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!