Considering my last SOTA activation in 11m was well recieved, I decided to activate another peak in the Carpathian Mountains; this time it’s the Omu peak, code YO/MC-006 in the SOTA watchlist, 2508m high, rated 10 points, KN25RK locator. The “Omu” peak (transl. = “The Man”) is the highest point in the Bucegi Massif and the 11th in the country, at the very top there is a 7 meter tall rock with a hut built right next to it and nearby is the Omu Weather Station, the highest permanently inhabited point in Romania.


I will use the same K-PO DX 5000 transciever with 15W output in SSB, a quad loop antenna and a 12V/7.2Ah rechargable batery wich should provide about 4 hours of continuous operation. Main frequency will be 27,515 MHz, secondary 27,655 MHz (both USB), and the callsign will be 233RC/MC06. I will be up in the montains from the 17th until the 22nd of July, but this activation will take place most probably on 19 or 20 around 9:00 – 14:00 UTC; also I will try to activate another peak if possible, as well as be active in the evenings under 233RC103/QRP.

233RC/MC015 activation finished


And I have finished and I’m back home. 233RC/MC015 SOTA activation is done, 38 contacts in the log, a new division for me (115), a S2S contact (14CRX/FPO084), tired and a bit sunburned. Also alot of things learned from this new experience for me, wich will be really useful next time. First of all, some pictures I ahve managed to take on the way. Here’s how the Caraiman peak looks from Busteni, the closest city:

And here’s how I got up there: the aerial tramway that got me from about 850m to 2200m of altitude, it truly looks like the way to the sky.

A view from the Babele plateau at 2200m:

And finally the antenna installed on the Caraiman peak at 2384m height (actually a few meters less, because i wasn’t on the very top):

When the clouds cleared, you could see the Caraiman Cross:

The transciever used was the K-PO DX 5000, wich I found out not to be the best for SOTA as it is rather bulky and takes up space in the bag. Other than that it was great, the integrated SWR meter and supply voltage monitoring are very useful tools for portable operation, and the adjustable power output up to over 15W in SSB was a decent tradeoff. Sometimes i wished for a 100W transciever, but looking back at the 4 hours of activation-style operation (almost 50/50 tx/rx cycle) available from the 7.2Ah battery I think it was worth it to lose a few contacts in order to gain much more operation time.

The antenna was a quad loop built from 2 fishing sticks, one was 6.8m and the other 2.8m; I have used double 0.5mm wire from UTP cable for the loop, wich was strong enough not to break in the wind (even if the antenna was turned by the wind, wich was a real problem I didn’t foresee). At first I have tested with vertical polarisation (fed on one side corner) and the noise was at S3 even on the mountain top and I had SWR 2.5 (normal for a vertical polarised loop), then I switched to horizontal polarisation (fed the antenna at the bottom corner), the noise went away and SWR was down to 1.1, plus the gain is higher and the lobes are better for DX.

Log for the activation: 233RC-MC015-log



This weekend (08 – 10.06.2012) I will try to activate the Caraiman Peak in Carpathian mountains: 2384 meters high, KN25RK locator, code YO/MC-015 and rated 10 points in the SOTA list. It is famous for the “Caraiman Cross”  – a huge illuminated monument built after World War I visible from very far, as well as for the weird-looking rock formations called “Babele” (The Old Ladies) and “Sfinxul” (The Sphynx).

Equipment used will be K-PO DX 5000 transciever at 20W output, quad loop antenna (also known as “Bamby”) and 12V / 7.2Ah rechargeable battery; main working frequency will be 27.515 MHz and secondary will be 27.655 MHz, both in USB. Callsign for this activation is 233RC/MC015, activated and managed by me 233RC103 – George; for info pls email [my_callsign]@gmail.com.