Montana Rojo EA8/LA-026

Sorry for the sudden shutdown today. SOTA is a bonus on family holidays as for some strange reason neither my wife or daughter are impressed by radio or radio from a summit. Now I pick the holiday destination with SOTA in mind but actually getting a shot at activations is very difficult to plan. Well perhaps if I planned the itinery for every day I could give accurate alerts. But unless you have visited a place before you need a day or twoi to get a feel for the place.

So it was at 1445Z when we arrived in Playa Blanca when I was allocated 2hr30 SOTA time. This meant I had 3-4km drive, find the parking place, get some boots on, get up and setup. I had to shutdown at 1620z to give me time to pack up, get down and get to the pickup point. I tried to work as fast as I could but I really am very sorry that I didn’t work everyone and had to go QRT. It’s a long time since this has happened to me but it still makes me feel bad. I have gear for 30/20/17/15/12/10 but I know that 20m will work so that is the band of choice. I haven’t had time to try 10m for challenge points or anything else. The alternative to working some of the CW callers today would have been to not work any and just go QRT early. Sorry is all I can say.

However, it would have been nice if a certain G3 had not kept calling and ignoring my directed calls or calling when told NIL. It smelt like selfishness to get a QSO at any cost from my end sat on the edge of bloody steep drop into a caldera with a helluva Lanzarote breeze blowing. when I was trying to work as many as possible as fast as my poor CW allows. Had he called out of turn once more I was going to just switch the 817 off and go down early… that’s how annoyed I was.

Maybe I will get a shot at Caldera Blanca tomorrow, probably 25% chance as we stand now.


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Hi Andy,
Listened for you yesterday and today on 20m - heard nothing. Interestingly I’m hearing chasers on 10m from the EA area very well at the moment. Herbert OE9HRV is out and about activating summits on 10m and have managed a few contacts with him on 10m over the last few days. There are also others trying 10m at the moment, while the band is not brilliant, it seems it’s not dead either.

73 Ed.

It’s a nightmare decision Ed. Go on 10m and work and handful or more of stations, maybe by searching out non SOTA CQ calls. Or go to 20 (maybe 17m) and know I will give a summit to lots of SOTA chasers. If I was on a SOTApedition it would be easy… I’d be on the first ascent at dawn! As it is Mrs. FMF thinks I’m seriously wierd for getting up the same time each morning when I’m on holiday as when I got to work.

Life is far too short to waste it sleeping!

Hi Andy,
Got home from work and switched my radio ON to chase a US activator at 17h56 utc today.
I didn’t catch you from EA8/LA-026 for less than 2 hours. What a shame!
I understand very well how you feel for going QRT while still leaving hungry chasers without their QSO.
It’s very frustrating particularly when someone has been making QRM and slowing the whole thing down.
It’s difficult to fit SOTA activations into family holiday plans.
Do just what you can, have fun, relax and enjoy your stay at the Canaries with your family.
I’m still hoping you’ll come to visit us in EA2 one day.
Last Easter time they organised some charter flights between Pamplona and Edinbourgh.
Think about it… may be they will do so next Easter time.
73 de Guru

Hi Andy, 20m shortpath was well and truly open into VK last night - I had a run of about 90 contacts all across Europe between about 1230Z and 1430Z which made for a very late night - paying for it now after only 4 hours sleep before getting up for work. 17m and up were not very productive though. My feeling is that for propagation to the VK area is best either Long Path around 0800Z or on the short path at around 1300Z - but not too many operators will be on air from VK at that time. Guess it depends very much on when you can schedule an activation time to fit in with family comittments…


Understood Andy, given the restricted time 20 & 40m are always the “money bands”. Good luck with any further activations. Here we have had two days of high winds, Terrential rain is forecast for today and snow to come and stay from Saturday evening with temperatures down to minus 7 degrees. So no activations this weekend for me.



At least you have decent to pop up and explain what happened. Its one of many reasons activators just have to cut short. Know that feeling upon where just cab’t waste the day sleeping in when could be working Australia LOL

As for 10m its proving a little frustrating as I thought it would be this time of year as Summer were more prone to Es than in our winter time more on F2 longer distance. Such as case with the HB0 just not strong enough to reach me. Had a S5 sota yesterday know he was answering me again in noise could not make out me signal report :frowning: Mind you this kinda happened in first part of the first challenge on 10m and after a while it rocketed for me.

Dear Mrs FMF can Mr FMF come out to play today please :smile:


Dr OM Andy,
You were yesterday sometimes above the noise level and QRM, but we had a ‘Short and Sweet’ QSO.
Thanks for that!
73 de geert pa7zee

Mrs FMF and Miss FMF are having a pool and spa day. Your request granted Karl, I have lots of time for this one.

Nice one andy