Big weekend! Thanks to a spark from HL2OLP about a month back regarding an immediate goal of his to activate all 11 summits in the Seoul Metropolitan area (fairly reasonable), especially since after a year of SOTA in Korea they all haven’t been activated yet (one would think that region would be the first to be “ticked off the list” for most given the local demographic.
Me thought to myself that along the same lines why wouldn’t it be possible to stick an activator on each of those eleven summits for an afternoon and make some QRM? Well, the idea took off, and while we didn’t fill up the region 100% we did create quite a racket!
We lost a couple of activators at the very last minute due to a quick date change (rain was scheduled for Sunday the 3rd, so we moved back one day to beat it), but there were also a few random appearances on the hills (not necessarily all in Seoul) but welcome none the less.
Another fun facet of such an event is the points potential, for everybody, not only a wide selection of activators to work from home for the chasers but S2S galore–it was basically a big party on the air–hell, even the cops came! DS1DAT was asked to leave the premises by the military police on HL/SL-004 Inwangsan (military area, open to the public six days a week). That’s pretty much a crap-shoot–nobody bothered me last year when I set up a big honkin’ Yagi up there in the evening (delivered that very same afternoon by DAT himself!).
I chose from the leftovers HL/SL-003 용마산 to activate with F4AAR Laurent–a hill which I had had yet to visit, not terribly low (though low enough to bring full QRO gear). F4AAR brought his newly acquired toy, an SDR radio (a Flex 1500) to do some testing in a hopefully less noisy environment than his flat.
We did have a decent party going on up there, a bunch QSOs in three languages, loads of S2S action, a bottle of red, a freshly made liver mousse as well as some garlic flavored frischkaese. Even though the kit was QRO, the majority of contacts were QRP, thanks to the 5 segment colinnear, we were reaching over into Gangwon-do and down into Chungcheonnam-do.
2차 was happening downtown at a nice charcoal grilled 닭갈비 place (friend’s resto) where propoganda and awards were given out to the top contact makers who showed up–a special edition SOTA hanji pencil cup designed and executed by N5ATY. DS1RDJ took the cake for the top activator (some might imply she has an unfair advantage, all the guys wanting to get a QSO with her….;) with HL1KFB coming in second of those at the restaurant.
After filling up there, we headed through a park and over to a beer joint for 3차, where the imbibing continued on well on after we had to go to catch our (almost last) bus back down to Iksan.
The consensus is that the event was a success, with a lot of people having a lot of fun, likewise with the meet-up afterwards to see all the various activators’ faces in person in one place. It’s safe to say that this will become an annual tradition every year in July for the HL SOTA Association’s birthday! See you next year on the air in Seoul! (Actually, probably much sooner than that…!)
In an attempt to get some better DX, specifically on 40m, I planned a night time activation for Sunday night on Oseongsan, out by Gunsan IC. The site was chosen for ease of night access, as it has a carraigeway almost up to the top, to the point of where the weather radar is located. The rest of the ascent is a short walk to a memorial. Also, DS4QBE was to join me later (after dark).
I actually had a later start than previewed, so my departure was after dark, but after arrival at the parking lot, summit access was easy, first going up to check it out and plot where to set up, then afterwards bringing up all the gear from the car (including an extra car battery to use to power the operation).
The summit was qualified on 40m, all four contacts with Japanese stations, including a certain JR9NVB who has had previous contact with DS1SED! The following five contacts were performed on 2m, mostly long distance (except with DS4QBE who was on his way to meet me) to the Seoul area, and I had one partial contact reaching down to Jeju Island with a mobile station before he faded out after managing to only exchange calls ;(
In the end, it was a relaxing and fun night, with QBE arriving on site shortly before 11pm, with some HF and VHF ‘dx’ we didn’t actually leave until quarter to two, after breaking down the equipment. The is (was?) a geocache on site also, but this was not found, despite QBE’s best attemps in the dark.
Had a nice leisurely stroll (!) up Daedunsan early this morning (before the cable car was open) to find this modern monolith on the summit….
Squirrels On The Air? (yeah, I know it’s not a squirrel, but how could I resist?)
Time for a Sunday walk–went up to 미륵산 with the new Yagi antenna from DS1DFK. I wanted to take advantage of the more leisurely situation and try making some SSB contacts. I tried calling CQ a couple of different times on different frequencies but to no avail. I then whipped out a bungee to change the polarization of the antenna, called CQ then got a steady stream of takers for the next few hours.
For the whole operation I was running 10 watts to extend battery life, and acheived some moderate distances, in addition to some QSOs around town, despite the antenna pointing away (even at 90 degrees off). The site for the morning was just a bit down from the main summit, on a mini-summit which had an alternate path around it, greatly reducing the traffic around me (but that didn’t stop some from letting a ya-ho loose from where I was…).
Here are some details from Sunday’s activation. QSL cards will be later inserted when they arrive…