CT/DL-001 Serra do Marão, Portugal – 15th Oct – Just after work!

Taking advantage of a passing by and the very good access to the summit, I decided to activate CT/DL-001, Serra do Marão (10 pointer). XYL suggestion, btw… :smile:
The sun accompanied the climb (a short walk), 2.5 hours before sunset. The temperature is falling, showing that we are in the autumn…

A beautiful landscape, and the views at the top are breathtaking…
Some nice QSOs at 40, 30 and 20 m (CW).
Before descending, I called 2 m (CW, SSB and FM) several times, zero QSOs logged.
Very curious – and pleasant – it’s the number of CT’s stations who were logged.
I was greeted by a flock of sheep, while on the summit. The flock invaded the summit but no casualties on the equipment…
The sheeps do not bother me, but manipulating the key with gloves on is more difficult than I imagined. :sweat:

Leaving the summit at dusk, with the temperature already below 9C, I returned to the car, parked 500m away.

It was good activation and the next will be even better!

Using the machine tripod and the timer – a picture is worth a thousand words – here are some photos.
Thanks to all the “SOTA chasers”

Vy 73

Pedro, CT1DBS

The trig point

Some antennas near the top


SOTA activation

Nightfall, time to descend…

2.5 lessons learned from CT/AA-001 activation

On the 10th Oct2015, I activated the SOTA ref CT/AA-001, Serra de S. Mamede, near Portalegre, Portugal.

While climbing I noticed the increase in the wind speed and some dark clouds were moving towards the summit…
Arriving mid-morning at the top, next to the trig, it was still possible to see the beautiful landscape and Apertadura dam.
However, the rain and wind increased dramatically just after we arrived.

The endfed antenna 40, 30 and 20 m was assembled – even against the wind will – having recorded several QSOs (CW).
Then, a cloud show up to visit the summit and rest of the activation was done inside a cloud…Brrrr

I didn’t established any QSO in the 2 m band (CW, SSB and FM). A very remote part of the country?

Fortunately, I brought my tarp which gave some (bad) protection to the rig and which served as a windbreak. I had a hard time to hold the tarp with one hand and manipulate the morse key at the same time…
Unfortunatly, this is a rocky top and to be in a position where the geodesic point was used as a shelter it was not possible to assemble the typical tarp shelter.
This is the first lesson learned (SOTA rookie…) and a bothy bag arrived yesterday at home…

Also, under such rough conditions I notice that several chasers do not take into account what is a SOTA operation in a summit and the difficulties that this entails: Some still report name, QTH, rig, antennas, wx, etc.
This is quite exasperating for those who are exposed to the elements (rain, wind, cold, fog) and should manage a pile-up, besides the need to make the minimum QSO number to score and the short time to do so!
This 0.5 lesson learned: Answer quick to chasers (RST, SOTA ref, 73 TU) and move the next on pileup…

All the SMS to spot failed! Second lesson learned…

With photos by XYL – a picture is worth a thousand words – here are some photos.

Thanks to all the SOTA chasers.

Vy 73
Pedro, CT1DBS

The landscape at arrival

Erecting the endfed – Note the SOTA flag in the wind…

Operating in the rocky summit

Leaving the summit – Cloud still on!

A castle activation ! CT/AA-002

On the 10th Oct 2015 late PM, I activated the SOTA ref CT/AA-002, Marvão, Portugal.

This is on of a kind summit here, because it’s inside the castle of Marvão.

We arrived very late (+/- 4 PM) in the middle of the mist. A dense fog and light rain prevented us to saw the village (Marvão) from the distance.

The car park is at the entrance of this very old medieval village (+ 800 years old) and one should climb (750 m) all the way to the castle walls. A very nice walk between beautiful streets and white houses. All the village is awsome even when the wx dosen’t help… .(
Some nice restaurants with a magnificent view “helped” us in the return…:meat_on_bone:

The castle is a monument and I though that a fee will apply but the guys in the entrance just wave to walk in…

Erect the fishing pole was a piece-of-cake and soon I was in the air, all the equipement safe on one of the sentry-boxes.
The rite in the rain notebook was a good asset….

Some 40m contacts, one on 30m and then 20m, all CW
After a QSO with Pascal, PA1BR, who spoted for me, a pile-up started. TNX Pascal!
Unfortunatly, a few minutes after, the XYL appeared to remind me that the castle was about to close…
So, regrettably, I broadcasted a QRT…
I’m sorry for all the folks that are waiting on the pile-up but I don’t wanted to pass the night in a misty castle…
It’s possible to be in AZ outside the castle but was to dangerous to get there! And the night is falling. :frowning:

BTW: All the my SMS to spot failed again! Something to look after.

I didn’t established any QSO in the 2 m band (CW, SSB and FM). Again, a very remote part of the country?

Due to dense fog and light rain the number of explanations why I had a fish pole in a castle and what I’m doing was reduced to a bare minimum…Sometimes some bad things turn out to be a blessing!… :smile:

Thanks to all the SOTA chasers.

Vy 73
Pedro, CT1DBS

Entry point to the summit…


Operating position 1

Operating position 2 – When rains increased…