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Trans-Atlantic S2S QSO Party Autumn 2019 Part 2

What a great afternoon !! I climbed to my usual summit walking from home. I am a lucky operator who has access to a summit on foot, 10 km round trip. This time the backpack weighed more than usual.

I built for this event a half square set for 20m. Raising the two fishing rods was somewhat more complicated than usual since the wind was very strong at that time. Just when connecting the equipment I had to solve a problem with the BNC connector of the new RG-174 cable, the central conductor is real butter, and it was broken inside the BNC. After an emergency repair, I started transmitting with the usual equipment: FT-817 direct to the tuned antenna, and the 11 Ikea batteries pack.

All in all 26 QSO, 9 of which with NA stations, 7 S2S, 1 of them with VE2DDZ. I listened very well to WA7JTM and tried to open a hole in the wall of NA / EU stations, but it was in vain. I also tried to chase more EU stations, but I couldn’t copy any more. I was surprised not to hear stations in the UK area, perhaps due to the bi-directional pattern of the half square.

In the image you can see that bidirectional pattern.


Many thanks to the organization and participants.

After hitting the bottom, now we just have to wait for the conditions of the solar cycle 25 to improve !!

Best 73!!

Javier EA2GM

7 Likes

ok PETER I WILL CHANGE REPORT, NO PROBLEM
BEST 73
VASIL

I’m presuming the QSOs were CW Javier? Otherwise 5w SSB would be very very impressive!

Only 2 SSB QSO with EU stations, all others qso in CW.

Best 73

Javier EA2GM

OK…I had to put my map in for this event. I forgot I could do that.

All contacts from Saturday morning.

Pete
WA7JTM

9 Likes

Oo-er… this could solve the winter blues… what with 500+ activations to map. :grinning:

P.S. No S2S indicated on map as I don’t log them as such.
P.P.S. For G8CXK/P from G/CE-004, not my G4 call. :grinning:

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I don’t want to be impertinent, but can you explain why that, Gerald?
Is it because you are not interested on S2S QSOs (unlikely after being one of the organisers of the transatlantic S2S event) or is there some other reason I can’t think of?
I have an interest on this because I’ve seen this morning that one of the activators I had S2S QSO with during last Saturday event, seems to have logged me as a standard chaser, not a S2S and I wonder why. I have written him an email about that.
Thank you.
73,

Guru

1 Like

Hey everyone, here is my summary of the Trans-Atlantic S2S event November 2nd from Hatchet Mountain, Maine USA W1/EM-020.
Apologies for the late post (my neighborhood electric power was down half of the day Saturday and Sunday due to a fierce wind storm storm prior to the NA-EU S2S event). I thought this thread had been closed down. Here is the tally from NS1TA from Saturday:
-Stations worked: 38 mostly EU
-S2S contacts: 18 ALL EU
-Equipment: Elecraft KX-3 at 15 watts
-Antenna: EFHW with traps for 20/17/15 sloping NNE from 7 m pole (Sotaworks)
-Weather: gorgeous fall in Maine with temps about 13 C
This is my favorite SOTA activity each year and I marvel at the fact that we can communicate from remote mountain peaks under low power using simple equipment/antennas that we make with our own hands. Thank you all for another memorable Trans-Atlantic S2S event!
Hatchet1


Hatchet-NS1TA

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Thats good advice. I will try that on CW with just a number and go through the rotation. During this event I had difficulty picking out the cw stations coming back to me and would often catch the last letter of a callsign when the bedlam died down. Then id send that letter followed by a question mark in cw. Sometimes Id still get two or three replies to it. Im deaf in my left ear so it gets hard to discern a single call in a pileup.

You sounded pretty busy. I gave up trying to get passed the bedlam!! :wink: You were around 559 on my 1 pointer.

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I was late to the summit on Saturday and now late to file a report. I had a great time even with Murphy in attendance. Not being a CW operator I packed up my FT8 gear hoping to have a chance to work M1EYP and some of the others with FT8. The gear had worked fine during testing in the yard for the 2 days prior. Once on the summit RF was apparently causing the serial interface to fail preventing the program from controlling the IC-7000 even at reduce power. The good news was I was left with a 100 watt radio and a 20 amp hour LiFePo battery to operate SSB. Running 75 to 80 watts made the North American chasers happy and got me many 57 to 59 reports instead of my usual 33 or 41 with my 817. The bad news is I am sure this frustrated many of the European activators who could hear me and that I could not pull out of the QRN and QRM. I knew you were there but could not copy the calls with the QSB. I did try to include a comment in my spots indicating I was running higher power. Next year I will make more of an effort to call for S2S contacts only. I am relatively new to SOTA so I still have a lot to learn.

I did make 58 SSB QSOs during the event. This included S2S with LZ1WF/P, M0NOM, VE2DDZ, N2YTF and WA7JTM. WA7JTM was one of my four 1296 FM contacts. I could see his summit from mine at only about 10 miles distant.

I appreciate the efforts of everyone that ventured out in the cold and wet weather in Europe. Here the problem was packing enough water for a hike with a heavy pack. The high temperature for the day was 87 degrees.

My activation ended on a bazaar note with a chance encounter with an individual in the parking area. The person asked about the radio equipment and I explained to them about SOTA. As the conversation continued it was obvious he was not taking his medication or spent too much time reading about conspiracies on the internet. The discussion included his belief in a flat earth, his UFO encounters and much more. One of my other ham friends calls me the social butterfly because I will talk to anyone I meet on the trail. I should be more careful in the future.

It was great fun and I can’t wait for next year’s event.

73,
Burke
KF7NP

3 Likes

Why certainly Guru. When the S2S award came into being, my understanding was that it was not retrospective, so being part way through my SOTA journey, I just carried on as I had been doing and didn’t bother to record the contacts as S2S. I could see why there was a start date, but I would have liked to have had the capability of logging all S2S contacts as such from when I started. This was purely as a matter of record keeping, not in relation to the award. I am not that bothered about awards and have only claimed my Mountain Goat plaque and certificate to date.

I certainly do enjoy working S2S as you correctly surmised from the “organisation” of the Transatlantic S2S event and I always log S2S contacts made during activations in the appropriate manner. If you look at my database records, you will see that I keep a note of S2S contacts in my logs and I claim them as chases when activating which suits my purposes.

73, Gerald

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It was purely by chance that I called you just as you made contact with K7TAB and made the QSY to 23cm. Unfortunately due to contest QRM I didn’t understand where you’d gone and that you would most likely to be coming back pretty soon, so moved on to look for others. Such is life - nice signal: 57 in the clear on my side! :grinning:

Pleased that you enjoyed the event. The next one will be in the Spring. Well done on making the 23cm contacts.

73, Gerald G8CXK / G4OIG

OK, so with a million things to do this week I think a short report is better than none at all. I set off for Gummer’s How at the South end of Lake Windermere to be QRV for 1pm G/LD-050 - the weather was a bit iffy, my preferred summit would have been Red Screes G/LD-017 with a much sharper take off, but that would have been in cloud for some of the day.


Looking towards G/LD-013 Old Man of Coniston, in the cloud

Using an FT-857, 100w, 4x 4200mAH Zippy Flightmax LifePo4 batteries, SOTABeams Quadbander at 8m on a SOTABeams 10m compact mast, paper logging.

I had been out at lunchtimes during the week so knew that EU US propagation was good - if it held into the weekend.


Lakeside - south end of Lake Windermere

I had a total of 121 Voice QSOs: first in the log was G4YTD/P on G/LD-052 - 12 miles away on 20m, then a run of chasers before my first S2S with DD5LP/P. There followed a constant stream of 20m QSOs, with a smattering of EU S2S in the next hour and a half, terminating with my first NA S2S with @NS1TA on WL/EM-020 57 sent, 54 received.


Equipment

I moved to 80m conscious that there wasn’t a lot of activity for inter-G stations and worked the regular chasers, many thanks. 2m FM was also active with 10 contacts.

Returning to 20m SSB I bagged @KF7NP on W7A/MN-143. Whilst scanning the frequencies I could hear 9M4RM - I didn’t recognise the prefix - this turned out to be a group operating from a beach in West Malaysia! It was hard going but we got a confirmed QSO. Soon after I also got @VE2DDZ on VE2/ES-010 and ended with AB2UL.

What followed on 40m was an epic pileup - 32 stations in 20 minutes! Just after a quarter to five I got my final QSO, fittingly for the day @N2YTF on W2/NJ-009. I packed up soon after in the dark and descended back to the motorbike, thoroughly amazed by the whole experience.

Photos here.


Headtorch Required


SOTA QSO Map


9M4RM QSO


Transport!

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The summit is on my wants list, but unfortunately I couldn’t hear you. I thought it was strange as I could copy Colin M1BUU/P on LD-013. Anyway, I will bag it one day. Pleased that you enjoyed the event. :grinning:

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For those that have wondered how this event has gone over the years, here is a chart of my results across the pond. It seems the Spring event is the poor cousin of the Autumn one.

Gerald,

That makes sense to me here in Arizona.

November has always been the best month for F2 here in Arizona, especially on bands like Six Meters over the years. I decided years ago that whatever month the F2 peaked on Six Meters in the past cycles was the optimum month for all bands. That month is definitely November based on 6M DX and the solar cycles since 1968-69 I have experienced.

November openings on Six meters over the years: 38 days
December Openings on Six Meters: 19 days
Spring openings : 0

Now on occasion I have also worked Europe in the summer a few times on long ES skip, but it is extremely weak and requires high power and big antennas, and it is obviously not F2.

So choosing November was a wise decision for this event.

TNX!

Pete
WA7JTM

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Pete, the graph shows great correlation between us in that I have worked you in the November event in all 4 years (2016 - 2019 inclusive). In the Spring events, I did not copy you in 2017, but did so though I failed to get through your pile up in both 2018 and 2019. I feel that this shows that it is worthwhile having events in both November and April. I hope others agree as I will be putting forward a date for next April sometime after I have digested my Christmas pudding. :grinning:

73, Gerald G4OIG / G8CXK

April is the best time for the Arizona to VK/ZL path…So hopefully I can talk a few of them into getting on for that on the same day…but in the afternoon. Sit up on a peak in Northern Arizona all day on that one…

Pete/JTM

Sounds like a plan Pete. I would come and join you if you were just down the road. An entire day on a summit sounds idyllic. Unfortunately, at the moment my personal jet requires a significant amount of maintenance… :wink: