The day started out cold - the first challenge was to get the car windows de-iced. While travelling up north the fog became more and more dense.
|Fog and icy conditions at PAFF-0094|
I took my new 26m pole to test it out in the field for the first time. It turned out I didn't need the support I completed in a rush yesterday, as the gate - visible behind the car - was strong enough the hold the pole. However I ran into a challenge.. with the smaller poles (12m, 18m) I just extend the segments as far as I can. The friction then holds them into place. To secure them I sometimes use some duct tape. This works perfectly for a few hours.
With the new pole I found that the segments - when they are brand new - are lubricated. This posed two problems: it was impossible to extend them fully as there was no way to put any really force on the segments (my hands would just slip) and the duct tape would not hold.
|PAFF-0094 Sneekermeergebied - probably beautiful views on an average day...|
So after spending half an hour on this experiment I took out my tried and trusted 18m pole and set up the end fed half wave wire for 40m. It works on 20m as well, and that is where I started.
20m was very quiet. Tuning around I heard few stations. I logged 14 chasers in 15 minutes but mainly with average to poor signals. So I moved down to 40m. The band was not very busy but I greeted 60 chasers in 45 minutes nonetheless. I went back to check on 20m but it still was not really going strong. So I went back to 40m to log another 74 chasers in just under an hour.
With the bands in this shape and the cold wind that had picked up, I decided I would not drive to a second area today. So I set up my inverted v for 80m to give chasers on short skip a chance. The wind made it a challenge but I got the antenne up - not as high as I would have wanted..
|Wind blowing the inverted v down|
Using my tuner I was able to give 60m a try on this antenna. I never used that band before on a WWFF activity - in fact I have hardly used that band at all. I logged only 4 chasers but gained a "new band dxcc" as I logged one DL station. Then I went to 80m to log 11 chasers - mostly short skip.
I still had a little bit of time left, so I changed the antenna once again. This time I put up the EFHW for 20m, hoping to catch some NA (there are avid chasers there like Bill W1OW). It was still slow on this band but conditions seemed a bit better than earlier in the day. In the next 40 minutes I copied just three NA stations - including Bill of course - from MA, NC and MO. The big surprise however was HB9KNA working from YS1. He was beaming long path to Europe - almost 31.000 km. The signal was strong both ways with 58/57 and this contact was an atno for me. Nice!
5 hours after I arrived I broke up the station. With the 26m-pole-experiment and the antenna changes in between I spent 1,5h out in the cold
TL;DR - 219 logged calls from 39 DXCC in about 3,5h - only 8 calls from outside EU - odx YS1 via lp.