DM/BW-695 – Teck – 775m

Abstract:

April 29th, 2020, 14:35 – 15:50 UTC
My first activation of Teck.

Wx: overcast with occasional sunshine, temperature approx. 14°C
Walking time: approx. 15 min. up/ 10 min. down
Ascent/ descent: approx. 165 vertical metres

Condx on 20m were poor with deep QSB and weak signals. Unfortunately no DX this time. On 30m a similar situation but not as pronounced as on 20m. This is supported by the fact that some chasers called me again on 40m where signals were generally loud.
60m was reliable with good signals from all over Europe. k = 1, SFI = 69

Rig: KX3 / 10W, 2.9Ah AGM battery, Palm Pico Paddle Single – for a change
Ant: 22 m end fed wire with QRP L- Tuner as inverted L on a 6m- squid pole.

6 CW QSOs on 20m
15 CW QSOs on 30m
15 CW QSOs on 40m
12 CW QSOs on 60m

How to get there?

In Owen, take the road up the hill (Bohlstrasse). There are several parking lots around the burg. I opted for „Wanderparkplatz Bölle“ (red cirlce). That’s the shortest but steepest ascent. GPS or a good map help a lot.

Teck

Activation report:

When the sun appeared after a rainy morning near noon, I decided to activate „Teck“ at short notice. Because of Corona the castle is currently closed. It was to be expected that only a few people would be there, which was fine with me, considering the usual crowds up there.

Pan1_2020-04-29 18.07.06
Panoramic view from Teck. Please klick on the image to enlarge.

The parking lot „Bölle“ was pretty crowded, but the hiking trails were abandoned. This is because on a nearby meadow hobby pilots start their model airplanes, which find good upwinds on the western slope of the Teck.
I found the track had a pleasant gradient. Just right to gain altitude quickly. After a quarter of an hour I stood in front of the castle. It was – as announced – closed, but the castle courtyard was accessible. Besides me there were only two cyclists there.
I chose the most remote bench for the set-up of the station to avoid disturbances by visitors.

The activation started on 20m CW. Condx were strange with deep QSB, QRN from thunderstorms and weak signals. Some chasers  I could not copy. I thought I heard a station from the U.S. briefly but it unfortunately disappeared before I had a complete call sign. Some stations – on the other hand – had strong signals. One station with a „DG1“ Prefix was calling over existing QSOs and was causing severe QRM. He was really loud but apparently couldn’t hear me well.

During QSY on 30m I used the wrong QRP- L- tuner settings at first. Something that has never happened to me before and an indication that I was distracted. Possibly because of the dark clouds, which actually made me a little nervous.

On 30m the situation was somewhat better. I could hear everyone well but noticed some disorder. Stations were tuning on my QRG and calling out of turn. A station from DL called me and was gone before I could log his complete call sign. This suggests that not everyone could hear me well enough for a QSO. This is supported by the fact that most of my reports were poor and some chasers called me again on 40m.

Only after QSY on 40m my reports became better and the operation more fluid. Now only my QSD was disturbing, because I had decided to operate the paddle with my left hand. This way I can write with my right hand at the same time, but I made far too many mistakes. To make matters worse, the paddle jammed twice and sent dot-dash sequences. Here I definitely have to improve my technique.

Also on 60m the operation went like clockwork – apart from the problems with the paddle – and only when no-one else was calling I went QRT.
Unfortunately there was no partner for a S2S- QSO that late in the afternoon…

After everything was dismantled and packed, I toured the abandoned castle courtyard and enjoyed some beautiful views of the surroundings from the castle wall.

Conclusion:

  • The parking lot was full because of the model plane pilots.
  • The path had a pleasant gradient.
  • Shorts at 14°C is ok for hiking but not if you sit around for more than an hour.
  • The dark clouds made me nervous. This resulted in errors when adjusting the antenna tuner.
  • My ability to operate the paddles with my left hand needs to be improved significantly.

 

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It was great fun again. Thanks for the QSOs!

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