On Saturday night (17th February 2018) I was on the homeward stretch of 7 afternoon shifts at work. When I got home from work at around 11.30 p.m. I headed up into the shack and to my pleasure I found no noise at all on the 20m band. In recent times I’ve been experiencing strength 5 to 7 noise on 20m when I turn the 5 element yagi on the short path to Europe. But Saturday night there was no noise, so I decided to take advantage of that.
The night earlier I had worked a pile up from Europe and the Middle East until about 3.00 a.m., so I decided to tune across the band this time rather than calling CQ DX. I was hoping to pick up a few of the European SOTA & PARK activators. And I wasn’t disappointed.
First in the log was the Silesian Radioamateur Group SP9YFF/p in POLAND. They were activating Natura 2000 Buczyny w Szypowicach i Las Niwiski SPFF-1633 with a genuine 5/9 signal. They reciprocated with a 5/9 report for me.
Next in the log was Dinos SV3IEG/p in GREECE, who was activating Argos & Midia SVFF-0033. It took a little time to break through the European pile up, but I eventually did. Dinos had a good 5/5 signal and gave me a 5/7 from his park.
My third portable DX contact was with Stavros SV2RUJ/p in GREECE. Stavros was activating a mountain in for the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program. Papalivado SV/ TL-088 is 901 metres above sea level and is worth 1 point for the SOTA program. The summit is located about 405 km by road north of Athens. We exchanged 5/5 signal reports.
I then found Luc ON7DQ/p in BELGIUM who was on the top of SOTA peak Pottelberg ON/ ON-027 which is located in Bois du Pottelberg ONFF-0318 which comprises beech and oak forest. The Pottelberg is the highest hill of the Flemish Ardennes and the Pays des Collines in Belgium.
Next was Karl OE5JKL/p in AUSTRIA who was activating SOTA OE/ KT-369 Oswaldiberg which is 963 metres above sea level and is worth 2 SOTA points. Karl was 5/5 and gave me a 5/7 from the top of his summit.
I then worked Neil GW0WPO/p who was activating SOTA peak Gyrn Moelfre GW/ NW-049 in WALES, which is 523 metres above sea level and is worth 2 points for SOTA. This was a little more difficult copy for me, with Neil only being a 3/3. I perservered and finally made it with Neil.
I continued to hunt across the 20m band, regularly checking the DX cluster, and then logged Salvatore IT9AAK/p in ITALY who was activating Dromo Giggia WAIL SI-008 for the Italian lighthouse Award. 5/7 both ways.
To finish off the evening/morning, I spoke with George SV2CNE/p in GREECE who was activating Gallikos Potamos (Eptalofou-Koronoudas-Terpyllou-Anavritou) SVFF-0202. George was 5/5 and gave me a 5/7 signal report from his WWFF reference.
It was the end of a very enjoyable evening chasing DX SOTA & Parks activators. I did see some other DX activators spotted, including PV7L, EI3KA, I/VK3BCM, LX1KP/p an VE2WFF, but I either was unable to hear them or couldn’t break through the pile ups.