February 6, 2021 09:40 – 11:45 UTC
My Third activation of Hohenzollern.
Wx: Cloudy, approx. 5°C, gusty winds
Walking time: 30 min. up, 15 min. down
Ascent/ descent: approx. 140 vertical metres
Condx seem to be poor according to the RBN spots.
k = 1, SFI = 73
11 QSOs on 20m CW, 2 x S2S
8 QSOs on 30m CW
21 QSOs on 40m CW, 5 x S2S
20 QSOs on 60m CW, 3 x S2S
Weight per QSO: 44.1g
– surprising number of activations resulting in many S2S-QSOs
How to get there?
The weather forecast for the weekend wasn’t that good. Nevertheless, I wanted to do a swift activation in the vicinity. Hohenzollern was the obvious choice, as it would not be as crowded as on normal days due to the lockdown. Nevertheless, there was a surprisingly large number of visitors and some of them came in larger groups.
I set up the station on the castle wall close to the Adlertor. This place had already proven useful during my last activation.
Unfortunately, I made a stupid mistake when submitting a cluster spot with the wrong frequency, which probably led to some confusion. But after a few minutes the activation on 60 metres went well – except that some of my chasers only responded with delay. Apparently my signal was weak in some parts of Europe. However, I could not identify an obvious reason and carried on.
Thanks to the great activity of other activators, chances for S2S-QSOs were plentyful. I even stopped my run in order to work S2S when there were no chasers calling.
One of the highlights of this activation was the QSO with DL1FU. I suppose Friedrich heard me calling in the pile-up of HB9AFI/p at 7.032 kHz. When I had finished my QSO with Kurt, I heard someone calling „up“. As we scarcely work split in SOTA, this could only mean that I (or someone else) should move up a bit. I found a clear frequency about 1.7 kHz up and asked „QRZ? de DL3TU“. DL1FU came right back and we had a nice QSO. Friedrich is one of my regular chasers and I know he is a very experienced operator. This was another example of the art of chasing.
A kind of low light was the No-QSO with ON6ZQ/p. Chris had already copied my callsign, then only responded with sporadic dits and finally disappeared. Later he wrote me that his key stopped working due to heavy rain. It would have been yet another 8-point-S2S-QSO.
I spent much more time on the summit than I had planned for this activation. Towards the end my fingers were really cold and numb. With so many S2S-QSOs under my belt I could easily go QRT and head back to the car.
- Never use a template for a cluster spot! This is how the wrong frequency had been submitted.
- No other reason than bad condx could be found for my weak signal on 60 metres.
- A station with „DG“ Prefix called (again) over an ongoing S2S-QSOs. His callsing is now on my blacklist.
- Strange yellowish light due to Sahara sand in the air at the end of the activation