DM/BW-015 – Hochfirst – 1190m

Abstract:

June 11th, 2020, 08:50 – 10:00 UTC
My first activation of Hochfirst.

Wx: Overcast with sun from time to time, temperature approx. 14°C
Walking time: Zero, Hochfirst is a drive-on location
Ascent/ descent: almost 0 vertical metres

Rig: KX3 / 10W, 2.2Ah LiPo battery, Palm Pico Paddle
Ant: 22 m end fed wire with QRP L- Tuner as inverted L on a 6m- squid pole.

Condx on 30 metres and 40 metres were good with loud signals from all over EU and a small pile- up on each band.
k = 1, SFI = 71

31 CW QSOs on 40m
2 SSB QSO on 40m – 2 x S2S
32 CW QSOs on 30m – 1 x S2S

Highlight:
65 QSOs in less than 70 minutes net. operating time
One of the QSOs with DX.

Lowlight:
The QSD when operating the paddles with my left hand persists.

How to get there?

From Titisee- Neustadt railway station, follow the road to the restaurant at the top of Hochfirst. There is a public parking lot with limited space up there.
Walk in the direction of the lookout tower and continue to the launch site of the gliders. Within a minute you have a nice view on Titisee.

Activation report:

For a long weekend we went to Black Forest with a few friends. At the arrival on Wednesday the weather was still rather bad with heavy rain and cool temperatures. Nevertheless, we dared a short hike to a nearby waterfall in the afternoon, when the rain took a break.

On Thursday morning the weather was still undecided with clouds and wafts of mist moving up and down the valleys. That’s why I chose the easiest summit on my to-do list. Should the weather change at short notice, I would have been in the car in a few minutes.

When I arrived at the parking lot around 8:30 utc, it was completely deserted. Also at the launch site of the paragliders I was alone for a while. So the decision for the portable QTH was made quickly: At a bench with a splendid view of the Titisee I set up the antenna.

Since 60 metres produced only a few QSOs in the past weeks, I started directly with 40 metres CW. At first, however, I was not able to submit a spot with SOTAgoat. Only after many CQs I managed to submit a spot via SOTLAS. Now, the activation picked up speed and the number of callers increased rapidly. It took almost 30 minutes until the pile-up ceased.

Then I switched to SSB, where two S2S QSOs went into the log (both on the same summit).  Further S2S- QSOs were not available, so I QSYed to 30 metres CW.
After I submitted another spot, things went really well here too: There have never been so many QSOs on 30 metres. But the most amazing thing was the call from a station in the USA with loud signal.

When the pile-up slowly dried up, something happened that I had never experienced before: The KX3 warned me that the battery voltage dropped below 11V! At first I suspected a defective battery. Only later I realized that already 65 (!) QSOs were in the log. At 10 watts output power it was quite possible that the battery was completely discharged. For this reason I finished the activation quickly even before I could become QRV on 20 metres.
I dismantled the antenna, stowed everything in my rucksack and started the return journey. For the afternoon, the family had planned a hike through a gorge.

Conclusion:

  • The weather kept up and even gradually got better.
  • 65 is the largest number of QSOs I ever made during a single activation.
  • The QSO rate throughout the whole activation was > 1 Q/min
  • Operating the paddle with my left hand again caused QSD. I’m not sure if I should continue this approach or return to using my right hand.
  • For some reason I couldn’t alert nor submit a spot via SOTAgoat.
  • No time to search for S2S or to operate on higher bands due to the high number of chasers.
  • Battery completely discharged.
  • Great view on Titisee.

Diese Diashow benötigt JavaScript.

It was lots of fun again. Thanks for the QSOs!

015

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