JA/VK/ZL – EU S2S Party from DM/BW-089 – Farrenberg – 820m

Abstract

October 21, 2017: 6:00 – 7:45 UTC

Rig: K3 / 100W, Varta LA60 (60 Ah) AGM- battery, Begali „DXpedition“ paddle
Ant: Delta Loop on 7m GRP Pole

29 CW QSOs on 20m – 7 S2S- QSOs but none with JA/ VK/ ZL this time.

Because it is the summit closest to my home I chose ‚Farrenberg‘ again. It is a ‚drive- on‘ location and allows me to carry along the 60Ah battery to run 100 Watts. If you haven’t seen it already, there is a phantastic aerial photo of the summit.

The conditions on October 21st were fairly good. No rain, about 13°C and only occasional wind gusts. SFI at 73 units and k = 2 looked promising, the predicted geomagnetic unrest seemed to be delayed.

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At 6:00 UTC everything was set up and I switched on the K3. The noise level was at S1 (with PreAmp on and 400 Hz IF BW) which wasn’t too bad. As the band opened, the noise increased to S2 and later even to S3. Unfortunately one or two contacts could not be completed due to noisy conditions.

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The 20m Delta Loop on top of DM/BW-089. Tower and Terminal of the airfield can be seen in the background.

The start was slow as the band opened only to north and east EU. But those stations all had strong signals and I received good signal reports in return. About 45 minutes later the band was fully open and VK7CW gave me a call. Signal reports were 579 on both sides. Steve was running 100 Watts, too. So in my opinion the Delta Loop performs very well.

During another QSO with Down Under, someone from the airfield came walking up to me. He waited patiently for the completion of my QSO and then asked what I was doing here. We had a nice chat about ham radio and it turned out that he was a CW operator during his military service.
Then he told me that the airfield will open at about 7:00 UTC and I should not to be afraid of gliders taking off just behind me. I offered to remove my gear (hoping that it wouldn’t be neccessary) but he assured that it was safe to stay.
After the conversation I made some more S2S- QSOs with EU. No additional DX could be heard.

Edit: The reason why I didn’t make any DX S2S QSOs is most likely due to missing cluster support during my activation. My approach, calling CQ and searching the band with the Sub- Rx, didn’t work. It seems I simply missed the weak signals from down under. Next time I’ll bring a smartphone or tablet…

Again it was loads of fun. Thanks to the organizers for this great idea!
Thanks for the QSOs!

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The sign post has to be taken seriously!
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D-KHEC taking off for a training flight…
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… and just before touch down, fighting the wind shear.

 

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