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Trans-Atlantic S2S QSO Party - 7th November 2020 - Part 2 - Reports

Follow-up from

@M0NOM: It was the same on my side. Out first attemt was just too much in the noise. But conditions to the UK opened up and then later faded again. So we found the perfect time. Btw I needed to lookup the RADAR challenge. I was expecting something different hi

Great reports everyone. Bring them on.

3 Likes

The weather was beautiful and the forecasts promising… also on 2m.

So I put my 2x3 Elt group for 2m ssb /cw in the middle of my vertical and took the transverter with me and switched in between again and again to 2m. Unfortunately without success. There were some 2m people who sat on the mountains just like me and waited for tropo: “And ? …any DX? …nothing!”

In the end there were 14 S2S incl. 2x NA - I heard a lot more, but didn’t get them.

73 Armin

6 Likes

Me too. Still noted them in my logbook though, and I will enter them in the SWL section of the Database.

Tom SWL BRS180710

We had great WX in Scotland so I headed off for a longer day on Stob Coire Easain GM/WS-015. It was never going to be ideal for NA S2S as I would have to qrt too early, around 1400Z. The walk out is 2+ hours and I needed to be home for a virtual family event in the evening. Had 67 qso’s, 10 S2S with 2 being NA. Worked a good number of East Coasters and nice to get a short ragchew with old friends K2TQC Bill & W4CI Dave. Good activity and great to get some qso’s on 17m.
KX2 10w and 9m inv L.
73 Gavin
GM0GAV

Hogwarts Express heading south towards Rannoch. Must be heading south for the winter.


GM/WS-015 is the right of the two Easains

Takeoff towards NA

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First of all my thanks to those who set this up. It was great to get out with improving radio conditions.

Viz was about 200m driving to the start of the walk (so much for the forecast I thought). However, I quickly climbed above the clouds and enjoyed a beautiful sunny day at the top. No problems with social distancing. I was amazed to hear a station from near Aberdeen on my 2m handie with rubber duck at the trig. I optimistically called back and was quite surprised that they could make out some of my callsign, but we didn’t manage to complete the contact.

Stats on HF (SSB - 100W):
42 contacts
10 S2S (no N American though I did manage 3 on the same Romanian hill!)
3 QSOs with N America

Very enjoyable, but getting a bit chilly by the end.

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I enjoyed the Trans-Atlantic S2S QSO Party making 23 Transatlantic S2S QSO’s. Seemed like great conditions for it! Bob AC1Z

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You’re a legend @AC1Z, just saying :wink:
Always a wonderful surprise when, in a group of EU chasers, your callsign comes through!
Well done. Having now buttered you up, can you now share your secrets please? :rofl:

Mark. M0NOM

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Gerald,

Darn…I figured u were in there somewhere…the bands were very busy today and the signals to Europe were marginal for sure. On my end it was difficult to find and hold a clear freq on 20 or17 meters.

I had a G8 (?) call me for 10 minutes but i never could get his call…very weak signals.

From the comments on this page I was also heard by others that I also did not work. It seemed to me that the QRM was a lot heavier on this end this year as compared to previous years, so I need to figure out how to get around that problem. Next time I may try moving way up band to get out of the QRM, spot myself, and call for only EU stations. I can always work the NA stations later in the day when the EU window is closed.

Anyhow, thanks for trying!

73

Pete
WA7JTM/P
W7A/MN-154

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What a great event and thanks to everyone who stayed late or got up early to participate. A new ham and SOTA activator joined me for the event. I think he is hooked now. He completed his activation on 2m FM but was not quite ready to jump into the HF SSB fray.

Thanks to everyone that was patient with me in completing the contact. With a high noise level and running 100 watts I am sure many of you thought I was deaf. The equipment was an IC-7000 at 100 watts, a 5 band linked vertical and a 20 ah LiFePo battery.

I had a total of 81 QSOs.

7 2m FM

4 23cm FM

3 15m SSB

12 17m SSB

55 20m SSB

S2s with

WA7JTM 23cm FM

HB9EAJ 17m SSB

HB9DQM 17m SSB

DL3SBA 20m SSB

AC1Z 20m SSB

VE6VID 20m SSB

VA6MPM 20m SSB

KI7EMX 20m SSB

K6EL 20m SSB

XE1MYO 15m SSB

European Chasers

F4WBN 20m SSB

GM7NZI 20m SSB

HB9DCO 20m SSB

EA2LU 20m SSB

Thanks to the all the North American chasers also.

Burke, KF7NP

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Thanks to everyone, really enjoyed the Party. Equipment was my KX2@5 watts into a 65 ft endfed inverted L, abt 40 ft up. I did not stay on DM/BM-379 too long, despite the shining sun it was rather cold up there. I called CQ for long periods without reply, maybe S&P would have been more successful. Still happy with 3 transatlantic s2s-QSOs (AC1Z,N1AIA,VE2DDZ), nice QSOs with old friends all over Europe and 10 DX contacts altogether.
Hope to hear all of you soon again!
Chris, DL4FO

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Yes, that was me. I guess C X K is not the best combination for deciphering in the noise and QRM. I actually had to repeat it for quite a few callers, even one that exchanged 599 both ways with me. I guess he wanted to be sure.

I thought the idea of heading up just above 14.090 MHz was a good one, particularly with the contest on. For quite a while you were sat under Guru EA2IF/P on 14.066MHz. Of course there was no chance of giving you a call then, so I was pleased when you moved up. I did copy you on 17m, but for some reason I wasn’t getting out on that band. I’ve checked the vertical, but it seems okay, so another mystery.

73, Gerald G8CXK / G4OIG

Tks for S2S ,for me lz1wf and Jany lz1gj .
10 NA qso, s2s NA 73! Vasil lz1wf/p

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Forecast was correct - perfect for my local summit Morven GM/ES-018. Clear & sunny with any cloud during the day mostly below the top and no wind. Arrival and set up took longer than expected as I chose a hard route up and was also trying out a new antenna for the first- a delta loop for 20m, so I didn’t start until 1223 - first in the log was EA1DHB.
Finding a clear freq was a continual struggle on 20 and 40 most of the day due to the Ukraine contest. First US chaser worked at 1309 on 20m was WD8KDB in Michegan, then nothing more from across the pond until 1433 with KI6EAB/W4 working remotely from his QTH in Calif to Florida. US stations only started to appear in numbers after 1500, with KC3KYF in Maryland swiftly followed by NW7E in Oregon and KR7Q in Montana, then my first ever NA S2S with AC1Z in New Hampshire. Then AA1VX Mass, WD5GBD Louisiana and finally KD4QMY in Georgia for the last QSO of the day at 1540. Had to QRT to leave time to pack up before the sun set, which it had done by the time I started my descent (with head torch).
Ended the day with 99 QSOs, one new country (EA8DFO) and 20 S2S - lots of activity from HB9 and had a nice chat with Jonathan 2M0KZN/P who was on Lochnagar GM/ES-008 not far from me. Apart from 20 and 40m, also managed a couple of contacts on 15m and 2m. I will certainly be using the 20m delta loop again as it seemed a couple of S points better than the end-fed wire for DX.

Thanks to all for making it a great day’s activation, Simon GM4JXP

Morven foothills in early morning sun at the start of the walk up

Activation location with summit cairn in the background and a few hill walkers also out enjoying the day

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Anyone using a PA on an activation that has not one but two cooling fans gets a big :+1: from me :slight_smile:

I also note that Colin M1BUU @M1BUU has gone to the “dark side” with this QCX PA :slight_smile:

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“I also note that Colin M1BUU has gone to the “dark side” with this QCX PA :slight_smile:

I have found the current conditions a bit tough, I always seem to get trodden on. I have looked at amps in the past but they seem to be expensive, the QCX amp at $45 is surely an absolute bargain!

I quite enjoyed building the amp, I found it challenging, the toroids were a bit of a PITA.

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Thanks to all of you who organized this fun event! Despite some QRM and a late start - compared to the G/EU side of the ocean - I had an amazing time here in Colorado.

I drove about 25 miles from home in Boulder at 5600 feet, up to the trail-head at 9400 feet, hiked up the steep trail to the 10,540 foot summit of W0C/SR-052, Thorodin Mountain, set up a decent 65 foot end-fed INV L wire about 25 feet up, and started listening with my KX2 at about 1600Z. I immediately heard S2S contacts in progress, as well as strong DX stations calling over the top of these QSO’s, near 14.065 MHz.

I jumped in and started chasing USA activators for S2S contacts, my primary objective. After making 5 good ones on 20M CW, I decided to call CQ and see what would happen. I started out on 14.067, making many USA contacts, as well as easy Q’s with G4OBK - Phil, EA2LU - Jorge, and F4WBN. Soon a digital station completely covered me up, but I was able to QSY to 14.065 and continued calling CQ. I logged many more chaser Q’s, several USA S2S’s, as well as TF3Y, DL3DXX, and EA7GV, DL7CX, and DL1DXX. There were several DX stations calling that I missed because of other chasers. The bands were pretty good, with the solar flux above 90. It was BUSY!

So much going on near 14.065 that is was impossible for me to keep track of who was who. For a time there were several of us USA activators lined up side-by-side working chasers, DX, and S2S as fast as we could go. It was very frustrating, as the numerous slow chasers cost valuable time!

Around 1650Z the pace changed. Most of my chasers were logged, and I was listening for the few who might still be trying to get me. I heard a weak station calling slowly, not sure if he was calling me, but sending a tricky call - then I heard the “G”. I sent “??”, and he kept trying. Yes, he was calling me from over there, for sure. Another G station chasing…but he had a “/P” on the end of the call. After a few more repeats, I got it:

G8CXK/P

That was a new one. His signal was in the clear, with only QSB and a bit of noise. We did the exchange, and then I heard “Ref is” - I had no idea it was S2S until then…“G/CE-004” as clear as could be, twice! I came right back with my ref, and I heard the operator send “QSL”. This was my only transatlantic S2S contact yesterday, but it was a good one!

Only later did I find that G8CXK is also G4OIG, Gerald. I have seen many of his posts here often. Thank you for your incredible patience, Gerald. I don’t know how you managed to stay on Bardon Hill so long, perhaps after sunset, but you made my day!!

From Colorado S2S DX contacts are rare, especially this time of year, with short days and often cold, windy weather on our high summits. This year was the exception. Yesterday it was sunny and nice at 10,540 feet , and the earlier snow had melted on the south side of Thorodin. I’ve skipped this event in the last, because of cold weather, or the early start time.

A few more details:

Thorodin Mountain is an exceptional site for SOTA activating. The peak has a steep social trail up the south side, and the rocky, forested summit offers shelter from the winds that often roar across the top. Few people go there, so it’s safe in the pandemic. The mountain falls away steeply in all directions, so a low takeoff angle is certain. The peak is located in a State Park, with little development nearby. The HF noise is low, especially on 20M. There’s a small radio repeater site on the north end of the mountain, Starr Peak, but there’s no high power broadcasting, as far as I know.

The peak has a magnificent view of the entire Front Range, from Pikes Peak to Longs Peak, both 14,000 foot summits. It also looks down and across the Great Plains to the east. The takeoff to EU and most other directions seems ideal, as there are no obstacles or higher summits nearby. I’ve made some amazing 2-meter contacts up there during the annual Colorado 14-er/SOTA event - seemingly unlikely contacts across distant ranges, perhaps by diffraction or reflection - to more distant ranges. Just a 2M HT and a half-wave whip - magic!

My RBN spots yesterday were typical for Thorodin. They may still be up.

I was running my KX2 at 10W out. My antenna was 65 feet of wire, fed with my homebrew high-Z tuner. The wire ran up the 6M pole, then out horizontally to the south, where it was suspended 30 feet above the ground from a tree limb - I threw a rock up there. It was an inverted K, and a full wave at 20M - there are no traps.

I logged 18 S2S contacts, 16 of them unique summits, for 68 S2S points - thanks to all of you! I recently crossed 30,000 S2S points, and it has been an incredible, crazy ride!

There were 11 DX contacts.

The one transatlantic S2S contact was with G8GXK/P (G4OIG), who is an amazing SOTA activator! Thanks again Gerald!

73

George
KX0R

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without PA there is no big chance in EU QRM. We use them only for EU-NA VK / EU. Now we us 3el wire bieam+ 50 w :slight_smile:.
But usualy i use ft817, qcx 20,30 m

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What a great event, and conditions.
Paul (VA6MPM), aspiring ham David and I activated Square Butte (VE6/RA-032) for the event before the forecasted winter storm rolled in. Both Paul and I used similar setups (KX2, amp, efhw) for the day. David was the fire master, with the weather the fire was greatly enjoyed by all.

First time in along time I had that many contacts in a short period of time. It was 24 contacts in 17 minutes with 9 EU, 2 S2S from Arizona area along with numerous regular chasers.
Summary of my contacts:
total - 24;
EU - 9;
S2S - 2; and
others - 13.
Thank you chasers and other activators.
Malen
VE6VID

7 Likes

Trans-Atlantic S2S event – Bardon Hill G/CE-004

Saturday 7th November 2020

This year I had planned to activate a couple of Scottish summits from our alternative location in the north of England, but lockdown in England put paid both to that idea and also to the back up plan of activating from a summit in the Cheviot Hills. Plan C was to return to the nearest summit to my main home which I had activated with Paul G6GGP / G4MD in November 2019, but this time I would be on my own.

This year the weather was fine, with a mixture of sun and cloud and with a variable, sometimes stiff breeze at the summit. Rather than operating close to the bench at the edge of the AZ as we had in 2019, in the interest of maintaining social distancing I set up on an area of rough ground a little further east. This slightly compromised the take off over the quarried part of the hill, but was preferable to being close to the footpath up the hill. A group of large boulders provided me with a suitable operating bench, if not a seat. I had the option of moving everything to the ground if the weather conditions worsened, but thankfully that was not necessary.


The take off towards the north-west

It took me 10 minutes to set up and I was ready to go by 13:00z, starting on 20m CW and tuning around to see what I could hear. My start was interrupted by a couple of walkers who were very interested in what I was doing. Respectfully they kept a distance of around 4 metres and wished me success in making it across the pond before continuing on their way. Once I was able to make a start, the first into the log at 13:24z was Paul CT7/K9PM/P on CT/AL-002. Checking the spots I found conditions to be quite selective as next to be worked was Jens HB9EKO/P on HB/ZH-020, but looking for Bruno HB9CBR/P shortly afterwards I could hear nothing of him. Aleksandar YU1CA/P on YU/ZS-048 increased my log to just 3 for the first hour.


View of the set up for this event.

For the second hour I decided to call and found 14.0625MHz free. The run lasted for 24 contacts which included S2S contacts with Bob AC1Z on W1/NL-006, Malcolm VE2DDZ on VE2/ML-005, Rado S58R/P on S5/BI-081, Scott N1AIA on W1/AM-300 and 5 NA chasers. Once the frequency went quiet I decided to check the spots and bagged Dale AA7OY on W7A/CO-133 and Guru EA2IF/P on EA2/NV-151. At 15:00z I changed the LiFePO4 on the small MX-P50M linear amp (running at 25W output) and a man with a group of young lads around 10 years of age asked what I was doing. Unfortunately I found that for some reason my voice had gone rather hoarse, but I did manage to provide a suitable explanation and was again wished all the best for my activity. The interruption did however cause me to forget to change the LiPO powering the FT-817 which had repercussions a little later on. It failed around 15:30z. I later managed to get 2100mAH charge into it – it is a 2200mAH battery. :slightly_smiling_face:


The standing shack,

As there did not seem to be that much activity spotted on 17m, I decided to continue calling on 14.0625MHz. A rather sporadic run netted me Roman DL3TU/P on DM/BW-110, Adrian YO8AZQ/P on YO/EC-380, Keith KR7RK on W7A/CS-006 and Joel KC4WZB on W4C/WM-003 plus 3 NA chasers. I then decided to move to 17m CW, but despite calling for 20 minutes solid, no-one called me. So it was back to 20m and to try SSB. As I was changing the links on the antenna another group of people came over and asked what I was doing, again keeping their distance. I found my voice had now all but disappeared, so when I turned back to the radio I decided to stay on CW and went searching for contacts. This final phase netted me Mike WB2FUV on W2/GC-020, Javier EA2GM/P on EA1/AT-208, George KX0R on W0C/SR-052, Leo NE2P on W4C/EM-049 and Jimmy K2JB on W4C/US-001.

During the activation I was not successful in making contact with N0DNF. N4LAG, VA2EO, KJ7NOY and WA7JTM. I spent some ten minutes trying to get through to Pete WA7JTM, but to no avail. So with darkness having fallen and having stood for four and a half hours with feet like blocks of ice, I decided that it was time to pack up and get back to my car. However, little did I know that I was in for a bit of a surprise…

On the walk back, the track takes a couple of sharp turns where there are metal barred gates. Just after passing the upper gate and turning left the light from my head torch picked up two bright yellow eyes about 5 metres off the track to my right. I could just about make out the outline of what looked like a large black cat. However, this was not domestic cat size, but twice if not three times the size. It swung its head as I passed and I kept the eyes in the light of my torch until I was some distance away. Unfortunately I completely forgot I had a camera with me, but whether it would have captured anything other than just a pair of eyes, I somehow doubt it.

So a total of 43 contacts for me – 10 NA summits, 8 NA chasers, 8 EU summits and 17 EU chasers with 5 NA summits heard but not worked. Last years NA figures were 4 summits, 11 chasers and 2 NA summits heard, but not worked. Overall it was a very enjoyable activation and conditions were decidedly better than last year. In hindsight there might have been a small improvement in the receive capability at my end if I had used my IC-703 rather than the FT-817, but probably not enough to increase the number of contacts.

With the disappointment of losing the opportunity to activate from Scotland for this event (and with it a 10 day break up north), this was a much-needed day out. Everyone I met on the walk and while on the summit was very friendly and well respectful of social distancing. It was great to see lots of smiles given the current situation.

My thanks go to everyone that contacted me, indeed for everyone that supported this event. Hopefully we will be able to get out on the hills next April.

73,

Gerald G8CXK (G4OIG)

13 Likes

What a wonderful event! I almost missed it, when my alarm went off at 4am it was raining and the forecast looked awful, so I went back to sleep. But I woke again at 5 and decided that I wasn’t going to let a little weather stop me. This turned out to be the right choice, because just as I arrived at the trailhead, the rain stopped.

I hiked 5 miles, 2000 feet up to the summit of O’Leary Peak, W7A/CS-006 at 2724m/8937’. It was crazy windy and dark clouds all around. I set up on the downwind side of the summit and pushed my antenna up to only about 20 feet, but it blew down twice during the activation.

View from summit towards Humphreys Peak, Arizona’s High Point

Despite not being QRV until after 1500 UTC, as soon as I turned on the rig, I heard stations from across the pond. The mic and key were both put in service and I managed to get 9 trans-atlantic S2S QSO’s in the log:
@HB9CBR on HB/BE-123 (17m cw)
@HB9EKO on HB/ZH-020 (20m cw)
@DL3SBA on DM/NW-184 (20m ssb)
CT9/@K9PM on CT/AL-002 (20m cw)
@LZ1WF on LZ/RO-144 (20m cw)
@G8CXK on G/CE-004 (20m cw)
@DL3TU on DM/BW-110 (17m cw)
@S58R on S5/BI-081 (17m cw)
@M1EYP on G/SP-015 (20m cw)

After 1614 UTC I didn’t make any other trans-Atlantic S2S. But I did continue to operate until about 1830 UTC (I have no idea how my battery lasted so long!), and my final log has 17 additional S2S to North American stations, 18 DX Chaser QSO’s (including one Trans-Pacific thanks to @ZL1BYZ ), and 105 total QSO’s in the log. I even spent about 20 minutes chasing S01WS on 17m SSB (Western Sahara) who was booming in on my end but I never broke his pileup. 15m was good and of course 20m was rocking all morning.

The rain returned just as I arrived back at my car after hiking down - I really got lucky this time! It turned to snow later in the day and today is much worse.

Thanks for a really fun event and especially thanks to all the other activators and chasers who make SOTA so much fun.

73 es cu down the log,

Keith KR7RK

13 Likes