I was fortunate to recently activate my first two non-US summits, DM/BW-212 (Baiselberg) and DM/BW-695 (Teck). My setup consists of a 40-meter QCX and a 20-meter QCX Mini that I also use on 30-meters with my SOTAbeams link dipole and 7000hds mast.
Baiselberg is also within the boundaries of the Stromberg Nature Park, DA-0013 for those who participate in Parks on the Air. It has zero activations logged, so I gather the program isn’t as popular as it is in the US. I will submit my activation once I have access to my logging software again.
I learned two important lessons: Gloves do not improve my CW transmission skills. Bring additional layers to wear after the invigorating hike up the summit. I was too hot going up and too cold toward the end of the activation.
The next weekend I brought more layers and was able to activate Burg Teck.
I had the luxury of sitting at a picnic bench during the activation and I learned a lesson there about the impact of melting snow.
I chose not to invest my funds in the telescope view of the area.
Both activations were a lot of fun, but I was surprised how large the pileup was at times. I never encounter that many high intensity signals in the western US. One familiar call sign came through both times, F4WBN.
At about 11:10 local time I had an unusual experience. Up to that point I had encountered no interference from the nearby antennas. But suddenly I swear I heard a pipe organ and congregational singing so loud it drowned out all potential contacts. I ended up switching frequency in order to continue operating. I didn’t know this was possible with the 200Hz CW filter in the QCX radio. I literally looked up to see if a choir had ascended (or descended) onto the summit. It reminded me of a scene during the movie Hunt for Red October where a SONAR operator tells his superior that he thought he heard singing.
A pleasant contrast to my culture was how many families were hiking in these locations in spite of the weather. I can’t wait to come back.
I’ve been activating Teck several times and noticed some local QRM but never heard something that sounded like music. Looking at the time of your activation (Sunday ~ 11 a.m.) the music could have come from a church service. But on 40 metres??? Weird…
Thanks, anyway for the report and the great photos!
The ex-Physics teacher in me couldn’t resist checking on this. Warning, spoiler alert:-
According to a former Submarine Officer / Strike Warfare Officer at United States Navy it’s another Hollywood myth. Striking the hull with a big hammer could be detected by another submarine’s SONAR but ambient noises inside the submarine like talking or singing would not.
But hey, why let the truth get in the way of a good story.
BTW: regarding the organ and singing heard on 40m. Given the time of day [Sunday, ~11am] I wonder if a local church has permission to transmit [at low power level] a MW broadcast of their church service for parishioners who cannot go in person [maybe due to covid] and the signal was overloading the rig,
In the good old days - when my kids and I would sit together in front of the TV watching a sci-fi film - I would frequently be heard to say “That’s physically impossible” [e.g. like on the intro to Independence Day where the giant alien spaceship passes close to the Moon and its ‘vibrations’ cause Neil Armstrong’s footprint to disintegrate]. My kids would recite their mantra in chorus, “Dad, it’s only a movie!”.
It’s typically continuous and repetitive noises that are silenced, such as pumps, fans etc. The frequency components propagate well. Of course it’s often dwarfed by the noise of cooling several MW of reactor and the now deprecated damn big propeller at the back. But things like opening the watertight door at the front of torpedo tube and the clang they used to make is distinctive. Some torpedoes can swim out of their
tube and are quieter in launch compared with those that are ejected.
Then there’s detecting something is out there. Detecting there’s something different to all the other noise sources amongst them (sub sailing near commercial traffic). Identifying what is making the noise and the coup de grace, identifying it as a hostile and maintaining a firing fix on it for as long as possible. Of course if you have a fix you can pretend you haven’t got one and sail away.
Yes, I do a full reset between 20 and 30 meters. Unfortunately I lose any stored messages and other settings when I do that. I read somewhere on the QRP-Labs site that you should reset rather than just tune between the bands because there are some band-specific adjustments made to the fine tuning of the chipset. I do not have a power meter to assess the impact. All I know is I receive plenty of QSOs on each band, so things are working well enough.
As of late I have been using my 17m QCX-mini on 17m and 20m with very good results. As accurately I can measure with my test equipment it does about 5w on 17m and 3.5w on 20m. I do not reset the rig thought. I just put both my 17m and 20m freq into the memory so I have instant access. Seems to work OK fine for me. Your mileage may vary.
Tim - K5DEZ
By the way, I have stopped doing the reset between bands and have not noticed any substantial difference. Like K5DEZ, I store the frequencies in memory so I don’t have to scroll between them. I don’t have a power meter to quantify the exact output, but things are working well enough to make contacts.