I have started activating the summits, on the land of the morning calm - HL - mainly with CW mode.
As you might already know, CW SOTA operators are rare here in Korea, and high-band SOTA activations are even rarer.
I’ve luckily met SA4BLM, F4WBN, DJ2MX, OK2PDT, and several other chasers thus far on 15 m bands and up. Now I’m hoping for more… even S2S contacts!
Actually, I’ve found out that DL6GCA attempted to give a shot for S2S from DM/BW-639 to HL/GG-162, last February. Sadly I could not hear him… Probably it was a one-side skip.
Since the propagation is getting better and the daytime is getting longer on northern hemisphere, I just can’t wait for intercontinental S2S contacts.
Should I look for greyline propagation, or use some special antenna setup? Looking forward to getting some advice, with some greetings.
I am glad to meet you all, and hope to see you on HF bands!
73 de DS1TUW
Hi. Try to activate between 2200 and 0000 UTC and you will have chances with the west coast of the USA.
Another interesting chance will take place on April 1st. It will be the ¨VK NZ JA - EU S2S QSO Party¨
73 de JP3PPL
Thanks for the info!
I should definitely take part in the QSO party.
That probably won’t help much on the higher HF bands, but it might be worth playing with a propagation prediction tool like VOACAP Online for Ham Radio to see when it thinks the best times might be and which bands are likely to work best. Also, check whether LP (long-path) might work better than SP (short-path) for your chosen time.
At the moment (assuming after dark is not usually a good time to be activating) it looks as if you’d need to be active in your early morning or late afternoon to stand a good chance of getting through to Europe.
Hello DS1TUW. Great to see more activity coming out of the ROK. I had a chance to stay down in Yecheon a few years ago and really enjoyed the time spent travelling around.
Is Choi, HL1KKC, still doing SOTA? He was quite active and did a lot of 40M CW out of there. We should be able to have 15M and 10M CW QSO’s now that the bands are starting to open up here on the west coast of USA. I worked a couple of JA SOTA Ops here a couple weeks ago.
Take care and look for you guys on the bands…
73, Todd KH2TJ
I usually activate several peaks per day. If I can choose, I take mountains with the right take-off. So in the morning summits with an open area (a free slope) towards the east and in the evening towards the west… (Of course, this also has the advantage that I always have sunshine).
When I was on DM/BW-639, it worked pretty well again. I was sitting at the edge of the forest under the summit and had the slope in your direction.
Of course, a flat radiating antenna is an advantage. I used a vertical one at the time.
With Inv L antennas, you can play a bit with the direction depending on how you set them up.
But it’s always worth watching the spots and listening a little longer on the qrg of dx stations. Often you will hear the chasers. When you actually hear the activator, call out! Usually you will be drowned out by stronger stations. Therefore, you must repeat your callsign over and over so that it is heard in the background. In the EU, it is common to transmit in cw /p or to call “summit to summit” in Fonie. This is short and you can send it in the qso pauses, often it will be heard in the background. Nevertheless, you often need a lot of patience… especially if it has qsb.
If you are the activator, listen for weak signals. Just pause and listen. If you have an idea that there may have been something, then ask for " /p? /p? /p? "…several times (so that the strong chasers learn that they are not being asked at this moment ).
I am looking forward to our first s2s
please also consider 20m Long Path into EU between ~ 7:00z and 8:00z (roughly).
Signals won’t be loud but especially in CW it usually works.
Hope cu, 73,
The question is not long path or short path. The best antennas for you will be the slooper and the inverted L.
Thanks for all the contacts made on the high bands.
Indeed, the antenna an activator is likely to use will probably radiate both ways. It is a question chasers with good directional antennas will need to consider, though.
Yes also at the same time the propagation can be good in short path on one band and long path on another band.
Chris, some activators choose their summit carefully for events like the VK NZ JA - EU S2S QSO Party, e.g. a slope facing west (LP to VK/ZL/JA from EU) in order to achieve a really low take-off angle. The opposite direction then usually suffers considerable attenuation.
That’s why I decided to go for 20m LP only as it works most reliable
Thanks for the reply!
Yes, it looks like I need to stay up on the summit until near sunset if I want some EU contacts. Or maybe early in the morning could work too, but I usually cannot reach the activation site that early. (Only one-day trip available, since I have tight work schedules)
Looking forward to meet you on the air!
Good to hear that you’ve enjoyed your time in Korea.
Choi is still active, but not as much as before. Too bad he doesn’t post activation spots and uploads SOTA logs, but I can tell, he’s regularly activating some summits.
Sure, I would like to do some 15/10m activations in the morning for some USA contacts. Hope to see you on the air!
73 de Ji DS1TUW
Thanks for the reply, Armin.
Okay. I should try the inverted-L or sloper setup, and pay extra attention to takeoff angle. Also don’t worry about the listening part… I never give up on weak signals!
Looking forward to our S2S!
I am yet to try the long path propagation of 20m band. Definitely I’ll try. Look for my signal next weekend!
Thanks for chasing most of my recent activations. Okay, I will try the sloper/inverted-L configuration.
Hope to see you again soon!