Saturday, December 24, 2011

Activating PAFF-035 - Kootwijk

Weak conditions especially on the higher bands
On my way home I passed Kootwijk and decided to try an activation of the nature parc. I found a reasonable spot on the northern edge of the park in due course.

Setup at Kootwijk

When I started it was still light outside (16:00 local time) so I tried the higher bands first. 17m was rather quiet with 7 contacts in 15 minutes. 4 of those called in from outside EU (EC8, VE3 and K2, K7).

20m was more lively with 17 contacts in 15 minutes but signals were weakening quickly except for Spain and Portugal. One DX station called in from VE5.

40m provided the most activity this time. The reason for that must have been the early sunset (with Dec 23 being almost the shortest day here). Still, activity levels were not very high and signals not as strong as they can be on 40m - mostly around 57/58. 28 OMs called in on this band in just under half an hour.

In total I made 52 contacts with OMs from 22 different DXCCs. Maximum distance was 7800km into Washington state.

Tnx all for calling in.
Lars, PH0NO/P 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Activating PAFF-040 - Duinen Vogelenzang

 A very windy activation near the sea

Today I was near the sea shore, near a Dune nature reserve known as Vogelenzang (PAFF-040). This area has not been activated before. To me that constitutes a good reason to spend some time there on the radio - apart from the fact that it is a very beautiful area to be in.

The two main challenges today were so-so conditions and a very strong wind.

Challenging wind..

I started out on 10m hoping to catch some DX but that did not work at all. Some European stations tried to call in but conditions weren't good for Europe. On 15m there was more activity with good conditions into Spain and Portugal. VE1 was the DX station on this band.

On 20m condtions were okay for a while throughout Europe until QSB started kicking in. The maximum distance was set by an OM from VE5. Asiatic Russia was present this time with one station only.

I finished the activation on 40m but that was quite a challenge. I had to extend my antenna pole to cater for the longer wire which therefore took even more pounding from the strong wind. The angle under which the wire antenna was blown did not enhance the quality of the antenna (judging from the signals and the SWR). At one point the wire was blown off the pole altogether - leaving me wondering for a few seconds why all the signals went down to S1...

In the two hours of operating I made 133 contacts with OMs from 32 DXCC. A lot of familiar callsigns by now but also a number (34) of OMs I have not had the pleasure of meeting before. Luciano I5FLN was the only hunter who visited on all bands.

Thanks all for calling in.
Lars, PH0NO/P

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Activating PAFF-031 - Speulder- en Sprielderbos

With two hours of spare time near PAFF-031 I decided to try and find an operating spot. PAFF-031 is very challenging for a radio station as it is a dense forrest. From the picture you can see that I found a little bit of space in between the trees.

Operating in between the trees

Conditions weren't really impressive. The fact that the antenna was in between the trees will not have contributed. I was active on 15m, 20m and 40m. Most activity was on 20m this time.

In two hours I have made 121 contacts with OMs of 29 DXCCs. For some reason there were no stations from Asiatic Russia - normally a number of OM's call in. One real DX came by in the shape of VE5, making for 6700km of maximum distance - and a new Canadian state for me.

Thanks all for stopping by.
Lars, PH0NO/P