Trans-Atlantic S2S QSO Party from DM/BW-110 – Limburg– 598m (3)

Abstract

November 6, 2021  13:50 – 16:20 UTC
My third activation of Limburg – again for the trans-Atlantic S2S QSO-party.

Wx: Fog until the early afternoon, approx. 4°C, later sunny
Walking time: 25 min. up, 15 min. down
Ascent/ descent: approx. 200 vertical metres

Rig: KX3 / 10W, 2.5Ah Li-Ion battery (4S), Palm Mini Paddle
Ant: 42 ft (12.8m) random wire as inverted L on a 6m squid pole; vertical EFHW dipole on a 10m squid pole

Conditions were average at best: k = 4 (!), SFI = 94

2   CW QSOs on 40m, 1 x S2S
10 CW QSOs on 20m, 8 x S2S (4 x NA)
15 CW QSOs on 17m, 10 x S2S (6 x NA)
1  CW QSO on 15m, 1 x S2S (1 x NA)

Highlights:
Worked 11 NA S2S QSOs, the farthest was WA7JTM on W7A/MN-109 in AZ

Lowlights: None

How to get there?

From Nabern, turn right at the entrance of Weilheim towards the cemetry. Park the car there or alongside the road that leads up the hill.
From there, follow the road „Weinsteige“.

Activation report:

Limburg is a lovely hill at the edge of the Swabian Jura. It has an unobstructed view to the northwest and is one of the best choices for Trans-Atlantic DX in my region.
But when I reached the parking lot this time, the summit was hidden behind a thick layer of fog. Temperature was only 4°C. I had no idea how long it would be possible to stay at the top. The advantage, however, was that the summit was completely deserted and I had lots of room for my antenna installations.

2021-11-06 14.41.26

By the time I started setting up, the sun could be seen through the fog and shortly after I was QRV the fog had thinned out and it became more pleasant in the warm sunlight.

2021-11-06 15.16.14

I started running on 17m but it soon was clear that with the double CME that hit earth’s magnetic field earlier this week, condx were not as good as last year. There were only few QSOs and none of them was trans-Atlantic S2S. I worked a few chasers (EU and NA) and explained visitors what I was doing while I waited for the conditions to improve.

2021-11-06 15.41.10

Just before 15:00 utc 17m started humming with DX S2S. Suddenly there were so many spots on SOTLAS that it was hard to keep track of interesting stations. I had three consecutive S2S contacts into Arizona and Colorado and – to my big surprise – could work HB9BHU who was on a mountain top in Martinique!
A brief excursion to 15m resulted in only one S2S QSO. Then, around 16:00, the higher bands closed already and it was obvious to return to 20m. The band was still in good shape and I could work some more EU and NA S2S. Eventually my CQ’s remained unheard and I realized how cold it actually was. The sun had set about an hour before and since station and two antennas still had to be dismantled, I pulled the plug.
It was completely dark when I left the summit but it was no problem to find the trail with my head torch – until the fog returned, about half way down. Then, visibility dropped below 10 metres and it was a real challenge to stay on the (muddy) trail. Eventually I reached the car, had a snack and headed back home.

2021-11-06 17.29.13

Conclusion:

  • Luckily the sun came out in the afternoon, otherwise I couldn’t have stayed there for so long.
  • The combination of a simple multi-band antenna and an additional vertical for at least one band worked ok
  • Signal reports on RBN were at least 6 – 10 dB down compared to last year with similar or better antennas this year (!)
  • There was some annoying noise on 17m. It is not clear to me whether it came from the valley. Maybe I have to look for another summit next year?

2021-11-06 14.41.10

It was tons of fun. Thanks for digging my tiny signal out of the noise!

BW-110
QSOs during trans-Atlantic S2S QSO-party from DM/BW-110

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