While the weather has been unusually mild (12 – 14 degrees & no snow) my wife asked if we might go somewhere, where she could walk the dog while I operated radio, for a couple of hours. I had originally planned to try to access Ammerleite via a different, longer route, as the straight forward (still labelled as a public road on all maps) was closed off by the farmers as being a private – no access road the last time we went there. On the day however, I decided the best option would be to go to a known summit where access is easy and we had, had the dog (Bonnie) there before. So Rentschen it was, even though I had activated the summit twice this year already, I might just get it as a new 10m summit for the challenge.
The usual, reliable kit that I had used on many activations before would be used. The “two bag configuration”.
Rentschen is well signposted (see previous reports) and is about 40 minutes drive from my home QTH. The road runs over the top of the summit, so it’s a matter of parking up and then walking a respectable distance away from the car, to ensure no support is being obtained from it, as required in the SOTA rules, setting up and away we go.
On the last two activations, I set up using a pile of cut down tree trunks to support the antenna mast, this time the pile of wood had gone, so I had to find an alternative and saw a small post further into the field. Unfortunately this was fairly close to some overhead power lines but luckily they caused no QRM (they were also high enough not to be a physical danger). The post was not very stable but as there was no wind was adequate to hold the base of the fibreglass squid pole that the OCF dipole was run from. Interestingly at the foot of the post was the Trig Point stone for the summit, so there’s no question of my location! I am slowly finding more and more of these stones that are used to mark the exact summit when no summit cross or other monument has been erected.
Once I had put the antenna up, laid out my small plastic sheet with the rig and the logbook on it, I immediately started calling CQ SOTA on 10 metres on 28.360 after checking the frequency was clear. I then spotted myself and after some time Jorge EA2LU came back to me but when I passed back over to him there were 2 or 3 other Spaniards talking on the frequency. Either I had coincidentally picked someone’s net frequency or these were other Spanish chasers discussing the fact that they couldn’t hear me (in Spanish), either way I move 10KHz up, re-spotted and completed the contact with Jorge. That was the only 10m contact for the day, I looked and saw that Peter OE5AUL was on another summit and manged an S2S with him on 40m. I finished off the activation five more contacts on 20m and then my wife was back with the dog and it was time to eat our picnic. So a short, but enjoyable activation for all involved. Finding an alternative route to Ammerleite (which is also quite close to my home QTH) is still on the list to complete.
Spiderbeam Aerial-51 UL-404 off centre fed dipole.
5 metre squid pole.
Ramsey QAMP 20/40m amplifier and batteries (taken but not used)
A nice day out with the family. Not a great number of contacts but enough to activate the summit and add one to my summit multiplier number for the 10m/6m challenge. Unfortunately as I had worked Jorge from another summit on 10m before, he does not count in the challenge any more.
As on Gschwandkopf there seemed to be a pipe on 10 metres into Spain, but very little else on 10m to be heard.
73 ’til the next Summit!