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Lanzarote activations

Thanks for EA8/LA-010 this morning.

Great to hear you working NA station after NA station on 17m from EA8/LA-013 this afternoon. Unfortunately didn’t get through on that one with the NA and UK stations being a lot stronger I guess. Great to log three EA8 summits with you so far.

Are any more planned?

73 Ed DD5LP

Aye - that chain with the multitude of padlocks hi.

I’m going to put my Lanzarote reports in this thread along with Carolyn and Helen’s reports. So here goes.

#Helechos EA8/LA-012 18-Nov-2015
This is possibly the easiest of all the Lanzarote summits. I picked it because it was an easy walk and my family would be with me. My daughter has a few mobility issues so an easy summit is order of the day.

You can start high up by parking near the NDB Aircraft beacon. Take the road out of Mageuz and keep going up till you reach the beacon. The road is badly potlholed at the bottom but improves massively further on. I had to take the hire car (Toyota Yarris) over the holes slowly as it nearly bottomed out. This was the only bad road I saw on the whole island.

We parked at the blue mark.

From here we followed the track. It’s obvious as far as the hut and the antennas then you drop down slightly and you need to look for the track. From there it’s trivial to pick up the track and you follow it to the summit and trig pillar. It was too much for my daughter so she turned back at the hut. On the way up I found a new Ferrari cap. I carried it along and at the hut met an elderly couple. The old chap was wearing a Williams F1 cap and I offered the Ferrari cap to the lady who was delighted to get it back. There then followed the comedy of language as they were German speaking Italians from the Tyrol. The conversation continued in a mix of English, Italian and German!

It took about 25mins to get to the top and I wasn’t rushing as it was hot. I used the trig pillar to support the antenna. James M0JCQ told me I was unlikely to find anywhere where I could use tent pegs. I had guys and intended to use rocks with them. Also I had concocted a kind of tripod to support the mast but the trig was ideal.

Sarah took this picture of me setting up from about 600m away. You can see the slope is nothing and this was the steepest part of the walk.

The family were going to wait at the car so I didn’t have the luxury of much time hence the activation taking place entirely on 20m. For midday conditions were average. I had no trouble working Europe from here but I did manage 3 North American QSOs, N1GB on SSB, N4EX & VE1WT on CW.

Equipment was a very old FT817 running 5W, 500Hz filter, LiPo and a Buddistick clone. I knocked up the antenna many years back and it does seem to work well for SOTA. I was never too sure of its potential but when setting up and testing the kit on the beach a few days earlier I did work E51KIK on SSB: a 16900km contact, effectively the other side of the world to me.

The view East of North is rather splendid to Corona EA8/LA-003. This is a bit more of a climb but looks fabulous.

Due North is the island of La Gaciosa which has 2 SOTA summits. You can see the small town on the island across the straights. Montaña Amarilla EA8/LA-027 is at the left side of the island and Agujas Grandes EA8/LA-023 is lost in the haze. You can also see down into the caldera of Helechos.

Here is a view across the caldera to Corona from the trig point. The Northern tip of Lanzarote is often much cloudier and damper than the rest. The ground is greener and you can see the clouds away in this photo. We went as far North as Mirador Del Rio to see the cliffs and cave house after this and it was as misty as Scotland at times. Just 20C warmer!

Essential gear is good soles on your shoes, water, suncreme, more suncreme, hat and water. I had a skin cancer scare earlier this year which turned out not to be a cancer. However, you only need one scare to ensure you put plenty of suncreme on in future! The ground/rocks are so sharp you need to protect your fishing pole. I adopted the same trick Phil G4OBK uses. I had some wide bore heatshrink and have covered the bottom section of my 5m travel pole with this. This meant I could jam the pole into piles of razor sharp lava and whilst the heatshrink is scuffed and scratched, there’s not a mark on the pole.

16 QSOs on SSB and 16 QSOs on CW. It’s a huge buzz doing SOTA from far away from home and this was very easy to activate. Another island, another activation from Africa. :slight_smile:

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Hi Brian

It maybe that I’m a little more exotic than usual but there seems to be a lot of people calling who can not hear me, they are joining a pile up just in case.

My station is far from deaf so if I can not hear them I can not work them.

Carolyn

Basics of radio would have thought.

Mind you on other hand better than no response at all and silent air waves to your call.

Keep up the cracking work ladies

Karl

I guess it’s the same old, same old (other threads are available…) issue. :confused:

No, not really. If they’d shut up then you’d stand a better chance of hearing the (possibly very faint) replies from folk who can actually hear your call.

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End of day, we have to learn to cope with it as activators, we are the ones in a certain amount of control of the situation I tend to just go quiet for little longer till i hear a signal of lowness and pull them in. From my experience of small so far, being on a summit with a mini pile up LOL Or as Carolyn says she knows certain voices or regulars you can pull out.

It does bring out some what over excitement in us now and again and one has to sit back and be a little more patient being a smaller powered station that others. First main rule is to be not so desperate to get through. keep the Qrm down call once and most of all listen. Some times awaiting till it calms down is another not always work as activator might not have the time to stay that long. Learnt a lot in this past year and developed some good tactics that work and some times don’t.

But lastly more respect for when a S2S comes in is required, I do agree on they take priority over the chasers.

If they shut up. some hopes LOL

karl

I think it is the rather extreme QSB, Carolyn, they hear your QRZ and call, but when you reply you have gone down by several S-points and they don’t hear your reply. Add to this the idiots that keep calling and calling - many times yesterday the hue and cry quietened down and there you were already in contact with somebody but I didn’t have a clue who it was!

All part of the game, I guess!

Brian

#Montaña Rojo EA8/LA-026 19-Nov-2015

We’d had a family day so far and had visited the Parque Nacional de Timanfay and the Montaña del Feugo early. This is a truely wonderful experience. The last eruption was in 1830 and there is something like 70km^2 of untouched Lava fields and ash fields. You can’t walk about the area, you have to take a coach which drives around the centre of the last eruption. That eruption went on for several years. It’s only when you get up close you really begin to understand what eruptions must be like. I looked at the side of a volcano cone covered in black ash the size of fine gravel and then realised that all the rocks about the size of small melons were on top of the ash. That’s when you realise the rocks were shot out of the eruption at high velocity and were very. very hot. Scary stuff. At the visitor centre they have some bore holes about 20m deep, pour a bucket water down and 2 seconds later you have a geyser and steam column about 20m in the air, the ground is 400C down there!

After that we drove to Playa Blanca at the south of the island. Mrs & Miss FMF went to off to explore the marina and have some late lunch in the sun giving me a 2.5hr SOTA window. The parking place was about 10mins drive from where I dropped them, marked with the blue blob in the image below.

This is a domestic area and there are loads of places to park. On with the boots and I followed the track marked on the map. This was easy and straightforward. There were lots of people on the summit, caldera path and the path up. Being short of time I turned on the Jesse Owens and got up to the trig in about 25mins. With so many people on the summit I decided the trig point was not the best place to set up, also the concrete base is quite high, over a 1m. It was just a bit to awkward when there were plenty of other places in the AZ that would be out of the way.

Trig point EA8/LA-026

My operating point. The trig is behind me about 10m away. The pole was wedged into a crack in the rock and lumps of lava piled around to support the base and guys. I had to do quite a scavenge to find some lumps heavy enough to do the job. Antenna is rigged for 20m, the 20/30m loading coil clearly visible.

View back to Playa Blanca and the caldera path from my operating position. Temp was 27C but there was a strong wind that was very cooling.

In the distance was Atalaya de Femes EA8/LA-002. There are plenty of masts and antennas on this summit. An access road rises from the village of Femes the far side of the summit. This is one of the biggest summits on the island.

Out to the south in the haze I could faintly discern the outline of the next island in the chain, Fuerteventura.

As I was short of time again I decided on just 20m. 10m was probably open but I knew I’d workable on 20m by the chasers. There were plenty of SSB chasers, 22 in all and ODX was Phil VE1WT. I switched to CW and managed N4EX although I did have a persistent caller who refused to follow my directed calls. This did slow me down and was really annoying when I was in a rush. But this is the problem when you are somewhere new and unique for many chasers. The persistent caller did apologise on air to me the next day. Over excitement? Maybe. I’ve had a quite a few emails since returning home from all over the SOTAsphere, all saying the same thing, the guy always ignores directed calls. I’m not going to identify the bloke unless he does this to me again, but he should consider the fact he has a worldwide reputation for poor operating style! :astonished:

I was approached by a French couple who were intrigued by what was happening and in my best schoolboy French I managed to explain what was happening. Just as a I was packing away a British chap came up and struck a conversation. Like me, he’d left his wife down in the town so he could have a quick stroll up the summit.

A selfie looking pleased, well that’s 2 more uniques in the bag. The SOTA cap is a treasured gift sent from a W7-land activator. There are only a few in existence and I only wear it for special SOTA occasions. I took it 3100kms just for these summits!

It took 20mins to get the car, boots off, trainers on and off to meet Mrs & Miss FMF. Well it was drive 10m then stop and go back and pick up the bag that was sat by the road and put it in the boot(trunk)! Could have been embarrassing to lose the bag with my passport in it and expensive as it my camera, 817 and tablet too!

This is another very easy summit to activate. At this point I was happy with the activations. I’d put on 2 summits, had added EA8 to my list of countries activated. With 2 activations, anyone who had worked me on both (there were a few by now) had 2 different EA8/LA summits and Africa chased which is worth a lot to people collecting the Mountain Hunter Award. It was a bonus when Mrs. FMF told me that I could have all of Friday to do what I wanted as she and Helen were going to have a pool and spa day. :sweat_smile:

3 Likes

I don’t worry too much about those I can not hear. I will always make it obvious who I am working (even if that signal is weaker than the main pile-up) so if someone doesn’t hear me use their call-sign then I’m not working them.

Today there were quite a few who thought they were in contact with me with out listening properly; they unfortunately will not get their confirmations. Shame really because I was in no great rush to leave the summit until the callers slowed because of the propagation. In an hour and half I worked 119 contacts on 17m including VK2DAG which was the highlight,

Carolyn
EA8/G6WRW

wow, that,s some going

No WARC bands this side at moment only on a TS-120V

Hopefully 2016 sort out another radio with WARC on of course gotta start saving me pennies :slight_smile:

Karl

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