No Conditions are Good Conditions
One of my favorite contests ever is the DARC 10m Contest. In the80’s several times per year it is reduced to only one date: The January DARC 10m Contest. Mostly there are bad conditions, two years ago I worked stations from Italy or Spain during the contest. But today the band was closed. This is a big advantage for the radio-hiker on the summit: No DX condition means, that the high-power stations with beams can work also over groundwave only.
My station today: about 20w output into my MP-1 antenna. Temperatures on the tower around 0°C, no rain or snow. So I decided to operate directly from the platform. I started 10 minutes too late, because the ascent on the „Dörenberg“ was very difficult. Crusted snow and ice-fields forced me to go very slow. A normal ascent takes 20-25 minutes, now I needed 1 hour. On the top of the summit were 30cm crusted snow, but the tower was luckily free of snow and ice.
Quick I installed the MP-1 and connected the
transceiver. Log ready, clock ready, free frequency and: CQ CONTEST DC7CCC/P CONTEST.
The first call was at 09:11 UTC and was followed by the first answer. Until 10:59 I logged 117 QSO. This year SSB only. CW is in this contest a waste of time except you are in the CW class only.
Only one group hikers visitied the tower today. After the first hour of the contest wind came up … the last 30 minutes the windchill gave me a -20°C feeling. I was glad when the contest ended and I left the tower quickly. I cancelled also the planned additional 40m SOTA operation.
Results: 117 QSO, 1 DXCC, 58 DOKs = claimed score 6903 points. I hope it won’t give too much deduction of the points. Some stations had problems with DC7CC and DL7CCC and DC7CCC 🙂
QTH: Hermanssturm, Dörenberg, JO42AE, 331m high plust 21m tower. Ref: DM/NS-036, WFF DLFF-125 (Terra Vita)
I continued operations from DM/NS-108 through November 2010 and continue during December 2010 … but now in snow. Last Saturday, 4th December, it was very cold. We wanted to make a handful QSO only but then a pile up started and after 30 minutes were 40 stations in the log. My first CW activation operating with gloves. ICECOLD! stn: 5w, MP-1, 7MHz only
Yesterday at WNA / SAC my ball pen failed … it was empty. I made only 5 qso, that was the maximum brain-storage yesterday 😉
This weekend was the Marconi Memorial CW Contest on 144 MHz. I wanted to take the chance to work some stations in CW on 2m this morning. I was one hour qrv during a walk over NS-108 Piesberg. It was my first participation in this contest since I am licensed (1978). I heard a lot of stations but mostly with low signals. In spite of my qrp station ( 5 wtts / HB9CV) I worked new ODX from DM/NS-108:
- TM0W in JN36BP 645km
- OK2M in JN69UN 501km
- OK1DC in JN69JJ 465km
I heard some stations far far away like OM7W (885 km), but no chance to work them (today).
See all QSOs on the QSO-Map
This is the QSO with OK2M:
(RaDAR = Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio)
This contest is for everyone, at home, in your car, in the field. Any mode , CW , SSB , FM or digital modes. Any band or Satellite. Support your friends in the field, you never know, you may work a really rare grid in the process!
Time: 12:00 UTC – 18:00 UTC
Please see the „Blue book“ , SARL Forum or on www.nwinternet.za.org/zs6bne/RaDAR for contest details. Please use the logbook format available as links on the websites.
The true RaDAR station must have carried the entire station including antennas for at least 1 km prior to setting up, without relying on existing man made infrastructures i.e. antennas, masts or towers.
To be considered as a RaDAR station, the entire station; radios, batteries, mast and antennas must be easily portable and hence the need to carry the equipment for at least 1 km
On Sunday, 10.10.2010, was the DARC District Northsea (I) Activity day. I decided to look into the 28MHz and the 144MHz part. The weather was great, temp. about 16°C and windy. I heard and worked some stations on 10m and called a long period CQ in CW. But no answer. The 144MHz part should start at 1300 local, so I qsyed on 40m where I made a nice s2s QSO with HA4FY/p on Hálás-tetö (HA/KD-042) and another 27 QSO in the following 20 minutes until 1300 local. Meanwhile the summit was full of trippers. When I tuned over 2m I heard a lot of SM6s and OZs with S9 and stronger. But no chance to break the pile up with QRP. I worked some local DLs for the Activity Day and heard >S9 G-Stations. I tuned into the CW band and called „CQ CQ CQ …“. No answer again. But a selfspot on SOTAwatch brought G0BPU with 468km from JO02OB into the log.
After that QSO I wanted to go home and tuned to our local channel 145.450MHz FM. Just wanted to say Tina (XYL), DC1BF, that I will return now. But there were two SM6-stations talking – with S9++ 😉
The first tuesday in a month: WNA (Westphalia North Activity Evening) and NAC (Nordic Activity Contest) on 144 MHz. After surprising QSOs to Denmark in September I decided to take part in this evening again. Uncommon warm weather for October. 21°C. As antenna mast I used this evening only a hiking stick … plus my barefoot FT-817ND (5w).
First I worked some „local“ stations within a radius of 100km, only DK5QN in telegrafy. Then I heard a lot of OZs, OZ1ALS had true S9 on the Piesberg and it was easy to work with him. 322km. OZ9KY was not so loud, but for 423km surprising easy QSO. Then I heard S9 / S7 SK7MW. Is it possible to reach this station near Malmö with 5watt and HB9CV? A lot of DLs called him. After some QSO SK7MW returned with „The DELTA CHARLY SEVEN …“ Of course in this moment the signals dropped down to S1. But the operator at SK7MW was very patient. Tack så mycket! The QSO was complete and my QRP VHF ODX from a SOTA summit.
If the wx allows – cu in November 2010.
Petra (DF5ZV) told me this afternoon via facebook, that she had a nice run in the Scandinavian Activity Contest (SAC) on 14 MHz. When sun came out in the late afternoon – Co-Operator Anton and I decided, that we will make a walk over the Piesberg. On the summit came very quickly 10 QSO into our log and we continued the walk …
Station: FT817, 5W, MP1-Antenna
Klaus, DO1KLI, reported this morning on 2m that 21MHz is wide open. Christian, DO7AG, confirmed that and reported, that he just made 30 QSOs. Okay – 15m is not my favorite band but Anton and me wanted to try it. In the afternoon we climbed on the Piesberg. Our RaDAR 5×5 station was qrv in 4 minutes and 30 seconds. (RaDAR = Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio, 5×5 = 5 Watts in 5 Minutes) We heard a brasilian station with 59. But no answer on several CQ calls. ALso a N4-Station
understood only „DC7CC“ instead „DC7CCC“. It was very hard with QRP/SSB/MP-1 to make QSOs. But luckily I reached 4 stations within 10 minutes. LR2F from Argentina, KD4D and K9MY from the U.S.A. and DO1KLI from my neighbor village. POINT! 4 QSO and all okay.
Today was the WNA – Westphalia North Activity-Evening (2m / 70cm). That’s every first tuesday in a month. During the walk with the dog I set up my portable station. 5 watt + HB9CV. The first QSO was surprising OZ1DLD/p without any problem. (in the NAC contest) After 10 minutes I had my needed 4 QSO in the log and could continue my walk with Anton … QTH was the new shaped 194m asl summit on the Piesberg.
Eine kurze Zeit war ich qrv im Fieldday-Contest am Sonntag. Besonders Spaß hat das Punkteverteilen dann doch nicht gemacht. Viele Big-Gun-Stationen haben anscheinend ihren Empfänger zu Hause vergessen. S9+++ Signale hier in Schweden aber beantworten mehrmalige Anrufe mit erneutem CQ. Sowas entschuldigt nich einmal lokales QRM.
Da lobe ich mir doch die SOTA-Funker. Eine ganz besondere Qualität Funkamateure.