Spring “winter” activation – CT/BA-018, Serra do Lad√°rio

Sunday March 27th, 2016, morning

This summit is located nearby A25 (highway) so it’s easy to get there.

The climb is easy by a dirt track.

The views should be great but spring was a little bit rough on that day… ūüė¶

When I arrived to the summit the Wx is windy and cold but bearable (5C inside the shelter)

The first difficulty was my lack of glasses (i need them to have a clear view of the log, not to see in the distance…). I monted everything and when I entered my shelter I didn’t have the glasses…A moment of deep breath….Let’s rock and roll without them…
“we will see”…

Then, the Wx became rough. A cloud engolfed the summit and the rain set in.
Also, some fog. The temp drop to 5C.

I started calling on 40 m. Silence. Repeated the call several times but no answer…

On the 20 m band, the propagation conditions are better.
After 2 calls RBNHole spot me and the pile-up started…

19 QSOs in 34min (0914z to 0948z).
Wow, I’m improving my deficient pile-up management! ūüôā

After those 19 QSO in a row, the pile-up dried and I decided to pack and leave the summit.

On my way back, the glasses are in the dirt track, calmly waiting for me!… ūüôā


Adele singing on CU/SM-002, Pico da Barrosa, S. Miguel Island, Azores !!!!

30JAN2016 PM

After the activation of CU/SM-001, Pico da Vara, I decide to change the initial plan and head to Pico da Barrosa (CU/SM-002), making a small detour for a work meeting. And to buy some alkaline batteries. On those last QSOs at CU/SM-001 the battery voltage became dangerously low…
The KX-1 tx started drifting…

This is an easy walk (550 m), the weather is fresh but otherwise ok.

I took a while to choose the best location to install the antenna.

After all, it was easy to install the antenna and… Let’s fire the radio on the 40 m band!

And Adele start singing very loud on the headphone “Hello from the other side…”.This come with a mix of morse signals…
Well…Change to 30m. Adele still singing loud, very loud!
20 m band. The morse signal seems to increased.

Then the commercials started. I became aware of what were the best deals at Lagoa city… ūüė¶

I thought to move to another location within the AZ but my time was short by now and maybe the plane do not wait for a delayed SOTA op…

So, 20 m will be “the band”…

I logged 14 QSOs in less than 30 min, taking only the powerful signals because of the local radio QRM.
Even though it was difficult to have readable signals…
Then the batteries (including the cheap alkalines ones) went down and my power (guess) was well under 1 w!

All QSOs made after 1543, starting with CT7AGT, were QRPp.

Nevertheless I manage to do a few more QSO, connecting the LiPo (external) and the alkaline batteries (internal) at the same time.
For instance, a QSO was logged with N4EX which was 4700 km away. Even if we know how effective are the QRP CW signals, it still amazed me!

I apologize to all chasers who contact me or tried to do so, because either I can’t hear them or my power is low.

On the next few days listen to Adele could drive me crazy!…


The lake view from a viewpoint on the ascent road – Lagoa do Fogo (Lake of Fire)


The summit view from a viewpoint on the ascent road


Close view of the summit


West view


This a landscape from a summit !!!! Lagoa do Fogo (Lake of Fire)


“Populated” summit


View to the North shoreline


The endless road (across the top)


Op position just before turning on the KX-1…To listen to Adele!

S. Miguel Island, Azores – CU/SM-001 Pico da Vara


The highest point in S. Miguel Isl (1104 m, 3622 ft).

A Natura 2000 site and a Special Protected Area: Beautiful!

A walking distance of  +1h45min to reach Pico da Vara, in a wet and cold weather.
The temperature drop to 6 C while climbing. A light wind was blowing and when exposed the temperature feel like 2 or 3 C.

The first third of the track was on a track over the peatbogs, with several small wood bridges across the Plateau of Graminhais.

Then comes the muddy track with some wooden steps on the most difficult places.

All the time I just saw 2 couples on the mountain.

In some places along the track it’s possible to have a view of north and south shoreline just by turning the head.

The wind at the trig was very cold and all the ground was wet. Because of luggage constrains (low cost airplane on the trip to S. Miguel) I hadn’t my full gear. So I could not sit me all the time!

The start was rough. I had very strong QRM (7 MHz, 1145Z) from EA5UF that were using too much bandwith (more than 5 KHz)…He his CQing over and over. A true alligator…

First QSO was with my neighbour in Lisbon Joao CT7ABE on 40m. Propagation was not that good, so I switched to 30 m and after 4 QSO I switch again for the 20 m band.
16 QSOs and to cover the distance to m

ainland (Lisbon) my signal traveled at least 1 500 Km!

The endfed performed well but the battery started to show low voltage. I forgot that I’m not using the MTR but the KX-1, which were the original plans … 11,5 V is too short for the KX-1!
That was a mistake that could cost me this activation!

After 45min at the summity I start the descent. The weather improved lightly and views were better than before.

My rented Smart was waiting for me to take me to the next summit, CU/SM-002 Pico da Barrosa, just after a work meeting and a stop at a local shop to buy alkaline batteries.

Enjoy the photos!

Pedro, CU3HF/p




CU SM 001 Map_fotos

Map from Azores trails


Trail start


Peatbogs track (East view)


Peatbogs track (West view)


Trails junction


landmark: Air France Crash 1949


View to Lombas (Povoação)


Landmark: Portugues Air Fore crash – 1943


North shore (Maia)


South Shore РPovoação


Wooden steps


Other summits (to East)


The view(and weather) from the summit


SOTA Shack! ūüôā


Antenna farm at the summit


Ready to depart


On the descent – View to Southeast


On the descent – View to East


Explanation about this protected area


Explanation about this protected area

Foggy activation: CT/BL-003 Serra do Vidual


Better Wx than in CT/BL-012, which I activated 3 hours before.

25 QSO’s all CW on 7 and 14 MHz. Between those I had the pleasure to contact Phil, G4OBK whom had been with us recently in Lisbon.

Remainder: I must do some more CW training with gloves on.

I made several calls on 28 MHz but no answers.
Cold and almost absence of wind.

Dirt track always climbing. At the time I returned to the car the night already fall.

Nice and standard activation


View to the north of the dirt track


View to the Northeast of the dirt track (climbing)


Dirt track


Arriving to the summit


From the end of the antenna


Trig point and wind mill (in the fog)


Working conditions


View from the op position