Our family holiday in July/August 2000 included hill-walking in the
Swiss Alps (Wengen), and 4 days in Venice. The picture shows the radio equipment
that I took to Wengen:
- 80 m transceiver;
- a much-modified ETM keyer;
- miniature ATU and balun unit;
- various adaptor leads;
- half-wave dipole;
- 20 m of balanced feeder
- 36 m of nylon cord;
- spare fuses;
- tools; choc block; cable ties; 'Leatherman'; and,
- 'Swiss Army' knife (of course!).
on thumbnail to enlarge
Many thanks to all who listened for my QRP signals from Switzerland in late July/early
The whole family had a good holiday in Switzerland and, afterwards, in Venice. We
enjoyed travelling by train; bus; and, on one occasion, by boat (to Stein Am Rhein). The
Swiss Travel Card made travelling within HB9 very easy. All Swiss departures were
according to the published schedule: no break-downs; no delays; no over-crowding; no
Although I had hoped to operate my little rig from 29th July to 4th August, the way things
turned out meant that I could not put up an antenna until the morning of the 3rd August,
when a room in an upper part of the holiday house became available. No doubt many had
given up listening for me well before then.
The antenna consisted of a 20 m wire running from the upstairs bedroom window, up to the
apex of the overhanging gable end, down the side of the sloping roof, and tied off to a
small tree. The average antenna height was about 10 m. The ground consisted of a 3 m
length of wire connected from the ATU to a central heating radiator.
Noise levels were low during the day, but drifting noise of the sort generated by switched
mode power supplies (SMPS)/low energy light bulbs could be heard. This type of noise
caused considerable receive problems over the range 3.560-3.565 MHz on the evening of the
3rd August. QRN was also a problem on both the 3rd and the 4th.
My log from HB9/GW4ALG/P for the two days reads as follows:
03/08/00 1914 DK1IO 449 (sent) 339 (received).
Running 5 W from Hannover.
03/08/00 1924 G3YMC 559 449. An excellent QRP signal Dave. Well done!
03/08/00 1947 M0CVB 449 ---. Lost in SMPS QRM. John running 5 W to homebrew TX.
03/08/00 2021 M0CVB 449 ---. Lost again.
03/08/00 2037 G3AGA 579 449. Davey in Cornwall.
03/08/00 2102 G4LNA 589 589. Paul running 100 W to a loop.
04/08/00 1906 G6RO 449 139. Ron in Shipley. QRM from a GW station!
04/08/00 1958 M0CVB 359 339. We finally make a QSO!
04/08/00 2037 G3PGM 589 569. Eric in Hurst. My 'Elmer' from the late 1960s.
04/08/00 2105 G4CKH 559 359. Graeme in Lowestoft running 5 w to 100 ft LW.
04/08/00 2130 G0CKP 579 579. Steve in Sevenoaks running 50 W to a G5RV.
I'm pleased to report that all the equipment survived the round trip in my huge backpack -
which contained not just the radio gear, but all my clothes etc. too! I look forward
to doing a similar trip in the future.
I'm grateful to Dave G3YMC for alerting Ron and Eric when I finally got QRV, as I know
that they had called me on several occasions prior to the 3rd. And thanks are due to
colleague John M0CVB who called me every night from 29th July onward - never doubting that
I would eventually get a signal through the IF stages of his FRG7.
Special QSL cards confirming the above QSOs will be posted as soon as possible.
Steve Rawlings, GW4ALG
16th August 2000
And finally: Just for a laugh, my son Colin took this picture while I was
standing in front of a drinks vending machine at the train station in Venice!