Remains of forest burnt in EA2/NV-095


It’s been some months without a chance of doing a joint activation with my mate Jorge, EA2LU. We agreed on a joint one to activate Mt. Esparatz.

Last time we were there together was back in September 18th 2021; that one was a horrific experience as we had to abandon after a very short time in the summit due to a huge rainstorm. See a couple of pictures of our nasty feeling under the umbrella and the muddy trousers and boots at the descent:

In contrast, after a very hot summer this year we headed again Mt. Esparatz with a better weather forecast. Activation date was October 8th 2022.

The remains of the forest after the fire

As I said, it’s been a really hot summer, and not only in Spain as you know. Due to the extremely hot temperatures lasting some weeks, we have had some big fires in several forests in our region and one of those, to our disgrace, was here in Esparatz by mid of June.

We watched with sadness how the landscape has been devasted by the fire, leaving these pictures nowadays:

Such a huge difference compared to what we saw back in 2021, on that rainy day:

The activation: testing a 4S LiIon package

Despite the sad trek while going up to the summit, once there we concentrated on our activation.

This time Jorge had brought a tiny homebrew built 4S LiIon package made with 4 x 18650 cells in series. As usual, he’s done a neat job, adding the connector for the charger, a XT60 power plug and covered the cells with a thermal retractable duct.

When fully loaded, this lightweight battery provides 4 times 4,1 V, that is 16,4 volt, too high for the KX2. Therefore Jorge added an automatic voltage dropper according to the design of AD5X, available on Internet. This way the built in diodes reduce the voltage to a safe value.

Jorge ran his usual setup: 14 meter long inverted L plus 4 ground radials. At the end of his activation (for almost 2 hours, running 10w on TX) the LiIon battery showed 14,8 volts, that is a reduction of just 1,6 V.The 18650 cells have proven to be robust enough for an even longer operating time.

I separated a bit and installed my EFHW for 7-10-14 MHz.

We both had a wonderful day, working CW and SSB and logging a bunch of usual chasers and greeting friends S2S. At least this time we managed a proper long activation without weather issues.

The only open point is how to deal with those increasing temperatures we guess we’ll continue facing in the coming years…

See you soon from another one. 73


Thanks Ignacio, great report and photos. The fires sure did destroy the forest. We in VK had similar fires on our east coast; wiping out townships and killing a number of people as well. I can relate to how you feel. Take care and stay safe.

Geoff vk3sq

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Looks like a good time activating.
Here in the Inland Northwest of the US wildfires are a fact of life, like clock work mid summer tens of thousands of acres burn and a few times in my life whole towns have been wiped off of the map. I say this to reasure you, the forest will come back stronger and more beautiful. It is simply mind blowing how vibrant the color of the undergrowth gets after a burn. Also the healthy trees typically will not burn, so the fire does make the forest more healthy in the long run. But I too feel great sadness when I walk through a fresh burn…

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