October 13, 2019 12:25 – 13:15 UTC
My fourth activation of Farrenberg, one of the summits closest to my home. The distance is about 25km one way, hence we went there by bike.
If you haven’t seen it before, here is a phantastic photo of Farrenberg.
Wx: Sunny, approx. 20°C, strong winds
Walking time: None as we took the bike from Tübingen and got there in about 90 minutes.
Ascent/ descent: approx. 500 vertical metres
Conditions seemed to be average according to the RBN spots I got. 20m seemed quite abandoned, nevertheless a DX QSOs with AC1Z went into the log.
On 30m activity was low but condx into Scandinavia seemed to be good. The usual pile-up on 40m was short but intense with four S2S QSOs and one GMA QSO. The noise level was extremely low.
Rig: KX3 / 10W, 2200mAh 3S LiPo, Palm Pico Paddle
Ant: QRP L- Tuner covering all bands from 60m to 10m
End- fed wire (22 metres long) as inverted L on a 6m squid pole
3 CW QSOs on 20m
5 CW QSOs on 30m
19 CW QSOs on 40m
How to get there?
Follow the road up the hill until you reach the buildings of the air field. From there, follow the trail to the north- western rim of Farrenberg (Bismarckskopf) with a nice view onto the valley.
It was another perfect Indian Summer day, on which you simply had to do something outside. So I asked my buddy Andreas (SWL) if he had time for a bike tour. The goal was quickly set, because Farrenberg is my „joker“ for short-term activations or S2S events.
We started just after 12 o’clock (local time) and rode our bikes to Talheim. Until there the road gently rises from 320m a. s. l. to about 500m. Then it climbs very steep to the plateau at 820 m a. s. l. It was quite exhausting, but the joy about the achievement compensated for all our efforts.
As expected, there was lots of activity on the airfield where numerous planes and spectators gathered on the meadow.
We rounded the airfield and carried on to the northwestern edge of the plateau, the Bismarkskopf. There was no crowd, just a few hikers and more than enough space for the antenna.
The gliders, which all started on the winch, were hardly noticed. Only the noise of an occasionally starting propeller-driven airplane disturbed the peace.
After the obligatory summit photos, we set up the antenna together and I started the activation while Andreas enjoyed the October sun.
One goal of this activation was to test the new L-tuner and the 22 meter end fed antenna.
Different from what was announced, I started the activation at 40 meters, where S58MU called in right after the first „CQ“. Then it ran like clockwork and only after 15 minutes, when no further stations called, I went to search for S2S contacts. The antenna seemed to work well, because in two pile-ups I got my QSOs rather quickly.
Tuning the antenna on 30 meters was done quickly and I heard some loud signals from the north west and the north. The 20 meter band seemed completely deserted and very quiet, which made me believe that there was a problem with the L- Tuner. But finally three QSOs went into the log, the furthest with AC1Z.
Then I went QRT so that Andreas wouldn’t have to wait any longer. We packed up and returned to the valley where we enjoyed the afternoon with a Weizenbier on the banks of the Neckar in Rottenburg. Finally we headed back to Tübingen.
Conclusion: It was a great day with many highlights, 27 QSOs, some of them S2S and one with NA, cycling 60 km distance and almost 900 vertical meters.
My new antenna worked well and seems to have equal performance compared to the EFHW- Dipole with traps.
It was great fun. Thanks for the QSOs!