July 2, 2016 – 11:33z to 12:33z
After passing by Monchique, we went to Picota, which is the local name for the SOTA summit.
There are no signs on the narrow road and several options available at each cross road but we managed to arrive to the bottom of Picota (dead end) where exist an explanation of the Natural Park Monchique, member of Natura 2000 network.
Climbing the small and steep hill was a proof how I was after last month surgery. I’m almost “new”!… J
Around 1120z we arrive to the trig point. After saying hello to the forest fire vigilant which stands on the watching tower and explain him what we are doing, I erect the endfed and the Slimjim (2m)
The endfed was a little difficult to extend because there are no trees and is steep. So, I descended 20 or so meters of meters and tied the end of the wire to a bush, with the help of the walking pole.
João, CT7ABE, my friend and neighbor answered my first call (144.05/CW). Now I know that is possible to contact my QTH from this SOTA summit on the 2m/cw (170.5 km away)!
After exchanging RST and SOTA reference, I called a few times more but no answers. So, I tried SSB.
Ricardo, CT1EUW, answered my call. His signal was strong from his QTH at Monte da Caparica. Other stations tried to have a QSO, using CT1EUW as a relay (CT5JLD, etc), but no one was heard. I have another QSO with CT7ABE and changed to 6m.
Manuel EA7AH answered my calls and that’s it. The propagation was closed on this band. Then QSY to 20m…
Then a group of young foreigners came to me asking “what the hell I’m doing”?!
I explained to the group what is amateur radio and SOTA. Because they were curious about the signals they heard I explained also about morse code.
They went downhill and I backed to 20m/CW where I had the chance of doing 14 QSOs.
One of those QSOs was an S2S QSO with EA2WX/p on EA2/BI-055.
I ended with a QSO with CT7ABE. His signal was low but clear (ground wave).
The sun was very strong then – see the thermometer on the photo – so I packed up my gear and saying goodbye to the forest fire vigilant we descend to the car park.
Be aware of the strong sun and always carry a tarp to have some shade!