May 20th, 2020, 10:45 – 12:15 UTC
My second activation of Kornberg.
Wx: overcast with occasional sunshine, temperature approx. 18°C
Walking time: approx. 20 min. up/ 10 min. down
Ascent/ descent: approx. 110 vertical metres
Condx on 40m were good with lots of strong signals from central EU. But also QSB on signals from stations further away. On 30m a single (!) station responded to my CQ and only towards the end I managed to log a second call sign. 20m surprised with sporadic E and strong signals from central EU. k = 1, SFI = 70
Rig: KX3 / 10W, 2.9Ah AGM battery, Palm Pico Paddle
Ant: 22 m end fed wire with QRP L- Tuner in a tree.
9 CW QSOs on 20m
2 CW QSOs on 30m – 1 x S2S
34 CW QSOs on 40m – 5 x S2S
2 SSB QSOs on 40m – 2 x S2S
1 CW QSO on 60m – 1 x S2S
How to get there?
Kornberg can be reached from Gruibingen. There is a bus stop and a signpost „Kornbergsattel“ on the road to Gammelshausen. The parking lot „Äussere Kornbergsteige“ is hard to miss.
To make the long drive to the Michelsberg worthwhile, I planned to activate a second summit nearby. I still had vivid memories of my first activation three years ago. So the decision to activate Kornberg again was quickly taken.
The clouds had thickened meanwhile and it had become muggy. At times I was not sure if I would get back to the car dry.
The way up Kornberg is beautiful and leads past flowering meadows. Unfortunately there is only a single spot on the way with an impressive view. From the summit itself there is no view to the surrounding area.
For these reasons I didn’t bother to get to the highest point. When I reached the activation zone, I looked for a suitable place to set up the station. There was a bench which would have been perfect, but unfortunately it was already occupied. So I went a little further and set up the antenna directly at the forest edge.
Different from what I had announced, I started on 40 metres, where DL5FCE on DM/HE-035 had a massive pile-up. I waited for the crowd to ease off a bit and listened. Stations were calling on top of each other and at least one of them tuned his amp extensively on the QRG. Where did the Ham Spirit go?
Finally the pile-up abated and I made my QSO. Then I looked for a free QRG and called CQ. It went quite well from the beginning. Numerous stations were calling and most of them were loud. But here as well a certain ruthlessness could be observed. When I explicitly asked for „/P“, several callers simply ignored this and kept calling. Only after a clear announcement to stand by I could copy HB15SOTA. A short time later an OM simply called over an existing QSO. His callsign was noted down and he can be sure that his QSOs will not be uploaded to the SOTA database.
But there were positive things to report as well: After half an hour already four S2S- QSOs were in my log. I was particularly pleased about that.
Because it went so well in CW, I tried 40 metres SSB. A free frequency was found quickly, but no one answered my CQ. For unclear reasons no spot could be sent, so I had to terminate the attempt after ten minutes without QSO.
Next I tried 30 metres, but I got only one QSO(!) According to RBN my signal was mostly weak – which is strange considering that it was going so well two hours before.
In the meantime SOTA Goat reported several potential S2S- QSOs and so I became a chaser for the next 20 minutes. One CW QSO on 60 metres and two SSB QSOs on 40 metres went in the log.
Only then I continued my own activation on 20 metres CW, where sporadic E produced loud signals from Central Europe – a rather unusual occurrence. DX could not be heard. Only a single RBN station from VE could reported my signal with 8 dB SNR.
At the very end I made two more S2S- QSOs on 40 metres and on 30 metres. Then it was time to dismantle and head back home.
- Even within SOTA the ham spirit sometimes falls by the wayside.
- Signals on 40 metres were mostly strong.
- 30 metres was completely different from what I had experienced two hours ago.
- I can’t remember when I last experienced sporadic E on 20 metres while being on a summit.
- Submitting a cluster spot did not work for unknown reasons. I still have to learn how to make my SSB activations more effective.
It was lots of fun again. Thanks for the QSOs!