Monday, 8 September 2014

Day Four CT7/G4OBK Algarve SOTA: AL-003

Day Four: 7th September 2014

CT/AL-003 Serra do Monte Figo QRV 1110Z - 1204Z

My international QSL Card for SOTA Operations
There was one summit activation left to complete the four day mission. We decided to combine this with a sightseeing visit to Tavira, an old town near to the Spanish Border. We used the Motorway part way and then turned off to pass through the towns of Loule and Sao Bras de Alportel - from where the summit could be seen some 7 Km away. The summit was the furthest one from our hotel in Carvoeiro, and had the hire car been collected from Faro airport some 10 Km to the south west of the summit the Serra do Monte Figo would have lent itself to an activation on either our arrival or departure day. This for us was not possible as we had booked a package holiday. This included minibus transfers from Faro to Carvoeiro. Our car was hired for 5 days through Holiday Autos in our resort and was reasonably priced. From experience collecting a car from the airport is generally more expensive. I believe the hire firms factor in the cost of transfer to the hotel into the hire charges... 

I had the benefit again of reading the blog report which Gerald G4OIG had written up on the Summitsbase Website for most of the summits in the Algarve, so I knew that AL-003 was another "drive on" activation. The summit and antenna farm basically was bristling with antennas and transmitter buildings.  Another of the extremely large climbable trig points was also there, which I again used to support my inverted vee link dipole. Sadly the trig point had been defaced with graffiti:

Fishing pole fixed to trigpoint ladder on AL-003 - so the dipole top was at an increased height
The weather stayed fine for the 45 minute operation with the first contact being Summit to Summit to David G3RDQ/P on holiday up north on the summit of G/NP-015 Great Knoutberry Hill in the Yorkshire Dales. This was on 30m CW, a great start to my ninth and final activation in the region. At 1145z I was called on 20m SSB by my friend Terry G0VWP in York who wins the prize for being the only station to make contact with me on all nine summits.

The summit was crammed with antennae - pictures taken on either side of the trig point
I packed up the gear and we headed off to Tevira for our lunch. The hire car was returned the next day undamaged and we reverted to "normal tourist mode" for the remainder of our stay in Portugal. I would certainly return to the country for more SOTA operation, and will be considering visiting the CT/ES Estremadura Region which is near to Lisbon next. I can certainly recommend visiting the Algarve for SOTA, with all summits being easily accessible by car or easily on foot. 

Band - Mode (QSOs): 30m CW (6) 20m CW (10) 20m SSB (7) 17m CW (7) 17m SSB (7)
Total contacts: 37          S2S QSOs = 1 (G3RDQ/P G/NP-015) 

The Vital Statistics of this Tour:

Unique summits activated on Portugal over four days: 9
Total Contacts: 369
Time on air: 6 hours 19 mins (One QSO per minute)
Summit to Summit Contacts: 16
SOTA Completes: 4 already chased out of the 9 activated
Amateur bands used: 10 MHz (30m) - 14 MHz (20m) - 18 MHz (17m) 
CT7/G4OBK/P Phone (SSB) Contacts: 164
CT7/G4OBK/P Morse (CW) Contacts: 205
DXCC Countries worked: 27 (30m 11) (20m 22) (17m 18) Best DX: USA (17m only)

Acknowledgment of information sources and help:

The SOTA Management Team
Gerald's G4OIG Summitsbase reports
DM1CM SOTA Mapping Project
Open Street Map
Roy CW-G4SSH & Mike SSB-G6TUH  for the greatest help spotting on SOTAWatch

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