Our award program resulted in 15 gold, 53 silver and 140 bronze awards for the almost 1100 different callsigns in our log.
A video of our experience this weekend can be found here: YNOMY on Youtube
Friday May 11 - arrival, QRM and first radio contacts
We arrived on Friday after a day driving through PA, DL and OE. Our first surprise was a couple of HB0 QSL cards in the reception area of the hotel. It turned out they were familiar with radio amateurs and had no problems whatsoever with us putting up antennas. As we planned to do some digital activity from the hotel we were pleased with this attitude towards ham radio.
However once we set up our radio station we found that there was a source of QRM in the hotel that caused signals up to 9+10dB on all bands. We were unable to locate the source, so we only made a handful of FT8 contacts. We later learned a lot of people had heard us, but we were just unable to copy them.
Our guest operator Augusto HB9TZA/I2JJR arrived later in the evening and together we went up the hill behind the hotel to do a first activity. We used HB0/PH0NO and HB0/HB9TA on 40m logging quite a few JA's with good signals.
|Augusto HB9TZA working 40m near our hotel
Saturday May 12 - 4 parks with poor propagation on 20m+
We had breakfast as early as we could get it and headed off to the first park we selected during our planning. On the map it looked like we could enter the park by car but a sign told us not to do so. We decided to take a small risk by bringing all our gear into the park and then return the car. There was no path inside the reserve, so we had to build up our station in the bushes. We even managed to get the hexbeam up but it took far too much time and with the poor propagation on 20m and up, we only got a handful of contacts with it.
|HBFF-0134 - operating from the jungle with an end fed wire and hexbeam
|Marcel PG8M and Marcel PD7YY @HBFF-0127
|Nice tower if would have only brought our climbing gear
Sunday May 13 - 3 more parks, raindrops and crazy pileup
Sunday morning we got up early again but lost a lot of time finding a decent operating spot. Two of the planned locations were not accessible by a large distance - too far for us to carry all our stuff. We ended up in HBFF-0060 - a small walk from a car park. By the time we started it was 9 UTC - one hour later than on Saturday.
Conditions on 20m were clearly better than the previous day. We logged 262 calls on 20m and 40m almost equally divided over these two bands. Two JA stations and one K3 made the trip.
|Augusto HB9TZA on 20m @HBFF-0060
We had a quick snack and then it was time to say goodbye to our new friend and guest operator Augusto HB9TZA.
|Team picture at Augusto's departure (PG8M, PD7YY, HB9TZA, PH0NO)
|PG8M working 20m CW @HBFF-0121
|PH0NO working 20m SSB @HBFF-0122
When we left the next morning it was foggy, cold and very different from when we arrived.
It has been a great adventure with a great team. Usually stuff breaks but we got home with almost no incidents (apart from various car related issues of HB9TZA but that is a different story altogether).
Thanks all for giving us a shout!
We hope to meet you all next year for another episode of "YNOMY on expedition".