Sunday, May 21, 2023

Looking back at HB0 expedition

The summary 

We started Friday evening May 12 and finished Sunday evening May 14. We logged more than 2200 QSOs with stations in 79 DXCC. That is a lot more than we did in 2018 (1.3x), and a lot more outside EU (6x). 

2216 QSOs, 79 DXCC, 5 bands, 2 modes

The top chasers 

In Europe we have EA2DT and OH1MM sharing the first place on points. OH1MM is the only chaser that worked us in all parks. The third place goes to ON3UA
Outside Europe KD1CT took the first place with KG8P and 4Z4DX sharing the second place. 

If you worked us multiple times you might be eligible for an award. To check if you have an award, fill in your callsign below.

The countries that we came across the most: I (266), DL (253), SP (176), Gx (155), EA (151), W (130), PA (116) and F (99).

The story

We arrived on Friday late afternoon after a smooth trip of around 800km through central EU. There was ample time for a first activity. We chose nature park HBFF-0006 as it was close to our apartment. The area is flat and well clear from the mountain ranges that enclose Liechtenstein. Conditions were above expectation. We logged 690 QSOs from around the planet (more than 20% outside EU) with long pile-ups.

PD7YY on SSB in HBFF-0006

Happy with the result we went out on Saturday morning with high hopes. Conditions during the day were quite different however. We stayed for 3,5 hours in HBFF-0221 and logged 376 QSOs with only a handful outside EU. We moved on to HBFF-0220 where we had to set up stations in between the trees - using a slingshot to get the wires up. Far from ideal we only stayed there for 90 minutes logging 120 QSOs.

Quiet area in HBFF-0221HBFF-0220 in between trees

We went out for a snack before going to our favorite location from 2018: a hill near hotel Sücka.
This time however the weather was quite different from 2018. The hill was wet and muddy and hard to climb. We were in the clouds and it was unpleasant in every way. Still we wanted to use the highest point available dreaming of another evening with long pile-ups. We set up a 40m EFHW wire on an 18m pole and a 20m EFHW wire on a 12m pole.

PE5TT carrying stuff up the hillOperating the 20m station covered from the rain

For some reason the 40m antenna was not behaving with very high SWR. The 20m station was going fine but after trying to fix the antenna in the dark, on the wet and slippery hill, we had to abandon the 40m station. This was a low point in our trip as we knew we could have worked a lot of chasers up there. We brought all the stuff back down when 20m went quiet. Next to the car we built the 40m antenna again and of course it worked.... We stayed for a bit working a bunch of stations on this lower point next to the hill, finishing the evening with 150 QSOs in the log with 22% outside EU thanks to the 20m station.

We took a good rest and woke up to a rainy HB0 on Sunday. We decided to take it easy on the last day, choosing to visit two parks. The first one was HBFF-0478 on a hillside in the south where we operated from the car as it kept on raining throughout. It was never very busy but we managed to log 238 QSOs.

Rain in HBFF-0478The last park on the edge of a woodland

After surveying options for the evening we went out for dinner and afterwards to HBFF-0130. A nature reserve in the lower area of HB0, not too far from the place we had such good conditions on Friday evening. We had to battle some rain while outside of the car - as there was no way to get in by car - but were again greeted with very good conditions logging 642 QSOs although this time mainly on the low bands (only 11% DX).

Looking back at our trip to HB0 in 2018 we had better weather that time but definitely better HF conditions this time. On the next expedition we hope to combine the two :)

QSL info

The QSL cards have been printed and sent out (via the bureau per default for all contacts and direct if you requested this via ClubLog).
All logs are online at WWFF and the logs for HB0/PH0NO/P and HB0/PE5TT/P are also online on LoTW.

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