This is the SOTA I activated this morning:
It’s between Mt. Elomendi EA2/NV-037 (left) and Mt. Alaitz EA2/NV-064 (right).
And this is its location towards the SouthEast of Pamplona:
This summit is full of WPG (Wind Power Generators) and there’s a service dirt road which can be driven up to the very top. However, I found a barrier down and locked today not letting any traffic pass, so I parked my car by the side and hiked about 15-20 minutes, which was a good way to test my strength and ability to do a short hike with quite a gentle elevation gain. During the short hike, I had my FT-23R ON with the rubber duck, but I could only hear someone at the noise level and I couldn’t understand who he was.
As soon as I reached the summit area, I setup like this, with the bottom of my 7m telescopic fishing rod tied to a boxum and the higher part of the first section tied to a tree branch. From the top of the fishing rod, I hung my 14m long endfed wire as a sloper towards the East down to my 9:1 unun, from which a 5m long counterpoise wire was extended and elevated over some branches and bushes.
The HF rig was Yaesu FT-817ND at 5W, which today performed beautifully after the problem causing audio failures was found and easily fixed yesterday.
The battery was a 4S2P LiFePo4 from HobbyKing.
The VHF rig was Yaesu FT-23R at 5W, although it probably was at 4W or less because power supply was at 10.2V from 2 power banks, of those used to charge mobile phones, connected in series. From the FT-23R there was a short length of RG58 to a small SWR meter, which served as a nice support base for the dual band Diamond mobile whip, which you can see in the following picture.
Propagation conditions on HF were mostly rubbish this morning and most of my chasers arrived with very weak signals and QSB, so I guess I was a real pain to be copied with my 5W at the chaser’s side.
The activation went like this:
2m FM: 1 QSO.
20m CW: 10 QSOs, 3 of which S2S, after about 20 minutes QRV.
2m FM: 3 QSOs.
10m CW: 1 QSO, after about 10 minutes QRV.
12m CW: 0 QSOs, after about 6 minutes CQing.
15m CW: 4 QSOs, 1 of which S2S, after about 8 minutes QRV.
2m FM: 1 QSO S2S.
15m CW: 5 QSOs, 1 of which S2S, after about 10 minutes QRV.
30m CW: 8 QSOs, 1 of which S2S, after about 15 minutes QRV.
40m CW: 13 QSOs after about 30 minutes QRV.
This is the full log with 46 QSOs, 7 of which S2S, after nearly 2 hours on air:
You can see it on the map:
At 12h00 utc (14h00 local) I went QRT, dismantled everything and hiked back the 15 minutes to where I had parked the car at the other side of the locked barrier. The Sun was strong but the temperature was a bit cooler than yesterday and there were some nice shady areas from the bleech trees forest at both sides of the dirt road I was descending on, so it was all ok. Once at the car, a short drive of about 20 minutes and I was back home enjoying a delicious meal of penne pasta and hake fish + salmon.
Despite the tough propagation conditions experienced today, I had a very nice time out in the mountain and playing radio. I also hiked both ways with the rucksack full of gear and everything went fine, so I think I may try a short and easy SOTA soon.
Thanks dear chasers for your calls and QSOs. I’ll be looking forward to copying you all again soon from a SOTA.