Z35M activation of Z3/WM-046

The first activation of Krstovar (1066m) the most frequently visited summit in Macedonia, located 12km from the capital city Skopje. The Millennium Cross, one of the biggest of this kind in the world is built on this summit. The access by car is limited for evening hours and early morning.
I made 70 CW QSOs on 40m and 30m, and the first 6 SSB QSOs for the Z3-SOTA on 40m SSB.

In reply to Z35M:
Hello vladimir
Nice picture, and very nice “shack” hi hi, very happy to this first contact in SOTA Macédonia!
Hope to copy you again
73’s QRO
f5nep Lionel

In reply to Z35M:

Congrats and many tnx for the fb contact dr Vlado!

Hpe cuagn es vy73
Fritz DL4FDM,HB9CSA (MCWG#011)

In reply to Z35M:

Hi Vladimir,

Hpe to work you some day in SSB perhaps S2S.
Cu on SOTA.

The second activation of Z3/WM-046, Krstovar (1066m), the most visited summit in Macedonia, was on 23.05 2009.
For 1 hour of activation, a total of 52 CW QSOs were made all on 7032,6.
Most of the the time I was running 50 w, but when the battery was close to end the power was reduced to 5 w QRP.
The antenna was inv-vee link dipole for 40/30/20 m, mounted on 5 m fishing pole.
This time I decided to be active only one mode/one band and with power of 50 w almost all the time. For period of 1 hour I managed to made my avarage total of more than 50 QSOs per activation I usually made for twice longer period with QRP power.
To run more power and to focus the operation in shorter period/one band/mode is also a good option.

The third activation of Z3/WM-046, Krstovar (1066m), the most visited summit in Macedonia, was on 12.06 2009.
For 2 hours of activation, a total of 63 QSOs were made on 7, 10 and 14 mc (4 of the QSOs were SSB on 14.285 MHz). The more distant station worked was JH7FMJ on 10 mc. Was pleased to work for the first time SOTA MT members Marc, G0AZS and Tom, M1EYP and to give them some additional satisfaction for their voluntary work in order to set Z3-SOTA Association. Jeff, G4ELZ managed to work me 3 times on different bands and modes during this activation.
Most of the the time I was running 50 w and reduced to 5 w on the end of operation. The antenna was inv-vee link dipole for 40/30/20 m, mounted on 5 m fishing pole. I had problem with conections in remote front panel on my Alinco resulting of losing audio output time to time.
The weather was windy with temperature of 13,5 C (a 20 C difference from the previous day).

In reply to Z35M:
Hi Vlado

Thanks very much for the QSO. It’s great to finally chase you on my first Z3 summit. Hope to catch you on more.

Your signal was up and down but generally OK on 40m although I have quite a high noise level here which made copy more difficult at times. I think I just heard you when you were on 20m but not good enough to copy well.

By the way I was using about 25W to a G5RV versus your 50W.

73 Marc G0AZS

My activation of Z3/WM-046 on 11.07 2009 ended with a record number of 257 QSOs all on HF bands (40/30/20/15 m), CW and SSB.

In reply to Z35M:

My activation of Z3/WM-046 on 11.07 2009 ended with a record number of
257 QSOs all on HF bands (40/30/20/15 m), CW and SSB.

Hi Vlado.
Congrats to the large amount of QSOs from WM-46. I was glad to work you on 40, in spite of poor condx. Most of the time you were dwn in QSB, but you came up at times. Most chasers were also very weak here.
20 was dead here, and I could not hear you on 30 m.
Hope to see u agn from next summit.
73 and thanks

Hello Vladimir,

very good result, thanks for the QSO on 7MHz - my first Z3 summit, HI. I hope to work you also S2S in the future.

73, Milos S57D

Additional info:
On my last all-day activation of Z3/WM-046 with record number of 257 QSOs (231 on CW, 26 on SSB), a total of 37 different DXCC entities were contacted (DL, G, F, HB9, OK, PA, ON, 9A, OE, SM, YO, HA, I, LZ, LA, S5, UT, YU, UA1/3/4/6, SP, OM, UA9/0, LY, SV, EW, EA8, OH, UN, YL, Z3, VU2, GM, LX, OH0, 4L, CT, OZ).
Most of the contacts were on 7 Mc - 125, following with 87 on 14 Mc, 26 on 10 Mc and 19 on 21 Mc.
On the second part of the activation, using S & P in IARU Contest, 168 QSOs were completed.
Most of the time the running power was 5 W. The antenna was Inv-Vee Link-Dipole for 40/30/20 m. The activation lasted more than 10,5 hours.

The summit of Krstovar, 1066m, Z3/WM-046 is nearest SOTA summit to the capital city Skopje, located only 12 - 15 km from the centre. This is one of the most frequently visited summits in Macedonia, and so far my favorite for SOTA activations.
Today I completed my 10-th activation from this summit with a total of 702 QSOs all on HF. The prominence compared to the valey is about 800 m, and 2 hours of walking are needed to the top, or 1,5 hours from the last parking lot on place called Middle Vodno on 560 m a.s.l, from where distance to the summit is 6 km of walking on the road, or 2 km shortcut for the same time. Sometimes I climb the summit together with my family. Today, as well as few times in the past my companion was my 7,5 years old son Gorjan.
Once, I climbed the summit by bicycle, but find it very hard for me.

Today I activated again the summit of Krstovar, Z3/WM-046, 1066 m a.s.l.
The excellent weather atracted a lot of visitors on the summit. My usual activation position was ocupied and has to find another place to set up my portable station.
Firstly tried to find free freq around 7032 Khz, but without success. I moved around 10118 KHz and found this band very busy. I managed to work two s2s QSOs with OE5EEP/p and OK1DDQ/p as first entries in my LOG. Than, moved up to 10121 KHz and started CQ-ing. Roy, G4SSH find me very fast and worked me (thanks for the spot). Worked a few more stations and realised that I’m on the RX- split freq. Some chasers managed to work me trough heavy QRM. Few times a moved my calling freq up and down, but the QRM was following me - hi. On the end I made a total of 42 QSOs, all on 10 MHz.

Nice sunshine weather today with +10 C. The 12-th activation of Z3/WM-046 ended with total of 77 CW QSOs, all on 7 Mc except one on 21 Mc with 5N/LZ1QK in Nigeria who heard my call with only 5 w and low inv-vee. I manage to work two S2S QSOs with HA4FY/p and DL1DVE/p.

In reply to Z35M:
Great pics, your lucky with the weather having nice sunshine which is more than i can say for the UK at the moment. Hope to work you one day CW. Sean M0GIA

Z3/WM-046 activation on 17.01 2010
My first activation this year started with testing the brand new radio Elecraft K1 donated by Ken, GI4FLG. The low curent compsuption allow me to took the new lighter Battery 12V/2 Ah (instead of 7Ah for my Alinco DX-70T), a K9LU Bull Dog mini-paddle with magnetic base (attached to multi-tool device during the operation).
The first benefit was the drastic reduction of weight and the size of the complete station and accessories.
K1 weights only 620 gr (DX-70T - 2830 gr.), 2 Ah Battery - 940 gr (7 Ah - 2100 gr.), the power supply cables of DX-70T - 250 gr. now reduced to less than 50 gr. e.t.c.
The total weight of the station and accessories were around 2600 gr. which is reduction of about 3,5 kg.

The second benefit is using of electronic keyer with 2 memories (the mini-paddle Bull Dog in one moment failed to function).

K1 has much better CW filtering than DX-70T.

The minus compared to DX-70T is the reduced power, and no Phone.

During the activation I made a total of 69 QSOs on 7 Mc for 1 h and 20 min running 7 W into low inv-vee dipole. Of course the band conditions are factor too.


Activation of Z3/WM-046 on 24.01 2010:

The temperature on the parking lot (6,5km from the summit) was minus 3,5 C (sunshine and no wind). The climbing lasted 85 minutes. As always the summit was overcrowded. After the inspection where to set up my operating position, decided to climb on first floor balcony of the Millennium Cross. The North wind made the working conditions not comfortable (I estimate that the temperature was close to minus 10 C). I found a place exposed on sun and the wall to protect me from the wind. To shorten the time for erecting the antenna decided to go first for 30 m. The first QSO was S2S with LA1ENA/p who was already working there. The 10.118 was occupied by Non-SOTA station and I moved around 10120 to call CQ. After 10 minutes of CQ-ing only one LY station was in the LOG. Decided to move down on 10.117,3 (also sent SMS to one 9A chaser to spot me). This channel was not productive too. After that I moved to “SOTA QRG” 10.118 and started CQ-ing. Obviously the chasers were monitoring exactly on this channel and I got response from several stations. But the small pile-up lasted only five minutes.
It’s not pleasant to CQ on minus 10 C without any takers. It was time to expose myself on cold wind and to change the band. The links on the dipole were very difficult to disconnect on low temperatures. I spent 15 minutes to set my antenna for 40 m. The first two QSOs on this band were S2S with PA/LX1NO/P and HA2VR/P. Later I worked also OK1DDQ/p for total of 4 S2S from this activation and personal total of 50 to upgrade for next level of S2S Award.
For two hours of activation a total of 59 QSOs were made. The RIG was Elecraft K1 running 4-6 W, into Inv-Vee Link-Dipole for 40/30/20 @ 4,5m, 12V/2Ah battery, and Bull Dog mini-paddle. The K1 worked very well on low temperature. The low current compsumtion (declared 55ma on receive and up to 900 mA on transmit) allow to run two hours from the battery and it is stil not empty.

Once again I learned the lesson that the right band to be for SOTA is 40m (if there is no contest).
I appeal to chasers to give priority to activators when they are trying to call another activator for S2S QSO.


Activation of Krstovar, Z3/WM-046 on 31.01 2010:

The personal goal to achieve 1000-th QSO only from this summit was fulfiled. The lucky chaser #1000 was ON5QRP.
A total of 16 activations from Z3/WM-046 resulted with 1054 QSOs (an average of 65,8 QSOs per activation).

The last activation ended with 75 QSOs in the LOG (29 on 7 Mc and 46 on 10 Mc).

The RIG was Elecraft K1 running 5-6 W, into Inv-Vee Link-Dipole for 40/30/20 @
5m, 12V/2Ah battery, and Bull Dog mini-paddle.


In reply to Z35M:

Well done on the 1,000 QSOs. I used a K1 on the very first day of SOTA. A nice radio. How do you find the bull-dog paddle? I have seen them but have not used one.



In reply to G3CWI:
Hi Richard,
I bought Bull Dog mini-paddle more than ten years ago just for fun. The paddle stayed unused all the time. The performance for such a small paddle is reasonably good, but find that it is not very reliable (the adjustments are not very stable for my heavy hands - hi). The major benefit is it’s extremely small size and weight of only 40 gr (together with plastic cylindrical holder and cables). I have Bencher and MFJ standard base paddles, but they weights few times more than the radio and don’t take them on the hills.
Bull Dog with its magnetic base fits well on metalic upper part of the paper board holder allowing the position of the operator on different angles to the radio and the reduction of movement of the hand for keying (important when making a lot of contacts).

                                            Vlado, Z35M