February 14, 2021
My third activation of Lupfen, BW-057, second activation of Zundelberg, BW-195 and fourth activation of Lemberg, BW-038.
Wx: Sunny, temperature approx. -6°C in the morning to -3°C in the afternoon, the wind grew stronger during the day and was very gusty at BW-038.
Rig: KX3 / 10W, 2.2 Ah LiPo battery (3S) and 2.5 Ah Li-Ion battery (4S), Palm Mini Paddle
Ant: 42 ft (12.8m) random wire as inverted Vee on several trees
Total weight of the (radio) equipment: approx. 3500g
Condx seem to be average with k = 1, SFI = 71
The last days (and especially nights) were bitterly cold. The temperature dropped partly below -15°C. For Sunday, somewhat milder weather was announced, which I wanted to use for a longer tour. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to stay too long at the summits.
Walking time: 13 min up, 5 min down
Ascent/ descent: Approx. 100 vertical metres – short but steep.
QRV: 9:33 – 10:20 utc
43 CW QSOs on 60m – 2 x S2S
1 CW QSO on 20m – 1 x S2S
I set up the station at a fallen tree a little below the tower. There, an almost windless and sunny spot was available. The temperature ranged around -6°C. The nearby summit was almost deserted at first, but gradually numerous people arrived.
Before the start of the activation, I had caught the log sheet with the wrong summit reference, but noticed the mistake just in time during the first QSO on 60 metres. Then an enormous pile-up emerged, but it remained well-disciplined. Some callers obviously couldn’t hear me well. „Maybe my antenna is not the best choice“, I thought.
The last stations were all equally faint and on the same frequency, thus difficult to pick out. In the end, I stayed at the summit longer than planned. It was cold but not freezing. After the activation I got warm quickly because my car had been waiting in the warm sunlight. After a short drive I reached the next summit:
Walking time: 13 min up, 10 min down
Ascent/ descent: Approx. 60 vertical metres.
QRV: 11:28 – 12:15 utc
23 CW QSOs on 40m – 3 x S2S
14 CW QSOs on 30m – 1 x S2S
The ascent was on beautiful snowy tracks. I chose my QTH at a sunny clearing under a magnificent old fir tree. The wind had become stronger and the big trees were rustling. On my tree trunk in the warm sunshine, however, it felt almost warm.
I started the activation on 40 metres. Immediately I noticed that the internal ATU of the KX3 needed several attempts to tune the antenna. This used to be no problem on 40 metres.
Again a big pile-up developed, which was now quite out of control. Some callers were calling out of turn and on top of QSOs. Several times I had to tell the hordes to listen.
Again I had the impression of having a rather weak signal. The activation went correspondingly slowly. I spent about 15 minutes more at the summit than planned. But I took the chance to operate on 30 metres, where things were much more disciplined.
Overall, it wasn’t cold at all during the activation. After dismantling station and antenna, I spoke with two walkers who were interested in what I was doing. On the way back, I passed two children who were being pulled up the hill by car on their sled 🙂
Now we had another short drive to the next summit. This time unfortunately with a diversion because of a blocked road.
Walking time: 15 min up, 10 min down
Ascent/ descent: 150 vertical metres.
QRV: 13:45 – 14:50 utc
21 CW QSOs on 40m – 1 x S2S
17 CW QSOs on 30m – 1 x DX
12 CW QSOs on 20m – 1 x DX
At the parking lot of Lemberg the wind was very strong, almost stormy. The ascent to the summit was nevertheless enjoyable. I chose my QTH on a bench a little below the top, because the summit was hopelessly crowded. An estimated hundred people were gathering on the area around the tower, which made it impossible to activate there (not to mention social distancing). Already during set up I explained what I was doing to several groups of people.
Then I started the activation on 20 metres, where it went well according to my impression, but even here some signals were very weak. Unfortunately, there were two women sitting next to me who were chatting loudly and – especially with such weak signals – disturbed me considerably. After QSY on 30 metres, things went better, with louder signals and two QSOs per minute at times. Something you are not used to on this band.
To complete the activation, I QSYed to 40 metres and noticed the same effect again: tuning was tricky and hand sensitive. Still, it went well and in the end I had to announce QRT several times before the last chasers were in the log. Then I could really switch off and pack up.
After the activation, I had a long chat with a group of local carnival fools from Gosheim. They had plenty of beer with them and even offered me one. Then it was time to return to the car park and hit the road again.
- Total time QRV: 160 minutes
- 131 QSOs
- 8 S2S QSOs
- 2 DX QSOs
- The sun already gained some power, you no longer become freezing cold during the activation.
- The pile-up on 40 metres was out of control at times. Maybe I’ll start with 20 metres in the future and work downwards so that the chaos doesn’t get too big?
- With my homebrew random wire antenna I had again the impression that my signal was not that loud. Tuning on 40 metres was tricky (as already noticed on DM/BW-846, Hohenzollern). At home I noticed that the radial wire was broken directly at the connector (but still held together with shrinking tube). This has now been fixed.