Berreaga SOTA EA2/BI-062

Today I was alone. No son (Oier), no mate (Marcial). So, it was the day to make a new SOTA alone. That mean I might use the motorbike to move.. Unfortunately, bad weather was predicted. 

Anyway, thinking on something easy enough, not far from Bilbao, I chose Berreaga, a 364 m. high summit very close to Bilbao. Nice road, and short path (just half an hour) to climb. And a new one for me. 

I thought it was full of trees, so I prepared just my basic sota pack. FT-817, CW keyer, mike (that thing that I normaly use to tune the antenna), 7ah plumb batt, 8 m. long wire and Fusch tuner. Enough to be on the air from 10 to 24 mhz. I didn't know there was a nice CW contest... Thank we already have WARC bands to live!

The 85 y.o. man and his son on the hide box
All set up. I was on biker dresses soon. Just 30 min later, I was at the last houses before the path begins. This was not exactly where my GPS said to be, but close enough to gain the summit. Well, both summits. eh... where is the mountaineer box? No trace!

More that 20 min later and already on the search, I met a group that, apparently knew where it was. Thanks God! was pretty well hidden between trees, and 10 min away from the path, normally used to cross along some more summits near. The group was great, a couple (of 85 and 82 y.o.) and his son (in his 40s...) The couple had been done 85% of the summits of Bizkaia, and only have pending 20 summits of all Euskal Herria to hike! (of more than 400, up to 2500 m!) So nice history! 

Well, some photos, and quick setup for 144 mhz. I was able to make S2S with Antonio EC2AG/1 from Burgos, and a handful of locals with the 817 rubber antenna.

Then, I started to setup the hf wire, at a small clear zone, by throwing a piece of rope over the trees until I had the antenna almost vertical. 

The funny thing was that weather predictions were absolutly wrong. No trace of clouds, and due to the dense forest, any wind. I think I were at more than 16-18 deg. That's comfort!

Bike clothes are not the best for hiking!
Peacefuly, I made some QSO's on 10 mhz, with no strong signals, where I met Marcial EA2BDS/1, who has the opportunity of activating a never activated before summit at Burgos, Mirador EA1/BU-075. This has been my first S2S with him, as we usually do SOTA together.

Later, I noticed that there were no choice of using 14 mhz. Was full of contesters. No place for poor QRP SOTA stations today...

So, I drive slowly to 24 mhz. Very fast QSB and weird propagation... just on the same minute I made QSO with Matt VK2DAG and another station from 9A... 

And the clouds started appearing... So I decided to dismount the rig, as I might walk the path down and take the bike back to Bilbao hopping not to be caught by the rain on the trip. It was time to left!.
Operating positon, not very large, but warm!

Just another funny SOTA day (except for the search of the "lost" summit!)

73 de Mikel EA2CW

SOTA EA2/BI-064 Malmasin

Ganguren  Malmasindik ikusita

Joan den igandean, pentsatu gabe, eta azken momentutan, Oier -semea- eta biok, erabaki genuen SOTA "relampago" bat antolatzea. Marcial ez zegoen Bilbon, beraz garraio publikoak erabili behar genuen.

Bilbao alboan, oso mendi txiki eta ezezagun bat badaukagu. Malmasin. Denok barrutik (autobideko tunelenik) zeharkatzen gara, baina gutxiok igo gara gora.

Basauriraino heldu ginen metroz. Basozelai futbol-zelaitik hasten zen bidea. Igoera ez zen batere gogorra edo luzea, baina lokatzaz beteta zegoen.

Gero, gailurrean, konturatu ginen oso txikia zela, eta hf antena ipintzeko lekurik ez zegoela. Horregatik, eta haize eta hotz handia izateagatik, bakarrik 2metroko talkia erabili genuen QSOak egiteko.

Nahiz eta mendi txiki bat izan, oso ondo ikusten da Ganguren, beste Bilboko aldeko SOTA mendia.

Zorionez, Iñaki, EB2GKK, Lekandan zebilen, eta Oierrek berarekin bere lehen Sota To Sota QSO egin zuen. Gero, bakarrik lau QSO gehiago, eta nola ez, handik zegoen txakurrekin jolastu ondoren, behera!

Azkenean, beste bide berritik itzultzea erabaki genuen. Gure asmoa, La Peña auzora joateko zen, baina bidaia eder bat egin ondoren, Boluetan amaitu genuen... Hau nekea!

Beti bezala, ondo pasatu genuen, mendietan eta irratizaleekin ibiltzeagataik!
Hurrengo arte!


SOTA EA2/BI-033 Sollube

As today Marcial EA2BDS was not able to make any SOTA activity due to family matters, I finally decided going "soting" alone. Yesterday it was the opposite, I was enjoying my 9 years old son's handball match (he won! at last) and I could not follow Marcial to the mountains.
So, not to soon in the morning (it was 09:30 UT while I started the trip), I ran my motorbike to Sollube, a beautiful summit not far from Bermeo, one of the nicests fishermen village in Bizkaia. Weather was not announced to be rainy, but It was pretty cold on the motorbike!. I reached the summit (there is a road just to the top),  took my backpack and left the activation zone to reenter by foot. A few hikers were coming and going, while setting the rig.
When doing it, I noticed that I'd carried, not the 8.2 m wire which I planned to use with my 3,6m fishing rod, but the big one (22m) that I normaly set up with the 9m pole! Well, there was not chance, so I set it on the small rod, and only 3-4 m high. I hope It would be enough to make some QSOs...
Due to the presence of a large TV and FM radio repeater, I soon discovered that 10, 15, and 20 m bands would be unuseable, so I started on 30m making some QSOs along Europe.
Later, being already a bit cold, I QSYd to 24 Mhz, to validate the summit for the challenge. So, I was so lucky to be found by our favourite VK operator, Matt VK2DAG who -I think- has worked almost all EA2 SOTA activators!. Thank you for giving me a new DXCC SOTA country!
I was able to work also ZP as new country and a lot of old SOTA friends as N4EX (always on the battle) N1EU, N7UN and several NA all-time-there chasers.
It was a sunny day, and I'd the chance of enjoying the views of the mountains, Bilbao Port and the coast, but at last, I couldn't follow operating CW as my fingers started to freeze, so after a couple of calls on SSB, I packed it all, and went back to Bilbao (40 min away) to meet Marcial for a short coffe.
So, a new summit for me, not very good as by the RF noise, but a new fine SOTA day.
73 de Mikel

Rig.: FT-817 (8w), CW & SSB
Ant: 20 m EFLW with Fusch tuner
QSOs: 38
Bands: 24, 14 and 10 Mhz
S2S: na
Countries wkd: 18. CT, DA, EA, G, HA, HB, I, LA, OE, OH, ON, PA, SM, SP, VK, K, KP4, ZP.
Continents: NA, SA, EU, OC
Longest QSO: VK2DAG 17532.4 km