Saturday, May 11, 2013

PAFF-048 multi op activity by PA3FYG and PH0NO

Windy and chilly conditions, activating on 4 bands with 2 stations

Yesterday Hans PA3FYG and myself went out for our first joint /P activity. We have been working together to develop and promote the PAFF program and met a couple of times on the radio during activities but never in person.

After a short introduction we went into the park to find an operating position. We decided to set up two stations some 150m apart, each on one end of a small lake (Bisonbaai) in the Ooijpolder.

PH0NO/P windy operating position at PAFF-048
Hans brought his multi band end fed for 10-20-40m. As 10m was not open he had 20m and 40m at his disposal. I brought end fed wires for all bands from 6m down to 40m. 15m seemed to be open, so I decided to start there and try 17m after that - spreading our activity over 4 bands.

20m and 40m are the most popular bands for flora and fauna activity. This was noticeable in the amount of calls logged. When we decided to go for a cup of coffee at the nearby Oortjeshekken B&B 2 hours after we started I had only 47 calls in the log. Net operating time was less than 2 hours because the fibreglass pole collapsed three times due to the wind and I had to change the antenna once (from 15m to 17m). Still it made for the most quiet activity I have had so far. Hans had a busier time, logging approx 100 calls on 20m and 40m.

12m pole with end fed antenna and comfy chair
The advantage of the higher bands is that you are more likely to encounter chasers @ DX. This was indeed the case with 25% of all calls logged originating from outside of Europe (4Z, R9, UN, VO, W0/3/4, PT, PJ, JE). Peter PJ4NX that I spoke to before at PAFF-069 on 10m, came by on 15m and 17m for two new PJ band slots and I met two people I had only so far met through e-mail (Andrej RN1CW, from WCA HQ and Carlos PT7ZT, PYFF co-ordinator).

We planned to stay longer but the wind and occasional drop of rain made it rather unpleasant and after two hours a warm cup of coffee was really welcome. By the time we finished our coffee and first proper eye ball QSO, it was almost 18h CET. This left too little time to go back and set up the stations again. So we left a bit earlier than planned. When we went back to our cars the sun came out....

Ooijpolder is a beautiful park so I will return here some day when the weather is more /P friendly.