Birthday activation with a view.

  • Summit height: 2653m
  • Transportation: driving + cable car
  • Rig: KX2, 10W, internal battery
  • Antenna: LNR EFT-10/20/40 Trail Friendly, inverted L configuration on SOTAbeams 10m telescopic mast
  • QSOs: 14 on 20m and 1 on 40m, all SSB, of which 4 S2S

It was my birthday and nice weather, so we packed up the family in the car and headed out for a 10 point cable car accessible summit. The drive was very enjoyable, especially the section between Chur and Arosa with its stereotypically Swiss look: twisty, steep mountain road, wooden houses with little flags, and expensive cars zooming by. Arosa itself is picturesque and nestled around a small lake.

Once on the summit we first had lunch, then set up the antenna (by now a smoothly streamlined tag team activity with my wife) and got on the air. I started with an S2S by calling into an activation of the nearby HB/GR-275. Afterwards I found an open frequency on 20m, spotted and called CQ, then immediately had HB9BIN reply for another S2S. A promising start!

A bunch of contacts and 2 more S2S ones later I tried to switch to 40m. Nobody was answering my CQs but there was a high pitched QRM… which turned out to be GM8OEG/P on GM/SS-187, only 2kHz below my frequency. I noticed him on SOTAwatch, but could unfortunately not copy him well enough for a S2S. After moving to a clear frequency further away I resumed calling CQ, still with no results. Remembering the issues I had on HB/ZH-020 and the fact that I still hadn’t trimmed the antenna to resonance nor brought an analyzer, I turned on the KX2’s internal ATU and tried again. This scored one QSO, and after a few more fruitless CQs I called it a day – my head was once again warm due to forgetting the hat at home and using a hoodie instead.

Once everything was packed up we took in the nice view some more then headed back home.

Meta lesson learned: having a written checklist to go through when preparing would help avoid repeating past mistakes (no sun hat & antenna analyzer).