Monday, 21 November 2016

M8A

New special contest callsign arrived just in time to go on the air on the CQ WW CW this coming weekend. Many thanks to the RSGBCC which processed the application very quickly.

Looking forward to it. All the gear is pack now for a 80m entry

73 Angel
M8A

Saturday, 5 November 2016

RSGB convention 2016 and more Low band thoughts

I attended the RSGB 2016 Convention in October with my friend Chris G3SJH. It was also great to meet Iain M0PCB from the Vulture Squadron Contest group - G9V, David G3YYD and John G3VPW. These were the lectures I attended:
 -Diagnosing & Reporting RFI problems John Rogers M0JAV
 -The IOTA Challenge from Sub-Antarctic Waters to High Arctic Cezar Trifu, VE3LYC
 -80th Commonwealth Contest (BERU) celebrations Iain M0PCB & Bob G3PJT
 -Contesting from VY2ZM on Prince Edward island Jeff Briggs K1ZM
 -DX fun without spending loads of money! Nick Henwood G3RWF

Quite a lot of focus on the VDSL QRN issue in the RFI presention from John R - which I suffer on 30m. The presentation from G3RWF resonated a lot with my holidays with radio and simple antennas for /P operation.

Lately I have been reading ON4UN Low Band DXing The book is excellent, very well written, and "the reference" for any low band operation "business"...I specially enjoyed the propagation chapter - as well as following KY6R blog and his 160m quest.




The short [16m] inv V doublet @ 11m height has proven an efficient antenna for EU and mid distances.
Efficient means that most of the TX power is being radiated out rather than "heating" the ground, loading elements and nearby lossy objects. It does not mean effective to work DX - low angle radiation  [ref. ON4UN Vertical antennas chapter]
Nonetheless, the simple doublet allowed me to get over 500k points in the CQ WPX CW SOA40 LP and gave a significant boost to my DXCC 40m band count to 96.

On a few occasions I have also extended the doublet by 4m + loading coils [inv U] to operate on 80m - but this is more of a compromise in this band with higher losses.

This week I have been playing with the idea of setting a top loaded 80m vertical in the garden.
I used EZNEC Demo for the first time following some of the examples in the ARRL tutorial, where previously I have used 4NEC2.... and learnt a few tricks along the way [Virtual wires are great!]

80m top loaded vertical
The loaded monopole would be in close proximity to buildings with its near field compromised and low angles blocked in any case + the limited garden space [10m x 5m] and effort to bury the radials, I am not convinced is worth the trip.

I still have in mind to build the front end receiver saver to be able to put a RX dedicated antenna in the small garden when I free up a bit of time


Looking forward now to the CQ WW CW contest at the end of November and some beach operation from the Mediterranean sea and SOTA activations during the next holiday.


73 Angel
M0HDF

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

K9AY RX loop - low band

I built one of these last weekend and is now up an running in the back garden - beaming East towards EU.


Image result for k9ay




Listening on 160m WSPR, and comparing to other G stations, it seems to be doing a great job - despite my urban noisy location.
Noise meter on a quiet band is around S4 with at 2.4KHz bandwith [preamp off, att off]
Certainly I heard stations on 160m & 80m much clearer than on the inv V dipole.



Construction.
I used an auto-transformer 9:1 that I have around - betterqrp kit, but it is probably not suitable for MF and not isolated. I put a choke balun at the radio end and built a air-core choke balun with 30 turns of RG58 on a 80mm core at the antenna end. I need though to get a 3 BN73-202 to replicate the isolated 9:1 transformer suggested by W8JI or N1EU.

I can switch manually directions and I saw a ON stations dropping from S8 to S2 on 80m over the weekend.

73 Angel
M0HDF






Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Brunei from EA/

I went back to EA for the final week of summer holidays. On Sat 28th, we visited some friends at their Cottage [Mas] near Vistabella del Maestrazgo. The place is very isolated - 30min of gravel roads through the mountains and at 950m a.s.l. as well as a very quiet noise location. 
A bit of looking into google earth, terrain sw, and HFTA showed that East was my best change to work some DX as the path to NA, Caribbean, and SA is well blocked by higher mountains.

Mas

confy QTH & gear 

I worked a few stations on the YO contest in the morning as well as chased 9 SOTA stations in EU. Around 17:00z I heard HS and V8 coming loud and clear on my inv V dipole @ 5.5m above the ground and after the EU KW and yagis, I worked V85TL for a new DXCC - I logged him on 20m cw with the FT817 + 50W PA [11700km] @ 70deg azimuth.
The local ground drops towards the east giving a good 6-8dB enhancement at approx 10deg elevation.

Ap=2
SFI= 85

Dipole broadside looking East

Friday, 5 August 2016

/P from Torre de la Corda - WCA EA-01561

I operated /P on the evening of Aug 3rd. Not the best conditions with a G1 storm and K=5. Turning the dial proved a much quieter level of activity than the previous day when I operated from the beach in El Grao de Castellon. A very warm evening and mosquitos forced an early retirement.


WCA EA-01561 Torre de La Corda, locator: JN00bb

14MHz inv V dipole on 7m pole.
I looked at the terrain in advance with Google Earth and HeyWhatsthat and decided to operate with a dipole antenna rather than the vertical as I did not have access to the beach or could locate the antenna close to the water. The antenna was about 20m off the cliff and 10-15m above the sea level - facing NE for Europe contacts.

Oropesa del Mar

/P gear - Yaesu FT-817ND, Tokyo Hypower HL-50B 
Batteries: SLAB 7Ah & LIFEPO 4.2Ah. radio enclosure design cortesy of Ignacio EA2BD

73 Angel 
EA/M0HDF/P

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

VK7 & ZL2 from Castell de Montgri at dawn

I hiked to Castell de Montgri with the radio gear and accompanied by our nephews and some friends early this morning for some sunrise pics and a bit of radio.

Castell de Montgri
Castell del Montgri WCA EA-06968 / CGI-339
locator: JN12nb, coordinates: 42.051816, 3.13178  315m a.s.l.


10Mhz inv V dipole
The 30m dipole went up and I started calling CQ at 5.25z whilst I was putting the WCA reference in the cluster. First DX call via long path was VK7CW in Tasmania with a 579.  There is a great take off towards the west from the castle entrance. A bit later I logged ZL2AP [264deg LP bearing] and VK7BC [280deg LP]. 

/P gear 



73 Angel
EA/M0HDF/P [from EA3 land]

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Raca summit @ EA5 - free ground gain

On my last visit to the Raca summit in EA5 near Castellon, I worked USA, TX on QRP with an inv V dipole at low height on 21MHz. I was curious to see how much ground gain I got from up there...

I downloaded the terrain profile data from the K6TU web page after registering.
HFTA shows a good 3-6dBi gain at low angles and a 4-5dB improvement vs. the low dipole in flat terrrain.

location: 40.049806, -0.015337
Raca - USA - 4-5dB of free ground gain
73 Angel
M0HDF

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Low band RX antennas... next project

Been thinking about my next project for a while. The last CQ WPX CW SOSB 40m suited me and the effort was more competitive than previous given the antenna space constrains / garden orientation and local QRN.

Improving the RX performance seem a logical next step...


Plenty of good info about low band RX antennas [presentation and videos] in the Contest Uni web


A couple of simple antennas to build and experiment:
  -BOG - beverage on the ground - 
  -small RX loop

The small loop should significantly null the local VDSL noise in the street [overhead cables]

Given the proximity of the TX - I am planning to build an additional isolation relay box for the RX antenna. I do not want to risk damaging the TS-590S receiver.

or the G3BJ 

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Doublet analysis (II) - 4nec2 & Voacap

4NEC2 integrates VOACAP engine. So it is easy to simulate your antenna and run point to point predictions and coverage maps.
Below is an example of my Inv-V doublet

Inv- V Doublet - 4nec2 - 14Mhz, max gain 6.84dBi @ ~30 deg elevation


Birmingham - New York path example
I have worked plenty of contest stations over the last few months with the doublet
DX bearing from here is 286deg
Antenna max gain [beam] bearing is 330 deg N/NW - Delta = 44deg [dictated by small garden]
4NEC2 generates a type 14 model for the antenna at the specified azimuth for [1-30MHz]
This is what the elevation gain plot looks like for 14Mhz towards the DX bearing
Gain @ 10deg elevation is -2.8dBi
It is useful to run VOACAP method 13 to check that the TX antenna gain pattern is correct
For RX antenna I use a 3dBi isotrope

Inv-V doublet Gain at 14Mhz - bearing 286deg

Below is the generated SNR plots for the path, also showing the MUF & FOT for the specified reliability [70%]

VOACAP -  Bham -> NY path, SSN 43,  rel 70%, 

It is also possible to run area coverage simulations
4NEC2 generates a type 13 model of the inv V antenna for a given freq [14Mhz in example below]

VOACAP coverage - 500W - 14Mhz, 21UTC, SSN 43, TX antenna = inv V doublet
73 Angel
M0HDF


Sunday, 12 June 2016

30m back & summer Es propagation

After 4-6 months with 30m band completely wiped out with S9 + QRN - I noticed today that the noise has remitted. I was more than please with that and took the opportunity to work a few stations.
I suspect the noise was coming from a very local source (internet router or similar) and I hope it does not come back...we shall see



On the other hand, good Es / short skip conditions this afternoon/evening -  SM, ES, 9A, S5, OH, MM, OZ on Es / - as well as EA8 & PP2 on F2

73 Angel

Monday, 30 May 2016

CQ WPX CW 2016

SO(A) SB40(TS) LP



 Band     QSOs   Pts      WPX
       7     478       1415   397

Score: 561,755
1 Mult = 1.2 Q's

Inv V 17m doublet, apex @ 11m - ends @ 7m. Firing N/NW - S/SE
TS-590S barefoot 100W
N1MM+

13hrs

M0HDF - CQ WPX CW 2016

Monday, 2 May 2016

Improved HF conditions over the weekend



I logged A91HI - on 15m CW on Saturday around 17:00z. I was pleased to break the pile up with the doublet and 100W. I got the Clublog and LOTW confirmations on Sunday. Great activation and excellent operators.

Other DX worked this weekend: JY, 4X, 7X, CN, CX, PY, YV, 6Y.  I also logged CE2AWW on 12m cw on Sunday evening @ 19:40z It has been a while since I worked anybody on 12m

... and I was more than pleased to have logged 2 new DXCCs  [great signals here in the grey line]
   S01WS - West Sahara 15 & 17m cw
   XT2AW - Burkina Faso 20m cw



Friday, 22 April 2016

EP2A in the log - ATNO


100W CW - 19:30 UTC - S9 (no preamp) - great signal on my doublet here and not that busy.
4.5up ... 4th call in the log. Happy days!

This makes my 158th DXCC [most QRP/LP and wire antennas]




Update: Easy to work on 40m on Sat night at 23:50z

clublog Expedition status
  

Monday, 4 April 2016

Juan de Nova in the log - ATNO

I visited my friend and experienced DXer Chris on Sunday to "have a shot" at FT4JA with his beam at 17m above the ground and legal power [400W here].

The propagation on Friday and Sat was great - they were coming pretty well on my 40m band vertical buried in the garden.  But on Sunday what a difference... K=3 and a solar storm meant low signals up here [52deg N latitude].
At 10z FT4JA signals on 15m were peaking S4 with the high gain preamp and lots of QSB, 17&12m were not better. I could hear a lot Southern-Eastern EU /  AS / JA / SA stations getting in the log but no G stations or very few northern EU.
The cluster was showing no DX to EU, apart than a very weak 4S that I managed to bag for another ATNO by beaming 60 deg N/NE. No signs of VK0EK at all.

IC-756 PROIII - FT4JA split - 7up

After a round of unsuccessful calls we decided to measure the line impedance of his aerials with my antenna analyser as planned. When I got back to it the signals had improve to S7 / S8. Around 12z I heard the first G station getting through the wide pile up and a few calls later I was on the log. Great operator on the other end - pace and precision. I was relieved and pleased to have worked them.
Great ham spirit from Chris to allow me to work from his DXer station.




Sunday, 3 April 2016

Design Notes on my Doublet

This is the design / measurements work I did on the doublet I have been using recently. I did not want to loose/forget this. It is more an exercise of understanding the homebrew open wire line line characteristics, the impedance seen by the tuner than anything else.

Inv V Doublet
Doublet centre at 11m above ground  [using Spiderbeam HD 12m fibreglass pole]
Doublet ends at 7.2m above ground [Tecadi mast / house end]
1:1 200W Gwhip choke balun
0.6m of RG8x between balun and tuner
LDG RT-100 remote tuner
Wire Spec 7/0.2 rapid  - diameter = 0.6mm [copper w/o insulator]
Length per arm = 8.25m



Open Wire Line design/construction
  - built with  SOTAbeams spacers
  - space between wires = 27.5mm
  - wire 7/0.2 spec / 0.6mm diameter  [copper w/o insulator]
  - length 16m



Open Wire line simulated impedance Zo = 540 ohm

Open Wire measurements [with antenna analyser]

   - Velocity factor measured  VF = 0.93
             VF=L*F /492 with  Zi = Zo @ 1/2 WL,
              {1/2 wl measurement with 100 Ohm resistor - F = 8.87Mhz, L=16m }

   - Line impedance - Zo [Ohm] = 570ohm
             Zi = Zo^2/Zl @ 1/4 WL { with Zl = 2.23k resistor /  Zi = 146Ohm}


 Dipole3.exe @ G4FGQ Simulation 
The G4FGQ dipole3 is a useful tool as allows to change parameters and see their impact as well as it gives an estimate for the overall efficiency of the system.





The table below compares the simulated values and measured values with my antenna analyser at the input of the line [balun end].

m - measurements
s - simulated

                          Rs [Ohm]  Xs [Ohm]  SWRs       Rm [Ohm]  Xm[Ohm]  SWRm
F = 8.6 Mhz      84.1           0                1.7            83                 0               1.7            *resonance
F = 3.5 Mhz      7.6             2                6.6            8                   16              6.7          
F = 7 Mhz         328            -1358         115                                                                  *out of range
F = 10.1 Mhz    361             948            58                                                                   *out of range
F = 14 Mhz       55              22              1.5            63                 38             2
F = 18.1Mhz     530            -1561         101                                                                 *out of range
F=  21 Mhz       56              39              2.1            45                 61             3.3
F=  24.9 Mhz    218            -594           37                                                                   *out of range    
F = 28 Mhz       1212          1193          48                                                                    *out of range


With the 16m length of open wire line the remote tuner and 1:1 balun are able to tune/match the aerial on all bands and the simulated efficiency is reasonable apart from 80m as one would expect.

more to follow on 4NEC2 simulations & loading coils for 80m

73 Angel M0HDF




Sunday, 27 March 2016

2 new CQ Zones in the log

This evening around 18.20z I tuned around what it seemed a dead 15m band..
Dale CE2AWW was CQing without much demand, after a few repeats I was happy to log CQ Zone 12. He was a S3-S5 with a 17m band vertical - 2 elevated radials, feedpoint @ 4m and  RT-100 remote tuner. That path is difficult from my garden as it is blocked by some nearby tall houses.


The Friday before the Russian DX Contest, I worked Phinyo HS6ZBQ - CQ Zone 26 - on the 20m band at around 17.00z. This zone has proven elusive from this QTH.

That leaves 4 CQ zones still to "break"... 1, 2, 6, 31


FT4JA on route...=  5R/F5UFX/MM
I worked this crew on 17m this afternoon... not too many callers, as I made it through on the 3rd call with the vertical & 100W.

 5R/F5UFX/MM ... @ Grid Square LH14

Sunday, 20 March 2016

RDX Contest 2016

SOAB LP CW


Great contest. So many loud stations and great operators. A 10hr effort with the Inv V doublet @ 11m - mostly S&P. Sat afternoon brought fast and deep QSB with stations "just disapperaring" and 40m around the grey line was absolutely packed - wall to wall - it was challenging to get heard or found a place to CQ within the 40Khz band map. My best 10min rate was 84Qs/hr.
I fell short of the 500 QSOs target but I overall I am happy to have past 500k points.
I tried to raise VR & 9V and few others far east, but did not manage to get any new DXCCs that far east with this antenna.

 Band     QSOs     Pts   DXC  OBL
     3.5         51      199      33        5
        7       124      598      43      20
      14       129      736      38      31
      21       107      909      17      41
 Total        411    2442    131      97
Score: 556,776
1 Mult = 1.8 Q's

Overall - 58 DXCCs worked.

SO CW LP scores

M0HDF - RDX 2016 QSO map

M0HDF - RDX 2016 QSO/hr

Sunday, 13 March 2016

BERU 2016 CW Contest

SOA LP 12hr

I dabbled in during the weekend as and when I had some time. I found the conditions tough as reported in the UK HF contest reflector, but there was some new DX to be worked.

I started on Saturday at 13:50z. The second QSO logged and first new DXCC was 9J2BO on 15m. The doublet is working well the N/S paths. I jumped between 15 & 20m working what I heard, mostly VEs. I was glad to work the central and western areas - with the furthest to VA7ST in BC. VE5MX had a good signal here on Sat      


A short excursion to 10m delivered ET7L at the 3rd call and a few minutes later I worked ZL/ZS9HI/MM easily on the 15m band - on their trip to VK0EK - Heard Island DXpedition.

A bit later I worked 9M6XROV51YJ & ZS1EL as well as some VKs on 20/40m. After dark I found J79XF VP9/G3VYI 

I checked 40m at 23:00z and was pretty quiet so I went to bed. Sunday morning did not deliver much but I was pleased to work 3 ZLs in the last 30 minutes.

Missed: A2 was not heard and 5X only came our of the noise a few times here with my antenna. 9V had a good signal but I could not get through. I also missed VU & J3

#Cont.IDCountryPrefixes
1AS5BCyprus14.2C4
2EU9HMalta14.29H1
3AF9JZambia14.29J2
4OC9M6East Malaysia14.29M6
5NAJ7Dominica14.2J79
6AFV5Namibia14.2V51
7NAVECanada1145.8CJ3 VA2 VA3 VA7 VE2 VE3 VE5 VE6 VE9 VO1 VY2
8OCVKAustralia28.3VK2 VK6
9NAVP9Bermuda14.2VP9
10OCZLNew Zealand312.5ZL0 ZL3 ZL4
11AFZSSouth Africa14.2ZS1

 Band QSOs     Pts   Cty   Sec
     7      13       325   12     1
    14     28       620   24     0
    21       6       150     6     0
    28       1         25     1     0
 Total    48     1120   43     1
Score: 1,120

Equipment: Fixed Inv V doublet @ 11m, TS-590S, N1MM+

New DXCCs
PrefixEntityMost-wanted RankFirst Worked
ZLNEW ZEALAND#2942016-03-13
J7DOMINICA#2042016-03-12
9M6EAST MALAYSIA#2102016-03-12
V5NAMIBIA#2402016-03-12
ETETHIOPIA#1042016-03-12
9JZAMBIA#1772016-03-12
Overall, I was very pleased to have raised 6 new DXCCs over the weekend from this QTH.

M0HDF BERU 2016 QSO map

















73 Angel M0HDF

Sunday, 6 March 2016

/P gear testing: MTR v2 sensitivity upgrades & others

With the encouragement and support of Colin M1BUU I decided to do the MTR v2 tribander [original kit] sensitivity upgrades. These are well described in VK3IL blog and the ATSprint Yahoo Group.

Following Colin's advice I ended up changing R6 resistor to 470k and 
17, 20m BPF inductors to 4.8uH
30m BPF inductors to 8.2uH

If you go for this, be careful you do not burn the top of the switches or damage anything. I did not implement the 1uF audio amplifier mod as the it requires an in line volume control as the signals can get very loud. 

After the modification I peaked the BPF by ear with the help of a signal generator and a step attenuator. 

M0HDF - MTR v2 tribander PCB
With an OK Sunday morning WX forecast, I visited our local SOTA summit - G/CE-002 to put it to test. It has been a while since I used the MTR last time, but subjectively the receiver was more lively on 20 & 17m - which before I found a bit deaf. 



30m was lively and worked 18 chasers in 10 minutes with a good pile up. It was great to work my friend Guru EA2IF in Pamplona and Ian MM0GYX in Inverness, with whom I recently had a chat over the phone about our G11 SDR and other radio common interests (SDR, HF CW contest and SOTA).

M0HDF - Homebrew 40-30-20-17m EFHW & Mountain Tuner @ 6m pole


On 17m, I did not get that many responses to my CQ. I tuned around and found Alf IT9MUO with some power and speed. I recorded the QSO on my phone.






Summary: 29 QSOs, 1S2S HB9CBR/P @ HB/JU-003, Best DX: EA8/PA7ZEE and great fun to be on the air again with the MTR tribander.

30m: 18 Qs
20m: 8 Qs
17m: 3 Qs


73 Angel M0HDF/P


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Antarctica in the log

RI1ANR

20m CW - 100W

I saw them on the cluster last Friday afternoon. I have listened out for them a few times as this was the last Continent I was missing, but they were always weak on my wire antenna or with a significant pile up. I was not able to hear them during the late afternoon but I checked back at around 18.30z when it was dark and there they were 579 peaking 599 calling CQ lonely. First call on the doublet, they went back straight to me.

Antarctica Novo Runway Airbase

It was nice to receive the LOTW a few hours later.

LOTW confirmation

I am still missing CQ zones: 1,2,6, 12, 26, 31. 



Monday, 29 February 2016

UBA DX CW 2016

SOAB-LP

My best effort so far from my home QTH with more than 400Qs in about 9hrs of operation in low power category. I managed to held a consistent 45Qs/hr average rate. Best hour rate was 57Qs/hr. Lots of S&P jumping across 40,20 & 15m. The "new" TS-590S has great "ears".
I had to shut down on Sat night at 10pm leaving good points behind. The 80m band was in a good condition.

Antenna: Fixed 16.5m Inv-V doublet at 11m on a Spiderbeam HD fiberglass mast. LDG RT-100 remote tuner - 200W 1:1 G-whip choke balun.


   Band  QSOs     Pts   PFX   Pro
     3.5         62     241     26      8
       7        149     447     31      8
      14       149     314     21      1
      21         48       74      7       0
   Total      408   1076    85    17
   Score: 109,752
   1 Mult = 4.0 Q's

QSO map - M0HDF UBA DX CW 2016

DXCC list



Monday, 22 February 2016

ARRL DX CW


A low power perspective…

I thought about repeating  SOA LP SB15 category I used on the CQ CW, but due to commitments over the weekend I was going to miss the best timing for that and decided to stick to the  Inv-V doublet at 11m that I have used in the last EU contests.

Like others, I dipped in and out around commitments. On Saturday mid-morning I went to collect a TS-590S from a friend who last year changed to an IC-7600. After the customary checks and getting some familiarisation on the key functions I headed back home for a late lunch and getting started.

Kenwood TS-590S

I quickly built a jumper DC lead to connect the PS, installed the Kenwood drivers and after I changed the USB baudrate settings in the TS-590S - N1MM+ was talking to the TS590S.
The glass fibre 12m Spiderbeam mast and the 16.5m doublet (335deg N/NW broadside) went up and 

16.5m doublet - 600ohm open wire line
I was finally in business. I logged the 1st QSO at 17.30z on 15m. The band was in a slightly better shape than expected and S&Ped 25 multipliers until the band died. From 18.30z I worked through 20m until 21:00 when things got quieter.  I took a break for dinner and sort out some of the home family stuff and got back on the chair at 22:50z. On 40m as expected – I was not heard as well due to the higher angles with the low dipole but slowly worked my way through a fetched 18 multipliers. Around 00.30z Sun am things slow down and I was going to go to bed, I decided to try 80m. To my surprise I picked up 9 multipliers with such an inefficient setup (it was a struggle). Sun pm I worked from 12.30 to 14:00pm and 18:30 to 19:00 – and found overall to 20m to be in better shape than 15m. Nothing at all on 10m.
Overall operating time 6-7hrs. Most Northern path worked - VE6BBP in AB (319deg).

Band     QSOs     Pts  Sec
   3.5      10      30    9
     7      40     120   18
    14     113     339   35
    21      52     156   27
 Total     215     645   89
Score: 57,405
1 Mult = 2.4 Q's

I was more than pleased with the TS-590S – great in RX; it is a keeper. Improvements in mind: a rotary light dipole/s on a 10m Al pole will give directivity on 20-15-10m.


Doublet centre

Spiderbeam 12m HD glassfiber 


73 Angel M0HDF




Monday, 18 January 2016

5 SOTA Activations in EA5 Castellon @ XMAS

During our Christmas visit back to EA5 Castellon, I was lucky to activate 5 new summits. 
The weather was outstanding and very warm for the time of the year: 13C, sunny and no wind whatsoever, which made operating from the summits a real joy.

Equipment: FT-817ND powered by a 4.2Ah 4S LIFEPO and resonant dipoles for 20 & 10m on a 7m pole. Also on 3 of the summits we used a 50W lineal amplifier - Tokyo Hypower HL-50B -for the first time which increased the number of chasers worked and about 3Kg of additional weigh to carry with the 7Ah SLAB.


22/12/2015 EA5/CS-001 Penyagolosa 1815m
Views from Penyagolosa
My favourite summit in the province - there is something special about this place. I have been up there 3-4 times before but never activated it wih the radio. We started quite late and I decided to go ahead of the rest of the group to gain some time. I hiked the 600m elevation & 5.5km with all the gear in 1hr and 10min which felt quite exhausting. I settled on the Northeast side, sheltered from the wind and with a magnificent take off due to the terrain falling down quickly. I self spotted myself using on cw using "Spot my Sota" android app - the pile up was huge - I went to split as the 817ND receiver went to mash...As the chasers dried out, I passed the mic to Eva to operate on SSB - where she also had a pretty good run.
Running out of the time - we decided to give 10m a miss...

24/12/2015 EA5/CS-007 Mola d'Ares 1321m
Views towards Ares and the Mediterranean sea at the back
Easy walk from the Village of Ares towards the plateau above - about 25-30min. Facing the sun, I enjoyed 70min of operation including an antenna change and about 90 QSOs on cw & ssb.

26/12/2015 EA5/CS-008 Altis 1311m
Sunset  - coming back from a late lunch in Puertomingalvo - Teruel
A decent hike from Villahermosa del Maestrazgo, 6.5km and ~600m elevation climbed following a gravel road and then up the forest firebreak to the summit. Short QRP activation as we had booked a table for lunch with all the family members in the neighboring medieval village of Puertomingalvo, one of the villages included in 'The most Beautiful Vllages Association' in Spain


27/12/2015 EA5/CS-012 Castell 1123m
Views of  Culla
You can guess where we operated from on this one!... Great weather again and big pile ups and great condx on 10m with the vertical dipole from this beautiful and medieval village. 

30/12/2015 EA5/CS-009 Nevera 1286m
Nevera summit 
A good 5.5Km and 450m up accompanied by some cousins. It was great to work Jorge EA2LU and Santi EA2BSB on very difficult condx on 10m and get the points for the SOTA challenge on 10/6m. The balun connection to the dipole wires broke as I accidentally hammered it against the ground when lowering it to check it. Luckily, I had my trusted Mountain Tuner and EFHW antenna as back up.

73 de Eva EA/M0HJV/P & Angel EA/M0HDF/P  ....from EA5 land!