Well… Sometimes beautiful moments have to wait for years to become reality. I heard the first infos about an Eastern European SOTA Tour from Paul HB9DST about 2 years ago. It was not the best time, but we did not forget either of us the initial idea. So, six months ago, the idea of a SOTA Circuit in Eastern Europe for Paul HB9DST and Juerg HB9BIN was outlined. And then we started to build a part of this route together.
The two Swiss activators arrived in Timisoara, Romania, in the afternoon of 29th of September, after a long trip in OK/OM/UT/HA. Our colleague, Zoli YO2BP, was a good host in the second part of the day until the evening, when my job assignments allowed me to join the team. Marian YO2MBU accompanied me to become the fourth member of the activator’s team for the next day.
On Saturday morning (30/09/2017) we started our adventure at 08 o’clock in the morning with a trip to Vrsac city, placed in Serbia right after the border with Romania. Our first summit YU/VO-001 is very close to the city and can be accessed by passing near an Orthodox Monastery and then climbing a forestry road of approx. 3 km.
Juerg committed the supreme arrogance, activating from the top of a 20m high wood tower with excellent results, working even ZL in CW (!).
Paul has reached a bench and activated in CW.
Meanwhile Marian and I installed a FD3 antenna in collinear configuration and activated the summit in SSB.
The excellent opening of the location has helped us to activate this summit in good conditions.
After desceding from Gudurcki Vrh we met in the center of Vrsac city a group of Serbian radio amateurs of Romanian origin, with whom we spent together an hour on a terrace, discussing all sorts of topics related to ham radio.
The second peak of the day was approached this time in Romania, not far from the first activation. Piatra Goznei YO / WC-207 is easy to access even for a regular car.
We let our guests work right from the top of the summit, and we found another location a few feet below. We tried to work this time with an Delta Loop antenna made for 20m, but the results were poor due to the immediate proximity of the lower edge of the triangle to the rocks in the area. So we went back to the FD3 antenna.
The second day of our circuit (01/10/2017) was exclusively dedicated to Bulgaria, because the trip to the destination only on national roads consumed us most of the available time.
Karneva Livada summit LZ / WB-061 is also easy to access with a regular car up to approx. 300m away, the car being parked near the radiocommunication tower. Beware that the GPS maps will fool you inside the nearby village of Belogradchik.
Paul installed his CW station as usual, while I was staying with Juerg to test his J-Pole antenna for the 20m band.
I was really impressed by the results, being able to work with good report even the DX station VE3VEE with 15W in SSB from an KX3. A good antenna to use for DX in SOTA if you have a mast of at least 15m available.
Overall, it was an excellent weekend spent in the company of our guests from Switzerland. We have made both SOTA activations and also different antenna experiences. I would like all the weekends to be the same. The weather was excellent and the propagation was generous. Goodbye, until the next adventure!