I thought I heard singing, sir

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.


Did you also check for submarines :wink:

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!

73, Roman


Well done on the activations and great reporting!

My wife loves a submarine movie and every year I’m made to watch Red October, Crimson Tide, K-19, Hunter Killer etc. The scene you mention is brilliant. Stirs the blood!

73, Fraser


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,


You’ve ruined it for me Andy. :sob:

I always leave The Hunt for Red October until the end of our sub movies. That’s because Mo always asks, “Oh, are there any other Jack Ryan movies we can watch?” And we begin again…


I did give a spoiler alert!

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!”.


Nice activation, well done. Question re the qcx mini. Do you just reset it and select 30m / 20m? I assume the output is sufficient on the non optimised band?

That’s what “they” want the other side to think :wink:

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.


My living room is never similarly polite when I interrupt TV drama scenes involving secondary schools or live gig situations, to share my disdainful observations of the researcher failings.

Virtually every teacher in Waterloo Road would have been struck off in real life!

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Brian, you learned so much :wink: so the travel to a distant place was worth.

Thanks for atmospheric photos and for the nice report. Have a good time here and I hope you will have more chances for activation in DM region.

73, Ludwig

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…then i’m glad our s2s was as you were on the Baiselberg… otherwise I would have probably only got a single ping. :joy: …or the sizes of the playmate of the last month

73 Armin


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


Nice Job!

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Thanks for the QSO’s Brian!
Unfortunately you have logged my callsign wrong on DM/BW-212 (11:22z DJ2MXL) :frowning:
Could you please correct it?. Thanks in advance!

73, Mario DJ2MX

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Can someone say if the 7Mhz QCX would work on 5Mhz?

73s Ingo

It should be no problem. Just give it a try at home. Check rx and power output on your antennas at home.

Tim - K5DEZ

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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.

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You sure can write a headline!
When you said you thought you heard singing, I thought you were going to describe a near-death experience.
All Best, Ken


wonderful photos!

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