Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Summits | Photos | Shop | Mapping | Sotlas | FAQs | Contact SOTA

Trans-Atlantic S2S Event 23rd April 2022 (Part 1)

I went to Blue Job Mountain (W1/NL-024), an easy hill not far from home, and set up an end-fed wire for 4 bands and a ground plane for 20m. Using my Elecraft K1, I started on 40, moved quickly to 30, tried 15, then settled on 20, hoping to hear European summits. It was not easy. I scanned the band often but the only EU summit I heard CQ was @EI9KY and he could not hear me.

My first QSO was at 1246Z and my first trans-Atlantic summit was not until @M1EYP called me using GB20SOTA at 1430Z (thanks Tom). A few minutes later I went back to 15 and heard @EA2BD repeating his call to a station I could not hear, so I picked a frequency just above and called CQ until Ignacio was done with VA2EO and found me ready to QSO.

I made 30 contacts (23 on 20M), 6 of them on summits (2 EU, 4 NA). Propagation was not great (though I was hearing Japanese big guns fairly well) and both static crashes and fading were a nuisance. It was dry and warm, though, so no complaints.

7 Likes

My stats:
62 contacts in just under 4 hours;
21 S2S (including a few duplicates. Zębalowa in Poland in particular seemed to be hosting quite a party!)
4 trans-Atlantic contacts. Includes my first ever contacts with Peru (x2) and a N American S2S.

Overall a very enjoyable event. Thank you all.

4 Likes

At first, I planned to wake up at 4am to be ready to fire around 7am but, I changed my eta 1h later because Saturday is supposed to be a relaxing day isn’t it hi!

I chose mont des Trois Lacs (VE2/ES-034)because of the fast access to the summit and it’s quietness.

Weather couldn’t be more perfect, 6C, sunny and almost no wind.

I tried 2 different antennas, at first, a 66’ doublet then, I had more success with my 66’ inverted-L efhw pointed South.
I used my KX-2 at 10w.
I also brought more extra confort equipment to make sure that my day would be enjoyable.

I am very happy of my log, 62 qsos, 30 were S2S and 12 were Trans-Atlantics.

Which band was more efficient for crossing the pond to harvest S2S, I can’t say!
On 15m, @EI3KA , @G8CPZ , @DL2DVE, @EA2BD and @DK2RO .
On 17m, @IW2OBX , @SP9MA , @EA2GM and @DL2DVE (second band)
On 20m, GM4OING , GB20SOTA and @M0NOM

I find myself lucky to live in Eastern Canada, that makes TA S2S easier than the rest of North America.

Thanks to all of you who participated to this classic S2S event.
73, Éric




12 Likes

The weather was bad, a great perturbation will stay on north italy for 3 day.i didn’t want to miss the transatlantic sota event. like as other times, also for this date I choose Mt Tesoro I\LO-222.
Situation from Pertus parking

The path from Pertus was very slippery. the telescopic sticks were very helpfull. I reached the summit and I started with my first installation of the tarp. I was very confuse about which knot and configuration to use. I could have wasted too time. it is the result in 5 minute.

I promised myself to study the tarpology book. hi hi! the antenna and radio took other 5 minute. it was 10:45 utc when I started to call cq on 17mt.

voacap forecast said that 17mt was the favorite band for transatlantic qso. I was monitorating the situation on rbn, I expected a skip more long. 17 and 20 are open, 15 was poor. at 12:45 utc I heard known voices come from the wood,

they were Martino @IU2IJW and his little daughter, unfortunately his activity failed due to a rain and too small tent. my activation lasted about 4 hours, the last two I had a decline of performance. about 40qsos, some s2s with the same continent and one transatlantic with @VA2EO in ve2/es-043, each signals were good 559, Many thanks Eric!! Around the 14:15 utc my spot on rbn has been made rare and I decided to pass in qrt.

Thank Guys!!
73

5 Likes

I was very pleased with my results yesterday and it was a beautiful day for activating in the southeast U.S. My day started earlier than expected when I woke up at 3 a.m., a whole hour before my alarm was set to get me up. Probably wasn’t a bad thing since I typically tend to be late for my alerted times anyway. :rofl: I arrived on-time and got set up just in time for a nice sunrise from the summit.

W4C/US-001 - Sassafras Mtn is a short 100m walk from the parking lot (which is in the AZ) to where I set up for these events which makes it easy to bring the kitchen sink and the obiligatory anvil. Setup for the day was my KX3, Hardrock-50 amp, 20m vertical, 88’ doublet and somewhat comfortable camp chair.

Looking northeast to EU

I spent a lot of time listening for EU activators and could hear many of them fading in and out of the noise, but not well enough to work them. I ended up with 5 NA-EU S2Ss including G4OOE/P on 2 bands!

73, pat - ki4svm

10 Likes

Awesome! You were my first contact for the day - S2S from SoCal to Spain 10 watts with a KX2 into an inverted V 40m dipole. Thanks for the contact, Ignacio!

3 Likes

The weather was lovely on G/LD-058, very sunny (for NW England in Spring) but windy. But with the wind to the rear of the tarp and me and my legs facing the sun it was very pleasant. Being an easy hill in tourist country on a Saturday I had many curious visitors. I’m always keen to give them some ham radio PR but it greatly delayed the setup and interrupted some QSOs.


My ‘assistant’ just snoozed or ate dog biscuits the whole time

I found getting contacts hard work. I suppose I’m spoilt on a normal SOTA activation: I spot on 30m and usually get a few dozen (EU) chasers back to back in about 20 minutes.

I had no problem working EU stations on 14MHz (including two S2Ss) and higher bands with 10W CW to my Cha MPAS Lite vertical but had no luck when replying to N/A stations on 20m in the gaps between non-S2S QRO chasers – I assumed they couldn’t hear me.

I was glad to have taken my over-the-ears HiFi headphones this time which really helped me pick out those faint QSB-affected stations.


Looking seaward, W and NW, for that elusive N/A CW signal

I was grateful therefore eventually to work Éric @VA2EO and Al N4EII on 15m. I would have liked to have stayed longer but after two hours crouching under the tarp my old back and legs had had enough.

7 Likes

Hi Gerald, G4OIG/P,

Thanks for organizing this T-A S2S event, and thanks for our T-A S2s.

I look forward to the Fall S2S event.

73,
Andy, N4LAG

2 Likes

Hi Andy,

The T/A S2S event organises itself… it was just my idea some 5 years ago when I realised that in all the years I had been activating, I had worked many Stateside chasers (even on 10MHz when running just 5 watts to a dipole), but no Stateside S2S. That was put to right when the first event was set up. After discussions as to dates, the event has now settled on the date for the QRPTTF event in April and the first Saturday in November. I just pull up a reminder on the reflector. :grinning:

Many thanks for the S2S which was very much appreciated. I was handicapped by having to leave my operating position to get a 4G signal on my phone, but I did manage to pull up several spots to work Paul N1ZF, Pat KI4SVM and yourself on 20m CW. A short time later I worked Scott KW4JM on 17m CW. The bands then seemed to go dead to T/A contacts… none of the regular chasers called me. It is the first time I’ve had no Stateside chasers in my log.

After I worked Scott, I interspersed calling CQ on 20m CW and 17m CW with chasing EU summits on both CW and SSB. I worked 12 EU S2S plus another to a GMA summit and another to a HEMA summit in the Czech Republic. As I was beginning to think of packing up, Eric VA2EO gave me a call on 20m CW to bring the total number of T/A S2S contacts to 5.

The kit was my IC-703 to a 50 watt linear and a 20 / 17m vertical which worked okay on 15m, but I only made 2 contacts on that band as I wasn’t sure of the SWR. 63 QSOs in all. I had a couple of potential T/A S2S trashed by QRM… NE2P was sat on by someone calling CQ and Pete WA7JTM was operating very close to the data frequency which had spread down to 14.069MHz… I could just hear him between the transmissions. I fear the move to data will spread ever nearer to the part of the band that we use.

Simple folded tarp windshield… not particularly effective when the wind kept changing direction, but it provided some shelter.

Simple 20/17m link vertical. I went for three radials this time rather than the usual four.

I will write up a more comprehensive report in a couple of days when an opportunity arises.

In the meantime, 73 to everyone that went out up the hills for this event.

Gerald G4OIG / G8CXK operated as GM4OIG/P from GM/CS-015

7 Likes

Hi Eric,

You were my only TA contact yesterday, but worth the wait! It’s always nice to see the view from the other side of the qso - here’s the operating position from EI/IW-034 Doughruagh, and the view in the direction of VE. WX sunny 14C, but very windy.

73, John

6 Likes

Thanks for the QSO David. Sorry that it took a while to complete the contact, I was using an IC7000, which I’m unfamiliar with. Your signal was weak and had QSB - possibly due to the wind blowing my antenna about; certainly not helped by that. Each time you called I got ‘G0E’ before the signal faded! I did copy your QTH in one pass though, along with my signal report.

Lets hope for improved conditions in November.

73, Colin

Thanks Gerald for initiating this fun event. You and G4OOE were my very first TA S2Ss ever. 10 watts and a scruffy wire in a tree - wow!
Scott kw4jm

1 Like

Wow indeed Scott… I think I might need to review my use of 50 watts. Your signal on 17m was excellent, 55 all the way with the preamp switched in on the IC-703. :grinning:

73, Gerald

1 Like

Whernside, G/NP-004, M1BUU/P

I was looking forward to this event, but then I saw the weather forecast - wind gusts up to 50mph.

I’d been watching the solar data, the SFI was well up and sunspots were up too - I was feeling pretty optimistic. I saw a post by Ed DD5LP that he’d seen a prediction for a kp index of 4 due on Saturday afternoon - right when the TA event would be in full swing. It seemed that plenty of VK-EU QSO’s were happening on Saturday morning, and k was still sat at 2.

At the last minute, I decided to charge up my 3S lipo and add my home brew RockMite 20 to my pack. It’s been my ambition for quite some time to have a home brew transatlantic CW QSO. I did manage a home brew SSB transatlantic QSO once, with Barry N1EU, using my Manhattan construction BITX based rig. I’ve made plenty of CW contacts across the pond with radios made from kits, but never with a scratch built transceiver.

With my good feeling about the propagation and probability of plenty of listening stations in NA, I thought it was as good a time as ever to try from a home brew CW transatlantic QSO.

My tuna can RockMite puts out about 300mW on 14.0587 MHz. I reckoned that the wind was far too strong for my precious 5 band linked dipole (quite a pain to tune if a repair is needed), so I opted to put up my home brew 20m 1/4 wave vertical antenna. I reasoned that the top section can just move about in the wind as it desired. It took me about 35 minutes to get the antenna set up! I did want to try 17m really, but I thought I’d start on 20m with my RockMite and then switch to the QRO rig later.

I had 20 QSO’s on the RockMite, including 3 S2S, but all were in Europe. I checked the RBN and noted that I hadn’t even managed to hit any RBN receivers in NA. I also noted that as Ed had forewarned, the kp index was up at 4, it was like somebody had turned the propagation off :frowning_face:

It was then time to fire up the IC-7000. I really couldn’t face another half hour fight to swap the antenna for my 17m version. (I did once tune up my 20m GP for 17m by shortening the vertical element and it worked fine, but again, I didn’t fancy the faff in the 30-40 mph wind!)

The IC-7000 was reporting near perfect SWR on the 20m GP, so I decided to just stay on 20m. I set the RF at around 50 watts. I managed another 50 QSO’s on CW, but again, none were DX. I’d carried the IC-7000 microphone by mistake, so I thought that I might as well give SSB a try. I saw a spot for Ed using DL20SOTA/P on DL/AM-180, so I gave him a call and after a couple of tries, I had my first SSB contact on the rig in my log. I then worked Andy OE6ADE/P on OE/SB-070. When I was finishing the QSO with OE6ADE, Andy, G6PJZ, across the valley from me on Ingleborough, G/NP-005, tail-ended and asked me to move down 5kHz. I misheard, only hearing the ‘5’, I did catch on that somebody wanted a QSO with me though. I tuned up 5kHz but then heard a very strong signal bleeding through! Tuning down 10kHz, soon resolved Andy G6PJZ/P in perfect clarity and we had a G/NP-004 to G/NP-005 S2S. Ingleborough is my favourite mountain, so I was pleased to get the QSO. I worked Tom M1EYP on G/SP-015 twice, once on CW and then later on SSB, taking my SSB tally up to four QSOs.

In total I had 74 QSO’s (70 CW - 4 SSB), including 13 S2S, 3 off which were when using the RockMite. It was a fun activation despite not even hearing an NA activator and I was surprised that the antenna stayed up the whole time.

In hindsight, I should have used the 17m antenna!

Colin

5 Likes

The 10th SOTA Trans-Atlantic S2S event
Meall nan Tarmachan GM/CS-015

Saturday 23rd April 2022

For once events transpired in my favour. Family plans resulted in a prolonged stay up at the /A location in Northumberland over Easter and the following week. The holiday period would be taken up by visiting local areas with family and then I had the task of tiling out the kitchen area before I was free to head north into Scotland to carry out an activation. Everything went as planned and the lead up to the Trans-Atlantic S2S event on Saturday 23rd April was very calm and civilised. Even the batteries were charged well in advance.

I totted up the weight of my backpack for this outing and decided just to take my 4 LiFePO4 4.2AH batteries rather than deploy any of my LiPOs for running the IC-703. In the event I had ample capacity and didn’t actually need the fourth battery. As the weather was set fair, I would be carrying my Paramo jacket rather wearing it and this added a little to the total weight, which with food and water came to 14kg or 30.8lbs in old money. To accommodate this I added quite a bit of time to my ascent schedule, less so to the descent since I would probably be wearing my jacket and would have consumed the food and drink. The distance from the car park to the summit would be around 4km.

I set out at 04:30z and the 175 mile (280km) journey went very well with little traffic to impede my progress. I reached the National Trust for Scotland car park for the Ben Lawers range at 07:53z to find plenty of spaces available. Many other walkers arrived as I kitted up ready for my day on the mountain and a number of them set off before me. I took time to pre-hydrate sufficiently and set off up the path at 08:20z, some ten minutes earlier than planned. The sky was clear at this time of day, but I knew that cloud would soon roll in and it might be chilly on the summit. However, the weather turned out to be much better than forecast.

Meall na Tarmachan GM/CS-015 from the start of the walk

View of the Lochan na Lairage reservoir on the ascent

Snow still lying on Ben More GM/SS-001 and Stob Binnein GM/SS-002

Prominent to the south - Ben Vorlich GM/SS-008 and Stuc a’Chroin GM/SS-010

The descent on the ascent… down to the ladder stile

Carrying a reasonable load, I paced my ascent. There was absolutely no need to navigate this one – the path was very clear and after a period without rain it was in excellent condition. From time to time a number of younger walkers passed me with the usual exchange of pleasantries. After reaching an intermediate peak at 923m, there was a descent down to 890m before a climb up a steep gulley. It was on this section that I took time to let a number of groups and individuals pass me… some going up and some making their way back down. I lost some time here. It was 10:27z when I reached the summit cairn, more than an hour earlier than planned.

Summit of Meall nan Tarmachan

Ben Lawers GM/CS-001 across the valley

The Tarmachan Ridge

I spent some time assessing the best place to set up on, It had been forecast for 30mph winds with 40mph gusts, but it seemed somewhat calmer. However, I had to bear in mind that the situation could change rapidly so I was keen to minimise the effect of the strong breeze on both the antenna and my operating position. I suitably flat piece of ground was found just north-east of the summit. What I didn’t check though was the presence of a 4G signal at that position. Accordingly I was handicapped by having to leave my operating position to get a signal on my phone, walking a short distance complete with note pad and pencil in hand!

The set up on the summit

Sandwich style tarp - not pretty, but reasonably effective

After setting up my tarp like a sandwich with the corner pulled up and attached to a walking pole, I put up the 7m pole with the 20 / 17m vertical attached. I was pleased to note an acceptable amount of bend in the pole – during the S2S event last November it had been much worse. Once set up I decided to have my lunch and I did a little tuning around before settling down to operate. 20m seemed reasonably lively, but I couldn’t hear anything other than EU stations, so at 11:27z I called CQ on 14MHz CW running the IC-703 barefoot at 5 watts output. This resulted an immediate response from Kurt HB9AFI, who was then followed by another 9 EU chasers. That was the summit suitably qualified and any concerns that my journey might be wasted duly allayed.

When the frequency went quiet, I got up out of my shelter and took my first look at the spots and noted several Stateside calls. I decided to use the linear running around 50 watts to give me a bit of an edge. Paul N1ZF on Red Spruce Knob W8V/PH-007 was the first DX in my log at 11:46z. There was quite a bit of fading, but we exchanged reports and summit details okay. Pat KI4SVM on Sassafras Mountain W4C/US-001 was next at 11:54z followed by Andy N4LAG on Craggy Dome W4C/CM-007 at 12:06z. I awarded myself three pieces of white chocolate… very naughty for someone with my history!

Another look at the spots got me contacts with Ed DL20SOTA/P, Franz DL8DBN/P and Stavros SV2RUJ/P. I then decided that it was worth a punt on 17m, so I dropped the pole, changed the links on the vertical element and 3 counterpoises and back up it went. Scott KW4JM on Mount Mitchell W4C/CM-001 was heard calling CQ at good strength, so T/A S2S number 4 was quickly in the log. I looked around for others to work, but couldn’t hear anyone, nor indeed were there any new spots for Stateside activations on the band. Calling CQ netted an S2S with Juerg HB9BIN/P followed by a contact with Andy DL6AP/P on a GMA summit, plus a couple of well known EU chasers. There were no calls from any of the Stateside chasers that I usually work in these events.

Back on 20m I worked Michael OK7SE/P on a HEMA summit before chasing another 6 EU summits on CW and SSB, including Roberto IW2OBX/P who was on 15m CW. Calling CQ on 20m and 17m CW netted further EU chasers and calls from those tuning around. When the frequency was quiet once again, I decided to have a proper look at 15m, though the antenna is not intended for use at this frequency. John VE3TV was a good signal on 21.300MHz, so I gave him a call. He came straight back, but I was only 42, so I wasn’t convinced I was missing much there. Thereafter it was 20m CW all the way to work many regular EU chasers, Jany LZ1GJ/P, Colin M1BUU/P and another QSO with Juerg HB9BIN/P (the other had been on 17m). Finally Eric VA2EO on Mont des Trois Lacs VE2/ES-034 brought the total number of T/A S2S contacts to five.

63 QSOs in all, with a couple of potential T/A S2S ruined by QRM from one source or another. I did suffer some deliberate QRM, but used those periods to get up, have a walk around and check the spots. After working Eric at 15:46z, I decided that I had had enough, so went QRT, very much aware that I had another 175 mile, three and half hour journey ahead of me… and I had to get myself off this mountain first. Part of me wanted to stay a while longer to enjoy the stunning views from the summit with even Ben Nevis in view on the horizon.

Ben Nevis GM/WS-001 and other summits in the haze

A view down the path just after I started my descent

After packing away, taking some photographs and messaging the XYL, I set off down the path at 16:23z having spent just short of six hours on the summit. The descent was straightforward, with the steep gulley proving no problem with the aid of my walking poles. I reached the car at 17:53z and after stowing the kit and changing my footwear, I had some food and drink before setting off south. The return journey took 3 hours 25 minutes on account of some slow traffic and I reached home at 21:40z.

The excellent weather, the enjoyable walk, the stunning views and success on the radio all combined to make this one of the most enjoyable activations that I have carried out in a long time. November seems to be a long time, but I am sure that it will be worth the wait.

Many thanks to everyone that I worked, indeed to everyone that turned out for this event. As I have said on many occasions, the event organises itself. All I do is prompt activators and chasers to put dates into diaries… so 5th November 2022 it is then.

73, Gerald G4OIG
operated as GM4OIG/P

15 Likes

Hello Gerald, thanks for a great report and photos. Very enjoyable to read too. Glad see you had a great day.

Cheers to you :beers:

Geoff vk3sq

1 Like

Fantastic report and photos Gerald. I did spend some time calling you for a S2S with me as GB20SOTA, but you weren’t hearing my QRP. Hence you’re in my SWL log only!

I made 145 QSOs on this event. This included 21 S2S - but only 2 NA S2S (a W1 and a VE2).

Good event.

Sorry about that Tom. I’m surprised that I didn’t copy you as the 703 has a better receiver than the 817 that I usually use and it is usually me that is the one that isn’t heard. It was certainly a most enjoyable event, assisted by a summit with excellent views all around and a super take-off to the NW. I downloaded the panorama views… it’s amazing how many SOTA summits that can be seen. :grinning:

2 Likes

Here is my (late) report from the NA-EU Event, on DL/BE-019:

Planned to start operation around 13:00 UTC, so daughter Tamara 16Y was happy as she could sleep till 10am local (usually we leave house 7am for the 1…2h drive to the Alps).

As Apr 23rd is the “Day of Beer” in Germany – the Summit Drink had to match:

That increased the backpack weight to 14kg :blush: - the 750m ascend / 5km took us 2.5h.

Summit in the background:

For this event, took the IC706 (100W) with LiFePo 15Ah + one 21Ah.
Antenna was an end fed Vertical Dipole with Links, supported by 12m mast from DX-Wire.
That created interest by the the other hikers on the summit – they were impressed by the explanation of the young lady: “We are doing an experiment today if we can reach North America by Radio Waves with Morse Code !”

Mostly sunny, just 10min of rain in the middle of the activation, we were prepared bringing ponchos.
Mainly called CQ on 20m and 17m, RBN gave good reports from NA (and even ZL).

KT5X called in on 17m, and could reach VA2EO on 15 and 17m (on both bands with mismatched antenna - wrong link due to fast QSY).
The 15Ah batt was drawn after 2.5h, then switched to the other.

In total 62 QSO during 3h of operation.

Learning: such event needs quick tuning to the spotted activator – bringing the mast down to change the jumper takes too long. Need to make a design with traps.

73 andy DL2DVE/P

8 Likes

This topic was automatically closed after reaching the maximum limit of 100 replies. Continue discussion at Trans-Atlantic S2S Event 23rd April 2022 (Part 2).