Saturday, July 21, 2012

FFF-081 Causses du Quercy (2)

Pleasant basic activity mainly on 20m

As planned I went out to a desolate hill, accessible by mountainbike, I found a week earlier in the nature park Causses du Quercy for the first activation on this park. The top of the hill is rather flat with good views to all directions - a perfect place for a /P operation. The only downside to the lack of higher trees was the direct sunlight. I picked this afternoon as they predicted some clouds and relative low temperatures (25 Celcius).

Transport vehicle
I took my mountainbike, loaded all the parts of the (extended) Spiderbeam mast on it with all the other items in a sturdy backpack. Try to imagine how to bike when you have 4 pieces of >1m fiberglass tube with you...

I set up my station quite quickly (too quick as it turned out later) with a 15m half wave end fed wire. As predicted (refer to my previous post) conditions on this band were horrible. After a few minutes of calling I worked only one station in HA with a 51 signal.

F/PH0NO/P setting up the station
I dismantled the antenna and set up the 20m end fed. The band was in a bad shape with very deep QSB (someone would call with S9 and within 30sec would go down to S1) but there were so many stations calling that I was busy for the next 2 hours - thanks to the cluster posts, they always bring a new boost to the amount of hunters.

During these 2 hours my antenna fell down three times. I had not set it up sturdy enough and with a gust of wind the antenna would be out of balance.
After the third time I redid the guy wires and did not have any trouble for the rest of the activity.

When 20m quieted down I extended my Spiderbeam mast to cater for the 40m end fed wire. 40m was not as busy as it usually is with only 17 contacts. 

In total I logged 187 contacts from 32 DXCCs. Only six of those were outside of EU (indication of the propagations). Maximum QRB was set to 4800km by a station from HZ (to my surprise). Lucian I5FLN, Massimo IK1GPG, Graziano IW2NXI and Narciso IZ1JMN came by on two bands. One third of the contacts were new to me.

Temperatures were bearable and the view was very good - this combined with a lot of stations calling - both familiar callsigns and new ones - made this a very pleasant activity.

Merci to all that called in!

Lars, F/PH0NO/P

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