First activation of I/CL-049, Monte San Nicola - 1260m.
I arrived in Soverato yesterday and had a day in hand before my training course starts on Monday. With the weather mild and sunny, it was an ideal opportunity for some SOTA activity. I didn’t want to venture too far from base on the first day, so I went for a 4 pointer about 40 minutes away. I soon found out that Google Maps needs to be treated with caution in Calabria, not all the roads it suggests are that great. I found myself taking it very steady up a very damaged road. With 12km to go, I was worried if I would make it at all. However, to my relief, I came out onto a main road after about 10 minutes. This was obviously the road I should have taken in the first place. It wound its way splendidly up into the mountains and I found a great place to park just a short way beyond a large municipal picnic area:
There is no path anywhere up to the summit, and no summit cross either:
The activation zone is very large on Monte San Nicola, so I found a nice spot in the sun:
The activation went well. It was interesting how 20m and 30m worked much better for me than they tend to do in Austria. Unfortunately, propagation to Poland was particularly bad and I couldn’t work Mariusz SP9AMH/QRP on any frequency at all, although he was trying desperately at the other end. My new Li ion battery cradle and buck converter worked well, although I have reduced the output to 13.5 volts, so that the voltage stays constant for longer. The cell pack voltage gradually drops below 14.7v, which was what I originally set the output to, so the output rolled back to about 13v; still enough for the full 12w out of the KX2. Here is the log:
I had hoped for a double activation, but as I followed the road along to the next summit, I found more and more snow on the road. Without winter tyres, I would have no way back if I got stuck, and I decided not risk it in a hire car. I turned back and followed the easy road back to Soverato. Along the way - following the main road this time - I found a wonderful picnic spot overlooking an archetypal Calabrien village built into a mountain side:
I decided to stop here and eat my Ciabatta with Bruschetta Calabrese and cheese. The temperature was about 16C, so it felt decidedly spring like. Monday to Friday I have training, but the weather doesn’t look good anyway. Hopefully it will pick up over half term holidays, when I can venture farther afield.
73 de I/OE6FEG/P