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Tropo-SOTA

Hi,
My friend Gotzon was very kind to send me an interesting article for the Reflector.
I just translated that into english and here below you have it.

Congratulations Gotzon, on this excellent activation, and thanks for sharing it!
73 de Ignacio EA2BD


Tropo-SOTA

Since a long time now, I combine my two main passions: mountain and radio.

Since I can remember, I love going up on the mountain. I use to plan my route, wake up early, start walking and reaching the summit. I always carried a handheld with me wishing to find someone to talk to during the walk.

It is been 8 years now since I started participating in SOTA scheme.

My most frequent gear is a robust Yaesu VX-6 handheld along with a telescopic Diamond RH770 whip, which is light but a serious performer.

In case I want to ensure a proper activation and reaching more distant chasers, then I switch to a Yagi antenna and carry the Yaesu FT-857 plus a 5 Amp battery.

Let me share with you why my last activation was so special.

Motivation

It all started back on January the 5th, when by chance I grabbed my handheld and went for a walk to the nearest mountain to my house, Mt. Intxorta EA2/BI-028.
After arriving in the summit and once self spotted in Sotawatch I started calling on the usual QRG: 145.525 – FM.

After a few qso with usual chasers in my area I received a call from a French station. We did talk and exchanged our Grid locators.
Once back home, I discovered to my surprise that he was at 500 kilometer far away, and we could easily talk and exchange a 5/9 signal report with ease!

That blew my mind and after checking the tropospheric forecast on Internet I quickly planned a new activation for the coming day.
Would it be another chance for a DX on VHF tomorrow?

January 6th, Mt. Aumategui (1191 m a.s.l.), EA2/SS-003

I left home with a heavy rucksack loaded with the battery, 4 element yagi and the FT-857.

The valley was still at dawn and the temperature freezing cold.

After reaching the ridge I saw in the distance the wind turbines at full speed.
Damn! It’s gonna be windy and cold up there…! But after a pause to put some more clothes on I got on along the last ramp towards an artic-like summit.

Finally, I was up there. I tied the small mast, fixed up the yagi horizontal and started the first call on 144.300 SSB.

It was promising when I heard some french colleagues. I moved frequency up a bit and started the first qso with my friend EA2CKX (a very frequent chaser not far away).

But soon after the madness began, logging 26 stations in one hour.

The log included Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium and France! Wow, what a luck!!

I received them all with good signals, between 7 and 9+30. I feel the band I quiet and noiseless making the operation very nice.

Longest DX of the day was with PA2CHR (Loc: JO32db), at 1204 kilometers!

After a brief stop to reorientate the yagi vertical polarization, I moved to 145.525 FM where I logged two S2S qso, with EC2AG/P and EA2EBX/P, and I also meet other chasers on air.

After one hour and a half, full of joy but quite frozen as well I decided to call it a day and packed all the gear, starting the descent.

Such a pity I couldn’t stay for longer, but it’s winter time and my feeling there was minus zero celsius, being operating without any shelter possibility in the summit.

My body soon felt relief while warming up and my soul was full of joy with the success of the activation.

An invitation

I love the big possibilities a summit offer for distant communication on VHF and UHF. It’s easy to cover hundreds of kilometers.

I remember a past experience we had when doing a mulltiple activation to compare capabilities of VHF & UHF FM versus DMR (link). By the time we were well separated for 200 km and could exchange between us easily.

Our area here in EA2 is quite mountaneous but once we are well up in a summit at 1300 or 1400 meters we have good coverage and can link with farther regions running low power.

Let me invite you to consider also working V-UHF more frequently. If you have an equipment at hand don’t forget to monitor the band, or who knows?, grab your handheld and give a chance to find someone ready to talk to you and make new friends…

Best regards and see you soon, 73, Gotzon EA2CSC


Here the whole log:

09:10z EA2CKX 144MHz SSB

09:12z EA2EKA 144MHz FM

09:17z EB2AFU 144MHz FM

09:27z F6DFI 144MHz SSB IN87wc

09:27z EI19RE 144MHz SSB IO51vw 1075 km special call

09:28z F5DQK 144MHz SSB JN18gr

09:32z F1FPL 144MHz SSB JN05le

09:37z ON4KHG 144MHz SSB JO10xo 971 km

09:40z ON4POO 144MHz SSB JO20dp

09:40z F6FGR 144MHz SSB IN92ki

09:41z F1EZQ 144MHz SSB IN27ls

09:43z ON4MFX 144MHz SSB JO10os 960

09:45z F0FMJ 144MHz SSB JN08fk

09:46z F1AKE 144MHz SSB IN97ee

09:50z F5MUX 144MHz SSB IN78xc

09:51z F4FEY 144MHz SSB IN97ef

09:52z PA2CHR 144MHz SSB JO32db 1204 km

09:54z EA2AJO 144MHz SSB

10:05z EA2DCA 144MHz FM

10:08z EA2DYS 144MHz FM

10:10z EA2DNO 144MHz FM

10:11z EC2AG/P 144MHz FM S2S BI-076

10:20z EA2EBX/P 144MHz FM S2S NV-050

10:21z EB2AOC 144MHz FM

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