This is tangentially related to SOTA but so interesting I have to relate it. Christian KF4LXB and I are doing a SOTA presentation Saturday at the Charlotte (NC) Hamfest. As a part of that we and several other NC SOTA-teers (WH6LE, W4TZM and KI4SVM) will show our portable gear. I’m showing my ultralite setup: an ATS-3, a 280 mAH LiPO battery, Par EFHW tuner and a 1/2 wavelength piece of wire for 20m. Just for fun I decided to assemble everything to check it out. The antenna was configured as an Inverted_V with the ends about 1m above ground and the apex at about 4m above ground. At the voltage I’m using the ATS-3 puts out about 4W.
I powered up and the ATS-3 came alive on 14.060. I first tuned up the band but heard nothing, so I reset it back to 060 and tuned down until I heard a signal. EA5BYP…hmmm…that vaguely sounds familiar. After a couple of calls he answered me and we exchanged 559s. I’m always amazed how well QRP can work across the pond!
Now for the interesting part! When he sent his name “Elmo”, it suddenly dawned on me that he was the organizer of the 3C0E expedition to Annobon Island a year ago and I had corresponded with him via email beforehand to give some tips on 160 propagation. Then on March 7, exactly one year ago, I worked 3C0E for DXCC country #334 on Topband!
What are the odds of this happening?
73, Bill W4ZV