On Friday I went over to national park De Hoge Veluwe (PAFF-005). This park is the most "formal" of all parks I know in the PA region. It is fenced off and has three access gates where you have to pay an entrance fee to get into the park. If you want to take your car with you (like me) the entrance is 14 Euro.
Knowing this formal setting I was curious how my radio station would be greeted. The weather wasn't exactly great (a few showers) so I counted on a low number of visitors. However this park is popular even in bad weather - which I could have known - as it hosts a famous museum. I did find a rather quiet spot with open space stretching in all directions where I could park my car.
|View from my operating position....
My setup was the familiar Spieth mast attached to the car holding a 20m end fed dipole (HyEndFed). This time I was using my FT-897 allowing for a bit more power than with the FT-817. This did cause some RFI problems that were reported to affect my modulation. I kept the power around 75 watts as that seemed to be a level at which my modulation was still easy to copy.
In the first two hours there was no time to be bored at all. My voice was coarse greeting and exchanging reports with all the OMs who took the time to work my station (I wonder how other OMs cope with that after a few hours of radio time...). The last hour the amount of contacts slowed down. QSB and QRM were getting stronger.
There were a couple of park visitors that looked quizzically at my setup but I was able to work for three hours without any problems.
All in all I think the activation was a success as I was able to hand out the park reference to 168 stations located in 35 different DXCC entities. Most of the stations that contacted me were from Europe (Russia, Ukraine and Italy taking a large share) and from Assiatic Russia. To my surprise two Israelian stations joined the list as well as one VE1, making the maximum distance covered 5000km.
|View to the other side of my portable station - not a bad spot at all...