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!

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