6CM, HB9MKV and EI7CC for the contacts.
Normal service should be resumed on the next summit…… we have with us a FT-897 with SLABs!!! :o)
Carolyn (DL/G6WRW) in the very beautiful (and hot) Black Forest.
Oh the mountain… we chose a parking spot to the South of the summit which allowed a 900m walk to the activation area. The first part of the walk was up a section of very steep scree between pine trees that dissected a disused forestry track which we followed for a while till we realised it wasn’t going to take us directly to the summit. Another short scramble and we were on the summit ridge and 400m away from our destination; this summit is seldom walked judging from the overgrown tracks. This is probably due to this ones very popular next door neighbour Belchen.