Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Visit from PA1AT at PAFF-065

Low volume pre-XMas activity

Yesterday afternoon I was over at Zuidlaardermeergebied in the north of The Netherlands to activate a new PAFF reference (PAFF-065). I found a good spot quickly, having prepared this visit using Google Maps.

The weather was rather unpleasant with drizzle and strong winds making the already wet area (lake and surrounding muddy fields) even wetter. I always imagine this makes the vertical end fed perform better, but I have no proof...

I started out on 20m to work quite a few stations with signal levels below average - except for the Moscow area. Amongst the OMs calling in was Gerard PA1AT.
I met Gerard before on the air and know he did some PAFF activities as well. Gerard lives only a few kilometres from PAFF-065 so he decided to pay me a visit.

Before Gerard turned up I logged a very unexpected DX contact with VK5PAS. Paul is my first ever VK5 contact and he extended the maximum QRB for my PAFF activities by a few thousand kilometres. The amazing thing is that he copied me with 56 although conditions did not seem particularly good - with lots of QSB.

After I had been active for about one hour on 20m Gerard turned up. Time for an eyeball QSO and change of operator - new experiences for a PAFF activity that normally consists of yours truly on his own logging calls like there is no tomorrow. 

The amount of calls logged dropped dramatically. Mainly because we chose to go up to 15m and 17m hoping to work some more DX. It turned out that these bands were not in a good shape and rather quiet.I logged 58 calls in the first hour (not too busy) and we logged only 5 calls in the second hour.
In the end going down to 40m might have been a better idea. 

However, PAFF-065 is now "on the map", VK5 in the log and I got to work my first multi op station, as well as exchange experiences with Gerard - all in all a pleasant pre-XMas afternoon.

Merry XMas and a good start of 2013 to all!

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