Thursday, 23 April 2015

EA6/MA-035 Puig de Sant Salvador SOTA Activation & Preamble

Every year Ryedale Walking Group go on a walking holiday to warmer climes. Out of the 90 current paid up members 5 of us are licensed radio amateurs. Three of us came on this tour, Phil G4OBK, Nick G4OOE and Dave G3TQQ. I try to influence the destinations where the walking group head to for the annual overseas tour and I usually succeed as I am the lead organiser. This year I was able assisted in the organisation work by club member Anne Barlow, who is a non-ham, and my XYL Judy. Destinations with SOTA in mind are always favoured... This year (now that an EA6 P150 SOTA Association has been established), we chose Mallorca.  The Island has 66 summits of varying difficulty, and at the time of our tour most of those 66 summits had never been activated for Summits On The Air. 

Thanks to Rob DM1CM for the SOTA Map Project from where this map is taken
All 3 operators carried Yaesu FT-817ND 5 watt transceivers with external batteries, with 5 metre long travel poles to support our link dipoles for 17m through to the 40m HF bands. A small car was hired through Holiday Autos and we split the hire, insurance and fuel cost between us. Our package holiday operator was Jet 2, and we stayed at The Romantic Hotel in Port de Pollenca. We flew from Leeds to Palma and had no problems carrying our equipment and batteries through security as hand luggage, although we did get searched and the radio equipment was checked, more stringently at Palma on our way home.

Nick G4OOE did most of the driving on Mallorca  - we covered over 600 Km in the 8 days we had the use of the car. For navigation we used the OSMAND app on a tablet, the Walk! Mallorca Tour & Trail Map by David Brawn (which covers the Tramuntana mountain range), and a Garmin GPSMap62s preloaded with Open Street Map. We were grateful for some useful advice from Juerg Regli HB9BIN and Martin Roth DF3MC, our Swiss and German friends, who had kindly provided us with some information and GPS tracks indicating how they had accessed the Mallorcan summits they had recently activated. Some of these summits were on our target list. 

Our activations took place over a 7 day period as part of a 10 day walking holiday. 14 summits in all were activated, mostly in a multi-operator format with two QRP stations on the air at the same time from the same summit:

DATE           SOTA REF    GRADE                          NAME

23/04/2015  EA6/MA-035  Drive on (easy)              Puig de Sant Salvador 
23/04/2015  EA6/MA-032  Drive on (easy)              Santuari de Cura
23/04/2015  EA6/MA-056  Drive on (easy)              Puig de Bonany
23/04/2015  EA6/MA-044  Almost drive on (easy)   Talaia d'Albertcutx

Car park and monastery on the summit of EA6/MA-035
G4OOE and G3TQQ operating on 7 MHz and 14 MHz from MA-035
The most southerly Mallorcan summit, MA-035 is situated a few miles south east of Felanitx and is a "drive on" summit. The monastery (now a hotel) and the large statue of Christ here is a popular destination for tourists. We set up two stations. Nick and Dave worked together above a picnic area, out of the way of the public. Whilst I set up my station around 200m from them down a small set of concrete steps off the main car park, using a road sign to support my pole:

Our first activation lasted 42 minutes and between us coincidently, we made 42 QSOs!

I personally made 25 QSOs on 10/14/18 MHz and this map link provided by my friend Christophe ON6ZQ shows the locations of the stations contacted: Log2Map

(EA6/MA-032 follows)

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