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

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