08/06/2017

EA6/MA-042 (Puig de Caldent)

20/May/2017    EA6/MA-042 (Puig de Caldent)

Puig de Caldent is on the left

For my last summit I wanted to do another FIRST activation, to end my trip in beauty ;-)
I had been looking at this summit at home in Belgium, and looked at the dirt road leading to the start of the track several times with Google Streetview. It seemed possible to drive, with the shortest approach coming from the north.

So, coming from my previous summit (EA6/MA-032, Santuari de Cura), I took the MA-5010 north, all the way to the city of Algaida. At   39.555735, 2.894272  I went left into the Carrer des Sol , which then becomes the Camí de son Miquel Joan, and at 39.546330, 2.886581 a smaller road goes left to a point called "Son Roig", after which the road turns into a dirt road. 
It's in very bad state, but driving slowly will get you to the parking space for just 1 car at  39.5275, 2.88837

Place for just one small car
A few meters further is the start of the track (find my track on the SMP page).

Start of track
The track is not too difficult, but overgrown in places, and it has its own "limbo tree".

Another limbo tree ;-)
It took me only 10 minutes to get to the summit, and once arrived I remembered to place a marker for the return trip. This summit has no radio towers or buildings, and whichever direction you look, all rocks look the same, hi.

So it is important that you remember at which side of the summit is the path you came up along.
After setting up and activating, the sun will have moved a little and may confuse you.
So I made a "stone man"of my own ... maybe it's still there when the next activator goes there ?
Let me know ... 

Stone man ... ON7DQ style

From this summit you have a nice view of nearby summit Santuari de Cura, where I was in the morning.

Santuari de Cura nearby

I set up my antenna exactly in the middle of the summit, since no obstacles are present. Also no electrical noise there ... wonderful !

Antenna on Puig de Caldent

There are no trees on the summit, just some shrubs. So I could only find a little bit of shade for the radio and myself. And for CW ... I used the clothespeg paddle again.


Using the EA2BD style paddle for my last activation !
As for the results of the activation, I made 46 QSO's, exactly the same number as I had in the morning !
And I made 1 S2S contact ... with Belgium ! Francois ON5SWA was on ON/ON-024. 

So, as they say .... tired but very happy , I left the summit and went to my B&B to prepare for the flight back on May 21. 

View of the Serra de Tramuntana from my last summit

This was the last of my activation reports for my 2017 Mallorca trip, I hope you enjoyed reading, and that the info is useful for future activators.

73 charito charito Mallorca !
Luc, ON7DQ



EA6/MA-032 (Santuari de Cura)

20/May/2017    EA6/MA-032 (Santuari de Cura)

Approaching the summit from Llucmajor via the MA-5010

For my last day of SOTA, I selected two summits, both close to each other, but very different in difficulty.

EA6/MA-032 is another easy drive-up summit. I came from the south via Llucmajor, over the MA-5010, All is well indicated, and the road to the summit is easy. Lots of parking space too, so no problem.

The monastery and gardens are a nice tourist visit
Tourists will like the nice visit of the buildings and gardens. Read more about the history here :
The actual name of the summit is Puig de Randa.

Hams will of course have more admiration for the vast array of antennas on the summit, including the big radar radome.
Lots of antennas ...

Even inside the monastery, you might think you find more antennas. Doesn't this one look like a new design for a "Cross Field Antenna" ? I was tempted to connect my KX3 and see if it tuned up ... HI

New CFA design ?

After a short visit, it was time to set up for SOTA, the chasers were waiting ... and I wanted to do that second summit ! (read the final part of my Mallorca report for that).
I found a quiet spot away from the main access road, but couldn't get very far from from the radio towers, they are everywhere !
Still, I didn't experience any higher noise levels than ususal.

"Rock solid" copy from this spot ...

Antenna was the endfed, and I lifted the balun a little from ground with my backpack.


Trying to "stay under the radar" ...

I was happy to have a 2m contact with Ricardo, EA6AIF right away. After that I made a QSO on 40m SSB with Ricardo, and with his friend Lorenzo, EA6KB
They were doing a first activation of new summit EA6/MA-067, Puig de ses Vinyes. Nice !

Then I made a whole bunch of QSO's on HF, the counter stopped at 46 after approximately 90 minutes, not a bad result. Maybe this was all due to the "balun lifting" ?
Alas, it was time to move on to my next summit, so after a light meal (a tortilla and a beer), I went searching for my last summit on Mallorca ..  which would be a FIRST activation too, a nice way to end my trip !


Mmm ... food !

The restaurant is housed in the former library of the monastery, and is worth a visit by itself.

The terrace of the restaurant has a nice view over the area
(to be continued ...)

07/06/2017

EA6/MA-035 (Puig de Sant Salvador)

19/May/2017    EA6/MA-035 (Puig de Sant Salvador)

The cross on Puig de Sant Salvador .. it's not in the AZ  though !
For some people, Puig de Sant Salvador is known for it's large statue and cross, but as a ham, you won't easily forget the enormous amount of antennas ... and then this picture only shows half of the tower !

Anyone for another tasty dish ?

A few steps down from the parking lot (at pos 39.455510, 3.186586) is a number of picknick benches, some in wood, some in stone.
I chose the stone one which was furthest from the road, it looked like a perfect "shack on a summit", and the whole place was deserted, so very quiet, at least for a while ...

Doesn't that look like a nice operating desk ?

Yes it does ! Perfect !
So I set up the endfed, and started my activation. I did some SSB and CW and even made 4 QSO's in PSK31. Bands used were 7-10-14-18 MHz. 

And a very happy operator ...
After a while, even using headphones, there was so much noise and loud music on the road above me, I could hardly hear what was sent at the other end on my radio !

When it was around noon, a whole bunch of kids came down from from the road and occupied all benches around me to have their picknick. It wasn't until after the activation, and I went to my car that I found out what was really going on. There must have been a couple of hundred kids there, gathering for a rope skipping tournament ... why had this to be on the day of my activation ??


Rope skipping competion !
(to be continued ...)

06/06/2017

EA6/MA-080 (Puig de sa Font)



18/May/2017    EA6/MA-080 (Puig de sa Font)

Puig de sa Font near Son Servera

This is a fairly easy summit, located in the village of Son Servera, in the North-East of Mallorca.
I had the chance to do another first activation here.
There is ample parking space next to a school at 39.618217, 3.355557
(Note : you may have to ignore some "forbidden" signs to get there, like I did (only local traffic 'con tarjeta' allowed normally, just pretend you don't understand , hi)).

Go left before this wall, then right, following the gutter
A man walking his dog told me to take the path to the left because it was a paved rain gutter, and he was right. Walking this path was much easier than taking the dirt track running parallel to the gutter.
After a while the gutter ends, and from there, there is only one path to the top.
Following a couple of "stone man" indicators, the summit (pos 39.614869, 3.352544) was reached after less than 20 minutes.

Easy walking in the rain gutter ... as long as it doesn't rain !

There were a couple of radio towers on the summit, with solar panels providing the power. I had a lot of noise on all bands, and I suppose it came from the solar panel regulators, so try to set up as far from the towers as you can. 

Noise sources on the summit ...

Despite all the noise, I managed to make 31 QSO's ... mission accomplished !


EA6/ON7DQ/P on Puig de sa Font
My fishing pole against a beautiful sky ... can you spot the endfed wire ?

(to be continued ...)



EA6/MA-053 (Puig de son Seguí)

17/May/2017     EA6/MA-053 (Puig de son Seguí)

EA6/MA-053 (Puig de son Seguí)

If you haven't read the report on this one by Phil, G4OBK, read that one first !

Hilarious , isn't it ?
Of course I wasn't going to make the same mistake ... and I set off well prepared. I had "driven" the small road to the parking spot several times with Google Streetview. I always think, if the Google car can drive it, I can do it too !
But I had the same problem as before, I found the point where you go off the main road MA-3040 at 39.630800, 2.826375 into the Cami de Ses Coves.
But then my GPS told me to go back ... and said it was still 4km. I knew that couldn't be right, I was very close to my destination ...
So once again, putting the GPS in bicycle mode solved the problem ... and I found a nice parking spot at a house called "Son Maig" on the map, at position 39.623262, 2.826621

Parking spot
50m further is the start of the road to the summit. I say ROAD, because after I started walking,one car after the other passed me by ... so I guess if I had "blinked" for a second and supposed I hadn't seen the sign, I could as well have driven to the summit ... hi.

You can always say you didn't understand ... it's not in Spanish !

Still, the road was in good shape, and it was good excercise, walking time abt 30 minutes.
On the summit is a radio tower, and two men were  installing or adjusting some antennas.

Microwave SOTA ?

The massive trig point gives a lot of shade, which was very welcome because it was another hot day.
I had enough space for my link dipole, and I could have mounted it on top of the trig point, but I would not have had enough rope to fix the ends of the dipole in a decent angle, so I left it on the ground.


Link dipole near the massive trig point
Activation went well, and I was happy to log 2 DX contacts.
Here the map of mu QSO's  (from Log2Map by ON6ZQ):



After the activation, I did climb the "vertice" and it must have been the first time I could look DOWN on my antenna , hi.

Looking down on my antenna and operating spot

(to be continued ...)

    

05/06/2017

EA6/MA-056 (Puig de Bonany)

16/May/2017    EA6/MA-056 (Puig de Bonany)

Approaching EA6/MA-056 (Puig de Bonany)

Puig de Bonany is an easy drive-up summit, near the city of Petra.
The summit and monastery can be seen from a distance.
Apparently, the name comes from the custom that people went to the church to pray to the Virgin Mary, for a "Bon Any" .. a Good Year. Which on Mallorca means ... a lot of rain !
I guess we in Belgium have a different view on that, we would pray for the rain to stop ! HI


The road to the top is not difficult.
Parking is available at the monastary at 39.595031, 3.087741, and the path to the summit begins right behind it (go around the church at the right side).
After an almost level walk of 500m you will reach the summit marker at 39.591595, 3.083971.

Antenna in the sun ... Operation position in the shade

After a rather disappointing result the previous day (only 10 QSO's), this activation went exceptionally well, and netted a total of 59 QSO's, my best result on this trip.
Bands in use were 7 , 14 and 18 MHz, using both SSB and CW.

Here the map of my QSO's(from Log2Map by ON6ZQ):


CW was again with the "EA2BD" style wooden paddle (clothespeg).

EA2BD will be happy ! (but alas, I didn't work him)
The church of the monastery is worth a visit too.
As a HAM, you will be surprised to see that people in the Middle Ages already had radio towers !
Proof is found in one of the stained glass windows I saw in the church. See picture below , hi.

Stained glass window depicting a (religious?) radio tower ... 
After the activation I went to the beach again, and ended the day at the beach too, taking some nice sunset pictures ... so far for another nice SOTA day on Mallorca.


(to be continued ... )



EA6/MA-063 (Jaumell)

15/May/2017    EA6/MA-063 (Jaumell)


Easy looking little hill ...

On May 14th, I hadn't planned any SOTA activity, and made it a very relaxing Sunday ...
So I went to the beautiful beach at Cala Mesquida, near Capdepera.
There is free parking in the dead-end street at Bar Willies here 39.741003, 3.429405

Beach at Cala Mesquida


While at the beach, I could see a hill in the distance, with a small stone watchtower on top.
I wondered if it also was a SOTA summit ? Of course it was ! ... as I found out when I returned in my B&B.

At the beachfront, I had seen some sign with walking tours (for tourists), one of those seemed to go to this watchtower, so I took a picture of it.



I hadn't prepared for this summit, but because I used MA-065 on May 13 to replace a summit I had to cancel earlier, this looked to be a good candidate.

So on May 15, I went back to Cala Mesquida, but this time not for sunbathing or swimming ... now it was SOTA time !
The walk to the top seemed easy, but it took me about one hour to walk from my car to the summit (pos 39.738262, 3.451393). My track is on SMP.

A Swedish couple was going the same way, and they took a nice picture of me.

EA6/ON7DQ on Jaumell MA-063

The tower on the summit is really only half of what it had been, but this provided a nice shaded spot to operate.

Operating spot


My fishing pole was attached to the 'vertice' to hold my endfed as usual, and I started calling CQ on 20m SSB. Propagation was at it worst, and after two QSO's I switched to 20m CW.
When I had only one QSO after a long time, I switched to 30m which went a little better.
In total I only got 10 QSO's, the minimum number on my EA6 trip.
Here the map o my QSO's (from Log2Map by ON6ZQ), all were from the north, and about the same distance :



Antenna and nice view from the summit


(to be continued ...)