OE/OO-420 Schoibernberg 883 metres ASL, Oberosterreich Region
Grid square: JN67QW
Prior to my departure from Australia, Heinz OE5EEP contacted me via email suggesting he and I undertake a dual activation of a SOTA summit close to Zell am Moos in the Oberosterreich region of Austria. Heinz generously offered me the use of his portable radio equipment, for which I am very grateful. When someone offers you the use of their portable amateur radio station you know the spirit of amateur radio and in this case the spirit of SOTA, is alive and well. Not only did Heinz allow me to use his portable HF station, Heinz offered me the use of 2m HT for the duration of my three week stay in Austria. No questions asked, just complete trust that I will respect his equipment and return it to him in the same condition in which it was offered. Thank you Heinz. 😉
Tuesday 31 May 2016, my wife and I have been in Austria for 5 days. Heinz picked me up from Zell am Moos, we headed north-east along sealed roads to within 1 km of summit Schoibernberg, a journey of no more than 10 minutes. After departing the car, the walk to the summit may have taken 20 to 30 minutes. Surprisingly, I didnt pay any attention to the time, I am more interested in the scenery and chatting with Heinz about his SOTA adventures in Austria and other parts of Europe.
The walk followed a sealed road for about 600 metres which passed through a farm to intersect a forest maintenance road or as we say in Australia a fire trail. The purpose of the trail is the same, generally a gravel road for loggers or emergency service vehicles to access the forest.
After a short walk on the maintence track we turned left into a pine forest following a hunter’s track which terminated Close to a lookout tower. From the tower we headed east intersecting a well defined summit ridge line, I had no excuse for not knowing where the high point is. see photos
Topo map of the area around the summit. Zell am Moos is off the map to the south-west.
This is the first of two hunter lookout towers.
On the summit, sorry the picture is blurred. I assume the summit ridge line is a natural feature, not man made. The grass ground cover is wet from recent heavy rains.
VK1AD’s first 2m SOTA activation in Austria, made possible through the generosity of Heinz OE5EEP.
Heinz got the ball rolling by posting a spot for me on 2m FM 145.500 MHz. While I made my first ever CQ SOTA call in Austria, Heinz fire up the KX3 for CW ops on 30m. My first chaser on 2m FM was Franz OE5FSL followed by Hugo DK9CS, Werner OE5RYM and Reinhard OE5KNT to qualify the summit. I posted a second a second SOTA spot this appeared to generate more interest. A rare chance to find a VK1 operating from an Austrian SOTA peak, could this be a posting error, no it’s ‘fairdinkum’ as we say in Australia.
Next group of three 2m chasers were Walter OE5WFN, Silvia OE5YYN and Peter OE5AUL. Not surprisingly 2m went quiet, after all iit is a weekday evening, most folk will be getting ready for an evening meal. Heinz offered me the opportunity to use his KX3 to work 20, 6 and 15m bands.
On 20m the band was noisy from local and distant thunderstorms (QRN). Mike G6TUH reported severe thunderstorms in the south of England. After a few attempts at working Mike the remainder of the British SOTA trio fired up working Don G0RQL and Phil G4OBK. 👍
I continued calling CQ on 20m working Luc ON7DQ, Albert HA0FR, Manuel EA2DT, Luc ON6DSL, Vlad R4FCJ and S78MXL. Next we tried 6m calling CQ on 50.550 USB nothing came of that. Finally Heinz suggested I try 15m 21.300 MHz USB, not a popular band in VK, nevertheless I did work Manuel for a second time, this time a much better copy with a 5-9 signal.
A rare photo of Heinz with a microphone in his right hand, where normally you would find a CW paddle or key.
Portable HF SOTA station
Extract of OE/VK1AD/P activator log – OE/OO-420, 31 May 2016
15:35z OE5FSL 144MHz FM Franz S59 R59
15:40z DK9CS 144MHz FM Hugo S52 R41
15:47z OE5RYM 144MHz FM Werner S59 R53
15:54z OE5KNT 144MHz FM Reinhard S59 R43
16:00z OE5WFN 144MHz FM Walter S58 R55
16:06z OE5YYN 144MHz FM Sylvia S59 R53
16:07z OE5AUL 144MHz FM Peter S59 R53
16:20z G6TUH 14MHz SSB Mike S58 R41
16:26z GORQL 14MHz SSB Don S53 R53
16:27z G4OBK 14MHz SSB Phil S59 R45
16:30z ON7DQ 14MHz SSB Lutc S41 R 51
16:34z HA0IR 14MHz SSB Albert S58 R57
16:35z EA2DT 14MHz SSB Manuel S53 R44
16:36z ON6DSL 14MHz SSB Luc S59 R55
16:37z R4FCJ 14MHz SSB Vladimir S59 R56
16:39z S78MXL 14MHz SSB S59 R59
16:54z EA2DT 21MHz SSB Manuel S59 R52
With the activation complete we headed back to the car then made our way to a Gasthaus for dinner and more Stiegl beer. 😀
Photos: © Copyright 2016 Andrew VK1AD