DM/BW-091 – Schoenberg – 793m

December 29, 2015: 11:44 – 14:10 UTC

Rig: KX3 / 10W, 2200mAh LiPo, Palm Pico Paddle
Ant: inverted V up 7m and vertical end-fed dipoles on a GRP Pole

8 CW QSOs on 30m, 19 CW QSOs on 20m, 1 CW QSO on 17m.



SOTA Equipment

Used for trips to the local summits.

From left to right: Folding stool, 2200mAh LiPo battery in a ’safe bag‘, throw bag (250g), 30m Nylon rope (3mm) , 2 x 10m Nylon rope (3mm) with tent pegs, KX3 with Palm Pico Paddle (on the KX3-Go-Box), 40m- and 30m- wire-dipole (w/o BALUN), 20m end-fed dipole, plywood board (serves as table), headlight, tape, writing board with log sheet, pencil, KX3 power cable with Power Pole plug, headphones, angle adapter BNC – UHF, Army knife, RG223 (20m), velcro straps, 3 x 10m guy rope with tent pegs, 10m fiberglass telescopic pole (67cm long), support plate 22mm (black, for guy wires), support plate 8mm with pulley block (blue, for antenna), 2 lashing belts.


As the trips are usually not tiring I don’t optimize the weight of the equipment more than necessary. I prefer a minimum of comfort (folding stool and plywood board) and the choice between several antennas and options to set them up: In a tree with throw bag and rope or on the fiberglass pole which can either be attached to a fence post or secured with guy- ropes.
The monoband antennas have been replaced with a linked dipole in the meantime. However, a further optimized antenna (End Fed Half Wave Dipole with Traps) is already under construction.

Pile up

When activating my first SOTA- references I was surprised about the large number of QSOs. I’d never expected more than a dozen callers or so. Actually about 50 stations were calling and the number is about the same on every summit. As everybody is informed by the cluster system at the same time a pile up is building within minutes.

During my next trips I noted down what made me struggle answering the calls quickly. The following suggestions may help getting through more easily when you’re calling:

  • Call in a range of +/- 150 Hz. If all stations are calling zero beat copying is very hard.
  • Sign your call only once. Then listen for a few seconds before the next call. I’m logging with paper and pencil. This needs some time.
  • Repeat your call sign only if I made a mistake. Otherwise misunderstandings may happen and eventually errors will be introduced.



Vibrokeyer Deluxe Beige

Got a Vibrokeyer from a friend with the thumb piece broken and full of dust. Left it in the workshop for a while then decided to refurbish this little gem.

It has got a little red dot on top so it seems to be the „Deluxe“ version.
Ser. No. 387446, built in 1979.

When searching for replacement of the broken part I discovered that Fred, HB9JCP, sells original parts for European hams. His website is

First I took the key apart, cleaned it carefully, put everything together and adjusted it according the manual – a nice little project for a Wednesday evening :o)