Aug 5, 2008

17 Beautiful Summer Holidays in HB0

We're back home again !

We have spent some very nice weeks in Liechtenstein. Enjoyed the great scenery, had delicious meals, walked the mountains, listened to music, slept day and night, build antennas, completely build a K2, played hamradio operator, or just
did nothing particular at all :).

Some very nice moments are engraved in our memories.

Where did we go exactly?

Location: Bergstation Sareiserjoch (2000mtr ASL)
City: Malbun (1600mtr ASL)
Country: Liechtenstein

See their website:
Or check the webcam:

So how did our newly build 7 el/50MHz yagi do?

Building yagi's

First the old reliable 5el/50MHz was setup on the cabin's 15mtr alumn mast. It is a 4.5mtr boomlength DK7ZB design. Form left to right: Aurelio/PC5A, Rens/PA3FGA, Mark/PA5MW.

Next we installed a portable alumn mast on the top of our mountain. The mast was being completely rotated. This required a top support bearing and a rugged construction at the rocky bottom to fix the rotor.

After many blood, sweat and sunburn, the antenna was finally raised late in the evening.

The coaxial feedline consisted of 20mtrs Ecoflex 15 (15mm diameter) and some 30mtrs hardline (35mm) into the cabin shack. Despite all these extreme low loss cables the new 9mtrs boomlength 7el long yagi antenna(design PA3FGA) was almost dead quiet, especially when compared to the second 5el yagi. The smaller front lobe and carefully designed minimal side/backlobes offered a lethal point & shoot antenna.

The 6m shack consisted of (from left to right): Create RC5A-3 rotor for 7el yagi, N1MM on laptop, Icom IC-746 inc Inrad filters +some mods, CDE Rotor for the 5el yagi, David Clark stereo Headphone, Bencher CW paddle, Kenwood MC-60, home made XXXL footswitch for PTT. The dx-cluster information was supplied via our local Linux packetnode (see earlier message june 10th).

And did the 7el/50Mhz work?

Yes it did!
Besides seeming 'dead quiet' it simply offered great dx which could not or hardly be heard on the smaller 5el. Now that is no real A/B comparison since the 5el is near the cabin (man made noise) and some mtrs lower. Anyway, we were ashtonished by the performance of the big-beast (portable, mind you !).
Switching between both antenna's showed between 6 and 10 dB difference
(what's in a number) according the stations we worked.
Weak (tropo) signal performance was simply stunning; almost every spot in Europe could be worked somehow whereas the smaller 5el showed nothing but noise.

Some statistics:
>620 QSO's on 50MHz
>50 countries

Callsigns used on 6m:
HB0/PC5A (op: Aurelio)
HB0/PA5MW (op: Mark)

Despite being near the end of the Es season we worked caribic stations like 9Y4, PJ2, KP4, KP3. We managed to get easy through the big EU pile-ups on first or second call. Some USA stations even have been worked during night hours. I worked dx I would only dream of at home. What a difference with all 50Mhz antennas we have tried there in the past!! Size does matter.

Bergstation Sareis, Malbun, LI. (HB0)
From left to right:
weather monitoring station, 7el/9mtr 50MHz PA3FGA yagi, 5el/4.5mtr 50MHz DK7ZB yagi, 20mtr commercial mast for domestic emergency communication.

Thanks to all of you who worked us !


Claudia (PA3FGA-YL) said...

Great entry, Mark!
But... you forgot to mention our surprisingly cool SOTA-activities :)) Or is that going to be the next blog-entry?


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Mark, PA5MW said...

Please note: After a recent overhaul, the mountain "Restaurant Sareis" does not offer any lodging anymore. Also the available mast(s) have been removed.
As such this site is now only applicable for backpack portable operations.