Hello everyone, we kind of tuned out for a while there. Lack of time and life got in the way. We're still using the BitX40 and we're happy with it. I know this is not full report as promised, hardly a half-assed report. What we can say is that the rig does its job well. We've activated a lot of summits with it and so far not one summit was left unactivated. It's true that in some cases we thought nobody will hear us, so, yeah, it can get tough. For some reason we had more problems during the summer than in winter (this is true even for the activations where we used the FT-857). Maybe it's because in summer there are a lot of thunderstorms going on, as we could hear a lot of crackling and popping during most summer activations - sometimes it was so bad we could hardly hear anyone over the noise. The lightweight of the setup is great for bicycle activations too, as we've tested it in three expeditions to date and we're pretty happy with it (at least I am, because YO8SSQ carried everything, haha!).
We also got a uBitX, but didn't assemble it yet. We expect even better results, since it has a bit more power and band flexibility - this alone should go a long way.
We fell behind with our activation reports, but you can check what's to come on the list below. We've also tested the BitX40 for the first time on 17 Dec. Stay tuned for a full report.
12 Nov 2017 - YO/EC-203 (Ioresti) - 8p
19 Nov 2017 - YO/EC-467 (Rosu) - 6p
26 Nov 2017 - YO/EC-460 (Poreica) - 8p
01 Dec 2017 - YO/EC-297 (Magura Runcului) and YO/EC-318 (Runcul) - 6p
03 Dec 2017 - YO/EC-336 (Bodea) - 6p
10 Dec 2017 - YO/EC-031 (Seredna) - 6p
17 Dec 2017 - YO/EC-007 (Giumalau) - 8p
23 Dec 2017 - YO/EC-203 (Tomnatec) - 8p
In late October and early November 2017 we (YO8SSQ and YO8SBR) took 2 weeks off to visit some relatives and activate some summits out of our usual area of action. It was a fruitful week and also good exercise for my foot.
To keep things as organized as possible, I will talk about each summit in a separate post. Check Expeditions to view these reports. GPS tracks, conditions, info and pics/clips will be included for each. The summit list:
22 Oct 2017 - YO/EC-628 (Pietricica) - 2p
23 Oct 2017 - YO/MC-246 (Măgura Poienei) - 6p
25 Oct 2017 - YO/MC-197 (Dealul Furcilor) - 4p
26 Oct 2017 - YO/WC-201 (Sântimbru) - 1p
26 Oct 2017 - YO/WC-006 (Piatra Secuiului) - 6p
26 Oct 2017 - YO/WC-026 (Dealul Sândului) - 4p
27 Oct 2017 - YO/WC-021 (Măgura / Kis Magura) - 4p
29 Oct 2017 - YO/EC-304 (Vârful Mare) - 6p
01 Nov 2017 - YO/EC-236 (Muncelu) - 8p
05 Nov 2017 - YO/EC-185 (Bivolul) - 8p
IARU HF 2017
Since I'm stuck home with a broken ankle I thought to try my hand at the IARU HF contest. I entered as a single-op, low power, SSB only, non-assisted (i.e. no use of clusters) participant. I used a Kenwood TS-850S and an end fed antenna built for 20m. The setup squeezed out a maximum of 75W on 14 MHz and much less on all the other bands. I was active for a little over 13 hours, worked 210 contacts, the bulk of which were made in the 20m band. I used SD for logging and the calculated score by SD was around 26k, while N1MM gives me 28k and some change. Might be less when the big guys from ARRL will put my log through the wringer.
It was a nice experience, even though I really felt the need of a 40m capable antenna, as I could only make one measly contact in 7 MHz. This next weekend I'm trying to participate in the RRTC and see what happens.
On 15 July I participated in the RRTC, an 8 hour contest. Again, I entered as a single-op, low power, SSB only participant and used the same setup as in the IARU contest. It was a weird day radio-wise, as I couldn't hear any station except in the 20m band. I worked with any station that I could hear and that could hear me. At the end of my 7+ hour shift (I spent about 1 hour taking various breaks) I "bagged" 71 contacts. I felt more tired than I was in the IARU HF, maybe because of the relatively short time I had at my disposal. In the IARU taking breaks didn't feel like I was wasting precious time like it did in the RRTC. I walked away with a head ache. The band was noisy and all that static and faint signals finally got to me. Indeed, I'm a lousy contestant, having participated in 3 or 4 ham contests in my life (these two included). Here are the results.
Contesting can be fun and tiring at the same time. For some it's a way to spend a weekend when it's raining outside, for others it can be something they planned and prepared for for a long time. In my case it was pretty fun, but also a bit frustrating. Spending long hours trying to pick up callsigns from the static can be exhausting. A decent antenna in a good location can make a big difference and until this happens I'll probably stay away from contests.
Hello everyone! On June 4th I suffered an ankle fracture which required surgery. I wasn't on a SOTA trip when it happened. For at least 6 months forward I won't be activating any summits. Have fun & see you later! - Bogdan, YO8SBR
Go to Expeditions and see the new video and activity report for the SOTA activation on 12 Feb 2017.
Tomorrow we'll try activating YO/EC-572 "Chicera Neagra". It's a bit cold and the snow is deep, but the trail to the summit isn't very long, so hopefully we'll be up there at around 11:00 UTC. Besides 145.500 and 433.500, we'll be working on 20m and maybe 17m, if we're not too cold and there's enough battery juice left.
For Sunday we've decided to try YO/EC-476, called Bîtca. ETA around 12 UTC. YO8SSQ built a new antenna for 18MHz and another one for the 2m and the 70cm bands and we'll try them out on Sunday... if nothing changes in the meantime. We'll be activating on shortwave in 18MHz and/or in 14MHz. Hope to see you there! :-)
Hi, we're a team of hams from Romania. We're into SOTA and other activities. Thanks for stopping by!
Check these too!