My first and second CW activation - now with addendum


Over the last years I thought about working from summits in CW and not only in SSB. In the past, 23 years ago, I used CW on short wave for some weeks and later some times on VHF and UHF during contests. I was not sure to handle Morse code yet good enough from summits.

During the last years occasionally I was searching for a small and really summit suitable single (!) paddle (!) key for not so much money, found nothing. When I decided to use a bit more coins for a good quality and buy a palm key I found the production closed. Now, with some luck some weeks ago, I’ve got a Palm Pico Single. Working with the key (in local mode) was very joyful. This was the boost. It was itching me (right wording?) to use the key from a summit.


Last Tuesday the forecast for Wednesday was perfect (a little to perfect with up to 25 °C in March). I packed the station and things for a day hike and especially the Palm Pico Single.

The first summit was Großer Farmdenkopf, DM/TH-012, a convenient place with tables and benches, a good place to concentrate on CW.

6 m wire up and some along the metal fence

After a spot by RBN two strong signals with the same pitch came in. SV3IEG was my first contact and OH5RP came later in the log.

Thanks to the chasers I managed contacts with

20 m CW: SV3IEG, EA7GV, EA5K, SA4BLM and OH5RP

20 m SSB: SV3IEG

40 m SSB: EA2DT, G4WSB, EA2CE and G0FEX

The weather was nice but sometimes with a strong wind, very dangerous for my paper log. After 40 minutes I packed up.

The next summit was Quittelsberg, DM/TH-844, a longer hike and much more ascend.

20 m dipole supported by the pole

I was QRV about 14:40 UTC and worked

20 m CW: UR3IRM

40 m CW: SA4BLM, G4WSB, F4WBN, EA2DT, S57D, OE6WIG and UW8SM

20 m SSB: EA2DT and EA1DHB

As a precaution to get enough contacts from this summit in the late afternoon I brought my PA and LiFePo 6.6 Ah on the summit, meaningless. 5 watts were ok. Carrying 2 kg for nothing, it was like a small anvil.

The way down was boring, 3.2 km on a forest road permanent with 11 % slope.

the first 300 m with 18 % slope :slightly_frowning_face:

Thanks a lot to all the chasers, especially for these with patience when I don’t get the call at the first attempt. Now I’m waiting for the next activation in CW. Hope to work you then.

73 Ludwig


Neat setup and hope to have a DX contact sometime in the future.

Cheers, Wal VK2WP

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Well done for doing two summits for your first CW activation. You did better than me!

My first SOTA activation was with Pete Freeman MØHQO. I was so pleased & relieved I didn’t make a hash of my first CW activation, I went home and had a bottle of wine to wind down!!! It took me a while to pluck up courage to do my second activation which I did do alone…


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Last Wednesday temperature was up to 25°C. This morning, 6 days later, it was around -1°C. Looking outside I found a totally different view.


Ditch the amp. I’ve never had issues activating with CW running QRP. Condx weren’t the greatest this past weekend and I still had 25 HF contacts on 20/30/40.


I agree and plan to do so. Buying the PA was the result of a few hard activations when it took me about one or two hours to qualify a summit and two times not.

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