Activation report OH/JS-064

ops oh3t Toni, oh3kw Hannu

I called Hannu oh3kw last week and we discussed about activation during the weekend. The plan was to participate in IARU FD CW from a summit or an IOTA destination in OH.

I woke up early on Saturday morning to pack and check the band conditions. When I turned on my radio and received just S9 noise it was quite obvious that some alteration to our plans was mandatory. I checked the fmi.fi magnetometer graphs from a station nearby and it was all red. I then called Hannu again and we agreed to cancel the activation for Saturday and check the status again on Sunday morning.

Sunday came and bands showed some improvement and we decided to go for it. There is one particular summit that we had been discussing about during our previous activations. The summit is on the island of lake Päijänne. There is a cable ferry connection from the mainland, but neither of us had any idea about the local terrain. Studying the satellite pictures we agreed that a bit of hiking was required.

After roughly an hour drive we arrived to the cable ferry. The short ferry trip took us to the island. A bit of navigating with the aid of Rucksack Radiotool (highly recommended) we found the summit. We parked our car, packed the radiogear and started walking up through the bushes, trees and rocks. From the car we had spotted a tall Pine tree as the highest point on the summit so that was our target. After some walking and cursing we finally arrived to our destination and started setting up the station.

I used my bow to shoot the arrow over and through the Pine branches. I missed Hannu by two meters - according to him. After taking the doublet out, I started connecting the ladder line to the doublet. What ladder line? Well, the one that I found after the activation from my antenna workshop at home.

We had to improvise. We connected my SG-211 tuner directly to the doublet and used coaxial cable to feed it. We managed to get the tuner up to about 13 meters quite easily. I have to say that this could be the preferred way to feed this antenna setup in upcoming activations. I just need to waterproof the tuner first. The setup worked really well in these tough band conditions.

Due to lenght of the coax feed we placed the amplifier and its battery on top of the rock and set up the station next to it to the ground level. We tested the setup while I was on the rock and Hannu on the ground. He tried to tune but nothing happened. Great! The coax was broken. Fortunately that was easy to fix. Finally we got the tuner working and bands sounded to be alive. We checked 15, 20, and 17 and finally decided to go 20 ssb.

I started calling cq cq but got no answers. Hannu sent a spot with rrt and I kept calling. No answers, that was odd. I climbed back to the rock to check the cables and found the issue. When testing the broken coax I managed the secrew up and connected the antenna coax to RTX slot of the amp and vice versa.

At this stage the spot was already in Sotawatch and after my first cq there was steady stream of chasers in the log. After I got my required four for activation points it was Hannu’s turn so we changed the operators. He continued where I left and after matter of few minutes he had also worked the needed chasers to get the points. After that we changed again back and I continued working chasers without much need for calling cq in between. The band conditions were challenging with deep slow qsb.

Due to hassle with antenna and family commitments we had, no cw this time. I feel bad about this, so please accept my apologies. Two summit to summit qsos in the log despite of the challenging band conditions. I think the tuner-up-in-the-doublet setup was working really well.

The wx was ufb 25+ in the shadows. Some mosquitos around, but kept away with insect repellent generously applied to our skins.

They say that a picture tells more than thousand words (with caption starting Ohjs064; as of writing this the last 18 in the album):


Finally, thank you to all the chasers once again!


Toni oh3t

In reply to OH3T:

Hello Toni & Hannu,

I enjoyed very much reading the report because, I think, about the info’ on what went wrong, which is very honest.

Glad you made it in the end.

Mike G6TUH