Less points, more fun

since my last couple of activations brought me to some higher summits, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to perform a “more lazy” activation in between. Therefore last Tuesday I decided to do an afterwork SOTA activation of a nearby lower summmit, called Buchberg, having the SOTA reference DL/BE-093. A one-pointer with a height of 858m ASL.

I must confess, I felt a little bit guilty after hiking only about 10-15 minutes up to the summit, not really a great effort. Second, I was sure that chasers wouldn’t have too much fun with my signal, because I tested a transceiver with just abt. 2-3 watts power, really not too much power especially with such not so delightful HF conditions at the moment.

Whatever, now I was sitting in the grass below my 5m high dipole and began to call CQ on the 20m band, and I was pretty sure nobody would recognize my signal. As always, bad expectations (too) often come true. Therefore after 10 minutes calling without response, I set a spot on SOTAwatch.

Now soon a couple of nice contacts turned up. With Canada, VE1, being the longest distance, but also Portugal, Spain and Belarus. I did never expect, that at the moment 2 watts would make it across the Atlantic.

After the 20m band I tried my luck on the 30m band. Strangely, the ATU tuned my 30m half-wave dipole only to a VSWR of more than 3.5. I don’t have a explanation for this strange behaviour. Nevertheless, soon after calling CQ, strong signals from UK, Norway, Turkey and again Belarus came back.

At the end, I did recognize that Erik, LA5XTA, was also on a SOTA activation, and I tried to contact him on the 40m band, where I heard his low signal. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to contact him.

Never mind, I enjoyed the beautiful sunset and decided that this evening activation will not be a single event for me this summer.

Thanks for all contacts.

73 Stephan, DM1LE


Think i heard you, but i had some problems with some stations that didnt listen… Yeah, you know the rest…
Also heard VE, but no contact.

I worked a kx1 at about 4w, and linked dipole with a 4m telescopic pole. Thinking about a longer pole, but carrying the radiogear 900 vertical meters, calls for some compromises…

Hi Erik,

thanks for your response. I tested a similar equipment here, but got only 2-3watt out of the kx1. In addition the strange behaviour of the built-in ATU on the 30m band, which was connected to my dipole wasn’t really convincing. As far as I remember a previous test with a connected end-fed, random-length wire didn’t show this kind of problem.

Hopefully on a future SOTA activation we will manage a S2S.

73 Stephan, DM1LE

Nice photo’s Stephan. HF bands not great at the moment so well done crossing the Atlantic on 2W.

73 Chris M0RSF

I run very similar gear. I have made a lightweight linked dipole where I can remove sections if I want, so it can be 20m only, 20m/30m or 20m/30m/40m. I use a 4m pole. My rig is either of my two band MTRs, one does 20m/30m and the other does 20m/40m.

I prefer to run my MTR at the 2.5w level, but I’ve been running it with a 3S lipo recently due to the poor HF conditions. I get around 4 to 4.5w out when using my 3S.

I worked a good number of stations yesterday even though the bands seemed very poor. Signal strengths were weak. KA1R was my best contact on 20m. I still find it amazing after 18yrs as a ham that you can have transatlantic QSOs with such simple gear! Transatlantic with 4w to an inverted vee with apex at 1/6 lambda - that’s crazy! (My pole is short due to being damaged in the wind!)

73, Colin

Cracking photos indeed thanks for sharing :wink: