Wednesday, 18 June 2014

2014 EU Tour Day Six - Ham Radio Friedrichshafen and OE/VB-512 Pfander

The previous night we arrived at the Hotel Baren in Tettnang with 18 summits activated so far on our trip...

Our Hotel in Tettnang were we stayed for three nights
By shortening our day today at Ham Radio, the biggest radio convention in Europe, we would be able to drive into Austria to activate an easy to reach summit in Vorarlberg near Bregenz called Pfander - but first we visited the rally, meeting up at lunchtime with many of our SOTA friends from all around Europe. Here are a few pictures of our day...
The writer going into the exhibition
SOTA Activators - every one of them!
Martin DF3MC - Juerg HB9BAB - Nick G4OOE

Japanese Lusso Tower ladies looking lovely

The Friedrichshafen Ham Radio event is a great place to meet like minded amateurs who specialise in your specific branch of the hobby. Since Summits On The Air became popular over ten years ago, enthusiasts have met up at lunchtime informally in the exhibition centre. This year Emil DL8JJ and Martin DF3MC were doing a presentation entitled "Extreme SOTA". 

After meeting up with fellow enthusiasts, including Milos S57D who I met the last time I was there in 2009, Nick and I left the show in mid - afternoon and drove into Austria above Bregenz to the summit of Pfander OE-VB-512. A cable car goes up to the summit from the town, but there is a car park and restaurants on the summit, making this one of the easiest activations you could do. We were able to walk around 300m from the car to set up our stations on some benches around 100m apart. As soon as I turned the radio on I became aware of a loud pumping sound on the 20m band - this was Peter OK1CZ on CW and who was also on the summit close to me and who was making SOTA contacts. Ed was there also - DD1LP, (See link) alongside him (he later went on to SSB) and then Herbert OE9HRV turned up and we shook hands, and another SOTA friendship was created. Meanwhile, Nick OE/G4OOE/P was bashing away on Morse on 40 metres a short distance away. 

Station set up of OE/G4OBK/P on OE/VB-512 Pfander overlooking Lake Constance (Bodensee)
The summit was awash with radio hams, but Herbert (who lives in nearby Bregenz) had left this radio gear in the car, a wise move with four stations active as there may not have been enough chaser contacts or sufficient free spectrum to go round....

Later in a restaurant on Pfander: L-R Phil G4OBK, Herbert OE9HRV, Peter OK1CZ, Ed DD5LP (Nick G4OOE took the photo)
After our activations Herbert phoned a local restaurant on the side of the hill and we made our way there to enjoy beers and an excellent meal. We met up again with Ed DD5LP the next day, after the show, when we activated another summit together in the German Low Mountain region - see my next blog... (Link to BW-349 Aacheck & BW-350 Rinkenberg)

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