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.