Mt. San Cristóbal EA2/NV-119 by EA2IF/P on 01/03/2014

Despite the cold, grey and rainy morning, I decided to do the saturday morning usual very quick activation of mount San Cristobal (EA2/NV-119).
I started hiking at 10:11 utc. It rained all time but not too much so I didn’t get too wet.
When I got to the summit by 10:45 utc everything was covered with a thin 4cm layer of snow.

Since the weather forecast was bad for this weekend, mine was the only announced activation for this morning in the EA2 area and I posted it shortly before starting, as I didn’t want to announce it last night without having seen what the weather was like this morning.
Possibly because of this lack of local and regional announced activations in the EA2 area for today on 2m, there were very few people QRV on the 145.525 frequency this morning, so I had to work hard and struggle to collect 4 QSOs, just the minimum required to qualify. Thanks to EA2BD, EA2BCF, EA2LU and EA2ATL for your calls.
Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF

A pesar de la fría, gris y lluviosa mañana, decidí hacer la muy rá¡pida activació³n habitual de los sábados por la mañana en el monte San Cristobal (EA2/NV-119).
Empecé la subida a las 10:11 utc. Llovia todo el tiempo de la subida, pero no demasiado y no me mojé mucho.
Cuando llegué a la cumbre a las 10:45 utc todo estaba cubierto con una fina capa de nieve de 4cm.
Dado que la previsión meteorológica era mala para este fin de semana, la mía era la única activación anunciada para esta mañana en la zona EA2 y la colgué poco antes de comenzar, pues no quería anunciarla anoche sin haber visto cómo estaba el tiempo esta mañana.
Posiblemente debido a esta falta de activaciones anunciadas localmente o en la región para hoy en 2m, había muy poca gente QRV en la frecuencia 145.525 esta mañana y tuve que trabajar duro y pelear para reunir 4 QSOs, justo el mínimo requerido para validar. Gracias a EA2DT, EA2BCF, EA2LU y EA2ATL por vuestras llamadas.
Mejores 73 de Guru - EA2IF

In reply to EA2IF:
Thanks for your efforts, Guru
I planned to go to GI for a short activation, but it is raining “non-stop”, so I’m waiting for a last minute change for tomorrow. Will you go out again?
73 Mikel

In reply to EA2CW:
Dear Mikel,
I don’t think I’ll do any HF activation this weekend.
Should I go somewhere tomorrow morning for a SOTA activation, it will be something not far from my QTH and on 2m FM only with my FT-23R handie, as the weather is too rainy and everything is too damped or even covered with snow at the summits around here as to put my FT-817 at risk.
I hope to be able to work you when you will be GI/EA2CW/P, but, depending on the bands and times you will choose it may not be easy for me because my station is currently in limp mode. My rotator got broken a few days ago and while it’s waiting to be checked, repaired and installed back in the tower, I have put the TH5-DX tribander yagi beamming to North America without any possibility to rotate it.
In addition to this, a heavy wind yesterday (Friday) broke one of the branches of my 80m double bazooka dipole. This shouldn’t be a big problem for SOTA because there’s little activity on 80m, but I use this dipole also for 30m and 12m, so it’s indeed a problem…
I hope winter and rainy spring season will end one day and I’ll have the chance to work in the tower getting all broken things repaired and installing a multiband folded dipole which I have and haven’t yet got installed.
Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF

In reply to EA2IF:
So busy scenary you have, Guru!
Firsr of all, I beg your pardon. When I mentioned GI, I would mean Gipuzkoa, not GI. Was my fault, sorry.
BTOH, the weather here stayed rainy today and I think that mountains around must be full of mud. Too much for risking the equipments…
I have not as many troubles as you with antennas at home, as I only had a long wire across the street which was broken by…who knows two weeks ago. But luckiky, I will have the chance of putting a new one on the roof next week. It will not be very large, just a fibber pole of abt 4-5 mtrs long where I plan to bobinate some 16m 1.5mm. Not the world best antenna, but enough to keep on working EU sota activators.
So, Guru, I wish you good luck with ur antenna works and weather.

73 de Mikel

In reply to EA2CW:
Thank you, Mikel, for the explanation. When you spoke about cancelling your trip to GI on Saturday and possibly going on Sunday I should have guessed you were talking about GIpuzkoa, but I thought to myself instead what kind of man could decide about going to Northern Ireland one day or other depending on the weather. I even wondered whether Ryanair had possibly a flight from some Basque airport to Northern Ireland, hi, hi, hi. I was a little bit too naïve…
I was tempted to go to the mountain this morning but my daughters made me wait for them too long and they finally said they didn’t want to come. It was too late by that time and I saw the weather was getting very good by noon, with a nice sun and pretty warm temperatures, so I decided to climb to the tower and do the repair of the 80m dipole. It’s got repaired and installed back at the top of the tower. I have also worked on the 40m dipole I had connected together with the 80m dipole to the same coax line, as they were whiskers. This configuration I decided to try when I installed them last December hasn’t given good results, so I have now splitted the dipoles and each of them has an independent coax line now. I have also put a couple of 4,5m long masts in vertical position to keep the ends of the 40m dipole higher and the angle of the inverted V wider. After these actions, I have experienced a better SWR reading and a very good improvement of RX signals on 40m. I haven’t been able to try the 80m dipole because I need to weld the PL-259 connector at the end of the new line I put today.
OK on your long wire antenna. Sorry for the cutting problem you had and I hope you will be able to use it again without such problems soon.
After I moved with my family from Madrid to Navarra last summer 2012, I worked with a 40m Long Wire antenna until December 2013, when I got my tower and antennas installed again in this QTH. The Long Wire is a too noisy antenna for houses, with plenty of appliances, internet routers, and so on in these days.
SOTA signals arrive very weak many times and a noisy Long Wire makes it impossible to copy.
If you don’t have possibilities or will to install bigger antennas, let me tell you about a multiband very quiet antenna that I bought some years ago and haven’t yet got installed in this QTH but did have it and used it when in Madrid QTH: it’s a 90Ft long Broad Band Folded Dipole made by Barker & Williamson. It’s not the best antenna in the world but it’s a good compromise for working all bands from 6 to 80m with pretty low SWR, although this will depend on the specific installation at your QTH.
I’ll try to chase some SOTAs on 40m tomorrow in order to see how the double bazooka dipole works now with its new independent coax line.
Take care and have a good week.
73 de Guru - EA2IF

In reply to EA2IF:
So at least you’ve got to use your day! Happy to have there so good day, we´ve had here strong winds and rain all day long!
I have got a 3,5m fishing rod on the window to make some chasing, but it’s going up-down-left-right all the time… I think I’ll must take it out finally.

About the antenna, as I told you before I’m planning to put some kind of pole on the roof, but I’ve loved dipoles all my life… so ¿Have you any extra info about it? I’m on time for changing my mind!

Hurrengo arte!

73 de Mikel

In reply to EA2CW:
This is the antenna I’m talking to you about.

Mine is the BWDS-90N, but you can buy a shorter or longer one depending on the available room you have in your roof.


Laster arte de Guru - EA2IF

In reply to EA2IF:

Nice discussion going on. I take chance, to ask for details of the BWDS antenna.

I rode some feedback but I never used one. As usual with such things, some were positive,others negative.
On the down side, some complained about poor performance because of the present big resistor in the middle of the antenna. The resistance was suspected of producing a nice impedance adaptation on any band, then good for SWR, but they said experiencing low levels thus a deaf antenna, not really resonant.

Can you tell something about your experience Guru?
Did you have it installed flat top or Vee?

Thanks for any comments.
Un abrazo a los dos!
73 cheerio

In reply to EA2IF:
Thank you Guru!, I’ll study it… Perhaps some info abt measures and middle balun… Seems to be a bit heavier to carry on SOTAs, but could fit very well on my roof. I’ll see, I have not already investigate it.

Eskerrik asko, elkarrekin hitz egingo dugu. Bidaliko dituz mezu bat datorren eguneetan
73 de Mikel

In reply to EA2BD:
Hi Ignacio,
Yes, I can give you my feedback after having had this antenna installed in my Aranjuez-Madrid QTH.
I had it as an inverted V, hanging from an arm attached to the top of my tower. The top of the Vee was about 16m above the ground. In order to keep the ends high above the ground and the angle of the vee wider, given the available room I had, the ends were tied, with the help of 4mm diameter nylon rope extensions, to a couple of vertical masts whose top ends were about 6m above the ground attached to the outermost fences of the property.
With this configuration the ends of the folded dipole were about 7m above the ground.
The antenna performed OK in all bands, but let me say that the SWR of 2:1 max in all bands was not achieved on the lower bands of 40, 80, 160m. Barker & Williamson say the SWR may be higher than 2:1 in case the antenna is not properly installed, but I believe the installation I had was very right, almost ideal and SWR didn’t meet the spec. for the lower bands.
As I told Mikel, this is a compromise antenna for those with limited space or not wishing to get involved in expenses, works, upheavals, responsibilities and headaches related to greater antenna systems with towers, beams, rotors and so on.
If you compare the folded dipole to any monoband antenna it will surely be beaten.
While I had the folded dipole installed, I also had a TH5-DX yagi for 10-15-20m and of course, as you can guess, the yagi is very, very far ahead the folded dipole. I remember copying North American stations 599 with the yagi and the folded dipole wasn’t even able to move the s-meter a little. Bear in mind that, since the folded dipole was as an inverted vee, there may also be polarisation reasons for this difference.
After having being using it for some time, I found the folded dipole quite deaf on 80m compared to what other colleagues in my same area were copying, so at one point I decided to home buid a double bazooka dipole because I heard very good comments about its performance and found it very easy to build.
When I built and installed the home made double bazooka for 80m in the tower as an inverted vee at exactly the same configuration and height above the ground of that of the folded dipole, I found a, believe me, HUGE, HUGE difference compared to the folded dipole.
The double bazooka dipole pleased me so much that I made another one for 40m and after installation, again the 40m double bazooka was better than the folded dipole, but the difference was not as huge as on 80m.
After having installed the 2 double bazookas, I ended up using the folded dipole just for the WARC bands 12, 17 and 30m, because 10, 15 and 20m were covered by my yagi and 40, 80m by the double bazookas.
With the help of an ATU I even managed to tune and use the 80m double bazooka on 160m, but its performance wasn’t great of course.
Well, as a summary, I can say that the folded dipole performed correctly from 10 to 30m. Even on 40m it was not bad at all.
I never tried it on 60m as we were not allowed to use that band at the time I had this antenna installed.
On 6m I only used the folded dipole one day with my FT-817 QRP rig so I can’t give you a proper feedback and I don’t remember what SWR was.
Finally, let me tell you about a very good work published by W4RNL explaining the fundamentals of this antenna and making a comparison of monoband half wave dipoles to the folded dipole.
I’ve tried to Google
Notes on the Terminated Wide-Band "Folded Dipole"
L. B. Cebik, W4RNL
but unfortunately I can get to that page anymore.
If you can let me know.
73 de Guru - EA2IF

I have editted this old activation report to add some few pictures.
I hope you’ll enjoy them.

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