SOTA – Kaienspitz in Switzerland

HB/AR-004 Kaienspitz  – 1122 metres ASL, 2 points. Locator: JN47SK

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Hebert OE9HRV has kindly offered to take me to a third summit, this time to a low hilltop in Switzerland known as Kaienspitz, a 30 minute drive from Bregenz. I’m very grateful to Herbert for his time and generosity. Text

From Bregenz we headed south crossing the border of Austria and Switzerland. The border crossing was the least exciting activity for the day. I had my Australian Passport on hand for a chance to pickup a Switzerland Border entry stamp. Alas my dream of Swiss stamp was not be, as we approached the Swiss checkpoint the security staffed waved us through.  Bummer, there goes the Swiss Border exit stamp. Yes I do have an understanding of the visa requirements for the majority of EU countries, nothing wrong with collecting visa stamps. 🙂

If you were to ask me to describe the route by car, honestly I wouldn’t have a clue. After 30 minutes of driving, mostly uphill we arrived at a gravel car park at the base of the summit. From the car park the walk at, first through a pine forest wet and slippery in parts followed by a stroll through an open lush grassy field, may have taken 30 minutes max. My best guess is the walk is close to 1 km not much more.  In Australia the term is ‘a walk in the park’ or easy.

Photos: © Copyright 2016 Andrew VK1AD

First view of the summit as we approach on foot. The operating position is is on the north side of tree line.

First view of the summit as we approach on foot. The operating position is on the north side of tree line.

 

Multitude of signs, only one has our attention Kaienspitz. Change direction here, head west for three hundred metres.

Multitude of signs, only one has our attention Kaienspitz. Change direction here, head west for three hundred metres to a park bench.

 

view west - storms moving across Lake Constance towards our position

view west – storms moving across Lake Constance towards our position

Good grief enough of the rain and storms ⛈⚡️⛈   For the readers, at this point my wife and I have been in Austria for 2 weeks, in that time we have sighted the sun ☀️ on 5 separate occasions. 🙁

view west - Swiss Alps and more stormy clouds heading our way. Herbert's prediction is 45 minutes of operating time. The telescopic fibreglass pole is supporting a 20m 1/2 wave J-Pole antenna

view west – Swiss Alps and more stormy clouds heading our way. Herbert’s prediction is we have 45 minutes before the heavens open.  The telescopic fibreglass pole is supporting a 20m 1/2 wave wire J-Pole antenna.

 

 

 

View north-east. Telescopic pole is supported by two guy ropes facing the prevailing wind.

View north-east the sky is clear but not for long.  13 metre telescopic pole is supported by two guy ropes facing the prevailing wind.

OE9HRV SOTA station on Kaienspitz HB/AR-004

OE9HRV SOTA station on Kaienspitz HB/AR-004 set up on a convenient park bench.

 

Activation: Herbert had no desire to work an EU pile up, instead my initiation to frantic SSB SOTA pile ups will continue.  With a smile I explained to Herbert my efforts on the microphone will later lead to a couple of hours on the iPad, transcribing my paper logbook to a CSV spreadsheet.  Herbert smiled in return, saying ‘VK1 very popular today Andrew, you have many callers waiting to work you’.  Thanks Herbert!

Started the activation at 1000 UTC (12:00 local) on 17m 18.135 MHz USB working 30 chasers in 28 minutes, yes that’s correct 30 chasers on 18 MHz wow!  In VK, I would be lucky to work 1 perhaps 2 chasers on 17m.  By comparison on 20m 14.310 MHz USB chasers numbers were well down on 17m with a total of 9 for 10 minutes on the microphone.

Under the threat of rain and strong winds, I offered the microphone to Herbert for his chance to work 4 chasers and pick up two points.  Herbert politely declined and with a grin on his face suggested a stint on 40m was in order, ‘many people within 500 km are waiting to work you Andrew, OE chasers will work you on 40m’ he said. 😎

Okay, I succumbed to pressure.  I helped Herbert lower the 13m telescopic pole, lowering the pole leeward and substituting the 20m J-Pole with a 40m 1/2 wave inverted V dipole.  On 40m the chaser response to Herbert’s SOTA spot was encouraging, however light rain had now started to fall on the radio equipment and my paper log book.  Herbert’s grin didn’t change he simply popped open an umbrella!   Hmm I suspect that’s code for ‘get on with it princess’ ha ha.  From 1100 UTC (13:00 local) I worked 31 chasers on 7.126 MHz LSB over 35 minutes.

Summit to Summit (S2S) contacts:  Two unique S2S contacts, two with Terry GM0VWP/P on 18 and 7 MHz operating from GM/SS-118 and Jan OK2PDT on 14 MHz operating from OK/VY-024.

Summary: 70 chasers worked in 95 minutes on 3 bands 17, 20 and 40m.  Due to the changing weather 🌧 I missed a chance to work 2m FM, never mind.

My question to the readers.  After activating summits in the UK, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein (rare activation) and Switzerland, have I earned my Europe HF Pile Up proficiency?  You can be the judge. 😉

VK1AD activating Kaienspitz

VK1AD activating Kaienspitz

 

Promoting SOTA. Large SOTA flag catches the eyes of passing walkers who all stopped for a chat. Wind is cold blowing 25 km/h, shortly after this photo I took the option to wear a rain jacket.

Promoting SOTA. Large SOTA flag catches the eyes of passing walkers who all stopped for a chat.  The wind is cold blowing 25 -30 km/h, shortly after this photo I took the option to wear a rain jacket.  Photo by Herbert OE9HRV.

20m J-Pole radiating element

20m J-Pole radiating element (red wire). The coax cable impedance matching circuit is laying on the ground.  Photo by Herbert OE9HRV.

 

Last word, a big thanks to Herbert OE9HRV, this SOTA activation would not have been possible if not for Herbert’s time and generous contribution. 😊

Next SOTA post.  Activation of Gaisburg OE/SB-268 in Salzburg with the company of Heinz OE5EEP.   Would you expect to meet another Aussie on a SOTA peak in Salzburg, perhaps?  Not just an Aussie, a well known VK3 amateur radio operator, specialising in microwave transmissions!

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2 thoughts on “SOTA – Kaienspitz in Switzerland

  1. We activated this one the day before Friedrichshafen fair! I really enjoyed the nice view of the Bodensee. With binoculars I could even see the Messe.

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