It all started as a promising morning. Bright sky, no rain last night so I left home at 7:30 heading the first mountain of the day, Txanburu EA2/NV-071.
When I left the car temp was 0ºC. This mountain has been converted into an aerogenerator test bench. Apart from a massive wind turbine park, 3 enormous generators have been installed on top of the mountain to develop special tests for redesign of the blades.
Txanburu as seen when aproaching, with the big towers. Elomendi peak (NV-037 on the left).
Anyway, I found no qrm when I switched on the rig. What I wasn’t expecting was that my trusty homebrew CW iambic wouldn’t run. I couldn’t produce a single Dit with it and therefore I had no other chance than doing SSB only today.
The activation went well and I logged 57 qso, including 2 S2S, being my friend EA2BSB/P the first one. Some minutes later I noticed he had problems in his summit because his coax decided to abandon the activation producing a faulty connection. Was this the signal about a wicked day for us both?
Summit of Txanburu and trig point.
When no one else called me on 20, I looked at my wrest watch and decided to move onto the next mountain, Untzue, a nice rocky peak nearby.
The climb was easy with a nice and steep end. The views again very good. I enjoyed with the view of the first snow over the Pyrenees in the far end.
Summit of Untzue
The wind here was even worse and I missed more hand to aid with the antenna set up, but I managed to tie the antenna and hold it against the rocks. The wind was such as fast that the fishpole was considerabily curved and I had to install my 8m random wire with an inverted L configuration.
When I switched on the radio I gave a jump at the heavy sound I heard. There was a huge QRM all over!! I started calling and informed G6TUH about the noise asking to have this reported in my spot so that people could notice my dificulties to hear some of them.
The activation went better than expected although it seems there was an american station loud in my frequency that I couldn’t hear. I logged 37, being 4 of them S2S, including 2E0YYY/P, I think activating the unexplored summit SP-013 ;o)
When I finished in 20m, I decided to qsy 28 MHz expecting to have less noise issues but the situation there was similar and I couldn’t log. I tried 24 MHz as well but it was worthless.
It was late, I was tired and a bit fed up of the continuous wind, but I had the last brilliand idea of the day.
I felt frustrated for not having the chance to greet my usual CW friend and I said to myself: why not?
I self spotted saying: “14.050 MHz SSB. CW MOUTH!! my cw key is broken. I’ll use mouth”
I had never done such a thing but, what could I lose on that?
I checked 14.050, no one there. A ha! What word should I use as for the tone? I decided to thry “PI”, that I found similar and recognizable by CW ops. I started calling CW: PIIII PI PIIII PI - PIII PIII PI PIII….
No one answered but I got on and, what a thrill!! PA0XAW returned. We could complete my first ever crossed SSB mouth morse – CW qso.
I was such as happy that it was difficult to contain my laugh, but another colleague was there to attract again my attention! In the end I completed 4 Mouth CW qso.
So bear in mind, you CW op, if you ever experience the same as me, consider you could still qualify by using this technique, hi hi!
A more than satisfied EA2BD…
Thanks all chasers of this beautiful day, the CW ops that looked the way to tune their freqs so that I could listen them, and special thanks to Mike G6TUH who was quite gentle helping me on spots to announce my troubles. He’s even recorded my mouth morse, it seems!!
Let me end this report by saying I participated just few days ago on the CQ WW CW contest and today I find that a single SOTA activation can make you feel much rewarded, and creative!
CU soon in another summit (with a repaired key, I hope!)
VY 73 de Ignacio EA2BD
A last view of Untzue on my way back home.