Monday, 14 September 2015

SARL FD Sep 2015 – Golden Gate National Park

I set up a field station on the veranda of our highlands retreat log cabin, situated in the magnificent Golden Gate National Park some 4 hours drive from my home . The views to the east and north were awesome.

I used a telescopic fibre glass mast and erected a link dipole for 15, 20 and 40m. I used my trusty Elecraft K2 transceiver and Begali HST paddle.

I started calling CQ on 40m CW, after 20 minutes I gave up in disgust, I did not have a single reply. IMHO CW is in danger of becoming obsolete in South Africa.

I tried my luck on 20 and 15m, but the propagation was simply too poor to enable any QSOs with my QRP setup.
I had no option, but to revert to using the ‘muggle’ mode. I really don’t enjoy using SSB…..

I was looking really looking forward to the field day event and I had high hopes that the event would be well supported, but alas that was not to be.

All this effort to end up with only 22 QSOs in the log :-(

Overlooking the log cabins

Mast errected even befor we were unpacked

Shack with a view......


  1. Nice setting Pierre - thanks for the contact on "Muggle mode". Roger also never heard a ZS station on CW the whole weekend

  2. Hi Pierre,
    just found your blog, and note that you are "into" cw. and sometimes frustrated that you do not get any responses when putting calls out, and have a fear that cw will be lost in S.A. .. well, If you are thirsting for some 599 contacts all over the world, ( well most of it.. maybe... there`s a few places .... ) and have not got a million megawatts of power to play with... why not try CWCOM from MRX Software. .. it`s free, and uses the internet to chat to fellow cw enthusiasts.. not all are radio hams.. (I am not, but am Ex R.N. Radio Operator).. It is relatively quiet at present... so we need some new blood, to keep us interested... perhaps you would like to try it, and then maybe pass it on to your local friends. .. I have a blogsite... although it is not about ham radio, I do use it to show off my refurbishment work on cw keys I have bought over the past 3 years or so, and also som photography bits and pieces. ( I am not an expert in anything, though ! ! ).

    my blogsite is

    My call on CWCOM is GEMS and I am usually on there every evening from 19:30 G.M.T. ( Now it is winter time here in U.K ). until about 22:00 G.M.T.

    If anyone else is reading this, who does not have a ham licence... it is not needed on CWCOM... anyone can join in, and make up your own callname.

    Look forward to seeing you for a qso, and some other ZS callsigns as well,

    73 DE GEMS VA DIT DIT ( aka Gerry - qth Portsmouth, England, age 71, straight keys only )