Category Archives: Madeira

SOTA CT3/MI-004 5th February 2015

Thursday 5th February 2015. CT3/MI-004

I was going to get up early.. but decided, looking out at the weather, I’d go back to bed for a little while smile I’d had the Tracer Battery on charge overnight, even though it was only about 1/3 used..

After breakfast, a final check I had everything, I jumped in the car, driving towards the middle of Funchal, to find the road up through Monte, on the way to CT3/MI-004.
Lots of windy roads, hairpin bends, all good fun (at least with not much traffic about!) The higher I got, the more the amount of water running down the sides of the road told me it wasn’t going to be a very dry day!

Soon I came to the junction, signposted to Pico do Areiro, and turned off, held up for a few moments by some workmen doing some logging work. Around half the way along the road, the clouds rolled in, visibility dropped to about 15m, and the ICE warning lit up on the dashboard!The thermometer showing 3C…
Eventually reaching the top, I missed the car park sign in the mist and ended up having to drive around the roundabout at the end, and back down to the car park.
Being such a nice day (not!), I think there were 4 cars in the car park! I parked close to the bottom, in order to do at least some walking up the hill!

Up the steps, past the cafe building it was impossible to even see the radar dome! I had a quick wander about, up the wheelchair ramp, up the steps to the ‘trig’, looking for somewhere suitable for the ‘shack’
ct3-mi-004eThere is a radar dome there… somewhere!
Since it wasn’t too busy (I probably saw less than 25 people all the time I was there) I bungied the pole to the fence post mid way up the steps, by a nice ‘seat’, which was rather nice!
Again, I unravelled the linked dipole to somewhere between the 20m and 40m links, and wrapped the ends around the fence top. I decided to use the amp from the start, so cabled it all up.
ct3-mi-004cThe ‘shack’ looking like it’s at the end of the world!
Close to 12:30, I spotted myself on 21Mhz, and within 20 minutes, had 18 QSOs in the log.
However, there appeared to be a problem.. The amplifier appeared to be intermittently powering off and back on again, a bit of further investigation showed that the 817 was intermittently using the internal batteries. It looked like an issue with the Tracer battery…
I had a similar issue with one on G/WB-004 last year which I’d put down to the cold.. being rather chilly here, it could be the same, I put it in the back pack, and it appeared to solve the problem.
Dropping down to 14MHz I recorded a further 17 QSOs in the next 20 minutes.
Going to 28MHz, I then recorded 50 QSOs in just over an hour, including a s2s with 9H3BT/P on 9h/ma-001, which was a nice surprise!

ct3-mi-004d‘Spot the battery’…. it’s in the bag!

However, the battery problem appeared to have returned, meaning that I was sometimes running close to 50W, then dropping to 2.5W on internal 817 battery, then back up again.. Not ideal.
A bit of wiggling about with cables, seemed to have made things a little better, so I went to 21MHz and tried again..
A s2s with SP8RHP/P on sp/bw-003 ensued, followed by another 3 QSOs.. Finally going to 24MHz for a further 6 QSOs before taking a few pics, and packing up, once calls were being unanswered.
ct3-mi-004bView up to the highest point.

ct3-mi-004aThe path ‘PR1’, apparently to nowhere!

Thanks, once again to anyone who called in, and apologies if I missed anyone!

Time Call Band Mode Notes
12:27z G4WSB 21MHz SSB
12:27z EA2LU 21MHz SSB
12:28z ON4FI 21MHz SSB
12:29z HB9MKV 21MHz SSB
12:30z EI9GLB 21MHz SSB
12:30z OE7FMH 21MHz SSB
12:31z G8ADD 21MHz SSB
12:32z DJ6OK 21MHz SSB
12:32z OK1SDE 21MHz SSB
12:33z M3FEH 21MHz SSB
12:34z G6TUH 21MHz SSB
12:36z M0MDA 21MHz SSB
12:37z G0RQL 21MHz SSB
12:38z EB2CZF 21MHz SSB
12:38z DL8MLD 21MHz SSB
12:40z M6KVJ 21MHz SSB
12:42z OE7PHI 21MHz SSB
12:43z SV2OXS 21MHz SSB
12:53z EA8/PA7ZEE 14MHz SSB
12:55z G0RQL 14MHz SSB
12:57z GI4ONL 14MHz SSB
12:57z M6KVJ 14MHz SSB
12:59z G0HRT 14MHz SSB
13:00z DL3HXX 14MHz SSB
13:00z EA2CKX 14MHz SSB
13:02z DF5WA 14MHz SSB
13:03z PA0INA 14MHz SSB
13:04z AE4FZ 14MHz SSB
13:04z OE7PHI 14MHz SSB
13:04z EA1LQ 14MHz SSB
13:05z G0HRT 14MHz SSB
13:08z PE1RMO 14MHz SSB
13:09z G6ODU 14MHz SSB
13:10z OK2PDT 14MHz SSB
13:20z G6TUH 28MHz SSB
13:20z KB1RJD 28MHz SSB
13:21z KB1RJC 28MHz SSB
13:22z M0IML 28MHz SSB
13:22z G0TDM 28MHz SSB
13:23z M6KVJ 28MHz SSB
13:24z DL6ZG 28MHz SSB
13:25z DL2EF 28MHz SSB
13:26z KW4CK 28MHz SSB
13:28z M0MDA 28MHz SSB
13:30z DL6MST 28MHz SSB
13:31z AC1Z 28MHz SSB
13:32z W1OW 28MHz SSB
13:33z IK1GPG 28MHz SSB
13:34z UA3GJM 28MHz SSB
13:34z ON7DQ 28MHz SSB
13:36z F4HJP 28MHz SSB
13:37z DG5FEB 28MHz SSB
13:38z DK7DU 28MHz SSB
13:39z IK2ZEC 28MHz SSB
13:39z N2BTD 28MHz SSB
13:40z W8IZC 28MHz SSB
13:41z PA2BT 28MHz SSB
13:43z EI9JU 28MHz SSB
13:46z W4CLJ 28MHz SSB
13:47z DJ1SD 28MHz SSB
13:51z KI4AAU 28MHz SSB
13:52z R4FCJ 28MHz SSB
13:53z 2E0YYY 28MHz SSB
14:05z W4DOW 28MHz SSB
14:06z F6HFI 28MHz SSB
14:08z KD2FND 28MHz SSB
14:10z ON5SWA 28MHz SSB
14:11z HB9AGH 28MHz SSB
14:11z R2EA 28MHz SSB
14:12z N4EX 28MHz SSB
14:13z VE1WT 28MHz SSB
14:16z KV4WN 28MHz SSB
14:16z HB9BQU 28MHz SSB
14:17z M0DAZ 28MHz SSB
14:18z OE3GGS 28MHz SSB
14:20z M0JLA 28MHz SSB
14:20z RZ3AR 28MHz SSB
14:22z G3TJE 28MHz SSB
14:22z OE3JTB 28MHz SSB
14:23z 9H3BT/P 28MHz SSB
14:24z IK1VQY 28MHz SSB
14:26z G3ZKN 28MHz SSB
14:27z W5CL 28MHz SSB
14:28z DL3JPN 28MHz SSB
14:41z SP8RHP/P 21MHz SSB
14:45z VE2JCW 21MHz SSB
14:46z OZ4RT 21MHz SSB
14:48z DK7ZH 21MHz SSB
14:58z HB9AGH 24MHz SSB
14:59z HB9MKV 24MHz SSB
15:01z DK7ZH 24MHz SSB
15:01z WX4ET 24MHz SSB
15:04z OE5JKL 24MHz SSB
15:05z DL2BXE 24MHz SSB

Getting back onto the main road, I managed to miss a load of very deep potholes… except one…
Convinced that I’d probably blown the tyre, or at least bent the rim, I stopped and had a look.. I couldn’t see any damage, and thought I’d got away with it…
However, in the middle of what passes for ‘rush hour’ in Funchal, some nice YLs, whilst stopped at traffic lights began to attract my attention (no, not in THAT way…) and pointing to the front of the car.. yes… tyre was just about flat.. typical..
No problem.. I called the ‘helpline’ as instructed, to be told that they didn’t do punctures, despite what I’d been told, however, they would come out for around 100 euros.. umm… no..
Having replaced numerous wheels in my time, I’m more than capable of doing so, but didn’t relish the prospect of doing so in some narrow back street, on the wrong side of the road.. The nice people at Avis, sent one of their guys out, who did it instead smile
Only downside, was, since there was a small tear in the sidewall, it wasn’t repairable, and hence, I ‘lost’ the 100 euro excess… ah well, At least Filipe called me, and apologised for the attitude of the third party ‘helpline’

So, all in all, 2 days of good fun, gamboling around somewhat scary roads, 2 SOTA summits activated, if a little expensively!
Next time… can someone remind me to actually take my floppy brimmed hat with me to a summit please? Sunburnt ears apparently cause quite a bit of hilarity!

Wednesday 4th February 2015. CT3/MI-006

Waiting in hotel reception for the guy from Avis to turn up to take me for the hire car at 9am, hobbling around with very blistered feet from so much walking the previous day (not a great start!)… he never turned up… until 10am.. Marvellous.
So, eventually, by 10:30am, I should be on my way, Final word from Filipe at Avis, was “if anything goes wrong, even a puncture, just call the ‘helpline’ you are covered for everything” (more on that later!)

So, equipped with a paper map, and a copy of ‘locus free’ and an offline map of Madeira, I was off to CT3/MI-006, only nearly 2 hours late.. still it wouldn’t take too long to get there… would it?
The Locus Free ‘map’ showed that, more than likely, the road from Encumeda to MI-006 wasn’t open, although nobody could tell me for definite that it was.. So, I decided to drive along VR1 to Ribeira Brava, then take VE3/ER101 along to Ponto Del Sol, then the ER222/ER209 up to ER110 just along from MI-006 – easy!

Well it would have been if I hadn’t taken a wrong turn right at the start, and found myself in the middle of Funchal.. Never mind, soon on VR1 along to Ribeira Brava, where… ummm, I took a wrong turning, into the middle of town! After getting stuck behind 2 taxi drivers sitting in their cars next to each other, having a little chat, I managed to get back on the right road again!

Then, a little further along the road, missed the turn off onto ER222, and ended up in Arco Da Calheta, where I managed to pick up a road signed ‘Pico da Urze’ – That would do, not too far along ER110 from where I needed to be.
(This would have been a lot easier with a navigator! Then again, it’s fun driving around narrow roads with hairpin bends on holiday, on the wrong side of the road! smile )
I was held up some more by a tourist bus, obviously on a day trip, winding up the same, narrow road!

Eventually making it onto ER110, past the hotel at Pico da Urze, and to the cross roads, where it was made clear that, as suspected, the road through to Encumenda was indeed, still closed. Only a little further along the road, and I found the side road, along to the car park.

Finding the hill to be shrouded in cloud, I pulled on my boots, and started the relatively short walk.. Turning back after a couple of hundred yards as I’d left the camera in the car!

ct3-mi-006fTake a right turn through the woods!

Still, it took less than half an hour in all, along the track, right, through the woods, and left to climb up the hill, much as described in previous reports, and I was up the top..
There were probably another 10 or so people there, and the cloud was swirling around. The sweeping vistas from the couple of viewing platforms consisted of… grey clouds…. ah well.

I had a quick look around, and decided to bungee the 4m pole to the end of one of the fences, one end of the link dipole wrapped around the top of the fence, the other end chucked unceremoniously onto the top of a gorse bush. (Only unravelled as far as mid way between the 20M and 40M links as I didn’t think 40M would be very useful)

ct3-mi-006aNo need for a guying kit!

Looking at RRT, I saw that Carolyn, GW6WRW/p had just been spotted on 21Mhz, and set the antenna up for that, 5W from the 817nd saw her as the first contact, s2s, not a bad start!
I then spotted myself on 20M and attempted with the 5w, rapidly finding that attaching the amp would be a better option! So on it went. Quickly followed by 22 or so QSOs
Once they had dried up, 10M seemed to be very lively, so the antenna was dropped and the links changed to 10M. 34 QSOs later, and Mike, 2E0YYY came on, asking if I could drop down between 28.3 and 28.5 to enable US Tech chasers a go, one in particular, N2BTD, who was very patient as I struggled to get him in the log, but got there in the end, Thanks, Brian!

ct3-mi-006bThe extensive ‘shack’

A quick change to 12M saw another 8 QSOs, and a final change back to 10, saw a further 2, by which time, since all calls seem to have dried up, it was time for a couple of photos, and get packed up.
One last wander across to one of the viewing platforms allowed me to snap a peak above the clouds, just!

ct3-mi-006cAt last! A view, of sorts…

Walking back down, it appeared that I could possibly be able to take a pic of a Brocken Spectre..

ct3-mi-006eWas I going closer to the edge to take a photo? Absolutely not!

However, I thought it best not to get too close to the edge of the hill, just in case!
About 20 minutes later, I was back at the car, the only one left in either of the 2 car parks.

DSCF0402-aJust about ready to descend, clouds started clearing!

71 QSOs in close to 2 hours, many thanks to everyone who called in, and apologies to anyone who I missed.Getting back to the hotel, was a lot easier, drive along ER110 to the cross roads, turn left, and follow the road downhill until I reached VE3, then onto VR1 and turn right at some point before getting to the middle of Funchal!

Time Call Band Mode
13:31z GW6WRW/P 18MHz SSB
13:40z EA2LU 14MHz SSB
13:45z G6TUH 14MHz SSB
13:45z G0RQL 14MHz SSB
13:48z EI9GLB 14MHz SSB
13:48z EB2CZF 14MHz SSB
13:50z M0IBC 14MHz SSB
13:50z G4WSB 14MHz SSB
13:52z EA2CKX 14MHz SSB
13:53z HB9MKV 14MHz SSB
13:53z DL8MLD 14MHz SSB
13:54z GB2IWM 14MHz SSB
13:55z DK7ZH 14MHz SSB
13:56z G0VWP 14MHz SSB
13:57z EA2GM 14MHz SSB
13:58z OE7PHI 14MHz SSB
13:59z G0HRT 14MHz SSB
14:00z AC1Z 14MHz SSB
14:00z GW6WRW/P 14MHz SSB
14:01z OE5FSL 14MHz SSB
14:02z F6BKD 14MHz SSB
14:05z EA8/DL8NSB/P 14MHz SSB
14:09z ON7KJW 14MHz SSB
14:20z G6TUH 28MHz SSB
14:20z N4EX 28MHz SSB
14:21z DF5WA 28MHz SSB
14:22z HB9AGH 28MHz SSB
14:22z DL2HWI 28MHz SSB
14:23z DL2EF 28MHz SSB
14:24z M6KVJ 28MHz SSB
14:25z AC1Z 28MHz SSB
14:25z M0IBC 28MHz SSB
14:26z G6ODU 28MHz SSB
14:27z G0RQL 28MHz SSB
14:28z MW0BYS 28MHz SSB
14:28z OK2PDT 28MHz SSB
14:29z G4BLH 28MHz SSB
14:29z G4WSB 28MHz SSB
14:30z N0UN 28MHz SSB
14:31z W8ALP 28MHz SSB
14:32z OE5FBL 28MHz SSB
14:35z DL7JAN 28MHz SSB
14:36z N3CDA 28MHz SSB
14:36z DL8DXL 28MHz SSB
14:37z G4ERO 28MHz SSB
14:38z R4FCJ 28MHz SSB
14:40z IZ8OFO 28MHz SSB
14:40z UA6BNC 28MHz SSB
14:42z G0TDM 28MHz SSB
14:43z LX1KF 28MHz SSB
14:44z OE6WIG 28MHz SSB
14:44z OK1DPU 28MHz SSB
14:45z VE2JCW 28MHz SSB
14:46z DK4MO 28MHz SSB
14:46z DK7ZH 28MHz SSB
14:47z PD1HBW 28MHz SSB
14:48z OM1AX 28MHz SSB
14:50z 2E0YYY 28MHz SSB
14:52z G3MWV 28MHz SSB
15:00z PA0INA 28MHz SSB
15:06z N2BTD 28MHz SSB
15:15z G6TUH 24MHz SSB
15:18z DL3JPN 24MHz SSB
15:20z M0IBC 24MHz SSB
15:21z YL2TQ 24MHz SSB
15:22z HB9AGH 24MHz SSB
15:24z OK1SDE 24MHz SSB
15:25z M6KVJ 24MHz SSB
15:26z WX4ET 24MHz SSB
15:42z M3MVZ 28MHz SSB
15:44z M3FEH 28MHz SSB