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OE/HA2004EU quick QRP expedition - 2 January, 2004.

We spent the new year holiday with a company of (non HAM) friends at Fertod, in western Hungary, only a few kilometres from the Austrian border. On our way back to Budapest, the lady members of the company decided they wanted to stop by at the well-known clothes/shoes shopping village in Parndorf, Austria. Because I normally get deadly bored in clothing stores, and because this is truly a huge place with lots of shops, I was permitted 1.5 hours of leave.

As the FT-817 and my mobile antenna (tuned for 40m....or more just that I thought so) was in the boot of the car, I quickly bore the idea to air the HA2004EU callsign from one more EU member state, rasing the total number of our visited countries to two right on the second day of HA2004EU. After HA5FA's short operation as 5B4/HA2004EU was over and his plane had taken off at Larnaca airport, it was now my turn to run the callsign from Austria. I stopped the car in a parking lot behind the shopping center, the car facing a huge, snowy meadow and installed the "station". (QTH: N 47.97664 E 16.85237 Grid Loc: JN87KX)

The band seemed as if it was dead, I could only hear a few weak signals... keying down, SWR proved extremely high. I did not have tools or time to fix the mobile antenna, so I took a balun and 20 meters of speaker wire (luck we took HiFi to the new year party! :-) from the boot and made a dipole. Then I looked around... Bad lucK again: there was no tree on the meadow. There were only two small bushes, and even they were too close to each other for a 40m antenna. So I laid the dipole on the ground. I decided to pass the time while the girls are shopping by being an SWL (even that is more fun than clothes shops...:-)

But of course I did not give up immediately and checked the SWR. Wowww, it was GOOD! I was trying to call stations for quite a few minutes, but nobody heard my weak signals. Then suddenly my GSM phone rang. It was Tomi, HA5PT, calling to wish happy new year. I told him was I was up to, so he searched for a clear frequency, and a few seconds later I could have him in my LOG (a notebook with Harry Potter decorating the cover...)

People must have heard HA5PT QSO-ing with OE/HA2004EU, or read him post the spot in the cluster, so I enjoyed a mini pile-up.

Unfortunately the internal NiCd battery of the FT817 was going down dangerously quickly, so I turned the power down to the 2.5 W setting. Sometimes my CW was rather bad as I held the elkey and my log on my lap, sitting behind the steering wheel, dressed in winter jacket... Not the most convenient shack at all.

Propagation was most definitely improved by an Austrian man, who quickly approached one of my bushes. It must have been urgent to him, so he quickly tore my wire from the bush to be able to go to the other side where he thought he was covered...:-) You should have seen his face as he was looking into the car, where an idiot was enjoying his little QRP pileup while he was :-)

All in all, I could only make 11 QSOs between 11:57 and 12:49 UT. 3x HA, 2x YO, 3x DL, 2x OK, 1x OM.

Not much, but considering the circumstances and the antenna, it was not that bad, and it was great fun anyway. Next time I will be more prepared, and of course I will only allow the girls to shop at places, where there are trees for a dipole :-)

Chris, HA5X

HA5PT Tomi recorded two QSOs of OE/HA2004EU. This is how the 2.5 Watts sounded in Budapest:

  • QSO with OK1KQJ.
  • QSO with OM1AX.

  • HG5XA licence

    DXCC CW award

    Football WM Award

    Maccabiah Games Award

    Trafalgar Award

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