Tuesday, September 23, 2014

PE4BAS from Rensumaborg (PA-00009)

Bas PE4BAS activated PA-00009 Rensumaborg in two visits earlier this month. Working QRP he logged 61 different stations. 

He wrote a short post on his activity that can be found here: http://pe4bas.blogspot.com/2014/09/fieldday-fun-at-rensumaborg-cota-pa.html

Friday, May 2, 2014

World Castles Weekend 2014

If you are interested in chasing or activating castles then mark the following weekend in your agenda:

14 & 15 June 2014: World Castles Weekend 2014

The weekend is organised by the World Castles Activity Group. More information about this weekend can be found on the WCAG website.
There are special awards available for this weekend. Of course there are also the "regular" awards to collect both from the WCAG (WCA for chasers - WCAA for activators) or our local COTA-PA awards

Let us know if you plan to go out to activate a castle and we will make sure your activity is communicated to the chaser community. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kinkelenburg castle PA-00130 by PH0NO

Winter wonderland in Bemmel

Yesterday I activated PA-00130 (Kinkelenburg). Kinkelenburg is situated in the village of Bemmel and features an early 15th century tower.

PA-00130 - Kinkelenburg
Using Google Maps I found a spot within 1km from the castle towards the Waal river. The snow gave this quiet area a nice aura. The only downside was that I was freezing my hands off when setting up the antennas - as I forgot to bring gloves

Conditions on 20m were rather poor. I did see spots on 15m indicating contacts between EU and NA but I did not bring my 15m antenna with me. I stayed on 20m for almost one and a half hours logging only 54 calls. DX came in from the east only with EX8, UK8 and 4Z.
/P in the snow at PA-00130
It took me some time to set up my inverted V for 40m as my fibreglass pole segments were frozen together on several places. When I did get on the air again I found that 40m was quite lively. The first frequency I chose seemed clear but I was greeted with constant S9 QRN after about 15 minutes. So I changed to another frequency where QRM was around S7 "only".
Inverted V for 40m up in the air
Skip distance was rather peculiar as Gx stations boomed in but I could only copy - with a lot of difficulty - one DL station. DL OMs normally make up a fair share of the 40m contacts. I know there were more but I just could not hear them (sorry guys). In the hour I was on 40m I logged 50 more calls - most of them at 59+10 (actually only "+" on my FT-857). There was no real DX on this band but I did log a new band DXCC when GJ6TMM came by. I worked GJ before on 40m but I was on holiday in F at the time.

Logging more than 100 contacts with some time in between to have a proper QSO made this another pleasant /P activity. I did have to face one last challenge re. the frozen fibreglass pole. With a lot of patience and some brute force I managed to loosen some of the frozen segments of my fibreglass pole so I could fit it in the car to drive to a warm home. 

See you on the next activity.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Activation of PA-00007 by PE4BAS

Participating in the "Happy Birthday" weekend, Bas PE4BAS activated PA-00007 Menkemaborg on Saturday Jan 19. He was on the air for an hour working QRP with a mobile whip antenna. Bas managed to log 19 contacts. 

PE4BAS at PA-00007
As this castle is near to his QRL he will be re-activating the castle this week a couple of times during his lunch break (11-12 UTC) aiming to at least log 50 castle hunters.

You can find his latest activity report here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

PA castle list extended

60 "new" castles @ Gelderland added

In preparation of the 4 year anniversary of the World Castle Award next weekend, I forced myself to update the reference list with the castles in the province of Gelderland. We now have 190 castles ready for activation.

The new list is available for download here. I plan to update the Google Maps file later this week.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Castle award weekend on Jan 19 & 20

Celebrating the 4th anniversary of the World Castle Award

If you are planning to activate a castle any time soon you might as well note the weekend of 19 and 20 January in your diary. That weekend WCA celebrates its 4 year anniversary.

Note by RN1CW (WCA-coordinator):
On January, 14th will be four years sharp since the date of World Castles Award Program foundation.
In connection with this event on January, 19th and 20th, will take place activity radiohams from castles and fortresses of the world - WCA Happy Birth Day (WCA HBD).
At present we have support from radiohams of some countries who will be active from castles and fortresses their own countries during these days.

The COTA-PA list of references still does not cover all of PA. If you are looking to activate in a specific region not yet covered by the list, let us know and we will make sure any valid objects are added to the list prior to your activity.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Activating Maarsbergen castle

More than 2 hours on three bands at PA-00110 and PAFF-018

With a gap in my schedule I was able to head over to Maarsbergen last Monday. The castle near that town is situated within the nature park Utrechtse Heuvelrug. This makes activating it even more interesting (combining PAFF and COTA-PA). PAFF-018 was already activated three times before (twice by me) but I thought the combination might make it worth contacting for enough hams "out there".
Kasteel Maarsbergen
The castle is privately owned and not open to the public. It was built in 1660 and is officially registered as monument.

I did not plan this activation so I was driving around the castle grounds to find a quiet place suitable for a portable ham. To my surprise I quickly found two usable spots and chose one just outside the castle grounds (in front of a stately gate). 

PH0NO/P in the snow
This day was the first day it snowed in the area. This makes for nice views but also freezing hands when you try to set up an inverted V. My phone told me there was activity on 15m so I decided to start there using my end fed set up vertically. However 15m turned out to be rather quiet. After 3 contacts I already changed the antenna to my 20m end fed. In the next 50 minutes I logged 58 contacts. Then when 20m started to slow down I went out into the snow to set up my 40m inverted V. The performance of this antenna still pleases me a great deal. It was busy but QRM was manageable. I stayed on 40m for more than an hour to log more than 120 contacts.
All in all I logged 185 contacts in just over 2 hours of radio time - which shows it was interesting enough indeed. DX was sparse due to poor conditions and came in from the W1/2 (MA, NY), 4X and R9. Graziano IW2NXI and Lada OK2PAY made the trip on two bands.

Thanks all for stopping by.

Cross posted on http://www.pa-ff.nl