May 21, 2017 16:35 – 17:30 UTC
Sunny, approx. 18°C, few clouds (in the beginning)
Walking time 15 min. up, 10 min. down
Rig: KX3 / 10W, 2200mAh LiPo, Palm Pico Paddle
Ant: End Fed Half Wave Dipole with Traps (40m – 30m – 20m) on a 10m GRP Mast
5 CW QSOs on 20m, 13 CW QSOs on 30m, 18 CW QSOs on 40m, 6 CW QSOs on 60m
„Burg Hohenzollern“ is less than 30 Minutes from my home, which allows a quick activation. Hechingen – situated at the foot of the „Burg“ – can be reached on the „Bundesstrasse 27“. Signposts at the exit of the motorway are showing the way to the castle and the car park nearby. A well prepared footpath with many steps is leading to the top. More information about the seat of the Prussian royal house can be found here and on Wikipedia.
Because „Burg Hohenzollern“ can be very crowded, I wanted to do the activation outside the opening hours – on a sunny, warm evening. As operating from within the walls is not an option, my plan was to set up the station just outside the gates.
When I reached the top at 17:30 local time – the ticket shop had just closed – there were still dozens, maybe even a hundred visitors and it seemed impossible to activate the summit with so many people around. While waiting for the crowds to leave the place, I found a suitable spot where I set up the antenna attached to a handrail. Operating from the wayside seemed to be the only option if I wanted to avoid bothering the people heading back to their cars.
After a slow start on 20m I QSY-ed to 30m where more chasers were waiting.
As always, activity on 40m was highest and the QSO- rate went as high as 150 Q/h (for a few minutes only – of course 😉
Meanwhile the sky had turned grey and wind came up, bending the antenna at times. Copying the weaker signals became increasingly challenging due to the statics, announcing the approaching thunderstorm. Nevertheless I wanted to give 60m a try. Without a dedicated antenna, just using the KX3’s ATU and the EFHW- Dipole, six stations made it into the log. Signal reports were 579 to 599 on both sides. This was real fun! One HB9- staion could be worked „through“ the castle. The last QSO was Norbert, DJ3TU – what a coincidence!
I called „CQ“ for a few more minutes but the calls remained unanswered. Considering the grey sky I decided to go QRT and packed up.
Again it was lots of fun! Thanks for the QSOs, cu from the next one.