Friday, January 20, 2012

Activating PAFF-032 Oostvaarderplassen

Nice conditions on higher band, terrible QRM on 40m

Today I was able to head over to the Oostvaardersplassen. This area was activated once before by Hans PA3FYG. He did not manage to reach any WFF hunters though (and only a handful of OMs) - a good reason to activate this area again.

I reached the area by 14:30 local time and had to leave it (according to the park regulations) by 17:00. The wind was quite strong. This limited the potential operating spots (one of which is ideally located on a high dike). I chose a low spot on the south side of the park. When I arrived there it turned out that this spot had recently been cleared of surrounding trees. For a change I had an unobstructed path in all directions.

Clear view to all directions from PAFF-032

I started on 15m. It was relatively calm with only a couple of European stations calling in. Moving onto 20m the pileup built up as usual. I worked over 100 OMs in one hour with a number of DX stations from Asiatic Russia and North America.
As 20m was quieting down I moved to 40m to find this band crowded all the way up till 7.200. Finding an operating frequency posed a challenge. Each time I found a good spot I was either greeted by QRM quite quickly (e.g. some DL stations with better TX than RX capabilities starting a local round) or noticed from the reactions of OMs calling in that QRM was high on their end. After 40 minutes of activation, changing frequency 5 times, I called it a day.

The temporary shack

I was a bit frustrated by the 40m experience but all in all it was a nice activation with sunny weather and good radio conditions. I made 141 contacts with OMs from 31 DXCCs in 2 hours radio time. Both Luciano I5FLN and Massimo IK1GPG found their way to PAFF-032 on all three bands.

Thanks all for calling in.
Lars, PH0NO/P 

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