23 August 2014

Yaesu FT-991 - replacement for the FT-897

Update: pricing and user manuals can be found here.

Yaesu FT-991 is the next upcoming model from Yaesu, as the replacement for the recently discontinued FT-897. Highlights include 3.5" TFT touch display, a spectrum scope, 32-bit IF DSP, internal antenna tuner and C4FM.

21 August 2014

SOTA Tour YO 2014 - part III

<< Go to part II of the story

The morning at 2500+m altitude is not your regular morning: winds tend to be strong and the clouds were flying really low - even lower than us.

We had to wait until almost 11:00 local time for the sky to clear so we could depart towards our next target: YO/MC-008 Bucsoiu, 2493m - 10 points.

20 August 2014

SOTA Tour YO 2014 - part II

<< Go to Part I of the story

On the second day we woke up early as we had a long road ahead of us, so at 7 AM we were already on the way. The Transalpina road, crossing the mountains at 2000m altitude, looks beautiful in the morning sun.

18 August 2014

SOTA tour YO 2014 - part I

Hint: visit the YO SOTA Marathon page for current info.

A team of romanian ham amateur radio operators travelling around the country on beautiful twisting roads, backpacking with their bags full of equipment and installing antennas on mountain peaks for their pure enjoyment; this is how i'd sum up this tour in just a few words. But a few words are not enough, not even alot of them wouldn't suffice; actually, you know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words ? Well, it would take about a thousand pictures to describe what an adventure like this really is, and still the feeling wouldn't be the same unless you experience it yourself.

08 August 2014

SOTA marathon in Romania (YO)

I will be joining Sorin YO2MSB in a YO SOTA Marathon across the Carpathian mountains in Romania, looking to activate about 10 peaks in 5 days, most of them being 10 points. We don't have a strict schedule because this still depends on good weather, but this is what you should be expecting:

August 11th: YO/MC-078 (10pts), YO/MC-052 (10pts), YO/MC-50 (10pts)
August 12th: YO/MC-007 (10pts), YO/MC-049 (10pts)
August 13th: YO/MC-086 (8pts), YO/MC-009 (10pts)
August 14th: YO/MC-006 (10pts), YO/MC-008 (10pts)
August 15th: YO/EC-252 (6pts), YO/EC-331 (6pts), YO/EC-428 (4pts)

We will be joined at some points by other operators and we plan on working multiple bands and multiple modes in order to offer these peaks to as many chasers as possible. Also, we will try a night time activation on YO/MC-006 on 100W to give the chance to DX stations to work this peak.

Please keep an eye on Sotawatch for alerts and spots.

04 August 2014

SOTA activation YO/MC-014

YO/MC-014 Papusa peak ("The Doll" - 2391m) was my first official SOTA activation attempt, almost one year ago. The hike to the peak is no easy task, about 4 hours of continous uphill effort that takes you from 1200m altitude to almost 2400m. Even though it was a very nice weekend and I had the chance to meet and spend some time with very nice people, the weather wasn't on our side and we had to get back when we were 15 minutes away from the peak. Here's the story in romanian.

The peak is in the Iezer mountains, about 20-25km north of Campulung, the home-city of the ARO all-terrain vehicles. These were famous for their excellent offroad capabilities and in the late years they got really good engines and upgrades, unfortunately the factory closed in 2006 and sold their license to a czech company, that (still?) makes only a limited series.