February 28, 2021 09:50 – 12:40 UTC
My Third activation of Plettenberg.
Wx: Sunny, no clouds, approx. 5°C, gusty winds
Walking time: 12 min. up, 7 min. down
Ascent/ descent: approx. 100 vertical metres
Condx seem to be average at best according to the RBN spots. Very few spots from NA.
k = 1, SFI = 79
16 QSOs on 20m CW, 1 x DX
19 QSOs on 30m CW, 5 x S2S
16 QSOs on 40m CW, 2 x S2S
10 QSOs on 40m SSB
12 QSOs on 60m CW, 3 x S2S
4 QSOs on 60m SSB, 1 x S2S
– Mountain Goat activation and a fairly large number of S2S-QSOs
How to get there?
The weather forecast announced sunny weather for the whole weekend. As the winter bonus season is about to end, I wanted to activate one of the remaining nearby summits with winter bonus.
I left home earlier than planned and reached the summit 30 minutes before my alert. This extra time was used to search for S2S QSOs. Then I started activating on 30 metres with the aim of reducing the pile-up on 40 metres and 60 metres later. An unusually large number of QSOs came into the log, including some S2S.
It was still a bit early for 20 metres, DX was not expected, so I soon QSYed to 40 metres. Because of the UBA DX CW Contest it was difficult to find a free frequency but finally I managed to run on 7.008kHz. Signal reports were very good and the pile-up was well organized. So it really seems that my signal with the EFHW and QRP-L-Tuner is somewhat louder than with the random wire antenna.
After that I searched again for S2S-QSOs and got four more in my log. Finally I tried 60 CW and afterwards SSB. This resulted in a very nice S2S-QSO with HB15SOTA, OP Markus, HB9DIZ, in canton Solothurn. A nice chat with a good friend and new canton for the HB15SOTA-award.
17 metres didn’t work, so I started a second attempt on 20 metres. I was hoping for some stations calling in from NA, but unfortunately no DX contacts today.
Eventually I even found a reasonably quiet frequency on 40 metres SSB, where another 10 QSOs made it into the log.
While taking down the station I talked with a group (father, son, grandfather), explaining the fundamentals of shortwave communication.
But then it was about time to return home, where the MG cake was already waiting.
- Changing bands is annoying even with the QRP-L tuner. Making mistakes seems to be inevitable.
- For some reason, the paddles wobbled a lot during operation. Possibly a problem with the magnets?
- An incredible number of people on the hiking trails, I handed out several SOTA flyers.