I had planned to activate Bussen BM/BW-484 with it’s 8 activation points plus 3 winter bonus points up until the 15th. March, however as I was suffering a little from the flu, the thought of a 4 hour round-trip drive was not so inviting. With propagation being variable at best and horrible at worst, there was a chance that 17m may be needed rather than 20m. Rentschen has a major advantage that being a drive-up summit, it would be possible to go back to the car and fetch and replace the OCF antenna with the 17m J-Pole antenna if needed (at Bussen, this would have been a major operation). Also Martin DF3MC ccontacted me and said he’d like to come along. I always enjoy operating wth Martin, so the fact that Rentschen ia about the same distance from him as from me, made it a good choice.
Equipment to be used would be the FT-817ND plus amplifier and the Aerial-51 OCF dipole with a 6m pole. The screw-in base, that had worked so well at Berndorfer Buchet, would also be taken along as there are no easy mast support structures at Rentschen. In the car would stay the 10m portbale mast along with the J-Pole antennas for 20, 17 & 15m.
Rentschen is a one point, low summit that still has a 3 point winter bonus. It si about 50 minutes drive from my home and therefore one of my “local” summits. The actual summit is marked by a trig-point stone which is about 100m away from the road, where I would park my car as usual. The summit is between Rottenbuch and Steingaden villages.
Considering the propagation conditions, I think things went quite well. 2 x VK S2S contacts (I think my first DL-VK6 – thanks John VK6NU). I heard my first Japanese summit but got no response when I called several times. I thought I would have to re-cone the speaker after VK3MO called me, he was so strong! I also heard Matt VK1MA call me but he couldn’t hear me I think.
After about 0800 UTC, the usual QRO stations appeared on band and simply called CQ over the top of activators.
Conditions seemed to go up and down somewhat and at one point we had at least three summits on the same frequency!
A surprise on 14.280 was Elvira XT2SE from Burkina Faso, West Africa, (non SOTA) who I tried calling but of course with the pile-up I didn’t get through.
It was nice to operate with Martin DF3MC – he on CW and I on SSB, about 20m apart from each other – there was some interference but it didn’t stop us making contacts.
I thought I’d “pick up a few contacts” on 40m before packing up. Thirteen contacts in seven minutes was the result and then even managed an S2S into the UK (thanks for your perseverence Tom M1EYP). All in all a good activation.
Aerial-51 OCF inverted-V dipole.
LambdaHalbe 6m Mini-mast.
Modified QAMP amplifier (25W on 20m, 35W on 40m).
Thick plastic painters sheet
Screw-in mast base
Never base a decision on whether to activate on propagation predictions or even the conditions the previous day – Band conditions can improve (or get worse) without warning and the only way to know iff you are going to be able to make contacts is to activate and hope!
73 ’til the next Summit!