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OK8CDX+OK8VM Tour agn 02/09/19-09/09/19

OK8CDX AKA Phil G4OBK and OK8VM AKA Victor GI4ONL are both flying to Prague next Monday for another 8 day spell of operating in the Czech Republic and Austria. This will be Phil’s 8th Tour and Victor’s 6th Tour in the Czech Republic.

We are again returning to the OK/ST and OK/JC areas and will stay in Pribram for OK/ST and near Hamr for the OK/JC area. We will likely cross the border from OK/JC and activate one or two summits in the OE/NO region.

A few hams have asked why we keep returning to Czech and there are several reasons. The availability of cheap flights from Northern Ireland and the North of England is one. I usually go Easy Jet and Victor takes Aer Lingus or Ryanair. The car hire is also affordable at the airport in Prague, we favour Firefly the budget arm of Hertz, never had a problem with them. We find the Czech people are friendly when approached, despite the language barrier. The beer is second to none and the accommodation, food and drink is also still affordable despite the low Brexit pound. No single supplement is charged in Hotels and B&Bs, so we can have our own en-suite rooms at no extra cost. As for SOTA itself, the summit density is prolific with a large number being within a short distance - the summits chosen are always within a mile or two of a public road. SOTA Heaven, :wink: which is why we keep going back. Several of the OK activators are extremely active and this has provided both Victor and I with lots of already Chased summits, so for us it a SOTA Complete feast, as we have chased most of the summits throughout the country, and that is a big attraction. Maybe this will be the last Czech tour for us, we are not sure.

Our operation will follow the usual pattern. We will set up our individual stations, and be on the air for between 15 and 30 minutes from each summit at most. CW is the priority with OK8VM Victor operating exclusively CW on the 30m band and me OK8CDX operating on 20m if the band is open or 40m if it is closed. I operate also in SSB. We use Elecraft KX2 radios and home made link dipoles without baluns fixed on 5m travel poles. I carry an HB1B CW radio in the car as the shared backup radio in case of either KX2 failing.

Unless the weather curtails our activity we’re sure to make over 1000 SOTA QSOs between us and will be dissapointed if we do not visit at least 50 summits and accue over 200 points over the 8 days of intense activity. Look forward to working many of the Chasers and other Activators for S2S.

73 Phil
G4OBK / OK8CDX

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Enjoy your trip, old boys.
Keep safe and have fun…

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I know several Bavarian amateurs that would challenge you on that statement Phil but fair to say Czech bier isn’t bad at all.

Good luck on the tour - stay safe and if you get far enough away to be out of my skip zone, I’ll be calling you when you venture onto SSB.

73 Ed DD5LP.

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The advantage is even with rubbish British Brexit pounds, Czech beer is great and cheap as opposed to German beer which is great and not cheap. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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It depends where you buy it Andy. In a supermarket German beer is cheap enough (55-60 cents for half a litre), in a basic bier garden in the country it’s not expensive either. In a tourist trap … well that’s the same, the world over - tourists pay more than locals!

73 Ed.

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I think getting my own supermarket bought beer out of my bag when having a meal in a bar/restaurant would go down with the venue management as well as a ground glass sandwich does. :wink:

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Thanks for the info Ed and Andy on the beer thoughts and prices hihi! I love Bavarian beer as much as Czech and Belgian Ed. I don;t like the real ale much which is currently as popular in the UK as Gin is for the ladies - what a craze both things are here.

What Ed means is that after October 31st without an trade agreement on leaving the EU, once we get through the security at the airport with our shiny new blue British Passport (Designed in France/Netherlands and printed in Poland!!), we will pay the equivalent of £1 or 55-60 cents by then, for the can of beer, because the way our exchange rates are going down that is what the £1 will be worth - 50 cents and a much reduced number of UK hams like me will be travelling to FN and mainland EU in general. So in 2020 it may have to be Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for the SOTA Tours instead… what a blessed shame if that is the case. I love these SOTA adventures in the EU, but there is a limit to what I am prepared to spend on them!

73 Phil

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Hi Phil, Hi Vicotor,
enjoy th trip, have fun!
I hope to meet you for one or more QSO’s
73’
Paul DL6FBK

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Of course, that’s not the point, you’d be taking the beer up to the summit to drink it as a reward after that hard slog up and the pile-up stress, sitting back in the sunshine overlooking a beautiful valley with a cool beer in your hand … before the long walk back down. (Drink in moderation of course).

73 Ed.

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Cheers Paul! Let’s stop the beer talk and get on with the activations today then. We hope to have just the one Czech beer with our meal in Pribram this evening… (“dva pivo prosim”)

The disruption to air traffic in Europe yesterday caused by a computer failure meant that 180 Easy Jet flights (10% of their fleet) were cancelled. Fortunately my plane is scheduled to be waiting and on time in Manchester for me today just after lunch.

Victor and I hope to be on OK/ST-029, ST-024 and ST-016 this evening. 7 MHz for OK8CDX and 10 MHz for OK8VM. We hope we have time for all three summits, if we run out of daylight then it will be two.

73 Phil

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despite the low Brexut pound, GB is quite expensive for Eastern.I know something about it. Czech peaks are pure pleasure, that’s why I’m waiting for you

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Yes, Leszek and France is very expensive for us. I don’t know where you stayed but your recent extensive UK Tour must have cost many pounds.

Hope to work you in our tour.

Phil OK8CDX

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LIVE PICTURE

Here’s Victor OK8VM desperate for his 4th contact on 30m from OK/ST-005 first summit of the day. He had to go on 40m CW to get it!

73 Phil

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Hi Phil,

I moved breakfast into the shack but no direct copy here.

Will keep trying!

Col

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I’ve been checking when I have seen your spots Phil but unfortunately skip has been to long (and the background noise rather high) - hopefully we’ll get better conditions over the next couple of days. (that for me, means short-skip).

73 Ed.

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HI Phil,

thanks for the summits this morning, signals suffering from deep qsb, it’s now I see ya now I don’t :smile: Victor not making it at all my way on 30m, well I got about 5 secs of him from ST-009 and then he was gone. Hope condx will pick up a bit.

Have fun both of ye

Declan

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Cheers Dec, we hoped To activate JC-117 about now but delays due to roadworks at Trebon cost us 30 mins. We’ll get there another day as there is road access to the summit and its only 3km from our Penzion B&B. We cancelled ST-020 due to a road closure, and substituted JC-093 instead. I think we both worked you from there.

Back on tmw.

73 Phil

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Hi Phil, yes caught up with both of you from 093. Unfortunately it’s back to the salt mine tomorrow, I only had the one day off to conduct some domestic business (and chase a few SOTA of course)

Enjoy the rest of the trip

73

Dec

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Quite a hard day yesterday - we had hoped to activate 7 summits but ran out of time after 5. We split from a common parking place for JC-027 and JC-122, so got S2S and met on the walk in between. TNX to Jan OK2PDT for the suggestion. If we do not get into our Penzion Restaurace by 7.30pm local time (1730z) we do not get any dinner! The nights are drawing in now, so there isn’t much daylight left by then anyway.

We think we will have an easier day today with no long walk ins. Propagation has been contrary on 20m band but I will try it again this morning to see if it will support my QRP working. I find on 20m from Czech to Scandinavia (SA4BLM etc) signals are pretty good, but the ham catchment is low. On 40m single hop into ON, PA is excellent with 599/59 sigs mostly. UK is harder to reach, but folk like G4WSB and G0VWP have been getting into the log often.

Runing order today is likely to be:

JC-086 > JC-077 > JC-018 > JC-058 > JC-062 > JC-110 > JC-112.

The latter ones in the list will be deleted if we run out of time. We also have JC-115 and JC-117 near to our Penzion as standby reserve summits if needed and there is spare time left - albeit they are only one point “drive on” summits.

73 Phil

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JC-086 live pictures. Just 14 QSOs between us. 20m closed. 30m open north and east. Nice open Beech wood:

On to next summit.

73 Phil

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