October 12, 2019 14:15 – 15:10 UTC
My third activation of Römerstein – first activation on 80m!
Wx: Sunny, approx. 20°C, few clouds
Walking time 15 min. up, 10 min. down
Ascent/ descent: approx. 40 vertical metres
Conditions on 80m were surprisingly good, considering that we were operating in bright daylight. On 40m the condx were good and activity high as always with a small pile- up.
Rig: KX3 / 10W, 7.2Ah AGM, Palm Pico Paddle
Ant: OCF- dipole for 80m/ 40m/ 20m/ 15m on a 12.5 metre DX-Wire squid pole
3 CW QSOs on 80m
14 CW QSOs on 40m
How to get there?
From Donnstetten to Böhringen, turn right just after „Naturfreundehaus Römerstein“ to the parking lot (Wanderparkplatz). From there, follow the trail to the watchtower.
Trip together with Klaus, DO1ABT, Christian, DL2ABT and our kids to Roemerstein, an easy to access summit. We met at the car park and walked to the watchtower in about 15 minutes. Luckily the tower was open. So we went up and enjoyed a beautiful view upon the „Albtrauf“.
We set up the antenna between two trees and used the large squid pole as a center support. The average height above ground was maybe eight metres which is not much but enough to play with our radios.
According to the German license terms, holders of license class „E“ (i.e. all call signs beginning with „DO“) are not allowed to transmit on 40m, 20m, parts of 15m and 10m and all of the WARC- bands. That’s why DO1ABT started the activation on 80m phone. But his „CQ SOTA“ wasn’t heard.
We suspected the antenna wasn’t working well and I took over on 80m CW. It was tough going but I managed to make three QSOs in a few minutes. I asked the third station to place a spot for DO1ABT in SOTAwatch as we had poor mobile network coverage (EDGE).
Klaus took over again, but to no avail. DL2ABT even managed to send a spot to SOTAwatch (from the top of the tower) but not a single station answered our calls and – to make it even worse – when Klaus finally found a station from OK- land calling „CQ fauna/ flora“ this station didn’t answer him either!
I don’t know what was wrong. Output power or settings of his FT-817? We have to figure this out during the next weeks and then maybe try again…
In order to qualify the activation, I needed one more QSO. The kids were already grumbling. So I plugged the antenna to my KX3, QSYed to 40m and started calling „CQ SOTA“ quickly. Within ten minutes – which was my limit – 14 QSOs went into the log. Then I went QRT. Sorry if I missed someone!
After a rapid teardown we headed back to the cars and further on to the summer bobsled run in Donnstetten. I think this is what the kids were waiting for all afternoon 🙂
Again it was great fun. Hopefully next time with some QSOs for DO1ABT.
Thanks for the contacts!