Mt. Iguste EA2/NV-127 by EA2IF/P on 31/08/2014

I had a great time today in the mountain thanks to SOTA. I saw the alerts from VK2 so I woke up at 6:45 local (4:45 utc) in order to be early enough at the Summit to try the S2S QSO with VK.
I parked the car at the Guirguillano hill (725m a.s.l.) by the remains of the roman way:

From that point, there’s a wide comfortable path to take at the side of the road and it’s very clearly marked:

The path is straightforward as you’ll see in this picture and you can also see that the sun was just getting up when I started my ascent in the company of my dog Lucho.

At the moment of reaching this top, I thought we had already got to the Summit, as there was a group of stones at the top of that área,

but I quickly realised that there was a higher one further to the South after having passed this secondary summit.
Not much later and after having had to jump over a spined fence and entered into a pine trees forest, I found the real summit, which didn’t have any other marking than another pile of stones at the highest point.
See a picture of it with the vertical antenna already in place:

After quickly setting up the station, I looked at the Sotawatch spots on my Smartphone before switching on the rig. I saw there were some VK2s spotted and when I went to the frequencies to see if I had copy of them, I found, by chance, Mike - G6TUH talking with Matt - VK1MA, who was about to start a SOTA activation and trying to find a good frequency with mínimum QRM. I shouted Sota 2 Sota and G6TUH copied me and informed Matt about my presence. Mike and I exchanged reports and he was the very first contact of my activation today. When Matt - VK1MA listened for me, it turned out that the frequency was too noise at his side for him to copy my tiny QRP signal and he asked me to QRX while he looked for a clearer frequency. He came back after a few seconds and asked me to QSY. So I did and we managed to complete successfully what it was my very first S2S QSO with VK. I was very excited and want to thank Mike for his kind help on warning Matt of my presence.
Later I QSYed to the frequency of another VK and tried to draw his attention by transmitting S2S several times in the gaps but the pile up signals were much stronger than mine and nobody helped me this time by warning the VK station about S2S calling, so I decided to give up and find a clear CW frequency for me to start CQing.
At the end of the activation, I completed 77 QSOs on 20m SSB, 20m CW, 30m CW and 2m FM.
5 QSOs were S2S and the very last one with Marcial - EA2BDS/P on 20m CW was so much at the limit that when he picked me up in his pile-up and gave me the signal report, I replayed and my rig switched off at the very momento of passing him my signal report, as I was running out of battery power. I switched back on the rig, reduced the power to 1w and Marcial could perfectly copy my signal report, so we completed the QSO.
I told Marcial that I was running 2.5 watts but this was wrong, as I later realised that in the rush I had clicked twice the power button of my FT-817, so I was indeed running just 1 watt!
The descent was pleasant with beautiful sun and warm temperature.
This is the picture of the Summit I took once back in the car park and a view from the some point during the ascent of the Alloz water reservoir surrounded by the already harvested cereal fields.

On the 18 Km of my way home I stopped to take a couple of pictures of the nice palace in Señorío de Sarria and the beautiful romanic bridge of Puente la Reina, crossed by St. James way pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela.

Thanks a lot to all my chasers and spotters.
Have a nice week.
Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF

Congratulations on your excellent activity Guru!
Buon Domingo y hasta lluego amigo
Cordialez 73 de Fritz DL4FDM/HB9CSA

Congratulations Guru, and thanks for the S2S … EC2AG ANTONIO

Felicitaciones también para ti por ese VK8 trabajado durante tu activación.
Gracias por haberme llamado para el QSO S2S.
Voy a intentar hacer algo de 20m SSB en mis activaciones a partir de ahora.
Espero oirte pronto de nuevo.
73 de Guru - EA2IF

Congrats to you too for the VK8 worked during your activation.
Thanks for having called me for the S2S QSO.
I’ll try to work some 20m SSB from now on in my activations.
Hope to hear you son again.
73 de Guru - EA2IF

Hello Guru,

"I found, by chance, Mike - G6TUH talking with Matt - VK1MA, who was about to start a SOTA activation "

Excellent for the VK contact :sunglasses: I was very pleased with our second contact ( 1st contact was 100w - you would not approve!) on your summit. I used 5w but the those 5 watts had to run 30 metres to the antenna so how many watts :wink:

Hope you hear me next time!


Dear Mike,
Don’t worry about the 30m of coax you have between your rig and the antenna. That’s nothing. I’m sure your power on 14 MHz won’t get reduced significantly due to cable loses.
In fact your signal was more than perfectly readable when we had our 2nd QSO yesterday. Your signal was real S7 on the first call, later when you came back again to me, it was S6 initially and later went down to S3 due to QSB but the copy was perfect all the way through.
I’m sure I would have copied you perfectly even if you had transmitted with just 1 watt.
Bear in mind that QRM level at the Summit was absolutely nothing, so I could perfectly copy any signal, even those copied without any S-meter unit.
Troubles to copy parts of some callsign during an activation, are usually due to other station or stations transmitting over the one the activator is trying to pick up or due to QSB, QRN or splatter, but very rarely due to the constant QRM level we usually have on the bands when in our city home QTHs.
I’ll be looking forward to copy you again in my next activation and we may try QRPp 1 watt.
Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF

Good morning Guru,
OK -when you next venture onto SSB I will try and make a contact with you running 1w !
Best wishes