Hohloh – DM/BW-054 – 984m

Abstract

December 18, 2020  11:40 – 13:50 UTC
My first activation of Hohloh (after I had to cancel it in September due to a blocked road).

Wx: Sunny, approx. 6°C, no clouds
Walking time: 20 min. up, 20 min. down
Ascent/ descent: approx. 100 vertical metres

Rig: KX3 / 10W,  2.5 Ah Li-Ion battery (4S), Palm Mini Paddle
Ant: Trapped EFHW-dipole as inverted L on a 6m squid pole.

Excellent condx on all bands. SFI = 82, k = 1.

14 CW QSOs on 60m, 1 x S2S
50 CW QSOs on 40m, 1 x S2S
16 CW QSOs on 30m, 1 x NA
24 CW QSOs on 20m, 1 x S2S, 3 x NA, 1 x OC

Highlights:
– 104 QSOs in 130 minutes – an all time record!
– First SOTA-QSO with ZL
– Re-deisgned EFHW-transformer with the smaller T82-43 toroid works excellent.

Lowlights:
– An IK2-chaser calling non-stop without ever being able to copy my signal

How to get there?

From Kaltenbronn, parking lot „E“ towards south-west and west to the big lake. Then further north- west to the lookout tower. The lake is already in the AZ but it’s not allowed to leave the boardwalk.

Hohloh_track

Activation report:

The weather forecast announced perfect weather. So I took a day off and headed for the Black Forest. I’m running out of summits in my vicinity as we’re approaching the end of the year 😉

I didn’t know what to expect from the look at the map. Sometimes it is hard to tell what the summit will look like. This time I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the scenery as soon as I had set off. The forest looked like a fairytale. Streams and trickles gurgled everywhere. Finally I reached a beautiful hill moor.

When I reached the lookout tower, I chose a sunny patch for set up, a bit away from the main trail. As there was no mobile network coverage, I did just a brief search for S2S QSOs. Then I started my activation on 20 metres CW. It ran like clockwork and despite the fairly early time of the day, the first NA chasers called in. But what really stunned me was the call of ZL1TM from New Zealand. His signal had some QSB but was loud and clear. After so many years it is still one of the most fascinating things to hear a station calling from VK or ZL.
When I couldn’t hear any more chasers I QSYed to 30 metres and even this band produced a larger than average number of QSOs – except for one NA station all across EU.
40 metres was a real blast! The number of callers simply didn’t end. Eventually I ran out of log templates.  Fortunately I had a piece of scrap paper with me which I could use for logging further QSOs.
After that, I briefly went back to 20 metres, hoping to get some more NA DX in the log. But after one more DX QSO, my CQ remained unheard.
Being unable to submit a cluster spot, I didn’t try 40 or 20 SSB. So I finally QSYed to 60 metres CW. After a couple of fruitless CQs, I tuned up and down a completely deserted band. It was weird…
When I returned to my CQ frequency I heard at least two stations calling. But whom did they call? One was portable and at first, I thought the other stations were calling him. It took a while until I realised, that those stations were calling me! So I quickly worked the /p station which was IK2LEY/p, Fabio, on I/LO-440. After the S2S-QSO, five or more chasers – all had been waiting in the background  – were calling at once. It was impossible to copy a complete call sign, and I had to guess a couple of familiar calls. It took a while until the pile-up dried up. By then, the sun had disappeared behind clouds and it became chilly.
It was easy to go QRT after such a great activation. Eventually I climbed the lookout tower, took a couple of photos and headed back to the car, still smiling.
Only one thing made me frown: A particular IK2-station is five times in my log – on different bands and at different times. Four times with the comment N.I.L. because he failed to reply when I called him. Only at the fifth attempt he replied – probably it was the first time he could hear me. I wasted precious time on the summit trying to complete a QSO with someone who apparently just clicked cluster spots and couldn’t hear me. His call sign is easy to memorise. Next time he doesn’t reply first time, I’ll continue with the next chaser and ignore his further calls.

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It was fun again. Thanks for the QSOs!

Hohloh
QSOs during the activation on DM/BW-054

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