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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Castle "Drakensteyn" - PA-00100 activated

On 25 Oct. 2012 I activated Castle "Drakensteyn" - PA-00100 during my activation of PAFF-054 "Vuursche".

This Castle is owned by the Dutch Queen,surrounded by a big fench and not visible at all.

It is near Utrecht and Hilversum, in the centre of the Netherlands.

I was active on 40 and 20m ssb, and made 140 QSO's in 120 minutes.

I used PA3EKE Hyendvedvertical, FT897D ( 50W ) and did this all on one 5000mAH LiPo.

Location was in a very wet forrest to be near the Castle.

73 de Hans PA3FYG/p

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Slot Zuylen PA-00114 activated by PH0NO

Friday I was over at Slot Zuylen (built in 1510) to activate the first castle in the province of Utrecht. Using 20m, 15m and 10m I logged 60 calls in about 90 minutes air time. 

More information on the activity can be found on my blog.

PA-00114 Slot Zuylen (Source: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New castle list COTA-PA online

Good news!

Today the first part of the revised COTA-PA object list has been released - both on this site as well as on the WCA site. At this moment the list contains all the objects in the provinces Drenthe, Groningen, Noord-Brabant and Utrecht - in total 130 objects including 4 previously activated castles.

This means that activities can take place in these areas as of today using the reference numbers in the new list.

If you plan to activate a castle or have activated a castle please email your info so we can update this site.

Lars / PH0NO 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New COTA-PA website

Welcome to the COTA-PA website!

This website is dedicated to putting COTA "on the map" in The Netherlands. It will in the near future contain all the relevant information you need to activate or chase a COTA-PA reference.