Wednesday, 18 June 2014

2014 EU Tour Day Five - DM-BW Baden Wuerttemburg Region

DM/BW-845 Hummelskopf QRV 0719z - 0755z

After another 6.30am breakfast at Gasthof Adler in Obernheim we set out for Tettnang, a working town near to where the the Ham Radio Show at Friedrichshafen is held. 

On the way there we were to activate five summits in the DM/BW region and earn another 48 points...

Nick G4OOE prepares to start the walk up BW-845
Hummelskopf BW-845 was our first target and after some hesitance in finding a suitable start point, as well as the need for the use of a lavatory in the nearby town of Tuttlingen, we drove up a forestry road to park. The summit was on a wooded plateau about 2 Km from our parking place, so this was one of the longer walks of our tour - that is the nature of the terrain in the Baden Wuerttemburg Region, where a 10 point summit can be much easier than many 1 point summits in the UK. The DM Association adopted a 100m prominence rule when they formed, which seems out of step with the terrain. However, we made the best of it by making 100s of points on our trip...

The forester working close to where we parked
We could have got nearer to the top by driving into the forest, but felt this was not wise as the roads used were not well mapped. As we were parking near to a huge pile of logs the forester arrived in his tractor to start work for the day. We overcame the language barrier and agreed a suitable parking place.

The walk to the summit of Hummelskopf DM/BW-845 (Open Street Map in Garmin Base Camp)
Using Open Street Map we located the highest point in woodland, with Nick setting up near some fallen trees and I about 300m away, next to a brew wagon for the foresters, who were their a day off. I fastened my fishing pole to the tow bar on the wagon and commenced the operation on CW. 

I went QRT after 35 minutes using the 30m, 20m and 17m bands.

DM/BW-159 Blatthalde QRV 0957z - 1027z

Have you ever set up your station on a see-saw on a children's playground on the top of a forested summit? Well this is what I did on BW-159 Blatthalde...

Seesaw mounted Yaesu FT-857 30 watts - Palm Morse Key - Rite in the Rain logbook - RRT for spotting - 6m pole & link dipole

Once again this was a walk of reasonable distance from the public road -  2.5 Km up and 1.5 Km down - we found a shorter route back. The summit is in a forest clearing with a large hut, camping ground, seats and a children's playground.

There was no one there except us, sunshine and an extremely pleasant activation ensued. Our shorter return track and parking place can be found in the SOTA Mapping Project run by Rob DM1CM. 

32 QSOs were completed on 30m CW and 20m CW/SSB in half an hour before we moved off. 

DM/BW-161 Wartenberg QRV 1148z - 1158z

We weren't aware of it but when we reached the top of Wartenberg (8 point summit), we found we were on a metalled road, next to a small rural factory unit. As we unpacked our gear another car drew up containing two moustachioed gentlemen. Nick whispered to me "Have you seen the registration"? I looked over and noticed the Yaesu logo above the actual car number. Introductions were therefore called for and we met Rene ON6VI and Frank ON6UU, two keen Belgian SOTA Activators who were also on their way to the Friedrichshafen Rally, getting some SOTA points en-route.  My photo shows Rene and Frank using their most comfortable set up on the summit of Wartenberg, note the spade, used as an antenna support:

Frank DL/ON6UU/P and Rene DL/ON6VI/P operating on 40m SSB from BW-161
With Frank and Rene setting up for SSB we concentrated on CW, and decided to assemble just one shared station 100m down the road. This was therefore a short activation which saved us valuable time. We needed the time as we still had two further summits to visit and a restaurant, for our evening meal, prior to the final drive to our hotel in Tettnang.

DM/BW-193 Schacher QRV 1244z - 1316z

This was another drive on activation and we were to meet yet more visitors - German Hams on their way down to the Ham Radio Rally at Lake Constance. These included Tom DL1DVE who I worked mobile on 20m CW just prior to his arrival!

I sighted my station underneath a large wind turbine and used the signage for it as a support.

Another visitor to my station on Scacher who was not going to Friedrichshafen!
Below is a communication tower on the summit plateau that is Schacher:

With 72 contacts logged between us on HF we motored of to our next and final summit of the day, DM/BW-570 Neuhewen. 

DM/BW-570 Neuhewen *a ruined castle* QRV 1529z - 1605z

We needed a good meal inside us after our final activation of the day. Food outlets, shops and cafe's were scarce in the rural area we were travelling through and lunch has been missed in favour of energy bars and apples... We later found out that we could have parked a lot nearer to the summit of BW-570, however it seemed appropriate to park at the restaurant we were later dining at and walk from there, so we booked ourselves in before heading off into the woods to the ruin of Newhewen. The restaurant is called Hegaublick which also serves as a biker and motorists cafe. Here is Nick heading off after an ice cream to our last summit of the day:

I recall the walk starting from Hegaublick took around 30 minutes before we reached the ruined castle. We were able to reach the wall in one place. The masonry looked dangerous and dilapidated so the authorities had fenced most of the place off to prevent intruders like us getting in....

We set up our stations on a woodland path about 100m apart and well within the 25m activation drop zone. With 68 contacts logged on the 10 point summit we made our way back to Hegaublick for our meal, which was delicious:

Well fed we made our way south to the working town of Tettnang, where we stayed at the Hotel Baren. The next day was spent at the Ham Radio Convention at Friedrichshafen, with an afternoon excursion into Austria, to activate Pfander OE/VB-512 and enjoy yet another gourmet meal in the fellowship of some friendly radio hams who we had never before that day...

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