Tuesday, 25 November 2014

SOTA EA8/TF-002 Guajara activation


QTH, Views of Teide from Guajara
We started the day before in the afternoon from La Orotava, a beautiful little town on the North of the island with lots of old Canarian architecture, after lunch at "El Cachimba", a brilliant off the beaten track place for fresh fish/seafood.

La Orotava, Casa de los balcones
 We stopped at the various viewing points and also at the visitor centre to watch a 15min video of how Teide and the volcanic islands were formed, which made the drive very enjoyable.

It is worth seeing Las Minas de San Jose, a special place with a feel as if you were in the moon.

We stopped for the night at the Parador Nacional Las Cañadas del Teide. We enjoyed the sunset at the Roques and a fabulous dinner at the Parador. Both highly recommendable.
Roques Garcia
Roques Garcia, Teide at the back
At 9.18z we set off due to the late breakfast start. The track begins with a 45min, 3.5km flat-ish section that winds around the West face of the Alto de Guajara. - marked as sendero 4.

Views of Guajara from El Parador

Good signals & maps all around
 From there there is a 30min ascent to the Collado de la Degollada via sendero 5 - 200m ascent. At the top, take sendero 15 to the right, which is about 1hr - 300m ascent to the summit.

The hike was very enjoyable, although the last 300m at 2500m with 13kg at the back were tough. Our little one slept most of the way up. Easy for him.
Once we got to the top we took some family pics and had a snack to replenish energy.

/P solar cooker (only for the braves)
 The Wx was fabulous, 22C and a slight breeze. Guajara offers the best views of Father Teide, as our local friend Damian - El Canario - calls "him".

Teide from the cairns at the summit
It was time to set up the antenna, I looked for the NE with my compass to point to EU.
The night before we had built an emergency 1/4w GP suggestion on Dom M1KTA, but decided to use my well known EFHW on a 6m travel pole I got at Decathlon and mountain tuner. With the tuner/feed point 1m off the ground and pointing NE, I sloped 6m of wire up to the top of the pole and run the 4m left vertically down the pole.

It was 12.38z by the time we started. I used the txt message service to self spot. It was challenging to get the 4 contacts for both call signs with 3 Watts due to the time of the day and terrain (rocky dessert). It did not help either that the self spot txt messages with the 2nd callsign were delivered after we had packed. It has always been very reliable in the UK. 30 and 40m were dead too.

Sea of clouds - from Guajara

The descent took us about 1h 45min, I really missed our hiking sticks as it was a little bit slippery with small loose rocks on the higher parts of the path. At 16.00z we were back the Parador.

Roques Garcia and Parador from Guajara
The National Park of Teide is magical. Highly recommended.
Many thanks to all the chasers.

73s de Eva EA8/M0HJV/P & Angel EA8/M0HDF/P

Sunday, 9 November 2014

7/11 - Philippines, New Caledonia & Japan from the beach - QRP DX

07/11/2014 - EA8 QRP mini-expedition last day
Location. Beach near Montana Pelada, El Medano, Tenerife - IL18rb
Sunset from Montana Roja, El Medano - the night before
I left the house at 6.30z. Within 5 minutes walk I was at the beach, It was still dark. I had to use a head lamp to set up the 20m band GP and station at the same place as the day before - a rocky land salient about 7m off the water. I attached the 6m pole I got at Decathlon to a conveniently located trig point.
Despite being very windy the pole did not bend that much.
The radials and nylon rope extenders got tangled again. Untying the knots took a good 10 minutes. I powered up the HB1B, dialled 14.039, the T1 SWR indicated 2:1 in bypass, pressed "Tune", set the PK+ at 22wpm and at 07.05z I was ready to start.

I used the pre-recorded CQ message in the PK+, and whilst I was waiting for the first callers to come back, I was able to enjoy the beautiful sunrise and take some photos.

Sunrise from op postion

First call in the log was HA7JQK - Alex. I asked him for a spot in the cluster, which he obliged. After working Bob YU1BM, I had a look at the RBN and sdr-cluster. I noticed FK8CE - Dom in New Caledonia down the band - I had to call 3 times but eventually he picked me up and gave me a 559 - promising morning again...

Went back to 14.039 ...At 7.26 Yutaka JH1GEX returned my call with a 599, we had a pleasant ragchew qso. I made contacts with another 4 EU stations before DU1KA - Al called me at 7.54z from the Philippines and gave me a 579.

At 8.00z, JA3EA - Ben returned my call with a very strong signal 5NN R & S. Shortly afterwards, JA5CJO and Chris G4BPO were in the log.

GP aerial detail
Well ventilated by the wind I took a short break for a snack, a stretch of the legs and a few more pics.

With the dial at 14.040 - IOTA freq centre, Tony - G4ZIB - familiar SOTA call got back to me at 8.12z.
Another 4 EU stations made it into the log when the family came to pick me up at 8.40z
A pretty good DX run and a fantastic QRP outing.


Day summary:   19 QSOs
Prefixes worked: HA7, YU1, FK8, JH1, HA9, F5, IK2, DF9, DU1, UR5x2, JA3, OK1, JA5, G4x2, ON5, DJ5, EI7

QSO map: Total mini-expedition EA8 - 48 QSOs, 25 DXCCs
HB1B, lithium pack 12V, 3-4 Watts
20m emergency 1/4w GP (built during the holidays)
6m Decathlon pole
Picokeyer +
Elecraft T1
iPhone headphones
Short length of RG58 C/U


72 Angel EA8/M0HDF/P

Thursday, 6 November 2014

DX QRP from EA8 Tenerife - IL18rb

I found some time to operate QRP from the beach yesterday and at dawn this morning. It was fantastic to work DX at sunrise. I worked Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan and New Caledonia, some of them via LP with the emergency Ground plane for 20m we built here.

Prefixes worked.
GA8, GB2, ON5, S52, OE7, ON4, EA1, EA2, G3, VO1, EA8, 9A4, RA4, RX3, JA1, VK8, G4, CT7, FK8, IK8, PP6, DL3, DQ0, DF6, OM3

Operating position

I will be QRV again on 7/11 at 6.45 UTC for a couple of hours before going home and possibly later today at sunset - 17.15 UTC.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Day 1. Benijo Beach

We arrived last night to Puerto de La Cruz. No problems with the radio equipment through Birmingham airport.

Today we have visited Playa Benijo in the Anaga Regional Park, a beautiful teasure in the North East of the island and La Laguna.

On the way back, I got a fishing rod support and 6m travel pole for the upcoming  beach operation. No chance to power up the radio though.