Hello and Welcome!

Hello and welcome! I'm Dzianis, a licensed radio ham holding the callsign DD1LD. I love to take this hobby with me wherever I may roam. The blog "QTC de DD1LD" means "Messages From Me" and reflects my ham radio activities and projects. I barely have time to write everything down, so I blog occasionally, and mainly, for myself. You can subscribe to the blog below to receive updates when new posts are available. 73 and enjoy reading!

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GoGreen XOTA

GoGreen XOTA? What on earth does it mean? There are thousands of ham radio operating awards available, some of them offer a great way to...

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Recharge Day in Mangfall Alps, SOTA DL/MF-061 and MF-062

April 27th, 2021.

It was a long, relaxed and gorgeous SOTA tour in the Mangfall Mountains together with Andy, DL2DVE, which will be remembered for a long time.  Spontaneously the day before we decided to activate the two summits MF-061 and MF-062 on this sunny but cool day.  One of these beautiful mountains (or even both) will sooner or later fall victim to P150. So we wanted to take the chance to put our names on the "Activator Roll of Honour" 😀 for both summits before that happens.

We started from the Tunnelberg (Sudelfeldstraße) at around 7:00 UTC and arrived at the Riesenkopf, DL/MF-061, 1337m via the long nice north trail at 9:30 UTC. There were a few walkers up there. While Andy was enjoying himself with the public work to educate all the curious folks about SOTA and ham radio, I quickly installed my station on the edge and got on the air.

View of the Wendelstein, DL/MF-079 from my operating spot on the Riesenkopf, DL/MF-061. 

I quickly scoured 30m and 40m bands and was on 20m when Andy finally started tuning his TRX on 20m. Well, I had to move (that was the deal with Andy) and decided to explore the 17m band, where I even succeeded to gather 4 QSOs. As soon as Andy changed to 30m I had one last run on 20m and QRTed with 40 QSOs in my log. The propagation was OK, the 40m band was weak. I stowed my station in the backpack, signed into the summit book, and rushed to Andy, who was still working through the last chasers on the opposite side of the mountain. We both got over 60 CW QSOs on 40/30/20/17m in 40 minutes of operating time.  Not bad at all!

View to the north from the Riesenkopf, DL/MF-061 through Andy's multiband GPA.

Walkers slowly flooded the summit, it was right time to leave this one and approach the next one, Rehleitenkopf, DL/MF-062, 1338m through the Riesenkopfalm (1176m). When we reached the summit an hour later, the question arose whether we should have lunch or go on the air first. We opted for the second option. We started CQing around 12:15 UTC and a short CW party started over. The propagation conditions worsened compared to noon. So there was no DX. After 40 minutes of operation we starved to death and took a long lunch break.  I only had 27 QSOs on my log 😐 when I chose to QRT .  

My operating spot on the Rehleitenkopf, DL/MF-062 on this hazy late afternoon. 
A mandatory entry in the summit book was also a must.  

We prepared our meal quickly but with love, made ourselves comfortable on the sunny mountain top and enjoyed the delicious food, fresh-smelling coffee and the great view... And we were alone on the summit the whole time!  ✌ The summit was ours! After lunch, as a tribute to the SOTA community 😀, Andy had one final run on 40m to collect the last of the chasers. Altogether we logged around 55 QSOs in CW on 40/30/20/17m from DL/MF-062. 

Enjoy, relax and recharge...  

Finally, we packed up and descended to the parking spot at the Tunnelberg, past the Hirschnagel and Riesenkopf. We arrived at the parking lot at 16:00(+) UTC, completely mentally relaxed and deeply satisfied with the tour. We finished this SOTA expedition with a solid number of QSOs in CW, two unique activated summits, 8 SOTA activator points and a little over 1000 altitude meters for each of us. What a recharge day and a gorgeous tour!  

Mni tnx all chasers fer QSO! 73 de Dzianis, DD1LD/P

Sunday, April 25, 2021

GoGreen (Re)Activation of DLFF-0706

The original plan was to activate something new and unique far from home. And the plan had to be changed the day before. Therefore, a long story short, the best choice under new circumstances was to reactivate the DLFF-0706 and GMA DA/AV-384.

I operated from the same spot as last year.  This time I threw the EFHW antenna over a tree branch instead of using a rod. It gave me a few feet more height compared to. I made myself comfortable in front of a great view of Lake Egglburg and looked forward to a nice pile-up.  My QRP signal went on the air on 20m at ~ 9:30 UTC.

GoGreen reactivation of DLFF-0706 and DA/AV-384.

I tell you it was a tough job! Bad propagation conditions in combination with deep QSB led to a QSO number just over 100 within 2 hours of the actual operating time.  The 20m band was fairy open, I got NA, Asian Russia and a nice run series to Scandinavia and Spain in the log. And that was it!  Running 30m was a tedious undertaking.  The 40m band was probably in its worst shape I can remember?!  So the job was to scrub all sorts of QSOs. The running rate was low and I had enough time to empty my coffee thermos between CQ calls. I was happy to have passed the 100 QSO mark to claim this QSO collecting action as a paramount GoGreen activation requiring a minimum of 100 QSOs. I succeeded, but I wasn't that happy 😬.  Well, a lot of new hunters / callsigns that I haven't worked yet from this nature reserve were a good accomplishment on 20m. 

My operating spot in front of a great view of Lake Egglburg.

(Un)fortunately I was expected somewhere else and had to QRT and leave at 12:30 PM UTC. The bike ride through the Ebersberg forest was awesome as always! In the late afternoon I enjoyed some other more joyful and relaxing outdoor activities 😈. There were many WWFF and COTA activations on this sunny Sunday.  I was wondering how they were doing?! Let's see their feedback... 

Short summary and statistics for DD1LD/P:

  • Date: April 25th, 2021
  • Equipment: QRP (5W) + EFHW
  • Operating time: ~2 hours
  • Participation time: ~3 hours
  • QSOs: 104 in total with 20m – 51%, 30m – 19%, 40m – 30%
  • DXCC worked: 29 
  • Top countries worked: UR, OH and SP 
  • Continents worked: 3
  • DX: KD1, RA0
  • GMA reference: DA/AV-384, Kirchberg
  • GMA activator points: 5
  • WWFF reference: DLFF-0706, Vogelfreistätte Egglburger See.
  • WWFF-valid QSOs: 102 (w/o dupes)
  • Unique callsigns: 90
  • WWFF activator points: 2
  • GoGreen: yes, paramount activation
  • Cycled distance: ~40 km

Mni tnx all chasers and activators fer QSO!

73, 77 de Dzianis, DD1LD/P 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

GoGreen (Re)Activation of DLFF-0755

Our 4 year old Kirian just got a brand new mountain bike and wanted to go for a long ride with his father. This was music in my ears 😎. The distance to the bird nature reserve DLFF-0755 from our QTH and back would be a little over 20km, so I thought this would be a nice ride for the boy (actually he made this distance last year). I recently invested in some new equipment and made some changes to the mobile radio station, so it would be a good opportunity to test the setup before the GoGreen season begins. My pervious GoGreen activations of the DLFF-0755 reserve can be found HERE

Late in the morning, we arrived at the DLFF-0755 at the Ismaning reservoir, a large artificial lake close to Ismaning used as a source of water supply. I carefully chosen a location near a farmers road so as not to disturb the bird breeding, since some species of birds were already engaged into. For the sake of the birds, I couldn't use large trees in the middle of the reserve to stretch the antenna as high as possible, and this time too I had to use a 10m long pole. 

Pheasant roosters like royal guards patrolled their area in front of us

My goal was to get 100 QSOs at least. The start was quite tough due to the very poor propagation conditions on 20 and 30m. So, I had to spend most of the time on 40m.  The logbook slowly filled with QSOs so that I had enough time to watch the wildlife around us - a couple of pheasant roosters like royal guards patrolled their area in front of us, a couple of roe deer watched us curiously from a safe distance. The running rate improved noticeably in the afternoon when new waves of chasers called in. As I just passed the 170 QSO mark, the first big drops of an unannounced rain shower pattered around 😡. We were not prepared for it and had no choice but to pack and head home. Around 70% of the QSOs were on 40m, the CW to SSB ratio was ~50/50. Well, I'll probably have to focus on high bands next time to reach new chasers. The log has been submitted to both WWFF and GoGreen XOTA programs. 

The modified set-up with FT-857 and light ZS6BKW dipole worked perfectly, however, I see some room for improvement. I might need to consider some alternative options, especially for the aerial.  The homemade dipole works fine but still needs an antenna tuner to cover all of the bands.

Kirian was still full of energy when we returned. It's probably time for his first 30 km bike ride to the next XOTA. Let’s see...

Short summary and statistics for DD1LD/P:

  • Date: April 11th, 2021 
  • GoGreen distance: 20 km by bike
  • Equipment: 50W + homemade ZS6BKW
  • Participation time: 3.5 hours
  • Operation time: 2.5 hours
  • DXCC worked: 31
  • Top countries worked:  DL, SP, I, OH
  • Continents worked: 3 (EU, NA, AS)
  • DX: NA
  • WWFF areas: 1x reactivated
  • WWFF reference: DLFF-0755
  • WWFF-valid QSOs: 171
  • Unique callsigns: 160
  • WWFF activator points: 3 (+)
  • P2P: some 
  • Notes: 70% of QSOs on 40m, CW/SSB ~ 50/50. 

Mni tnx all chasers and activators fer QSO!

73, 77 de Dzianis, DD1LD/P

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Collecting SOTA Winter Bonus in Chiemgau Alps

Plagued by the longing for the Alps and the mountain idyll, I wanted to use some of the remaining vacation days for outdoor amateur radio activities in the local Alps. I was lucky enough to have two days of good weather to collect the winter bonus during SOTA activities. Winter always comes a little earlier in the Chiemgau Alps than in the rest of the foothills, and there were enough small, cozy mountains that I haven't activated yet.  I associate the Chiemgau Alps with leisurely, relaxed and relatively easy mountain tours where you can take your time for. And I needed some time to sort my thoughts out.

2021-03-30. Großstaffen, 1283m, DL/CG-027. 

I started from the Adersberg to train my legs a little and to do as much altitude as possible, and followed the mountain forest adventure trail (Bergwalderlebnisweg Staffen).  After an unspectacular difference in altitude of 700 meters, I reached the mountain top with a small summit cross around noon. As always, I logged into the summit book, briefly enjoyed the beautiful view of the Chiemsee, set up the station in peace and quiet, and threw a cozy CQ SOTA on the air. 

View of the Chiemsee on the way to Großstaffen, DL/CG-027.

The short half hour activity resulted in 28 QSOs on 20/30/40m with 2 summit-to-summit QSOs and 7 SOTA points. The highlight was a QSO with TA2. Usually there aren't that many chasers at this time, around 1 PM local time. I still had an hour for lunch. I found a sunny spot on the southern slope and made myself a delicious soup with noodles and beef sausage. I tell you, nowhere does the food taste as good as in the mountains! 

 Enjoying a great view, hearty food, sunny weather and fresh air.

2021-03-31. Zinnkopf, 1227m, DL/CG-065 and Zeller Berg, 1065m, DL/CG-106.

Since I was busy doing other things in the morning, I had to go on this tour quite late. I parked in Ruhpolding in Speck and targeted the Zinnkopf, DL/CG-065 first. It was an easy hike with some large and deep snow fields at the top. Arrived at 1 PM, I made myself comfortable on a wooden bench for half an hour activation, which brought me 30 QSOs with 4 summit-to-summit QSOs and 7 SOTA points. 

My operating spot on the Zinnkopf, DL/CG-065, 1227m. Chiemsee in the background. 

After a quick lunch I continued my expedition to the Zeller Berg, DL/CG-106. This small summit offers a wonderful view of Ruhpolding. Neither time nor operating point were optimal, but I easily managed to collect 24 QSOs including 2 QSOs from summit to summit within 40 minutes of operating time. 

My operating spot on the Zeller Berg, DL/CG-106, 1065m. Ruhpolding view.

The activation earned me 5 SOTA points. The most beautiful part of the hike was the ridge walk from the south summit to the north summit.  Both have small summit crosses with summit books that I have routinely logged into. 

Short Summary. 

Two beautiful half days in the Chiemgau mountains led to 3 unique QRP activations through 82 CW QSOs and 10 (summit points) + 9 (winter bonus points) = 19 alpine SOTA points. SOTA activations went as usual. The propagation was OK but not enough for DX. Very few hikers were on the way. The weather was great for two days.  

73 de Dzianis, DD1LD

Monday, February 22, 2021

Activities during COVID lockdown 2020/21

Long time, no news? OK, short update. 

Unfortunately, I had to reduce my outdoor ham radio activities during the second COVID-19 lockdown at the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021. All this around the COVOD-19 pandemic affects our daily life and business, and I've been busy doing things that I would never have done without it... There was not much free time for amateur radio activities both outdoors and indoors.  Well, I still was able to do some SOTA tours in the German alps while trying to escape crowded summits. And of course, taking many walks with my family through fields and forests around my hometown brightened our life in lockdown. There is a short summary. 

2021-02-20Schwarzenkopf 1464m
2020-12-29Grueneck 1395m
2020-11-27Leonhardstein 1452m
2020-11-27Filzenkogel 1444m
2020-11-22Reitstein 1518m
2020-11-15Schafreiter 2101m
2020-09-20Schoenberg 1620m
2020-09-12Platteneck 1617m

2020-09-12. Platteneck, DL/MF-106. Family and social activity to the Königsalm, 1115m. Lonely pathless walk to the Platteneck from there for a quick SOTA activation. All hikers gathered like ants on the Schildenstein (deleted SOTA reference) while I enjoyed my solitude on the Platteneck. 

2020-09-20. Schoenberg, DL/MF-018. Joint tour together with Andy, DL2DVE. Nice weather and nice view from the top. The summit top is in a bad condition because of the cattle, can be pretty crowded. 

2020-11-15. Schafreiter, DL/KW-035.  Hiked 6km and 1200m of altitude in 1 and 3/4 hours. As always, the summit was pretty crowded. Every mountaineer in Munich believes that he has to climb this summit at least once. Magnificent view of the Karwendel from above. 

Operating spot on DL/KW-035.
Operating spot on DL/KW-035 just below the summit cross.

View of the Karwendel from Schafreiter, DL/KW-035.
So many summits to activate and so little time! 

2020-11-22. Reitstein, DL/MF-003. Beautiful relaxing SOTA and bushcraft tour together with Andy, DL2DVE with plenty of time for CQing and experimenting. The summit is not visited that often. It was one of those tours that will be remembered for a long time 👍. 

Andy, DL2DVE/P CQing on the Reitstein, DL/MF-003.

2020-11-27. Leonhardstein, DL/MF-105 and Filzenkogel, DL/MF-104.  Quick tour in the late afternoon to avoid the crowd of hikers on the Leonhardstein. Spontaneously on the way back I decided to activate the wild Filzenkogel. I came back to the car on a wintry and frosty sunset with a double activation in my log.  

Late afternoon activation of the Leonhardstein, DL/MF-105.
Summit book.

2020-12-29. Grüneck, DL/MF-106. Nice lonely walk in deep snow. I didn't meet any hikers all day.  There is almost no view from above. By the way, recorded tracks are available on request for both MF-104 and MF-106, I just don't want to publish them on the internet to give the wildlife some rest.  

2021-02-20. Schwarzenkopf, DL/MF-111. Pretty hard tour in deep snow together with Andy, DL2DVE and Kirian. This is one of those mountains that you only want (and need) to climb once. Tough radio operation with a lot of CQing and a pretty low number of chasers involved?! That was the last summit around the Spitzingsee that I didn't activate. Now it's done. So, I'm glad not to go there for a while to avoid hordes of cars with day trippers from Munich. I'm looking forward to enjoying my GoGreen activities.  

Hope to meet you on the air soon! 73 de Dzianis, DD1LD.