My first CW activation! G/CE-003 Bredon Hill

Thanks. Yep, I am already using Rufzxp as part of my CW ops course. Mostly been using it for words so far but am about to start using it for more callsign practice. The ‘gamification’ aspect helps keep it interesting / infuriating!

I have an MTR as well - maybe I will make activating with that my next goal too!

I also experience bigger pileups on 30m than on 40m CW. The reason is the skip is perfect for us in the peripheria of central Europe (DL).
The following map shows four pairs of 2 concentric coloured circles centered on Spain (EA2), England, Poland and Greece.
The typical skip on 30m at around Noon, according to my experience varies from 300-400Km up to 1500-2000Km,
From EA2 the areas between the 2 red rings.
From England the areas between the 2 navy blue rings.
From Poland the areas between the 2 green rings.
From Greece, the areas between the 2 sky blue rings.

So, the zones typically reached from these peripheric countries always include the central part of Europe (parts of F, DL, HB, North I, S5, OE, OK, etc) with a huge density of hams and SOTA chasers.




Thanks Guru; very interesting. How does it compare to the 40m skip in your opinion? I guess the top of the range is higher for 30m than it is for 40m, but by how much?

Hi Romain,
Look at the table I took from an ARRL document and posted on the right hand side of my map. That can give you an idea of how shorter the skip at noon on 40m is compared to 30m.


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Very well done Tony. I remember my 1st activations as being traumatic at the time leading to elation on the way back to the car. I also I remember my 1st all CW activation, it wasn’t planned like that, it’s just how it turned out and I only noticed when I got home entering it that it was CW only. With your call M5OTA and my club cal MS0TA l we can cause people’s heads to explode when we have an CW QSO Just swap 2 dits for 2 dashes

Onwards and upwards.


That’s certainly true now as 40m CW seems often flat to me. There’s something about 30m I like and cannot explain. I think it’s the fact you get the occasional unexpected QSO. I looked at my log and I only have 1300 30m QSOs with 462 distinct callsigns. Most of them are exactly as your map would suggest. Central EU with a few on the periphery such as YO, LZ etc.

I was surprised to see some quite nice DX (as distance) with Matt KA1R at 4900km a few times. And DX which is exotic-ish such as TF3Y. Iceland is rare enough that being called by a TF station is a nice treat and shows the power of SOTA to make a boring GM station into DX. Quite a few Russian and Ukraine stations in the log. In particular several 3600km QSOs with Sergei RV9DC in Krasnoturinsk in Asiatic Russia. QRZ says Sergei is now SK which I didn’t know.

My 30m results fit my expectations of using a low inverted V dipole for most of the time. I do have a simple vertical but it is physically very short and heavily loaded so it works but I don’t expect miracles with it. It’s a bit like Andy G8CPZ compromise small footprint vertical. Neither are DX magnets but work well enough to qualify summits and provide some fun.


Maybe the fact that you don’t get sat on by someone calling CQ TEST might have something to do with it. My preference for an activation is 2m SSB followed by 30m CW, knowing that my wingman is mopping up the more local chasers… that’s when I’ve not taken off without him.

Thanks, I have to admit I am looking forward to logging M5OTA ↔ MS0TA :smiley:

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Vy congratulations Tony.

CWops and RuFZ are indeed effective training methods, but you’ve now started the training method that will give you the most rapid progress of them all - real actual live SOTA activating!

It’s an incredibly effective process because you’re totally focused, motivated and enjoying yourself while doing it. If you’ve got a handy summit on your work commute, replace as many shack-based training sessions as possible with real SOTA activations. You will be amazed at how rapid your progress will be!

Looking forward to our first CW contact and our first CW S2S.


Yes, Andy, from your location in GM, making QSOs with YO, LZ, SV is possible and it’s over 2000Km. I have also logged QSOs with Scandinavia and Lithuania, which are well over the 2000Km from EA2. It all depends on propagation conditions. As stated in my post, those areas between the coloured circles show the typical skip area on 30m at noon.
Earlier in the morning and later in the evening should and indeed do procure great chances for DX. I still remember with great pleasure when I was on holidays in EA1 making QSO with VK7CW while I was QRP 5W activating EA1/CR-020 on August 2nd, 2016 at 5h40 utc.
I think I’m going to have to do something to get back to activating again early in the mornings. The pileups will be small but the pleasure of working down-under DX is priceless…

P.D. I forgot saying that I have some times chased KX0R on 30m while he was activating SOTA in Colorado and it was after sunset or even totally dark night here.