PAFF-0007, National Parc Maasduinen, Activation – 19 November 2017, PF5X/P

I started to activate various Dutch Nature reserves recently. The Dutch PAFF program is part of the worldwide WFF program.

In order to do this I acquired a small inverter generator (Honda EU-20i). AS antennas I use either a aluminium mast as 40m vertical, a 12.5m glass fiber pole with wire verticals or end fed antennas (40-15m), as well as a 20m dipole which is hoisted to the top of one of the poles or the alu mast. The transceiver is a ICOM IC-7100 with LDG iT-100 tuner. A mini laptop for control via microKeyer II and logging (N1MM) completes the station.

So far I have activated:
PAFF-0108 Rijntakken – 2 & 10 Sep 2017
PAFF-0063 Rijk van Nijmegen – 17 Sep 2017
PAFF-0095 Deurnsche Peel & Mariapeel – 23 Sep 2017
PAFF-0004 De Hamert – 1 Oct 2017
PAFF-0048 Ooypolder & Millingerwaard – 14 Oct 2017
PAFF-0007 National Park De Maasduinen – 19 Nov 2017

This blog is about the last activation.

Sunday November 19th, 2017. It seemed to be a sunny day and not too cold. So I decided
to quickly go out in the afternoon for an activation of the nearby ‘Maasduinen’ national parc, PAFF-0007. I already did some reconnaissance in the past (our golf course is in that area). I finally ended up at the farmer’s trail in the middle of the forest. There was a fence which came in handy as an attachment point for my pole.
I had bought a 300W DIY end-fed antenna kit at a ham flea market, with which I had constructed a 30m end-fed antenna. I use fully separated windings as per suggestion of W8JI for better common-mode reduction and higher efficiency. Using my MFJ antenna analyzer it appeared that the wire needed to be shortened (according to the extra wire I purposely left on) . After this adjustment I could use the antenna without a tuner.
Unfortunately the weather did not quite cooperate and it started to hail. After some 15 mins it cleared again and I could start sending my first CQ around 3pm local. Response was fair. 30m is a nice band as it is somewhat quieter as 40m. On top of that at a remote spot the noise level is a LOT lower than at home, so I will hear almost every weak signal. Despite my 100W some station had difficulty in copying me (probably in a less noise free environment compared to me …).
As it gets dark already early in this period of the year and in view of my location in the middle of the forest, I started to tear the station after 1 hour in order to get that done in full daylight. In that 1 hour of activity I logged 59 stations, which I believe is a reasonable result.
All PAFF activities as PF5X/P are uploaded to LotW, ClubLog and the WFF database. QSL exclusively via LotW. I have no QSL cards for these activations, so you can spare money by just getting an account with LotW …

 

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PACC 2013

9 & 10 of February is the weekend of the 2013 edition of the Dutch PACC. Despite the fact that I “lost” my great station in Malden, I spent some hours in our national contest from my new QTH. Running this with only a R5 vertical and a provisional top loaded wire vertical for 40m is quite a challenge. I had to compensate a bit for the antenna gain loss so I switched on the linear and ran most of the time with about 400W. 10m was not closed but activity was a disappointment. I am glad I put some effort in constructing something for 40m because this band appeared to be the workhorse together with 20m. All in all I am satisfied with my 700+ QSOs as I only spent a little less than 10 hours in this contest. Run rates were quite good in particular when showing up on a band for the first time (“fresh meat”). BTW the PACC log robot calculates a slightly higher score due to the fact that it mistakenly counts UA7 as a separate multiplier. I informed the contest committee about this little flaw.

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An interesting analysis can be made at the website of the Reverse Beacon Network. Here you see my signal compared to that  of PA0O as received by W3LPL on Feb 09, 2013. As you see the 40m vertical did pay off (substract 6dB from my signal as I used 6dB more power than Jaap did).

pacc2013-revbeacon

14 years of PF5X from Malden soon over

After 14 years of radio activity from my current location in Malden, I will move to a temporary house in Cuijk (8 km south of Malden) per July 4th.

Veldoven, Cuijk. View from East towards West.

We finally sold (conditionally) our current house and we will eventually build our new house at a fantastic location right at the border of a small lake (pebble/sand quarry) in Cuijk. My crank-up / fold-over tower will be for sale in due time.

The roof terrace will hopefully offer some possibilities for erecting a small 6m beam and a vertical antenna for HF (either my Cushcraft R7 or a glassfiber mast with wires).

View to the North from roof terrace.

Seasonal change of antennas

Saturday was a nice day in The Netherlands (sunny and warm), so I decided to change antennas again: 6m yagi out and 30/40m dipole in. After 4 hours work, in relatively high temperatures and losing a lot of sweat, the switch was complete.

Tower folded over during antenna work. The 30/40m dipole is already mounted above the 3 ele SteppIR.

Crete & SV9CVY

I just returned from a very relaxing holiday on Crete with my wife and my two youngest kids. The picture below is taken in the beautiful Samaria gorge close to the South-West coast of Crete.

Enno, Marenne, Marja and Jard taking a break in the shade in the Samaria gorge

During the time we had a car I tried to visit Mike, SV9CVY. As I had no phone number of him available I located his QTH with the naked eye and drove to him. This is not difficult as he has a very impressive antenna set-up. In the next pictures you can see his 2 Opti-Beam antennas and a 4 ele Ultrabeam antenna with extra 6m elements.

SV9CVY's OB17-4 (foreground) and OB804020 (background)

SV9CVY's OB804020 and 4ele Ultrabeam

BA8AG QSL

After returning from a marvelous holiday in Crete, I found the QSL card from BA8AG on my doormat. After missing this country several times in the good old days of F2 propagation, I managed to work China this Es season in a fantastic opening on June 20th, 2010.

BA8AG qsl

No code ? – No way !

Browsing a bit to look what new equipment was presented in Dayton this year, I found this picture in a forum about the Dayton Hamvention.

How can you be proud of ignorance ?

And the back of this T-shirt looks like this:

Wrong text ... ?

Obviously this text should have read:  “No code – No way !” …

CW rulez, gentlemen. Try to snatch that weak DX signal in a spotty Es opening on 6m in CB. No way you can do that, there is only one solution: CW. (Unless you are going for those inaudible  screen modes of course, but that’s a different story).