As some (many) of you already know, I’ve been 2 times in hospital this month due to digestive transit jams caused by some swollen-by-my-cancer limph nodes extrangulating the exit conduit from my stomach to my small intestine. What it’s called duodenum. I stayed in hospital from the 6th to the 14th, then went back home in the hope that the digestive transit jam would improve just by having a soft meals diet and some medication to reduce the size of the swollen limph nodes, but it didn’t work like that and I got back to the hospital again on the 17th. The doctors have finally implemented what they call a prothesys inside my jammed doudenum and I finally left the hospital the day before yesterday, Saturday the 24th at about 15h local. The digestive transit jam issue seems to have been fully sorted with this prothesys, although I’ll still keep having a soft diet for a while.
So much time in the hospital not eating/drinking anything at all most of the days and having only physiological saline solutions (serum) has taken a big toll on me and I’ve lost 6.5 Kg including a lot of muscle mass which I’ll have to try to recover day by day.
After I got home Saturday, I started enjoying SOTA chasing and I have found with great pleasure that conditions for Transatlantic SOTA chasing on 20m are pretty good too.
After my QSO yesterday with Tom @M1EYP while he is onboard the ship i.e. M1EYP/MM using the Alexloop borrowed from Richard G3CWI, I thought it would be great having a SOTA with my home-made magloop antenna looking for another QSO with Tom M1EYP on his magloop from the ship.
I sent a message to Tom telling him that I was fancying a magloop SOTA this morning-afternoon and wondering whether he would be chasing SOTA this morning. So he said and there I grabbed my magloop right away, put it on top of my Rodius and drove up to nearly the top of Mt. Ezkaba.
Believe it or not, the 200m linear hike and just about 20 vertical meters or so from the car to the operating point carrying my rucksack and the magloop antenna was quite a hard work to me.
But I slowly made it and the setup got quickly ready:
I tried to start on 60m and tuning the magloop variable capacitor quickly got the SWR to 1:1 while TX power was 0.5W, but I couldn’t find a way to keep the SWR that low when TX power was set to 5W, so I decided to forget about 60m and start on 40m.
The variable capacitor in my magloop produced a perfect 1:1 SWR on 40m and I started CQing at 5W.
I had a run of 19 QSOs in 21 minutes. Unfortunately @S52AU called me, I responded with his callsing and signal report but he was extremely weak and I completely lost him. Unable to copy my signal report and after a number of unsuccessfull calls to him for a repeat, I had to cross him out. NIL!
Then I QSYed to 30m, where the tuning variable capacitor also got a perfect SWR to 1:1 when TX power was set to 5W.
On 30m, I logged 33 QSOs in 1h 5min, including 4 S2S and the so much wanted magloop 2 magloop QSO with Tom M1EYP/MM, who today was at JO01ek
The following band was 20m and I didn’t manage to find a variable capacitor setting for a perfect SWR 1:1, so I slightly modified the shape of the small coupling ring and finally worked with 2 blocks on the FT-817 SWR meter reading, which didn’t seem to be too bad because I managed 31 QSOs in 46 minutes, including a DX with @K4DY and a S2S with Chistophe @DL1CR.
All in all, 83 QSOs in a CW-only log. You can see them on the following map:
I’m still feeling pretty weak and working SSB is extremely exhausting to me with so much talking out loud, so, please, bear with me and excuse my CW only operation.
I want to highlight and thank John @M0WIV for his call today. I was sending at 22WPM and I feared it was a bit too much for him, but I wasn’t able to quickly find the menu to reduce my CW speed and all I did was applying farnworth spacing and repeats as much as I could to make sure a successfull QSO, which is what we finally had. Thank you so much for your determination, John! I think this was our very first QSO ever and I hope it will be the first of very many.
When I finished on 20m CW, I had a look to my SOTA spotter app and found that Markus @HB9DIZ was activating on 20m SSB, so I went to the frequency and realized that I could copy him. But my magloop would need retuning for such a frequency split from 14.064 to 14.327 or whatever it was. When I was about to stand up for that retuning operation, my telephone rang and I spent a few minutes chating with my dear daughters which are currently at the EA1 Galizia coast with her mother (mi ex-XYL).
By the time I finished chatting on the phone, Markus was gone to 60m and I didn’t even try there, as was 100% sure that I wouldn’t be able to get a successfull S2S with him on that band.
So I called it a day and right before leaving asked for a photo of this satisfied activator to a nice Russian family passing by. I said “spasiba” and they replied “de nada”.
Thanks very much dear chasers for your calls and QSOs. It was very nice for me to be back activating again. The signals and the band in general sounds on the magloop very much different compared to the endfed antenna I usually have. Much less QRM and a quieter reception.
I’ll be looking forward to copying you all again soon from a SOTA.